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Using the Guide

While this section provides an overview, the theoretical framework, and steps to take to initiate the process, each of the other four sections corresponds to one of the four prongs. They include both overarching “big picture” ideas and more discrete action items, and contain links to downloadable tools to help you plan for your situation. In addition, there is an assessment page in each section which will help you engage in continuous improvement guided by ongoing review and evaluation of the actions you are taking towards sustainability.

Whether you are starting out or looking to continue an initiative, the tools are not meant to be static and should be consulted and consistently revisited. As you gather more information, engage more partners or react to a change in the environment, you will need to continuously refer to and update these tools to inform your activities as you move towards your goal.

As you take these actions, remember:

  • The steps are not linear; they generally do not unfold sequentially.
  • They are dynamic; they may happen simultaneously, overlap, or influence each other. You may circle back to previous steps, but with new people, using new data, and therefore adjusting activities to match the current reality.
  • They may be influenced, positively and negatively, by events that you do not control.  For example, an event that has garnered much media attention, reduced budget on a different topic that affects the budget line you have targeted; a political agenda between elected officials.
  • The unique political culture of each state and locality may influence how these steps are likely to progress.
  • Everyone can and should expect unpredictability and, sometimes, inactive periods between actions.

The Action Guide is intended to evolve and develop as more users submit their success stories and feedback. We hope that you will share collaborative efforts from your community, recommend external resources, and provide feedback on the usability of the Action Guide. If you are interested in partnering with the Center for Health and Health Care in Schools or in technical assistance for using the Action Guide, please contact us.

Updated May 2018

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