Active Schools Self-Assessment Tool

Active Schools 

Self-assessment is an important first step to making changes and enhancements. To make it easier for you (or your group, such as school health council, school PTA/PTO, school physical education department), we are providing an 11 question, interactive, online Active Schools Self-Assessment Tool. It is identical to the physical education and other physical activity programs module of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program Assessment and the questions are from the CDC’s School Health Index. We encourage you to print your completed assessment to share with others (e.g., principal, school staff, parents) and to refer to as you work to make enhancements.

If you are an elementary school, you will complete 10 questions. If you are a middle or high school, you will complete 9 questions. If you are a K-12 school, you will complete 11 questions. Questions 1, 2, and 8 are marked as being for elementary schools only or middle/high schools only. For your convenience, your responses will be summarized at the end of the assessment. Because the total of your responses includes any that were N/A for your school, the total number of responses should add up to 11.
Question #1: ES: 150 minutes of physical education per week (elementary) 
Do all students in each grade receive physical education for at least 150 minutes per week throughout the school year?
NOTE: Physical education classes should be spread over at least three days per week, with daily physical education preferable.

N/A = Not applicable because this school is not an elementary school.
3 = Yes.
2 = 90-149 minutes per week for all students in each grade throughout the school year.
1 = 60-89 minutes per week for all students in each grade throughout the school year.
0 = Fewer than 60 minutes per week or not all students receive physical education throughout the school year.

  
Question #2: MS/HS: Years of physical education (middle/high)
How many years of physical education are students at this school required to take?

N/A = Not applicable because this school is not a middle or high school.
3 = The equivalent of all academic years of physical education.
2 = The equivalent of at least one academic year but less than all academic years of physical education.
1 = The equivalent of one-half academic year of physical education.
0 = The equivalent of less than one-half academic year of physical education, or students are not required to take physical education at this school.

  
Question #3: Sequential physical education curriculum consistent with standards
Do all teachers of physical education use an age-appropriate, sequential physical education curriculum that is consistent with national or state standards for physical education (see national standards below)?

3 = Yes.
2 = Some use a sequential physical education curriculum, and it is consistent with state or national standards.
1 = Some use a sequential physical education curriculum, but it is not consistent with state or national standards.
0 = None do, or the curriculum is not sequential, or there is no physical education curriculum.

  
Question #4: Health-related physical fitness
Does the physical education program integrate the components of the Presidential Youth Fitness Program?
  • Fitness assessment using Fitnessgram®.
  • Professional development for physical education teachers on proper use and integration of fitness education, fitness assessment, and recognition.
  • Recognition of students meeting Healthy Fitness Zones or their physical activity goals.
3 = Yes, all 3 components of the PYFP are integrated.
2 = 2 of the PYFP components are integrated.
1 = 1 of the PYFP components is integrated.
0 = None of the PYFP components are integrated.

  
Question #5: Address special health care needs
Does the physical education program consistently use all or most of the following practices as appropriate to include students with special health care needs?
  • Encouraging active participation; modifying type, intensity, and length of activity if indicated in Individualized Education Plans, asthma action plans, or 504 plans.
  • Offering adapted physical education classes.
  • Using modified equipment and facilities.
  • Ensuring that students with chronic health conditions are fully participating in physical activity as appropriate and when able.
  • Monitoring signs and symptoms of chronic health conditions.
  • Encouraging students to carry and self-administer their medications (including pre-medicating and/or responding to asthma symptoms) in the gym and on playing fields; assisting students who do not self-carry.
  • Encouraging students to actively engage in self-monitoring (i.e., using a peak flow meter, recognizing triggers) in the gym and on playing fields (if the parent/guardian, health care provider, and school nurse so advise).
  • Using a second teacher, aide, physical therapist, or occupational therapist to assist students, as needed.
  • Using peer teaching (e.g., teaming students without special health care needs with students who have such needs).
3 = Yes, the physical education program uses all or most of these instructional practices consistently.
2 = The physical education program uses some of these instructional practices consistently.
1 = The physical education program uses some of these instructional practices, but not consistently (that is, not by all teachers or not in all classes that include students with special health care needs).
0 = The program uses none of these practices, or there is no physical education program.

  
Question #6: Promotion or support of walking and bicycling to school  
Does your school promote or support walking and bicycling to and/or from school in the following ways?
  • Designate safe or preferred routes to school.
  • Promotional activities such as participation in International Walk to School Week, National Walk and Bike to School Week.
  • Secure storage facilities for bicycles and helmets (e.g., shed, cage, fenced area).
  • Instruction on walking/bicycling safety provided to students.
  • Promotion of safe routes program to students, staff, and parents via newsletters, websites, the local newspaper.
  • Crossing guards are used.
  • Crosswalks exist on streets leading to schools.
  • Walking school buses are used.
  • Bicycle parking is provided ( e.g., bicycle rack).
  • Documentation of the number of children walking and or biking to and from school.
  • Creation and distribution of maps of the school environment (sidewalks, crosswalks, roads, pathways, bike racks, etc.).
3 = Yes, our school promotes or supports walking and bicycling to school in 6 or more of these ways.
2 = Our school promotes or supports walking and bicycling to school in 3 to 5 of these ways.
1 = Our school promotes or supports walking and bicycling to school in 1 to 2 of these ways.
0 = Our school does not promote or support walking and bicycling to school.

  
Question #7: Availability of before- and after-school physical activity opportunities
Does your school offer opportunities for students to participate in physical activity either before or after school, through organized physical activities (such as physical activity clubs, intramural sports, before school physical activity)?

2 = Yes. Both before and after the school day.
1 = Yes. We offer before school or after school, but not both.
0 = No. We do not offer opportunities for students to participate in physical activity before and after the school day, but there are plans to initiate it.

  
Question #8: ES: Recess (elementary) 
Are students provided at least 20 minutes of recess during each school day, and do teachers or recess monitors encourage students to be active?

N/A = Not applicable because this school is not an elementary school.
3 = Yes.
2 = Recess is provided for at least 20 minutes each day, but teachers or recess monitors do not encourage students to be active.
1 = Recess is provided each day but for less than 20 minutes, or it is provided on some days but not on all days.
0 = Recess is not provided on any day.

  
Question #9: Availability of physical activity breaks in classrooms
Are all students provided opportunities to participate in physical activity breaks in classrooms, outside of physical education, recess, and class transition periods on all or most days during a typical school week?

NOTE: Physical activity breaks are actual breaks that occur in the academic classroom, allowing students to take a mental and physical break from current academic tasks. These breaks can occur at any time during the school day, last from 5–30 minutes, and occur all at one time or several times during the school day.

3 = Yes, on all days during a typical school week.
2 = On most days during a typical school week.
1 = On some days during a typical school week.
0 = No, we do not provide students with opportunities to participate in physical activity breaks in classrooms.

  
Question #10: Staff involvement — modeling physical activity behaviors 
Does your school support staff to model physical activity behaviors?
  • Provide staff with information about the importance of engaging in physical activities with students.
  • Provide staff with information or strategies on how to incorporate physical activity into classrooms.
  • Encourage staff to use non-food items, activities, and opportunities for physical activity to recognize students for their achievements or good behavior.
3 = Yes, our school uses 3 of the strategies to support staff to model physical activity behaviors.
2 = Yes, our school uses 2 of the strategies to support staff to model physical activity behaviors.
1 = Yes, our school uses 1 of the strategies to support staff to model physical activity behaviors.
0 = No, our school does not use any strategies to support staff to model physical activity behaviors.

  
Question #11: Family and community engagement — promote community physical activities 
Does the physical education program use three or more methods to promote student participation in a variety of community physical activity options?
These methods may include: bulletin boards, school newsletter, school website, social media, posters/signage at your school, or classroom announcements.

3 = Yes, through 3 or more methods.
2 = The program promotes participation in a variety of community physical activity options, but through only 1 or 2 methods.
1 = The program promotes participation in only 1 type of community physical activity option.
0 = The program does not promote participation in community physical activity options, or there is no physical education program.

TOTAL SCORE
Self-Assessment Scoring:
Out of a possible 30 for elementary schools.
Out of a possible 27 for middle/high schools.
Out of a possible 33 for K-12 schools.
NEXT STEPS
You’ve taken the important first step of completing your school’s self-assessment. Keep the momentum going by taking these next three steps.
  1. Print (button below) and share the results of your school's self-assessment with others (e.g., principal, school staff, parents, school health council) and develop an action plan for making enhancements
  2. Retake this self-assessment on a regular basis, such as each quarter or school year
  3. Enroll in the Alliance for a Healthier Generation's Healthy Schools Program (https://schools.healthiergeneration.org) to become a part of their robust assessment, training, technical assistance, and recognition process to help your school create a healthy school environment that includes, but is not limited to, physical education and other physical activity programs.