Annals of Health Law
This component provides the effective date for the legislation and steps to
disseminate, publicize, and implement it.63 In addition to clarifying or
limiting liability in the legislation, it is important to communicate key
provisions to school administrators. Amendment to the sample
implementation language is an excellent opportunity to address challenges
and motivators in promoting community recreational use of school property.
Therefore, sponsors should include language in the proposed legislation that:
(1) “authorizes and supports implementation of shared use agreements”; (2)
“requires schools to work with community organizations” on behalf of
students and staff; (3) provides “a centralized structure for training about
liability, model shared use agreements, lists of technical assistance resources,
community partners, and funding”; (4) “identifies statewide resources to
promote community recreational use of school property”; and (5) “requires
school districts to have a school health council (otherwise known as a ‘school
wellness committee’) to address community recreational use of school
property”.64 Some states may wish to include some of these directives, such
as the creation of a school wellness policy, in the provisions sections as
opposed to implementation sections.
The AHA has taken an important step on this major policy issue. The
development of policy guidance on school recreational use legislation, in
addition to AHA advocacy efforts around shared use, has the potential to
build healthier lives, increase physical and social health within communities,
and strengthen community collaborations. Support from the Public Health
Law Center has been central to development of the AHA policy guidance.
Additional support for these proposals from researchers, advocates,
community and school groups, and professional associations continues to
available to the school districts to promote community recreational use of school property.
This toolkit [should/shall] be posted on a state website and [should/shall] be reviewed and
updated on a regular basis. The Department of Education, in consultation with the Department
of Health, [should/shall] provide online public access to school district policies or procedures
that promote community recreational use of school property, in order to encourage information
sharing among school districts. This information [should/shall] be reviewed and updated
regularly. 5. Every [school district/school] [should/shall] create and maintain a School Health
Council, (also known as a School Wellness Committee), to improve the health of students,
staff and the community. A School Health Council [should/shall] include representatives of
educators, administrators, parents, students, community members and other stakeholders, and
[should/shall] operate in accordance with procedures specified by the school district. School
districts, in consultation with the School Health Council, [should/shall] address community
recreational use of school property.” Id. at 6-7. (footnotes omitted).