Maintain, Measure & Evaluate
This is an H3
- To gather opinions about the new policy
- To determine the success of the new policy
- To decide on your next steps
It is recommended that your district establish a plan for measuring implementation of the sun safety policy, including designation of one or more persons with operational responsibility for ensuring that the schools are meeting the policy. Assess your district to see where it stands in the policy implementation process.
In addition to the online assessment, it's also important to assess student, parent, teacher and administration satisfaction with the new policy. A good evaluation plan does not need to be extensive, formal or put undue burdens on staff. Through the evaluation process, you will be able to answer some basic questions that are important to policymakers, students, school staff, parents and the general public:
- Who has accepted the policy? What are the district, school, student, staff and parent attitudes toward the policy?
- When is the policy being implemented? Has policy enforcement been equally successful during school, after school and during special events?
- Where is the policy being implemented? Is the policy successful in all schools within the district or in all school buildings and grounds?
- What does the district community know about the policy? Has it been disseminated effectively? Has anyone been overlooked?
- Have there been unanticipated benefits of the new policy?
- Have there been problems associated with the new policy?
You may need to survey schools, staff and students to learn exactly to what extent the policy has been disseminated and how successfully it is being implemented. You can also gather feedback from parents.
Based on the results of your evaluation, you may need to:
- Re-Communicate the policy to appropriate groups again
- Establish commitment from one or more different groups
- Distribute additional tools to help schools implement the program
- Amend the policy so that it better accomplishes your goals
A sustained effort by each district is necessary to assure that new policy is faithfully implemented. Periodically assess how well the policy is being managed and enforced. Reinforce the policy goals with school staff if necessary. Be prepared to update or amend the policy as the process proceeds.
If you need further information on the evaluation process, the following resources may be helpful to you:
- Evaluation Primer: An overview of Education Evaluation.
- Understanding Evaluation: The Way to Better Prevention Programs
Evaluating Community Programs and Initiatives (Chapters 36-39 of the Community Toolbox) was developed by the University of Kansas Work Group on Health Promotion and Community Development. This document contains information on developing a plan for evaluation, methods for evaluation, and using evaluation to understand and improve the initiative.
- Chapter 36. Introduction to Evaluation
- Chapter 37. Some Operations in Evaluating Community Intervention
- Chapter 38. Some Methods for Evaluating Comprehensive Community Initiatives
- Chapter 39. Using Evaluation to Understand and Improve the Initiative
Framework for program evaluation is a CDC publication, MMWR 1999;48(No. RR-11), that outlines steps and standards for effective program evaluation.
Adapted from USDA Team Nutrition’s The Local Process: How to Create and Implement a Local Wellness Policy, and University of Southern California Prevention Solutions’ Alcohol & Drug Policy Resource Manual for Schools by Mary Ann Pentz, PhD. (Unpublished).