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Making our school safe and healthy
February 26, 2024

By Inquiry Healthy Owl Times reporters | Inquiry Charter School supports healthy choices for students in several ways, according to recent interviews with Inquiry Healthy Owl Times staff members.

Being healthy includes habits like eating healthy food, exercising, drinking water, being kind, and building positive relationships, according to the website kids-health.org. Doctors, therapists, and other medical experts write articles for the website.

Students have recess every day and gym every other day, according to Ms. Claire Cohen, head of Inquiry Charter School. Inquiry provides recess during aftercare so that students get exercise. After sitting a long time in the classrooms, students get brain breaks like yoga or movement games. Through the school newsletter, families can learn about physical activities like martial arts or dance.

Inquiry also invites health programs that come into the building. For example, the dentist comes to visit and checks students’ teeth, Ms. Claire said.

The school provides drinking water for students. There are several refilling stations where students can fill their reusable water bottles. If students don’t have their own bottle, they can buy one at school, said Ms. Kelly Walsh, a fifth-grade teacher.

The students have access to Ms. Asia Bey-Stevenson, student success coordinator, and Ms. Ashley Fernandez, family support specialist, who work with individual students and classrooms. In the classroom, students learn about emotions and how to get along with people. The school nurse can also support emotional health, Ms. Claire said.

Mr. Tom O’Connell, the technology teacher, said Inquiry also helps the students stay mentally and emotionally healthy by having break spots in the classroom where students can go to regroup.

Ms. Dawnyé Alexander, an Inquiry special education teacher, said the school offers dance classes for enrichment. Students learn self-regulation skills for their mental health. For example, students can use a break spot when they feel frustrated or overwhelmed.

Ms. Alexander said she recommends that students practice healthy habits. She also encouraged students to stay positive in challenging situations.

Inquiry supports nutrition by providing healthy choices for breakfast and lunch, according to Ms. Claire. A typical lunch menu includes foods from all of the major food groups, including protein, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and dairy.

The school pays special attention to food allergies and special food needs, according to one Inquiry student, who does not eat some types of meat due to religious customs.

Illustration by Auria, fifth grade, Inquiry Charter School.

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