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Mission Statement: District 88 mission: To work for the continuous improvement of student achievement. Through that mission, District 88 schools have been named as Top Schools in America by Newsweek and the Washington Post.

 

Warrior Wellness: An inside look at Willowbrook’s freshmen and sophomore physical education classes

Willowbrook students are working hard every day to become more educated with their health and wellness, and we are thrilled to feature those accomplishments through this monthly column.

In this edition of Warrior Wellness, we showcase our freshmen and sophomore physical education classes and the adaptation to the hybrid learning environment. This past year has been filled with uncertainty, change and often isolation because of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic – especially for teens. But one thing that remained constant was the importance of maintaining overall wellness. Our freshmen curriculum focuses on health-related fitness. This year, our main goal was to get students moving. Being in a remote learning environment earlier this year meant we weren’t with our pupils, which made it challenging to ensure participation. However, this served as an opportunity for students to really learn the “why” behind activities to improve physical and emotional well-being.

Freshmen classes started the semester learning about the heart and how exercising within your target heartrate zones can strengthen that muscle and improve your quality and length of life. Students created small-space cardio workouts that required no equipment, ensuring everyone – regardless of their environment – could participate. The next unit was muscles, where students located 11 of the major muscles. They learned about each of their functions and created workouts to target and strengthen those specific areas. Students were encouraged to be creative and use household items as weights. We recently finished a unit on flexibility, where we learned to incorporate static and dynamic stretching into the warmup and cool-down portions of our workouts. We also discussed how developing flexibility can improve performance and decrease the risk of injury during activity. This semester also has allowed freshmen to implement “Wellness Wednesdays.” During these shortened class periods, we move away from our computers and studies and turn our focus inward. We relax, meditate, do yoga and put the outside world on hold for a bit to improve our mental health.

The sophomore classes started the year by reviewing the health-related fitness components they learned last year and the importance of physical activity. Last year, because each student had a Chromebook, all cognitive lessons were converted to online assignments, assessments and projects. This was very beneficial while we were in a remote learning environment earlier this year because of the pandemic. We have continued to expand students’ knowledge of muscles, the importance of exercising within their target heartrate zones and how to create efficient at-home workouts. The sophomore classes also have learned and participated in stress-relieving activities such as yoga, meditation and special breathing techniques. We have been working on our mental health, along with our physical health. During the last part of second semester, students will reflect on the goals they set at the beginning of the semester and will create more individualized workouts.

We recently welcomed students who have selected the hybrid option back into the classroom for in-person learning four days a week, and we couldn’t be happier to have them back in the building! We know there will be more challenges ahead, but as we’ve done for the past year, we will continue to be patient with one another and kind to ourselves and will make the best of this situation together as Willowbrook Warriors.

Willowbrook High School
1250 S. Ardmore Avenue Villa Park, IL 60181
Phone: 630-530-3400 Fax: 630-530-3401
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