Originally published Sept. 7, 2020 by the Owensboro Times.
West Louisville Elementary School was recently named to the 2020 list of America’s Healthiest Schools by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, receiving national recognition for their commitment to students’ health and well-being.
WLES has earned the prestigious National Healthy School Silver Award, a status that is valid through the end of the 2021-22 school year.
WLES has remained committed to creating a healthier environment for both students and staff with combined efforts of health and physical education and school nutrition. WLES had previously earned the Bronze Award in 2019 and 2018.
The school is one of only 517 in the nation earning the designation as one of America’s Healthiest Schools in 2020.
“We wanted to find ways to encourage healthy lifestyle habits among our students so we emphasized physical education, proper nutrition and active play throughout our day,” said WLES principal Nathan Satterly.
Physical education teacher Cliff Jackson played a key role in developing strategies that qualified his school for this national designation.
“In order to meet the Silver Award criteria, West Louisville Elementary School and the community had to come together and provide a healthy environment for our students and staff,” Jackson said. “As an example, the WLES Healthy School Committee partnered with community members, such as Cecil Farms, to help ensure that all students were being offered the best locally grown produce during lunch. One of the most difficult criteria to meet was ensuring that each student must receive 90 minutes of physical education each week. Luckily, the teachers at WLES are flexible and understand the importance and benefits of students being physically active.”
All of America’s Healthiest Schools meet or exceed federal nutrition standards for school meals and snacks; offer breakfast daily; incorporate physical activity before, during or after regular school hours; implement district wellness policies and update progress annually; and involve parents and community members in decision-making.
The selection process includes a review of the school’s health and safety policies, wellness policy and confirmation of health services and resources that are available for students, including an on-site school nurse and counseling, psychological and social services.