By Bonnie Seymour
News Star Reporter
More and more people and businesses are taking a focus on health and now schools are doing the same by becoming certified healthy as part of the Certified Healthy Oklahoma program from the Oklahoma Department of Health.
The certification program recognizes schools, businesses, restaurants, and communities that promote wellness, encourage the adoption of healthy behaviors, and establish safe and supportive environments.
As part of the program that Pauls Valley, Lindsay, Whitebead, and Elmore City schools are already involved in, Maysville schools must become a 24/7 smoke and tobacco free zone, which the Maysville Board of Education voted to do at their Monday, August 11 regular meeting.
What this means is no tobacco products whatsoever, including e-cigarettes or vapors will be allowed to be used on school property, at school events, or at athletic games.
Once the schools are Certified Healthy, the district will be allowed to apply for certain grants that are only available to Certified Healthy schools, which could mean more money for the district as well as recognition for making the change towards health.
“This isn’t about the adults, it’s about the kids,” said Maysville Superintendent Dr. Shelly Hildebrand – Beach.
Other criteria is also in place to be certified, such as healthier food and snacks in the schools and physical education hours for the students, but Dr. Hildebrand – Beach informed the board that the Maysville district is already doing a lot of things needed to get certified.
Signs will be placed around school campuses and athletic fields stating the area is a 24 / 7 smoke and tobacco free zone and areas will also be monitored to ensure that the new policies are not broken.
Other business conducted at the meeting includes:
•A letter from board member Asheley Close was opened which stated that she would no longer be serving on the school board due to the fact that her sister is now an employee of the district.
District nepotism laws are the reason for Close’s departure.
•Dr. Hildebrand – Beach stated that the softball fence has been replaced and that metal kickboards have been purchased to replace the wood of the football field bleachers. These improvements are just some that will happen over time.
“We are just getting started. It takes time to get it all done,” said Dr. Hildebrand – Beach.
•No enrollment numbers have been released as of yet for the district, as there are students in the community who have yet to enroll, but Elementary Principal Jeanna Bearden did state that the HeadStart 4-K program has 17 students enrolled, which is the class’s capacity, and the school’s 4-K class has nine students leaving one spot open.
•Timothy Keaton and Michael Webb were both hired as secondary teachers and coaches for the 2014-2015 school year.
•John Bailey was hired as a lay coach for football for the 2014-2015 school year.