About the Award
Equitable schools create a learning environment where students are healthy, safe, engaged, supported and challenged! These schools help students achieve their full academic potential as well as supporting them in developing lifelong healthy behaviors. They recognize that what happens in the classroom, gymnasium, cafeteria, at school events, at home, and in the community are interrelated and can reinforce healthy behaviors. In an effort to improve schools and school systems, the Wisconsin School Health/WSCC Award aims to support collaborative engagement to minimize achievement gaps. In addition, the Wisconsin School Health/WSCC Award is a way to recognize and celebrate schools with policies, programs, and the infrastructure to promote and sustain a healthy learning environment.
The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) is committed to assisting schools in addressing the barriers which impede students ability to meet their maximum potential. Systematically supporting all areas/levels within education (students, educators in schools, school building level, LEA, regional agency, state education agency) is the best chance at accomplishing big goals.
As DPI continues to develop initiatives to help schools support the mission and vision of ensuring every student graduates college and career ready, alignment between those initiatives and the Wisconsin School Health/WSCC Award will be imperative going forward. We want the awards program to be in concert with meeting the overarching goals of reducing achievement gaps. This will result in incremental changes to the award process that will be executed in phases over time.
DPI recognizes that creating an equitable and healthy learning environment goes beyond nutrition, health education, and physical education/physical activity. It takes a collaborative approach, therefore emphasis is focused on utilizing the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) approach to education. The Wisconsin School Health Award will now be known as the Wisconsin School Health/WSCC Award as a way to recognize, celebrate, and honor schools who promote programs that support the whole child.
In the past, DPI worked closely with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. However, there have been many changes occurring at the national level, which resulted in the Alliance being unable to provide DPI the same level of support as they had done previously. These changes prevented DPI from continuing the Wisconsin School Health Award in the same manner.
Therefore, DPI is excited to announce a new partnership with Action For Healthy Kids (AFHK) for the 2019 Wisconsin School Health/WSCC Award. This partnership provides DPI and schools with the necessary resources to continue the awards program. A few benefits AFHK offers include:
- State coordinator to assist your schools (free)
- Free school programs (ex. Game On)
- Free access to resources
- Build or re-establish your school health team
- Complete AFHK’s SHI for one or more buildings in your district
- Apply for the Healthier US School Challenge: Smarter Lunchrooms (HUSSC: SL) recognition program
- Find funding opportunities and resources that support a healthy school environment
- Grant opportunities
- Easy site navigation
- AFHK assessment reports include school, district, and statewide average comparisons
The application process has slightly changed to be more efficient and adaptable to future expansion. One major change is there is no longer a need to register and then later apply. There is one deadline, March 31st. Through our new partnership, the Wisconsin School WSCC Award requires a school to complete the AFHK abbreviated School Health Index Assessment. AFHK will provide resources to the module areas needing support in order to assist schools with creating and sustaining a learning environment that ensures each child is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. Next, schools will complete the 8 WSCC supplemental question selected by DPI. Last, complete the application form by March 31st. Within the application form, schools will provide a link to the district and/or school wellness policy and answer 2 prompts related to strengths and improvements. More information about how to apply can be found in the next section below.
How to Apply
If you do not have a wellness/coordinated school health/WSCC team, create one. A team should include individuals that mirror the diversity of the school and community, as well as, have representatives of various roles within a school and community. The team should review district and/or school wellness policy and other relevant policies before moving on to the next step.
The team collaboratively completes the AFHK SHI assessment (DON’T HIT SUBMIT YET!) Go to the AFHK SHI School Portal to register to create an account. Follow the directions for profile set up in order to start the assessment. If you have completed an assessment with AFHK in the past, your login and password remain the same. Once you have created a profile, enter the school zip then select the “School Affiliation” which will allow you to choose your school. After your school is selected, click on the SHI tab on the left side banner to start the assessment.
Supports for completing the SHI
When you feel like you have answered all the questions properly, then you may hit SUBMIT. Once you hit submit, no updates can be made until after April 15th.
The team collaboratively completes the 8 DPI WSCC supplemental question. Go to Supplemental Questions and answer the 8 questions. A report with the score will be sent. You can take your score from each module and add it to the corresponding module in your AFHK report if you want the most accurate score.
As a team, examine your assessment results, recommendations, and, review other school data. Examine the school’s strengths and opportunities to improve. The team then determines where to focus improvement and establishes the next steps.
Submit your Application Form to DPI by March 31st. Remember that in the application form, you must provide a link to district/school wellness policy, a brief narrative on the great things the school has accomplished (based on the strong scores in the assessment, and a brief narrative on the next steps for improvement (based on the lower scores in the assessment)