School Physical Activity Resources

Born to Thrive Summit Report (2014)

The Born to Thrive Summit was attended by more than 100 people representing organizations from the private, public, nonprofit and philanthropic sectors with an interest in creating early care and education settings that promote health. This report was created to summarize the findings of the summit.

Building Healthy Schools

A first-of-its-kind health impact assessment of K-12 school design and its influence on student health. The document provides an analysis and set of recommendations to positively effect health in schools from multiple perspectives: school siting, transportation, nutrition, and physical activity.

Community Recreational Use of School Property: Why is it Important?

This resource defines recreational use and identifies reasons that schools should allow community use of school property.

Making the Case for Community Recreational Use of School Property

This fact sheet outlines the most relevant research identifying why community recreational use is a good strategy to increase physical activity and community health, while providing community support for schools.

Minnesota Afterschool and Out-of-School Time Toolkit for Healthy Eating and Physical Activity

Incorporating healthy food and active play into community- and school-based out-of-school time (OST) programs is an integral component of a comprehensive strategy to prevent childhood obesity and model lifelong healthy behaviors. The Public Health Law Center has developed this set of resources to inform and support policy efforts to advance these goals.

A Review of Federal and Minnesota Laws on Pedestrian, Bicycle, and Non-motorized Transportation

This report provides a review and analysis of federal and Minnesota state laws and regulations relating to pedestrian, bicycle, and other non-motorized transportation.

Pedestrian and Bicyclist Rights and Responsibilities (2013)

Minnesota law specifies how different types of traffic should behave when traveling throughout the state. The ability of pedestrians and bicyclists to safely and effectively travel depends on all forms of traffic understanding and following these laws. This fact sheet identifies essential rights and responsibilities of different types of traffic that support safe pedestrian and bicycle travel. 

Crossing Minnesota Roads (2013)

Minnesota law supports pedestrian and bicycle travel throughout the state as energy-efficient, nonpolluting, and healthy forms of transportation. In doing so, it identifies specific places and ways that pedestrians and bicyclists may safely cross streets, highways, and other roads. This fact sheet discusses laws that impact how pedestrians and bicyclists are allowed to cross Minnesota roads to support safe travel for all users of the transportation system.

School-Zone Speed Limits in Minnesota (2013)

High speed roads and wide crossings can cause walking or biking to school more dangerous and less enjoyable for students, making students are far less likely to be allowed to walk or bike to school. Establishing safe school-zone speed limits is one way to make walking and biking routes safer, providing students with opportunities for increased physical activity. This fact sheet discusses how school-zone speed limits are established so that local authorities can develop strategies to enforce these speed limits, making roads safer for children to walk or bike to school.

Liability for Volunteers in the Walking School Bus Program (2013)

A walking school bus program aims to get children to be more physically active and socially engaged by supporting walking to and from school in groups accompanied by adults. Adult volunteers are often responsible for organizing the program and walking the children to and from school. This fact sheet discusses how Minnesota law may protect volunteers from liability claims for accidents that occur while volunteering.

Minnesota Complete Streets Variance Process (2013)

Minnesota’s Complete Streets law allows a local government, including a county, city, town, or regional park authority, to request a variance from state aid design standards when using state funding for a local Complete Streets project. The law requires the Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT) to evaluate all Complete Streets variance requests using specific Complete Streets guidance publications. This fact sheet provides information about Complete Streets and a basic flow chart of its state aid variance process.

Liability Exposure for Schools

This resource outlines liability protections and risk management strategies for schools who allow community recreational use of school property.

Minnesota Recreational Use

This set of resources identifies liability issues, risk management strategies and available resources for Minnesota schools allowing community recreational use of school property.  

Using Waivers and Releases for Activities on School Property

This resource identifies how waivers and releases can be used as part of a comprehensive risk management strategy for liability relating to recreational activities.

Minnesota School District Facility Use Checklist

This checklist identifies ways to improve existing Minnesota school board policies, rules and regulations relating to recreational use of school property, as well as to update facilities use forms, contracts and agreements to incorporate new liability protections and best practices.

Minnesota Schools’ New Immunity What Does it Mean?

This resource outlines the 2012 Minnesota Legislature that created a new immunity limiting school district liability for recreational activities on school properties.

Minnesota’s Joint Powers Law and What it Means for Recreational Use

This fact sheet provides an overview of intergovernmental collaboration in Minnesota.

Damage Caps and Insurance Requirements for Schools in Minnesota

This resource outlines Minnesota statutory damage cap laws and how these limit how much someone can recover from a municipality.

How to Pay for Recreational Use of School Property in Minnesota

This resource lists highlights various grant opportunities, many specific to Minnesota, that could potentially be used to fund shared use initiatives.

Promoting Health in Minnesota Schools: School Wellness Policies

Strong school wellness policies can help schools achieve their health and wellness goals. The Public Health Law Center developed a series of sample school wellness policies to fit in the Minnesota School Boards Association’s model school wellness policy.

Building Effective and Sustainable Local Gardens to Promote Public Health, Part 2

Tue, 03/20/2012

This webinar provides case studies of the three most common types of local gardening efforts – community gardens, school gardens, and employer-sponsored gardens.  These case studies will discuss key components needed to establish and successfully maintain these gardening efforts.

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Drafting Effective Public Health Policies

Wed, 10/05/2011

Drafting effective policies is critical to achieving overall systems change.  Having clear policies helps to avoid confusion and controversy during the implementation phase.  This webinar provides tips and suggestions on challenges, and provide tools to overcome those hurdles. 

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School liability in MN (2011)

Concerns about liability can keep schools from implementing policies that might be beneficial to students or community members. This fact sheet provides an overview of liability and how Minnesota schools can use the law to protect themselves when implementing healthy eating and physical activity policies.

Creating And Sustaining A School Health Council (2011)

Developing a School Health Council is a critical step to promote health and wellness in the school setting. A School Health Council can play a critical role in monitoring the school’s environment to ensure that health and wellness concepts are consistently reinforced and to ensure community partnership in these efforts.

School Zone Speed Limits in Minnesota (2011)

This fact sheet provides an overview of how school zone speed limits are established, and information on how communities can develop strategies to enforce these speed limits, making roads safer for children who choose to walk or bike.

Waivers and Releases: Managing Liability Risk For Youth Recreational Activities in Minnesota (2011)

This fact sheet provides an overview of liability and how waivers and releases can be used as a risk management strategy to limit liability exposure.

Applying State Aid to Local Road Projects - Flowchart (2010)

This flow chart portrays the project approval process used by local governments who qualify for State-Aid distributed by the Mn/DOT (the Minnesota Department of Transportation).

Checklist for Improving Your School Wellness Policy (2010)

An effective policy is tailored to a school’s individual needs, goals, and resources. Because of the unparalleled access schools.

Minnesota Healthy Kids / Physical Education Law (2010)

This fact sheet provides an overview of the Minnesota Healthy Kids/Physical Education Law which aims to ensure that more children have access to high quality physical education.

Liability for Volunteers in the Walking School Bus Program (2010)

This fact sheet provides an overview of liability and how a Minnesota statute provides liability protection for volunteers who may supervise a Walking School Bus Program.

In Pursuit of an Active Education

A fifty-page survey of options for increasing physical activity in schools, including considerations involved in improving physical education courses, integration of physical activity throughout the curriculum and in after-school programs, expanding outdoor learning, health screening, BMI monitoring, and using Safe Routes to Schools Programs.

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