Gulf Shores Middle School

May 18, 2023 by Anita Reid

Banner School Award Logo


Health & Wellness in Education

Gulf Shores City Schools

Principal, Mr. Robert McCartney

Superintendent, Dr. Matt Akin



Gulf Shores Middle School’s (GSMS) Health & Wellness in Education program was developed in alignment with the core value to develop self-reliance by incorporating the student’s physical, mental, emotional, and social well-being into the teaching/learning environment. With the implementation of stationary bikes in the classroom, an outdoor biking curriculum with 60 student bicycles, Biking with the Principal trips, moving breaks, Smart Snacks, gardening through classroom Aerogardens and outside raised beds, GSMS improved student attendance, wellness, and academic achievement. Students rode bikes from the school to the beach and grew salad ingredients in the classroom. Attendance data along with survey data proved these opportunities pushed students to attend school more. Students felt valued and cared for and knew exciting opportunities awaited them at school. Survey results along with documentation from the school nurse indicated improvement in overall health and a decrease in student illness. The fresh air and exercise GSMS students experienced daily through a multitude of outlets improved student health, decreased absences, and improved school culture on a large scale. GSMS also had a 12% increase in students on/above grade level in math, a 21% increase in students on/above grade level in reading, and a 34% increase in students on/above grade level in science based on state test scores.