May Feature Healthy School: Boxwood Public School
We are excited to have 174 certified Healthy Schools, representing 41 school boards across the province for Ophea’s Healthy Schools Certification 2016/17 school year! You can find out if schools from your board have certified by viewing the Certified Schools List.
Since January we have been sharing the experiences of select registered Healthy Schools across Ontario, bringing you success stories, challenges and ideas to support you in making your school a healthier school.
1.What has your school team identified as your priority health topic for this school year? What inspired you to choose this topic?
This year we focused on Physical Activity. We chose a year long, school-wide theme to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary and walk across Canada with our “Great Canadian Trek”. We thought the health topic of Physical Activity would support this theme the best. We also converted other initiative physical activities into kms to contribute to our trek across Canada.
2. How does your school team encourage students and staff to make healthy choices?
We have worked very hard this year to encourage Boxwood Public School staff and students to make healthier choices. This year’s staff “Sneak it in Week” initiative gave staff the opportunity to model healthy choices for their students. Each activity and initiative that week helped earn staff kms. Staff where challenged to walk around the Cabot Trail and started the week with pedometer challenges to meet the goal of 10,000 steps a day. There was also a water challenge to encourage staff to keep hydrated, staff yoga at our monthly staff meeting, and chair aerobics. Staff also helped get students involved, leading school-wide daily physical activity (DPA) in the gym.
On the Thursday of “Sneak it in Week”, we had fitness stations for staff and ended the week with curling in the gym and school-wide DPA. Students and staff worked together towards achieving a healthy lifestyle while making healthier choices!
Wednesdays are our “Walking Wednesdays”, when classes are encouraged to come out for a 20 minute walk while earning popsicle sticks towards Walk Across Canada/Great Canadian Trek.
3.How has your school team motivated your school community to be healthy, safe, and inclusive?
Each year, we participate in the Winter Walk to School Day. This is a day for Community partners (City of Markham, York Region Public Health, York Region Police), staff, and students to work together to show our families the value of active transportation, even when it is cold outside. We close our parking lot to cars, offer games and activities, hot chocolate, and finish with a DPA activity before coming into the school. This event is well received and reminds parents the importance of physical activity and being active year-round.
4.Do you have any upcoming Healthy Schools events or links you would like to share?
Our last event of the year is our Day of Play. Staff and students will participate in 26 games throughout the day. These games fall under 1 of 6 categories: Eco, Physical Activity, Health, Mental Health, Character Matters, and Canada. Our student team has created a large variety of games and activities, and will invite Boxwood Alumni from the high school to run the stations. By having alumni run the stations, it involves our community and allows all staff and students the opportunity to participate.
Follow @BoxwoodActiveTm on Twitter – we will be tweeting live June 27th from this event!
Reading Recovery & P/J PE
Healthy Schools Champion
Boxwood Public School