Wellness coordinator Kalise Horst provided an update on what the achievements of the program during the 2019-20 school year and activities that will be provided for the upcoming school year at the Board of Education regular meeting on Monday, Sept. 14.
Board president Annette Ashley presided over the meeting at the District Services Center, while other Board members participated remotely. The School Board has been meeting virtually since mid-March.
Horst noted she normally does the presentation in March, but it was postponed due to the pandemic.
"I think it is really important that we have a quality wellness program and that we be proactive rather than reactive,'' said Horst, who noted she believes the program is a great for recruitment and retention.
She stressed the program continues to provide support for staff, students and families during virtual learning, with a focus on well-being and movement, especially while students are learning virtually.
She was proud that nine District schools -- Northside, Park, Sauk Trail, West Middleton, Glacier Creek, Kromrey (gold level), Elm Lawn, Sunset Ridge and CSCS (silver level) were recognized as Healthy Kids, Healthy Schools winners in December. In all, 33 Dane County schools were recognized and MCPASD had more than any other district in the county.
Horst reminded the Board that the Board had three goals related to wellness and that 96.5 percent of staff felt encouraged by the District to lead a healthier lifestyle and 95.2 percent think staff support others in the District who are attempting to lead healthy lifestyles.
She also shared some highlights from staff climate survey that was offered in May. There were more than 30 comments expressing gratitude, while a number of staff appreciated the mindfulness efforts of Betsy Delzer. Horst noted areas staff requested support included stress relief, work-life balance and providing different times to access programs.
Based on the feedback, Horst plans to provide more opportunities for staff wellness although sessions will be shorter in length. There will also continue to be offerings on professional development days.
Horst noted that virtually guided meditations will start next week and be available live and also recorded. Staff will also receive a monthly wellness newsletter and have the opportunity to opt-in for reminders on classes and additional resources.
Horst also noted she reached out to local fitness centers and asked if wanted to be part of a fitness guide, which includes virtual class offerings and also in-person classes. The guide also includes information about the precautions each facility is taking. Some fitness centers are also offering discounts to staff.
Yoga will be available 2-3 times a week and is free to staff when they participate virtually. The Board asked if those courses could be recorded so other staff could participate later and Horst said she would talk to the instructors about it.