As a Pediatrician I understand the needs of the Whole Child: the Cognitive, Social, Emotional and Physical components. Since I have been on the Board we have developed a strong wellness policy that has been praised across the country and by Yale University. We need to ensure implementation, continue to look at ways to improve our Food and Nutrition options in our breakfast and lunch menus.

A few years ago we increased physical activity at the middle school level and we must continue to look at ways to incorporate physical activity during the day. Increasing blood flow to vital organs, especially the brain, will keep our children engaged.

Our children are in an environment much different than when we grew up. With technology there is constant stimulation and studies have shown that the brain is evolving and adapting to these changes. This presents challenges for some students, especially in handling screen time and having proper social etiquette. Combating bullying and Cyber bullying requires strong policies and guidance in civility.

We must also support and have resources for our children with mental health challenges. Over the years I have proposed and advocated for additional psychologist and pupil personnel workers in our schools to help support our students. I have also advocated for a nurse in every school. A nurse is highly skilled to do health education and work with high risk students with physical and mental health issues.

Understand the “Whole Child”: the physical, emotional, social and cognitive components. HCPSS has a strong wellness policy that is still transitioning to its implementation. We need to continue to make certain that our students have the best nutritional food options available for breakfast and lunch. The mental health of our students is vital for their success. We started to expand the number of nurses in the school system that can offer support and counseling for students and we need to continue that expansion and also make certain we have the psychologists and prevention measures in place. Telemedicine is giving students and families great opportunities, let’s continue to partner with the health department to look at expansion opportunities.