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"This Is Parkway" Digital Magazine

Project Parkway

Subcommitte 2/B/3 Essential Question:
What plan will be developed to monitor the effectiveness of school health teams?

9/28/2009: What data will be collected to reveal current reality?

Program Implementation

  • School Wellness Profiles
  • Student & Staff Survey

Student Fitness Data

  • Fitness Scores
  • MO Youth Combined Survey (Grades 7-9)

Staff Wellness Data

  • Employee Health Screenings & Assessment

3/1/2010: Key Findings

A. Positive Observations Revealed by the Data

Project Parkway Goal 2 Survey:

  • Students and parents are satisfied with the physical education programs offered in Parkway (85% of elementary students often enjoy P.E. , 63% of secondary students often enjoy P.E., 60% of parents are satisfied with the quality).
  • Students, parents, and teachers perceived that health services provided ample support to the health needs of students (96% of elementary students, 66% of secondary students, 73% of parents, 76% of teachers).
  • Parkway schools were perceived by students, parents, and teachers to provide an overall healthy environment (92% of elementary students, 61% of secondary students, 66% of parents, 61% of teachers).
  • Parkway schools were perceived by parents and teachers to provide ample programming and services to promote and support the mental, emotional, and social needs of students (72% of parents, 65% of teachers).

School Wellness Team Survey and Evaluation:

  • School health teams are in place and functioning at more than two-thirds of Parkway schools.
  • School health teams averaged 38 of 56 wellness indicators as “in place.”

Fitness and Health Data:

  • 30-37% of students were able to achieve a healthy level of fitness on all four fitness measurements.


  • Regular physical activity puts the brain in an optimal position to learn by improving brain structure, increasing attention, improving mood, and generating new brain cells (Ratey, 2009).
  • Increased participation in school breakfast programs has shown to be associated with increases in test scores, daily attendance, and class participation, as well as reduced absenteeism and tardiness (Satcher, 2010).
B. Identified Needs

Project Parkway Goal 2 Survey:

  • Students and parents identified that healthy foods that appealed to them were rarely or never provided by the school cafeteria (33% of elementary students, 48% of secondary students, 32% of parents).
  • Students, parents, and teachers suggested that schools should provide healthier food choices (i.e., less junk foods in vending machines, regulation of classroom treats, less pizza, more fresh fruits and vegetables, less fried and/or breaded foods).
  • Secondary students and parents suggested that schools do not provide enough opportunities for physical activity during the school day (i.e., physical education, recess) (50% of secondary students, 52% of parents). Many responses from stakeholders suggested daily physical education and more recess time as their top suggestion for improving wellness in schools.
  • Several secondary students identified on the survey that they were stressed and did not get enough sleep.
  • Parents and teachers recommended that schools should have longer lunch periods for students.

School Wellness Team Survey and Evaluation:

  • Based upon 2008 School Wellness Evaluation, Parkway School Health Teams scored lowest overall in Wellness Strategy #5 (Healthy Food and Beverage Choices).
  • School health teams are effectively functioning in less than 25% of school sites.
  • Less than 50% of the schools have less than half of the recommended membership represented on their school health team.
  • Based upon survey of school health team leaders, school health teams were perceived as effectively functioning in only 2 out of 30 school buildings (February 2010).
  • Only 10 of the 30 school sites have established a school health team and 9 of the schools identified their team as non-effective or non-functioning.

Fitness & Health Data:

  • More than 30% of Parkway students in grades 5-9 have a Body Mass Index (BMI) that is identified in the “At Risk High Zone.”
  • Fitness data has shown slight improvements in the areas of aerobic capacity, and core area strength, and significant improvement in flexibility over the past 7 years.


  • Research suggests that 30% of U.S. children ages 2-19 are overweight or obese. In the past three decades, this rate has doubled among adolescent and tripled among children 6-11 years old (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2006). Being overweight can trigger a variety of chronic medical conditions – including asthma, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, depression and anxiety, and sleep apnea – that increase school absentee rates (Satcher, 2010).
  • Experts suggest that trends contributing to obesity include more restaurant eating, proliferation of microwaves and processed foods, and people not moving enough (Satcher, 2010).
  • Research finds that 62% of children ages 9-13 did not participate in any organized physical activity during their nonschool hours and 23% did not engage in any free-time physical activity (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2003).
  • A growing body of evidence shows that children who eat poorly or who engage in too little physical activity do not perform as well as they could academically (Action for Healthy Kids, 2004).
C. (If Necessary) Additional Data Needed
  • The Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act requires schools with federally funded school meal programs to have developed a district wellness policy, as well as a plan for implementation and evaluation.
  • Parkway Food Services is tasked at offering reimbursable meals according to a strictly defined set of guidelines. Parkway complies with nearly all of the advanced level criteria of the Missouri Eat Smart Guidelines.
  • Parkway Food Services does a detailed nutritional analysis of every meal and has developed an on-line program that provides nutritional information for every food item served.
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables are offered at every meal. Many fried foods have been eliminated in the last few years.
  • “Junk” foods have been in large eliminated from the school lunch program, but are still accessible by students from competitive food sales, such as bake sales and vending machines.
  • Parkway currently provides 125 minutes of physical education and health at the elementary and middle school level. This meets the Missouri DESE requirements for the number of minutes for physical education and health education at all levels. Currently, we are below the number of physical education minutes recommended by NASPE (150 minutes/week elementary & 225 minutes/week middle school) and recommended health education minutes (50 minutes/week).
  • Missouri SB 291 will require 150 minutes of physical activity per week in elementary schools. It also requires a minimum of one recess period of 20 minutes per day for children in elementary schools (effective beginning of the 2010-11 school year). Physical education, recess, and classroom fitness breaks may all count towards the 150 minutes of physical activity.
D. Comments
  • This subcommittee feels that it is the responsibility of schools to address the overall health needs of our students thus enhancing the learning process and the achievement levels of our students. In addition, by providing a healthy school environment we will be able to provide a more stimulating and motivating school climate, which will ultimately increase school attendance, decrease distractions from learning, and better enable our students to become successful contributors to the school, community, and the world they prepare to enter.