From the School Building-Wide Wellness Committee

Happy 2015! I hope this email finds everyone rejuvenated from a happy, healthy and peaceful winter break.
For those who do not know me, I’m a parent at EVCS and have been working with Tina Gilberti, a parent from CWS, to organize a School Building-Wide Wellness Committee. The purpose of this committee is to address nutrition, environmental, and fitness issues that concern all three schools (CWS, EVCS, Spectrum) that share 610 E. 12th Street.

****First order of business, the next meeting of the School Building-Wide Wellness Committee has been scheduled for this Wednesday, January 7th, at 8:40 am in the school building’s cafeteria. Since this is the first week back from break and some people may need the week to re-group and gear up for the new year (not to mention the fact that I know of some folks who have a direct conflict with this Wednesday’s meeting), would anyone from any of the schools be opposed to rescheduling the meeting to Wednesday, January 14th, at 8:40 am? If rescheduling poses a problem, we can keep the meeting for this Wednesday, January 7th. Please just weigh in on this by tomorrow (Tuesday) at noon so we can confirm which  date the meeting will be held.****
The following are some notes from the December meeting.
Notes from December 10th Meeting:
At the December 10th meeting of this committee, three issues were primarily discussed: (1) increasing access to water in the cafeteria during lunch, (2) the potential addition of a water filtration system for the building’s water fountains, and (3) temporary solutions for reducing noise in the cafeteria.
Water Access:
There is interest in making water more accessible during lunch beyond the two traditional water fountains, which can incur long lines and only allow for students to drink water at the fountain unless they bring a water bottle to fill up. Currently, school lunch only offers milk and students who use the fountains cannot take water back to their seats. Ideas for increasing access to water include making paper cups available for students to fill up, and installing either an additional water spigot to facilitate ease/speed of filling up cups/water bottles or using a water dispensing system (which has a  water “gun” that can be used to quickly fill up cups/bottles) that the school building already has on its premises.
Water Filtration:
There is a concern that the drinking water in the building may contain unacceptably high levels of lead, fluoride and/or other hazardous elements. Consequently, there is interest in installing water filters in the water fountains. Before a formal proposal is made to identify, purchase and install some type of filtration system, CWS parent Rachel Frank has offered to obtain lead and fluoride water testing kits and to test various sources of drinking water throughout the building.
Noise Reduction in the Cafeteria:
The noise level in the cafeteria during breakfast and lunch has been an on-going concern. Noise levels have been frequently tested by parents (using smart phone apps) and shown to be in the high range (i.e., noisy train station or loud rock concert range) during lunch and breakfast. Temporary solutions for reducing noise, such as the installation of noise absorbing foam to the walls that could be used as blank canvases for art installations, were discussed.
Next Steps/Issues that Need to be Discussed:
1. Test various drinking water sources in building
2. Follow up with leadership from the three schools on ideas for improving water access during lunch in the cafeteria
3. Follow up with leadership from three schools on noise reduction solutions
4. Discuss the idea of doing school lunch tastings for students/parents
5. Discuss ideas for improving nutritional options during lunch (and breakfast if possible)
6. Discuss ideas for moving towards switching to eco-friendly cleaning products in the building
Please feel free anyone to add to the notes from the last meeting and suggest other next step items for this committee. And please do not forget to let the group know if rescheduling the committee’s meeting to next Wednesday, January 14th is ok. Thanks!Warmest wishes,