Lakeside Elementary, Pinkerton Elementary and Coppell High School have been selected as Healthy Zone Schools by the Cooper Institute and United Way of Metropolitan Dallas.
The purpose of the Healthy Zone School award is to recognize individual schools within a district which excel in physical education, nutrition, special activities and health policies. It aims to promote health and wellness to students.
“[This award is] a big honor,” Coppell ISD Superintendent Brad Hunt said. “It means that we have really worked to make [health] a goal, that we are providing kids with nutritious meal options, making sure that our choices are not only healthy, but also a good variety, and we’re doing what we can to promote local farming and the gardens we have in the district.”
CHS works to ensure there are always healthy options provided at school. This includes fruits and vegetables and more fresh, prepared meals as opposed to prepackaged ones. One specific area of focus is increased opportunities in salad bars by obtaining and harvesting ingredients from school gardens and delivering them straight to the cafeteria.
Other campuses in CISD are also working toward this goal. The district has introduced new policies such as Taste Tuesdays, which introduces new options to students to see if they like them, and Spotlight Item of the Month, where an item such as kale or asparagus is promoted and presented in a way that aims to make them more appealing to students.
“The application to become a Healthy Zone School is based on campus,” CISD dietician Alicia Braun said. “We do, however, have a School Health Advisory Council made up of school administrators, staff, parents, students and community stakeholders that continuously strives to improve the health and wellbeing of the district. In addition, the district has a Wellness Policy [that] describes many of our plans and goals for the district.”
There is also a physical education aspect to the healthy zone school award. Because CHS offers a wide variety of classes and PE electives, implements fitness elements in classes and actively monitors fitness goals, it has been able to receive recognition for this portion of the award.
“[Winning the award] is great,” PE and Dance department chair Chip Lowery said. “It shows the things that I already know, that our department is working hard to provide kids these options and to provide them the ability to make some healthy lifestyle choices. The fact that the whole school is recognized, and the high-school portion nationwide is not very big, it just reflects well on the teachers we have here and the administration.”
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