Starting out on the fast track: Warren schools take big steps toward wellness

Superintendent Dr. Timothy Hanson of MSD of Warren Township is on a mission to improve the health and well being of the students, staff, and community. As part of the Jump Right UP program, Warren township elementary schools have been working on improving their school culture by implementing healthy celebrations, non-food reward systems, and increasing the amount of physical activity their students get during recess. As the new Superintendent, Dr Hanson has increased recess to 30 minutes across the district, implemented a new wellness policy, and is pushing healthy behavior strategies into schools with the goal of improving the health of students, decreasing behavioral issues, and increasing academic success. With the aid of Assistant Superintendent Ryan Russell and his very supportive team, Jump IN for Healthy Kids is proud to announce future health and wellness plans for MSD Warren schools.

Indy Star photo from the Sunny Heights feature in December, 2018, on MSD Warren's work with Playworks
The Indianapolis Star did a feature on Sunny Heights, an elementary school in Warren Township as part of its Season of Sharing series late last fall. Photo credit: Indy Star

As part of Warren’s wellness initiative, Warren has teamed up with their food service provider, Chartwells. Haley Quade, the registered dietitian working within Warren from Chartwells, has been a huge partner in making great strides in this wellness work. Haley now runs the district wellness committee- dubbed the Wellness Warriors. When the Indiana State Department of Health opened its Indiana Healthy Schools Grant in January 2019, Haley immediately reached out to Jump IN for assistance in applying and was awarded the grant! 

Starting in August 2019, MSD Warren will receive $10,000 per year for three years to complete their wellness plan. This plan is broken down into 5 stages over the three-year period.

Kids sample radishes at their Rah Rah Radish day, a day planned to inspire kids to try new foods
Warren students sample radishes as part of their commitment to introducing new, healthy fruits and vegetables.

Stage 1: Snacks given to daycare, elementary and middle school students will be evaluated on sugar content. Based on the evaluations, adjustments will be made to offer options with less sugar.

Stage 2: MSD Warren will implement a healthy marketing campaign. This campaign will include education and information on the changes made, the opportunity to make health a priority, health parent strategies, and nutrition-based marketing to children in school cafes and staff lounges.

Stage 3: Warren High School breakfast will be revamped to include a hot and nutritious breakfast, which is a huge change to the cold grab and go breakfast currently available.

Stage 4: This stage will include increasing physical activity in the elementary classrooms and daycare center, impacting approximately 4,500 students in getting their recommended number of physical activity minutes per day.

Stage 5: Last but not least, MSD of Warren will provide stipends to select staff to assist in furthering the health and wellness work and building sustainability within the district

Warren teachers learn how to create active recess times and teach conflict resolution skills in a workshop given by Playworks
Warren teachers learn how to create active recess times and teach conflict resolution skills in a workshop given by Playworks

Jump IN would like to congratulate MSD Warren on making great strides in their health and wellness journey and look forward to watching the district flourish. Way to go!