A message from the
Massachusetts Department of
Elementary and Secondary Education

March 2021 
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What's Up with Wellness 
Wellness March Madness is here, and no bracket is needed! Grab your calendar and mark down dates you don’t want to miss:  Keep reading for more opportunities to implement wellness at home, at school or in the community! 
Massachusetts PTA Hosts Wellness Webinar
Join the Massachusetts Parent Teacher Association (Mass PTA) for a health, wellness and safety webinar, Engaging Together to be Healthy. Linda Price, M.Ed., CAGS, LEP, E-YRT, YACEP, will present on how to support youth K-12 as they navigate their fears, worries and grief during COVID-19. Linda will provide guidance to help you identify what is going on with your child and how to incorporate mindfulness strategies to be an ongoing support. This webinar will include a live question and answer segment.  
Framingham State offers School Wellness Graduate Course
Framingham State University (FSU) will be offering a 4-Week online Graduate Course: School Wellness for Student Success at a reduced rate of $35 per participant (typically $220 per course). This course will run from March 29 – April 23, 2021.

In this course, participants will re-evaluate their local wellness policy and create an action plan that will help advance wellness efforts in their school district.

Course Requirements:
  • Participants MUST be a member of the district wellness committee and have the support of the wellness chair to enroll.
  • Participants must review the Course Syllabus.
  • Time commitment of about 20 hours (5 hours per week)
  • A wellness team meeting must be conducted outside of class time during week 2 or 3 to complete a School Health Index (SHI) module.
This course provides 22.5 PDPs for teachers or 15 hours Continuing Education for School Nutrition Professionals, RDNs and RNs to support your professional development needs.
Participants are strongly encouraged to enroll as a pair from each district to support a team approach for successful implementation of an updated action plan for wellness. For more information on the course and how to receive an enrollment form, please email
Space is limited - all enrollment forms are due to Nicole Good by March 15th.  
Framingham State offers School Garden Graduate Course

Thinking about Spring? Enroll Framingham State University’s 4-week online gradate course, Growing Your School Garden, to explore benefits, various types of gardens, and best practices to support a successful school garden. This course will focus on connecting gardening lessons to state curriculum frameworks and/or food and wellness education in the classroom, as well as establishing an action plan to implement or expand school gardening.

This one-credit course is being offered at a reduced rate of $35 (typically $220) and provides 22.5 PDPs for Teachers or 15 hrs. Continuing Education for School Nutrition Professionals or Nurses. Remaining fees will be covered by DESE’s Office of Food and Nutrition and The John C. Stalker Institute of Food and Nutrition.

Course Details

  • This is a one-credit graduate course with a time commitment of about 20 hours (5 hours per week).
  • To receive the reduced cost, course participants must be a member of their district wellness committee.
  • Interested participants must review the Course Syllabus.

Space is limited! For questions on the course or to request an enrollment form, please contact Karen McGrail. All enrollment forms must be submitted by Monday, March 15th.  

New England Dairy Launches Innovation Kit
The New England Dairy Innovation Kit (designed to be used in person or remotely) can be used to educate students about where their food comes from and how food choices affect the health of their bodies, communities, and the planet.  Students and educators who piloted this resource last fall found the lessons fun and enjoyable and reported feeling surprised by how much their knowledge of dairy foods and dairy farming increased after finishing the activities.

When using this kit you are also signed up for the New England Dairy Innovation (NEDI) support network. This support network offers student prizes, resources, and technical assistance to help you navigate the kit with your students.  A New England Dairy representative will check in with you periodically to see if you have questions or any technical difficulties.  We will also be sharing different opportunities and resources you can share with your students.  

Share the ideas your students develop while working through the kit, and we’ll send you a special link to our Prize Vault to choose items for your class! 
BOKS Partners with Ross Initiative Sports for Equity
RISE educates and empowers the sports community to eliminate racial discrimination, champion social justice and improve race relations. Through partnerships and programs, RISE inspires leaders in sports to create positive change on matters of race and equality.

With a goal to foster more equitable and inclusive environments, confront biases and challenge injustices, RISE and BOKS have partnered to empower youth to be champions of change. Together, we are equipping students with the skills to combat racism and advance social justice.    

To gain access to RISE resources, please visit the BOKS Trainer Hub by enrolling in BOKS.
School Health Profiles: Physical Activity and  Education 
Massachusetts has partnered with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for more than 20 years to collect data on nutrition and health education policies and practices. The data is collected through the School Health Profiles (Profiles) surveys. Profiles is a system of surveys sent to middle and high school principals and lead health education teachers. The surveys are administered biennially on even-numbered years. The 2018 data below highlights physical education and activity amongst students in Massachusetts. 

This institution is an equal opportunity employer.

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