Monterey Highlands School has once again been recognized as a National Healthy School by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation for demonstrating the school’s commitment to creating a healthier environment for students and staff. This year, Monterey Highlands achieved Gold status as one of fourteen healthiest schools in the nation after completing a rigorous application process. At Monterey Highlands, being healthy is not just a saying, but is a method reflected in school policy, curriculum, programs and school wide mentality. “Being a nationally recognized healthy school,” said Principal Dr. Kotani, “not only promotes physical activity and nutrition but most importantly, it brought our stakeholders together to achieve the same goal of making healthier and active lifestyles. This achievement is a tribute to all the students, staff and families who continue to make healthy lifestyle choices.”
Some key best practices at Monterey Highlands include health education, 150 minutes of physical education per week, and community access to indoor and outdoor facilities after school hours to participate in healthy programs. All school fundraising and holiday celebrations now follow the USDA’s Smart Snacks at School Nutrition Standards, eliminating the traditional cupcakes and cookies. They have been replaced with healthier snacks like yogurt parfaits and non-food items. Staff and parents are also encouraged to be role models for fitness and proper eating habits.
The month of October brought the Fire Up Your Feet campaign to Highlands. As a participant of the national program, students and families were encouraged to get active and record their hours in the competition. Last spring, Monterey Highlands placed third in California and earned $750 to spend on equipment for students to use on the playground at recess and lunch. Students also participated in the 20th International Walk to School Day on Wednesday, October 5th. Mayor Ing and School Board Member Mr. Robert Gin led the students and their families on the walk to school from the Mathnasium parking lot on Garvey and Casuda Canyon Drive.
Research shows that healthy students learn better, perform better on tests, get better grades, attend school more often, and behave better. At Monterey Highlands, it is the goal of our entire community to fight childhood obesity and provide our students and their families the knowledge and skills to lead healthy lives.