The Meramec Valley School Board were scheduled to hear a report on what the district does to keep students and staff healthy at its Oct. 17 meeting.

Barb Heger, district health coordinator, was to offer details of the district health and wellness program.

Since 1987, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Coordinated School Health approach has been the blueprint for integrating health-promoting practices in the school setting, using the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) model.

Heger works with a district H&W committee comprised of a parent, student, school nurse, physical education teacher, food service representative, board member, administrator and member of the public.

The committee meets four times a year to advise the district on health policies and programs.

The purpose of the H&W program is to guide the district as it sets goals, evaluates activities and seeks ways to continually improve the health programs.

The primary goals are to promote student health, reduce student overweight/obesity, facilitate student learning of lifelong health habits and increase student achievement.

Believing healthy students will perform at a higher level, the H&W program tracks attendance, looks at the learning environment, communicates with students and parents about student health, promotes nutrition with healthy food and nutrition education and tracks the physical activity of students.

H&W embraces the entire gamut of good health, Heger reports, including physical education, physical activity programs, weight status, school attendance, and nutrition. The program also focuses on health promotion for the staff, including flu shots and wellness screening, mammography, YMCA discounts and yoga classes.

Heger and the committee look for ways to remove health-related barriers to learning and train teachers in the field of health education.

Their focus reaches into the community with a health and wellness tab on the district website, hosting a community health fair and surveying students and parents.

H&W also recognizes the value of health oriented activities such as the Andy Hubbard Walk/Run, Girls on the Run, Go Noodle and indoor/outdoor physical activities open to families outside school hours.

Heger will offer details on the program strengths, such as the district has implemented all of the components required by the USDA Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010, including the final rule issues in 2017.

The district collaborates with the community with the Safety/Health Fair and currently over 100 staff members have achieved American Heart Association certification in CPR/AED.