School Wellness Plan
Since 2006, the schools of the Archdiocese of St. Louis have been making significant progress in addressing the issues related to childhood obesity and in meeting the HealthierUS School Challenge through the promotion of nutrition and physical activity. At that time, it was suggested that all schools should generate an individual school wellness plan that would provide good direction in addressing this serious issue. Schools generated these plans and significant steps were taken to improve the nutritional value of foods served in the school, from breakfast and lunch to food served at classroom parties. Steps were also taken to enhance the physical activity of students during the school day. Health education in the schools was improved through such programs at Eat Right! Play Right! and HealthTeacher. There is no doubt that much has been accomplished over the past years. However, we need to remain vigilant and focused in regard to the issue of childhood obesity.
The Archdiocesan Health Advisory Committee members ask that each school carefully study and reflect on the indicators in the plan and assess how their school is addressing these indicators now and what steps their school might take in the coming years to improve in these areas. The Committee suggests that schools take the following steps during the 2016-17 school year in developing a new Individual School Wellness Plan:
- The principal shares the Individual School Wellness Plan with the school’s Wellness Team. If this team does not exist, create a team to include such individuals as teachers, PE/health teacher, school nurse or nurse volunteer, a parent, and a member of the school cafeteria staff.
The school’s Wellness Team carefully evaluates how the school is addressing each indicator of the Individual School Wellness Plan. The members of the committee will mark:
- “Yes” if the indicator is completely addressed, or
- “No” if the indicator is only partially addressed or not addressed at all. A simple explanation for each indicator marked “No” should be placed on page 6 of the document. This explanation should include what will be done to address the indicator in the 2016-17 school year or why the indicator cannot be addressed.
- The Wellness Team shares the completed plan with the appropriate members of the school community (faculty, staff, school board, parents, etc.) for further reflection and input.
- After receiving input from the community, the Wellness Team submits the Individual School Wellness Plan to the principal for approval and signature.
- The principal sends the signed document to Mrs. Julie Dwyer in the Catholic Education Office by November 18, 2016.
As you and your Wellness Team work through the suggested steps, contact our School Partnership Nurses at 314-268-2752 if you have any questions or concerns. They will be happy to assist you in generating an Individual School Wellness Plan that hopefully will make a significant difference for all within your school community.
Dr. Kurt Nelson
Superintendent of Catholic Education