Healthy Schools Program
The Alliance for a Healthier Generation's Healthy Schools Program helps to bring parents, school staff, students, and school food service together to turn campuses into healthier places where students can learn more and flourish. It is an evidence-based initiative that creates sustainable healthy change in schools and has a proven, positive impact on student health.
The Healthy Schools Program Framework of Best Practices identifies specific criteria that define a healthy school environment. Schools can work towards the Alliance's National Healthy Schools Award using a specific assessment tool and a customized action plan. To earn the Award, schools must demonstrate implementation of specific best practices in each of the following modules that address school health: School Health, Safety Policies & Environment, Health Education, Physical Education & Other Physical Activity Programs, Nutrition Services, Health Promotion for Staff, and Family & Community Involvement.
We are proud to announce the following Palm Beach County school recipients of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation's Healthy Schools Program Award:
Equestrian Trails Elementary School - Bronze Level
S.D. Spady Elementary School - Bronze Level
South Olive Elementary School - Bronze Level
Timber Trace Elementary School - Bronze Level
Forest Hill Elementary School - Silver Level
Everglades Elementary School - Bronze Level
Florida's What Works Contest
The purpose of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services "What Works" Contests is to encourage and reward outstanding practices in schools that go above and beyond mandatory federal guidelines to market their school nutrition program to students and parents. Below are winning schools from Palm Beach County for the 2014-2015 school year:
Conniston Middle School cafeteria staff were ready to “Roll Out the Red Carpet for School Breakfast” and promote this year’s Florida School Breakfast Week! The Food Service Manager, Mariam Hamilton, and her staff got extra creative by offering new product sampling of white cheddar popcorn and new breakfast snack pack items like waffle graham cookies and blueberry Nutrigrain bars, as well as fresh, seasonal peaches. They encouraged adults and staff to join them for breakfast, and even hosted a raffle where students who participated in breakfast were entered to win the “Ultimate Superstar Treatment at the Grand Finale Celebration.”
Ms. Hamilton and the staff at Conniston Middle School literally rolled out the red carpet for their students at breakfast and all of the promotional efforts led to a 20 percent increase in breakfast participation for the week! The students really enjoyed the special activities and fun during Florida School Breakfast Week and come Friday, they were lined up early outside the cafeteria eagerly awaiting their breakfast.
The staff at Everglades Elementary School was very excited to promote this school year’s National School Lunch Week — “Get in the Game with School Lunch!” The School Food Service Manager, Nannette Sweeting, signed up for the marketing kit that was made available by the administrative office. The kit included: pom-poms, “We’re #1” school spirit foam hands, football garland and tabletop decorations, “Get in the Game” buttons and bookmarks, and activity sheets from the School Nutrition Association to give to the students. In addition to the marketing kit, promotional announcements were made each day to the entire school and a themed menu with items such as Big League Beef Nachos and MVP Muffin Platter was offered throughout the week.
Ms. Sweeting and her staff got extra creative by partnering with Dick's Sporting Goods, who allowed Everglades' cafeteria to borrow various sports equipment and jerseys to help create an authentic sports atmosphere. The cafeteria staff also made a "recycled milk carton football goal post" as well as a "fruit and vegetable goal" to incorporate the theme and promote healthy meal choices. The students colored the National School Week coloring sheets and Ms. Sweeting and her staff posted the art work throughout the serving line area.
Ms. Sweeting and the staff at Everglades Elementary School did a fantastic job promoting National School Lunch Week, and their hard work and effort resulted in an average participation increase of 40 more lunches per day or more than 8 percent!
The Smarter Lunchroom Challenge Awards were announced by the Commissioner of Agriculture, Adam H. Putnam, and highlight the efforts of school lunchrooms around the state to engage kids in eating healthier foods.
Galaxy E3 Elementary School has Sunny Oranges and Comet Bananas prominently displayed for the students. Regular milk is placed in front of juice and other flavored milks. Entrée salads and yogurt parfaits are offered as a grab-and-go option and digital displays are hanging throughout the cafeteria promoting nutrition education and the day’s menu. Galaxy E3 Elementary is a shining example of a "smarter lunchroom"!
The Spady Color Splash 3K was all about promoting family, fitness, and fun while raising money towards the purchase of a new playground. More than 500 students, parents, school staff and community members came out to participate in the run and support the event. Each participant started off with a white shirt and a warm up before taking off! They were encouraged to run, walk, skip, and dance their way through the course to 3 different color zones where they were doused with non-toxic food grade colored cornstarch. The prize at the finish line was a smile on their face and a shirt full of color. At the end of the run they were also given the opportunity to “splash” their teachers and principal with color. Everyone loved it!
Best Practices Award
The United States Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Service Southeast Regional Office awarded The School District of Palm Beach County School Food Service Department with a Best Practices Award for Fiscal Management in 2014. The purpose of the Best Practices Award is to encourage and recognize outstanding practices in schools and school food service authorities in the Southeast Region.
From the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services website:
"The School District of Palm Beach County has developed and implemented the Bid Database to modernize the bid process, increase oversight, and accurately award vendors. The Bid Database is capable of: Maintaining, specification, generating official bid documents, associating vendor documentation, analyzing vendor submittals, and managing staff responsibilities and permissions. The Bid Database was built in-house with the assistance of school food services’ procurement specialists, our mainline distributer, and the district’s purchasing department. The Bid Database indexes electronic documentation, allowing access to documentation at all times and locations."
Congratulations - 2016 Model School Winners
Equestrian Trails Elementary
Liberty Park Elementary
Sunrise Park Elementary
The School District of Palm Beach County has been recognized as a Florida Healthy School District at the Gold Level for the period of May 2016 through April 2018 based on submission of the Florida Healthy School District Self-Assessment.
The self-assessment tool is based on sustainable infrastructure, policy, pro- grams, and practices identified from national and state guidelines, best practices, and Florida statutes. It was developed by the Florida Coordinated School Health Partnership (CSHP) out of a desire to recognize and celebrate the hard work and success of school districts related to physical, mental and social health of students and staff. The assessment was written by school experts, evaluated, piloted and field tested for three years before being released in 2009.
Since 2009 CSHP, in partnership with Florida Action for Healthy Kids (FLAFHK), Florida Association of District School Superintendents (FADSS) and Florida Healthy Kids Corporation has recognized 47 districts for establishing a culture and climate that embraces the Coordinated School Health approach to reduce and eliminate barriers to learning and support academic achievement.
Palm Beach County Public Schools demonstrated outstanding scores related to policies and processes in the following areas:
District Infrastructure (93% highly commendable) A well-established district infrastructure demonstrates strong administrative and community support that leads to sustainability.
Health Education (92% highly commendable) Comprehensive Health Education pro- vides the knowledge and skills to make informed decisions about all areas of health. Healthy School Environment (95% highly commendable) A Healthy School Environment reflects the physical plant as well as the social climate of the district. This includes safety, personal interaction and violence prevention.
Employee Wellness (93% highly commendable) Employees who are healthy are less likely to be absent, are most likely to be engaged, and remain in their jobs. The cost of healthcare to the district is reduced when employees are healthy, thus freeing up funds for educational purposes.
Family and Community Involvement (91% highly commendable) Family and Com- munity Involvement is key to garnering support and resources from community members and involving parents as partners.