Wellness for Life is a core value of the Grandview Heights Schools and community. We have a tradition of honoring the whole child and continue to strive to improve and enhance our support of all students. Comprised of educators, psychologists, nutritional doctors, parents, school counselors, administrators, and advocates our Wellness for Life Committee met recently to continue the important mission of integrating the most critical subject of our children’s lives into each grade level, content area, and support services program. The committee would like to share the following exciting updates.
Summer 2019 Update: A Focus on Mental Health
One out of every four people will struggle with a mental health condition in their life-time (National Alliance on Mental Illness). This is an issue that transcends every community, every tax bracket, race, age and gender. Thus, making it the most important subject that we should teach at every grade level and within every content area in every school in the country, however, we certainly cannot do it alone. Schools serve as a linchpin and are in desperate need of help for our students.
In Grandview Heights Schools, our commitment to this mission continued through the summer. In August, Grandview Heights Schools co-hosted the Big Think Learning Symposium. The focus of The Big Think Symposium this summer was Mental Health and Social Emotional Learning. The Big Think serves as an opportunity for educators and experts in the field to collaborate and learn. We partnered with the very best in the field of mental health to offer sessions to learn more about prevention, treatment, and how to determine how we can best help our students together. This issue is far too large and important for any one field or profession to bear alone. This is one reason why we invited Nationwide Children’s Hospital (NCH) to our sessions.
Nationwide Children’s Hospital is helping to lead the way in research and outreach for mental health education. Additionally NCH, with the support of a $50 million dollar donation from Big Lots, is currently building a mental health facility that is the scope and size of their general hospital. Their campaign, #onoursleeves,is a reminder that children do not wear their thoughts on their sleeves. This is the generation that must destigmatize mental health. Mental health wellness and support must become as routine as going to your physician or pediatrician for an annual check-up.
Additionally, we hosted keynote speakers Kate Fagan, author of What Made Maddy Run, and Inky Johnson, an inspiration through purpose. Their messages were powerful and relevant. For more information about these speakers go to:
Public Education in Ohio: Mental Health is a Priority
The recently passed state budget includes $20 million to Ohio’s schools with free, evidence-based prevention curricula and professional development for school personnel. Ohio’s local Alcohol, Drug, and Mental Health Boards, in partnership with their local school districts, will receive $18 million in fiscal year 2020 to purchase evidence-based prevention curricula that provides students with the social and emotional skills they need to make healthy decisions throughout their lives.
Our district is projected to receive $25,000.00 in fiscal year 2020, and $36,000.00 in fiscal year 2021 to enhance and improve our mental health services and programming. In Grandview Heights Schools, our Wellness for Life model and district committee have been in existence for five years. For many districts, these allocations will be the first step in building a wellness model that includes mental health support. We are thrilled to receive this financial support to continue to build opportunities to support students in a preventative and systematic approach. For more information, visit https://governor.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/governor/
Fall 2019 Updates and Upcoming Events
We have many Health and Wellness efforts going on in the district this fall:
The Technology Department is implementing Digital Wellness along with its 1:1 initiative.
In and out of season student-athletes are using the Health and Wellness Center located in the high school.
Start Talking Grandview presented at the Fall Athletic Code of Conduct meeting and included a short video rooted in celebrating the effort and value each and every athlete brings to our school and community. Watch the inspiring 60 second video here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1QkNau8VEkLThY1cb-HVPzIDT_JVSf94N/view?usp=sharing
Congratulations to the 350+ young people who participated in the second annual TRI the HEIGHTS triathlon on August 31. The increased participation is due in part to the student ambassadors who shared their previous experience during class meetings at EILMS.
Salad bars are up and running in all three buildings. Thank you to our parent volunteers who are helping our Stevenson Elementary students with Salad Bar 101. Food from the tower and outside gardens are being incorporated into the salad bars.
Ohio Days menus will be featured on the second Tuesday of the month and Foodies Fridays will be the last Friday of the month. This year’s offerings will be included in a recipe, not just a raw product. View the seasonal and local monthly offerings for Ohio Days menus and Foodie Fridays on the attached flyer below. Lunch menus can be found online at http://www.schoolnutritionandfitness.com/index.php?sid=1406111855424272&page=menus
In August, Officer Phil and Officer Scott Hiles visited Stevenson Elementary to empower and share information with students about general safety and stranger danger.
EILMS Health and Wellness Teachers Becky Lee and Kathleen Cress are incorporating Local Matters curriculum for sixth graders. Students will learn about fresh food identification, outdoor and tower gardening, and preparation of fresh food.
GHHS is working to improve and/or create the following:
- Freshman Seminar
- Grade 9 Signs of Suicide Program
- Check-in screener
- DESA universal screener
- Youth to Youth Leadership
- Use of therapy animals
- Collaboration between middle and high school mentorship program to support connections for students
- Student presentations on mental health
- People of Wonder (POW) presentation
- Yoga offerings during AO as a healthy, reflective, and mindful alternative to punishments
- New student and back to school transition support along with identifying peer groups and extra-curricular involvement
- School Counselor Bryan Stork will attend a September 26 conference in Dayton titled Building Resiliency: A Pediatric Mental Health Summit. For more information on this conference, visit https://governor.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/governor/media/news-and-media/20190821a
Save the Dates
- Thursday, September 26, time TBD, at the Grandview Heights Public Library, Start Talking Grandview presents an author and book talk on Not Far from Me: Stories of Opioids and Ohio. This is the first book on this public health emergency composed entirely of first-person accounts.
- Thursday, November 14, at 6 p.m. in the Grandview Heights Public Library, Syntero and Start Talking Grandview will present a panel discussion titled NOT OUR KIDS, NOT IN GRANDVIEW about teen and young adult risk-taking behaviors and their potential consequences. See attached flyer below.