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2014-2015 Sangamon County Excellence in School Wellness Award!

Posted by Whitney Ajie -

Due: Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

*NEW* Now you can submit your application online! CLICK HERE to go to the application page. (Please be aware that you cannot save your application and return to it, but you can keep the window open on your computer and continue to add more information as long as the window does not close)

The Sangamon County Excellence in School Wellness Award was created to recognize public and private schools in Sangamon County that have taken steps to create a healthy environment for their students and staff in the areas of nutrition education, school food, physical activity, staff wellness, and more. A healthy school environment is positively associated with academic achievement and improved behavior, helps prevent childhood obesity, and decreases the risk of future chronic diseases by promoting ideal health practices among youth.

Schools are the places to teach the best practices in every subject, and Sangamon County schools are making changes to the environment, school food, and policies so that nutrition and physical activity become second nature to current and future students. We will reap the benefits through a new generation of healthy, thriving youth and a healthier future for Illinois. For their commitment to their students’ health, we would like to recognize their efforts with this award.

Annually, schools in Sangamon County will be selected to receive the Sangamon County Excellence in School Wellness Award in Gold, Silver, or Bronze. Winners will be chosen and contacted in October 2015. Winning schools will be recognized and awarded their Certificate of Excellence during the next school board meeting for their district.

Special thanks to our community partners in Sangamon County who support & appreciate our schools’ efforts to improve school wellness!

  • University of Illinois Extension
  • genHkids
  • Illinois Department of Public Health
  • County Market
  • Springfield Urban League
  • YMCA of Springfield
  • Illinois State Board of Education
  • Illinois Action for Healthy Kids
  • Sangamon County Department of Public Health
  • Sangamon-Menard Regional Office of Education


  • K-12 Public schools within Sangamon County
  • K-12 Private schools within Sangamon County
  • K-12 Alternative schools within Sangamon County
  • Additional consideration will be given to schools with a free/reduced lunch population above 40% and first time applicants, however all schools are highly encouraged to apply
  • Qualifying school wellness activities must have taken place in the 2014-2015 school year (August 1, 2014 – July 31, 2015)

A complete application consists of (click on links below for forms):

  1. Copy of district or school wellness policy (submit via email, fax, or mail, or email link(s) to where it can be found online)
  2. Excellence in School Wellness Award application (paper copy) (online application)
  3. Extracurricular Program Form (paper copy, sign & submit)

Award submission & notification process:

  • Award application to be submitted by Wed, September 30th, 2015 at 5:00pm
  • Award winners will be notified by October 15th
  • Award winners will be recognized at their district’s next school board meeting

Criteria for Excellence in School Wellness Award:

  • Schools will be assessed based on their responses to the checklist questions under several critical areas related to school wellness. Each school will receive a point(s) per question based on their response.
  • Schools that provide additional information in their open response section, included for each wellness area, could be awarded additional points based on the details of their planning process, reach, implementation, impact, creativity, longevity/maintenance, student/family feedback, etc. The open response sections give each school the opportunity to illustrate more openly the work they’ve done to satisfy the criteria.
  • Once schools receive their final score, winners will be chosen and will receive recognition with the Gold, Silver or Bronze award in school wellness.

Baseline requirements:

  • Have a written, district wellness policy
  • Have a school wellness team – Additional consideration for teams that include a principal, parent(s), student(s), and/or community member(s)
  • Elementary schools: Offer a minimum of 75 minutes of physical activity each week (includes Physical Education (PE) classes and recess)
  • Middle schools: Compliant with daily PE requirements for all students, other than exempt students
  • High schools: Compliant with daily PE requirements for all students, other than exempt students

Scoring rubric:

  • Nutrition & Activity – 60 points maximum:
    • Food Service – 20 points
    • Nutrition/Nutrition Education – 20 points
    • Physical Education/Activity – 20 points
  • Outreach – 30 points maximum:
    • Marketing/Promotion – 15 points
    • Family/Community Involvement – 15 points
  • Staff Wellness – 10 points maximum
  • Bronze Category (30-50 points), Silver Category (51-70 points), Gold Category (71-100 points)

Additional notes about criteria:

  • Quality of programming, above quantity, and policy implementation is emphasized
  • Inclusion of community partners in your school wellness efforts is strongly encouraged
  • Inclusion of parents and students in planning, promotion, and implementation of school wellness activities is strongly encouraged
  • Inclusion of pictures and/or video documenting school wellness activities is welcomed

Contact information:

Please don’t hesitate to contact the INEP Extension Educator, Whitney Ajie, with any questions or concerns.

Whitney Ajie, MS
Illinois Nutrition Education Programs, University of Illinois Extension
700 South Airport Dr., Springfield, IL 62707
Phone: 217-782-4617

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