Schools and Out-of School Programs
Schools and Out-of School Programs

The Schools and After-School Domain unites schools, after-school programs, and other key stakeholders in strategies in creating healthy, active, and successful learning environments.

About | Past Meeting Minutes | Domain Summary | Resources

Healthy WorksSM School Gardens

Farm to School Taskforce

About the Schools and After-School Domain:

Next meeting:

Meetings are the third Tuesday of each month from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted.
United Way of San Diego County
(4699 Murphy Canyon Road, San Diego, CA 92123)

Visit the San Diego County Childhood Obesity Initiative Calendar for a complete schedule of upcoming meetings.

Domain Champions:

Ashley Cassat, San Diego Unified School District
Deirdre Kleske, County of San Diego
Kate McDevitt, UC San Diego, Center for Community Health
Paige Metz, San Diego County Office of Education

COI Staff Contact:

Cheryl Moder, Vice President, Collective Impact, 858.609.7961, email
JuliAnna Arnett, Director, Operations & Food Systems, 858.609.7962, email
Nina Ghatan, Program Assistant, San Diego County Childhood Obesity Initiative, 858.609.7964, email

Domain Summary:

The Schools and After-School Domain is comprised of school staff, nurses, and food service directors; before- and after-school program specialists; physical activity experts; public health professionals; and others committed to the prevention and reduction of childhood obesity. This domain workgroup assists school staff, teachers, and administrators; after-school program specialists; and concerned residents in the promotion of healthy food environments and physical activity opportunities in schools, after-school programs, and neighborhoods. For a complete overview of this domain's objectives and activities, click here.

Schools and After-School Domain Strategies:

The following is a partial list of strategies that aim to engage schools and after-school program providers to prevent childhood obesity. A complete list of strategies can be located in Call to Action: Childhood Obesity Prevention Action Plan.

  • Strategies for Schools:
    • Adopt and implement the four goals of the California Department of Education and The Superintendent's Task Force on Childhood Obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, and Cardiovascular Disease:
      • Support high-quality instructional programs in health education and physical education that provide students with the skills, knowledge and confidence to develop and maintain active, healthy lifestyles
      • Implement nutrition standards for all foods and beverages sold on campus
      • Increase participation in school meal programs so that no child goes hungry
      • Create a school environment that supports the health of students
    • Make a broad, sustained committment to wellness by implementing nutrition education, physical education and physical activity programs on an ongoing, year-round basis to offer student opportunities to learn and practice healthy behaviors.
  • After-School Programs:
    • Programs on school sites should, at minimum, follow districts' and/or school site wellness policies.
    • Programs not on school sites should develop wellness policies that include physical activity and nutrition standards and promote a healthy environment for all participants and staff.
    • All programs should serve foods and beverages that meet or exceed California School Nutrition Standards.

For a complete list of Schools and After-School Domain strategies, please see the Call to Action: Childhood Obesity Action Plan.

Domain partners are working with schools and after-school programs to implement these strategies through the following activities:

  • Providing training, on-going communication and resources to school district wellness policy leads, wellness committees, parents, students, on-site preschools, charter schools, out-of-school providers and other community-based organizations.
  • Providing school district representatives to serve as liaisons between the domain and school districts to provide technical assistance and resources to further wellness policy implementation.
  • Advocating for school policy and environmental change with school boards and other decision-makers.
  • Supporting projects in other Initiative domains related to school wellness.


The following documents are project outlines for this domain's current activities:


To date, these common ambitions and commitment to school-age children have provided domain partners with the right tools for success. Recent accomplishments include:

  • Developed county-wide district wellness policy best practices and recommendations for school gardens, joint use agreements, and farm-to-school projects for dissemination to District Wellness Councils and other stakeholders.
  • Created a comprehensive online policy clearinghouse of current wellness policies from 40 San Diego County school districts. Compiled example policy language in 23 categories.
  • Convened the San Diego County Farm to School Taskforce, a network of school food service staff, farmers, chefs, public health professionals, and community members that collaborate to increase food literacy and access to local, healthful foods in schools.

Obesity Prevention Activities for Children Age 0-5:

The following activities provide support to San Diego County children age 0-5:

  • Promoting farm to school activities in schools with sited pre-schools as a way to improve access to healthy foods and school gardens.
  • Conducting parent trainings in neighborhoods such as City Heights and Lemon Grove to increase awareness and engagement of parents in policy implementation and environmental change in their neighborhoods.
  • Supporting adoption of district wellness policies and/or development of nutrition and physical activity policies at school-based preschools in collaboration with the Initiative's Early Childhood Domain.

After-School Resources



After-School Physical Activity Database

This newly-enhanced database has been designed to provide after-school providers with resources that will help them engage students in the after-school program in at least 30 minutes of Moderate-to-Vigorous Physical Activity (MVPA) daily.  It also contains a directory intended to connect users with local community-based physical activity resources, and allows users to access physical activity guidelines, games for students, and physical activity curriculum.

California After-School Physical Activity Guidelines



Ten different California After School Physical Activity (CASPA) Guidelines and corresponding tips, tools, and resources to enable every after school program to provide its students with the highest quality physical activity possible.

Center for Collaborative Solutions-After School Solutions



Offers resources to help after-school providers improve their programs, including solutions to strengthen their nutrition, physical activity and food security practices

School Resources



California Food Standards Calculator



This resource allows users to enter information from the Nutrition Facts label to determine the nutritional content in varying foods, and indicates whether or not it meets state standards.

California Project LEAN Video Workshops



These videos are intended to inform and educate school board members, school policymakers/staff, and community advocates about the opportunities for improving physical activity and increasing healthier beverage consumption.

CATCH (Coordinated Approach to Child Health)



CATCH (Coordinated Approach To Child Health) is an evidence-based, coordinated school health program designed to promote physical activity and healthy food choices, and prevent tobacco use in children from preschool through grade 8.

Childhood Obesity Prevention Advocacy Tools for Physicians

These documents have been designed in collaboration with the Schools & After-school and Early Childhood domains. They are to be used as resources to assist physicians in their efforts to advocate for childhood obesity prevention.



Healthy Celebrations and Snacks


Celebrating with healthy foods and non-food items demonstrates a school commitment to promoting healthy behaviors.  These resources provide school stakeholders with healthy celebration ideas for parties and other special events.

Health Champions


The Health Champions program aims to increase physical activity and healthy lifestyle behaviors as well as teach youth to become advocates for a healthy environment. The Program Guide includes lesson plans related to teambuilding, health topics and nutrition, physical activity, healthy snacks and cooking as well as advocacy.

Healthy Fundraising

Fundraising with healthy foods and non-food items demonstrates a school commitment to promoting healthy behaviors.  This resource provides school stakeholders with healthy fundraising ideas.

This website provides information and tools for schools, community organizations, and advocates interested in increasing physical activity opportunities through joint-use policies that allow public and private agencies and schools to share indoor and outdoor spaces.

Joint Use Gardens: Building Communities, Supporting Schools In a time of shirinking budgets, joint-use projects provide an opportunity for schools and communities to work together to maximize resources and achieve shared goals.  Establishing a joint-use garden (a garden shared by a community and a school) is a great way to share resources, build relationships, promote exercise and healthy eating, and ensure the sustainability of the school garden.

Let's Go Local: Recommendations for Linking Locally Grown Food, School Gardens, and Joint-Use Agreements to School Wellness Policies

This resource was developed to help districts more readily integrate wellness into core activities for a more holistic and sustainable approach to school wellness.  These recommendations specifically promote policy language that supports local purchasing, farm-to-school activities, school gardens, and joint-use agreements.

Obesity Data by HHSA Region


This spreadsheet contains obesity data by HHSA service region and school district.  This is the most current data on students in 5th, 7th, and 9th grade not in the Healthy Fitness Zone (HFZ) for Body Composition as determind by the California Fitness Exam.  This data is collected by the California Department of Education.

Oral Health Assessment Strategies


When children have healthy teeth and healthy bodies, they do better in school and miss fewer school days.  The Dental Health Initiative of San Diego offers templates for schools to support them in disseminating information on oral health assessments.

Parents in Action: a Guide to Engaging Parents in Local School Wellness Policy



This toolkit provides resources and tools that will help school stakeholders engage parents in Local School Wellness Policy (LSWP) implementation, monitoring, and evaluation.

List of State-approved Foods and Beverages for School-aged Students


These documents outline the foods and beverages that can and cannot be sold to students during school hours according to California legislation (SB 12 for compliant foods and SB 965 for compliant beverages).

School District Wellness Policy Brochure Template


A template to assist school administrators, wellness leads and staff in communicating a summarized overview of their District's wellness policy to school stakeholders. To access local district wellness policies, please view the Initiative's Policy Clearinghouse.

The SPARK Programs



SPARK resources and curricula are designed to be practical and effective tools for all physical education/activity providers.

Workplace Lactation (HealthyWorks)



This HealthyWorks resource promotes good lactation policies in the workplace.  Breastfeeding is one of the first lines of defense against childhood obesity, and this resource allows mothers and employers to advocate for clean and private breastfeeding spaces at work.

Guide to Starting School Produce Stands



School-based produce stands are increasingly popular solutions to food deserts in underserved and low-income neighborhoods. This ChangeLab Solutions resource details the legal and logistical steps necessary to start a school-based produced stand at a California school.

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Quick Facts

  • One in four children in San Diego County is overweight or obese; this is slightly higher than the national average (California Center for Public Health Advocacy, 2009)
  • More children are being diagnosed with diseases linked to overweight and obesity previously seen only in adults, such as Type 2 diabetes and heart disease (The Obesity Society, 2009).
  • In 2006 alone, overweight; obesity; and physical inactivity cost California $41 billion in healthcare and productivity loss

News & Upcoming Events

See our latest newsletter and the COI calendar for upcoming events.

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Physical Activity and Nutrition Database

A free "one stop shop" for programs and services in nutrition, healthy weight, physical activity, and diabetes.

Core funding provided in part by:

First 5 San Diego The California Endowment Kaiser-Permanente San Diego County

A project facilitated by:

California Health Improvement Partners

San Diego County Childhood Obesity Initiative
5095 Murphy Canyon Road, Suite #105, San Diego, CA 92123
(p)858.609.7964 - (f)858.609.7998
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