Start Date: February 2016

ID #: 73394

Principal Investigator: Marlene Schwartz, PhD

Organization: University of Connecticut

Funding Round: Round 9

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The primary goal of this project is to refine and disseminate a valid, reliable quantitative assessment tool to measure the implementation of school wellness policies use to meet the Healthy and Hunger-Free Kids Act mandate to evaluate and report on wellness policy implementation. The research team previously developed the WellSAT tool to assess written school wellness policies and based on this tool developed the WellSAT-I (Implementation). The WellSAT-I is a prototype policy implementation measure, comprised of structured, coded interviews with principals, teachers, and food service personnel. Data have been collected using this measure in 12 schools over three years in an urban, lower-income school district, which will serve as the starting point for establishing reliability and validity of the tool. First, the research team will convene a national group of researchers and practitioners who are experts in the assessment and implementation of school wellness policies. The WellSAT-I will be refined based on psychometric analyses of reliability and validity and findings from the convening and other stakeholder perspectives. Next, the tool will be piloted in 50 school districts across the country. When finalized, the revised tool will be disseminated to researchers, state government agencies, advocacy groups, school administrators, parent groups, and other wellness policy stakeholders.

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