East Hawaii News

DOE: Public Schools Reaching Wellness Goals

April 16, 2015, 11:59 AM HST
* Updated April 16, 12:00 PM
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New findings from the Hawai’i State Department of Education and the Hawai’i State Department of Health’s Safety and Wellness Survey for all Hawai’i public schools were released Thursday.

The results from the 2013-14 school year showed a high level of achievement, including an average of 79 percent met by all respondents on the DOE Wellness Guidelines.

“We know healthier students are more alert and conscious about the benefits of eating well and exercising,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “Teaching our students about health, nutrition and physical activity has become an important component of public education in Hawai’i.”

2013-14 school year survey highlights include:

  • All Schools met or exceeded U.S. Department of Agriculture nutrient standards.
  • 95 percent of schools promoted positive nutritional messages on campus.
  • 93 percent of schools integrated nutrition education into multiple areas of the curriculum such as math, science, and English language arts.
  • 95 percent of schools reported having required physical education classes aligned with state standards.
  • 78 percent of schools have a committee that oversees wellness at school.

The survey showed that principals in the state reported the biggest challenged faced by their schools is making sure that food and beverage sold or given to students in areas outside of the cafeteria are nutritious. Forty-three percent of schools met the requirement in 2013-14.

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Forty-six public schools have been recognized as meeting 90 percent or more of the Wellness Guidelines in the 2013-14 school year, those schools have received “Excellence in Wellness Awards.”

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Nutrient standards for foods and beverages, school-based wellness committees, health and physical education, and other practices that support student health are among things included in the Wellness Guidelines. Since 2011, these guidelines have been required of all Hawai’i public, non-charter, schools. Each spring, the SAWS is administered.

For a full survey data visit the Hawai’i Public Schools website.

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