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Getting Buy-In

Can we share a copy of the SLAQ tools to start a conversation with sites about the information we will need for them to complete this year? 

Absolutely! Digital copies of each SLAQ are available as word documents or fillable PDFs for email or printing and are available on the SLAQ Questionnaires webpage, organized by setting. We hope that having these “paper” SLAQ options will help you and your sites to start planning ahead.

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Do you have suggestions on how to introduce the SLAQ to the sites? 

Yes, a training that included best practices for introducing and conducting the SLAQs was given in July 2019. The slides and recording are available on the SLAQ training page. We also have a “ one-pager ” that LHDs can give to sites that will explain what SLAQs are and why they are important. Additionally, you may want to complete the SLAQ-based Action Planning Tool  when you follow-up with your sites as a constructive way to review the SLAQ results and demonstrate that completing the SLAQ is a first step towards identifying areas of opportunity and driving change.

Helpful tip: Remind sites that periodic assessment of public schools' compliance with the local school wellness policies is a required part of the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act, and the SLAQ provides a way to meet that requirement. Be sure to reinforce the benefit of completing the SLAQ annually, focusing on how important the data collected is to planning programs that are customized to their sites' needs.

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What happens if a school or other site doesn't want to complete it?  

Our recommendation is that completion of the SLAQ/OAQ is a part of your formal agreement process (e.g MOU, subcontract, or LCAP) to conduct CalFresh Healthy Living (CFHL) work in each district/school site. Be sure to explain the benefit of completing the SLAQ/OAQ annually, focusing on how important the data collected is to planning programs that are customized to their sites' needs and measuring progress over time. We encourage you to work with the school district to build the SLAQ/OAQ into the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) in order to further formalize the assessment process. More information on LCAP can be found on the California Department of Education website.

We recognize that there may be challenges to obtaining buy-in at all sites, and that even with buy-in staff may not find time to complete and return forms. We encourage you to work with staff to find ways to make the process as easy and efficient as possible, without reducing data quality. We also recognize the barriers to SLAQ completion during health and safety emergencies. All of the SLAQs include spaces for sites to identify where practices have been impacted by health and safety emergencies.

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Can you share an example of language we can use in an existing MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) or other participation agreement we have with our sites? 

Here’s an example of a few bullets or sentences you can add to your existing MOUs. Please adapt as needed.

  • Staff at [INSERT NAME OF SITE] will complete the Site-Level Assessment Questionnaire (SLAQ) annually to document current nutrition and activity policies and practices that are in place.
  • The SLAQ should be completed at the beginning [or end] of each school [or program] year and reflect the current situation at the time of assessment. (Note: the current situation does not include policies and practices that will be implemented in the coming year, but have not yet begun)
  • Completed SLAQs will be submitted to [INSERT NAME OF SNAP-Ed IMPLEMENTING AGENCY], who will share and review results with [NAME OF SITE] to use in planning future activities to continue improving nutrition and physical activity practices at [NAME OF SITE].

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