Model Communities Grantee

J. Sterling Morton High School District 201

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Grantee Summary

J Sterling Morton High School District (HSD) 201 is located in west suburban Cook County and includes three high schools and one alternative school. HSD 201 serves 8,406 students from six separate communities. The district’s attendance area includes Berwyn, Cicero, Forest View, Lyons, McCook and Stickney. The student body is representative of the communities in which it serves, with nearly 85% who are Latino/Hispanic. HSD 201’s mission is to provide quality educational experiences that challenge and enable all students as lifelong learners to be productive, responsible members of the global community.

Policy, System and Environmental (PSE) Changes

HSD 201 is utilizing the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program (HSP) Framework for all of the policy changes they are working to implement with their Model Communities award. These include the following PSEs:

  • Adoption and implementation of district wide physical education (PE) curricula to show students how to be healthy and active throughout their life;
  • Adoption of district wide policy that incorporates physical activity (PA) into the school day;
  • Adoption of a worksite wellness policy that increases PA and encourages healthy eating among HSD 201 staff; and
  • Integration of wellness policies within their school health improvement plans and work with building level wellness councils to improve the health of their school-based community.

Highlights and Successes

  • HSD 201 adopted a health and PE curricula aligned to state standards in October 2011. In addition, HSD 201 district policy was adopted in October 2011 that requires PA during the school day to support implementation of the curriculum.
  • All schools in HSD 201 initiated their Wellness Councils and action plans in May 2011.
  • A comprehensive staff wellness policy was adopted in October 2011 and new opportunities for physical activity have been created for staff at all HSD 201 schools.
  • Health has been integrated into the district-wide school improvement plan.
  • With installation of bike racks, students have a safe place to park bikes, encouraging biking to school.

Sustainability of PSE changes

  • The adoption of both the PE curriculum and daily PA requirement ensures integration of policy change at the district-level to practice change at the building-level.
  • The Wellness Councils take little to no resources to maintain and promote ownership and shared responsibility of the implementation of the wellness policy.
  • The integration of health into the long-term, state-required improvement plan ensures health and wellness will be promoted and continued beyond the Model Communities project period.

Contact Information

J. Sterling Morton High School Distrtrict 201
3145 S. 55th Ave., Cicero, IL 60804
Contact: Jennifer Thoennes - Project Director
Phone: 708-863-7900, x1033
Email: jthoennes@west.jsmorton.org
Technical Assistance Partner: Alliance for a Healthier Generation, Active Transportation Alliance