Skyview Elementary recently received the Beth Ramos Overall School of the Year Award from Schools for Healthy Lifestyles.
There are 70 schools in Oklahoma that are part of the Schools for Healthy Lifestyles that strive to teach students how to live a healthy lifestyle. This is Skyview’s 13th year in the program.
There’s certain requirements each school that is a part of the Schools for Healthy Lifestyles has to do, but there’s options so every school doesn’t do the same things. The five keys areas addressed in the program are promoting physical activity and fitness, nutrition education and awareness, tobacco use prevention, safety and injury prevention, and oral health education, according to healthyschoolsok.com.
“It’s not easy, you really have to be dedicated to really promoting health with the kids,” Assistant Principal Shannon Dutton said.
The award is given each year to the school that showed the most dedication and creativity to the program.
“This school does fantastic things,” Dutton said. “But one of the reasons why it is so successful is because of Eric Sailer, our physical education teacher. He organizes everything and comes in early so some of these activities can actually take place. So he is a large part of why it’s so successful.”
Skyview works with outside entities to help them with the program, including the Oklahoma City Boathouse, the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, and the Yukon Fire Department. The elementary school also has only one of 15 action-based learning labs in the state.
The school also had their teachers compete in a “Brain Break” challenge, in which they had to produce their own videos of effective brain breaks, which is just a one or two minute exercise for the students to do after they’ve been sitting for a while. The staff also participated in a district-wide weight loss challenge and participated in Skyview-specific weight loss and step challenges.
The students also raised more than $8,000 for the American Heart Association with Jump Rope for Heart.
They also have students walk on the walking track every morning and allow them to earn incentives while they “pile up the miles.” Dutton said although the teachers’ contracts don’t have them working until 7:45 a.m., Sailer starts working at 7:20 a.m. every morning to make sure students aren’t just sitting in the gym waiting, but walking around the track.
“[Sailer] is a very humble man and he’d never take credit for anything,” Dutton said. “But he’s out there, and not just supervising, but he’s handing out tickets, giving high fives, and he’s just building relationships with those kids. You go into his classroom and watch him do a PE lesson and he has kids engaged. You can tell every lesson that he teaches has been prepped, and any type of issue that’s going to come up he’s already anticipated it and is ready for it. Kids love him. He’s just an all-around great educator and he really does promote healthy choices in life.”
Assistant Superintendent Dr. Jason Brunk said the district is extremely proud of Skyview and all of Yukon’s schools.
“A number of our schools are participating in Schools for Healthy Lifestyles and it’s just kind of been a spring-forward for not only our student well-being, but our staff’s health and well-being,” Brunk said.