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Active & Healthy Schools Program

What is the Active & Healthy Schools Program?

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In just a few minutes, you can Assess Your School

  • Discover how Active & Healthy your school currently is
  • Get tips for improvement in specific areas
  • Find the right resources to implement an Active & Healthy Schools program

Simply answer the questions, and we'll provide you with the results.

Get Started

About AHS

It is easy for school administrators and teachers to design an effective Active & Healthy Schools (AHS) Program. The AHS Complete Program Materials Set is the one must-have resource that includes all the necessary information to change the school environment so students are encouraged to increase their physical activity levels and make healthy nutrition choices. The manual includes easy-to-implement tools and strategies, all developed by noted author and educator Dr. Robert Pangrazi, Arizona State University.

Additional program materials developed by Dr. Pangrazi and Gopher, a physical education supply company, are designed to provide resources you may want to help enhance student health and well being through physical activity and nutritional awareness.

 

Getting Started

Often change can be viewed as large and overwhelming. Innovative ideas may get lost if teachers are unsure about how to implement new concepts. Not so with the Active & Healthy Schools (AHS) Program!

AHS solves the "change drain" by making the program consist of many smaller initiatives. This enables all participants to see the process as a series of manageable tasks. With suggestions for implementation and the program materials, your school will be on its way to becoming more active and healthy!

 

Implementing AHS

The following suggestions, combined with the Active & Healthy Schools (AHS) Complete Program Materials Set, can help you create and maintain an AHS Program by devising a systematic series of smaller efforts.

Form an AHS Committee

Invite key personnel who can contribute to the program: teachers, administrators, local business owners, parents. The more diverse the committee, the more avenues to explore for help and resources.

Generate Interest

Key presentation media and documents in the AHS Program materials make it easy to inform the committee, parents, and administrators about the benefits of the Active & Healthy Schools Program.

Kick Off Your Active & Healthy Schools Program!

The more people hear about the program, the more likely they will be willing to help. Each kick-off event is unique, but consider these ideas: Have students rotate to a variety of activities while learning about the AHS Program. Create banners as an art project, then carry them in a parade. Explore activity zones on the playground. Invite teachers and parents to participate in activity zones on the playground.

Reflect, Evaluate, and Progress

Bring the committee together at least once a month to discuss progress and identify what changes or adjustments need to be made. Return the AHS Program materials, and brainstorm opportunities for new implementations. With thoughtful reflection and honest evaluation, the odds of keeping the AHS Program operating at an optimal level are much greater.

 

Supportive Evidence

The Active & Healthy Schools (AHS) Program is an evidence-based program designed to change the current environment of schools. Research reveals that it is an effective approach that focuses on increasing physical activity and teaching healthy eating habits. The program is an effective supplement to existing physical education curriculums.

A research study was conducted by the Arizona Department of Education and Arizona State University. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the AHS Program implemented by the Mesa School District in Mesa, Arizona.

The following is a synopsis of the final report submitted by Dr. Tom Horne, Superintendent of Public Education, Arizona Department of Education.

[1] Impact of the AHS Program on Student Physical Activity (Steps) Students in the AHS Program show a significant increase in steps accumulated ( * = statistically significant) when examining pre- and post-test results. Results show every little bit counts when trying to increase total daily activity levels of students. Increasing each of the areas below result in a 9% increase in 24-hour activity step levels. Impact of AHS
[2] Impact of the AHS Program on Student Absences/Nurse Visits Data shows that absenteeism among students in the AHS Program decreases significantly. Nurse visits also decrease substantially (results not significant because of the limited number of visits). Impact of AHS
[3] Parents' Perceptions of the AHS Program Parents are very positive on all responses to the questions and perceived changes in student activity levels due to the AHS Program. Parents view physical education as being just as important as academic subjects. They are also aware that the school is making more effort to increase physical activity for students.
Mean
Parents' Questions                                    (1.0=Very Untrue 4.0 = Very True)
I am very aware of the increased focus of promoting daily PA at my child's school. 3.59
Currently my child's school is doing more to promote daily PA during the school day than last year. 3.55
My child has lots of opportunities to be physically active during school times. 3.34
I believe PE is as important as classroom subjects (e.g., math, reading, & writing). 3.68
I try to be physical activity with my child. 3.37
Because of my child, I am more physically active. 3.27
My child always likes being physically active. 3.44
My child is now more physically active after school. 3.49
My child is now more physically active on weekends. 3.41
My child is now more physically active during PE. 3.48
[4] Students' Perceptions of the AHS Program Students in the AHS Program are very positive about their perceptions of physical activity. Almost all students respond that they liked physical activity and physical education. Positive feelings about activity in physical education classes are the highest ranked items.
Mean
Students' Questions                                  (1.0=Very Untrue 4.0 = Very True)
I like to be physically active. 4.74
I like to be physically active in PE. 4.82
I am now more physically active in PE. 4.69
I am now more physically active during recess. 4.45
I am now more physically active during lunch. 4.28
I am now more physically active after I leave school. 4.43
I am now more physically active on Saturdays and Sundays. 4.28
My classroom teacher encourages me to be physically active in the classroom. 3.64
Every day during school I have lots of time to be physically active. 4.31
[5] School Personnel Perceptions of the AHS Program School personnel (administrators and teachers) respond favorably to the AHS Program. Strong feelings are indicated about understanding the importance of physical activity for children. Of particular interest is that teachers feel students are better behaved because of the AHS Program. Surprisingly, teachers strongly disagree that increased emphasis on physical activity is compromising academic programs. All teachers feel that the program should be funded in the future to assure adequate student activity.
Mean
Personnel's Questions                               (1.0=Very Untrue 5.0 = Very True)
I regularly participate in PE with students. 3.08
Daily PE breaks are needed for teachers as well. 3.15
I now understand better the importance of daily PE for children. 3.50
My/our students frequently talk about keeping themselves healthy and physically active. 3.11
My/our students are better behaved because of the increased number of physical activities throughout the day. 3.11
My/our students have better academic performance because of the increased number of physical activities throughout the day. 3.00
I have consistently implemented the use of classroom-based physical activity breaks. 3.18
I am happy to continue using classroom-based activity breaks. 3.45
For me, time for increased emphasis on PE is as important as time for classroom subjects (e.g., math, reading, writing). 3.15
I believe the increased emphasis on PE is taking away from classroom subjects. 1.55
Our school should do everything possible to continue funding current efforts to promote our students' physical activity during the school day. 3.75

 

In just a few minutes, you can
Assess Your School
  • Discover how Active & Healthy your school currently is
  • Get tips for improvement in specific areas
  • Find the right resources to implement an Active & Healthy Schools program
Simply answer the questions, and we'll provide you with the results. Get Started
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