ACPS Leads Discussion Around Keeping Students Healthy on Capitol Hill

Last Tuesday, senior staff from ACPS took part in a congressional panel discussion around the need to support health and wellness as well as training around mental health needs in public schools.

Chief Academic Officer Dr. Terri Mozingo, Director of K-12 School Counseling Dr. Marcia E. Jackson and Instructional Specialist for Health and Physical Education and Family Life Education Michael Humphreys joined Shape America, the nation’s largest membership organization of health and physical education professionals, on Capitol Hill. They all participated in a discussion with members of the Senate and Congress about the importance and benefits of helping to ensure students are healthy and ready to learn.

ACPS is a leader across the region in this area. The school division was the first in the state to adopt a specific goal around keeping students healthy in its ACPS 2020 Strategic Plan to promote efforts to enable students to be healthy and ready to learn.

During the discussion, ACPS shared the stories of students on the West End who were equipped with heart monitors to increase their awareness of their individual level of physical activity and to highlight the importance of regular physical activity in a fun and interactive way.

kids riding bikes into bike path from school yardACPS staff also shared about our highly successful Bicycling in the Schools program, through which physical education teachers lead upper elementary students through a comprehensive seven-session bicycling unit emphasizing appropriate safety and bicycling skills. They also shared about our swim skills and water safety program as part of the physical education curriculum. These programs help to ensure that students throughout the city have access to programs that teach technical and safety skills that will equip them to safely enjoy quintessential childhood experiences, like biking and swimming.

ACPS also shared initiatives designed to increase mental health awareness and support students socially and emotionally, such as the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) program. Through PBIS schools create and maintain safer and more effective learning environments by supporting students and helping them learn the social-emotional skills needed to be successful in school and beyond.

This is the second year in a row that ACPS has received funding specifically aimed at supporting the general health and well-being of Alexandria’s students. The Title IV-A flexible block grant program has made $1.1 billion available to schools to support safe and healthy schools, well-rounded programs and the effective use of technology. The briefing on Capitol Hill was held by the Title IV, Part A Coalition to highlight how districts are using the Title IV, Part A funds.

If you are on Facebook, you can watch the video of the discussion.

Enjoy these Twitter highlights: