Healthy Eating > Schools > School Wellness

Local School Wellness Policies Launch Students to Health

A local school wellness policy is a written document of official policies that direct efforts to establish a school environment that promotes students’ health, well-being, and ability to learn. The responsibility for developing a local school wellness policy is placed at the local level so the unique needs of each school can be addressed.

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 (HHFKA) of 2010. It requires local educational agencies 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 objectives of the HHFKA include enhancing existing Local School Wellness Policy requirements, strengthening implementation and assessment of the policy, and expanding public input in both wellness policy development and reporting.

Action Steps Included

According to California Principals and School Administrators, the top four priorities in school health and wellness are:

  1. mental health
  2. nutrition
  3. bullying and
  4. physical education/physical activity.

Read the key findings and action steps that California schools can take to efficiently develop and implement their wellness policy.

Download the summary

Looking for inspiration?

Review best practices.

Take a peek at Torrance Unified School District’s recently revised school wellness policy, their fact sheet, resource guide, and food safety guide that go along with it.



Local School Wellness Policy Committee Guide

Is your district on track to meeting USDA’s Local School Wellness Policy requirements? This Committee Guide provides suggested steps, timelines, and resources so you can establish and maintain a successful wellness team.

Add Smarter Lunchrooms to Your Policy

Are you implementing Smarter Lunchroom Movement strategies but haven't written it into your policy just yet? Look no further, download your sample language here.


Sample policy

Engage Your Stakeholders

Broad stakeholder engagement, more emphasis on implementation, and new marketing guidelines are some of the requirements of a school wellness policy. Here are important stakeholder audiences that could strengthen your wellness team.