Thursday, May 16, 2019

May 2019

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On May 7th the word "compassion" kept coming to mind.  Although we can't change the violence, anger, stupidity, and fear that resulted from events at STEM, we can move forward with bringing compassion to all of those around us.

Please know that your work makes a positive difference in the lives of our students!

Important Dates

May 29th & 30th ~ DCSD Summer Summit ~ Healthy Schools Classes offered

May 29th: 
  • Healthy, Mindful Teacher Cohort Overview
  • SEL for the Educator
  • Creating a PRevention Based Classroom
  • Journaling with Students
May 30th:
  • MindUp Planning
  • Mindfulness Strategies for Self Awareness
  • Movement and Brain Functioning
  • Mindfulness 101
Classes will be held at Legend High School in Parker.  Click to register

June 1st: Please return any unused Healthy Schools' books to Kimmy or Laurie via interoffice mail so we can do inventory. If you want to keep them for planning, just include a post-it note and we'll get it back to you. Please send them to HWP @ Wilcox.

September 12th~ Fall Healthy Schools Workshop at the Highlands Ranch Mansion

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Summer Classes with Kim Bevill

Click on a class to sign up directly

Sat/Sun, June 8 & 9........Essentials for Learning: Intro to the Brain.........3 Credits

and Engage CLD!........... 2 Credits

Sat/Sun, June 29 & 30.........Happiness and Gratitude and the Brain.........3 Credits

Sat, July 20................................5-15-150 Relationships and CLD...............2 Credits

Sat/Sun, July 13 & 14.......Synchronicity! Getting Brain Balance Back......3 Credits

Sat/Sun, July 27 & 28..........................Gender and the Brain.......................3 Credits

Summer Special Deals for Staff

ATA Karate Denver

ATA Karate Denver would like to offer 50% off of any of our programs for all DCSD Healthy Schools Team Members.  There's no catch, any membership fees, monthly fees, etc., all classes are 50% off.  Thanks for all that you do for your students!  Either email the owner, Jason Strong, at or call him at 7203443030 to get class times and he can answer any questions that you have. 

The end of the school year can be extra crazy, so self-care is more important than ever!  We are heading into the summer, but now is the time to focus on your personal well being.
For DCSD Staff, receive 50% off the entire eCourse!!

You’ll get 15 online lessons to help you:

  • learn and develop positive new habits
  • reduce stress
  • feel happier and more fulfilled
  • incorporate more self-care into your already busy life

For more info, visit:
*Use code DCSD at checkout to receive the entire course for $49*!


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The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation is proud to announce that they have taken their CASEL approved, highly effective, evidence-based Kindness in the Classroom® social-emotional learning curriculum and made it better! We invite you to take a few minutes and check out the updated curriculum here!

You will find a list of 100 things to do before the age of 12 on this website. I think it actually is timeless, anyone could have some fun getting through the list. 

Physical Activity

This time of year is the perfect, and almost necessary, time to get our kids moving! 
Here are some great ideas from BOKS.

Burst 1: Counting Burst

Individual, in place
5-8 minutes,  grades 3-6
Have children complete a skill (i.e. tuck jump, squat, lunge, etc.) while counting to 30:
  • In multiples of 1
  • In multiples of 2
  • In multiples of 3
  • In multiples of 4
  • In multiples of 5

Burst 2: 4-Way Bending Burst
Individual, in place
3-5 minutes, grades K-8

  1. Standing with feet together, heels and toes touching each other,
  2. Bring arms overhead sideways, palms together and interlock your fingers, release your index fingers, thumbs crossed.
  3. Stretch up out of the waist touch the ceiling, and in an absolutely straight line bring your body to the right without bending elbows or knees. Continuously push hips to the left; hold for 30 seconds or longer.
  4. Repeat on the left side; hold for 30 seconds or longer.
  5. Take a deep breath, drop your head back as far as it goes, look back behind you. Keep your arms together, try to touch the wall behind you, push hips forward, weight in the heels; hold for 30 seconds or longer.
  6. Return to upright, arms overhead, then bend knees and fold forward. Keep stomach sucked in and hands-on calf muscles; hold for 30 seconds or longer.
  7. Return to standing, release arms down to the side.

SHIP Ideas

As you sit in the lounge chair this summer thinking of ideas for your school's SHIP, here are some ideas from across the district that may be helpful to you.

Random Acts of Kindness ideas connects with Social Awareness/Relationship Skills

Camp Kindness (Pioneer)
Student Led Teams leading Kindness Campaigns (Wildcat Mountain & Pine Lane)
After school Kindness & Physical Activity Club (Iron Horse)
Zen Corners in all classrooms (See Laurie)
Mindfulness boxes (See Kimmy)

Physical Activity
Indoor Recess- Training EAs, providing indoor recess bags (Sedalia, Cougar Run, Franktown)
Physical activity schoolwide programs- Friday Fitness (Summit View)
Surprise Exercise- impromptu school-wide PA breaks (Soaring Hawk)

Go, Slow, Whoa Campaigns (Meadowview)

Student Led Health Teams
Wellness Ambassadors (Soaring Hawk)
Healthy Living Team focusing on physical activity (Heritage)
Kindness Club (Heritage)

Middle School & High School Initiatives
My Intent Project (MRMS)
Daily Brain Breaks (TRHS/MVHS)
Mindfulness (TRHS/DCHS/Mesa MS)
Student Led Health Team focusing on Healthy snacks & physical activity (RHMS)

If you want to write your SHIPs now or during the summer we are available!! Start SHIPSs first day of school in August!

Physical Environment

New opportunity - Classroom recycle bins for your school!

The DCSD Office of Sustainability received a grant which will allow us to supply approximately 20 Douglas County School District schools with classroom recycling bins. Schools who receive bins will need to complete these steps:

1. Pre-audit waste assessment
2. Create a school waste management plan
3. Post-audit waste assessment.

Interested? Click the button below for full process and application instructions. Photos and specifications of classroom bins are available here

Thank you to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment for this generous grant!


  • Cinnamon can slow the speed at which the stomach empties following a meal, which can help control sharp rises and falls in blood sugar levels. Softening these sugar spikes can theoretically reduce cravings.
  • Cinnamon can enhance the way antioxidants from other foods help the body defend itself, strengthening the immune system.
  • Additional suggested health benefits include relieving congestion, reducing stiffness in muscles and joints, counteracting inflammation, supporting digestive health, and even boosting brain function. This super spice has also been shown to stimulate good circulation with its blood-thinning properties.

  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries (strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries)
  • Want to add some protein? Consider adding yogurt, protein powder, beans, cottage cheese

That's it for 2018/19 school year. Spread compassion and kindness over this time of healing, make sure to start with yourself! If you need anything, don't hesitate to reach out. We both work over the summer and can help plan 19/20 SHIPs as early as June 1st.

With gratitude and respect
Laurie & Kimmy

Monday, March 18, 2019

March 2019

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As we progress through the last nine weeks of school it may benefit all to carve extra time for physical activity breaks, energizing brain breaks, healthy snack challenges,  mindfulness activities, calming moments, and extra recesses outside. We know these healthy activities not only help our students have better access to their learning, but it also help us take some mental breaks that we need throughout the day!

Save the Date!

Our Healthy Schools & Staff Wellness Healthy Champs celebration will be held on Monday, April 22nd, from 4:30-5:30 at the Lone Tree Library! Our agenda includes a slide show, a raffle, a quick and easy wellness activity plus yummy food and goodies for everyone (new t-shirt!). Please make sure to complete the Google Form that will be sent to you on March 25th.

Training Opportunities

DCSD is hosting its next RP/RJ Workshop is April 2, 2019, 8:30am - 4:00pm at the Highlands Ranch Mansion.  Sign up now: Course Link:   

The spring RP/RJ Workshop is intended to provide restorative approaches for supporting our youth and their broad continuum of mental health needs. There will be specific sessions for each tier of support in Trauma-Informed Care and substance use prevention.  In addition, there will be sessions for those new to Restorative Practices and those who want more practice with circles and mediation. This workshop will also have a session on how to use Restorative Practices in building staff culture.  Back by popular demand, Anjali Nandi will be our keynote speaker! Subs will be paid for.  Use RP Workshop for your reason in Aesop.

Grant Opportunities


Sustainability Mini-Grant Program The DCSD Office of Sustainability is excited to offer mini-grant opportunities to increase sustainability initiatives at your school. The mini-grants will be awarded in the form of supplies requested, up to $400 per request. Schools may submit more than one grant request.

Deadline: Rolling deadline - we will review and fund accepted grant requests as they come in. If funds run out, grant requests will be rolled to the following school year.

Criteria: Project goals should increase or enhance sustainability for our schools/students. Mini-grants that will directly affect student learning and are integrated into the curriculum will receive priority.

Grant amounts: Requests may be for any dollar amount up to $400 used to purchase materials for your sustainability project. Schools will receive the materials requested.

Follow-up: Funded grant request recipients will be required to submit a post-project follow-up summary. The Office of Sustainability will use this to determine student impact on learning as a result of this grant. This is an important step as the data collected will be used to request higher grant requests in the future.

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The application for our National Healthy Schools Award opens on February 11thEarning the National Healthy Schools Award indicates that your school is a leader in school health and has made the effort to ensure that the environments that surround kids provide and promote good health. 
Schools may apply online between February 2019 and May 1, 2019.

  • Application opens: February 15, 2019
  • Final due date: May 1, 2019
  • Award notifications: Fall 2019
  • America’s Healthiest Schools Nationwide Announcement: September 2019
Visit our new Award Help Page to learn more about the perks of being an award winner, the process for applying on our new website, your eligibility status, and more. The application opens on February 11th, so read up now to be sure you're prepared to apply!

Success in the Middle

We are very excited to announce that the DCSD Prevention & School Culture Department will again be hosting a Success In the Middle Conference on April 19, 2019.  This conference is exclusively for students in 5th or 6th grade that will be transitioning to one of the nine neighborhood middle schools. This event is FREE for students and includes free lunch as well as a free transportation option through DCSD!  Registration is open until April 5th, 2019 and will be capped at 250 attendees.

The event is designed to offer students information and strategies that will help them have a successful transition from elementary to middle school.  We will be focusing on helping students meet new peers, work on managing change, fear and challenges, build resiliency and take care of themselves (self-advocacy, study habits, time management). Success In the Middle Conference 2019 Flyer (JPG). Please go HERE for registration information as well as additional class opportunities.  


Yoga mom reads Zen Pig book to teach her son gratitude and compassion

Thank you Susan Husome for sharing this resource... Zen Pig Video and  Zen Pig website

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Tips for helping teens dealing with stress by Carrie Wisehart

  1. Stop and breathe.  Just like I mentioned earlier, helping students just stop all the thoughts and breathe is a great start. Push away from the desk, put down the book or laptop or iPad and close your eyes. Count to ten.
  2. Consider the gravity. Students are convinced that every quiz, every assignment, every test could be the one that determines their worth for the rest of their lives (I am not exaggerating this). I am not sure what the source is - teachers, parents, other students - but I often ask them how much this will matter tomorrow, in a week, a month, or a year. Consider the gravity and then treat this moment as such.
  3. Take time every day to do something you love. I teach seniors. They are applying for college, working a job, doing school, balancing sports and music and academics. Encourage them to BLOCK OUT time every day to do something they love. Or just sit and do nothing. They need to debrief just as much as we do.
  4. Look outward. When I am the most stressed, I do something for someone else. Students, just because of their development, get caught in their own "selves" quite a bit. If we help them to get perspective and consider someone else's plight, it helps them worry less about their own. Help your kids do kind things for others so they can, in turn, be kind to themselves.
  5. LET THEM BE KIDS LIKE THEY ACTUALLY ARE. I disagree with the idea that the minute these kids turn 18, they are adults. Because they are not. There is not enough of a change from the day before their birthday to the day after their birthday. They need to sled, play, laugh, hang out, and BE KIDS. Every day. There is a lot of pressure in high school to "prepare them for college". And we need to. Prepare them. But when do they just GET TO BE IN HIGH SCHOOL?

Free Training from the Author of Change your Brain


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1.   ACCESS - To access course, go to:
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       a.   Your username is the email address you used at time of purchase.
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3.   COURSES - Click on the course title.
4.   LESSONS - You are now on your course homepage- each lesson is       accessible through the icons on your homepage as well as the left navigation bar.

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We are looking for a handful of educators and administrators to collaborate with, focusing on incorporating Stop, Breathe & Think into your school's weekly agenda and at home. It will be minimal effort on your part, with a big, lasting impact. 

If this idea sparks an interest in you, please send an email to with the subject line "Teen School Brainstorm".  We will follow-up with you personally, initiating a quick phone call to begin our brainstorm together. 

We are excited to collaborate on this exciting venture with you, 
Ariana and the team at Stop, Breathe & Think 

Physical Activity

Recently we have been playing this game with the classrooms we visit- super fun! 
Stop, Walk, Wiggle, Sit game

BOKS is a great resource for physical activity before, during, after school!  We signed up for their weekly BOKS Burst activities, which are fun games you can play with students inside or outside. Try this one out...

Burst 2: Fast and Low
Individual, in place 
10 minutes, grades K-8 
    30 count jumping jacks 
    30 count plank hold 
    30 count fast jump rope 
    30 count low squat 
    30 count fast running with high knees 
    30 count plank hold 
    30 count wide fast feet (like you are running through tires) 
    30 count low squat 
    Rest for 60 seconds 

Mother's Day 5K 

For the past few years, Healthy Schools has been the lucky recipient from the HRCA Mother's Day 5K run.  It's a fabulous event!
Bring your family and friends and join in the fun at the HRCA Mother’s Day 5K! Soak in the amazing views of the front range, Highlands Ranch Windmill and Highlands Ranch Mansion by running, walking, or strolling. Sign-up dad and the kids too and make it a morning of activity the entire family can enjoy. Don’t miss the post race party filled with fun activities and inflatables for the kids and an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast! First-time 5K run/walkers, elite runners, and moms/dads with strollers are all invited to enjoy the fun on Saturday, May 11! Mountain Vista High School - 10585 Mountain Vista Ridge, Highlands Ranch, CO 80126.  5/11/2019 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

School Celebrations

Yoga at Soaring Hawk!

Camp Kindness at Pioneer Elementary 


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Looking for a great classroom resource Elementary nutrition lessons, check out these Nutrition cards

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This is an interesting article on ways to check-in on purchasing habits...

Importance of Hydration in Physical Education

By Karoline Gore 
The nation's children and teenagers aren't drinking enough water, according to research in the American Journal of Public Health. Researchers found a worrying trend among the country's boys, with males 76% more likely to be poorly hydrated than girls. For youngsters participating in regular sporting and physical activity, hydration is especially important as it keeps their brains and bodies functioning correctly. Therefore, as a teacher who is dedicated to children’s health and fitness, it's best to include fun hydration sessions alongside your nutrition and fitness education.

Hydration, nutrition, and fitness
Kids need to understand that hydration, nutrition, and fitness go hand in hand. Eating well is crucial for kids who thrive for good physical performance, for staying healthy and for fighting off disease. But children exercise, they sweat up to 1.4 liters in an hour. Therefore, this fluid loss needs to be replaced with good... article continues here.

Recipe for Kale Chips (just try them!)


  1. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.
  2. Remove the ribs from the kale and cut into 1.5-inch pieces. Lay on a baking sheet and toss with the olive oil and salt. Bake until crisp, turning the leaves halfway through, about 20 minutes. Serve as finger food. Put on a salad. Enjoy!

That's all for now.  An email will be sent with all directions on how to close up your SHIP and receive your stipend in early April. Please drop a comment on our blog for our Blog Reader Prize. Enjoy your spring break recharging your batteries.

With gratitude, 
Laurie & Kimmy