THE FWSU STORY: How to #ThriveFWSU on a Snow Day

The Snow Day, dreaded by some, heralded by others, is always an opportunity!

classic snow day schultz peanuts picture

Today we take the opportunity to introduce you to a new FWSU Twitter account dedicated to helping FWSU thrive:

Information about WSCC Prevention and Wellness Team initiatives and health-enhancing news for #FWSU #FWSUHealthySchools #ThriveFWSU

Grab a cup of hot cocoa and take a few minutes to browse through tweets that are aimed at supporting the well-being of FWSU faculty and staff, students, and families.

Happiness is hot chocolate!

As you scroll @WellnessFWSU, you’ll meet our community partners, learn about the Whole School, Whole Child, Whole Community Model (WSCC) of Wellness, get information on Wellness Initiative at FWSU, and find lots of valuable information and health-enhancing tips such as:

Keeping the heart healthy and safe…

heart healthy safe snow shoveling tips
A timely reminder!

Healthy eating…

Food picks for good and bad snow days
Snow day food picks!


Remembering the power of self-care


Mindful schools

…and so much more!

thriving, wellness, self-care

Looking forward to having you join us in our quest to #ThriveFWSU!

Linda Keating

Linda Keating is the Director of Curriculum at FWSU. She is a regular contributor to THE FWSU STORY. You can follow her on Twitter @Educate4ward

FWSU Maintains Healthy Smiles with the Tooth Tutor Program

Vermont’s Tooth Tutor program helps to ensure that every child has access to preventive, restorative and continuous care in a dental office. Schools choose to participate in the Tooth Tutor Program.

A dental professional helps the school nurse update dental information in each child’s school health file, assisting families who currently do not have a dentist to find a dental home for their child/children and providing a free dental screening to these children upon request.

  • Approximately half of all elementary schools in Vermont participate in the Tooth Tutor Program. All of our elementary schools in Franklin West Supervisory Union participate in the Tooth-Tutor Program.
  • Most of the Tooth Tutors are funded through Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment (EPSDT) funds but some are funded through grants and foundations.
photo credit: VT Agency of Education
photo credit: VT Agency of Education

Our student’s look forward to a visit from The Tooth Tutor, they are able to participate in a healthy oral health exercise in order to gain a greater understanding of proper teeth brushing and flossing.

Despite the reduction in cases of decay in recent years, nationally more than half of all children have cavities by the second grade, and by the time students finish high school, about 80 percent have cavities. Unless it is stopped early, dental decay is irreversible.

toothtutor4Tooth decay is the most common oral disease among children and the most common childhood chronic disease.  Children in Vermont generally fare well with regard to oral health and tooth decay compared to children in other states.  The Tooth Tutor program is happening in a FWSU school near you!   Healthy habits that will last a lifetime!

Target 1 – Proficiency-Based Personalized Learning. FWSU students and staff design and engage in proficiency-based personalized learning that integrates collaborative inquiry, problem solving, and creativity.

Indicator of Success: Highlight, create and model innovative learning opportunities that promote collaborative inquiry, problem solving and creativity for students and staff.

BFA Fairfax High School Students Welcome Wellness Breaks!

Target 3. Flexible Learning Environments: FWSU will maximize flexible learning environments by redefining the school day, promoting learning experiences that extend beyond the school classroom, and fostering creativity, innovation, and differentiated learning opportunities for all.

Action Step 4: Increase access to resources for all students using digital tools making learning more accessible for diverse learners.

Indicator of Success: Staff, students and community embrace digital, social, mobile and “always on” learning style of 21st century students.

Stop by the high school at BFA Fairfax any afternoon between 1:15 and 1:30 and you will see students involved in a variety of activities throughout the building. This is our daily Wellness Break! 

Students have the opportunity to play basketball in the gym…


stretch out with some yoga…


relax with “mindful” coloring…


collaborate on a crossword puzzle…


have a mini jam session…


or take a walk around the building or connect with friends for a few minutes.

High school teachers volunteer to supervise the activities which allow them to connect with students in a different way. Students are enjoying the chance to take a “brain break” in the afternoon and have reacted positively to the change in schedule:

“Wellness break gives me a chance to gather myself before the last class of the day”


“It breaks up the afternoon and helps me focus in class at the end of the day.”

Students have been invited to suggest activities for future wellness breaks. We hope that students continue to participate and benefit from this change of routine that helps to wake up their brain each afternoon in the high school at BFA.