Schools have a long and lasting impact on lives. Through the creation of sustainable environments and policies, schools have become a key venue in the promotion of physical activity through enhancements in physical education, before, during, and after school programming, and community engagement/participation. School aged children who achieve a minimum of 60 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity daily have better academic achievement (test scores) outcomes, have improved academic behaviors (attendance) and have increased cognitive skills and attitudes (concentration, memory and mood). In the end, healthy and active kids learn better!

CDC Link to Physical Activity and Academic Success

CDC Link to Health and Academic Achievement

Additional Information and Resources

In partnership with the Nebraska Department of Education, school districts statewide and numerous community-based partners, the DHHS Chronic Disease Prevention and Control Program aligns its efforts to increase physical activity through youth-based initiatives focused on physical education, access to before, during and after school programming, enhancing employee wellness efforts and community engagement in healthy behaviors. The key initiatives below are critical to enhancing the health and wellbeing of all students and staff which then helps to improve academic success and various academic outcomes.
The Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child Model or better known as Coordinated School Health, is a systems change initiative in Nebraska that looks at 10 key sectors within schools to adapt and sustain health improvements while helping to impact the academic outcomes of students and the health and wellbeing of staff. The Nebraska Department of Education has a seven day training institute process that builds the capacity of school to address health, focuses on comprehensive assessment of need, awareness of evidence-based programs, action planning, moving towards action plan implementation and evaluation. Forty plus Nebraska school districts have participated in the process over the past six years.

NDE CSH Program

NDE CSH Policy


The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 expands the scope of local school wellness policies; brings in additional stakeholders in its development, implementation and review; and requires public updates on the content and implementation of the wellness policies. The intent is to strengthen local school wellness policies so they become useful tools in evaluating, establishing, and maintaining healthy school environments, and to make clear to the public (including parents, students, and others in the community) about the content and implementation of local school wellness policies.

NDE Wellness Policy Information

NDE Team Nutrition

A Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program (CSPAP) is a multi-component approach by which school districts and schools use all opportunities for students to be physically active, meet the nationally-recommended 60 minutes of physical activity each day, and develop the knowledge, skills, and confidence to be physically active for a lifetime. A CSPAP reflects strong coordination and synergy across all of the components: quality physical education as the foundation, physical activity before, during, and after school, staff involvement, and family and community engagement.1 Students can accumulate the recommended amount of physical activity through the provision of the multi-component CSPAP.

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The PAL Learning System develops and supports individuals who will champion an effort to ensure 60 minutes a day of physical activity for all school-aged youth.

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The Presidential Youth Fitness Program helps schools achieve excellence in physical education through quality fitness education and assessment practices by providing tools to teach fitness concepts, assess fitness and understand results, plan for improvement or maintenance of fitness levels and empower students to be fit and active for life.

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