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Overview of Healthy Kansas Schools

Healthy Kansas Schools (HKS) promotes school health policies, procedures, and programs to improve health behaviors. HKS initiatives are based on research that demonstrates the positive effects of physical activity and healthier nutrition on students’ general health and their ability to focus and learn. Healthy Kansas Schools is multi-faceted; providing technical assistance, professional development, health policy and standards guidance, training opportunities, and on-going communication. The success of our efforts relies on a broad network of partners and resources to help create healthier schools and, in turn, healthier communities.

HKS Objectives:

  1. Facilitate a school culture that values and emphasizes physical activity.
  2. Facilitate a school culture that enhances healthy dietary choices.
  3. Facilitate a school culture that continues to promote tobacco-free lifestyles.
  4. Facilitate the removal of barriers that impede progress toward developing healthy students.
  5. Facilitate partnerships between school personnel, families, and communities to emphasize health within and outside the school setting.

Primary HKS Projects:

  • Active Schools: Let's Move Kansas! (ASLMK) is a project funded by the Kansas Health Foundation (KHF) to provide training for physical educators to become Physical Activity Leaders (PALs) at their schools. To date, we have trained over 400 physical educators who are actively working to create more active school environments. Additionally, through the use of a team of trainers, ASLMK offers In-Services to school-wide staff and regional Team Workshops that involve the PE teacher, a classroom teacher and a building administrator. KSDE, KHF, and KAHPERD received a Presidential Citation from SHAPE America in Spring 2015 at their national convention in Seattle, Washington for the collaboration on this initiative. ASLMK emphasizes strengthening physical education programs, increasing physical activity during the school day (incorporating brain breaks and making recess more active), encouraging before and after-school physical activity, involving families and communities, and encouraging staff involvement. An over-arching goal is for every school to provide a comprehensive school physical activity program with quality physical education as the foundation so youth will develop the knowledge, skills, and confidence to be physically active for a lifetime.
  • Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) is a bi-annual survey of health behaviors of Kansas high school students, conducted in odd-numbered years. Six categories of health behaviors are assessed, consisting of: Dietary Behaviors, Physical Activity Behaviors, Tobacco Use, Alcohol or Other Drug Use, Sexual Behaviors that Contribute to STDs and Unintended Pregnancy, and Unintentional Injuries and Violence. 2017 YRBS data has been collected and is summarized in the YRBS Booklet listed above. Previous-years' survey results can be found on the Youth Risk Behavior Survey page.
  • School Health Profiles (SHP) is a bi-annual assessment of health education policies and practices of middle and high schools in Kansas conducted in even-numbered years. Building principals and lead health educators are surveyed to determine the current status of health education in Kansas schools. Reports on the 2018 Kansas School Health Profiles results are being developed and will be placed on the School Health Profiles page.

Health & Physical Education
Program Consultant

Kent Reed
(785) 296-8109

Health Education Main Page
Physical Education Main Page

Deputy Commissioner:
Division of Learning Services

Dr. Ben Proctor
(785) 296-2303

Career, Standards and Assessment

Beth Fultz
(785) 296-3142

Assistant Director: 
Career and Technical Education (CTE)

Natalie D. Clark
(785) 296-4351

Assistant Director: 
Curricular Standards

Dr. David Fernkopf
(785) 296-8447

Assistant Director: 

Julie Ewing
(785) 296-2325

Assistant Director: 
Kansas Volunteer Commission

Dr. Jessica Dorsey
(785) 296-3163

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The Kansas State Department of Education does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, or age in its programs and activities. (more information...)

To accommodate people with disabilities, on request, auxiliary aides and services will be provided and reasonable modifications to policies and programs will be made. To request accommodations or for more information please contact the Office of General Counsel at or by 785-296-3201.