Originally published Nov. 26, 2019 in the Greenwich Time.

From a skate night to a 5K color run, parents and educators at International School at Dundee encourage students to stay active beyond recess and gym.

So much so that the Greenwich elementary school received the 2019 Connecticut Red Ribbon PASS Program Award for how it encourages physical activity among students.

The school’s approach to physical fitness also contributed to the district’s recognition as a highly performing active school system. The award, while specifically mentioning ISD, commends the district’s commitment to get students to be physically active for at least 60 minutes throughout each school day.

Jeremy Boland, program coordinator for physical education, health and family & consumer science for the district, accepted the state’s award on Nov. 21 with Chief Academic Officer Irene Parisi.

“While Irene and I may have accepted the award, it was truly an honor given to our entire physical education staff, broader administration, PTA members and Greenwich community,” Boland said. “I’m very proud to be able to say that Greenwich was one of only two school districts in the State of Connecticut that received this particular award.”

The district qualified to apply for the Red Ribbon program because its students performed well on the Connecticut Physical Fitness Assessment.

“This is an exciting recognition for our entire school district and we are thrilled that the International School at Dundee will host our award banner,” School Superintendent Toni Jones said. “Our physical education staff is committed to creating fun, inclusive and creative ways for our students to be active throughout their school experience.”

The application asked for evidence from one school to be collected and used as an example, and the district chose ISD. The state is recognizing both the school and the district with a banner that will hang at ISD. The banner will be presented to the school at 3:30 p.m. Dec. 4.

The school offers 120 minutes a week of physical education, and before-school programming for 40 minutes every day and after-school programming for an hour every day and recess for 20 minutes daily.

The PTA sponsors “Wellness Week,” including nutrition programming in the cafeteria and an annual skate night for the community.

It develops and executes community-based physical programs through cooperation between the school and members of the community,

It also runs an annual 5K Color Challenge, a community fundraiser and physical fitness event that draws hundreds of participants, and buses children to the Boys and Girls Club and YWCA for after-school programs.

At the end of the year, the district presents a Physical Education academic report to the Board of Education and to the community.

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