CEI 2015-2016 Annual Report - Page 10

Health and Wellness Health and wellness work at CEI takes a systemic, strategic, and coordinated approach to supporting the whole child, which includes social, emotional, mental, nutritional, and physical wellness. The Healthy Schools Initiative is one of the ways that CEI supports schools and districts in implementing health and wellness best practices, and all of the Healthy Schools grantees reported that their partnership with CEI has accelerated implementation of these efforts and has increased buy-in from school and district leaders. For example, through a partnership with CEI, Lake County School District used existing time and resources to align health and wellness goals with academic achievement goals. The district has improved its nutritional program, promoted social and emotional well-being of students and staff, and committed to provide opportunities for every child to engage in physical activity and education every day. As a result, Lake County Intermediate School received the 2016 Platinum Governor’s Award for School Health and Wellness, which recognizes the top Colorado school that is implementing best practices to support health and wellness for students and staff. “Times are changing within school culture and within communities. We are moving more in the classroom; the kids are getting more recess time – and guess what? Our test scores have gone up!” Megan Leirfallom, Physical Education Teacher and Wellness Committee Team Leader Lake County School District CEI also provides technical assistance and professional development to schools and districts that are working to create a positive school culture and climate. Through designing and implementing plans that address the social and emotional needs of students, schools and districts have made explicit the connection between positive school climate and academic achievement. Nearly 90 percent of the schools that received climate and culture supports reported that the work with CEI increased the likelihood that their district would implement needed supports for students, and 100 percent agree that with CEI’s support, they are more equipped to use data to understand culture and climate. Launched in 2014, Colorado Healthy Schools Smart Source (Smart Source) is the Colorado tool for assessing school health efforts and the only one in the country that provides comprehensive data about the school-level policies and practices that have the greatest impact on student health. A total of 451 schools representing every region of the state participated in the Smart Source data collection effort during the 2015-16 school year, and nearly 95 percent of these schools indicate that the tool provided useful data and equipped them to make informed decisions that benefit students. Health and wellness work at CEI takes a systemic, 8