To merit such an honor, schools must go above and beyond the curriculum in an effort to produce healthy outcomes for the school community. The schools must show "show significant effort" in establishing school health programs that follow at least six of the eight guidelines outlined by the Centers for Disease control. The guidelines are:
- Health education
- Physical activity
- Allied health personnel partnerships
- Mental wellness
- School environment
- Staff health
- Family/community involvement.
“This award speaks to the importance that we place on not only educating young people, but also supporting the overall well-being and viability of the entire school community,” said Mamie Perkins, AACPS interim superintendent, in a statement. “By addressing wellness, we are making sure that our students and those who support them are fulfilled and sustained to achieve.”
Six schools have been named Wellness Schools of Distinction. Shipley’s Choice Elementary School was honored along with South River this year. The award is an extension of AACPS Wellness Council and policy.
Schools interested in applying to be a Wellness School of Distinction for 2014, can find guidelines and an application online here.