April School Wellness Newsletter

School Wellness

COVID-19 Guidance

The Iowa Department of Education is providing guidance and information for Iowa school districts, community colleges and other stakeholders in response to COVID-19. 

Iowa Department of Education COVID-19 Webpage

sack lunch

Meals Available Across Iowa

The United States Department of Agriculture has implemented flexibilities to the Summer Food Service Program to provide meals to children during unanticipated school closures due to COVID-19. To see the list of approved sponsors, please visit the Iowa Department of Education Summer Food Service Program webpage. Meals are available at no charge to all children 18 years and under and no identification is required.

children learning at home

Continuous Learning Plans

There are a number of factors to consider in implementing continuous learning in health and physical education. As schools continue to make adjustments to new requirements and recommendations, many are learning to find a balance between sharing great opportunities and getting overwhelmed. 

Advice from teachers engaged in online learning is to “keep it simple”. Prioritize what you want students to know and be able to do and choose a few different ways that students can access the learning opportunity. Schools should do their best to engage every student, and to be as flexible as possible recognizing individual circumstances.

Iowa Department of Education - COVID1-19 Guidance: Procedures for Continuous Learning

Ten Strategies for Online Learning During Coronavirus Outbreak 

Factors to Consider when Preparing for E-Learning

I can posters

Iowa Standards Matter

The need to keep kids and families healthy and well is center stage right now. Health and physical education have a great opportunity to provide high-quality content and connections that provide students with the skills and knowledge they can use now and for the rest of their lives.   

Guidance for understanding and using Iowa’s new physical education and health education standards is located on the Iowa Department of Education Physical Education and Health Education webpage.  Resources are available for online learning activities including links, printables, videos and more.

Wide Open School: variety of content areas including emotional well-being, special needs, and ways to get moving. Just like in school, there are opportunities while learning at home to benefit from both physical activity breaks as well as standards-based physical education. 

Open Phys Ed and Shape America: health and physical education including social emotional learning and ideas for staying active at home. 

Some schools are transitioning to standards-based, skill-based health education programs. RMC health provides Health Education Skills Models by grade level and standard. The Department provides Health Education Lists which include examples of age-appropriate and research-based materials and resources which schools and parents may use to support health education.

Make a Fruit Smoothie

Healthy Eating Tools

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach's Spend Smart. Eat Smart. resources focus on sharing ideas, tips, resources and recipes to help families stretch their food dollar.

Blog contributors are staff members trained in food, nutrition, and wellness. Utilize the resources as you encourage families to try new recipes and cooking experiences at home. One idea is to share a recipe your family has tried and the experiences that went along with it.

Now is the Time Blog - Judy Dittmar

Spend Smart - Eat Smart Recipes

Spend Smart - Eat Smart Cooking Videos

Families Adjusting to a New Schedule

Families will need guidance and support during this time of transition. An article from Confident Parents - Confident Kids provides ideas to share with families as they adjust to their new schedule and involve all members of the family to be accountable.

  • Establish Expectations for a morning routine
  • Work together to manage screen time
  • Create a list of non-screen time activities
  • Get outside at least once a day
  • Ensure that each family member is responsible for at least one chore a day
  • Allow for flexibility and offer create prompts

Iowa Healthiest State Resources

A collection of resources to support the physical and mental health of Iowans amid COVID-19.

Social Media Challenge:  Families can share their healthy habits using #HealthyChoicesCount.

10 Ways to Keep Kids Active: Closures don't have to stop families from being physically active. 

Stay Healthy While Working from Home: Resources to help you stay healthy

5-2-1-0 Activity Sheets & Coloring Pages: Feature the 5-2-1-0 healthy habits

healthy life concept

Stay Connected

To stay connected with new information and other Iowa health and physical education teachers, school nutrition professionals and school wellness stakeholders. 

NEW Physical Education & Health Education Email Group
To join, contact lyn.jenkins@iowa.gov.

School Nutrition Email Group
To join, contact carrie.scheidel@iowa.gov.

Twitter: @IAHealthPhysEd and @IASchoolWellness

Facebook: @IASchoolWellness

April feature

Iowa Department of Education

School Nutrition and Wellness: Carrie Scheidel (carrie.scheidel@iowa.gov)

Physical Education and Healthy Education: Lyn Jenkins (lyn.jenkins@iowa.gov)