Exercise and nutrition could be the focus of the next new charter school in the Oshkosh school district.(Where have we seen that demographic before...here it is: justifying why schools should teach social and emotional intelligence.)
Having the focus on wellness at Merrill would help serve the students there, almost half of whom qualified for free- or reduced-price lunch in the 2003-04 school year, the federal standard for low-income students.
“It’s a trend because what we look at is the direct correlation between health and nutrition and good academic performance,” Schwegel said. Charter schools are focused on academics, Schwegel said, but with a unique method. “Our way is nutrition and health and stress management,” she said.(I hear they considered candlelight and music but were concerned the teen pregnancy rate might skyrocket...ok, I made that up.)
Schwegel would also hope to see all-natural foods as part of school lunches. The charter school would also stress eating breakfast. While Merrill offers a low-cost breakfast to all students already, Schwegel said a survey at the school revealed 50 percent of students still didn’t eat breakfast.
“We want to make sure they are eating properly, that they are getting enough health benefits,” she said. Schwegel also hopes to restructure lunchtime for students so that they eat in a more relaxed atmosphere at round tables where they can learn good table manners.
Stress management and relaxation techniques could also be part of the charter school. Schwegel said studies have shown that students who do simple breathing exercises before doing writing projects are more creative and have better handwriting.(wait for it.... wait... for... it...)
“Imagine if we did that before our [Wisconsin Knowledge & Concepts] exams,” she said.HT: Annette