Healthy North Dakota: Content: Explore North Dakota


"Research shows that schools with a systematic, coordinated, and integrated approach to student health have fewer incidences of behavioral problems, improved school attendance rates, enhanced interpersonal relationships, and higher student achievement."

Gene Carter, Executive Director, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), Education Week, January 9, 2002.

Well-nourished children tend to be better students, while poorly nourished children tend to have weaker academic performance and score lower on standardized achievement tests. Studies have shown that well-nourished children:

  • Have better attendance rates
  • Lower rates of tardiness
  • Improved behavior
  • Increased attention span
  • Fewer visits to school nurse
  • Higher test scores

Physical activity supports learning. Children who are physically active at school have:

  • Increased concentration
  • Higher test scores
  • Reduced disruptive behavior

Schools that offer intense physical activity programs have seen positive effects on academic performance and achievement even when the added physical education time takes away from class time for academics.

Local Wellness Policies

K-12 schools who receive funding for meals from the USDA are putting local wellness policies into place to support the nutrition and physical activity environment and practices in the school.

  • What does your school’s wellness policy look like?
  • Ask to read the policy and find out who is responsible for making sure the policy gets carried out in your school.
  • Get to know the people who make the decisions there.
  • Appreciate the things that are going well.
  • Point out ways you think that they might be improved.
  • If things don’t change, offer to help.

Learn more about local wellness policies in North Dakota.


The Coordinated School Health Programs Unit promotes connections between health and education to produce healthy students who are ready to learn.

The North Dakota Department of Public Instruction provides leadership for a comprehensive system of educational opportunities for all people of North Dakota. The department is dedicated to provide assistance and serve as a resource for all school districts and related education organizations in North Dakota.

Resources for Weighing and Measuring Children in Schools  

Healthy North Dakota Coordinated School Health Core Team

The DPI – DoH Coordinated School Health Core Team works to achieve CDC-supported goals in the areas of physical activity (increase physical activity and reduce youth obesity), nutrition (improve eating patterns of youth) and tobacco (reduce youth tobacco use). Our targeted audience is school aged youth, school personnel, parents and community. We provide information, technical assistance, funding and resources to selected demonstration sites as well as all ND schools. The benefits gained from the CSH Core Team include state-level collaboration and partnership, non-duplication of services and a broad selection of resources, expertise and funding.

For more information about the Healthy North Dakota Coordinated School Health Core Team, contact:

Joyal Meyer

Valerie Fischer