July 10, 2014
Howard County’s school wellness policy ranked among the best in the nation, according to the Rudd Center’s Wellness School Assessment Tool (WellSAT). The WellSAT assesses the comprehensiveness and strength of school districts’ local wellness policies in nutrition education and promotion, physical activity/physical education, school meals, and competitive foods.
The wellness policy, created by the Howard County Board of Education, was awarded an overall grade of "A" and earned a "B" for effectiveness of enforcement. The policy scored highest for its school meal plans and programs, its vending machine offerings and its evaluation measures, which all earned a perfect 100 percent overall. Physical education and activity earned an 86 on the comprehensive score and 57 for enforcement.
"The Howard County school wellness policy is one of the very best that I've ever seen,” said Marlene Schwartz, PhD, Rudd Center’s Director. “The nutrition sections in particular will serve as a model for other districts around the country."
The policy, which aims to promote the health of Howard County’s nearly 52,000 students, was assessed for the Horizon Foundation, a Howard County philanthropy focused on public health.