OTPA Health & Wellness Committee -

posted Mar 20, 2012, 10:47 AM by Megan Andersen   [ updated Apr 26, 2012, 6:06 PM ]
1st Health & Wellness Committee Meeting - 4/23/2012
Attended by:  James Milliken, Russ Knott, Jennifer R., Heather W., Alison B. & Megan A.

It was a great meeting, reviewing the initial Health & Wellness outline (see below in attachments), with lots of starting point topics & ideas.  We all agreed that healthy changes come from our students being educated, engaged and excited about healthy changes that will benefit them throughout their lives.  We want to bring the kids into the decision making, involve them in the why's of making healthy switches and empower them to make lifelong healthy choices.

Topics Discussed:
  • How our current lunch program is set up and processed through the School District, and the Federal Funds it uses.
  • Discussed creating new initiatives that not only improve students' nutrition, but help educate them in making healthy choices in nutrition and activity.
  • Taking into consideration the rules & regulations in place, as well as funding requirements, to ensure that each change we make is done thoughtfully & considering all affected areas & departments.
  • The possibility of grants and funding available to apply for OTPA. 
  • Benefits of the Free/Reduced Fee Lunch program. There was also discussion that it does not matter how many children use the free/assisted lunch program, only how many people fill out the form that they would qualify for this that dictates funding for OTPA's lunch program, and increase eligibility for programs for the School.  It may be that there are some families that qualify but don't need the program. It should be communicated that the form is anonymous, and if possible should still fill out this form, as it would aid in School support.  We discussed how to communicate this better to our School Families!
  • Russ Knott invited us to Sandy Grade School's Farm to Market program on May 30th to look at this as a possible option to do for OTPA.

Specific ideas for implementation discussed:

  • Round table / Family style special lunches initially as funded by OTPA PTC funds, and then creating/scheduling subsequent round table lunches with per lunch orders...also ensuring that lunch staff be included and still maintaining their working hours.  HeadStart (which is funded federally but from a different federal program) currently provides meals in a family style. This could also show up as family style breakfast.  Our hope is that if there is good interest and response in this, that the District will look into fresh - made in school options for our students, as well as being open to small nutritional switches that are still within monetary budgets.

  • Before School Physical Activity - As discussed it is recommended Children get 60 minutes of physical activity per day.  Currently we have pe classes available 2x per week.  While there are currently 3 recesses for students, these are not guided, and no monitoring of physical activity occurs, so it's difficult to assess if those levels are being met.  Currently before school, students go into the cafeteria and sit at assigned seats.  We are in discussion of creating a 'before school activity program that would give our students an additional 15-20 minutes physical fitness daily, resulting in a cumulative 1.25 hours increase per week of physical activity.  Also talked about possibly opening the school up a bit earlier to give a full 30 minutes exercise available.  We don't want to leave out our breakfast eaters, so it may be that breakfast is scheduled for a bit later in the morning, as there are alot of schools in the district that find more students want & participate in breakfast if offered in 9 or 10o'clock hour.  As this is refined, these items will be addressed.

  • Scheduling regular educational assemblies & activities on nutrition, health & wellness in the form of visitors, games, interactive partcipation, samples and more.
    • Name That Food & Sample!
    • What each food group does for us...
    • SuperFoods Game/Activity
    • Food Analogy - Energy (gas/food).. Good Food vs. Even Better Foods
    • Make your Family Placemats Activity - encouraging family dining

  • Health Curriculum - Mr. Milliken reviewed a health & nutrition curriculum that the Oregon Trail School District had chosen a few years ago for the rest of OTSD, and will be looking into this, or other curriculum if others are presented for Teachers to use in class for the next school year.

  • Recess, then Lunch - Inside the District's Health & Wellness Policy, it states that it's optimum to have recess prior to lunch to ensure students not feel rushed and spend time eating their lunch.  Russ discussed some issues with overcrowding, so we would need to ensure that recess/lunch remains staggered, to avoid these types of issues that could result in longer lunch lines and complications.

  • MonthlyTips & Take-Homes - Health & Wellness Committee will rotate Health & Wellness Tips to be used in the School's monthly newsletter.  This could also include products, healthy food swaps and other tips that can easily and simply increase healthy options for our families. (We didn't discuss take-homes

  • End of Year Day - Some activities focusing on Summer Health (this was discussed outside after meeting)... Possible Summer Scavenger hunt with health foods & activities listed.. Kids can decorate and bring back to post at the beginning of the school year.


Please email your ideas on the above discussion topics, or even better post a comment on this page!  Also, come to the next meeting with:

  • Specific ideas/topics goals that you feel are important to focus on for Health & Wellness
  • Some Assembly/Activity ideas that can be scheduled for next school year.
  • Possible family style lunch options / budget estimations / what would be needed to implement.

megandmikea@yahoo.com | 503-740-7288

Megan Andersen,
Apr 26, 2012, 4:59 PM