LIFE (Learning the Importance of Fitness and Exercise)

Your child will receive a yellow LIFE Physical Activity Log in his or her Cougar Folder on Tuesday.  The LIFE Log is used to document the type and the duration of physical activities your child does each day.  Each student is encouraged to be active in at least 20 days each month totaling a minimum of 20 hours per month.

The log will be submitted to Mr. Clutts (PE Teacher) at the end of October and students who meet the activity requirement will be invited to go on an after school field trip in November.  LIFE Physical Activity Logs can also be accessed on the school website – –  in case yours is lost (activities may also be recorded on a piece of notebook paper).

What are the Cotswold Essential 20?

Welcome back and Happy New Year! In February, a group of Cotswold staff members (Ms. Mullins, Ms. Moras, Ms. McWhirter, Ms. Schron, Ms. Pittman and Ms. Jones) visited a model school, The Ron Clark Academy (RCA) in Atlanta, Georgia. Ron Clark is a native North Carolinian, Disney Teacher of the Year, author of The Essential 55, The Excellent 11 and The End of Molasses Classes and co-founder of RCA. Ron Clark and RCA are known for innovative methods which promote student achievement, character and global mindedness. As a result of reading his books and their experience at the RCA, this group decided to start a committee at Cotswold to implement some of these methods. We are excited about this journey and would like to update you on our progress.

  • Our staff was trained on August 18th by a member of the RCA, Ken Townsel. His message was motivating and inspired teachers to set high expectations for students, hold them accountable, and to have fun and be enthusiastic about helping students reach their goals.
  • We kicked off our new school year by welcoming students with a “Happy New Year” celebration. This idea was inspired by Ron Clark and RCA.
  • The committee is showing The Ron Clark Story on September 5th at 7:00 in the multi-purpose room. Parents are encouraged to attend to learn more about Ron Clark and his strategies.
  • The committee has agreed on 20 Essential Agreements that have been shared with parents and are being posted around the school. These were taken from Ron Clark’s The Essential 55 and promote good manners, good attitudes, teamwork and making effort to always to be one’s best.
  • Students will become members of cross-grade level houses at the end of September. These houses will encourage and uplift their members and have chances to earn points and rewards for acting in accordance with The Essential 20.
  • Students will also be rewarded with pins for individual accomplishments.
  • Teachers on the committee have already been implementing strategies that motivate students and promote academic and behavioral excellence. Our committee will be training other staff on these methods and encouraging their implementation.

Please look for information on houses, pins, and more in future editions of Cougar Bites. Thank you for your support of this initiative that will help our students reach their highest potential in all areas.

Physical Activity Time

We are very excited to roll out our new Physical Activity Time (Recess) format and get out and play on our new artificial turf field.  Cotswold received a grant that provides us with recess equipment and teacher training to implement “Playworks”.  Each day, students can choose to play 4-square, Basketball, Soccer, Jump Ropes, go to the “Chill Zone” (playground equipment), or they can play in the “Game of the Week”.  Laughing, cheering, hi-fives, and music will fill the playground rather than arguing or other typical playground problems.  It will take a week or two for students to learn the games and get used to the new format, but once the system is in place, children will have plenty of activity choices and will be able to play with friends from different classes.  Feel free to contact your child’s teacher or Mr. Clutts (PE Teacher) if you have any questions.

What is Achieve 225?


Many of you may have noticed that we have some exciting new things happening at Cotswold during physical activity time this year. Our school has been hand chosen to participate in a Federal Grant awarded by the United States Department of Education.  This program, Achieve 225, will focus on your child getting the appropriate amount of physical activity during each school day, as well as, getting additional education on healthy nutrition.

This grant will provide our students with many opportunities related to health and nutrition.  For example, we have received equipment to be used on the playground during physical activity time (recess).  In addition, we will have three different nutrition curriculums that are web-based and can be used in the classroom and at home.  These technology sites also have a parent page where you can learn new recipes for healthy meals and snacks.  Another benefit is that some of our students may be chosen to wear pedometers.  These are worn on the waistband and count the steps the children take.  Our kids get to wear them for four days at school and at home. Our staff will be wearing them too!

There will be additional information coming out about this program in the weeks to come, but wanted you to have a high-level overview. I hope everyone is having a great first week!

Alicia Hash