Monday, September 19, 2011

Healthy School Celebrations!

There are many celebrations in the schools—from holidays to birthdays. In order to keep our children healthy, the Iowa City Community School District Wellness Policy requires that celebration foods meet adequate nutrition standards. This policy will help keep the focus of school celebrations on healthy fun.

Acceptable Treat Ideas:

Fresh fruit
Fresh fruit or vegetable skewers
Fresh vegetables with dip
Dried fruit
Frozen fruit with no added sugar
Canned fruit in natural juice
Cheese/meat & whole grain
   cracker tray
String cheese
Vegetable or fruit pizza
Sandwiches cut into quarters
Mini bagels
100% fruit snacks
Rice cakes
Oat bran muffins
Oatmeal raisin cookies, gingersnaps or vanilla wafers
Frozen 100% fruit juice bars
Low-fat pudding cups
Low-fat yogurt
100% fruit drinks

Food doesn’t always have to be the center of school celebrations. Here are some other ideas:

Non-food Ideas for Favors or Treats:

Art supplies
Other small school supplies
Small books
Bouncy balls

Party Activities that Don’t Focus on Food:
Have a scavenger hunt
Take a walk outside
Bring music and have a dance or sing songs
Make a gift
Make a craft related to the party theme
Have a community project
Have a talent or drama day
Design, build and run an obstacle course
Have the birthday child lead an active game
Have a parent come and read a story
Create a “celebrate me” birthday book for the birthday child: classmates write stories, poems or draw pictures for the book

For additional healthy treat ideas, or to find
healthy recipes, check out these websites:

Iowa City Community School District
Wellness Policy
(the complete policy is on the district webpage:

Appendix C, section regarding celebrations

The school district will:
limit foods and drinks brought for celebrations initiated by parents during the school day to a list of snacks that meet the nutrition requirements for ala carte food and drink items. This list will be distributed to parents and teachers at the beginning of the school year.
allow the exception of no more than one food or beverage that does not meet nutrition standards for ala carte and vending guidelines during each classroom celebration.
remind parents as needed of the list of acceptable food options if noncompliant foods are served at classroom celebrations.
encourage staff to incorporate physical activities into classroom and building celebrations.

Upcoming Flu Vaccines

Influenza (flu) season is approaching soon. Children are four times more likely to get influenza than adults.  The flu vaccine is effective in preventing the spread of influenza.  The school district and the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) are bringing a flu clinic to your child’s school on Monday October 17 from 3:15 – 5:45 p.m. This clinic is open to all children and adults. Parent/guardian must accompany children to the clinic.

The flu vaccine will be available as a shot and as the “Flu-Mist”. It is a combination vaccine for both seasonal influenza and H1N1. The flu shot is approved for people of all ages.  The Flu-Mist is given as a nasal spray and is a weakened form of the influenza virus.  It is approved for ages 2-49 years. For full effect, children under 9 years of age who are receiving a flu vaccine for the first time should receive a second dose 4-6 weeks after the first dose.

Most health insurance plans will be accepted, including Wellmark, First Administrators and Medicare Part B. Or you can pay with cash or check:
Flu shot - $24  Flu-mist - $30  Pneumonia - $67

The flu vaccine is free to children who have no health insurance, are on Medicaid, or have health insurance that doesn’t cover vaccines.

People with the following conditions should not receive any flu vaccine:
·     Allergy to any part of the vaccine, including eggs
·     Children and adolescents receiving aspirin therapy
·     People with an active neurological disorder or history of Guillain-Barre syndrome
·     Have had a previous severe reaction to the flu vaccine

People with the following conditions should not receive the nasal Flu-Mist(but may still be able to receive the injection):
·     People with immune system problems
·     Adults and children with severe asthma

If you have any questions, please contact your child’s school nurse or Susie Poulton, Director of Health and Student Services, at 688-1000.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Changes are coming!

It looks like this will be available to be by winter break hopefully!  Continue to use this blog until I inform you otherwise!

All of the elementary schools and the district site will be moving to new websites in the next few months.  These new Edline websites will have great capabilities, including the option to translate into numerous languages.  Additionally, as we move to "go green" we will no longer be sending numerous flyers home with every child.  Each new building website and our newsletters will contain a link to a "virtual backpack" that will house all of the community flyers that are approved by the District.  Please check the "virtual backpack" on a regular basis for information on local events and activities.  We recognize that some families will want to request paper copies.  Please inform the office if you need paper copies.  Thank you for your patience as we move to these new systems.