A collage of the White House, Chelsea Clinton, and conference attendees

Three schools in Santa Cruz Valley Unified School District No.35 Recognized as America’s Healthiest Schools for Dedication to Student, Staff, and Family Health 
Schools nationally recognized for implementing best practices in up to nine health categories

Santa Cruz Valley Unified School District No. 35’s Calabasas School, Coatimundi Middle School, and Rio Rico High School are among the 781 schools nationwide to be named as America’s Healthiest Schools for the 2022-2023 school year. The recognition, awarded by Alliance for a Healthier Generation (Healthier Generation), a leading children’s health organization, honors schools’ dedication to supporting the health and well-being of students, staff, and families.
This year, Calabasas, Coatimundi, and Rio Rico High Schools were recognized for a variety of topics including:

  • Family Engagement
  • Nutrition & Food Access
  • Local Wellness Policy
  • Physical Education / Physical Activity
  • Social-Emotional Health & Learning
  • Staff Well Being
  • School Health Services
  • Health Education
  • Tobacco-Free Schools

SCV35 schools prioritized healthy policies and practices amid numerous challenges facing schools today -- learning loss and declining youth mental health due to traumatic events, such as school shootings, vaping and nicotine addiction, curriculum changes, and school meal insecurity. They have continued to sustain and promote good health by:

Promoting physical activity for students and staff which has included Student vs. Staff and Staff vs. Staff games such as volleyball and basketball.
Having quarterly celebrations that include physical activity, game centers, and healthy snacks.
Creating and maintaining student and staff mental wellness spaces.
Implementing the Breathe for Change program which provides staff and students training with social and emotional strategies, mindfulness tools, and yoga practices for well-being.
Health and nutrition classes for parents including ZUMBA and healthy cooking.
“This year, Healthier Generation continues to meet districts, schools, and educators where they are, recognizing it takes a considerable degree of effort to serve as a model of best practice in whole child health for students, teachers, staff, and community,” said Kathy Higgins, chief executive officer at Healthier Generation. “We commend America’s Healthiest Schools for demonstrating resilience and adaptability amid challenging times for our nation’s schools.”  

“Calabasas School is very proud to be recognized again as one of America’s Healthiest Schools. Our staff takes a lot of pride in being an example for our students and families.  We want to celebrate this recognition with our families, students, and staff because it was an effort on everyone’s part.  We will continue to work towards making health and wellness a priority each and every day.” Calabasas Principal, Jonathan Chavez.

Members of the SCV35 School Health and Wellness Committee will travel to Washington D.C. in October to represent the district at the America’s Healthiest Schools Leaders Summit.

America’s Healthiest Schools remains one of the country’s longest-running, nationwide recognition programs honoring schools for achievements in supporting whole child health equity for students, teachers, and staff. Any school can connect with Healthier Generation to access training, resources, and technical assistance by visiting HealthierGeneration.org.
Visit HealthierGeneration.org/HealthiestSchools to view all 781 America’s Healthiest Schools for the 2022-2023 school year.