District-Wide Student Wellness Programs and Assessments

Learn to Swim

Second grade students in the Independence School District have the opportunity to participate in beginner swim lessons and water safety skills for FREE thanks to a partnership between the Independence School District and YMCA of Greater Kansas City.  Swimming is a lifelong skill that promotes wellness, socialization, and time with family.  Learn to Swim provides an opportunity to educate children on the risks of being in and around water and builds a child’s confidence and skills.

Our goal is to provide the Learn to Swim program to all 2nd grade students after school at no cost!  Lessons will be held one night a week for six weeks at the Henley Aquatic Center located in Bridger Middle School.  Transportation will be provided for your child to the Henley Aquatic Center.  Lessons will be taught by YMCA certified instructors.

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Nutrition Detectives

Nutrition Detectives™ is an innovative, educational program for 3rd grade students intended to inform them of better food choices and healthier eating through knowledge of food composition.  It shows them "5 clues" to read food labels and detect marketing deceptions while learning to identify and choose healthful foods. The program incorporates basic messages about nutrition and health; a characterization of associations between poor nutrition and adverse health effects; assessment of food advertisements, food label interpretation, and food selection.  The program is novel, engaging, and efficient, imparting crucial information in minimal time.   

In the Independence School District, Nutrition Detectives™ will be taught by the elementary Physical Education teachers.  It is encouraged that the nutrition lessons are incorporated into the student’s physical activity time.  This program should not take a substantial amount of time away from student’s physical activity minutes.

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STAR Power Program

Kohl's and Children's Mercy are committed to supporting Strong, Talented, Authentic and Resilient kids.  That's why we've teamed up to offer the Kohl's and Children's Mercy STAR Power Program, a community-outreach program providing classroom-based education and resources to Independence Elementary Schools.

The program content that will be presented in two interactive sessions throughout the school year:

  • Relaxation
  • Self Esteem

For the 2013-2014 school year, the Kohl's and Children's Mercy STAR Power program will be offered to all 3rd and 4th graders in a 2 year rotation.  Classroom visits include interactive presentations, group discussions, expressive activities and hands-on FUN!  The visit is led by a Children's Mercy Hospital Child Life Specialist.

All materials are included. Classroom visits are approximately 45 minutes but can be adjusted according to the school’s schedule. Small or large groups can be accommodated.

In the Independence School District, the STAR Power Program will be integrated into the Guidance Curriculum.  The Wellness Department will work with elementary Guidance Counselors to implement this program into their buildings.

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Our goal is to provide all Independence School District students with a variety of wellness opportunities to help reach our vision and goals.  The Wellness Department will work with each building to help implement these required programs. 


Student Wellness Inventory Assessment

Student Wellness Action Plan

ABC for Fitness™

Family Wellness Nights

Fuel Up to Play 60

Learn to Swim

Nutrition Detectives™

STAR Power

University of Missouri Extension Food Power

ABC for Fitness



The ABC for Fitness™ program shows schools how to restructure physical activity into multiple, brief episodes of activity into classrooms throughout the day without taking away valuable time for classroom instruction.  It is recommended that educators accumulate at least 30 additional minutes of physical activity each day (not including recess and physical education class) into the day.  By increasing daily physical activity for children, ABC for Fitness can help promote health and fitness and increase productivity levels throughout the day. 

The Independence School District implements ABC for Fitness into grades Pre-K through 5.  All Pre-K through 5 grade classroom teachers are encouraged to continue offering ABC for Fitness in the classroom no less than 3x a week. 

To make sure that this offering is being offered at least 3x a week in the classrooms; teachers will be asked to keep a calendar of days in which they offer ABC for Fitness in their classroom.  Those calendars will be reviewed by the Student Wellness Advisory Council.

The manual below provides instruction for teachers to incorporate short bursts of activity at the beginning of each class. ABC for Fitness™ can ensure that children obtain the level of physical activity that is essential for good health and wellbeing.  For more information on ABC For Fitness™ click the link below.

2010 Research Publication

2011 Research Publication 

ABC for Fitness Teacher's Manual

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Family Wellness Night

To improve the health of our students, parent support is vital.  To help foster a culture of wellness, not only at the school level but also in the homes of our students, a family wellness night is encouraged to be offered at each building.

What is Family Wellness Night?

Family Wellness Night will be an opportunity for families to participate in a wellness-related activity at their child’s school.  The night may be based on physical activity or a learning activity on one of the dimensions of wellness.  This event is not required for the student, but encouraged for student and family.  The night can be incorporated into an event that is already offered (ie, Science Night, Reading Night, etc.).

Who can participate?

Family Wellness Night is offered to the student and their immediate family.  

When and where will the Family Wellness Night be offered?

The specific school determines when the Family Wellness Night will take place.  The Family Wellness Night will be offered at each school in the District with the exact location being communicated prior to the event.

What is the fee to participate?

Family Wellness Night is FREE to all students and families within the Independence School District.

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Fuel Up to Play 60

Fuel Up to Play 60 is a program founded by the National Dairy Council and NFL, in collaboration with USDA that empowers students to take charge in making small, everyday changes at school. Students can win cool prizes, like an NFL player visit or Super Bowl tickets, for choosing good-for-you foods and getting active for at least 60 minutes every day. We want kids to make a difference not only in their lives, but also their community.

Fuel Up to Play 60 encourages youth to eat healthy and move more — and studies suggest that well-nourished, physically active kids can be better students.

Better nutrition, including eating a healthy breakfast each day, helps students get the nutrients they need and may help improve their academic performance. What's more, being physically active may help students improve self-esteem, cognitive function and test scores.

And with Fuel Up to Play 60, healthy students can have more fun! By participating in the program, youth have the opportunity to earn rewards and prizes. Those students who help build the program may benefit even more. In fact, researchers say peer group interaction may help to influence healthy choices, and student involvement can lead to motivation and engagement in learning.

By engaging in Fuel Up to Play 60, you will send a clear message to your school that focusing on healthy eating and physical activity is an important part of success – in the classroom and in life. You will also provide a vehicle for your school to come together as a community to create healthy change. Here are some things you can do right now – today – to help integrate Fuel Up to Play 60 in your school.

In the Independence School District, Fuel Up to Play 60 will be implemented as a joint effort by the Youth Development – Before and After School Groups, building Wellness Champions, and the school staff and students.

The before and after School Groups will work on monthly challenges and marketing tools (flyers, posters, etc).  The Wellness Champion will work on promoting the program to the school staff, and the school staff and students need to get involved.  Staff can use the website and information in classroom discussion (when applicable) and students can get on the website and track their physical activity and eating.

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Independence School District

© 2022 Independence School District
201 North Forest Avenue
Independence, Missouri 64050
(816) 521-5300
Last Update: Tuesday, October 29, 2019 07:43:51