Healthy Choices Weeks
In an effort to focus student attention on the bigger issues faced by all teens, we developed a bi-annual event called Healthy Choices Week starting in the 13-14 school year. Each week consists of daily Schoolwide Video Lessons, class activities, lunch activities, calls to action, and online participation. The buttons below will take you to the materials for each week.
This video, produced as part of an application for the Digital Innovation in Learning Awards, provides a good explanation of the Healthy Choices Week project. It was made in Fall 2014, before the third Healthy Choices Week on Stress.
Healthy Choices Week #1- Bullying Behavior
The first Healthy Choices Week was held in October of 2013 and focused on bullying behavior. This initial project established the general structure for Healthy Choices Weeks, and began the process of integrating online resources into the events of the week. The first healthy choices week took place at the very beginning of October, so this was the first major project for the students in the class, who had just learned many of the video skills they used in the project.
Healthy Choices Week #2- Healthy Image
The second Healthy Choices Week offered the opportunity to expand and grow from the first one. While in the Fall Semester, students were just learning the ropes, in the Spring, they were much more confident in their abilities and were able to take their projects to new levels. The week was expanded to include a website built and maintained by the class and the activities were increased to include dress-up days and a facilitated backchannel using the hashtag #HealthyST. These additions have become standard to Healthy Choices Weeks. The quality and creativity of student work between this week and the Fall week is an excellent demonstration of student growth over the course the year. Healthy Choices Week #2 also afforded the students the ability to work with other classes, including Film Production, Art, and Beginning Journalism to further enhance their products. In the end, the week was so successful that it caught the attention of Gil Zamora, an FBI profiler from a Dove True Beauty commercial that was one of the students' inspirations for the week. Mr. Zamora came to speak to the class about his job, the Dove Commercial and healthy image.
Healthy Choices Week #3- Stress
The third Healthy Choices Week marked the first major project for a new group of students. Those who attended Santa Teresa last year were inspired by the impact from the first two weeks and wanted to expand the topic to include a lasting schoolwide call to action. This week continued the expansions from the second week in the form of the website, the dress-up days, and the hashtag, and worked toward a stronger push for definitive school change. The students decided to conduct extensive research about stress among Santa Teresa students through surveys, in-depth interviews, and comparisons with other schools in the community. This research sparked a schoolwide conversation between administration, faculty, and students about why students experienced stress and what the school could do about it. In part as a result from this conversation, the school is exploring the option of changing to a block schedule, increasing the lunch period, and implementing an advisory/tutorial period three days per week. The staff will vote on this change in March of 2015. While the video production qualities and overall development of this week do not match that of the second Healthy Choices Week, this is to be expected given the current experience levels of the students. Nonetheless, the drive to expand and innovate more with each week is evident.
Healthy Choices Week #4- Sustainability
The fourth Healthy Choices Week will involve immense collaboration between several departments on campus exploring the topic of sustainability. The Week is scheduled for April 20-24, 2015. More information will be provided as we get closer to the event.