NASBE Publications

NASBE Reports and Guidance
Screen Shot 2014-04-14 at 5.11.36 PMHow Schools Work and How to Work With Schools (2014)
How Schools Work and How to Work with Schools is a primer for health professionals and others who seek to serve children and youth in school settings. This guide includes a summary of the benefits for students when health professionals and educators work together; an overview of the core mission of education; a background chapter on how education works at the school, district, state, and national levels; as well as many practical tips for how to work effectively with educators, school administrators, and policymakers.


State School Health Policy MatrixState School Health Policy Matrix (updated 2015)
The State School Health Policy Matrix outlines relevant state-level policies, and links directly to the policy, in the areas of: competitive foods and beverages, physical education and physical activity, and administration of medication in the school environment.  It also it indicates which political entity or agency adopted the policy or issued guidance, helping to an­swer the question – Who has historically had the authority to make policy changes in the areas of competitive foods and beverages, physical education and physical activity, and administration of medication in each state?


Publishing GuidelinesPublishing Guidelines for Incorporating Health Criteria Into School Curriculum (Grades K-12) (2013)
These guidelines suggest methods to incorporate appropriate information and examples in the three areas of nutrition, physical education/activity, and healthy behaviors in a wide range of subject categories in which publishers produce supplemental material, textbooks, databases, interactive eBooks, etc.  They were developed in partnership with the newly merged Association of American Publishers (AAP) and the Association of Educational Publishers (AEP) and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.


prevent-violence-coverFit, Healthy and Ready to Learn
Chapter D: Policies to Promote Physical Activity and Physical Education
Chapter E: Policies to Promote Healthy Eating
These guides are designed to help educators establish effective policies that promote high academic achievement and lifelong healthy habits. They include guidance on general school health policies and program development as well as specific information on school health topics including physical education program design, safety requirements, food service programs and smoking cessation services.


Are We Doing EnoughObesity Prevention Policies for Middle and High Schools: Are We Doing Enough? (2010)
This issue brief by the National Association of State Boards of Education examines state- and district-level policies in elementary, middle and high schools that support childhood obesity prevention, the school food environment and physical education. The report found that while adolescents have higher rates of obesity, are less active and consume more junk food and sugary beverages than younger children, both state- and district-level policies addressing the school food and physical activity environment are more stringent at the elementary than the middle and high school levels.


Preventing Childhood ObesityPreventing Childhood Obesity: A School Health Policy Guide (2009)
Schools have many powerful tools at their disposal to serve as one of the primary agents to address the obesity crisis. This policy guide is based on Fit, Healthy, and Ready to Learn: A School Health Policy Guide, and offers the latest policy updates and recommendations about how to promote physical education and activity and healthy eating policies in schools. To accomplish this goal, the guide refocuses the research and policy recommendations in these chapters to provide specific models for schools to address the childhood obesity epidemic. It is important to note, however, schools cannot and should not be expected to conquer this crisis alone. Instead, schools have a responsibility to work with parents, state and local government, and communities to take the necessary steps to truly address the epidemic.


Standard Obesity coverMeeting the Challenge of Childhood Obesity (2009)
This issue of The Standard examines how education policymakers can best address childhood obesity in school settings. This edition includes new information and resources for state and district leaders to help them incorporate the new Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans throughout the school day, improve the school food environment and apply evidence-based recommendations for the implementation of local wellness policies. Articles in the journal also draw lessons from key national nutrition standards for foods sold outside of school meals and consider the unique needs of children in at-risk communities, among many other critical issues.


Policy Updates, Briefs, and State Innovations

Coordinating an Improved Response to Allergic Reactions in School (September 2015)

Allergic reactions in school settings still threaten the lives of students with alarming frequency. Because almost all states now have laws that require or enable schools to preemptively stock medication for students experiencing life-threatening reactions at school, state boards of education have an opening to influence school allergy preparedness and response. This Policy Update outlines state and federal requirements for stocking epinephrine and recommendations for state board members to ensure proper implementation.

Fundraising Exemption Policies Under Smart Snacks 
(February 2015)

As of July 1, 2014, all schools that participate in USDA’s National School Lunch and Breakfast programs are required to follow the Smart Snacks rule for competitive foods and beverages, which includes fundraisers.  Smart Snacks also allows all states to set a specified number of fundraisers involving food and beverage items that do not meet Smart Snacks that may take place at schools.  This provides an overview of how states have responded and set policies related to fundraisers during the school day.

Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 2.21.16 PMPolicy Update: The Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act (April 2014)
The Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) of the federal Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA) allows schools with a high proportion of low-income students to serve both lunch and breakfast to all students for free.  This Policy Update provides further details about CEP, including how it will impact school programs through the discontinued collection of free- and reduced-price meal data.


Leg Brief Nutrition StandardsLegislative Brief: Final Nutrition Standards for All Foods Sold in Schools (September 2013)
The Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010 required the Secretary of Agriculture to establish standards for foods sold in schools other than those provided as part of the National School Lunch Program or School Breakfast Program. The Act specified that these standards should be consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and that the development process take in to account existing state, local and voluntary standards and the practical application of the standards.  This Brief outlines the standards that will go into effect on July 1, 2014 (essentially the start of the 2014-2015 school year).


UntitledState Innovations: State Successes in Student Health and Obesity Prevention in Partnership with NASBE’s Obesity Prevention Project (February 2012)
This provides examples of policy and program successes (covering 2009-2012) that have been achieved by providing state boards of education with technical assistance and two-year grants through NASBE’s funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH) and Leadership for Healthy Communities, a program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.


PU HHFKAPolicy Update: The Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act (December 2011)
The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA) is the most recent iteration of the Child Nutrition Act, which governs federal school meals programs including the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs, the Child and Adult Care Food Program, the Summer Feeding Programs, and the Women, Infants, and Children Program (WIC).  The HHFKA will lead to many significant changes.  This Update is a summary of some of the key provisions of the HHFKA, as well as where to find the exact language within the law, and the timeline that USDA has proposed for implementation.


PU IOM Standards

Policy Update – IOM Food Standards (January 2008)
This Policy Update provides an overview of the new IOM Nutrition Standards for Foods in Schools, policy issues to consider, and highlights West Virginia’s new nutrition policy that is modeled off of the IOM Standards.



Additional Resources


NASBE staff have participated in the following a past webinars. Find NASBE's most recent webinars here.

This webinar series features the Through-Line Model and highlights state successes in developing and implementing policies on a variety of obesity-related topics.  Archived podcasts, presentations, and other materials are available online for the following webinars: