Colorado Healthy Schools Smart Source

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Colorado’s School Health Inventory

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

This 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 inventory for understanding school health policy and practice. Through Smart Source, schools can:

  • Reflect on their existing efforts and determine where they align with best practice.
  • Identify strengths and gaps as compared to other schools across the state.
  • Meet the federal requirement for assessing implementation of their district local wellness policy.

Navigating the Smart Source Report

Tool Content

Smart Source is aligned with the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) model from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and comprehensively assesses school health efforts across the following components:

  • 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.

Background

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 pilot of Smart Source. This level of participation allowed for meaningful comparison data at the state and regional level. Visit the “Data” tab to see statewide and regional results.

CEI recommends schools participate during school years beginning with odd numbers (e.g., 2015-16, 2017-18) in which active recruitment takes place to yield more representative state, regional, and district data. During even-numbered school years, the inventory will still be available to schools, though less participation is anticipated.

Fall 2017 Survey Administration

The Smart Source inventory is accessible online September 1, 2017 – January 19, 2018. Interested schools will receive a unique link to the online tool upon designation of a site coordinator. Site coordinators should plan to spend 1-3 hours working with other staff to collect the information and complete the tool online.

Schools will receive an immediate report within one week of their Smart Source submission to help prioritize health efforts. Final reports with state, regional, and district comparisons (when available) will be returned in February 2018.

Schools will also receive $100 for their participation in Smart Source and opportunities for additional prizes. In spring 2018, school and district personnel can attend free data use trainings via webinars and in-person sessions to learn how to interpret and make actionable their Smart Source data.

To sign up for Smart Source, contact us at smartsource@coloradoedinitiative.org.

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 summary of the 2017-18 process.

Summary of Validity and Reliability Evidence – Read an in-depth report on the Smart Source methodology and instrument.

Smart Source sample elementary school report — See an example final report.

Smart Source sample secondary school report — See an example final report.

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

Smart Source 2015-16 pilot executive summary – See results for the second pilot.

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

2017 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.

Webinar: Navigating the Smart Source Report
Watch the recording from April 5, 2017 for a general overview of the Smart Source report.

Twenty-five percent — or 451 Colorado schools — volunteered to participate in the 2015-16 Smart Source tool and for the first time in Colorado, there is information that tells us what schools are doing to comprehensively impact students’ health.

2015-16 Statewide Data

Download the following Excel spreadsheets to view 2015-16 Smart Source data.

*The district-size aggregate represents data combined within various district sizes, not individual district results.

Smart Source data help schools compare their policies and practices related to school health and safety to other schools around the state, large and small, elementary, secondary, and combined school levels. Schools can use the data to:

  • Identify needs.
  • Make the case for resources.
  • Make the case for policy change.
  • Garner support for school health programs.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of policies and practices.

Smart Source Fast Facts:

  • Over 73 percent of participating schools have wellness teams that guide improvements in school health and wellness.
  • One in only seven participating secondary schools give students a seat at the table when building positive school culture.
  • 96 percent of participating elementary schools incorporate physical activity breaks in the classroom, but only 61 percent of secondary schools do.
  • More than 77 percent of participating schools do not allow students to purchase soft drinks at school; 64 percent prohibit soft drink advertisements in their buildings.

CEI does not share any identifiable school and district-level data to anyone other than the participating school and district. State and local agencies, nonprofits, program providers, researchers, and other groups are encouraged to access the aggregated results above.

Although this level of participation in a pilot is unprecedented, data should not be considered representative of all Colorado schools and should only be considered representative of the schools that participated.

Colorado Healthy School Champions

The Colorado Healthy School Champions recognition program application will be open this fall.  As a reminder, Healthy School Champions Recognition uses Smart Source exclusively to assess components of school health and requires the completion of an application and three letters of support.  View more information and the application process.

Wondering who won last year? Forty-six schools were recognized as Healthy School Champions at the 2017 Colorado Healthy Schools Summit. Manitou Springs School District 14 received the Platinum Governor’s Award for School Health & Wellness. Read about all of the 2017 Healthy School Champions and their commitment to school health.

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