Schools play an important role in promoting student wellness. As directed by the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, the US Department of Agriculture updated the requirements for written school wellness policies in 2016. The WellSAT (Wellness School Assessment Tool) is an online tool that provides a quantitative score for wellness policy comprehensiveness and strength. The WellSAT has been updated 3 times over the past decade to remain current with federal law and best practices. In this article, we describe the process of updating to WellSAT 3.0. The steps included: reviewing the language of each item linked to a federal provision; adding and deleting items based on frequencies from the National Wellness Policy Study and the empirical support for specific policies; gathering feedback from a survey of experts (N = 77) about best practices and measure usability; and establishing intercoder reliability in a national sample (N = 50) of policies. We conclude with recommendations and guidance for the use of WellSAT 3.0.
Wellness School Assessment Tool Version 3.0: An Updated Quantitative Measure of Written School Wellness Policies
The WellSAT, created in 2005, is a leading measure used to assess the quality of written school wellness policies. The aim of the present study is to update the WellSAT to a 3.0 version based on current science and psychometric assessments to reflect the 2016 final federal rule from the … More
Improving Access to Free School Meals: Addressing Intersections Between Universal Free School Meal Approaches and Educational Funding
Free and reduced price meal application data are used to allocate billions of dollars annually in education funding. However, schools serving universal free meals under the Community Eligibility Provision meal service option or USDA’s COVID-19 waivers do not typically collect school meal applications. The loss of this data has caused … More
Schools play a vital role in promoting children’s health and well-being. In the United States, schools contribute significantly to children’s overall diet quality and can provide up to half of their daily calories, especially among children from low-income families. Providing healthy school meals for all is a policy opportunity to … More