The extra focus by four Mission Consolidated Independent School District (CISD) schools on providing a healthy learning environment has resulted in them being recognized as being among the 323 Healthiest Schools in America by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. The Alliance for a Healthier Generation is an organization founded by the American Heart Association and Clinton Foundation, working to empower kids to develop lifelong, healthy habits.

Previously, all Mission CISD schools, with the exception of Alton Elementary School earned Bronze Awards for the 2015-2016 school year through the Alliance. Alton earned a Silver Award at that time.

This year, for the 2016-2017 school year, four Mission CISD schools improved upon their ratings from the previous year, resulting in them making the national Healthiest Schools in America list. Those four schools recently received their official awards: Castro Elementary School, went from bronze to silver; Cavazos Elementary School, went from bronze to silver; Mission Collegiate High School, went from bronze to silver; and Marcell Elementary School, which went from bronze to a Gold Award (highest possible).

Marcell Elementary School was also recently included in an article in the September issue of Woman's Day magazine, http://www.womansday.com/life/g3140/healthiest-schools-in-america/.

All other Mission CISD schools maintained their Alliance award level from the previous year. However, many have set their sights on improvements that could earn them higher awards next year, and make for healthier school environments for students and staff.

According to the Alliance, award-winning schools are serving as best-in-class examples of a nationwide movement to create healthier environments for kids. All Mission CISD award winning schools:

●      Meet or exceed updated federal nutrition standards for school meals, which include increased fruits and vegetables, whole grain-rich items, and meals lower in saturated fats

●      Offer school breakfast to their students every day

●      Meet or exceed snack and beverage requirements for the federal Smart Snacks in Schools standards

●      Implement district wellness policies and report progress annually

●      Provide students with at least 60 minutes of physical education per week and ensure activity throughout the school day