The Edgartown School

Wellness Committee

Our current committee members:

Kate Curelli
Shelley Einbinder
Emilia Giordano
Michelle Pikor
Stephanie Immelt
Sarah Vail
Gina de Bettencourt
Jean Zdankowski
Jennifer Klein

Meeting dates for 2023:

Thursday, January 12, 2023 from 3:00-4:00 in FACS room.
Thursday, March 23, 2023 from 3:00-4:00 in FACS room.
Thursday, June 8, 2023 from 3:00-4:00 in FACS room.

Wellness Meeting Minutes – June 8, 2023

  • Brief year-end discussion.
  • The Wellness Committee will reorganized and reconvene in September 2023.

Respectfully Submitted,
Sue Costello

Wellness Meeting Minutes – March 23, 2023

  • Reviewed the revised wellness policy; need to add a date to the policy.
  • We need the school committee to read the policy 3 times and sign the updated policy (print the old policy on the website; highlight the changes), two committee members need to present it to the school committee. Kate will modify the wellness policy, print old policy and highlight changes.
  • Grades 1-4 Jump Rope for Heart Derek Chrebet is in charge of it. We need a date for it.
  • Should we put out a master wellness calendar? We have a monthly handout this month; it will be updated according to the committee’s input and suggestions.
  • After School Clubs: do we have a coordinator? Can outside community members host an after school club?
  • Wellness Committee – provide names of wellness committee members to Shelley.

Respectfully Submitted,

Kate Curelli,
Edgartown School
Registered Nurse

Wellness Meeting Minutes – January 12, 2023

  • Yoga Grant is signed, sealed and done. Michelle is working on a schedule.
  • Zumba is beginning for teachers on Mondays. Thank you Lorena for offering this to staff!
  • We will put together a reminder email to staff before Valentines Day about alternative food suggestions for classroom celebrations. In addition, this is meant to remind and advise old and new employees that we have a wellness policy.
  • Kate sent out a parent letter reminding them about kids coming in with proper clothing for cold weather and also about wearing sneakers on gym days. Suggestion was made that maybe K-2 should all have a change of clothes for inclement weather?
  • There are some grants that Shelley said we can use for parent workshops. One focus could be on SEL or how to support your child academically. It was also mentioned that family math night might be back and/or pizza bingo. Cooking nights can also support math concepts through measuring, etc.
  • We could also do a family evening with line dancing, light food and maybe a few other healthy/fun games.

Movie Night is coming up and a 7/8 dance.

Respectfully Submitted,
Sue Costello

Wellness Meeting Minutes – October 13, 2022

  • Michelle has given Shelley the yoga grant. We are anticipating an approval.
  • Colleen is working part time to help Kate. Covid or any other health/wellness updates will be sent in an email to staff by Kate.
  • We talked about having yoga or zumba classes for staff after school. Phone calls will be made to some of the names suggested in the meeting.
  • Fall Initiatives from Kim Garrison continue to be provided. Encouragement of using the “calm app” for staff and students.
  • Next meeting we need to brainstorm a wellness project for staff vs. students. Something fun, maybe competitive and healthy.

Attendees – Jean Zdankowski, Sue Costello, Sarah Vail, Michelle Pikor, Kate Curelli, Dr. Shelley Einbinder and Gina deBettencourt.

Respectfully submitted by Sue Costello

Wellness Meeting Minutes – May 17, 2022

Attendees: Sue Costello, Michelle Pikor, Jen Klein, MaryAnn Bartlett, Kate Curelli, Gina deBettencourt

Our time was spent reviewing the Wellness Policy and making some minor changes for the next year. The policy will be revised once all members have had the chance to review it and then updated on our school website.

Wellness Meeting Minutes – March 8, 2022

Attendees: Sue Costello, Jen Klein, Kate Curelli, MaryAnn Bartlett, Michelle Pikor, Gina deBettencourt

  • Mask Updates from Kate
  • Michelle gave yoga update. Yoga started today. There will be four Tuesday sessions with 5th and 6th grade for this year. Michelle will try to extend the grant so we can do more next year and get more grade levels involved.
  • Some ideas were suggested on ways to offer more wellness to staff like meditation
    or martial arts. Definitely need to focus on a new wellness initiative.
  • Talked about doing a road race as a fund raiser for medical personnel at the hospital (race to the end of covid – as a theme). The thought was to do it as a thank you to our medical community. Get our students involved. Maybe student council can help. The money raised could be used for gift certificates, massages, sandwiches for lunch one day, coffee’s, purchase a foot massager since they (nurses) are on their feet a lot, etc. Sue will talk to Stephanie or Joel and make sure we can get police support. Initial thought was do it at the end of April or maybe in the fall (or investigate other weekends that might be a good time to do the race). Get input from our resource officers.
  • Jen Klein will be coming into Sue’s third grade health classes and do a lesson on self regulation skills.
  • Discussed briefly about the desire to get parents back in the building for the fall.

Wellness Meeting Minutes – February 1, 2022

Attendees: Sue Costello, Jean Zandowski, Shelley Einbinder, Gina deBettencourt, Michelle Pikor, and Kate Curelli.

  • Covid update – at home testing kits now available for teachers and will be offered to kids. School committee will be meeting on February 17th about whether or not to lift the mask mandate.
  • Regular pool testing in school is still happening on Tuesdays. This is separate from the at home testing.
  • Symptomatic testing is happening at school for adults and children.
  • Jump Rope for Heart – Michelle and Derek are running this in grades 1-4 and it begins February 14th. This is an Edgartown School tradition that raises money for the American Heart Association.
  • Walk/Bike to School will happen sometime this spring. Hoping to increase the number of students participating. We might publicize it in the newspaper and make sure it is on our school website at least one week ahead of time. It would be great for the superintendent and/or school committee members to attend.
  • Shelley mentioned that the 7th and 8th graders are hoping for another dance. However, we have to check with the Board of Health and follow their lead. The Board of Health is currently recommending we wait until March to thoughtfully make that decision.
  • We will continue the monthly runs and would like to get more parents and community involved. Need to rally some of the older students to run/walk with the younger ones.
  • PTA will be running a Boosterthon again this year to raise money for the school.
  • Michelle is working on getting yoga back in the building. It appears we will have enough money to do a few weeks for targeted age groups for now with the hopes of expanding the program in the spring/next year. We have to work with the PE schedule and Jen’s schedule (instructors availability).
  • Sue offered to run one segment of the after school program and is sending an interest email out to staff. We will have a minimum number of students (5 or 6) in each club in order for the program to actually happen. We are looking at mid March – April break. TBA.
  • Kate suggested we also talk at our next meeting about some kind of new health event to organize (students vs. school adults) or something just for the adults. We can brainstorm ideas in March.
  • It was mentioned that student council has started and they are working on community building!!! This is exciting news.
  • Jean shared with us that all is well in the kitchen. They have a great group working together in there. The kids are eating well. The staff would like teachers to be mindful of the amount of snacks that are heading out of the cafeteria. Try to choose fruit for snacks as much as possible.

Wellness Meeting Minutes – December 6, 2021

Minutes from the Wellness committee meeting

-The 8th grade finished up their ropes course. Michelle Pikor reported a lot of fun and has some great pictures from the event.

– Melinda is requesting to meet with the Wellness Committee and is interested in taking students to Slough Farm. Sue or Michelle were going to reach out to Melinda regarding dates and times. We need to decide if the Wellness committee is going to promote this and if we could make it happen.

-Sue suggested bringing back “Chat and Chowder” where parents are invited to school to discuss current issues.

-Bike to school: there were approximately 30 students who participated in the bike to school we will try it again in spring and hope to have more participants this time

-Bike Safety: bike safety day was discussed. Gina has reached out to the Edgartown police to request helmets and perhaps a donation of a bike. It is usually held on a Saturday with a bike raffle. Sue is going to reach out to the state organization regarding the bike to school program and she has the new director’s email address.

-We will need to include in the next newsletter pictures from Michelle’s fun run and also discuss some December healthy suggestions such as hydration, adequate vitamin D intake, and getting outside in the fresh air.

-Michelle is going to talk to Jen Delorenzo about bringing yoga back to the school.

-Jen Klein offered to come to Sue’s health class to talk to students about mindful breathing and how to nurture oneself in stressful situations.

-it was suggested that we have more events to promote Wellness in the school such as the six week run to the Eagles nest, a tough mudder, or exercise classes offered in the gym. For the next Wellness meeting we would like to come up with a new fun event

-Students in different grades (Alexis Lavigne/Maddie Crowell) were interested in joining the Wellness committee. Some ways they could get involved are coming up with their own initiatives/ afternoon clubs.

Wellness Meeting Minutes – October 12, 2021

Wellness Meeting Minutes – March 25, 2021

In attendance: Nicole Barlett, Sue Costello, Michello Pikor, Sarah Vail, Jen DeLorenzo, MaryAnn Bartlett

* A brief discussion took place around field trips. All field trips must have signed permission slips from parents including walking field trips. Cannonball Park considered a field trip.

* MaryAnn has reserved buses in advance so all students can go on field trips.
More information will be forthcoming from administration and teachers on dates and times.

* Looking at planning barbecues with Gina and her staff. They will most likely be on Thursdays and if it rains, then Fridays. Tentative dates are April 28, May 6, May 13, May 20, May 27 and June 3.

* Field Day is being looked at and considered. Covid protocols will have to be taken into consideration if we move forward with this.

* Fun Run was also discussed. If we do it, we may have to change the route and use school property (and follow covid regulations). The police will be consulted as they have long supported this event for us. Suggestions were made to tier the age groups. Run with masks, use walkie talkies, come right back into the building when over, get the exact number of students in advance so we coincide with state outdoor regulations. We will discuss further.

* Bike to School morning event may also happen or we will just wait until the fall. This usually takes place 2-3 times a year.

Respectfully submitted,
Sue Costello

Wellness Meeting Minutes – March 18, 2021

  • We discussed how we can safely restart some of our school activities around health and wellness….specifically fun runs and field day.
  • MaryAnn suggested we write up a proposal for Shelley regarding the fun run and how we can safely do this.
  • We will reach out to Stephanie (Edgartown PD) and also brainstorm some alternative routes…..if necessary or suggested by police.
  • Briefed MaryAnn on how so many of our school activities around health and wellness have become traditions here and have become embedded in our school climate/culture.
  • Sue is going to give MaryAnn and Shelley a copy of the list we made for Medstar Health Consultants outlining what we are currently doing in our school (pre-covid) regarding health and mental health.

May 18, 2020 Wellness Committee Meeting via Zoom

Shelley Einbinder
Anne Fligor
Sue Costello
Michelle Pikor
Gina Debettencourt 
Sarah Vail
Melinda R. Defeo
Ninon Garvin 
Dianne Conover
Jen Delorenzo
Nicole Barlett 

Sue gave review of Growth and Development – Newsletter and videos which since has been shared with 5th grade parents. 

Melinda – gave updates on the garden. Currently she is picking pea shoots, purple kale, and leeks. All being used in our school lunch program by Gina. Plant Sale went live today 5-20-20 and will be open to the community on Friday. Flyer is on school email. 

Gina – gave an update as she continues to provide prepared meals for Edgartown families. Pick up continues to be Monday and Thursday between 12-1pm. She has requested if we know of any families who may have a food insecurity that we refer them to this offering as well as the other food distribution sites occurring on the island. 

Sarah- gave an update on consumer science and how she is adapting to reach out during this time away with out of the box ideas. For example, she is making short fun educational videos.

Michelle- has been networking with national and international physical educators to bring unique physical educational offerings during this time. 

Jen Delorenzo – Has been posting weekly offerings (videos and written materials) She has been getting some positive parent feedback and will continue these weekly offerings as her commitment to the health and wellbeing of our school community. 

Ninon- from a parent perspective the kids have enjoyed some of the videos and she felt keeping it light was appropriate. 

Dianne- Kids have been zooming to stay connected. They miss in person connections but are connecting virtually. Happy emotional health is being addressed through the many health related offerings. 

Nicole – DESE has sent memorandum re waiver of local school wellness policy triennial assessments in the national school lunch and breakfast programs. Gina and Nicole will address Shelley (see waiver here). June Health Office Newsletter will be sent out. Possible Topics- Tick prevention, Keeping a healthy immune system. Future Newsletters to highlight wellness members contributions. 

Thank you all for your contributions and commitment to our schools health and wellness. 

Nicole Barlett

Wellness Committee Agenda | 9-25-2019 | 3-4pm staff dining room

  • Welcome and Introductions
  • Review our Wellness Policy
  • Bridging Communication between Wellness Committee and PTA
  • Goals for this Coming Year
  • Upcoming Meetings:Wednesday, November 20th
    • Wednesday, January 29th
    • Wednesday, March 25th
    • Wednesday, May 27th

Wellness Committee Meeting | September 25, 2019 | Minutes

In attendance: Melinda DeFeo, Gina deBettencourt, Sue Costello, Nicole Barlett, Diane Conover, Sarah Vail, Michelle Pikor, Shelley Einbinder

  • A request was made that everyone read the current wellness policy, make changes, and bring your ideas to the next meeting in November.
  • In our current policy, wellness procedures are also included. The procedures begin towards the bottom of page 1. The School committee previously approved the initial policy. However, this committee is committed to making updates to the procedures.

    The wellness policy is a state mandated request. It was mentioned that we need to have public postings of our meetings. It was noted that these are always posted on our wellness link that can be found on the main school website. You can also access it from the nurses web page. Anyone can attend the meetings.
  • We may have to change our March and May meeting dates due to COP meeting overlaps. Dates will be forthcoming and reposted.
  • Our kitchen will be audited this year. This included financial audits and food program evaluation by the USDA and the state.
  • A goal for this year was suggested that we work on bridging our parent communication. We have had active parent participation in the past and hope to continue this. Our PTA is another great communication resource to get information out to parents.
  • A reminder was made about the MedStar report being posted on the superintendents website. We need to encourage everyone (staff and parents) to read this.
  • A culture and climate survey was done last spring. Once these results are released Dr. Einbinder will share with staff and parents.
  • A discussion took place about promoting a healthy growth mindset for all of the children. We need to brainstorm more ways to support this important way of thinking. The recommendations from the committee included focusing on sleep hygiene, lessening anxiety, focusing on quality family time with a healthy balance between school rigor and extra curricular activities. A suggestion was made to look at how much homework is necessary to reinforce what is being taught during during the school day. Our principal will take a look at this and gather ideas from staff. We will look to add a new heading on “family focus” in our wellness policy. The committee acknowledges that one of the biggest stakeholders in our youth education is our families. We need to work together to ensure a healthy mindset. There were suggestions to use meditation apps (use of visualization), homework incentives, etc. We need to come up with a mission statement that truly supports our beliefs. Our “actions” must support our mission statement and align with our school improvement plan.

Next Meeting will take place November 20, 2019 from 3:00 – 4:00 PM.

Wellness wrap up | 5-15-19 

Hello, here is the year end wrap-up for yesterdays wellness meeting. 

Sue shared about an All Island Health Education Committee that is being formed that will work together over the next year as they implement the new curriculum (Michigan Model).  

Nicole shared the results from the 4-30-19  water testing.  Six samples were taken for testing. Round 1 showed a mild increase in sodium however, William Chapman – Water Superintendent explained in an email to John and Matt Poole the many reasons this may have occurred. The water was retested and all levels where found to be within normal limits. Please note: There is a sodium agent in the sampling containers which Mr. Chapman felt was the reason for the increase in sodium.  

Gina was unable to attend however wanted me to pass on that she has has been in touch with Matt Poole from the BOH and obtained universal precaution kits which have been distributed in the following locations: (nurse office, main office, kitchen, and all custodians).  A procedure for Vomit and Diarrhea clean up was distributed to these departments.  

Fall dates for our 2019-20 committee will be posted late August or early September. One suggestion is for us to meet on one of the three teacher days in late August to gather our thoughts and vision for the new year.   

Sue would like feedback as to if we would like to add line dancing to the fall open house/health fair/garden celebration. This would support family wellness.  

Jen Delorenzo – more PD and more family inclusion for next year’s wellness for living practices!  Jen wondering if at the health fair we could have Arial yoga?

Thank you all for your participation this year and in past. 

Best Regards, 
Nicole Barlett

Edgartown School Wellness Meeting | March 19, 2019

Michelle Pikor
Sue Costello
Gina Debettencourt
Anne Fligor
Stephanie Immelt
Annie Sylvia (Parent)
Ninon Garvin (Parent)

Nicole presented an overview of the history of wellness committee and wellness policy (which is required by the state). Gina presented about our lunch program. There is $7000.00 in overdue lunch bills at this time. Cost of our school lunch is $3.00/lunch. Gina uses local resources such as Morning Glory Farm and the Farm Institute (for some meats). In addition, she also has a local supplier that she orders from.

Melinda grows and harvests vegetables in our garden inclusive of tomatoes, spinach, garlic, potatoes, onions and kale.  We are looking for increased parent participation in helping with the garden as we haven’t had any interest. During the health fair, we try to encourage parents to go out and see the garden and greenhouse. It is part of this yearly highlighted event on health and wellness. Each class has a garden bed and are planting and gleaning the food. We have been doing this for almost ten years. Melinda spends many hours doing various lessons in the garden, to tie in with the K-8 curriculums. We are very lucky to have her.

Gina comes in daily in the summer to prepare gleaned vegetables for fall and to use throughout the school year. There is fresh fruit available for our students all day, every day.  Gina is also looking into organic milk. It is expensive but will get prices. Most of the kids drink water.

Water testing has been historically done at the school. Currently we are not on a regular basis for testing within the building but Anne is going to work on trying reinstate that. Some of the water here has filters and have been donated by Vineyard Conservation.

Ninon shared that she and Annie are attending the meetings to learn more about what we are doing and how they can help. Some parents are not aware of the farm to school program (eating local foods). Anne shared that Edgartown was one of the first programs and at the time, we got a lot of press. Now it is just part of our school wellness culture. Maybe that is why parents are not aware. We are really happy to have parents on board with us.

Annie shared that she is concerned about the chocolate milk being offered as it has 22 grams of sugar. Gina gave the history of how she stopped serving the chocolate milk but the kids got together and did a full presentation advocating for the return of the chocolate milk. We compromised with the students and offer it approximately once a month. Gina uses healthy foods and balances the choices. We have approximately 225-250 kids buying lunch here every day. On occasion, Gina has to change the printed menu if the ordered foods for the week do not arrive in time or if local food is unexpectedly delivered. Then she incorporates the local fresh food for lunch.

Michelle shared that we (wellness committee) have spent a lot of time working on alternative choices for in-school celebrations. We have also had parent evenings offered (cooking classes) through island nutritionists and unfortunately the turn out has been very low. Annie suggested maybe it would help to film these and put on our website. Most attended event was the “Fed Up” movie a few years back.

We shared that we have a “running list” of all of the health and wellness activities in our school. Open morning gym at 7:30 AM for the middle school and monthly runs are just a few to mention. There is a lot happening and also new curriculums Being taught in the fall, island wide.

Nicole shared that Jen DeLorenzo is working with Michelle Pikor to do monthly wellness Wednesdays with the students. Mindfulness, aerial yoga and body mapping are just a few activities to name. Yoga is also happening in the classrooms.

Annie and/or Ninon shared that the open gym event during the winter (on a Sunday) was a great activity for the kids. This was an 8th grade fundraiser. It would be great to continue next year. Also mentioned, was that some schools (Montessori here on MV) are now doing a mandatory family participation through their PTA. Each family selects an event they can help with so it is shared evenly amongst families and connects the school community. Our next meeting is set for May 15th from 3:00 – 4:00. We can meet in the nurse’s office.

Respectfully submitted,
Sue Costello

 Wellness Meeting | 1/11/19

Sue Costello
Gina deBettencourt
Michelle Pikor 
Nicole Barlett 

The group agreed it would be a good idea to invite staff to share what they are currently doing in the building to support health and wellness. Nicole will send an email out to Edgartown in building for our March meeting. We are looking to gather wellness offerings to our current list which the group recently collected. These offerings are a reflection of our schools commitment to support the whole child and encourage health to be viewed as a continuum of care, that takes place in many ways.  

Michelle reported that Jen Delorenzo our yoga instructor will be attending Physical Education on Wednesday’s (1 time per month) to collaborate and add a yoga component into these classes.  

Sue updated us on the new Health Curriculum (Michigan Model) that will be used in all the schools.  A  goal for the Island schools is to provide k-12 health education utilizing the same curriculum.  While each school may enhance their program individually all students will have the same content as they move to the Regional High School. 

The group realizes the impact social and emotional health and wellness has on learning.  Therefore our initiatives are focused on awareness and education to support students and staff in all health related areas.   

Next Meeting March 27th 

Wellness Meeting 9-19-18

Michelle Pikor emailed staff dates for monthly runs. Check out the main web page and get ready to have some themed fun.  

Nicole Barlett: Nicole reached out to Betty Burton from Serving Hands to get updated flyers and info on times and dates for food options. Spoke to Town Nurse Lila Fisher about possibility of having Flu clinic at the Edgartown School for staff. Awaiting to hear back from Lila.  

Sue Costello: MEDSTAR Report- Recommending all Island Health Coordinator. MEDSTAR recommends the health coordinator be hired first before health teachers. The health coordinator position would be phased out once school health programs are in alignment. Sue let the representatives know professionally she felt we should have both Life Skills and the Michigan Model. MEDSTAR also recommended hiring mental health coordinator and full service health clinic.   

Gina deBettencourt: Acknowledges work Melinda is doing and would like the Wellness Committee to support going to administration to see about increasing the farm & garden coordinator position. 

Melinda DeFeo: Currently the town funds Melinda 15 hours per week and private donations pay Melinda 7 hours per week totaling 22 hours. Greenhouse is here. Melinda and her husband are putting it up. This weekend will need help Saturday September 22nd 9-3PM for staining. Melinda is noticing more kids seem to come in from recess and ready to sit for lunch (eating more) and finishing before time allotted.Sarah Vail went to MED STAR Talk for parents. Attendance was low. Sarah shared she just passed her MTEL for Health Teaching. Congratulations Sarah!!  

Jen Delorenzo: Yoga update: Jen is in most K-8 classes on a weekly basis.  

Wellness committee acknowledges the generous donation Mr. Day gave to the PTA. We are recommending a significant amount to go toward funding Melinda for her time spent in the garden. In addition we would like the town to add her to the pay roll as a full time employee since she is here doing curriculum with the K-8 students. Michelle and Gina plan to bring this up to administration in hopes to add this to the budget.   

Wellness Meeting | 1-17-18

Gina deBettencourt
Sue Costello
Michelle Pikor
Channon Capra
Melinda Defeo
Sarah Vail 
Jen Delorenzo
Nicole Barlett  

I added this quote because it reminded me of this amazing group of dedicated committee members – US. WE have grown as a group over the years supporting each other’s wellness efforts and ideas for the betterment of our school community. Thank You!!  

Agenda: Jen Delorenzo Yoga instructor discussed aerial yoga including the science and benefits it can have on the nervous system in helping a person achieve relaxation and improvement in social emotional regulation. Eventually Jen would like to offer her program during an afterschool class but for now she is planning to pilot this on Wednesday’s for the next ten weeks.  

The group unanimously supports Jen’s efforts and agreed many students will benefit from aerial yoga.  

Some thoughts suggested from the committee included having Jen put together a parent letter that would go out to all parents explaining what aerial yoga is and the benefits to restoring emotional and physical balance in the body. Also Jen could present to teachers during our next PD day. This would be by sign up in 15 or 20-minute increments. 

Melinda brought up ways to look into grants to help sustain this program, which Jen is interested in doing.  

Agenda continued with report and update from Sue Costello. Emily from Safe Routes to School requested to attend our next meeting March 21st. The Committee was also interested in knowing next steps with health consultants from Med Star. Sue expressed we haven’t heard back at this time.  

Group agreed to meet next month prior to our next scheduled meeting in March to further discuss aerial yoga

Wellness Meeting | 11-15-17


Melinda and I will update the group on the snack grant 

Sue and I will update the group on our meeting last Thursday with the wellness consultants
Sue will update the group on FCD prevention works meeting
Technology and getting info out to parents – Nicole 
Breakfast Program update – Gina 

Nicole Barlett
Sue Costello
Melinda Defeo
Sarah Vail
Gina de Bettencourt
Jen Delorenzo  

See attached Garden grant document. Melinda and Nicole reviewed where we are in this process. After committee input and comments Nicole submitted document to the new grant coordinator Jennie Shinn at the superintendents office. Deadline for submission to Apples4ed is November 30th. 

Sue and Nicole shared info from last Thursday’s meeting with the wellness consultants from Georgetown. Three psychologists have been hired to consult with all Island schools regarding health and wellness. Sue had composed a document for them which included all the wellness services and offerings we have here at the Edgartown school. She had also requested input from staff prior to this meeting to make sure the list was accurate. The consultants will return in the new year to meet with parents and other health related community members. They will then compose a suggested plan for how to move forward in this area. 

Sue also updated the group that the MVYPS have hired FCD prevention works. This is a company out of Newton Ma that provides health and wellness classes to private and public schools worldwide. They will be back next spring to work with junior high grades.   

Gina gave update on our schools new breakfast program. Currently we have 43 % who receive either free or reduced lunch and or breakfast. Gina explained she must go by state regulations on what is served for grains, protein, dairy etc.. It opened up conversation for the group around nutrition and lag in state standards to include new philosophies around carbohydrates and grains not needing to be as large of a portion. Grains are highly processed and add burden and challenge to our bodies immune system as well as endocrine issues. 

The committee will continue dialog and put out recommendations for nourishing our students through whole foods. 

Wellness Meeting | 9/21/17

Michelle Pikor, Nicole Barlett, Elizabeth Ward, Brooke Ward, Sarah Vail, Sue Costello, Melinda R. Defeo, John Stevens 

1. Michelle and Channon will roll out details for k-8 runs 
2. Sue and Nicole will debrief on Health Fair
3. Sue will give an over view on Health program.
4. open for other goals and suggestions for year 


Committee approved Welcome back Parent Letter to be sent (see attachment)
Committee approved Parent letter on nutrition snack/lunch ideas (see attachment) 
Michelle confirmed Monthly theme runs. Information on these runs have been emailed to all teachers and office. First run is our annual Pumpkin run.
Melinda reported positive feedback from garden celebration which took place during open house/health fair. Hawaiian music was a big hit. 
Sue suggested next year adding a family activity in the gym. One thought is to offer line dancing. The committee agrees it would be beneficial to offer positive healthy experiences for families to enjoy together. 
Brooke expressed interest in teen fitness. The group informed her of the cross country team and the hurricanes running club. 
Sarah plans to send home via email parent suggestions around nutrition to support the wellness committee efforts.  

Wellness Meeting | 5/17/17

Attendees – Liz Ward, Gina deBettencourt, Nicole Barlett, Sara Vail, Michelle Pikor and Sue Costello

Nicole shared NSAID’S (Motrin, Advil) balance fats in the body to decrease pain.Balancing fats through good nutrition has an anti-inflamatory affect on the bodywhen these fats are in balance. Teaching the kids about proper nutrition isparamount. 

Nicole also reported that the “time for lunch” group recently met with Matt D’Andrea to address concerns around school lunch times and making sure that kids have adequate amount of seated lunch time. Please note that the national average recommendation is 25 minutes of seated lunch time. Our group feels that Edgartown is leading the island schools with our current 20 minute lunch period. We recognize that time management plays an integral part in making this successful. The wellness committee has decided to propose that all students have recess first and then go to lunch which aligns with the national recommendations. How can we creatively look at the schedule to make this happen. Nicole and Michelle have reached out to Anne Fligor to be part of the scheduling committee. Every student should be outside daily!! 

Michelle shared that community runs were discussed and planned for this school year but due to scheduling conflicts fell through. Michelle and Channon will revisit this with administration to plug these dates into morning advisories ahead of time for the 2017-2018 school year. Proposed times would be once a month from 8:30-8:45 on Fridays. 

Sue let the group know about the new Hokuela website which will be an educational sharingtool between Edgartown students and students in a few schools in Hawaii. Topic….how wetake care of our island earth (environmental health). 

Jessica Estrella approached the group about having laminated hand washing signs for the bathrooms. Task completed!!  

Gina reported that the kitchen inspection went very well! Congratulations to Gina and her staff. 

The group talked about how grades 5-8 already has an additional 45 minutes in the morning for movement (open gym with Michelle). What about creating something for the younger students? One suggestion was doing an early morning recess. We can all brainstorm ideas. 

Respectfully Submitted, Sue and Nicole

Wellness Meeting | 3-22-17 


Michelle Pikor
Sue Costello
Gina Debettencourt
Melinda Defeo
Nicole Barlett
Sara Vail 


Channon, Michelle and Sue went to 3 day conference on Wellness. Update on monthly runs.

Thank you Lizzy for continuing to change our wellness boards. Melinda to update on Arbor Day April 14th. 

Sue: Information gathered from 3 day wellness conference revealed many health educators are using The My Plate Curriculum, in younger grades.  

Michelle: Per research, test scores are up in schools that serve healthy lunches. 

Sue: Natick Superintendent spoke at conference to show his support for increase in exercise for students. He stressed that statistics show that students perform better in school with a healthy/increased balance of physical activity. They organized a morning  bike club at the high school where 75 kids are participating. The school district also offers an extra fitness elective for middle school students which runs for 60 days straight (in addition to physical education time).  

Michelle: Shape America – has research on benefits of recess and time on learning. 

Sue: We are planning to put together a slide show for staff to share what we learned. 

Sue: Shared at one of the conference break out sessions that  using language that is more gender neutral is important in today’s world.  

Michelle: Is looking into alternative dates for monthly runs as there was a conflict with original proposed dates.  

Melinda: Will work with Stuart Fuller as he has seedlings to give to each student to take home for April 14th Arbor Day. More details to come from Melinda soon. 

Gina: May 18th a kitchen audit will take place. 

Sara: Continues with healthy tips on our TV in main lobby. Most recently during one of her classes made a commercial on how to make deodorant with 2 ingredients found in your kitchen. Class was receptive to this activity.  

Nicole: Update on recent SBIRT screening. Reviewed universal screening what it is and other details of reporting to state. 

Wellness Meeting | Agenda and Minutes 1-25-2017


*School Lunch: Time For Lunch
*Monthly Run Walks: Michelle and Channon
*SBIRT New State Mandate:   


Channon Capra
Michelle Pikor
Melinda R. Defeo
Sue Costello
Elizabeth Ward
Brooke Ward
Nicole Barlett
John Stevens   

*Agata Rodregues & Lillie Cabral (students) requested to speak at Wellness meeting regarding possibility of having outdoor gymnastic equipment and/or having it incorporated into the school somehow. Mr. Stevens suggested the girls bring this to the wellness committee for further discussion. 

Our committee suggested a few resources outside of school such as Rise Dance Studio, Spindrift Dance Studio, acro class’s and the gymnastic center in West Tisbury that have trained individuals and correct equipment to teach such activities. Girls will speak to their parents and explore these options. There is a safety component and concern doing this in the school setting without the proper equipment and trained professionals.  

* Nicole asked group for input about lunch time. One of the Island Grown Schools committee members has reached out to look at school lunch times. Our schools currently allows for 20 minutes but realized other schools may have less time. Our school also tries to have recess first when scheduling allows. Nicole brought this to the committee to share and get our thoughts as a smaller sub committee will be formed by IGS.   

*Michelle and Channon discussed how to implement monthly runs. Proposed dates are as follows: 

February 17th Healthy Heart Run
March 17th St Patrick’s Day Run
April 14th (Name to be decided)
May 12th May Madness Run 

Lizzy will advertise runs on bulletin boards. 
Michelle & Channon will email teachers dates. Run is voluntary and will take place during a Friday AM meeting time slot starting at 8:35 – 8:50  

*SBIRT is a new Massachusetts State mandate which will be implemented in conjunction with other 7th grade health screenings that the school nurse performs. Letters have gone home to parents to inform them of this new screening. A brief discussion will take place with the 7th graders Friday February 10th during life skills class. Any questions please ask Nicole.

Notes from our Wellness Committee Meeting on November 30, 2016

* Shared that Brooke Ward will be our new student representative


* Michelle discussed the initiative of a monthly walk/run during advisory for 15 minutes. The group talked about this being a voluntary monthlyactivity for homerooms. Michelle would contact the Edgartown Police in advance and emails would go out to staff with timely reminders. Hereare some thoughts about event names/timing. This idea will align withthe Wellness Committee Goals (community building around wellness)and some goals from our Physical Education Department. 

– Jingle Bell Run – December
– Valentine Run/Walk – February
– Saint Patricks Day Run/Walk – March
– Bunny Hop (or Egg Run) – April
– March to the Sea – May
– Field Day – Run/Walk prior to days events 

* Family Wellness Dance – Suggestion of a mid winter event. The school could provide soup and parents could bring salads and bread. We discussed having a square dance theme or a line dancing theme with parents, children and teachers. If we could not get a “volunteer caller” could the PTA fund the caller position for the night. The other thought was to give families two choices….yoga…or dancing.  Still to be decided. 

* Gina shared an idea that was from “My Plate” website suggesting inside movement games and activities that the students can do when they have indoor recess. (for example – indoor hopscotch) 

* Sarah suggested we do a health/nutrition tip on the lobby monitor every month. We have done this in the past and all agreed it would be great to reinvent this idea. 

* Posters that Tess Temple worked on where so great. Lets get them out again andmake sure we utilize them again this year for parent information in the lobby.  

Respectfully submitted,
Sue Costello

Agenda 9-28-2016

Welcome back Wellness Committee 2016-17 school year 

This Years Active Members: 

Nicole Barlett: School Nurse 
Sue Costello: Health and Enrichment Teacher
Michelle Pikor: Physical Education 
Channon Capra: Physical Education
Gina Debettencourt: Head Cook 
Sarah Vail: Family & Consumer Science 
Elizabeth Ward: Parent Representative  

1. Bike to School Day October 5th, Rain date October 6th 
2. Next years Health Fair Looking for new Ideas and input from wellness group.   
3. Disseminating parent information about health and wellness  


Sue Costello discussed plans and date for Bike to School day. In the past this has been a successful event. The group engaged in further discussion on benefits of exercise and how this affects mood and over all health/well being. Flyers have been posted throughout the school and an email blast was sent to parents.  After school offering for walking club did not get good response however, will plan to offer again during this school year. 

Regarding Future Ideas for Health Fair which is a part of our schools open house:  

Disseminating Parent and student information about health and wellness: First the committee is seeking a student representative who will commit to attending the committee meetings held every other month. Parent Rep Elizabeth Ward has offered to take over preparing bulletin boards in the nurses office, across from nurses office, and upstairs outside the family and consumer science room. The boards will display a health theme for example the nurse’s office will have information regarding a variety of health tips in which students can work toward  for optimal learning. We are thrilled Elizabeth has joined this committee. Please see attached picture 

Sarah Vail: expressed interest in sending out occasional email blasts to parents with links on topics committee is interested in sharing. The goal here to to help parents understand the importance of overall health and how this can link to the child’s ability to learn.   

Sue Costello: Continue positive messaging on lobby screen as well as in cafeteria in the napkin holders which are on each table. Nicole will email Gail Gardner to see if she would like to incorporate having students retrieve healthly messages and pictures from computer class.  

Channon Capra: explained benefits of physical activity and time on learning. Would like to explore ways to incorporate more school runs like the jingle bell run throughout the school year. One thought was to have a monthly run to build a sense of community that shows we value health and fitness.  Sue also mentioned the possibility of linking these wellness events as part of potential fundraising opportunity for our Island community.  

Melinda shared importance of messaging around food. For example, less about calories and more about how the food makes the person feel. Did the food give you energy or did the food make you feel sluggish. Melinda enjoys showing the nourish video series with Sue during health. 

Agenda for 3-23-16 meeting

  1. Nicole will share School Wellness resource Kit: Came across this kit put together by Can do it: Coalition for activity and nutrition to defeat obesity. There are a ton of resources we can use to promote wellness in all areas including screen time, healthy snacks, breakfast ideas, even share with PTA ideas for healthy fund raisers (Sue can bring this info back)
  2. Healthy Rewards: (non-food) rewards is a great way to provide positive reinforcement for behavior and academic performance. Does the wellness committee want to put out  quick email together to include tips for parents and teachers?
  3. Health and Academics-linking nutrition and activity to student achievement. Does this group want to disseminate evidenced based  information on how these are related.
  4. Open discussion and member input for future topics 


  • Nancy Nash
  • Sue Costello
  • Michelle Pikor
  • Nicole Barlett 

Group agreed we can utilize wellness kit when sending out wellness info on a variety of health topics to teachers and parents. If you were not able to make the meeting and would like to preview this resource please come see me.  

Healthy rewards: Group would like to collaborate with student council and work on coming up with a procedure for non-food rewards which will also follow our wellness policy. For example, recent food drive: classroom that donates most can goods for food pantry gets to visit food pantry, have lunch at Anchors with elderly, or gets extra recess time. Wellness committee encourages student council to work on ideas and will help group get word out to school community. 

Linking health and academics: Research links better test results with increased Physical activity most likely result of more blood flow to the brain improving perfusion. Overall studies conclude physical activity, proper nutrition, and healthy body weight improve student academic achievement. Wellness group supports continued efforts to reach out to teachers and Parents on variety of health issues. Upcoming topics to include info on ticks, sun safety (which is also covered in health class). Will do this through emails, screen in main lobby, health fair, student council, and opportunities to share at school events.

Agenda for Wednesday, January 27th Meeting:

3-4pm in the nurse’s office

  1. Kids Fed up tape is in. how do we see this being shown? Through health class, after school with healthy snack in cafeteria etc… Not even sure we want to show this. Melinda has seen the DVD and can report on her thoughts
  2. Ideas and feedback needed from the group on offering a health club as an afterschool program which runs 6 weeks. Thoughts on who might be interested in doing this? what would the club do, focus on etc… Can we ask PTA to help with this to see if a parent has interest etc….
  3. Nicole to update on health idea after collaboration with Alicia Knight 3rd grade teacher who also wrote grant for Classroom Yoga and co-chairs the Educational Committee.
  4. Open discussion: Other thoughts or ideas for our committee

Agenda & Minutes for the November 24th 2015 Meeting

  1. Review wellness policy (please come with any suggestions)
  2. Fed up movie for kids (I ordered kit from Fed Up website still awaiting for it to come in) group can discuss how we would like to show this 1. during school or 2. movie night
  3. Requested that IWYC join us for first 15 minutes awaiting to hear back.
  4. Open discussion 

Minutes for Monday, November 24th Meeting:

Sue Costello
Gina Debettencourt
Melinda R. Defeo
Nicole Barlett 

1. The group brought revised suggestions that were then agreed upon as it related to our wellness policy. Please Note: Our policy was not changed but some of the procedures that where outdated for example, tickets to minis which we no longer have was omitted.  

2. Fed Up movie kit was ordered for free from Nicole and Melinda however we have not received anything as of yet. Will email the group once we get the kit in the mail. There was no further discussion on this during this meeting due to the fact that most of it was spent on revising and reviewing our Wellness procedures  

3. As I mentioned above please see attachments from IWYC which shows what they are offering to our Island families.  

4. Open Discussion: Please pass on that all wellness minutes are posted on our wellness link which you can access from the nurses web page or the main web page compliments of our Tech person Darren Belisle.  

Next meeting Wednesday, January 27th 2016 

Agenda for the 9/23/2015 Meeting:

  1. Sue Mercier will share a few words about IWYC and how we can collaborate our efforts. (THIS IS TENATIVE AWAITING TO HEAR BACK FROM SUE)
  2. Wellness policy (plan to set date to review with committee and add or update procedures if needed)
  3. Fed Up movie night (do we want to plan to host a parent/kids night ? Does anyone Melinda:) want to f/u on seeing if there is a kids version yet?
  4. (where are we at and where are we going) I will share something Pati Nelson shared with me. I know you will all appreciate it:)
  5. Suggestions from committee members

Minutes from 9-23-15 meeting:


  • Nicole Barlett
  • Anne Fligor
  • John Stevens
  • Gina Debettencourt
  • Nancy Nash
  • Sue Costello
  • Rebecca Briggs
  • Sue Sanford via phone conference
  • Michelle Pikor

All members where asked to read wellness policy and bring highlighted comments or areas of question etc… to next meeting set for Monday November 23rd 3-4pm.

Next Wellness meeting meets Nov 23rd which is a Monday.

Nicole will send out reminder email to staff re upcoming Halloween and wellness policy. Also Sue Sanford will speak to PTA re choosing non food items for PTA Halloween party.

Melinda will find out if or when Fed Up for kids is coming out. Committee would like to offer a parent/kids night to show this film in January or March.

Anne suggested a long term goal for committee could be implementing gardens (even a small one) at students homes.

Sue Mercier from IWYC could not attend this meeting but was invited and has accepted to attend the Nov 23rd meeting.

Nicole has asked Darren to share minutes so all can view. Not sure where this is going but will let you all know after Darren and I meet.

Nancy Nash suggested promoting go to foods to display on screen in Lobby for October’s National health and wellness week ( Nicole will check in with Darren about doing this). Last year the committee had blurbs about sugar and effects of for example see pic below. I think we all loved Nancy’s idea to come at this from a positive instead of a negative:

The group as a whole feels that health and wellness especially around nutrition and exercise has permeated throughout our school. A few examples of this are as follows: Michelle offers before school exercise to upper grade students, Gina has gone above and beyond state nutrition law for competitive foods and beverages sold in the cafeteria, Nancy has made sure her class room is nut free. She implemented this as a risk reduction strategy which follows the DOE, NASN, Ma DPH, & FAAN. Sue Costello leads our back to school health fair and implements nutrition lessons during health class’s. This is a brief description of what is happening not to mention the tons of work Melinda has done building our school garden from a baby to what it has become is truly noteworthy to say the least. I could go on and on. Thank you lastly to our admin who have supported us through this process.