Smart Source Helps Districts Make a Move Towards Health

December 5, 2016

Adams 12 basketball court

When Adams 12 Five Star Schools‘ district Wellness Coordinator Jill Collins saw the results of her school district’s participation in CEI’s Smart Source pilot she knew the district’s long-term plan to ask more schools to focus on creating healthy school cultures must be working. “We have 41 wellness teams in Adams 12 and 100 percent of those schools completed Smart Source,” said Collins. “Full participation by all of these schools showed us that schools saw value in this data and it speaks highly of the Smart Source tool.”

Smart Source is a new, streamlined tool available to Colorado’s K-12 public schools that serves as the Colorado tool for understanding school health policy and practice.

“Research shows that healthy students are better learners,” said CEI’s Health and Wellness Director Amy Dyett. “Schools receive reports that gives them meaningful data that they can use to reflect on their existing efforts, identify strengths and gaps as compared to other schools across the state, and identify best practices for addressing student health and safety.”

Adams 12 saw 81 percent of elementary schools and 71 percent of secondary schools complete Smart Source. “With a high participation it gives us really good district wide data that we feel is more statistically accurate and we can compile all the school-level reports to give us district-level data,” said Collins.

Collins said she’s pleased to see that schools are beginning to integrate health and wellness strategies and practices into their Unified Improvement Plans (UIP), something she hasn’t seen previously. “This is a point of pride for us because it shows us that administrations at these schools are understanding the importance of a culture of health and wellness in their schools,” said Collins. “Creating a healthy school culture and integrating physical activity can become a solution to some behavioral, academic, or attendance problems.”

With Smart Source, Collins believes Adams 12 educators can now show continuous improvement and track trends, gaps, and needs. “This data helps our district more strategically address those gaps through community partnerships, or grant funding, or professional development,” she said. “By having district level data it allows us to identify where the gaps are and do a better job of changing them.”

The Smart Source data also validated some of the district’s focus on providing physical activity breaks and before and after-school clubs for students. “We strategically focused grant and programming efforts on increasing physical activity in the classroom, so we are glad to see that the data shows this is happening successfully.”