With more than 100 attendees from across DCSD, Healthy Schools Workshop fosters improved health initiatives for students
HIGHLANDS RANCH— In the biggest room at the Highlands Ranch Mansion, teachers and staff from schools all over Douglas County School District (DCSD) met to discuss health issues in the classroom.
“This started in 2009, with a grant from the Colorado Health Foundation,” says event organizer Laurie LaComb. “At that time, we had twelve schools that were present, and the idea was that the Colorado Health Foundation wanted to spread Health and Wellness. We write grants to help support that.”
Every year since 2009, DCSD’s Health and Wellness department has held the Healthy Schools Workshop for school health representatives to get together and share ideas to improve the overall health of students and staff at DCSD schools. This year, the workshop offered several breakout sessions of health initiatives in the district for the more than 100 attendees to talk about ways to improve current health plans.
“Today is really to inform everybody what’s happening for the year, what the procedures are,” says LaComb. “They write school health improvement plans, so we review those, and we’re also doing some seminars on mindfulness and student-led health programs.”
DCSD Health and Wellness director Lisa Kantor says her department deems the workshop incredibly important to the health initiatives at each school.
“We need our Healthy Schools Champions,” Kantor says. “So we pay for the substitutes that fill in for them while they’re out, so they can be here.”
LaComb says the workshop not only allows the district health representatives to share new ideas, but also give the Health and Wellness department a chance to thank those volunteers who are taking on a big responsibility at their schools.
“We want to thank them, because they put hours and hours into this,” says LaComb. “Without them, these schools wouldn’t be doing ‘Walk on Wednesday’ campaigns, or keeping kids active throughout the entire school day, or talking about eating vegetables and fruits, good stuff like that.”
The school health representatives created “School Health Improvement Plans” that will guide their work for the rest of the school year. The reps will take those plans back to their schools with the hope that the good ideas that blossomed in the ballroom of the Highlands Ranch Mansion will spread throughout all the schools in Douglas County.