This Issue Brief offers ways that governors and states can work to build healthy schools, including:

  1. Encourage parental engagement in student health. Governors can help ensure health messages remain consistent throughout the home and school environments by supporting parental involvement in school-health planning efforts, providing incentives for schools that involve parents in specific ways, or providing tools for school districts to increase parental involvement.
  2. Conduct yearly assessments of individual student wellness. Governors can create incentives for schools to conduct student health assessments that gauge their success in making healthy lifestyle choices. Results of the assessments can be shared with parents to educate them on their children’s health status.
  3. Promote regular physical activity during the school day. Governors, in collaboration with school authorities, can reform physical activity requirements during the school day and consider voluntary options for reinstituting regular physical education in schools.
  4. Support local school districts in efforts to develop healthy food policies. Governors can provide local districts with guidance on ways to ensure school foods are healthier, promote healthy choice messages, and support evidence-based policies for improving the availability of healthy foods in schools.
  5. Use local chefs and farmers to offer attractive, healthier options to students. Governors can encourage the adoption of innovative efforts such as hosting awards programs recognizing schools or districts that promote healthy foods. Governors may also collaborate with farmers, chefs, 4-H clubs, or local restaurant associations.