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District adopts new wellness policy

CMSD has adopted a new wellness policy that spells out standards for meeting students’ nutrition, physical activity and health needs.

The policy helps CMSD to meet federal and state guidelines. Here are some highlights:

  • Elementary school students are to receive at least 20 minutes of recess a day. Schools cannot withhold recess as punishment or substitute recess for physical education. 
  • The policy recommends that all students get at least 60 minutes of daily physical activity, which can occur before and after school or during short “brain breaks” in the classroom.
  • Students, staff, volunteers and visitors are banned from using tobacco in any form on school property, even outside of school hours, and at District events, regardless of location. Students are also prohibited from possessing tobacco or tobacco paraphernalia. 
  • Aided by outside partners, the District will study and report whether steps taken to promote good health have any effect on test scores, absenteeism and other academic indicators.
The policy incorporates a a new Ohio graduation requirement that students receive training in CPR and the use of automated external defibrillators, or AEDs.
But CMSD Director of Health and Nursing Services Deborah Aloshen said the District is going further, seeing that a teacher, coach, nurse or other staff member in each high school is certified in CPR and AED use, so students who receive the instruction from them can be certified as well. Aided by a grant, the Red Cross is helping District staff obtain certification.

A Wellness Council that meets at least four times a year will oversee District health and safety policies. The policy recommends that each school have a wellness committee, with representatives from administration, teachers, food service, parents and students.
The policy also will help interested schools meet guidelines for recognition by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation's Healthy Schools Program, said Desiree Powell, CMSD's director of academic electives and wellness. The program evaluates the ways schools promote nutrition, health education and physical activity and create a healthy environment for students and staff.  
Last year, Garrett Morgan High School became the first school in Ohio to receive the top honor -- gold -- since the program was launched in 2006. Campus International K-8, Joseph M. Gallagher, Charles Dickens, the Cleveland School of Science and Medicine and Willson won the third-highest honor, bronze.
To view a copy of the wellness policy, click here