Jeffco Healthy Schools

Our mission is to support culture, policy, and environments that promote healthy lifestyle choices, life skills and attitudes, benefiting staff, students and their families thus enhancing individual potential, well-being, academic achievement, and establishing Jeffco Schools as a leader in wellness promotion.

NEW for 2018-19!

  • Birthdays- Birthday recognition and celebrations should not include shared food (e.g. food brought in by families for students to share).
  • Allergy Guidelines- Check out the new Allergy handbook to learn about addressing life-threatening allergies in Jeffco Public Schools.

The LINK to Academics:

Hot Topics for 2018-19!

  • What is a Healthy Schools Liaison?
    • Implement your healthy schools goals
    • Be a wellness champ in your building
    • Collaborate with others on goals
    • Receive healthy schools info & share
    • Attend Healthy Schools Workshops (optional)

  • Don't forget the new Wellness Policy Birthday Guideline starting this school year! Birthdays will be celebrated with non-food recognition. Learn more here!

Contact us:
Healthy Schools Coordinators:
Emily O'Winter
Amy Dillon

Health Education Content: 
Jaime Grimm-Rice

Healthy Schools Workshop video shines light on important work!

posted Dec 14, 2017, 3:33 PM by Emily O'Winter

YouTube Video


posted Jul 17, 2017, 9:12 AM by Emily O'Winter


Graphic demonstrating same sugar, different packaging.How does nutrition impact my child’s learning? How much sugar is too much? These are some big questions parents are asking themselves. In Jeffco, many schools are working on Healthy Schools initiatives to help support student wellness and impact learning. One major focus is on healthy beverages and drinking more water. Students who are dehydrated tend to show a decrease in short-term memory and concentration. To increase water consumption, a number of Jeffco schools are installing water bottle filling stations using grant funding or donations. The Jeffco Student Health Advisory Council (SHAC) is part of Jeffco wellness work. SHAC is a council of high school students from across the district with the goals of giving students a voice in health, and impacting the health of their peers. SHAC has developed a new initiative to support healthy beverages in schools: Water: It’s in Your Nature. Classrooms can participate in the initiative by teaching the importance of drinking water through interactive lessons including an entertaining video developed by the Jeffco SHAC students.

Here is a neat twist: SHAC partnered on this project with Jefferson County Public Health’s Hidden Sugar Campaign. The campaign was developed to help parents and their kids know how much sugar hides in different drinks! The campaign comes from our local Jeffco Sips Smart Coalition and the Healthy Beverage Partnership, covering seven counties in the Denver Metro Area. Be on the lookout for information coming home with students, or around your community on healthy beverages. Pledge to serve your family healthy drinks and you could win a family membership to the Denver Zoo, Children’s Museum, or Museum of Nature and Science. Visit to learn more!

Jeffco Doing Great Work!

posted Jan 6, 2016, 3:03 PM by Emily O'Winter   [ updated Mar 17, 2017, 7:28 AM by Amy Dillon ]

Honor Roll Champion: Emily O’WinterEmily O'Winter

Region: Colorado
Title/Role: District Healthy Schools Coordinator
Organization/School District: Jeffco Public Schools

Getting from dialogue to action can be tough. Not when Emily O’Winter is in the room. O’Winter has brought countless ideas to fruition. Her tireless efforts have helped bring about school wellness teams, Safe Routes to School programs, a youth health advisory council, a district health team, a garden to school/cafeteria program, and a revised district wellness policy.

Her advocacy doesn’t end there. Last school year, she was responsible for training 400 staff in the correlation between physical activity and brain activity. Before, only 30 schools had a wellness coordinator. Now there’s 125 and counting. More than 60 school now have wellness teams.

O’Winter also has brought in more than a million dollars in grants money to support schools, staff and the district in health initiatives. Additionally, schools across the community have added and increased the amount of physical activity time students get.

O’Winter’s efforts have greatly improved the health and wellness of youth in the community. This year, 12 schools will participate in the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey, the first time since 2009 any Jeffco Public Schools have participated. Without O’Winter, discussions on youth development might still be only discussions.

Shelton kicks off their year in wellness big time!

posted Aug 21, 2015, 7:25 AM by Emily O'Winter   [ updated Mar 17, 2017, 7:34 AM by Amy Dillon ]

Shelton hosted a Day of Play, where all students got to PLAY outside for 3 hours during the first week of school. Way to go Shelton! 

Check out the 9-News story here; 

Patterson Saff and Students Love Their 100 Mile Club!

posted Mar 9, 2015, 9:47 AM by Emily O'Winter   [ updated Mar 9, 2015, 9:47 AM ]

The Patterson Healthy Schools Team is making huge strides towards wellness, including great success with their 100 Mile Club!

YouTube Video 

Jeffco Healthy Schools Initiatives in the News!

posted Jan 28, 2015, 9:16 AM by Emily O'Winter

Shaffer Elementary grant award targets physical health


Shaffer Elementary School teacher librarian Rebecca Warner, Paula Acker and Linde Chaves for getting students and staff moving.

They were awarded a grant that helps provide equipment inside and outside of the classroom to promote improved physical health.

Classes take a few minutes for brain breaks throughout the day, students have the chance to get the “wiggles” out and wake up their brains to be ready for all kinds of learning.

Coal Creek Canyon K-8 embraces a culture of movement


Coal Creek Canyon K-8 School teachers and staff are embracing a school of movement.  The school is a All School Movement School.

Staff recently took Mindful Life Schools training with a grant written by instructional coach Karen Goodman and Jeffco’s Healthy Schools coordinator Emily O’Winter.

The training for staff promotes the district’s SPARK initiative which has the goal of increasing movement and success for students.

Teacher gets creative with student seats in the classroom


Molholm Elementary School teacher Amy Clink who said goodbye to typical desks and chairs in her classroom to help students feel more comfortable.

“The idea started brewing last summer when my principal mentioned that when he taught first grade he lowered all the desks as far as they would go and everybody sat on the floor,” said Clink.

She created table pods at different heights, pillow and kneeling pods , standing pods and T-stool pods. Clink said the changes are working like a dream and student behavior is better because of the different ways students can access learning.

“She says people think she is crazy,” said Healthy Schools coordinator Emily O’Winter. “I think more teachers should be doing this.” Read Clink’s classroom blog.

Love and Logic Parenting Class starting Jan 7th!

posted Dec 19, 2014, 2:56 PM by Emily O'Winter

Starts Jan 7th!  

Info here: 

Jeffco School highlighted in news for physical activity

posted Nov 24, 2014, 2:30 PM by Emily O'Winter

Falcon Bluffs Middle School increases physical activity in PE and before school, gets news coverage for their great work!  

Reading and bike riding together at last!

posted Nov 24, 2014, 2:23 PM by Emily O'Winter

 Some are testing out standing desks, and realizing that a little bit of activity can actually improve attention spans. Others, like Ward Elementary in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, are starting to fill classrooms with exercise bikes, so students can work out while they learn.  Read more: 

Trade in your Halloween for cash!

posted Oct 31, 2014, 1:29 PM by Emily O'Winter

Get paid to trade in your Halloween Candy: 

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