Paradise Valley Unified School District is dedicated to providing each student the opportunity to maximize their learning potential by supporting a safe and healthy school environment. Continued reinforcement of health and nutrition education provides the foundation for students to gain the critical skills needed to adopt, practice, and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Wellness Guideline Goals
The Wellness Guidelines will serve as the foundation for each school in the Paradise Unified School District to develop, implement, and evaluate health, physical, and other school-based activities that promote student wellness. The goal is to confirm each school administrator monitors/assesses their school for appropriate wellness compliance.
District Wellness Committee
The District Wellness Committee is open to the public and meets twice a year (Fall & Spring) to discuss wellness-related activities or reports. Committee members comprise of parents, community partners, students, representatives of nutrition services, physical education professionals, health services, and school administrators.
Our meetings for the 2019-2020 School Year are scheduled for October and April. Please call (602) 449-2274 for more details.
School level assessments (Principal surveys) are conducted annually to monitor progress in attaining the specific goals posted in the Wellness Guidelines. The 2018-2019 principal survey was assessed four key areas. The key areas were Nutrition Education & Physical Activity Promotion, Food and Beverage Marketing, School Leadership Authority, and Other School Based Activities.
Principal Survey Summary
- The majority of principals (92%) believe schools play a significant role in the continued reinforcement of healthy eating behaviors, proper nutrition, and physical activities of students. Schools provide students with the knowledge and understanding of healthy decisions as well as the opportunity to practice what they learned. Schools also have the responsibility to teach students in all areas of life, not just the core subjects. However, while schools can encourage healthy lifestyles, principals feel that the home environment has a greater impact.
- Physical Education (PE) and science classes are great sources for promoting school-based physical activity and nutrition education. Scheduling of other school-based events, such as after school sports, field days, running clubs, jump rope for heart, and family fun nights, are also an excellent way to promote physical activity to students, staff, and parents. Principals reported that they encourage teachers to incorporate brain breaks, morning classroom discussions once a week, school gardens, and simple nutrition & wellness PSAs to increase nutrition education during the school day.
- Principals try to encourage healthier food choices during the school day; for example, one principal reported that they allow students to consume "dip-free" fresh fruits and vegetables anytime in the classroom. Principals, teachers, and parents work together to ensure healthy options and encourage healthy choices. However, principals reported students bringing unhealthy options from home sometimes. At the high school level, there has been fast food items dropped off or ordered through Uber-Eats for students, but several sites have guidelines in place for out-side food delivery.
- For other school-based activities, principals reported encouraging their teachers to provide physical activity classroom breaks, such as extra recesses, and several schools have gardens on-site that promote student involvement. Several principals also reported including yoga breaks and healthy snack breaks in the classroom.
Key Barriers to Address:
- There is no "established" health curriculum and limited instruction time.
- There is inconsistent school culture participation modeling health behaviors.
- Impact adults more at school through education to assist with the parental influence (ex. sending or dropping off fast food for students, bringing unhealthy items for classroom parties, etc.)
- Health and Wellness education is limited to physical education and science classes.
Plan of Action:
- Family promotion of school meals
- Provide curriculum resources in health and wellness
- Incorporate health and wellness instruction through core subjects
- Collaborate with additional departments for health and wellness support
- Encourage students, community, and staff to embrace a positive health and wellness culture
School Highlight: Palomino Primary Kick-off to Healthy Living
On November 13th, 2018, the Nutrition & Wellness Department participated in a community health fair held at Palomino Primary School. This "Kick Off to Healthy Living" health fair was organized by the district's Family Services Coordinator, Elizabeth Stein. Through partnership with NOAH Palomino Health Center, PVSchools was able to provide Palomino families with information on:
- Immunizations, Medical & Dental Services
- Nutrition & Healthy Eating
- Exercise & Fitness
- CPR/First Aid & Household Safety
Along with valuable information, there were also vegetable steamers, measuring cups for cooking, first aid kits, and fresh bananas available for participants to take home to their families. It was a great opportunity for the Nutrition & Wellness team to work with the community and promote healthy habits!
- As a district, an annual 5k Fun Run is held at Horizon High School to encourage active lifestyles among PVSchools' staff, families, and community members.
- Nutrition and Wellness added a nutrition education component as part of the K-6 grade menu tastings and the 7-12 grade focus groups as a direct initiative from Wellness Committee meetings.