Monday, November 12, 2018

November 2019

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We are so thankful for all of the amazing people around DCSD who continually work hard to meet the unique needs of our students. You are all rock stars and truly make a difference in so many lives in your community and our DCSD community. Enjoy the week off, time with family and friends, and carve out a little down time for just you! 


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I highly suggest if you want to deepen your understanding and practice about mindfulness consider taking a class with Mindful Schools. DCSD has taken enough courses through this organization that any staff member interested will receive a 50% discount.  You might be able to find funding through either your school or the Human Resources Tuition Reimbursement program. If you are interested in taking a class and have a question, please reach out to Laurie LaComb at 

Hopefully, educators are taking advantage of a free subscription to Stop, Breathe, Think APP. Now you can get families a 30% discount as well. Five teachers who collect the highest number of sign-ups from parents (by 12/15 at midnight), will receive a $100 Amazon gift card for classroom resources and a gift card to our Stop, Breathe & Think shop.
To redeem your 30% discount:
2. Copy sbtteacher94 and paste into the VIP textbox.
3. Press validate code.
4. Login or sign-up for an account & receive discount.
5. Follow the prompts for credit card input.
6. Download the Stop, Breathe & Think All Ages or Kids apps (or both!), login and enjoy premium content with your kiddo.
 Tuesday, November 13th, is World Kindness Day!!!

Physical Activity

photo from Yoga4Classrooms- we have these cards in our lending library.
Check this out by November 19th for possible grant funding!

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Check out this new resource called Recess Lab and/or visit our good ol' BOKS curriculum resources!

We Think You Are Going To LIke Our New Look!

Looking for videos, printables, and other resources to help you make healthy changes at your school? Find them in our new Resources section of! 

Sort by type, or by most popular. We’ve redesigned our Resources section to make it easier than ever to find free, science-based resources to help you get students and staff active, involved, and eating healthy. 

Go Zen! This amazing online platform has numerous resources for teachers who want to work on anxiety & stress relief, resilience skills, emotional fitness, and more. Healthy Schools has a subscription, so if you would like to try it out, please reach out to Laurie LaComb at 

DCSD Homeless Liaison

My name is Jill Savage and I am DCSD’s homeless student liaison. You may already be wondering why our school district has someone working in this capacity since Douglas County is considered one of the wealthiest communities in the US. However, under the McKinney-Vento act and definition of homelessness it may shock some that in the 2017-2018 school year, nearly 700 students were identified and eligible for supports. 

I would love to partner with you and share what homelessness looks like in our county and ways students and schools can help.  My presentation is anywhere from 20-30 minutes, depending on the amount of questions afterward. I understand your time is valuable, therefore I am intentional on making my presentation meaningful and efficient. I look forward to scheduling a time with you in the near future. One of my missions is to bring awareness to the homeless student population within our school district and ways to volunteer in our community.

Thank you,

Jill Savage
McKinney-Vento Services Coordinator
Douglas County School District

Colorado Education Initiative Resources for Teachers 

Become a test user for Healthy Schools Hub

CDE's Health and Wellness Unit provides schools with assistance  and resources to promote positive health and behavior. The unit, along with other organizations, has been working on a new resource that promotes student wellness. is an online network designed to strengthen health and wellness efforts in school communities. Volunteers are needed to participate in a series of usability tests and provide feedback on the website. Prizes are available for completing activities, which will begin Tuesday, Oct. 30. Read the program flyer for details (PDF).

The Hub is Managed By:

Colorado Education Initiative
600 17th Street, Suite 1400N
Denver, CO 80202 


Get your Professional Development credit hours by joining us in our Sustainability Learning Community

Overview of Course: The Sustainability Learning Community will provide Sustainability Champions with networking opportunities, partner resources, and support and guidance for sustainability. Each session will have a different focus theme, a short presentation by a DCSD Sustainability Partner and both structured and unstructured group work time. Groups will be formed by initiatives such as school gardens, outdoor learning, recycling, innovation, chicken coops, conservation and more (as defined by attendees). Locations will vary each session to provide opportunities to see sustainability initiatives in action!
Look for Sustainability Learning Community in InspirED


Image result for go slow whoa postersWe have some extra Go, Slow, Whoa! posters in our office. If you are
                                                         interested, please reach out to Laurie LaComb at

BEST HOLIDAY SALAD! An easy to make and delicious side salad -- candied pecans, pears, pomegranates, dried cranberries, and feta cheese with a simple incredible raspberry poppyseed dressing. I


Candied Pecans
  • 1 large egg white
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 cups (1 pound) pecan halves
  • 1 bag (6-8 ounces or about 8 cups) fresh spring mix
  • 1 cup heaping pomegranate arils
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pear halves*
  • 4 ounces feta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard do not use regular
  • 1/2 cup frozen raspberries completely thawed
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil canola or olive oil will work
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons poppy seeds
For the candied pecans
  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whip together the egg white, water, and vanilla until frothy. In a separate bowl, mix together sugar, salt, and cinnamon.
  3. Add pecans to egg whites, stir to coat the nuts evenly. Remove the nuts, and toss them in the sugar mixture until coated. Spread the nuts out on the prepared baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring and tossing every 15 minutes.
For the salad:
  1. Thoroughly drain the pear halves and set on a cutting board. Very thinly slice the pears.
  2. Toss together the spring mix, pomegranate arils, dried cranberries, pears, and feta cheese.
  3. Toss to combine.
For the dressing:
  1. Combine all of the ingredients except for the oil and poppy seeds in a blender or food processor. Pulse until the ingredients are well combined. Slowly add in the oil in a steady stream. Blend until emulsified and smooth.
  2. Stir in the poppy seeds. This dressing is supposed to be pretty thick -- when you toss it with the salad it does thin out a little with the juices from the salad ingredients.
  3. Toss the dressing and candied pecans with the salad. Only dress and add pecans to what you will eat because leftovers don't do so well! You can store the salad, pecans, and dressing separately for delicious leftovers!

Thanks for reading this month's blog. Please comment and get your name in our drawing.
Joy, peace & gratitude,
Laurie & Kimmy

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

October  2018

Happy Autumn to all! What a great time of the year to enjoy the great outdoors without sweating or freezing. I am just finishing up listening to Nature's Fix: Why Nature Makes us Happier, Healthier and More Creative by Florence Williams. Fabulous read if you have time (or try listening to it). The author has done her research and the proof is there, nature helps calm the mind and opens it up for creative thinking. Maybe bring this idea to your classroom and get your kids out this week for a walk, reading, drawing, or just quiet time! Everyone will benefit! Below are some valuable resources for SHIP support as well as individual classroom/teacher support. We also have some exciting classes coming up, so please read on!!

Professional Development Opportunities

Teachers will have an opportunity to explore the new Colorado Health Standards (effective 2020). Looking at key shifts within the standards, teachers will reflect on what the changes mean for their classroom and learn how to incorporate these changes through lesson and assessment planning. Teachers will leave the training with a clear vision for their health classroom, lesson plans that focus on skill progression, and an outline of what student mastery should look like. Subs and lunch will be provided.

Contact Laurie LaComb if you need a sub (after you ask your site-please) at

Restorative Justice Fall 2018 Workshop

Session ID: 2034-1
October 23, 2018  ~ 9:00-4:00 PM ~ Highlands Ranch Mansion

This workshop is an opportunity to learn a practical approach for how to use a variety of Restorative Practices.  Workshop sessions will focus on using skills and include opportunities for dialog.  Sessions will include strategies appropriate for teachers, administrators, and mental health.  These sessions will emphasize a focus on building culture and climate, addressing student behavior challenges, and repairing serious harm. Subs will be provided through Aesop- "RP Symposium". Lunch is provided!

Session ID: 2082-1
November 14, 2018 ~ 8:00-3:30 PM ~ Nutrition Services Building

Are you an elementary school staff member looking to bring nutrition education to life in your school? This interactive training will provide participants with the opportunity to dig into the nutrition-related concepts and skills of the Colorado Health Education Standards and learn ways to integrate and reinforce nutrition education across the school environment. Participants will be able to leave this training with ideas and resources on how to bring nutrition education to life in their classroom and greater school environment. Subs and lunch will be provided. Contact Laurie LaComb if you need a sub (after you ask your site-please) at

Community Events

Don't miss this opportunity!! Dr. Jess Shatkin, author of Born to be Wild: How Teen Take Risks, and How We Can Keep Them Safe, will be speaking about decoding the adolescent brain!

Monday, November 5th, 6:30 PM, Cresthill Middle School
Tuesday, November 6th, 6:30 PM, Ponderosa High School

Funding Opportunities

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 

How Will You Reimagine Recess?

Recess is more than just a chance for kids to run around. Through play, children have the opportunity to engage in physical activity while learning critical social and emotional skills.

Is you recess supporting students' physical and emotional development? We're teaming up with Laureus USA to give away $2,500 to two lucky schools to reimagine their recess.

Take these 3 easy steps for a chance to win $2,500:
1. Build your custom recess guide at
2. Snap a picture of your students utilizing one of the activities.
3. Upload it to social media & tag it with #ReimagineRecess to be entered to win the grand prize of $2,500. 

Health Education

Looking for resources for Health Education in the high school classroom. This is a fabulous online magazine for students. Here is the link: Student Health 101

Overall Healthy Resources for your Classroom

Sign up for Healthier Generation if you have not had a chance to yet- great resources!!
One of our most popular webinar events yet!
Here are 15 rapid-fire wellness tips to improve your own well-being and model healthy habits for your studentsEnjoy this brief 15-minute webinar recording right now (registration needed)!

EVERFI provides free, digital programs for DCSD schools that can help teach important health concepts in an engaging way. They have digital resources on topics like: social-emotional learning, healthy lifestyles and nutrition, alcohol education, and prescription drug abuse prevention (ranging from grades 1-12) which are vetted and approved by the district while complying with Colorado's privacy laws. Please contact and she will help you set up your account and give you information on how to get unlimited $15 Amazon gift cards.

Fuel Up to Play 60 is an in-school nutrition and physical activity program launched by National Dairy Council and NFL, in collaboration with the USDA, to help encourage today's youth to lead healthier lives. Check them out!!

Graphic from Sleeptastic Solutions

Here is a neat activity for older students that looks at the different components for wellness. Explore this website and find a free download of a wellness wheel that can be completed by your students.


Insight timer recently created teen mindfulness meditations (scroll down once you open link). Great resource for the classroom or for individual students. They have some nice options for children and teens. You have to download the app.

Physical Activity

Picture from Yoga Calm
Yoga in the Classroom Watch this video from Action for a Healthier Generation

Need some support for movement in your classroom or school. Please read this Physical Activity is Critical article and share it with others! This article focuses on the connection between physical activity and mental health.


Do you like to cook or is it a hassle for you? Read this article on 4 tips of making healthy eating a little easier. 


2 cups shredded chicken
1 avocado
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tsp lime juice
1 tsp fresh cilantro
1/4 cup mayo
1/4 cup plain Greek Yogurt
 Directions: Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 20-30 minutes to let all those yummy flavors blend together. Recipe Resource- Family Fresh Meals

Tips for Parents

Tips for parents:
  1. Create routines that foster healthy habits at home.

    Prepare healthy snacks or meals that fit your schedule and limit screen time to a certain number of hours per week. If it helps, hang up a whiteboard calendar that you and your children can use to incorporate new routines.
  2. Make sure your children get at least 60 minutes of physical activity daily.

    This is key especially on weekends and holidays when they’re not in school. Here are some ideas for staying active at home.
  3. Get engaged with or volunteer at your child’s school.

    Find out what kinds of health and wellness programs and policies they have. Take a tour of the school, go to some events, or even initiate one they don’t currently do, like Take Your Parents to PE or a Walk to School Day event.
  4. Find out if your child’s school has a school health or wellness team.

    If so, join it. If not, build your own.
  5. Familiarize yourself with your school’s or district’s policies around nutrition and physical activity.

Thanks for taking time to read the blog this month! Have a wonderful rest of your month! Please submit a comment and get your name in the drawing which is happening on Halloween!!

With gratitude for all that you do,
Laurie & Kimmy