Local School Wellness Policies: Incorporating Staff Wellness Guidelines
September 15, 2006 -- Does your district’s Local School Wellness Policy (LSWP) include provisions to ensure the health and well being of its faculty and staff? Are staff members encouraged to monitor and take steps to improve their own health and wellbeing alongside that of their students? Does your district define a healthy school environment solely by the health of its students, or is the health of school staff considered a part of the healthy school environment whole?
School districts vary widely when it comes to the question of incorporating staff wellness guidelines into their local school wellness policies. While some schools address this issue rather proscriptively – by requiring a staff wellness liaison, for example – other schools choose merely to encourage such programs, leaving the decision of whether to pursue these programs or not up to the individual schools themselves. Other districts choose not to address the matter at all, offering only a broad set of policy guidelines for their schools. This month’s LSWP spotlight explores the way in which four different school districts have chosen to – or chosen not to - address the issue of incorporating staff wellness guidelines into their local school wellness policies.
Leon County (Florida) School District
Policy Overview: Leon County Schools’ LSWP “encourages a holistic approach to staff and student wellness that is sensitive to individual and community needs.” The policy draws specific attention to nutrition standards and education, health education and life skills, physical activity and education, social and emotional well being, health services, family, school and community partnership, and staff wellness.
Staff Wellness: Proscriptive
LCSB’s policy on staff wellness is a multi-faceted plan involving the establishment of a staff wellness committee to assist in “identifying and supporting the health, safety, and wellbeing of site staff.” Additionally, each school is directed to “be in compliance with drug, alcohol and tobacco free policies, provide an accessible and productive work environment free from physical danger or emotional threat that is as safe as possible and consistent with applicable occupation and health laws, policies and rules, and to engage in daily physical activity during the workday as part of work breaks and/or lunch periods, before or after work hours in site sponsored programs or as part of discounted membership in local fitness facilities.”
Guilford County (North Carolina) School District
Policy Overview: Guilford County Schools’ fairly broad LSWP focuses on the importance of nutrition and physical education to the health, academic performance, and behavior of its students. Adherence to state and federal requirements concerning nutrition and food safety is stressed and all foods available on campus are required to meet the goals of the district wellness program.
Staff Wellness: Mandated
Staff wellness “is emphasized in order to serve the entire school community.” As part of this policy, schools are directed to appoint and maintain a staff wellness contact to serve as a liaison for staff wellness activities and to “plan and implement activities that support personal efforts by staff to maintain a healthy lifestyle.”
Muscogee County (Georgia) School District
Policy Overview: Muscogee County’s LSWP addresses the issues of nutrient standards, nutrition education, and physical education in a fairly broad manner using a set of guidelines to be followed for implementation.
Staff Wellness: In Development
While physical activity outside of the school day is strongly encouraged for district faculty and staff in existing programs such as “Teachers on the Move”, Muscogee County School District also plans to develop “strategies for…teachers, administrators, student service professionals and community members to serve as role models in practicing healthy behaviors and being physically active both in schools and at home.”
Alpine (Utah) School District
Policy Overview: The LSWP for Alpine School District is a very broad policy with no specific procedures identified as mandatory for implementation. The policy does define the five areas upon which development and implementation efforts are to focus, which are: setting nutrition education goals, setting physical activity goals, establishing nutrition standards for all foods available on school campus during the school day, setting goals or other school-based activities designed to promote student wellness and setting goals for measurement and evaluation, however the method by which these issues are addressed is left the determination of the individual schools.
Staff Wellness: N/A
There is no mention of staff wellness initiatives in this policy.