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Edison, Kimbrough and Rowan named three of nation’s healthiest schools

Edison, Kimbrough and Rowan named three of nation’s healthiest schools
Posted on 09/21/2018

Group Running

Students at Edison take part in the morning run club.

The Alliance for a Healthier Generation released its list of "America's Healthiest Schools" and three district schools & Edison, Kimbrough and Rowan & received the Bronze level award for their efforts to encourage students to promote healthy eating and physical activity. The three elementary schools were among a record 461 schools from 26 states that were recognized.

America's Healthiest Schools earned the distinction by successfully meeting a rigorous set of criteria for serving healthier meals and snacks, getting students moving more, offering high-quality health and physical education, and empowering school leaders to be healthy role models. The schools, 81 percent of which serve high-need populations, also receive Healthier Generation's National Healthy Schools Award at the Bronze, Silver or Gold level, based on the standards they achieve.

All of the award-winning, America's Healthiest Schools:

  • Meet or exceed federal nutrition standards for school meals and snacks
  • Offer breakfast daily
  • Implement district wellness policies and update progress annually
  • Provide students with at least 60 minutes of physical education per week and ensure physical activity throughout the school day

"San Diego Unified schools have made tremendous progress over the last few years in creating learning environments that not only support academics but also promote physical and social-emotional health, wellness and exercise," said Superintendent Cindy Marten. "Edison, Kimbrough and Rowan elementary schools show they are committed to improving student health by increasing opportunities for physical activity, promoting healthier eating, and creating an overall positive culture for students. We could not be more proud of their achievements."

Almost all schools in San Diego Unified have a wellness plan and wellness coordinator to help create and implement activities at their schools.

Here is a look at what Edison, Rowan and Kimbrough elementary schools are doing that helped them earn the Bronze award from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.

Edison Elementary School

  • Additional physical education opportunities, such as having a Motor Lab, which works on improving motor skills, a Strength Lab, which works on increasing strength and stamina, and IMPACT, which provides additional time for physical activity in an engaging manner using stations.
  • Adhere to the healthy foods policy by disallowing unhealthy snacks or celebrations.
  • Bring in many opportunities for staff and parents to improve physical and emotional well-being such as healthy cooking classes, stress reduction/mindfulness, biometric health screenings, etc. This year, the PE teacher is starting workout/physical challenges for parents.
  • Daily morning run/walk club
  • In 18-19, Edison is participating in "Girls on the Run," which encourages positive emotional, social, mental and physical development for girls in grades 3 & 5 via running.

Rowan Elementary School

  • IMPACT twice a week (last year parent-led, this year led by our new PE Coach)
  • Bring in many opportunities for staff and parents to improve physical and emotional well-being such as healthy cooking classes, stress reduction/mindfulness classes, biometric screenings. Last year our nurse created a Step Challenge. The winner of the three week Step Challenge won a FitBit (which was donated by VEBA).
  • Offered weekly positive parenting classes through the Incredible Years Program last year
  • Worked hard to co-create alternative consequences for students instead of missing recess.
  • Offered PD to staff on Mindfulness, Restorative Practices and Trauma Informed Care
  • Offered Nutrition Classes to all TK-5th Graders at Rowan in partnership with San Diego Unified Farm to School

Kimbrough Elementary School

  • Promote that we are a healthy school all year long to students and families.
  • Informed parents that cupcakes were no longer permitted to celebrate birthdays. We shared alternatives and many families brought in fruit salads to celebrate. We also banned chips and sugary snacks from school.
  • Started a walking/running club and tracked student progress. At our monthly Family Friday's, we acknowledged the students with certificates and tracked the miles that they had completed.
  • PE teacher and staff organized a field day where students participated in various physical activities and parents donated oranges and water for students.
  • Nurse promoted a step tracker competition for staff. Staff reported on the number of steps that they completed after a certain amount of time.
  • Had monthly salad bar Wednesday's where staff would bring in different things to make a healthy salad.

For more information on district wellness initiatives, contact Kate McDevitt at [email protected]