Liki Porotesano, Administrative Analyst, Live Well San Diego Support Team
Chula Vista Elementary School District is leading the way in supporting student achievement by taking an innovative approach to impact student’s health through its wellness policy. The wellness policy includes both mandatory and encouraged guidelines, such as proper nutrition and physical activity, for schools to follow and implement to promote healthy lifestyles.
In a recent report from the Learning Policy Institute titled, California Positive Outliers: Districts Beating the Odds, Chula Vista Elementary School District was highlighted as a “Positive Outlier” because its students are beating the odds despite socioeconomic conditions in their community.
In May 2019, one of the schools in the district, Feaster Charter Elementary, was recognized as a “Wellness Champion” by the Chula Vista Elementary School District for going above and beyond the district’s wellness policy to encourage student health. Feaster Charter has put the district’s guidelines into practice and even encouraged new ones.
Heather Cruz, Chula Vista Elementary School District Coordinator of physical education/health and wellness, referred to one of the innovative ways the school has focused on student health by substituting bake sale fundraisers with student-led performances to raise money.
“Anything getting away from selling unhealthy food,” Cruz said in a recent interview for The Star News. “In the Wellness Policy we encourage schools to do that, but it’s not mandated, so they have taken it upon themselves to implement some of those different strategies.”
Those strategies include:
For the last nine years, Chula Vista Elementary School District Superintendent Francisco Escobedo, Ed.D. has been at the forefront of giving youth opportunities that lead to healthy, productive lives. Under his direction, Dr. Escobedo has overseen 49 elementary schools and charters, including Feaster Elementary, that are committed to ensuring a safe, challenging, and nurturing educational experience, where learning is valued, and student growth and development inform instructional practices. Leadership at the district level supports schools in beating the odds and championing wellness.
This is a summary of an article that was originally published in The Star News. Learn more about what Feaster Charter is doing to lead wellness efforts in the CVESD: