Massachusetts School Wellness Champions Recognized

Forty-seven Massachusetts schools were recognized among their colleagues by Russell D. Johnston, Acting Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education, at the 2024 Healthy Kids, Healthy Programs Summit. To help promote their hard work and celebrate their successes, each school district was also awarded a “Wellness Champion” banner to display at their schools.

Each of these districts successfully completed the Massachusetts School Wellness Coaching Program (MSWCP). The MSWCP is a SWITCH initiative developed through a collaboration between the Office for Food and Nutrition at the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and The John C. Stalker Institute of Food and Nutrition (JSI) at Framingham State University.

Each participating district was paired with a School Wellness Coach, who provided technical assistance in assessing, revising, implementing, and/or monitoring their school wellness policies. Wellness committees worked with their coach to ensure compliance with the USDA Final Rule for Local School Wellness Policy Implementation under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.

This coaching program is a two-tier program:

In Tier 1: Perfecting Policy, coaches help school districts to assess and revise their existing school wellness policy according to state and federal regulations. Coaches facilitate two of the four annually required wellness policy meetings and provide guidance as the policy is revised and eventually presented to school committees, or equivalent, for approval.

Tier 2: Implementing Initiatives focuses on implementation of the wellness policy. Coaches work with committees to assess how well the written policy is being implemented. The committees then prioritize goals for improved implementation and create detailed action plans to achieve wellness goals. Coaches facilitate four wellness policy committee meetings in Tier 2. Districts are eligible to participate in Tier 2 of the coaching program if they have successfully completed Tier 1 OR they already have an up-to-date written local wellness policy that is compliant with state and federal regulations. 

The Massachusetts School Wellness Coaching Program is currently accepting requests from schools/districts for school year 2024-2025! To request a spot in the program, complete the Request Form. Please allow up to 3 weeks for a response.

For more information or questions related to the coaching program, please visit the SWITCH Initiatives Page or contact