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School and After School

The Indiana Department of Health is promoting existing resources for the betterment of our students, families and educators. Please access this document with COVID-19 specific resources in social-emotional learning, physical activity and nutrition topics.

With children spending approximately seven hours of their day within a school setting, our culture has formulated an environment of sitting in a classroom. High-performance learning involves physical activity as a crucial component of the school day. Students who engage in regular physical activity have higher academic achievement, better self-regulation and stronger collaboration and conflict resolution skills. Lastly, physical activity is a complement to social-emotional learning as it enables children to connect with others, practice empathy toward others and learn a life skill for stress reduction. Whether movement breaks between lessons, using hands-on games as a class reward or promoting school policies that support educator wellness, there is a wide array of offerings for Hoosier schools and after-school programs.

Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) Model:

The Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) model, developed by the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), visualizes 10 school health components that support the development of young people who are safe, engaged, supported, challenged and healthy. 

Physical education and physical activity (PE/PA) are highlighted as one of the 10 core components of the WSCC model. Schools can offer multiple opportunities for youth physical activity throughout the school day through the creation of active school environments. This includes:

  • Opportunities offered to students to be physically active before, during and after school; and
  • Policies and practices used by schools to address physical education and physical activity before, during and after school.

Wellness Policy Evaluations:

  • The Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity (DNPA) offers the opportunity all year-round for school liaisons to submit their corporation’s wellness policy for review. DNPA utilizes the WELL SAT 3.0 Quantitative Assessment Tool to score and improve your local School Wellness Policy and then will schedule a consultation meeting to review results and match you with needed supports and resources!

Healthy Schools Toolkit: The Indiana Healthy Schools Toolkit outlines strategic policies and environmental supports to provide students and staff with opportunities to eat healthy and be physically active. This toolkit is designed to strengthen the efforts of the school wellness policy and Coordinated School Health Advisory Council. The toolkit consists of six major components:

  • Indiana Model School Wellness Policy on Physical Activity and Nutrition
  • Chapter 1: Coordinated School Health Advisory Council
  • Chapter 2: Physical Activity
  • Chapter 3: Nutrition
  • Chapter 4: Staff Wellness
  • Chapter 5: Evaluation

Low Budget Guide

The goal of this guide is to provide no-cost to low-cost physical activity and nutrition options for organizations, workplaces and schools. The information is categorized by physical activity, nutrition and additional public health services. If you would like access to any of the tools mentioned that do not have a URL attached, please contact the DNPA.

Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program (CSPAP): The Indiana Department of Health is working to create these programs throughout the state. CSPAP is a multi-component approach by which school districts and schools use all opportunities for students to be physically active, meet the nationally recommended 60 minutes of physical activity each day and develop the knowledge, skills and confidence to be physically active for a lifetime. A presentation on the Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program can be accessed here: webcast, PowerPoint.

The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans is an essential resource for health professionals and policymakers as they design and implement physical activity programs, policies and promotion initiatives. It provides information that helps Americans make healthy choices for themselves and their families and discusses evidence-based, community-level interventions that can make being physically active the easy choice in all the places where people live, learn, work and play.

Highlights: Children, Adults 

Best Practices for Physical Activity: Nemours Health and Prevention Services (NHPS) created these physical activity guidelines to help promote and support quality physical activity for children and youth. Those who work in child care centers, schools, community organizations or primary health care practices have powerful opportunities to ensure children have access to health-promoting physical activity on a daily basis. Equipped with information about best practices, parents, family members and neighbors can serve as important advocates to ensure that physical activity becomes a regular and enjoyable part of daily life for children. 

Strategies for Classroom Physical Activity: This document describes 10 evidence-based strategies for promoting and planning for classroom physical activity.

Playworks Partnership:

Play is one of the most important ways in which children learn. Playtime helps kids discover the joy of being active while also offering cognitive, social, emotional and developmental benefits. Playworks is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit respected for their evidence-informed services and strategic approach to scale. Playworks is a collaborative partner with the Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity in providing statewide supports to school corporations and early-child education settings in the cultivation of powerful play.

SEL Playbook
Game Guide

Indiana Safe Routes to School Guidebook, 2nd edition: the purpose of this guidebook is to help communities and schools identify, seek funding for, conduct and evaluate Safe Routes to School (SRTS) projects, specifically non-infrastructure. The guidebook will be useful for communities that have and/or are applying for federal SRTS funding, as well as for communities that wish to implement a program without federal SRTS funding.


IDOE’s Division of School and Community Nutrition is the administering state agency in Indiana for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Child Nutrition Programs. These programs include: the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Special Milk Program, Child and Adult Care Food Program, Summer Food Service Program and the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Programs.

Farm to School

Indiana schools are responsible for the care and education of nearly 1.2 million students each year. Children spend nearly half their waking hours and consume more than half of their daily food at school. Because of this, schools are the best place to help students learn to make healthy choices that will last a lifetime. Through access to local foods and education, we can improve the health of children while creating strong local economies and engaged communities.

ISDH is the current recipient of a 2018 USDA Farm to School Grant. In partnership with the Indiana State Department of Agriculture and Purdue Extension, DNPA is working to create a local foods Buyer’s Guide for Indiana school foodservice directors, to be distributed statewide in August 2019. The Indiana Grown for Schools project reflects a coordinated statewide effort to substantively move the needle on Indiana’s farm to school movement. A reflection of this effort has been the reinvigoration of our statewide farm to school network. The Indiana Grown for Schools Network envisions an Indiana food system that engages young people, farmers, school systems and whole communities in farm to school activities to create a new generation of food citizens. Website coming soon! To learn more or join the listserv, email Naima Gardner.

Whole Kids Foundation Partnership

The Healthy Teachers Program is one of the core programs of the Whole Kids Foundation (WKF) designed to provide teachers and school staff with nutrition inspiration and healthy cooking techniques to transform their own well-being, serve as healthy mentors for their students and be change agents in their own communities. It is a fun, interactive class that breaks down simple nutrition into digestible information that everyone can use. Along with the nutrition, there are cooking demos of healthy, tasty foods, planned for those on a budget of time and money.

In partnership with the Indiana State Department of Health, WKF has arrived in Indiana! If you are a school corporation or registered dietitian and interested in this opportunity, we would still love to hear from you! Please email pfriday@isdh.in.gov for more information.

Youth/Adolescent Physical Activity (YAPA) Grant

IDOH and DNPA are now accepting applications for the 2021-2022 Youth and Adolescent Physical Activity grant!

The one year YAPA grant is focused on providing physical activity and physical education opportunities for youth and adolescents, 6-17 years of age (K-12) in the classroom, school and before or after school program settings. We will consider ideas that will best fit your community or organization to successfully improve the overall health of youth and adolescents. Some examples would be: utilizing funds for professional development for staff, creating and implementing a sustainable physical activity program or improving an existing program.

We encourage all organizations/schools who meet our grant criteria to apply. Check the application for eligibility requirements and details.

Before, During and After School Resources

  • Click here to sign up for our monthly Healthy Schools newsletter.
  • School Health Profiles – data assessing school health policies and practices. DNPA will be administering School Health Profiles in the Spring of 2020.
  • Springboard to Active Schools – resources and tools for schools and communities to advocate for 60 minutes of physical activity every day.
  • Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child Model – Examples of fundable activities for school districts to consider when completing their Title IV application for the Indiana Department of Education. These activities directly connect to the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child model developed by ASCD and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • INSHAPE - A professional education association for teachers, administrators, researchers, coaches, college students and other professionals who are dedicated to the promotion of quality health, physical education, sport, dance and fitness in public and private schools, colleges, universities and community agencies throughout Indiana.
  • Indiana After School Network – A network to mobilize people, organizations and communities to connect after school and summer programs with the support they need to create positive youth outcomes for inspiring futures.
  • Active School Environments – Go to this resource to find out how physical activity results in physical, social, emotional and academic benefits.
  • Walking School Bus - A walking school bus is a group of children walking to school with one or more adults.
  • Teacher Wellness – Toolkit coming soon!

Naima Gardner-Rice, SNAP-Ed and Nutrition Programs Director
(317) 234-3498
Contact for Farm to School

Emma Smythe, Youth Physical Activity Coordinator
(317) 233-8169
Contact for Physical Activity in Children (School and After School)

Penelope Friday, Childhood Obesity Prevention Coordinator
(317) 232-3155
Contact for School Wellness