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Local Wellness Policy Update, May 2021

Student and staff wellness, including good nutrition and physical activity, is promoted in the district’s educational programs, school activities and meal programs. As determined by Section 204 of the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004, the District 87 Wellness Committee promotes and supports students, staff and families health and wellness, by providing opportunities for education about and access to: physical activities, nutrition principles, food and beverages at school that meet the USDA child nutrition program standards for fat, sugar and salt, and providing resources that support emotional wellness.

The District 87 Wellness Committee has met via Zoom after school once each month during the school year. Meetings prior to the COVID-19 pandemic were held at the various buildings or near the District Office, which is fairly centrally located, to create opportunities for student, parent, and staff representation from each school. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been meeting virtually via Zoom.The committee is composed of interested students and parents, school support staff, PE/Health teachers, Family and Consumer Science teachers, school administrators, School Nurses, School Psychologists, Community Partners, Sodexo, a representative from the District Insurance carrier (Blue Cross/Blue Shield), and Central Office Administrators. Membership is fluid, and new members are welcome at all meetings.

The goals of the District 87 Wellness Policy and those of the Wellness Committee closely align with the published state and federal standards. Goals are in place for nutrition education, physical activity, and social-emotional well-being. The district policy and the Wellness Committee also address national guidelines for foods available in school during the school day, and guidelines for reimbursable school meals. These guidelines are closely monitored to maintain alignment with the most recent state and federal regulations.

The Physical Education, Health, and Family and Consumer Sciences curriculum strives to teach all students the benefits of wellness and the importance of developing good habits regarding fitness and nutrition. Problem solving, decision-making, communication and teamwork are lifelong skills that are incorporated into daily activities in the Physical Education, Health, and Family and Consumer Science programs.

Student and Staff Initiatives:  Curricular and non-curricular programs that promote the goals of the Wellness policy and the Wellness Committee include:

  • Live Life Well Week- During the week of President’s Day in February, the Students for Students clubs at each school organize special awareness events aimed at helping students make healthy choices and eliminate at-risk behaviors. (South, West, East & North)
    • South SFS club supported LLWW through spirit days, writing post its of who inspires them and posting them on the heart that was in the commons hallway, we had an ice cream sundae decorating contest virtually and awarded raffle prizes, we posted flyers, and supported the PE department through the virtual presentations.
    • West’s SFS club organized the following for LLWW (click on the link for details).
    • North’s SFS club organized the following for LLWW (click on the link for details). Their SADD club posted a link to a Gratitude Padlet in Schoology. Students and Staff could post a note on it about something or someone they were grateful for.  SADD also had a “Make your own Superhero” contest.  They posted a link to a Google slide and offered a template for students to use to create their own superhero. 
  • A Schoology Group for Wellness was added for teachers and staff, maintained by the District Wellness Committee. Topics include mindful minutes, movement, and healthy recipes.
  • Wellness Wednesday emails were sent out each week to support teachers and staff highlighting specific wellness related ideas and resources.
  • The District Wellness Committee held a fall Wellness Challenge for staff to encourage them to take care of themselves! The challenge consisted of a bingo-type card with different categories of wellness related activities to participate in.
  • A freezer meal prep Zoom class was offered to staff, hosted by Lisa Heim and Christa Gifford.
  • In partnership with the DuPage Health Department and Reality Illinois, a drive through pick up for stress relief kits was held in the afternoon on December 18, 2020.
  • At West, Wellness resources were created in a Schoology Folder for teachers to add to their classes at the start of next year (such as stress management, mindfulness, counseling support, staff to go to at West etc.).
  • At South, a Raider Resource Page was created for students, initiated by social worker Brittnee Hanson. (Check out the link!) It contains pages for each of the following icons to the right.
  • West students created a Covid/ Finals Resource page and it was shared out.
  • Mental Health awareness efforts were made at Glenbard South and Glenbard West by including information in the Bathroom Stalls. (Check out the link for an example of one used at Glenbard West.)
  • South social workers sent letters to parents, students and teachers highlighting signs of depression that included community resources and their contact information, as well as reminding students who they have access to at school as well (counselors, social workers, psychologists)
  • Freshman Focus at South (a program to help freshmen with the transition to high school with various related topics) continued virtually throughout first semester.
  • Check and Connect replaced lunch intervention at South this year, where aides became mentors to students needing assistance with tier 2 executive functioning skills.
  • Erin’s Law was shared in presentation form in all high schools. Click to view the South presentation and the West presentation.
  • South social workers presented a document with resources for pandemic tips and tricks for teachers, such as managing camera anxiety.
  • The RULER Approach to Social and Emotional Learning is a school-wide approach designed to promote the development of five key emotion skills, including Recognizing, Understanding, Labeling, Expressing, and Regulating emotions (the “RULER” skills). Glenbard North and East have implemented it.
  • The Gdub Yoga Club started in 2013 with two students who felt stressed and wanted a way to gather students to unwind and manage it better, plus they thought yoga would be fun. And it has been! While normally they meet each Wednesday before school, due to Covid, they instead were only able to meet a few times on Instagram Live. We appreciate their effort to continue. Mr. McCluskey is the moderator and Julie Mackey leads the yoga instruction. With the help of the Boosters,  PE budget, and football program we have enough mats, blocks and yoga straps for 75, so we are hopeful to resume full swing in the fall!
  • At North, SADD did the following:
    • Mental Health Awareness Week (Nov.). Each day, information was posted about a specific mental health issue and attached a coloring page for students to download and color in Schoology in the North Students group.
    • A Trivia Night was also held that week that focused on athletes and entertainers who overcame some mental health related issue.
    • Additionally, “letters of encouragement” were requested by students or staff members through a Google Form. Then our members made a card for each request and mailed them. 
  • East created a GBE Online Wellness page for both students and staff that includes wellness tools and resources.
  • Service projects such as Gratitude Day, Valentines for Vets, Project Linus and the President’s Day of service were implemented in each school.
  • Giving Tree. Usually, student and family needs are identified over the holidays with ornaments on a tree, and students/staff pick items from a tree. This year, families were identified and gifts from staff and the Needy Family Fund helped out a substantial number of Glenbard families hurting during this pandemic especially. (South)
  • Red Ribbon week. Red ribbons and positive messages are put on doors & lockers in the building. Videos are shown, various events organized, announcements made, in partnership with PBIS.
  • At South, Red Ribbon Week was celebrated by posting fliers, painting the commons windows, offering prizes for those who shared pictures of themselves participating in Red Ribbon Spirit Day and providing post it notes of the day virtually with positive statements.
  • Link Crew programs were continued in each building to promote a positive start for our freshmen, utilizing upperclassmen as mentors.
  • Sodexo- Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, we have continued to serve all students both at home with remote pickup and in-school learners. We have served grab & go bags, which include both breakfast and lunch, to all students at no charge.  Since the return of more students to the school in April 2021 we average nearly 1,000 meals a day. We will continue to serve students with this option during summer school.  When school resumes in August 2021 we hope to have traditional lunch service with both hot and cold selections for all students.
  • PE classes in all buildings utilized Gina Biegel’s Mindfulness-Centered Social-Emotional Learning Curriculum, thanks to the efforts of Gary Heilers. These were also featured in our staff wellness resources, as well as offered to parents.
  • PE classes in all buildings presented an educational presentation on suicide awareness. The presentation highlighted information such as: risk factors, warning signs, teen mental health (i.e. depression) and where to go for help.
  • Teachers were provided with information about how to recognize suicidal behaviors at the time of the student presentations.
  • The District Wellness Committee discussed important topics such as the following:
    • The updated 2021 US Dietary Guidelines- https://www.dietaryguidelines.gov/sites/default/files/2020-12/Dietary_Guidelines_for_Americans_2020-2025.pdf  https://www.myplate2yours.com/post/2016/02/03/new-dietary-guidelines-for-americans
      • Staggering numbers… 74% of adults in our country are overweight or obese, and the 40-59 years age group has the highest rate.
      • The big takeaway we all really appreciated was the phrase, “Make Every Bite Count!” Adding emphasis on nutrient density of the foods that we eat. (85% of the food you eat should be to fuel your body correctly, with only 15% being the “extras” such as sugar, coffee drinks, alcohol, etc.
    • Julie also shared this article, which approaches food similarly to our “Make Every Bite Count” takeaway. It is also linked in our Wellness Schoology Group. https://sunbasket.com/stories/eat-better-food-not-less
      • Current eating disorder statistics
        • Click on this link to see Lynn Dugan’s slide show. The statistics are staggering, and a good reminder of the importance of us continuing to talk about and being aware of mental health in students and in ourselves.
      • Various ways we are sharing mental health information with students
        • School Counselors at North have Virtual Counseling Offices in Schoology. There are resources for Tutoring, SEL resources, College information, academic resources.  Julie [email protected] North has spearheaded creating the profiles of the counselors and Deb has information on how this indeed could be the best place to refer students.
        • Counselors, social workers and psychologists in all buildings are providing resources to our students, though different buildings are providing these in different ways.
        • Glenbard Parent Series offers some GREAT “Take 5” videos at www.glenbardGPS.org for students, staff and parents.
        • Julie Mackey shared a mental health resource list for mindfulness and performance resources for high school students that can be found here.
      • Recommendations from the Wellness Committee…
        • Pursue release time for the District Wellness Committee Chair to be available for more collaborative work with school and community units for the next school year, specifically due to mental health and wellness issues and needs related to current conditions
        • Pursue consistent representation from each building for more collaborative efforts

 Glenbard Parent Series: Glenbard District 87 offers free programs to help families face the challenges of parenting with needed information and the support of other families. Programs are held monthly throughout the year at the four Glenbard schools. This year we invited the following speakers as part of this amazing program. Details on our upcoming events can be found on GlenbardGPS.org.

●      Dr. Ken Ginsburg:  Webinar: Building Resilience in These Uncertain Times

●      Matthew Pietrafetta, Ph.D.:  College Admissions Tests SAT/ACT Under COVID-19

●      Dr. Lisa Damour: Under Pressure: Managing Stress, Anxiety, and Parenting Under Covid-19

●      Fiona Arthurs, MA, LMFT:  Strategies for Success

●      Luz Luna and Oscar Perez Sanchez: The Technology and Training to Foster School Success/ La Tecnología y la Capacitación para Ayudar a los Estudiantes a Prospera

●      Frank Palmasani: Financial Aid Workshop: Discovering the Best College Fit at the Best Price

●      Jason Reynolds, Library of Congress Youth Ambassador to Reading: Community Reads: Long Way Down & Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You

●      Lissete Ochoa and Lizette Ramirez: Preparing the Path For High School and College Success: The College Application Process/Preparando el camino para el éxito en la escuela secundaria y en la universidad: el proceso de solicitud de ingreso a la universidad

●      Deborah Reber: Differently Wired: Raising Unconventional Children in a Conventional World

●      Christine Carter, Ph.D.:  The New Adolescence: Raising Happy and Successful Teens in an Age of Anxiety and Distraction

●      Dr. Michael Maslar: Mindfulness and Self-Compassion Tools For Your Mental Health

●      Dr. Ferney Ramirez: 9 Maneras de Reforzar el Aprendizaje de sus Hijos en Tiempos de Cuarentena/9 Ways to Reinforce Your Children’s Learning in Quarantine Times

●      Peggy Orenstein: Navigating the Landscape of Teen Relationships and Sexuality

●      Dr. Tina Payne Bryson: No Drama Discipline: Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Brain

●      Tina Payne Bryson, PhD: Parenting In A Pandemic: How to Calm The Chaos and Nurture Resilience in Ourselves and Others

●      Susanna Melón, EL Coordinator & Distinguished Panel:  Encuentra tu futuro durante la pandemia, noche de universidad/Planning for your Future During the Pandemic

●      Dr. Raquel Wilson & Distinguished Panel:  Planning for your Future During the Pandemic

●      Film Screening with Dr. Devorah Heitner and Liz Repking:  LIKE: A Documentary about the Impact of Social Media on our Lives

●      Dr. Ferney Ramirez:  Autoestima, Liderazgo y Actitud Positiva en Tiempos de Crisis/Self Esteem, Leadership, and Positive Attitude in Times of Crisis

●      Dr. Jonathan Singer:  A Community Conversation About Suicide: Student Voices, Resources and Hope

●      Matthew Pietrafetta, Ph.D.:  Colleges & Preparing for Success on the SAT, and a Preview of ‘Who Gets In and Why’

●      Phyllis L. Fagell:  Middle School Matters: 10 Key Skills Kids Need to Thrive and Prepare for a Changing World

●      Phyllis L. Fagell:  Workshop for Professionals How to Bring Out The Best in Students ages 9-15 in a Pandemic

●      Lanny Wilson, M.D. and panel:  Railroad Safety Panel

●      Dr. John Duffy:  Workshop for Professionals: Understanding Our Student’s Stressed, Depressed, and Amazing Adolescence in the Age of Anxiety

●      Dr. John Duffy:  Parenting in the New Age of Anxiety: Understanding Your Child’s Stressed, Depressed and Amazing Adolescence

●      Ron Lieber with Terry Savage:  The Price You Pay for College: An Entirely New Road Map for the Biggest Financial Decision Your Family Will Ever Make

●      Dr. Daniel W. Perez & Linda Avila, MA:  Teen Health Update/La salud de los adolescentes está al día

●      Shaun Derik:  Live Life Well Week: Being T.H.E.R.E. – Five Ways to Engage Young People

●      Tara Westover, author:  Community Read – Educated: A Memoir

●      Dr. Tyrone Howard – Black History Month Special Event:  Uplifting All Children to Cultivate Critical Wellness: Race and Culture Matter

  • Catherine Pearlman, PHD, LCSW: Ignore It: Increase Parenting Satisfaction by Selectively Looking the Other Way
  • Catherine Pearlman, PHD, LCSW: One Kind Act Begets Another/ How to Create a Culture of Kindness

●      Heather E. McGowan and panel:  Most Likely to Succeed: Anticipating the Future of Education and Careers

●      Dr. Lourdes Ferrer:  Grooming for Excellence Parent Academy/En la Silla del Conductor: Una Academia de Liderazgo para Padres Hispanos

●      Julie Lythcott-Haims:  Your Turn: How to Be an Adult

●      Dr. Chandra Gill:  Blackademically Speaking: Inspiring All Learners

●      Qasim Rashid and Jonathan Mendoza:  Distinguished Round Table on Social Justice

●      Dr. Michele Borba:  Thrivers: Why Some Kids Struggle and Others Shine

●      Dr. Ferney Ramirez:  Positive Parenting for Today’s Teen/ Crianza Positiva para los Adolescentes de Hoy

●      Dr. Matt Dewar:  Create an Emotionally Regulated School Community Through Mindful Breathing

●      Dr. Matt Dewar:  Mindfulness: Use Your Breathing to Transform Stress into Strength

●      Jessica Lahey:  The Addiction Inoculation: Raising Healthy Kids in a Culture of Dependence

Community Partners: We work with community members and partners to help further the overall goals of our wellness committee. Here are the names of the partners we’ve had this year, who have participated in meetings, events and support of our initiatives:

  • MyPlate2Yours
    • Early 2020… Faculty Lunch and Learns sponsored by the Wellness committee were conducted at West and North (and scheduled at East and South but cancelled in Covid). These were sessions to demo and taste easy healthy recipes.
    • Early 2020…Nutrition and Fitness field trips for South and North to Mariano’s (healthy grocery shopping skills).
    • Lynn did a kids cooking class with FORWARD and also did a cooking presentation in Nutrition and Fitness classes at Glenbard West focusing on plant based diets where she made bean and cheese quesadillas with the kids/students.
  • Flex Yoga
  • Healthy Lombard
    • Wellness Tip of the Week used on website Blog
    • GPS featured as a segment on cable show Health Local
    • Student-made PSA on anti-smoking used on cable show Health Local
  • 2XL Powerlifting, Lombard
  • Carol Stream, Lombard and Glen Ellyn Park Districts
  • FORWARD, DuPage County Health Department/Regional Office of Education
  • Health Track, Glen Ellyn
  • R. Ryall YMCA, Glen Ellyn

Students and staff are informed of special programs being offered by our partners through the Glenbard email and Schoology conference sites.

Committee Tools Used for Evaluation of the Wellness Program
 FORWARD:

  • Body mass index data was collected for FORWARD from incoming freshman physicals. FORWARD will use this information to gauge the trend of student obesity throughout DuPage County. This will be shared with districts once completed each fall.