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Guest Opinion: Lee School District commitment to vision plan continues
January 31, 2018

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Happy New Year!

2017 was a year of change, challenges, learning experiences and accomplishments for Lee County schools.

Looking ahead in 2018, we will continue to focus on our Vision 2020 Strategic Plan goals: to increase student achievement; family and community engagement; retention of effective employees and to become a model improvement organization.

One basic approach is to promote student and staff wellness.

As the new year begins, we find people making resolutions or setting goals having to do with health and wellness. This year is no exception. The news tells us that obesity and related illnesses are at an all-time high.

Here at the District our employee wellness program has grown. We have running teams, nutrition and weight loss programs and other challenges which have resulted in better health, a savings in health insurance payouts, and increased communication among staff members.

When our employees are at their physical, mental, and emotional best, learning thrives. Schools play a critical role in promoting the health and safety of young people and helping them establish lifelong healthy behaviors. Research indicates that school health programs reduce the prevalence of health risk behaviors among young people and have a positive effect on academic performance.

In July 2017, our district adopted a Comprehensive Health Education Policy. Comprehensive Health Education is a planned, sequential, Pre-K-12 curriculum that addresses the physical, mental, emotional and social dimensions of health. The curriculum is designed to motivate and assist students to develop lifelong healthy habits, addressing personal, family, community and environmental health, nutrition, injury prevention and safety, sexuality education, mental and emotional health, prevention and control of disease, and substance use and abuse.

Our program is planned in collaboration with the School Health Advisory Committee, a group comprised of students, parents and the community. It ensures reinforcement of health messages that are relevant for students, helps to increase academic achievement by removing barriers to learning and will ultimately provide healthy, well prepared employees to the workforce, since, in fact, education is the economic driver for the community!

We are doing important work promoting health and wellness and invite all interested stakeholders to join us as we move into 2018.

- Mary Fischer, is a member of the Lee County School Board. She represents District 1.

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