The Model Active Schools program demonstrates real life examples of how our Champions across the country are integrating physical activity and keeping kids active before, during and after school.
Soaring Heights PK-8
Movement has always played an important role for the students of Active Schools ambassador Cyrus Weinberger.
In his former role as founding principal of Red Hawk Elementary School in Erie, CO, Cyrus developed a rigorous academic program coupled with a comprehensive wellness program — which now serves as the model for an online course on classroom physical activity integration, funded by the Colorado Health Foundation.
In 2018, Cyrus opened Soaring Heights PK-8, our first Model Active School. Soaring Heights students learn everything kids at other schools do, but with a focus on movement, empathy for others and service.
In preparation for opening Soaring Heights, Cyrus spoke with the community about what they most wanted in their local public school. In addition to a rigorous academic environment, STEM, critical thinking skills and collaboration, people kept coming back to concepts like empathy, kindness, service and mental health.
Cyrus concluded that neuroscience is the perfect vehicle for bringing together a variety of disciplines to help students dig deeply into the scientific process while growing a rich understanding of how brain functions affect learning and behavior. Having a clear understanding of how the brain works supports individual learning processes and helps students function better in collaborative situations and increases self-awareness while taking on another’s perspective.
Physical activity supports this work both academically and by creating an optimal learning environment. In addition to physical education class and recess, elementary and middle school student receive 30-40 minutes of physical activity by incorporating physical activity into classroom lessons and encouraging movement breaks throughout the day.
Many Active Schools partner organizations collaborated with Cyrus and his teachers to provide programs, lessons, equipment, technology and training to Soaring Heights.
Soaring Heights is the first of many Model Active Schools as we continue our mission to increase physical education and physical activity in our nation’s schools.