Winooski School District

Cloudy, and 41 °F | Oct 24th: Green Day

Wellness Day for WSD Employees

During the March in-service this year, school employees participated in Wellness Day. Wellness Day is a day of various activities designed to allow employees to participate in different ways of taking care of their own wellness and build stronger relationships among colleagues.

There has been a strong focus on fostering a culture of wellness here in recent years. Some recent examples of student wellness are the implementation of a mindfulness curriculum to help students focus and relax, and the development of the WMS Spartans In Motion (SIM) program to encourage students to be physically active throughout the day. The focus on wellness for adults is just as important as for the students. Encouraging healthy behaviors in teachers and staff not only strengthens their health, but can also increase their ability to focus, improve their morale and motivation, and reduce absenteeism.

Wellness Day not only shines a light on personal wellness–it also gives our faculty and staff the opportunity to initiate new connections between the schools and strengthen relationships among existing teams. Good relationships are important among teachers and staff to foster collaboration and idea sharing, build trust and ease conflicts, and create a positive environment for learning.

During Wellness Day, employees could choose between 31 different activities at four different times during the day. These activities ranged from physical such as dance-related, pick-up sports and yoga classes to more mental activities such as crafts, arts and mindfulness. Most of these activities were lead by employees sharing their love for certain past-times, but community volunteers led a few of the activities. WSD would like to thank the Center for Mindful Learning, YMCA, Laughing River Yoga, Marathon Health, Whole Foods Nutrition, The Abbey Group, Emily Donovan and Arica Bronze for leading some of these activities.

The importance of Wellness Day can be summed up in this feedback from one of the participants, “I started out the day feeling stressed and anxious and ended the day feeling more relaxed, calm and ready for the rest of the week! Thank you all for hosting this day! It makes me feel like you care about our health and wellness and it was a very positive experience for me! Education can be very stressful and we are dealing with children so it is very important for us to take care of ourselves so we can be in the present moment, have more patience, and inspire our students.”