Purpose and Goal

The purpose of this wellness policy is to outline the different aspects of Hozho Academy’s approach to promoting student and staff wellness within the following areas: nutrition, environment, health education, health services, social and emotional wellbeing, staff wellness and community partnerships. Hozho Academy recognizes the significant correlation between physical and emotional wellness and academic success. We believe that we have a great opportunity to promote students and staff to establish and maintain lifelong healthy lifestyles. The administration and school leadership at Hozho Academy have adopted some significant programs and policies to maximize the health and wellbeing of our staff and students. Nutritious food, rigorous physical education, social support and mental health services, health sciences, and school health services are all different aspects of our school the help us achieve our wellness goals.

School Health Advisory Committee

Hózhó Academy has established a school health advisory committee (SHAC), which we refer to as the Arete Team, which has worked towards establishing the aforementioned goals, making a wholistic plan to achieve them, monitoring and revising the plan as necessary, and drafting/revising the schools’ wellness policy. The Arete Team meets each semester to review the progress of the different programs and make recommendations to school leadership.
Hózho Academy’s Wellness Policy is published at https://hozhoacademy.org/wellness-policy/

The success of the different programs is challenging to measure because of the wholistic approach; but students are assessed quarterly in PE through various developmentally appropriate physical challenges. Each students’ progress is tracked and monitored through our Arete Wellness PE Program and as students advance they are able to be promoted through a leveling system that motivates students to push themselves physically.


Definition:  The process of nourishing or being nourished, especially the process by which a living organism assimilates food and uses it for growth and for replacement of tissues.

 Goal:  The goal of nutrition is to promote the role of nutrition in academic performance and quality of life and to ensure the adoption of school policies which provide adequate nutrition opportunities. Hozho Academy will provide students with minimally processed, locally sourced (to the furthest extent possible), fresh and delicious meal options and will encourage students to make healthier lifestyle choices related to food.

  • The School Nutrition Services will follow current nutrition guidelines as set forth by both Federal and State requirements. They will enhance nutrition education presented in the classroom by promoting the development of healthy eating habits and providing nutritional information to students. Hozho Academy does not sell snacks to students.
  • The school will provide nutrition education activities that align with New Mexico health education content standards with benchmarks and performance standards as set forth in 6.30.2 .19 NMAC.
  • The school will try to schedule as many classes as possible to have recess before lunch so that the children are less distracted and ready to eat a healthy diet.
  • The school will follow guidelines for school sponsored fund raisers held before, during and after school hours meeting guidelines set forth in Paragraph ( I) of Subsection C of NMAC ensuring that fifty percent of the offerings shall be healthy choices.
  • Hózhó Academy will promote fund raisers that do not include food items or that meet the minimum guidelines. Physical activities such as walk-a thons, bike-a-thons and jump-rope-athons will be encouraged as fund raisers.
  • Hózhó Academy will follow nutrition guidelines for a la cart offerings set forth in Subsection B of NMAC. Nutrition staff and teachers will have a list of acceptable products for a la carte offerings.
  • Hózhó Academy has placed water dispensers in each classroom so that water is readily available throughout the school day including lunch.
  • Hózhó Academy will encourage healthy options for school snacks, parties, and celebrations and does not allow outside cakes/cookies/etc. to be brought in for classroom parties.
  • Hózhó Academy has a gardening program during and after school in partnership with the Indian Youth Leadership Foundation with two greenhouses with the ultimate goal of growing some of our own vegetables.
  • Hózhó Academy is working to build relationships with local farms and has been receiving some produce from the Farm at Southwest Indian Foundation.
  • Hózhó Academy does not allow advertising/marketing of any food or drinks, especially anything that does not meet the Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards.
  • Students with allergies have been identified and signs are posted outside of every classroom.

Physical Activity

Definition:  Physical activity means body movement of any type which includes recreational, fitness and sports activities.

Goal:  The goal of physical activity within the coordinated school health approach provides students with increased opportunities to engage in moderate to vigorous physical activity before. during and /or after school.

  • When students are dropped off in the morning they will walk/run the track or if weather is bad they will walk the steps of the bleachers in the gym prior to the beginning of morning assembly.
  • The school will provide daily recess for all students in grades K-6 and PE daily for grades 7 and up.
  • Hózhó Academy provides staff members with 30 minutes of paid exercise time per day; they can walk/run the track, exercise with school equipment, or go to a gym of their choice with the time allotted.
  • The school will encourage other consequences for inappropriate behavior other than withholding physical activity) (i.e. PE or recess).
  • The school will encourage basic physical activities of walking and biking as modes of transportation to and from school.
  • Hózhó Academy has a school-wide warm-up routine that has been taught to all students and is posted on our website for teachers to have a simple, efficient, universal exercise routine for their students.
  • The school will encourage the incorporation of physical activity into the academic curriculum (i.e. 3-5 minute walking break or stretching with deep breaths).
  • Hózhó Academy has several middle school sports (and will start high school sports next year) along with various after school clubs and programs that promote healthy physical activity.
  • The school will work cooperatively with the local Parks and Recreation Departments to encourage increased physical activity for youth through community-based programs.
  • Hózhó Academy has a fitness trail where teachers and PE staff can take students for walks/runs outside and be exposed to challenging terrain.
  • Hózhó Academy has an after-school fitness program that promotes rigorous play and physical exercise every day.

Health Education, Content Standards, and Benchmarks

Definition: Health Education means the instructional program that provides the opportunity to motivate and assist all students to maintain and improve their health. prevent disease and reduce health-related risk behaviors. It allows students to develop and remonstrate increasingly sophisticated health-related knowledge, skills, and practices. It meets the content standards with benchmarks and performance standards as set forth in NMAC.

Goal: The goal of a comprehensive health education curriculum within a coordinated school health approach is to acquire life skills in order to attain personal, family, community, consumer and environmental health.

  • Hózhó Academy has implemented a planned, sequential, K-12 health education curriculum within the PE program and our 5-8 science curriculum that addresses physical, mental, emotional, and social dimensions of health and is aligned to the health education content standards with benchmarks and performance standards all set forth in 6.30 .2.19 NMAC.
  • Teachers will attend professional development to adequately prepare them to deliver accurate health education. Teachers will integrate health education in other areas or the curriculum such as math, science, language arts, and social studies. The school will periodically provide information to families that encourage them to teach their children about health.
  • Hózhó Academy will ensure that parents will have the ability to request that their child be exempted from the parts of the health education curriculum that addresses the human sexuality educational performance standards. Alternative lessons will be established for the exempted parts or the curriculum. Hozho Academy will include education on HIV as required by NMAC
  • Hózhó Academy will encourage utilization or community resources such as parents, local health providers, nursing programs, etc., that can contribute to the health education of youth.

Physical Education, Content Standards, and Benchmarks

Definition:  Physical education refers to the instructional program that provides cognitive content and learning experiences in a variety of activity areas. It provides the opportunity for all students to learn and develop the skills, knowledge, and attitudes necessary to personally decide to participate in a lifetime of healthy physical activity. This meets the content standards with benchmarks and performance standards as set forth in Section 6:30.2 .20 NMAC.

Goal:  To provide students with daily physical education during which a certified physical educator uses appropriate practices to teach the skills, knowledge, and attitudes necessary to personally decide to participate in a lifetime healthful physical activity and is aligned to the physical education content standards with benchmarks and performance standards as per

  • Hózhó Academy has implemented a planned, sequential, K-12 physical education curriculum that provides the optimal components for all students to learn and develop skills, knowledge and attitudes necessary to personally decide to participate in lifetime healthful physical activity and is aligned to the physical education content standards with benchmarks and performance standards as set forth by the New Mexico Public Education Department 6:30.2.20 NMAC.
  • Teachers will be allowed for short breaks of physical activity to enhance academic performance. When feasible Hózhó Academy will allow students and community members access to physical activity facilities outside of the normal school days

Hozho Academy has worked hard to development and implement a levelled, K-12, comprehensive physical education program that encourages students to advance to different levels based on their physical/athletic development.

VISION:  Upon successful completion of the Arete Physical Education program at Hozho Academy, students will be physically literate and embrace a healthier lifestyle. Students will appreciate everyone around them and the relationship built as a result of the program. Students will achieve and maintain a health-enhancing level of fitness. Students will embody and practice the core virtues of Hozho Academy within their families and community.

MISSION:  Our primary purpose is to graduate successful life -long learners who are leaders in the global community. Hozho students in collaboration with their teachers, parents, and the community, will develop as motivated, self-reliant, creative and ethical individuals who respect differences in others. The Physical Education curriculum can provide a means of fulfilling the needs that our challenging society has created. The curriculum offers students a variety of opportunities to gain knowledge and proficiency in the foundational skills and activities needed for wellness which encompasses, physical, social, environmental, emotional, spiritual and intellectual components.

Social and Emotional Well-Being

Definition: Social and Emotional well-being means services provided to maintain and/or improve students mental, emotional, behavioral and social health.

Goal:  Hózhó Academy employs licensed behavioral health professionals who collaborate with students, parents, staff and the community to influence students’ success by building awareness and promoting strategies to maintain and/or improve student and staff mental health.

  • Hózhó Academy will provide a school counseling program to meet the behavioral health needs of all students in accordance with the New Mexico Public Education Department counseling program guidelines.
  • All Hózhó Academy staff members have completed child abuse and neglect detection and reporting training in compliance with Section 22-10A-32, NMSA
  • Hózhó Academy adheres to substance abuse reporting per Section 22-5-4, 4 NMSA 1978
  • Provide an environment in which students are able to request assistance when needed and students are able to refer teachers for support when necessary
  • Hózhó Academy offers guided student support groups that teaches and promotes appropriate social interaction and behaviors
  • Provide a supportive school environment that links to community resources.
  • Provide community-based substance abuse counselors an opportunity to present to junior high students on the dangers of vaping, tobacco, alcohol, and other substances.

Other Wellness Policy Components

  • Hózhó Academy provides individualized care and accommodations based on students’ 504/Individualized Health Plans and accommodates reasonable requests from parents that may not require a formal plan.
  • In the event that a student (or staff) with a diagnosis of HIV/AIDS were to be enrolled at Hózhó Academy, we will comply with guidelines set forth in NMAC; we will provide appropriate access to public education while protecting rights to privacy. We will provide HIV related instruction according to the standards set forth in our Health Education curriculum/standards.
  • Hózhó Academy screens students for required immunizations upon enrollment in accordance with statute NMAC. Homeless students will not be prevented from enrolling if they are unable to provide documentation of immunizations.
  • The Health Staff at Hózhó Academy permit students with asthma and health practitioner-prescribed inhalers to self-administer (if deemed appropriate by parents and Hózhó Academy health staff) for emergency treatment and prophylaxis. Students at Hózhó Academy who are diabetic are permitted to self-manage diabetes in the school setting if it is prescribed by their primary care provider and deemed appropriate by parents and Hózhó Academy health staff (in accordance with; 6.12.8 NMAC).
  • Hózhó Academy health staff provides vision screenings, in cooperation with the Gallup Lions Club, for students in kindergarten, 1st, 3rd grade in addition to 8th grade and any new students, and teacher/parents’ requests in accordance with 7.30.11 NMAC. We also perform hearing screenings at the request of teachers/parents as needed.
Click Here to Download Wellness Policy

Non-Discrimination Statement

“In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.

Program information may be made available in languages other than English. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the responsible state or local agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form which can be obtained online at: https://www.usda.gov/sites/default/files/documents/USDA-OASCR%20P-Complaint-Form-0508-0002-508-11-28-17Fax2Mail.pdf, from any USDA office, by calling (866) 632-9992, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted to USDA by:

  1. mail:
    U.S. Department of Agriculture
    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
    1400 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; or
  2. fax:
    (833) 256-1665 or (202) 690-7442; or
  3. email:

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.”