• Employee Resources
  • Language

Three DCSD schools named among the healthiest schools in Colorado

kids exercising

DOUGLAS COUNTY— Franktown-based Cherry Valley Elementary School and Highlands Ranch-based Bear Canyon Elementary School and Fox Creek Elementary School have been named among the healthiest schools in Colorado by the Colorado Education Initiative (CEI). A total of just 46 schools statewide were selected for this annual honor.

As “Healthy School Champions,” students, teachers and staff in these three schools will be recognized for their work at the Colorado Healthy Schools Summit on March 3 in Denver, presented by the CEI, Colorado Coalition for Healthy Schools and the Colorado Healthy Schools Collective Impact. The annual celebration recognizes schools that create and support a healthy school environment and also successfully implement effective school health efforts that support student learning.

“Our student-led Health Team and Green Teams have been leading the efforts for the last three years to earn this recognition, and for three years we have been recognized,” said Nancy Wortmann, Cherry Valley’s principal. “Together the teams have started a recycling program, reduced waste, hosted a school FUNd Run, began a school-wide morning exercise program, participated in the district’s 5K Run, painted new activities on our playground and many other school-wide activities around health and wellness.”

Gaga pit at Cherry Valley with Kids running around inside of it

Above: Cherry Valley's gaga pit


"We have a student-led Health Team that is comprised of a self driven group of kids that are helping to make our school more healthy and fit," said Fox Creek's Health Team. "The team has started several initiatives such as B.O.W.O.W (Bike Or Walk On Wednesday), they helped with school participation in the DCSD 5K Run, led our school in choosing healthy foods for snack time and for celebrations, created a stop light food guide and presented it to the school, and lead the school in movement breaks. We are a Green Flag school who's staff participates in health and wellness challenges. We consistently strive to be models of health and wellness."

"Bear Canyon has a long-standing tradition of emphasizing the importance of healthy living and wellness," said Bear Canyon's Principal, Kelly Ursetta. "Our school’s Wellness Team collaborates with teachers, families and students to create healthy school options within the school. A few examples include: designing our yearly school fundraiser around a healthy fitness mindset, encouraging students and parents to send healthy snacks that support learning, and tying our PBiS model to intrinsic rather than food based rewards. This year, our BCE teachers have taken an additional step through implementing the DCSD Mindfulness Pilot Program to support students with understanding their social emotional health. Our commitment to our community is to teach our students healthy habits now, so that they carry over into adulthood."    

Schools are awarded based on their implementation of best practices in school health through an assessment tool called Smart Source, a narrative outlining their work and letters of support.

“For the winning schools, health and wellness is embedded into the culture and systems,” said CEI Director of School Health, Amy Dyett. “It’s about having an intentional investment to meet the needs of their students and staff in order to achieve academically.”

For their work, Bear Canyon is receiving an Excellence Award and a $500 grant. Cherry Valley and Fox Creek are each receiving a Promising School Award along with a $300 grant.

kid jumping over a hurdle     

Above left: Fox Creek. Right: Bear Canyon Elementary

February 23, 2017 | By CSilberman | Category: Students, Elementary Education, Health Wellness and Prevention, Schools

District News

kids running outside as part of a race

DCSD is requesting parent input on the health and wellness of our students. Last year, DCSD received a large planning grant from Colorado Health Foundation in an effort to assess how the district supports students through the lens of the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child model (WSCC). The mission of this grant is to review the current state of DCSD's student health and wellness program, and then formulate a three to five-year plan based on stakeholders’ needs, the latest research, and best practices. As part of this process, we would like your input.

How are we doing?

We want to hear from you! How often do you prefer to receive email newsletters from DCSD? How can we improve the news and information you receive? This brief survey should only take a minute or two of your time. Thank you for giving us your input!

Tell us what you think, here!


glowing purple lights hover over trays of seedlings in a dark room

It may look like a plain, white shipping container was just parked on the backyard grounds of Mountain Vista High School. The contents of the container are anything but plain, though. Walking inside the container, different colors of ambient lighting glow, futuristic-looking equipment and tall towers are suspended from the ceiling, and the humidity level is set to 70 percent. The container has been recycled into a new kind of learning opportunity for students.