FCPS Wellness Newsletter Wellness Teams
By now, each school should have formed a wellness team and begun to assess their school’s strengths and weaknesses with relation to staff and student wellness. (Regulation 2100 and Policy 2100 are great resources to use when setting goals for strategic improvement.)
Once you have set your goals for the year, begin to plan activities that encourage students and staff to lead a healthier lifestyle. Wellness team reps are encouraged to build collaborative and effective partnerships with families and community members. This partnership will allow wellness teams to plan and support the shared responsibility of creating and promoting healthy school environments and fostering consistent health and wellness messages between the home and school environment.
The information contained in this newsletter will help you plan activities and programs for your school and provide wellness and nutrition information that can be shared with your school community. Additionally, schools may access their wellness reports and the division level executive summary on FCPS Wellness Reporting webpage at https://www.fcps.edu/node/36633.
Please be sure to contact your school Contacts Liaison for any changes to the Wellness Team Reps or Liaisons.Wellness Team Resources
The following websites will provide you with guidance on establishing a Wellness Team, setting goals, and planning activities:
- Action for Healthy Kids - Game On
- Alliance for a Healthier Generation
- CDC—Local School Wellness Policy
- Fuel Up to Play 60
- Hallways to Health
Host “Healthy and Active Classroom Celebrations” by incorporating healthier snacks and physical activity into your special events. Action for Healthy Kids—Healthy Classroom will provide you with heart healthy recipes, food art snack ideas, along with coloring sheets and many more activities.
Brain Breaks can be very helpful in the classroom. Teachers can integrate movement-based activities in their classrooms to energize a group after lunch or to calm and relax a class before a test. Go Noodle has a lot of fun videos to get your students moving in a small amount of space.
Encourage staff wellness by hosting contests and challenges specifically for the staff, such as a 10,000 step challenge to motivate staff to walk more. Perhaps a Hydration Promotion to encourage the staff to drink more water. Healthy School Zone has a lot of great ideas for Staff Wellness.
American Heart Month—February is American Heart Month. Heart Disease is the leading cause of death for men and women. Encourage your students, staff and families to live a heart healthy life--
- Coordinate a day where the entire school wears red to promote a healthy heart
- Feature healthy eating and physical activity tips in your school newsletter
- Teach students, staff and families how to manage stress
- Offer CPR/AED training to staff and older students
For more information see the following links:
Toy Safety Tips: Toys and games can be a lot of fun for kids as well as adults; however, it is important to make sure the toys and games are safe and appropriate for your child. According to SafeKids.org, 262,300 children in the United States were treated in emergency rooms for toy-related injuries in 2011. More than one third of toy related injuries were for children age 4 and under. It is important to remind families about toy safety. Here are some Toy Safety Tips that can be shared with your parents.
Nutrition Information: Eating a balanced diet is very important in the overall well-being of children as well as adults. The following links will provide you with nutrition education resources for your students as well as their families:
Exercise Information: Exercise is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle. Not only does physical activity build strong bones and muscles, it can also help prevent heart disease, cancer and stroke. Here are some resources to help your school and community lead a more active lifestyle:
Bailey's Upper Elementary School for the Arts and Sciences students and teachers kicked off the worldwide Dance for Kindness event. Worldwide choreographer for the event and Bailey's Upper ES Dance and Movement teacher Becky Epstein led the dancers through expressions of kindness which helped students embody the message.
Canterbury Woods Elementary School sponsored a Turkey Trot Fun Run. The SCA sponsored this event to raise funds for the purchase and installation of water bottle filling stations. These stations will be used by staff and students alike. Throughout the year, the Canterbury Woods Elementary School Environmental Club will promote the use of refillable water bottles and raise awareness about the positive impact students and staff can have on the environment.Employee Health and Wellness News
2019 Employee Wellness Liaison Professional Development
On November 4th, Employee Wellness Liaisons had the opportunity to attend a professional development course hosted by Employee Wellness in partnership with CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield. During the session, participants had the opportunity to meet and network with other wellness liaisons, learned how to encourage participation and garner leadership support, and received turnkey wellness program ideas. Employee Wellness staff also provided an overview of free wellness resources that can be utilized to continue building a culture of wellness at schools/sites.
Fairfax County Health Department News
Breakup with Stress and Vaping
In our kids’ busy lives, it is very easy to forget the importance of managing stress and finding healthy coping strategies to find balance. There are several simple strategies that you and your kids can use to help manage stress:
- Promote self-care. Take a walk. Spend a minute focusing on your breathing. Listen to music. Talk to a friend. Laugh.
- Put down the screens. Disconnect for a little while and reconnect with those around you.
Check out the Health Department/FCPS Facebook Live segment on Stress:
Rates of teen vaping are rising nationwide, and Fairfax County teens are no exception. According to the 2018 Fairfax County Youth Survey, 29.4 percent 12th graders had used a vape product in the last month and 39.3 percent had used a vaping product in their lifetime. There are several things that parents can do to help their children make the right decisions when it comes to vaping:
- Ask your kids about vaping products. It is never too early to start the conversation. For older kids, let them tell you about what’s going on.
- Get the facts. SmokeFreeTeen.gov and The Real Cost are great resources for parents and kids.
Check out the Health Department/FCPS Facebook Live segment on Vaping:
or on YouTube here:https://youtu.be/wNmOHB6a6MU
Some kids who suffer from stress, anxiety, and depression, may choose to self-medicate by vaping nicotine which may lead to other drug use in the future. Help your kids make healthy choices by breaking up with stress and vaping!
Food and Nutrition Services News
The Office of Food and Nutrition Services remains committed to serving students fresh and local food as we continue to grow our Salad Bar program. FNS currently has 90 salad bars with 21 more being implemented this school year. By the end of the 2019-2020 school year FNS will have salad bars in 111 Elementary Schools! Our salad bars not only dish up a variety of nutritious and delicious options daily but serve as a great teaching model for students. Through the salad bars elementary school students are given the opportunity to engage in healthy eating practices and reinforce positive behaviors with the anticipation that students will continue to build upon these habits as they continue to grow and learn for years to come! Interested in learning more? Please visit: http://get2green.fcps.edu/SaladBar.html for more information including this year’s Salad Bar Implementation Schedule!Health and Physical Education News
Health for the Holidays
Brighten the holidays by making your health and safety a priority. Take steps to keep you and your loved ones safe and healthy—and ready to enjoy the holidays.
- Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, they help lower the risk for certain diseases.
- Slowing down during meals sends a signal to our brain telling us we're full which can help maintain portion control.
- Try taking a walk before or after dinner.
- Adults should strive for 2.5 hours of exercise per week.
- Kids and teens should be active for at least 1 hour per day.
- Our bodies need to refuel at night so try to stick to your typical sleep schedule.
- Protect yourself during flu season by washing your hands with soap and running water for at least 20 seconds.
- Keep yourself warm and dry by wearing appropriate outdoor clothing such as multiple light layers, gloves, hats, scarves, and waterproof boots.
Take a Break
- If you start to feel overwhelmed or stressed make time for yourself by giving yourself a break, finding support, connecting socially, and getting plenty of sleep.
Keep Yourself and Your Loved Ones Safe
- Fasten those seatbelts and use safety seats for children based on their height, weight, and age.
- Practice fire safety plans. Most residential fires occur during the winter months, so don’t leave fireplaces, space heaters, food cooking on stoves, or candles unattended.
FCPS has partnered with the Fairfax County Health Department to produce a Facebook Live segment on vaping. Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist Marty Joyner and School Public Health Nurse Kristy Vitter provided excellent information that is both timely and helpful for parents. Filmed at West Springfield, HS, the video also features Bharat Kalra, a high school student from Marshall. Please see the links to the video in the FCHD News section above.
Additional resources to help kids stay vape-free can be found on the Health Department’s School Health Promotion Toolkit page:
And on FCPS’s page: Vaping: What Students Should Know
2018-19 Fairfax County Youth Survey results are available on-line. The Fairfax County Youth Survey is a comprehensive, anonymous and voluntary survey given each year to students in grades 6, 8, 10 and 12 that examines behaviors, experiences and other factors that influence the health and well-being of Fairfax County’s youth. The survey also identifies ways that families, schools, and community members can foster resilience in our youth. There is a highlight video and a number of additional resources including an interactive data explorer tool also available.News from the Office of Safety and Security
Please see the following website for Holiday Safety Tips that will help keep yourself and your family safe this year: https://www.esfi.org/resource/top-10-holiday-safety-tips-337
Make Today Amazing!