LIHUE — Waimea Canyon Middle School is the only school to earn the Excellence in Wellness award for five consecutive years, said William Arakaki, Kauai Area Complex superintendent, Tuesday during the principals’ meeting at the state building.
Waimea Canyon Middle School was joined by Kapaa Middle School, Kauai High School, Koloa Elementary School, and Eleele Elementary School in accepting Excellence in Wellness award banners, which will be displayed at their respective schools.
The Wellness guidelines first came out in 2007, said Danielle Doo of Hawaii Keiki: Healthy &Ready to Learn.
“The guidelines were updated this summer, and in order to earn an Excellence in Wellness award, schools must score at least 90 percent, or better, on the Safety and Wellness Survey as it relates to the wellness guidelines,” she said.
Doo, who works with Michelle Jenkins, DOE District Physical Education and Health coordinator, said Kauai has been making great progress.
“Four years ago, we had only one school achieve Excellence in Wellness,” Doo said. “Today, we have five. Our goal is to have all schools achieve Excellence in Wellness by 2020.”
The summary of the SAWS include having a Wellness Committee at school, Nutritional Guidelines, Health and Nutrition Education, and Physical Education and Physical Activity.
“In order to help schools achieve this Excellence in Wellness goal, Michelle and I have been providing support to the schools through professional development workshops and individual school visits and support,” Doo said. “For the 2016-2017 school year, we had two workshops, one in the fall, and one in the spring.”
Doo said the Department of Health also offered a wellness grant opportunity during the last school year.
“The Wellness Grant provides up to $5,000 to help schools fulfill their wellness initiatives to meet guidelines, and Kauai had seven school apply for, and receive grants,” Doo said. “There were 29 schools in Hawaii who applied, with 27 being awarded, and seven are from Kauai.”
Schools earning the wellness grants include Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School, Eleele School, Kapaa Elementary School, Kauai High School, Kilauea Elementary School, Waimea Canyon Middle School, and Elsie Wilcox Elementary School.