Colorado Healthy Schools Smart Source


Colorado’s School Health Assessment Tool

Research shows that healthy students are better learners. That’s why it’s important to identify policies and programs that support healthy behaviors.

A new streamlined tool available in Colorado allows all K-12 public schools to assess their health efforts to help ensure students are healthy and ready to learn. Colorado Healthy Schools Smart Source replaces various state and national data collection efforts to provide schools with meaningful data and reduce the burden of multiple school health tools. It serves as the Colorado tool for assessing school health policy and practice. Through Smart Source, schools can:

  • Reflect on their existing efforts.
  • Identify strengths and gaps as compared to other schools across the state.
  • Identify best practices for addressing student health and safety.

Tool Content

Smart Source assesses school health efforts across nine areas:

  • General health policies and practices
  • Nutrition
  • Physical education and activity
  • Health education
  • Health services
  • Counseling, psychological, and social services
  • Healthy and safe school environments
  • Family, community, and student involvement
  • Staff health promotion

Data Utility

Schools can use Smart Source data to:

  • Identify areas of need related to health.
  • Make the case for:
    • Resources such as funding and community partnerships
    • Policy change at the state, district, and school levels
    • Implementation of new programs
  • Garner support for school health efforts from school board members, administrators, parents, students, teachers, and communities.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of school health policies and practices over time.


Smart Source was developed with input from hundreds of stakeholders across Colorado, including school and district personnel, content experts, and state agency representatives.

In fall 2014, 77 schools participated in the first pilot of Smart Source. Data from this pilot were used to further refine the Smart Source tool in advance of the 2015-16 pilot.

In fall 2015, 451 schools from across the state participated in the second Smart Source pilot. This level of participation allowed for meaningful comparison data at the state level. Regional-level data was also provided for those regions with enough participation.

School-level results from the 2015-16 pilot, including comparison data, were returned to schools in February 2016. An executive summary of the 2015-16 pilot will be available in Fall 2016.

Regional Data Use Trainings

If your school participated in the Fall 2015 Smart Source pilot, we invite your wellness team to attend a regional data use training:

  • Snowmass (CEI Showcase Session): Tuesday June 14-Thursday June 16, date and time TBD – Westin Snowmass Resort

To register for a data use training, contact Angela Toney at or 720-502-4737.

Coming Soon – Fall 2016 Survey Administration

Stay tuned for information about the Fall 2016 Smart Source administration. Contact Christine Williams at or 720-502-4752 with questions.

Webinar: Navigating the Smart Source Report
Watch the recording from 3/7/16 for a general overview of the Smart Source report

Smart Source assessment tool — See the assessment tool and individual items.

Smart Source FAQs — Get answers to your questions.

Smart Source one-page overview — Read a quick overview of the Smart Source program.

Smart Source 2014-15 pilot executive summary — See results from the first pilot.

Smart Source sample school report — elementary
See an example of reports received by schools.

Smart Source sample school report — secondary
See an example of reports received by schools.

Healthy Schools Best Practices Guide — See an overview of best practices in school health.

2016 Healthy School Champions Magazine — Read about schools that excel at creating health and wellness programs that support student learning.

Action Plan Framework – Build your school’s action plan.

Colorado Healthy School Champions

The Colorado Healthy School Champions recognition program now uses Smart Source exclusively to assess components of school health.

43 schools were recognized as Healthy School Champions at the 2016 Colorado Healthy Schools Summit. Lake County Intermediate School received the Platinum Governor’s Award for School Health & Wellness. Read about all of the 2016 Healthy School Champions and their commitment to school health here.

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