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Local School Wellness Policy

Resource type
Training and Outreach

A local school wellness policy is a written document of official policies that guide a local educational agency (LEA) or school district’s efforts to establish a school environment that promotes students’ health, well-being, and ability to learn by supporting healthy eating and physical activity.

The Local School Wellness Policy requirement was established by the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004, and further strengthened by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. It requires each local LEA participating in the National School Lunch Program and/or School Breakfast Program to develop a local school wellness policy that promotes the health of students and addresses the growing problem of childhood obesity. The responsibility for developing a local school wellness policy is placed at the local level so the unique needs of each school under the jurisdiction of the LEA can be addressed.

CDC Wellness Policy in Action Tool (WPAT)

The Wellness Policy in Action Tool (WPAT), developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the UCONN Rudd Center for Food Policy and Health, is an online tool to help districts and schools examine the alignment of district wellness policies and school-level practices for nutrition and physical activity. The WPAT, designed to help schools meet triennial assessment requirements, addresses 31 key topics using questions from the WellSAT 3.0 and the School Health Index. The WPAT provides scores and actionable recommendations to help users continually improve school wellness policies and practices.

Page updated: March 13, 2023