Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Welcome to 2018-19 school year!

Lots of change in DCSD- new school year, new leadership, new mill/bond levy on the ballot, new students, new colleagues, new website, the list goes on! This can bring unease to many but if we can get past that and look for the good in change, it can be more productive and positive. So let's meet this new year with a strong force of love, support and positivity! The Healthy Schools Community is here for you in not only creating your new SHIP, but we are also here to help train staff, work with students, one-on-one meetings, offer parent classes, provide curriculum and lend out some library books. Let us know what we can do to help you as you are building "the new".

Important Dates

Fall Healthy Schools Workshop: September 12th
Our annual Fall Healthy Schools Fall Workshop is planned for September 12th at the Highlands Ranch. Please register through InspirED. If you need a sub, please use "Healthy Schools Grant" as the reason in Aesop. If you are a classified staff, we will let you know how we will pay for you.

Groove Toyota Grant: Application Deadline September 1st

Schools that enter will be evaluated on how they best demonstrate a need to use the Drive for Education Grant. Choose compelling and specific reasons which you believe best enhance and increase your schools' program. With your application please provide a personalized description or essay detailing your schools' need. The submitted essay should describe how the grant will impact education in the classroom, facilities of student programs. 
February Grant Awards : Applications (link) accepted September 1st - January 1st 

SHAPE Convention: Oct 2-4th, Aurora, Colorado. Register Here.

Physical Activity

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Check out GoNoodle Plus, a fabulous resource for teachers that combines movement and academics through brief and engaging games and videos. A teacher can add his/her own curriculum into our 10+ movement games, making the learning fun! Here are some tips from GoNoodle for the classroom, I love #2,  you could include these points in your newsletter to parents!!

  1. Schedule GoNoodle Time to your daily class schedule
  2. Explain why movement is important- visit their blog- it's amazing! blog post 
  3. Clearly discuss expectations with students, use this poster for your classrooms
  4. Here's a fun video to teach kids about GoNoodle and a fun activity you can incorporate into your classroom...  Hola, Bonjour, Hello!

Brain Breaks

The authors of Energizing Brain Breaks have a blog with some fantastic physical activity ideas.  This one is from a blog post in 2016. Let's be honest, play dough never gets old and works with all age groups.  Give it a try and if you need a rockin' recipe, contact Kimmy at kcromine@dcsdk12.org.

PLAY-DOH BRAIN BREAK (time 4 minutes)

Have students work with a partner.
1.  The person on the left should come up to the front and get a small Play-Doh can.
2.  Go back to your desk and you have 1 minute (the teacher will announce the time) to make an animal (or some other category like a vegetable, or fruit)
3.  Your partner will only get three guesses for what the animal is.   You don't have to show them what you are doing until the minute is up.
4.  Switch and the person on the right gets to make a different animal.
5.  Use your guesses wisely because you only get three.
Hints are allowed.
6.  The person on the left will close the lid and take the Play-Doh back up to the front of the room.

A few years ago we were able, through the generosity of the Colorado Health Foundation, to purchase our leaders a copy to I am Her Now by the Mindfulness Project. This is a gentle reminder to pull that book off the shelf, dust it off, and start the days with some journaling!  Pick a day of the week to start off the day with some journaling (or do it every day). Give the students blank piece of paper and get started. Here are a few ideas...

  • Make a list- any list!
  • Draw a bunch of cloud shapes and then write passing thoughts inside
  • Gratitude letter to a person, place, or thing
  • Write and Rip!
  • Play some classical music and draw for 5 minutes
  • Brain Drain- list all the things on your mind
  • Draw the number 8, or an infinity sign, and trace with breath
  • Find some more ideas at Journal Buddies

We had the good fortune of attending the Mindful Schools Essentials for Educators class last year and have obtained quite a few resources for teaching mindfulness.  This blog will be one way we will be sharing their fabulous ideas & resources with all of you.  This fabulous article offers 6 ways to bring mindfulness into your classroom.  Here is the article. Enjoy!!


Making and Modeling Healthy Behavior - Online Class
By Alliance for a Healthier Generation
While Space Remains!
Every minute we have choices to make -- why not ensure yours are healthy? Join us to kick off the new school year in a healthy way! We will be LIVE on Thursday, August 23 at 3:00 p.m. EST for 15 rapid fire wellness tips to improve your own well-being and model healthy habits for your students. Space is limited so RSVP to join us now!

The Go-To Burrito Bowl
A hearty, protein and veggie packed lunch that you can easily tweak and change up to your liking. It's much cleaner than what you can buy at your favorite burrito place.
 Prep Time10 minutes
 Cook Time10 minutes
Main Ingredients
  • 1 15 oz (425 g) can black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 medium tomato chopped
  • 1.5 cups (100 g) greens chopped, I use kale
  • 1 cup (180 g) corn canned, frozen or fresh
  • 1.5 cups (277 g) brown rice cooked according to the package (you can also use quinoa)
  • 3/4 cup (75 g) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1-2 avocados depending on how much you like
  • 1 lime sliced
Seasonings & oil

We look forward to seeing everyone at the Fall Workshop. If you are ready to write your SHIP, please reach out to schedule a time when we can come by and help. Until we see you, don't forget to move, hydrate, eat healthy, surround yourself with positive people, and take the time to reflect on your ever so important purpose.

Gratitude & joy,
Laurie & Kimmy

Friday, May 4, 2018

May 2018

You did it! Another amazing year of healthy schools work in DCSD. Thank you to everyone for making this a year of growth for our program. We had more SHIPS (62), more schools (60), more student classes, and more professional development workshops for district staff. Although we know we can't affect all of DCSD (yet!) there is definitely a positive impact being made. Through this work we have reports that schools are seeing less behavioral issues, less reactionary behavior, decreased stress, and increased movement throughout the day. All of this would not be possible unless it was for people like you who put in the time, passion, and willingness to go above and beyond. Thank you on behalf of the students, families, school communities, and district leadership!!

Grant Opportunities

When you attend a live, virtual discussion, you will be entered to win a $200 Target Gift Card.

Share your Healthy School Success to Build Support:  May 7, 15, 21
Sharing your accomplishments helps build support for the healthy schools goals. We will identify key elements of a success story, practice writing your school's success story, and share multiple communication channels. Can't attend, check out this on-demand video.

What do YOU need? Grab-and-go resources:   May 3, 10, 14, 22, 30
Join us to learn about tools, resources, and expert guidance offered at no-cost. Can't attend, check out this on-demand video.

Schools can receive up to $3500 in grant money towards academic or extra-curricular programs.

September Grant Awards (selected schools will be awarded in September)

  • Submissions open March 1
  • Submissions close August 1
  • All selected schools will be notified by August 15
  • Award ceremony will be held in September

Training Opportunities


Learning 2 Practice- earn money by attending ELC.
Who: Any Certified Staff
What: Certified staff will have the opportunity to submit for up to two stipends of $100 each.
How: Complete the Learning to Practice Form
More information


Kim Bevill Classes

Saturday, May 5.....................Hands-On Strategies *Hybrid 2-3 Credits
(*Hybrid is 1-day onsite + Online)
Sat & Sun, May 19 & 20........Happiness and Gratitude 2-3 Credits
Sat & Sun, June 9 & 10.........Willpower and the Brain 2-3 Credits
Sat & Sun, June 23 & 24.......Motivation and the Brain 2-3 Credits
Sat & Sun, June 30 & July 1..Memory and the Brain 2-3 Credits

Make it a Movement weekend:
Saturday, July 14..................Complex Moves and the Brain NOW! 2 Credits!
Sunday, July 15....................In the Zone:Performance and the Brain 1 Credit
Take BOTH, and use PD Code move75 to receive $75 off In the Zone

Learning & the Brain

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As Eric Kandel discovered (and won the Nobel Prize for), to learn something new you need 
repeated training interspersed with periods of rest.” Don’t forget to take frequent relaxation 
breaks during the learning curve. While you rest, mindfully reflect on your goal, desire, and progress. 
Pick a new behavior you’d like to develop right now (i.e., eliminating procrastination, learning 
the skills to be a successful entrepreneur, daily exercise, eating healthier).
Follow these steps:
  • write down the behavior or skill you want to develop;
  • commit to four days of dedication;
  • practice for an hour each day; and
  • rest after each round of practice: breathe deeply, visualize yourself achieving your goal, take a power nap, and then stretch your body.
In the book, In Search of Memory, Kandel explains that the learning circuits in your brain need 
those periods of rest “to establish long-term memory.” But be forewarned: once you’ve taken 
on a new habit or skill, it will fade away after a few weeks if you don’t continue to practice it.


Activity: When students are feeling a little overwhelmed with managing difficult emotions, try this 4, 3, 2, 1 technique from Mindful Schools.

       Thank You Kelli Clay from RHMS for sharing Mindfulness Bingo!

Do 3 minutes of meditation

Practice Yoga or Stretching

Color a Mandala

Participate  In Mindful Eating

Complete the 5 senses Mindfulness Activity

Practice your favorite breathing technique or learn a new one

Listen to music, read a book, or do something relaxing

Drink a bottle of water for good health

Go on a Mindful Walk
Drive to work in silence or Eat lunch in the MOCR (The Quiet Room)
List three things you are grateful for
Do a random act of kindness

How to Relax Muscles with Progressive Muscle Relaxation


I had the privilege of hearing Jean Twenge speak at the Learning & The Brain conference (Thank you DCSD Tuition Reimbursement program). What scientists are learning about the psychological and physiological affects of technology on our children is absolutely fascinating! It's time to educate ourselves and establish boundaries in schools for cell phone usage. I know of two schools, Rocky Heights Middle School and Mountain Ridge Middle School, who are creating new policy around cell phone use on both classrooms and at lunchtime.  Let's learn from these leaders on the effects it has on their students' behaviors, ability to focus, and academic engagement.  Get the conversation going at your school! Let's start planning on Screenagers screenings for 2018/19 school year.

If you are ready to take action now, check these out... Away for the Day... or Hands Free Momma

Physical Activity

In addition to basic classroom use, The Walking Classroom is a great tool to enhance learning opportunities for:

  • Before- or after-school walking clubs: Form a Walking Club where students can burn off some energy (and still learn something!).
  • Small-group classroom stations: Ask a parent volunteer to take rotating groups of 5 or 6 students for a walk.
  • Misbehaving students: Students who are sent to the principal’s office can cool down and refocus their energy with an educational walk around the school before they meet to discuss their behavior.
  • Walking buddies: Have older students take younger students on walks while listening to a podcast.

Thank you all so much for your patience as BOKS transitioned our Website, Trainer Hub, Virtual Training, and Online Registration over to our new look. We're happy to announce that they are all officially live with our new branding! If you haven't seen them yet, be sure to check them out and let us know what you think!

Website: www.bokskids.org

As most of you know, BOKS isn't just a before school program anymore - our multiple curriculum offerings serve before, during and after school and can be utilized by parents, non-profits, and other organizations in addition to schools. We've updated the content and features of our new website to more accurately reflect our program's evolution. This month's Trainer Talk is focused on highlighting some of these exciting digital updates (including new Trainer Hub features).  Thank you!

School Celebrations

Glitter jar fun at Rocky Heights Middle School!

Recipe of the Month!

Fresh Vegetarian Greek Pasta

  • 2-3 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • ½ cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
  • ½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped basil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 pound (uncooked) penne pasta
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • If you want to make it less vegetarian, add some chicken, shrimp, or salmon
  1. In a large bowl, combine the chopped tomatoes, olives, feta, spices, salt and pepper. Chill while the pasta is cooking.
  2. In a large pot, add penne pasta to salted, boiling water. Cook according to package directions. Drain.
  3. In the same pot, while pasta is draining, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes. Return the pasta to the pot and toss with olive oil mixture.
  4. Add pasta and tomato-olive mixture to a large serving dish and toss until the fresh vegetables are thoroughly mixed with the penne.

Enjoy your summer! We look forward to seeing all of you at our Healthy School Leaders Fall Workshop at the Highlands Ranch Mansion on September 12th, 2018. Until then, reboot, reset, relax!

With mucho gratitude,
Laurie & Kimmy