54 district schools named America's Healthiest

Female student climbing the rock wall in PE at Bush ElementaryFifty-four district schools have earned a spot on the list of America's Healthiest Schools 2020 by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, receiving national recognition for a commitment to student and staff health and well-being.

Mesa Public Schools received the most awards in the nation for a single public school district. Nationwide, 518 schools were selected based on a rigorous set of criteria, which includes availability of nutritious foods and access to quality physical education.

The district's 2020 awardees are: Adams, Brinton, Bush, Crismon, Edison, Emerson, Entz, Falcon Hill, Field, Franklin at Alma, Franklin at Brimhall, Franklin West, Guerrero, Hale, Hermosa Vista, Highland Arts, Holmes, Hughes, Irving, Ishikawa, Jefferson, Johnson, Keller, Kerr, Las Sendas, Lehi, Lincoln, Lindbergh, Longfellow, Lowell, MacArthur, Madison, Mendoza, O'Connor, Patterson, Pomeroy, Porter, Red Mountain Ranch, Redbird, Robson, Roosevelt, Salk, Sirrine, Sousa, Stevenson, Taft, Washington, Webster, Whitman, Whittier, Wilson and Zaharis elementary schools; Eisenhower Center for Innovation; and Summit Academy.

"We are thrilled to once again receive national recognition for our healthy schools," says Dr. Andi Fourlis, superintendent. "It has certainly been an unusual year in education, but our staff and community have stepped up and prioritized physical, social and emotional well-being. Whether it was the thousands of healthy meals served or our PE teachers seamlessly transitioning from in-person to virtual lessons, these awards confirm what we already know here in Mesa Public Schools: Our students, staff, families and community are the best in the nation."

All of America's Healthiest Schools have earned the National Healthy Schools Award, a prestigious achievement celebrating schools that meet or exceed expert-recommended standards set by the Healthy Schools Program for serving nutritious meals and snacks, encouraging students to move more throughout the day, offering high-quality health and physical education, and empowering school leaders to be healthy role models.

"We commend this cohort of school leaders for prioritizing the essential health needs of students and staff in a time of great challenge and with limited resources at their disposal," says Kathy Higgins, chief executive officer of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. "Over time, these awardees established strong foundations in health — allowing them to pivot and adapt to meet acute health and wellness needs in a year unlike any other."

(Students climb the rock wall in PE class at Bush Elementary in August 2019. Photo by Tim Hacker/Mesa Public Schools)


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