Healthy School, Healthy Sta,
Healthy Students
A Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 2
The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors extends its appreciation to the following
individuals who provided valuable input on this guide. Their aliations were current as of their most
recent involvement. This guide does not necessarily represent the ocial views of these individuals
or their respective organizations.
Laura Frankel DeStigter
(author)
National Association of
Chronic Disease Directors
Peggy Agron*
Kaiser Permanente
Inge Aldersebaes*
OEA Choice Trust
Laurie A. Anderson*
Texas Department of State
Health Services
Erica Ayers*
South Carolina Department
of Health and Environmental
Control
Jessica Donze Black*
The American Heart Association
Jyotsna M. Blackwell*
Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention
Jacqueline Broderick-Patton*
Columbus City Schools
Gina DeLuca*
Rhode Island Department
of Health
Nancy Raso Eklund
Sweetwater County School
District #2
Elana Emlen*
Multnomah Education Service
District
Melissa Fahrenbruch
Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention
Dave Gardner*
North Carolina Division
of Public Health
Holly Hunt
Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention
Kayla Jackson*
AASA, the School
Superintendents Association
Nicole J. Klein*
Washington State Oce of
Superintendent of Public
Instruction
Jason E. Lang*
Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention
Abby Lowe-Wilson
National Association of
Chronic Disease Directors
Amanda K. Martinez
National Association of
Chronic Disease Directors
Sumner McRae*
American Federation of Teachers
Jon Morgan*
Wisconsin Department of Health
Lisa K. Perry*
Alliance for a Healthier
Generation
Chelsea Prax*
American Federation of Teachers
Jaycie Puttlitz
Winooski School District
Tamar Schnepp
Kaiser Permanente
Jamie Smith
Oregon Health Authority
Rose Sutherland*
Nevada Department of Health
and Human Services
Kata Welch
Cavendish Town Elementary
Debbie Youngblood
Hilliard City Schools
Rebecca Vinton*
WELLCOM
* Denotes advisory group
member
Acknowledgements
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 3
This publication was supported by Cooperative Agreement #5U380T000225-5 funded by the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention. Its contents do not necessarily represent the ocial views of CDC or the
Department of Health and Human Services. This publication is provided for educational purposes only and is not
to be construed as providing legal or medical advice. The information and recommendations in this guide are
based on a review of published literature and resources as well as the guidance of experts and key stakeholders
at the national, state, and local levels. In particular, information from CDC Workplace Health Promotion, OEA
Choice Trust, and The Wisconsin Worksite Wellness Toolkit informed the content and structure of this guide.
Resources are included in this guide to provide examples and additional information. Their inclusion does not
imply endorsement, nor does it mean that these are the only resources available.
If you require this document in an alternative format, such as large print or a colored background, please contact
the Communications Department at 770-458-7400 or publications@chronicdisease.org.
Published 2018
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 4
Table of Contents
Quick Start Guide ........................................................................................................................................................................... 6
Introduction
...................................................................................................................................................................................... 8
Ch.01: School Employee Wellness: Investing in Your Greatest Resource
................................................................ 9
Chapter summary ......................................................................................................................................................................... 9
Employee wellness: What it is and why it matters .......................................................................................................... 9
Benefits of an employee wellness initiative .......................................................................................................................10
Strategies for success ................................................................................................................................................................ 12
Steps for building an employee wellness initiative .........................................................................................................13
Chapter resources .......................................................................................................................................................................14
Ch.02: Build Support
.................................................................................................................................................................... 15
Chapter summary ........................................................................................................................................................................ 15
Stakeholder support ...................................................................................................................................................................15
Engage district and school leadership ................................................................................................................................ 16
Build employee buy-in ...............................................................................................................................................................16
Consider other potential stakeholders ................................................................................................................................ 17
Chapter resources .......................................................................................................................................................................19
Ch.03: Assemble Your Team
................................................................................................................................................... 20
Chapter summary .......................................................................................................................................................................20
Identify a committee ................................................................................................................................................................. 20
Designate a leader .....................................................................................................................................................................22
Engage wellness champions .................................................................................................................................................. 22
Chapter resources ...................................................................................................................................................................... 23
Ch.04: Gather Information
........................................................................................................................................................ 24
Chapter summary ....................................................................................................................................................................... 24
What to collect ............................................................................................................................................................................24
Chapter resources ...................................................................................................................................................................... 27
Ch.05: Plan for Success
.............................................................................................................................................................. 28
Chapter summary ....................................................................................................................................................................... 28
Choose topic areas .................................................................................................................................................................... 28
Set goals ........................................................................................................................................................................................29
Select oerings ........................................................................................................................................................................... 29
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 5
Write objectives .......................................................................................................................................................................... 30
Determine how to show results ............................................................................................................................................30
Write your plan ............................................................................................................................................................................. 3 1
Chapter resources ......................................................................................................................................................................32
Ch.06: Maximize Your Impact
.................................................................................................................................................. 33
Chapter summary ....................................................................................................................................................................... 33
Communicate ............................................................................................................................................................................... 33
Boost participation ....................................................................................................................................................................35
Chapter resources ......................................................................................................................................................................38
Ch.07: Demonstrate Results
..................................................................................................................................................... 39
Chapter summary ....................................................................................................................................................................... 39
Collect data ................................................................................................................................................................................... 39
Sharing findings ......................................................................................................................................................................... 40
Chapter resources ......................................................................................................................................................................42
Ch.08: Maintain Momentum
.....................................................................................................................................................43
Chapter summary ....................................................................................................................................................................... 43
Chapter resources ..................................................................................................................................................................... 44
Appendixes
..................................................................................................................................................................................... 45
Appendix 1: Potential Wellness Oering ........................................................................................................................... 45
Appendix 2: Chapter 2 Resources........................................................................................................................................ 62
Appendix 3: Chapter 3 Resources ....................................................................................................................................... 65
Appendix 4: Chapter 4 Resources ....................................................................................................................................... 67
Appendix 5: Chapter 5 Resources ....................................................................................................................................... 7 1
Appendix 6: Chapter 6 Resources ....................................................................................................................................... 76
Appendix 7: Chapter 7 Resources........................................................................................................................................79
General Resources
....................................................................................................................................................................... 8 1
Glossary
............................................................................................................................................................................................ 8 1
Acronyms
......................................................................................................................................................................................... 82
References
....................................................................................................................................................................................... 83
Table of Contents
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 6
Why start an employee wellness initiative?
Many employees have health concerns that
impact their work. An evidence-based employee
wellness initiative can improve employee health,
increase productivity and performance, reduce
absences, lower healthcare costs, and benefit
students.
This guide provides a suggested process and
resources for building or expanding an eective
employee wellness initiative. It is not intended
to be prescriptive or provide a pre-packaged
program. The information is based on the
experience of other school districts and experts
in the field as well as research findings.
Who should use this guide?
This guide is a resource for districts and schools
with no prior experience with employee wellness
initiatives as well as for those seeking to improve
an existing initiative. It was written with diverse
readers in mind. People in a variety of positions—
from human resources directors to district
superintendents to wellness coordinators—play a
role in leading and supporting employee wellness
initiatives. Though the guide was developed for
public schools, most of the information will apply
to all types of schools.
How do I get started?
Most school employee wellness initiatives start
small—perhaps with one exercise class—and
expand over several years. School employees
are extremely busy and have limited resources.
Districts and schools are encouraged to take
whatever steps they can to advance employee
Want to start small?
Check out the “FIRST STEPS”
at the start of each chapter.
Or, for a very simple approach,
conduct an employee needs and
interests survey (p. 24), then use the
results to select one or two of the
oerings listed in Appendix 1.
Ready for a comprehensive initiative?
Follow the steps outlined in each
chapter of the guide.
Looking to go deeper?
Refer to the “RAMP IT UP”
sections (look for this icon!)
and additional resources
listed throughout the guide.
Already have an initiative in place?
Review the topics and tools related to
areas you’d like to improve or expand.
wellness and to build their initiative over time.
Following this guide from cover-to-cover is not
required. Choosing a few employee wellness
activities and implementing them well is more
beneficial than developing a comprehensive plan
that is never put into action.
Using This Guide
Quick Start Guide
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 7
My district has no extra resources. Can we
start an employee wellness initiative?
Yes! There are many no-cost, low-eort oerings
that can be put in place to support employee
wellness. Your district may even see the benefit of
these activities and decide to commit resources
to building a more comprehensive initiative.
What are the steps to developing an
employee wellness initiative?
1. Build support: Gain support from district and
school leadership, employees,
and other stakeholders.
2. Assemble a team: Identify a committee,
leader(s), and champions.
3. Gather information: Identify needs and
strengths to target your wellness oerings.
4. Plan for success: Develop and implement a
written plan to guide the initiative.
5. Maximize your impact: Use eective
communication techniques and strategies
to boost participation.
6. Demonstrate results: Collect data to show
the impact of your initiative and share it with
stakeholders.
7. Maintain momentum: Use strategies to keep
your initiative going strong.
Where can I find ideas for employee
wellness activities and events?
Appendix 1 lists numerous ideas for activities,
campaigns, policy changes and more related
to a variety of wellness topics, such as physical
activity, nutrition, substance use, and social-
emotional health.
Quick Start Guide
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 8
Introduction
A
ll schools aim to prepare students for
success, not just in academics, but in life.
Recognizing that student achievement is
influenced by a variety of factors, many schools
are implementing programs to support the
physical, social, and emotional health of students
to help them reach their full potential.
Just as children need to be healthy, safe,
engaged, challenged, and supported to perform
to their highest ability, so do the school
employees who are charged with educating,
guiding, nurturing, and protecting them.
Whether teaching students in the classroom,
running the school, maintaining buildings, or
providing safe transport, every school employee
contributes to a school’s mission. However,
employees can only give their best when they are
feeling their best. Supporting school employee
wellness is an important way to communicate
that each sta member is respected and valued.
Districts and schools can use this guide to start or
expand an employee wellness initiative that will
benefit both employees and students.
The first chapter in this guide provides
background information, including the benefits
of employee wellness initiatives and key strategies
for designing a successful initiative. The subsequent
chapters provide practical direction for establishing
or enhancing an employee wellness initiative. The
steps outlined in the guide will allow each district
and/or school to develop an initiative that fits their
unique needs.
The guide includes worksheets, tools, and
additional resources for each step of the
process. Stories from school districts that have
successfully implemented employee wellness
initiatives provide real-world examples.
Our employee wellness program energizes
employees, enables positive relationships,
and ultimately contributes to a more dynamic
learning environment for students.
Beth Dittman, Director, Health Services,
Mesquite Independent School District,
Mesquite, Texas
Ch. 01
School Employee Wellness:
Investing in Your Greatest Resource
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 9
Chapter summary
Employee wellness initiatives support a
broad range of employee needs, including
physical, emotional, and financial well-being.
A comprehensive, evidence-based
employee wellness initiative can boost
sta productivity, morale, performance,
and retention while improving student
outcomes and decreasing costs.
We spend 83% of our budget on personnel. We
invest in maintaining our buildings and vehicles,
so why wouldn’t we invest in maintaining our
greatest resource — our people?”
Michael Carter, Superintendent, Rainier
School District, Rainier, Oregon
Ch. 01
School Employee Wellness:
Investing in Your Greatest Resource
Employee wellness: What it is
and why it matters
Many people think of wellness initiatives as
focused on diet and exercise. However, the
concept of wellness is much broader. Wellness
includes physical, emotional, social, spiritual,
environmental, intellectual, career, and financial
health.
1,2
Wellness influences how people feel and
function in their daily lives and in their jobs. Yet, as
shown by the statistics in the infographic on p. 10,
many employees are not in good health,
3
and their
work performance suers as a result.
4–7
TIP: Any action to support employee wellness
is a positive start. Take whatever steps are
feasible and build upon those eorts over
time!
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 10
Physical and emotional health concerns can lead
to higher rates of absences and presenteeism
(working while unwell at reduced capacity), as
well as lower productivity and performance.
8–11
Teacher stress is linked to burnout, reduced job
satisfaction, lower student academic performance,
and higher turnover, with the cost of turnover in
schools estimated at over $7 billion nationally
each year.
7
Among US workers, health-related lost
productive time costs employers an estimated
$1,685 per employee each year.
12
Benefits of an employee
wellness initiative
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC) defines employee wellness initiatives as
“a coordinated set of programs, policies, benefits,
and environmental supports designed to address
multiple risk factors and health conditions to meet
the health and safety needs of all employees.
13
Employee wellness initiatives have a number of
benefits.
For employees: Research demonstrates that
comprehensive, evidence-based wellness
CHAPTER 1
This guide will primarily use the term “wellness,” but “health” and “well-being” will also be used interchangeably. The
term “sta” will be used interchangeably with “employee” and includes teachers, administrators, support sta, and others
employed by the school or district. See the Glossary for definitions.
17
%
of adults report smoking,
binge drinking, and
depression.
8
51
%
of teachers
1/3 of teachers report
inadequate sleep, which is
associated with higher risk for
diabetes,
hypertension,
and obesity.
9
Z
Z
Z
Z
1/2
Half of adults have
one or more chronic
diseases.
3
3/4
of adults do not eat enough
fruits and vegetables, and
only 1/2 meet physical activity
recommendations.
8
report feeling great stress at
least several days a week,
10
higher than any other
occupational group.
11
STRESS is linked to
high blood
pressure,
weakened
immune system,
stroke, and
heart disease.
6
adults are overweight or obese.
Nearly
65
%
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 11
initiatives can make a dierence in employee
health. Employee wellness initiatives can reduce
problems such as stress and substance use,
improve nutrition and physical activity, and help
employees lower their cholesterol and blood
pressure.
7,14–18
For employers: When employee health improves,
so does productivity and performance. For
example, one study found that school employees
who met the recommended levels of exercise,
sleep, and fruit and vegetable consumption
reported higher job performance and fewer
absences.
18
In another study, employees who felt
their workplace supported healthy living—even
if they did not themselves make changes in
their health—had lower levels of presenteeism.
19
Districts also have noted improvements in team
cohesion, employee retention, and recruitment
resulting from employee wellness initiatives.
From a cost perspective, studies have shown
that a comprehensive, evidence-based employee
wellness program can generate a positive return
on investment ranging from $1.6 to $3.9. This
means that for every dollar invested in employee
wellness, employers may save between $1.60
and $3.90 through reduced healthcare costs and
absences.
20–24
These returns typically take several
years to achieve.
For students: In the school setting, supporting
employee wellness also benefits students, as
shown in Figure 1. Enhancing employee wellness
improves sta performance, which can improve
CHAPTER 1
Employee wellness initiatives
Increased student
achievement
Increased employee productivity,
job satisfaction and eectiveness;
reduced absence
Reduced student absence, increased school and connectedness,
improved behavior, increased focus and time on task,
and enhanced learning among students
Improved student health
Improved
employee health
Healthier school
environment
Modeling of healthy
behaviors
Figure 1: Potential Impact of School Employee Wellness Initiatives on Students
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 12
student learning and behavior. Employee wellness
initiatives also contribute to a healthier school
environment, and school sta who are engaged
in improving their own wellness are more likely
to model healthy behaviors and promote student
wellness activities.
25
This contributes to student
health and, in turn, to student achievement.
Strategies for success
Research and practice have identified several
strategies that can help you establish a successful
employee wellness initiative.
Build a healthy school environment
Creating a healthy school environment by
developing policies, practices, norms, and physical
infrastructure that support wellness is highly
eective.
1,24,26–29
It is easier for people to make
healthy choices when the environment around
them is supportive. For example, employees
are more likely to eat a nutritious lunch if their
workplace has healthful options available onsite.
Districts and schools have a great starting point
for establishing a healthy school environment, as
many already have fitness facilities, stairwells, and
a cafeteria, all of which can support employee
wellness. In addition, many districts have existing
student wellness policies, comprehensive school
physical activity programs, and other health-
related initiatives that can be expanded to
include sta.
Creating a healthy school environment is cost-
eective, sustainable, reaches large numbers of
people, and requires little time commitment once
the changes are made. District and school leaders
play an important role in this strategy since
implementing these changes requires support
from the top.
CHAPTER 1
Integrate with existing eorts
Employee wellness aligns with many existing
eorts within school districts. A prime example
of this is the Whole School, Whole Community,
Whole Child (WSCC) model, which many districts
and schools use to guide their health and wellness
initiatives. Developed collaboratively by the CDC
and ASCD, the WSCC model provides a framework
for integrating health and learning to create an
environment in which students can reach their
full potential. Employee wellness is one of the 10
components of the WSCC model, reflecting the
connection between employee wellness, student
wellness, and student achievement.
Districts and schools can include employee
wellness within their WSCC plan, wellness policy,
or other student wellness work. Districts also
can incorporate employee wellness into school
improvement plans, link employee wellness with
state accountability metrics, or align employee
wellness goals with the district’s mission.
Integrating with existing eorts increases
eciency, buy-in, and sustainability.
29–31
Examples of healthy school environment
approaches:
Policy- Implementing a policy that allows
sta to purchase healthy meals from the
cafeteria at a discount
Practice- Allowing time for sta and
students to take physical activity breaks
together
Norms- Leadership participating in wellness
oerings to set the tone and encourage
others to participate
Infrastructure- Providing quiet spaces for
mindfulness, deep breathing, and other
stress relief approaches
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 13
Allow for customization
Eective wellness initiatives are inclusive of all
employees and customized to the needs, interests,
culture, and available resources of a district
or school.
22,24,30,32
Participation will be higher if
the initiative accommodates varying interests,
fitness levels, and schedules and is accessible
to employees in dierent locations across the
district.
15,22,30,4,6
This guide is designed to help
districts and schools develop a tailored initiative.
In large districts, each school or building may
benefit from a unique approach.
TIP: Employee wellness can be viewed as
part of a coordinated approach to building
a healthy environment for everyone in the
school community, students and sta alike.
Steps for building an
employee wellness initiative
The remainder of this guide provides information,
resources, and tools on the following steps
to assist districts and schools in building a
successful and sustainable employee wellness
initiative:
1,15,24,26,29,30,33,34
1. Build support: Gain support from district
and school leadership, employees, and other
stakeholders.
2. Assemble a team: Identify a committee,
leader(s), and champions.
3. Gather information: Identify needs and
strengths to target your wellness oerings.
4. Plan for success: Develop and implement a
written plan to guide the initiative.
5. Maximize your impact: Use eective
communication techniques and strategies to
boost participation.
6. Demonstrate results: Collect data to show
the impact of your initiative and share it with
stakeholders.
7. Maintain momentum: Use strategies to keep
your initiative going strong
If your district or school has any of the following
already in place for sta, you are o to a
great start!
Tobacco-free campus policy
Healthy food and beverage options
Food preparation and storage facilities
(e.g., microwaves, refrigerators)
Onsite exercise facilities
Classes or materials on health topics
Employees trained in CPR/AED use
Onsite flu vaccination
Insurance coverage for preventive services
Paid time o for vacation and sick days
CHAPTER 1
Benefits of eective school
employee wellness initiatives:
Improved employee health
Greater sta productivity and
performance
Increased retention and enhanced
recruiting
Reduced presenteeism
and absences among sta
Lower healthcare costs
Improved student outcomes
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 14
CHAPTER 1
Chapter resources
In This School District, Health and Wellness Start with Teachers (Education Week) — video
showing the impact of employee wellness on school sta
Sta Wellness Ideas to Make Your Whole School Healthier (Alliance for a Healthier
Generation) — video with tips on implementing an employee wellness initiative
Success Stories (OEA Choice Trust) — examples of successful employee wellness initiatives
The Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child Model: A Guide to Implementation
(National Association of Chronic Disease Directors) — guidance outlining the steps to
implementing the WSCC model in districts and schools
Focus on getting approval to try out one
or two inexpensive or no-cost employee
wellness activities.
FIRST STEPS
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 15
Chapter summary
Gaining buy-in from district and school
leadership, employees, and other key
stakeholders is an important step.
Reach out to stakeholders early in the
process using messaging that will be
meaningful to them.
Continue to build support as the initiative
moves forward.
Stakeholder support
Involving stakeholders early on makes planning
and implementing an employee wellness initiative
much easier by bringing in additional help and
resources, making the approval process run more
smoothly, and generating excitement about the
initiative.
15,22,24,27,30
A stakeholder is any person or
organization that aects or is aected by the
initiative. This includes school board members,
district and school administrators, and employees.
Many districts also find it helpful to engage the
district’s benefits providers, union leadership, and
parents/caregivers.
Building support is an ongoing process. As your
initiative takes shape, you may identify new
stakeholders to engage. In addition, many districts
and schools have considerable turnover. Engage
new sta (particularly administrators) as they come
on board to maintain buy-in for the initiative.
Build Support
Ch. 02
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 16
TIP: Make sure to follow district protocols
and norms when reaching out to
stakeholders. For example, you may
need the superintendent’s permission
to speak with school board members.
To obtain leadership buy-in:
Present the case for employee wellness (see
Chapter 1). If available, include data on sta
absences, healthcare costs, and other data
specific to your district or school.
Demonstrate how employee wellness aligns with
the district’s goals, objectives, and other school
health initiatives.
See Appendix 2 for a sample communication.
TIP: Make sure to show appreciation for
supporters of the initiative. A short thank-
you note or an acknowledgment when
speaking about the initiative are quick and
easy ways to express gratitude.
Build employee buy-in
Building employee buy-in will boost participation
in and excitement about your initiative. Engage
employees in all types of positions, from bus
drivers to teachers to nutrition services sta.
Employees can be involved in the following
activities, which are discussed in greater detail
later in this guide:
Planning the initiative,
Completing surveys,
Providing feedback on the initiative,
Participating in the initiative, and
Serving as wellness champions.
Engage district and school
leadership
Support from school board members and
collaboration with district and school
administrators provides a strong foundation
for a successful initiative.
15,24,33
District and school
leaders such as the superintendent, principals
and vice principals, human resources and
business/operations sta, and other supervisory
sta can contribute in various ways, which could
include the following (depending on individual
roles and responsibilities):
Communicating with employees about the
initiative and its importance;
Sharing information that can be used for
planning;
Allocating resources such as sta time, space,
and funding;
Approving program plans;
Facilitating changes to policy, practice, and
infrastructure;
Oering wellness education during in-service
time;
Encouraging participation by modeling healthy
behaviors and participating in wellness oerings;
and
Including employee wellness in strategic
planning, school improvement plans, district
evaluation, etc.
School board members and administrators care
about employee wellness, but it is dicult for
them to invest resources into any initiative unless
it can advance the outcomes that they prioritize
and are accountable for: student achievement
and the district’s bottom line.
CHAPTER 2
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 17
Start by identifying the person within your district
(e.g., benefits or human resources coordinator)
who oversees employee benefits. As a next step,
find out if your benefits providers already have
employee wellness initiatives in your district and if
there are supports they can oer.
Unions
In some districts, a substantial number of school
employees belong to unions. If this is the case in
your district, consider involving union leaders in
planning the wellness initiative. When reaching
out to unions, highlight how supporting employee
wellness aligns with both the district’s goals
and the union’s core mission, and demonstrate
a genuine commitment to employee health for
its own sake. Be sure to notify district leadership
before engaging union leaders.
TIP: Some districts have a joint insurance
committee that includes district and union
leadership. This is a good group to meet
with to gain support and get input.
Parents and caregivers
Gaining buy-in from families at the outset can
be helpful. The best approach is to explain how
employee wellness ultimately supports the health
and success of students as well as being good
for the district’s bottom line. Parent association
meetings, School Health Advisory Councils
(SHACs), school newsletters, and messages from
district or school leadership are great formats
for educating parents/caregivers about the
importance of employee wellness.
TIP: Reach out to employees who
have concerns or are not interested in
participating. Addressing their objections
will strengthen your initiative.
To gain support from employees, use the following
approach:
Demonstrate a genuine commitment to
employee health.
Describe the benefits of the initiative.
Explain how privacy will be protected and
emphasize that participation is voluntary.
Provide opportunities for employees to provide
input and participate in planning.
Use messages and images that are respectful,
inclusive, and realistic.
See Appendix 2 for a sample communication.
Consider other potential
stakeholders
Benefits providers
Benefit design is a key component of employee
wellness initiatives.
26
Benefits providers include
health, dental, and vision insurers; prescription
benefit providers; employee assistance plan
providers; and worker’s compensation providers.
Benefits providers may provide support for
employee wellness programs at no cost to the
district. Benefits providers can contribute in
several ways:
Providing free program materials and/or
wellness services,
Partnering to review benefit design,
Providing information to help with planning
the initiative, and
Providing stang and/or financial support.
CHAPTER 2
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 18
the needs and interests of sta. One finding from
the survey is that many employees (including
leadership) participate in the initiative for a sense
of camaraderie and the opportunity to connect
with colleagues. To address this, the district
structures many of its activities to allow sta
to develop relationships and to support each
other in reaching their goals. Frequent email
communications describe the value of wellness
and focus on small steps employees can take to
improve their health. Rainier has also engaged its
unions, several partners, and community members
in this initiative.
The initiative has been highly successful, with 89%
of sta participating in at least one activity during
the school year, 100% sta satisfaction with the
initiative, and 87% of participants reporting health
improvements. The district has seen increased
retention and a 17% improvement in sta
attendance, which translates to approximately
$9,000 in savings on substitute teachers annually.
Keeping teachers in the classroom also benefits
the students by maximizing the number of
instructional days. Sharing reports on these
outcomes with the school board and other
leaders helps maintain buy-in for the initiative.
Advice from Rainier School District: Build a team
of leaders and champions who personally model
healthy behaviors and truly believe in creating
opportunities for school employees to take
better care of themselves. When employees
see a commitment from leadership, they take
it seriously.
Real-world success: Rainier School District
Rainier, Oregon
Location: Rural Approximate # of sta: 120 Approximate # of students: 1,000 Buildings: 3 Student
demographics: More than 50% of students qualify for free or reduced-price meals. Annual employee
wellness budget: Approximately $100 per employee, drawn from Medicaid Administrative Claiming
funds, sta development budget, district in-kind, and a grant from OEA Choice Trust. Employee wellness
stang: The district’s Nutrition Services Director/Wellness Coordinator spends about 8-10 hours/month
and the Superintendent spends about 2-5 hours/month working on the initiative.
After seeing the benefits from its student wellness
programs, Rainier School District began working
to improve employee wellness in 2013 with help
from an OEA Choice Trust grant. The main goals
of the district’s employee wellness initiative are to
improve the overall wellness of sta, build healthy
habits, increase sta attendance, and serve as
a recruitment and retention tool. The initiative
emphasizes physical, social-emotional, and
financial wellness. Oerings include a wide range
of activities such as flu shots, financial literacy
classes, fitness classes, hiking groups, and monthly
challenges. The district has created a healthy
school environment, with nutritious lunches and
a salad bar available in the cafeteria. The district
also has developed a free fitness center and a
school-based health center that are open to sta
and community members. The district is located
in a food desert, and there are no other fitness
centers or physicians nearby, so these supports
are key to helping district employees stay healthy.
Rainier has used a variety of strategies to build
buy-in for their initiative. At the leadership level,
the district has integrated employee wellness into
its wellness policy as well as its strategic pillar on
health and safety. The superintendent cultivates
school board support on an ongoing basis and
is actively involved in wellness activities, which
encourages sta to participate. To build employee
buy-in, the district has recruited champions to
help generate excitement about the initiative.
Rainier also conducts an annual employee
wellness survey to ensure that programs meet
CHAPTER 2
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 19
CHAPTER 2
Chapter resources
Tools and templates
Appendix 2:
Worksheet: Initial outreach
Sample initial communication to district and school leadership
Sample initial communication to sta
Other resources
Guide to School Employee Well-Being through Collaboration (Kaiser Permanente Thriving
Schools) — detailed guidance on working with unions
School Employee Wellness Webinar Series (Kaiser Permanente Thriving Schools) —
includes webinars on getting started, championing employee wellness, and working
with unions
Find out if an existing committee, such as the
wellness committee, will help coordinate one
or two employee wellness activities.
FIRST STEPS
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 20
Assemble Your Team
Ch. 03
Chapter summary
Identify a committee to guide the employee
wellness initiative. Start by connecting with
existing groups that are working on topics
related to employee wellness.
Designate a leader or leaders, such as
committee chairs, to oversee the initiative.
Engage employee wellness champions to
help implement the initiative, boost
participation, and increase employee buy-in.
Identify a committee
Having a diverse committee to provide guidance
will strengthen your employee wellness initiative by
bringing together multiple perspectives, increasing
buy-in, distributing the workload, and providing
structure. Many districts and schools have existing
groups working on topics related to wellness that
are well-positioned to lead the employee wellness
initiative, such as a student wellness committee;
Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child
(WSCC) committee; human resources benefits
team; safety committee; School Health Advisory
Council (SHAC); or school improvement team. If
your district or school does not have an existing
group that can lead this work, you can convene a
new committee.
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 21
Don’t be afraid to take risks and try new ideas. You
may fail at times, but if you have a strong team, you
will be successful in the long run.
Debby Webster, Nutrition Services Director/
Wellness Coordinator, Rainier School District,
Rainier, Oregon
Committee structure
Committees are the most eective—and members
are most engaged—when operating with a clear
direction. A written charter (see Appendix 3 for a
template) can provide a helpful framework for the
committee’s work and, if endorsed by leadership,
increases credibility and authority.
If your district is large, you may find it eective
to form school-level committees that can adapt
programming to meet the needs of each school in
addition to having a district-level committee that
coordinates and oversees the initiative. This allows
for a more customized approach and distributes
the workload.
For convenience, the term “employee wellness
committee” will be used throughout the
remainder of this guide, recognizing that in
many cases, an existing committee will
fulfill this function.
Committee membership
Whether you are forming a new group or working
with an existing one, it is helpful to include
diverse representatives on the employee wellness
committee, such as employees with:
Relevant knowledge, such as school nurses,
health teachers, nutrition services, and physical
education and athletics sta;
Various types of positions, such as teaching,
administration, human resources, facilities, and
transportation;
Diverse skills, such as communications, program
planning, and evaluation; and
Experience working on other school health
initiatives.
Typically, five to 10 members is an eective size
for a committee. Setting term limits can increase
engagement and bring new perspectives into the
group. Be clear upfront about the weekly time
commitment and the length of service (e.g., one-
year commitment).
TIP: If your district or school has
a committee that is coordinating
implementation of the WSCC model, it
generally makes sense for that group to
lead the employee wellness initiative,
since employee wellness is a component
of the WSCC model.
Employee wellness committee member
roles and responsibilities may include:
Building buy-in
Leading the planning process
Forming partnerships
Coordinating with other school health
initiatives
Modeling healthy behaviors by
participating in wellness activities
Communicating with employees and
engaging others in the initiative
Coordinating and running activities
Celebrating successes
CHAPTER 3
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 22
Engage wellness
champions
Establishing a network of wellness champions can
increase employee participation and distribute
the workload.
30,35
Many districts find having such
champions to be helpful.
Wellness champions can provide the following
support:
Educate employees about the importance of
wellness,
Promote activities and oerings,
Assist with organizing activities and events,
Maintain program visibility and generate
enthusiasm,
Provide feedback on the needs and interests of
their peers, and
Share ideas and insights on areas for
improvement.
TIP: Keep wellness champions engaged by
communicating with them and involving
them in activities on a regular basis, giving
them a clear role, and celebrating successes.
When recruiting champions, look for individuals
who are excited about employee wellness,
persuasive, relatable, and trusted by their peers.
Be clear during recruitment about the weekly time
commitment and the length of service. It is helpful
to provide champions with an initial orientation
to their role as well as periodic check-ins and/or
small group training sessions to share successes
and strategies.
Designate a leader
Having a point person or persons to lead the
initiative is helpful. A chairperson (or co-chairs) for
the employee wellness committee can serve as the
lead, or other employees can volunteer to head up
the initiative. Some districts provide a stipend to
one or more sta members to lead the initiative.
A more formal option is to incorporate the role
of coordinating the initiative into an employee’s
job description, such as the wellness coordinator.
Depending on the size of your district and scope
of the initiative, this could range from a few hours
per month to a full-time position. Regardless of
the structure, key responsibilities of the leader(s)
could include the following:
Overseeing the employee wellness committee
and champions (see below),
Serving as a liaison to district administration,
Cultivating and managing external partnerships,
Leading planning and implementation of the
initiative, and
Managing the budget and identifying new
resources (if applicable).
CHAPTER 3
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 23
CHAPTER 3
Chapter resources
Tools and templates
Appendix 3:
Worksheet: Employee wellness team
Sample committee charter template
Other resources
Committee
Form a Steering Committee (University of
Massachusetts Lowell) — detailed guidance
and tools on worksite wellness committees
Governance Structure and Management
(Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention) — guidance on designating a
coordinator and committee
School Wellness Committee Toolkit
(Alliance for a Healthier Generation) —
toolkit for school wellness committees with
helpful information and tools that could be
adapted to employee wellness
Wellness Committee Guide (Anthem) —
guidance on establishing an employee
wellness committee
Wellness Committee Guide (WorkWell North
Carolina) — comprehensive guidance on
developing a worksite wellness committee
Wellness Committee Member Recruitment
Emails (Kaiser Permanente) — sample letter
to potential committee members
Wellness Committee Toolkit (Kaiser
Permanente) — toolkit on building a
worksite wellness committee
Leaders and Champions
Sample Job Description (Columbus City
Schools) — job description for a full-time
coordinator overseeing employee and
student wellness
Sample Well-being Champion Application
(Syracuse University) — application to serve
as a wellness champion
Sample Well-being Champion
Responsibilities (University of Denver) —
responsibilities and application for wellness
champions
Try a short survey to find out what wellness
oerings employees are interested in.
Example surveys are included in the resources
at the end of this chapter.
FIRST STEPS
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 24
Gather Information
Ch. 04
Chapter summary
Gathering information about employee
needs and interests, existing programs
and supports, district and community
resources, and/or employee health status
can help guide the development of
the initiative.
Draw on existing resources and tools to
collect the most relevant information.
What to collect
This chapter outlines several types of information
that can help you plan your employee wellness
initiative. Much of this information is already
available or can be collected easily using existing
resources and tools. There is no need to gather all
of this information—focus on what will be the most
helpful. Be sure to secure administrative approval
for data collection. The information you collect will
also provide a baseline for showing the results of
the initiative (see Chapters 5 and 7).
Employee needs and interests
Knowing what type of programs employees are
interested in and understanding their motivations
and barriers will help you develop an initiative that
makes employees excited to participate. There
are several employee interest surveys listed in the
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 25
Surveys should be voluntary and anonymous
so that participants feel comfortable being
honest. Surveys can be promoted through a
variety of methods, including email, flyers, and
announcements.
Existing programs and supports
Understanding what programs and supports
already are in place to improve employee
wellness allows you to target any gaps and avoid
duplication. Consider the following questions:
Employee wellness programs and activities:
What classes, events, awareness campaigns,
and other services has the district already
implemented?
Healthy school environment: What policies and
practices are in place to promote employee
wellness, and are they being implemented fully?
Do employees feel encouraged to make healthy
choices? What facilities are available to support
employee wellness (e.g., fitness facilities, healthy
vending options)?
Benefits design: Do benefits packages cover
a full range of services—including preventive
care, mental and behavioral health, employee
assistance, and health coaching—at aordable
rates? Are employees aware of the available
benefits? Can the district expand eligibility for
benefits?
Student health and wellness initiatives: What
initiatives are in place to advance student health
that could be leveraged to support employee
wellness?
Districts and schools also are encouraged to
complete the brief Employee Wellness and Health
Promotion Module of CDC’s School Health Index.
Many schools complete the School Health Index
on a regular basis, so the information already may
be available. The results can provide a helpful
snapshot of strengths and areas for improvement.
resources section of this chapter that can be used
or adapted as well as a sample communication in
Appendix 4. If conducting a survey is not possible,
informal interviews or group conversations during
sta meetings can provide useful insight.
Regardless of how the information is gathered,
potential areas to ask about include the following:
Level of interest in various wellness topics (see
Table 1);
Knowledge and health behaviors (e.g., current
exercise habits) related to wellness topics;
Preferred times, locations, and formats (e.g., live
class, team activity, individual challenge, etc.) for
programs; and
Motivators and barriers (e.g., time and scheduling,
physical limitations, aordability) for
participating.
Table 1: Wellness Topics
Preventive services
Chronic disease management
Weight management
Safety and injury prevention
Physical activity
Nutrition
Substance use
Social-emotional health and stress
Sleep
Breastfeeding
Emergency preparedness
Benefits
Financial wellness
CHAPTER 4
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 26
Another option for assessing existing
programs and supports is CDC’s
Worksite Health ScoreCard. Though not
specifically designed for schools, this detailed
assessment might be of interest to those
seeking to expand or enhance an existing
wellness initiative.
District and community resources
Understanding what resources are available to
support the initiative will help you develop a
realistic plan. There are several types of resources
to consider.
Available expertise: Unlike many other businesses,
schools have the advantage of already having
nutrition, physical fitness, mental health,
and healthcare professionals onsite who can
share their expertise. Other sta with relevant
knowledge and skills also may be willing to assist.
Programs and partners: There are many dierent
organizations and community groups that might
support the initiative. The district or school can
engage partners through formal agreements or
informal collaboration. When reaching out to
potential partners, consider what the district has
to oer in return, such as use of facilities before
or after school. If working with new partners, it
can be helpful to explain the unique opportunities,
constraints, and structure of the school
environment.
Consider the following potential partners:
Local and/or State Health Departments
Hospitals, health systems, and local
providers (physicians, dentists, mental health
providers, etc.)
Health organizations (American Cancer
Society, American Lung Association,
American Red Cross)
Local businesses and/or business coalitions
Fitness centers/programs
Parks and recreation
Health coalitions
Benefits providers
Parent associations
Post-secondary education programs
Partners may be able to provide:
Planning and implementation guidance
Training and support
Counseling and risk management
Benefits design assistance
Health assessments or biometric screenings
Clinical services such as flu shots
Health education and resource materials
Referral resources
Instructors for classes
Facilities
Discounts on programs
Participation incentives
Assistance with campaigns or events
Promotion of the initiative
Table 2: Potential Programs and Partners
CHAPTER 4
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 27
Funding: Consider the following potential funding
sources:
The district or school’s budget
Grants
State tax credits available to employers for
wellness programming
Fundraisers
Donated incentives
A small program fee charged to participants
Employee health status
Knowing which health risks and conditions
are common among employees can help you
identify the wellness oerings that will have
the greatest impact. The employee wellness
committee can obtain this information by
reviewing aggregate results of employee health
assessments or biometric screenings, health
insurance claims data, employee absence and
turnover data, and/or community health data sets
(which are all de-identified). Districts that are
interested in exploring this data can consult the
resources at the end of this chapter for guidance.
CHAPTER 4
Chapter resources
Tools and templates
Appendix 4:
Worksheet: Planning information
Sample communication to employees
Employee wellness laws, ethical principles,
and other considerations
Other resources
Employee needs and interests
CAPTURE Employee Health Assessment
(CDC)
Employee Health Interest Survey (Kaiser
Permanente)
Employee Level Assessment (CDC)
Employee Survey (Anthem)
Employee Survey (Hudson Falls Central
School District)
School Employee Health and Well-being
Needs and Interests Survey (OEA Choice
Trust)
Worksite Wellness Individual Interest Survey
(Borrego Springs Unified School District)
Worksite Wellness Resource Kit (Wisconsin
Department of Health Services) — see
Appendix C and D
Existing programs and supports
School Health Index (CDC)
Worksite Health Scorecard (CDC)
Employee health status
Behavioral Risk Factors Data Portal (CDC)
information about chronic disease and
health behaviors at the national, state, and
metropolitan level
County Health Rankings (Robert Wood
Johnson Foundation) — information about
health behaviors broken down by County
Healthcare Cost Data (CDC) — detailed
guidance on interpreting insurance claims
data
Health Risk Appraisals at the Worksite: Basics
for HRA Decision Making (National Business
Coalition on Health) — information on when
and how to implement Health Assessments
at the worksite
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 28
Use the information you have gathered to
select one or two oerings from Appendix 1.
Then use the template in Appendix 5 to
create a basic work plan.
FIRST STEPS
Chapter summary
Taking the time to create a plan will make
implementation easier.
Districts and schools can develop either a
basic or comprehensive plan depending on
their needs.
Choose topic areas
Start the planning process by prioritizing wellness
topics (see Table 1 on p. 25) using the information
you have gathered (see Chapter 4). For example,
if your employee interest survey shows that sta
are interested in improving their diet, data from
the district’s health insurer indicate that obesity
is driving up healthcare costs, and/or the district
is exploring healthy vending policies as part of a
student health initiative, then nutrition would be a
good choice of topics.
Aim to select no more than three topics in a given
year. Starting small and achieving early wins is a
great way to generate excitement about the initiative
and continue to build support. It also keeps the
workload manageable, helps maintain momentum,
and avoids spreading resources too thin.
Plan for Success
Ch. 05
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 29
Activity or event: individual or group classes,
challenges, gatherings, or events
Benefits design: insurance coverage, flex time,
incentives and reimbursements, employee
assistance programs, and other benefits
Healthy school environment: infrastructure,
policies, practices, and norms that support
healthy behaviors
Information and awareness: awareness
campaigns, resources, and educational materials
TIP: Working to create a healthy school
environment is wide-reaching, cost-eective,
and sustainable. For example, implementing
a healthy vending policy will have a greater
impact than trying to persuade individual
employees to avoid unhealthy vending
machine snacks.
To select oerings, start with the topics that your
committee prioritized. Then, review the ideas
listed for those topics in Appendix 1. Consider the
following to guide your selection:
Potential impact: Which oerings will have
the greatest impact on employee wellness?
Which would have additional benefits, such as a
positive impact on student health?
Available resources: Which oerings does the
district or school have the resources (time,
space, funding, expertise, etc.) to implement?
Which would be the most cost-eective and/or
leverage other resources?
Employee needs and interests: Which oerings
align with employee interests and scheduling
needs? Which can meet the needs of diverse
groups of employees?
Ease of implementation: How dicult is each
oering to implement? What policies, programs,
TIP: Choosing topics that have the support
of leadership, even if not the highest priority
of the committee, can build buy-in that will
enable you to expand to other topics in
the future.
Set goals
Many districts find it helpful to set goals for their
wellness initiative. Goal statements express what
the district hopes to achieve during the next two
or three years to improve employee wellness.
Goals provide direction and purpose for an
initiative. Goals are stated in positive terms and
should be meaningful and easily understood.
Setting two or three goals is manageable for most
districts and schools.
Goals can align with a single wellness topic, such
as nutrition, or address more complex issues, such
as school climate. Linking with district goals or
accountability measures will increase support for
the initiative by showing how the initiative will
advance the district’s priorities.
Topic area: Nutrition
Example goal: By 2021, increase the
number of employees reporting that they
eat the recommended amount of fruits and
vegetables by 20%.
Select oerings
There are many evidence-based and promising
programs, classes, policy changes, and other
oerings that districts and schools can implement
to improve employee wellness. The tables in
Appendix 1 list numerous possibilities, classified
into four types:
CHAPTER 5
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 30
or benefits are already in place that would aect
implementation? It’s best to balance oerings
that will take more eort with others that are
less dicult to put into place.
If possible, aim to include several types
of oerings. Providing multiple ways to
participate will engage more employees.
For example, some may prefer to join a walking
group (activity) while others would rather receive
reimbursement for a gym membership (benefits
design). Combining dierent types of oerings
also provides more support for healthy behaviors.
For example, to improve their nutrition, sta may
need education on how to make healthy food
choices, motivation to do so, and convenient
access to healthy options. A combination of
nutrition resources, cooking classes, healthy
eating challenges, and a healthy vending policy
would provide comprehensive support for
healthy eating.
Write objectives
The next task is to develop objectives. Objectives
define what the district would like to achieve
in the next year (see Table 3 for examples) and
provide a roadmap for implementing wellness
oerings. If you chose to set goals, your objectives
and goals should be clearly linked. Objectives
are most helpful if they are SMART: Specific,
Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
Some should be short-term, so they can be
accomplished quickly to help build momentum.
TIP: To avoid getting overwhelmed, focus
on realistic changes and leverage existing
resources, such as increasing utilization of
benefits that are already in place.
Determine how to show
results
Evaluation identifies what changes are happening
as a result of the employee wellness initiative.
If you are just getting started with employee
wellness, you may wish to bypass this step initially.
For those interested in demonstrating results, it is
helpful to determine upfront how the initiative will
be evaluated so that the necessary information
can be collected.
TIP: When deciding how to evaluate, think
through how you will use the information.
Whom will you share the results with? What
information will you need to demonstrate the
value of the initiative?
When evaluating, consider two dierent types of
information: process and outcome measures.
Process measures look at the implementation of
the initiative and provide a great way to identify
early achievements. For example, tracking
participation will show if attendance is low for
any classes, so you can take steps to increase
participation or cancel the class.
Outcome measures look at the impact the
initiative is having on sta wellness and track
progress toward meeting goals. For example,
data might show that employee absences
fall by 10%.
Examples of process and outcome measures are
listed in Appendix 5.
Many districts and schools choose to focus on
process measures, particularly when first getting
started. Start by determining what data you
already can access. For example, your benefits
providers or human resources department may be
able to share information. Additional guidance on
demonstrating results can be found in Chapter 7.
CHAPTER 5
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 31
Write your plan
A written plan that has buy-in from stakeholders
will provide a clear guide and timeline for rolling
out the initiative. Appendix 5 has templates for
basic and comprehensive plans. Before finalizing
the plan, share it with key stakeholders and
decision-makers for their input and approval.
The plan should be a living document that is
updated as circumstances change.
TIP: Testimonials from sta who have been
positively impacted by the initiative can
be used to show outcomes and to increase
support and participation.
Table 3: Example Goal, Objectives, and Measures
Goal:
By 2020, improve the social and emotional
health of sta and reduce the number of
employees who report feeling moderately to
very stressed on many days by 20%.
Oerings:
Training on assisting students with social
needs
Gratitude boards
Yoga class
Mentorship program
Objectives:
During each professional development
day this year, provide resource sheet and
20-minute training on assisting students
at risk of or experiencing violence,
homelessness, food insecurity, and utility
shut-os (1-2 topics per training).
By November of this school year, implement
gratitude boards in each sta lounge.
By January of next year, hold yoga class in
each building with at least 10 participants
per class.
By June of this year, develop comprehensive
plan to re-vamp teacher mentorship program.
Outcome measures:
% of sta reporting improvements in energy, mood,
productivity, and morale
Decrease in % of sta reporting feeling stressed
Decrease in sta absences
Decrease in doctor visits for stress and mental
health concerns
Process measures:
# of employees trained, % satisfied with the
training
# of posts on gratitude boards
# of employees participating in classes; % of sta
satisfied with classes;
Plan developed
CHAPTER 5
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 32
When planning the details of the initiative, take into account these scheduling considerations:
Varied schedules: Employees with dierent types of positions have varied schedules and levels
of flexibility during the work day. Oering activities that can be done with students during the
school day or individually during break time can help address this barrier.
Hectic times of the year: There are certain times of year when sta are especially busy. Take this
into account when scheduling activities and events.
Summer break: Summer break reduces the amount of progress that can be made in a given
year. Be sure your plan reflects what can realistically be accomplished.
Awareness months, holidays, and milestones: Consider aligning with key events in the district
or broader community. For example, mammograms could be promoted during Breast Cancer
Awareness Month, or a sta biking challenge could be held in connection with Bike to School Day.
Scheduling
CHAPTER 5
Chapter resources
Tools and templates
Appendix 5:
Example measures for demonstrating results
Basic work plan template
Comprehensive work plan template
Other resources
Developing a Strategic Plan (Community Tool Box) — step-by-step guidance on developing a
comprehensive strategic plan
Worksite Wellness Resource Kit (Wisconsin Department of Health Services) — see Appendix I
for example basic and detailed budget templates for employee wellness
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 33
Consider adding a quarterly employee
wellness message to an existing sta
newsletter. You can find pre-written articles
in the resources at the end of this chapter.
FIRST STEPS
Chapter summary
Ongoing communication helps to promote
wellness oerings and maintain visibility of
the initiative.
Multiple strategies can be used during
implementation to communicate eectively
and to achieve high levels of participation.
Communicate
As you begin to implement your employee
wellness plan, it is helpful to maintain ongoing
communication with employees to maximize
engagement. Techniques to increase the impact of
communications are outlined below. If your district
has communications sta, they may be able to
assist with this process.
Include key information
When developing communications, be sure to
include the key information that employees need
to know. While this may seem obvious, it is easy
to forget to include details like the room number
for a class. Table 4 lists some communications
opportunities along with key information to include.
Maximize Your Impact
Ch. 06
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 34
in the initiative (e.g. more energy, improved
mood). This is more eective than focusing
on the negative impact of poor health. Avoid
stigmatizing unhealthy behaviors.
36,37
Convey a commitment to improving employee
wellness for its own sake. School employees
tend to be mission-driven and focused on
students. It can be eective to appeal to this
orientation, but avoid giving the impression that
the sole purpose of the initiative is to reduce
healthcare costs or benefit students.
22,30
Appeal to your audience
Tailoring how information is presented—including
the tone, context, and evidence used—makes
communications more appealing. If possible, use
language and information that is meaningful and
interesting to employees in your district.
Use “buzz words” or terms that connect with
exciting local initiatives.
Create positive messages focused on how
employees can benefit from participating
Table 4: Communication Content
Purpose Information to include
Promoting wellness
opportunities
What programs, campaigns, classes, or benefits are available, and
what policy, practice, or infrastructure changes are taking place.
Who should participate.
Why the issue or topic should matter to employees and the benefits
of participating.
How to get involved (e.g., time, location, simple sign-up instructions).
Sharing information
about improving
wellness
Why the topic is important and what employees can gain by taking
action.
What steps employees can take to act on the information (e.g., if
sharing information about heart health, provide specific actions
that employees can take to improve their heart health).
References or links to high-quality, evidence-based sources to
provide credibility.
Building awareness
and support for your
employee wellness
initiative
Information that educates sta about the purpose and scope of the
initiative.
Highlights and successes, including employee testimonials or
evaluation results that demonstrate the benefits of participating in the
initiative.
Quotes from district or school leaders to help elevate the profile of
the initiative.
CHAPTER 6
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 35
TIP: Regardless of the purpose, make
communications concise, straightforward,
and engaging. Images, quotes, and bullet
points are eective.
Use multiple formats
Use a variety of communication formats (email,
newsletters, websites, morning announcements,
presentations, social media, flyers, and bulletin
boards) to reach dierent types of employees.
Transportation and facilities sta, for example,
spend less time on email and may be more likely
to notice a flyer. Personal outreach through
champions and employee wellness committee
members also can be an eective way to
communicate.
Time your communications
Finding the right timing for communications can
increase their impact.
Avoid sending long or important
communications during busy times.
Send multiple announcements about programs
and events. Send the first announcement far
enough in advance for potential participants
to work it into their schedule, and then send
follow-up messages prior to the event.
The six-week and six-month mark are important
times for reinforcing new habits.
38
Communicate
at these time periods to encourage sustained
behavior changes and/or program participation.
Use visuals
For extra impact, consider using a
logo and color scheme to brand your initiative.
This helps increase recognition and makes
materials look more attractive. Some districts
have held student competitions to design a logo.
Incorporating images makes communications
more appealing and easier to read. Graphics often
can communicate information more clearly and
quickly than text. If using photos, find ones that
are realistic and reflect the diversity of employees.
Boost participation
Keeping sta involved requires ongoing eort.
Engaging stakeholders, assessing employee
needs and interests, and sending regular
communications all increase the likelihood of
strong participation. In addition, consider these
other strategies:
Provide recognition. Bulletin board displays,
certificates of completion, celebrations, or
newsletter blurbs to recognize those who have
reached their goals or taken part in a program
can provide encouragement to participants and
inspire others to join.
Demonstrate leadership support. Seeing leaders
take part in the initiative gives others permission
and encouragement to do the same.
Create opportunities for participation during
work time. Studies show that allowing time to
engage in wellness activities during the work day is
one of the most impactful strategies for improving
employee wellness.
39
Engaging in activities
with students, such as brief physical activity or
meditation breaks, is one way to do this.
Provide options. Oer ways to adapt activities
to meet individual needs and interests. For
example, a “move more” challenge could allow
participants to choose from a range of physical
activity options.
Make it fun. Developing healthy habits can be
challenging. Oering fun and unique programs
and providing opportunities to be social makes
the process more enjoyable. Holding team
CHAPTER 6
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 36
events, setting up a buddy system, reaching
out through wellness champions, or involving
students in activities are all eective strategies.
Consider oering incentives. Incentives can
take many forms, including merchandise, social
events, money, reimbursement for wellness-
related costs (e.g. fitness memberships), and
special benefits such as “casual Fridays.
Incentives are often used as a strategy for
boosting participation, but evidence on their
impact is mixed.
26,40
Therefore, districts and
schools that cannot aord to provide incentives
can feel comfortable relying on other strategies
to increase participation. For those interested
in providing incentives, Appendix 6 lists some
“Do’s and Don’ts.
Connect to personal motivations. Employees
will sustain healthy behaviors not because of
external rewards, but because better health
allows them to do more of the things they want
to do. Help sta tap into their own reasons
for improving wellness and use that to
motivate change.
Make it automatic. Changes to create a healthier
school environment can bypass the need to
recruit participants altogether. For example,
if unhealthy foods are eliminated from sta
meetings, sta will automatically choose
healthier options during those times.
TIP: Don’t forget the power of personal
outreach. Building relationships increases
buy-in and participation, and forming
connections relieves stress and fosters well-
being. Example: Hold a “bring a buddy”
campaign and ask employees who are
already participating in wellness programing
to bring a colleague who hasn’t yet
participated.
CHAPTER 6
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 37
the challenge events allows employees to model
healthy behaviors for students, and students
enjoy encouraging the sta. The district oers
recognition and incentives such as banners and
individual prizes for winning teams. Individual
campus administrators have the option of
implementing “blue jeans days” for employees
who participate in activities like a before- or after-
school walking club.
MISD uses a variety of formats to communicate
about programs and provide information about
the importance of wellness, including flyers,
website posts, emails, and a monthly wellness
magazine. Each building has an employee wellness
representative who helps with communication and
promotes participation. The representatives also
gather feedback from employees to help inform
future programs.
Advice from MISD: It is absolutely possible to
support employee wellness with limited funding.
Try YouTube videos for exercise classes or fitness
apps that employees can put on their phones and
do as a group. Start with simple activities in one
school and spread from there.
Real-world success: Mesquite Independent School District
Mesquite, Texas
Location: Suburban Approximate # of sta: 5,000 Approximate # of students: 41,000 Buildings: 65
Student demographics: Diverse student population with 56% Hispanic, 25% African American, 15% White,
75% economically disadvantaged. Annual employee wellness budget: $1.60 per employee taken from
district budget. Employee wellness stang: A teacher in the district receives a $5,000 stipend to serve
as Wellness Facilitator. The Health Services Director also assists as needed.
Mesquite Independent School District (MISD)
has been working to improve the wellness of its
employees for 25 years. The goal of the district’s
wellness initiative is to support employees’
physical and mental health, improve sta
performance, and decrease absenteeism. MISD
oers numerous wellness opportunities, including
weekly exercise classes, flu shot clinics, and a
variety of health screenings. The district has
worked to create a healthier school environment,
such as providing nutritious snacks during
professional development meetings. A unique
oering is a centrally-located employee health
center with a pharmacy that makes it convenient
for employees to access preventive and sick care.
MISD uses multiple strategies to boost
participation in the wellness initiative. The district
schedules classes at times and locations that
are easily accessible. The initiative includes team
activities to make wellness fun and social as
well as themed challenges that use competition
to motivate employees. The district holds
an annual “principal pedometer challenge,
in which principals log their step count, to
demonstrate leadership support. The visibility of
CHAPTER 6
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 38
CHAPTER 6
Chapter resources
Tools and templates
Appendix 6:
Worksheet: Communications outline
Worksheet: Participation strategies
Oering incentives: Do’s and don’ts
Other resources
Build a Wellness Newsletter (Anthem) —
tool for compiling pre-written articles into a
newsletter
Developing a Plan for Communications
(Community Tool Box) — guidance and
resources on developing a communications
plan
Guidance for a Reasonably Designed,
Employer-Sponsored Wellness Program
Using Outcomes-Based Incentives
(Consensus Statement) — key
considerations for designing incentive
structure
Gateway to Health Communication and
Social Marketing Practice (CDC) — guidance
on developing eective communications
Healthy Hints (Anthem) — weekly healthy
hints with graphics that can be used in
newsletters, social media, or websites
Monthly Health Topics (Kaiser Permanente)
— a collection of monthly topics with
supporting emails, flyers, and posters that
are also available in Spanish
National Health Observance Toolkits
(healthfinder.gov) — toolkits for 15 dierent
health observances with sample newsletter
and social media announcements
Sample Employee Wellness Newsletter
(Columbus City Schools) — example of a
district newsletter
School Employee Well-being Resource
Center (Kaiser Permanente) — resources
including various posters and flyers
Tips for Writing a School Employee
Wellness Newsletter (OEA Choice Trust) —
ideas for newsletter layout and content
Wellness Calendar (Anthem) — collection of
monthly topics with newsletter articles
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 39
Collect data
Evaluation does not need to be complicated or
time-intensive. There are simple ways to gather
information to help demonstrate the value of your
initiative. There should be a purpose behind data
collection. Collect the information that you need,
not information that is simply nice to know.
Chapter 5 provided a brief introduction to two
types of information that can be collected to
demonstrate the results of an initiative—process
and outcome measures. Process measures, which
look at how well the initiative is being implemented,
are typically reviewed on a regular basis. High levels
of participation and satisfaction as well as changes
made to create a healthy school environment are
all important accomplishments.
Demonstrate Results
Ch. 07
Consider an annual satisfaction survey about
your wellness oerings. An example can
be found in the resources at the end of
this chapter.
FIRST STEPS
Chapter summary
Districts and schools interested in
demonstrating the results of their initiative
have multiple options, many of which can
be done easily and eciently.
Sharing results can increase support for
future employee wellness oerings.
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 40
Share findings
Sharing successes with district and school
leadership and other key stakeholders increases
the visibility of the initiative, demonstrates value,
and helps make the case for ongoing resources.
Results can be disseminated in a variety of ways,
including reports, presentations, infographics,
success stories, data dashboards, and newsletter
articles. Use several formats to reach multiple
audiences.
To maximize the impact when sharing results,
consider the following tips:
Determine the best format and content for your
intended audience. A brief summary may work
better for employees and superintendents, while
human resources sta may want a more detailed
report. Similarly, testimonials may be more
meaningful for some audiences, while data on
cost savings will resonate with others.
Use visuals. Use charts, graphs, and images to
display the information at a glance.
Translate results into meaningful terms. To
the extent possible, use real-life units and
comparisons. For example, rather than just
reporting the percent change in teacher
absences, you could state that students,
on average, received an additional week of
instruction from their teacher.
Align with district and school priorities.
Demonstrate how the results link with or help
advance other key metrics in the district.
TIP: Celebrate all successes, big or small!
It takes longer to see changes in outcomes, so
data from outcome measures is typically reviewed
every six to 18 months, depending on how the
information is being used. Positive changes in
knowledge or skills indicates that the initiative
is supporting wellness. Improvements in health
behaviors demonstrate that the initiative is
leading employees to make healthier choices,
which ultimately will improve their health. Positive
changes in absences, insurance claims, biomarkers
(e.g., blood pressure and cholesterol levels),
or other direct measures of wellness provide
compelling evidence of the value of the initiative.
TIP: Some districts have individuals with
expertise in data analysis, such as members
of a district evaluation team, who can
provide assistance. Those interested in a
more comprehensive evaluation may also
be able to get support from partners such
as benefits providers, a local public health
department, or a university.
Most data will be easy to analyze. Examples
include:
Calculating the percentage of employees
participating in the initiative,
Calculating the percentage of participants in a
class with increased knowledge and skills,
Tallying the total number of minutes of physical
activity logged by employees, or
Determining the percent reduction in employee
absences.
The table of evaluation measures in Appendix
5 provides potential measures and suggestions
for collecting and analyzing this data. Note that
quotes and testimonials from employees are easy
ways to show the impact of the initiative.
CHAPTER 7
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 41
and types of positions. The Coordinator prepares
monthly and annual reports and shares them
with HR sta and union representatives.
CCS collects outcome data as well. CCS gets
a snapshot of health behaviors and overall
employee health by reviewing claims data
and benefits usage information from benefits
providers. This helps the district make decisions
about health plan structure, develop programs to
increase benefits utilization, and address priority
health concerns. CCS also tracks total pounds
lost through the Weight Watchers program each
month. The Wellness Coordinator has collected
multiple testimonials from employees about the
positive impact of the initiative. The district plans
to conduct additional outcome evaluation in the
future, such as analyzing the association between
program participation and indicators such as
morale and absenteeism, which will further
demonstrate the value of the initiative and guide
continued improvement.
Advice from CCS: When planning your initiative,
pay equal attention to how you will measure
success. Think about what data is important from
an operational standpoint and for demonstrating
how the initiative supports your district’s goals.
Real-world success: Columbus City Schools
Columbus, Ohio
Location: Urban Approximate # of sta: 8,000 Approximate # of students: 51,500 Buildings: 132
Student demographics: Diverse population; one in six students speak a primary language other than
English. The district meets community eligibility criteria for free school meals. Source of Funds: The
district’s Board of Education allocates funds from the employee self-insurance fund. Employee wellness
stang: Wellness Coordinator with 80% of time dedicated to employee wellness and a part-time
secretary.
Started in 2005, Columbus City Schools’ (CCS)
Healthy Bodies, Active Minds Wellness Initiative
aims to support student success by creating and
fostering a culture of wellness for students, sta,
and the community. The goals of the employee
wellness component, known as the CCS Sta
Wellness Initiative, are to contain health care
costs, attract and retain employees, reduce
absenteeism, improve school climate, and support
employee health. The initiative has grown to
include a broad range of oerings aligned with
eight dierent dimensions of wellness.
Evaluation has been key to the success of the
initiative. The CCS Sta Wellness Initiative
collects process data through a customized
online wellness portal developed by a vendor.
The portal allows the district to track program
participation and retrieve data by demographics.
CCS also collects data through on-site reviews
of program quality and participant satisfaction
surveys. The Wellness Coordinator reviews the
data monthly to determine trends and make
real-time improvements. For example, if a class
has low enrollment, the Coordinator will take
steps to boost participation or will cancel the
class. This maximizes the employee wellness
budget. CCS also uses the data to help ensure
that programming is equitable across locations
CHAPTER 7
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 42
CHAPTER 7
Chapter resources
Tools and templates
Appendix 7:
Worksheet: Data collection and sharing
See also Example evaluation measures in
Appendix 5
Other resources
General evaluation guidance
Evaluation Resources (CDC) — framework,
guidebook, and other tools to assist with
evaluation
Introduction to Evaluation (Community
Tool Box) — detailed tools and guidance on
planning and implementing evaluation
Manager’s Guide to Evaluation (Better
Evaluation) — website with extensive
guidance and resources to support
evaluation
Sample surveys
Employee Feedback Survey (Michigan
Healthy Worksites) — survey to collect
feedback on a class, activity, or other event
Evaluation Tools (Region of Waterloo Public
Health) — sample survey questions for
several types of programs
Sample Annual Wellness Program Survey
(Columbus City Schools) — example survey
to collect feedback on school employee
wellness programing
Sharing findings
Evaluation Reporting Guide (Kauman
Foundation) — tips on formatting evaluation
reports
Sample Annual Programming Report
(Columbus City Schools) — example annual
evaluation report
Sample Monthly Programming Report
(Columbus City Schools) — example
monthly evaluation report
Success Stories Made Easier (CDC) —
application for writing success stories
Other
Cost Calculators (ESI Group) — 30 dierent
calculators to help estimate costs
Healthcare Cost Data (CDC) — detailed
guidance on interpreting insurance
claims data
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 43
Stay energized. Continuously reflecting on and
celebrating accomplishments, sharing leadership,
distributing the workload, and periodically
recruiting new committee members and champions
all help maintain engagement in and excitement
about the wellness initiative.
Keep it fresh. Over time, employee participation
can wane as the excitement of new programs wears
o. Repeat successful activities if there is still a
need, but include a few novel programs or put a
new twist on old favorites to help maintain interest.
Change the environment. Once in place, changes
that create a healthy school environment run
on their own and continue to provide positive
benefits, even if other parts of the initiative do not
receive ongoing resources. For example, a healthy
meetings policy will continue to benefit sta even
Maintain Momentum
Ch. 08
Chapter summary
Following the steps described throughout
this guide will position the initiative for
sustained success.
Additional ways to maintain momentum
are listed in this chapter.
Our employee wellness initiative has allowed
us to build a culture in which sta feel valued,
cared for, and connected with their colleagues.
Because our employees feel good at work, we
have better sta retention, attendance, and
productivity.”
Michael Carter, Superintendent, Rainier
School District, Rainier, Oregon
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 44
Look to the future. The employee
wellness committee may wish to
develop a five-year plan for the initiative.
This provides a longer-term vision to work toward
and allows the committee to map out and seek
the resources needed to continue growing
the initiative.
if there are no new employee wellness programs,
whereas the benefits of a fitness class end once
the session is over.
Don’t reinvent the wheel. Whenever possible, use
resources that already have been developed, such
as pre-written newsletter articles and wellness
campaign materials. Consider documenting
procedures for repeat activities, such as an annual
wellness fair or campaign, and maintain a shared
file that everyone on the employee wellness
committee can access that includes important
contacts, the work plan, communication
materials, and other documents.
Chapter resources
Sustainability Framework (Healthy Places by Design) — framework to assist with moving
along a continuum towards sustainability
Sustaining the Work or Initiative (Community Toolbox) — resources and information on
planning for sustainability
CHAPTER 8
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 45
The tables in this section provide ideas for improving employee wellness. Select oerings
that align with the needs, priorities, and resources of your district or school. Not all of these
ideas will be feasible or appropriate for every district.
A- Activity or event: individual or group classes, challenges, gatherings, or events
BD- Benefits design: insurance coverage, flex time, incentives and reimbursements,
employee assistance programs, and other benefits
HSE- Healthy school environment: infrastructure, policies, practices, and norms
that support healthy behaviors
I- Information and awareness: awareness campaigns and provision
of resources and educational materials
Starred oerings directly impact student health as well as employee health.
LEGEND
Appendix 1 POTENTIAL WELLNESS OFFERINGS
Oering Type Resources
Oer and promote onsite
flu shots
A
BD
Check with your benefits providers for resources and coverage
information
Flu Communications Resources for Businesses and Employers
(CDC)
Flu Facts Flier (Kaiser Permanente)
Influenza (CDC)
Oer health assessments A
BD
Check with your benefits providers for resources and coverage
information
Preventive services
Preventive services include vaccinations and screenings. Vaccinations prevent the development of illness.
Screenings allow for early identification of concerns so that more serious disease can be avoided. When
combined with education, referrals, and other supports for those who screen positive, screening is an
eective way to improve employee health.
41
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 46
APPENDIX 1
Oering Type Resources
Oer onsite biometric
health screenings (Body
Mass Index, blood pressure,
cholesterol, diabetes)
A
BD
Check with your benefits providers for resources and coverage
information
Biometric Health Screenings for Employers (HERO)
Oer onsite cancer
screenings (e.g.,
mammography van)
A
BD
Check with your benefits providers for resources and coverage
information
Investing in Health Workplace Guide (Partnership for
Prevention)
Oer onsite depression
screening
A
BD
Check with your benefits providers for resources and coverage
information
Right Direction (Center for Workplace Mental Health)
Hold a screening or check-
up challenge
A
Preventive Exams Healthie Challenge (Anthem)
Run screening promotion
campaigns to encourage
participation in onsite
screenings or motivate
employees to get screened
on their own
I
Health Kits (Anthem)
Investing in Health Workplace Guide (Partnership for
Prevention)
Know Your Lemons (Worldwide Breast Cancer)
Preventive Exams Healthie Challenge (Anthem)
Screen for Life (CDC)
Stay Healthy (ACS)
Provide full insurance
coverage for preventive
services
BD
N /A
Preventive services (continued)
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 47
Oering Type Resources
Oer condition-specific
classes or support
groups (e.g., diabetes
management class)
A
Breathe Well Live Well (ALA)
Diabetes Lifestyle Change Program (CDC)
Find Programs and Workshops (Evidence-Based Leadership
Council)
Oer individualized chronic
disease management
counseling (by phone or
in-person)
A
Check with your benefits providers for resources and coverage
information
Provide chronic disease
management resources
and information
I
Conditions (AHA)
Diabetes Patient Education (NDEI)
Educational Materials (CDC)
Employee Education (Anthem)
Health Kits (Anthem)
High Blood Pressure (CDC)
Living with Diabetes (CDC)
Living with Diabetes (ADA)
Lung Health and Diseases (ALA)
National Diabetes Prevention Program (CDC)
Online Catalog (NHLBI)
Self-management Education (CDC)
Provide insurance coverage
for disease management
(counseling, classes,
treatments, and supplies)
BD
N /A
Chronic disease management
Disease management programs focus on educating and empowering employees to take action to
improve their health and avoid further negative consequences from their disease. Research shows that
chronic disease management is an eective component of an employee wellness initiative.
20
With nearly
half of adults aected by chronic disease,
3
these programs can potentially impact large numbers of
employees.
APPENDIX 1
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 48
Oering Type Resources
Ensure proper lighting
HSE
Best Practices Manual (Collaborative for High Performance
Schools)
Design and Construction for a Healthy School Environment
(EPA)
Healthy Buildings (Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health)
Schools: Healthy Buildings (EPA)
Institute an air quality
management program
HSE Creating Healthy Indoor Air Quality in Schools (EPA)
Healthy Schools, Healthy Kids (EPA)
Provide ergonomic work
stations
HSE
Computer Workstations E-tool (OSHA)
Ergonomics (OSHA)
Ergonomics and Musculoskeletal Disorders (NIOSH)
Workspace Evaluation (WorkWell NC)
Implement cleaning
guidelines
HSE Green Clean Schools (Healthy Schools Campaign)
Routine Cleaning and Maintenance for a Healthy School
Environment (EPA)
Conduct safety checks/
audits
HSE Total Worker Health (CDC)
Provide professional
development on injury
prevention
A
Recommended Practices (OSHA)
Provide safety and injury
prevention resources and
information
I Recommended Practices (OSHA)
Total Worker Health (CDC)
Weight management
See physical activity and nutrition oerings.
Safety and injury prevention
A safe school environment protects sta and students from injury and illness. A clean, well-lit, and well-
ventilated building also impacts the productivity, attendance, performance, and morale of students and
sta.
42,43
APPENDIX 1
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 49
Oering Type Resources
Post signage to encourage
use of stairs
HSE Move More Workbook (WorkWell NC)
Mark indoor (hallway) and
outdoor walking routes
and/or fitness courses
HSE Move More Workbook (WorkWell NC)
Walking for Workforce Health Toolkit (Kaiser Permanente)
Implement community use
policy
HSE Breaking Physical Activity Barriers Through Open Community
Use (South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental
Control)
Oer active desks (e.g.
standing desk, balance ball,
wobble stool)
HSE
N /A
Provide exercise
equipment (hand weights,
bands, mat, exercise
videos) in sta lounges
HSE
N /A
Provide sta changing
facilities and showers
HSE
N /A
Provide onsite exercise
facilities open for use during
and after school day
HSE
N /A
Oer support or incentives
for active commuting or
parking in remote lot
HSE
A Beginner’s Guide to Biking to Work (New York Times)
Get Ready to Ride (Active Transportation Alliance)
Move More Workbook (WorkWell NC)
Institute a movement-
friendly dress code
HSE
N /A
Hold active sta meetings
(standing or walking
meetings; incorporate
physical activity breaks)
HSE
A
Healthy Meetings Guide (Kaiser Permanente)
Move More Workbook (WorkWell NC)
Physical activity
Physical activity is key to maintaining cardiovascular health and a healthy weight. It is also vital to brain
and immune health, promotes focus and improved productivity, improves mood and sleep, and relieves
stress.
44
Seeing school sta engage in physical activity encourages students to do the same. Oering a
variety of ways to be active allows employees to find something that works with their schedule, interests,
and fitness level.
APPENDIX 1
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 50
Oering Type Resources
Build in physical activity
breaks for sta during
school day (can be done
along with students)
HSE
A
Brain Breaks, Instant Recess, and Energizers (AFHK)
Classroom Energizers (AFHK)
Energizers for Schools (Eat Smart Move More NC)
Sta Fitness Breaks (Alliance for a Healthier Generation)
Oer onsite fitness classes A
N /A
Hold exercise challenges
(e.g. steps challenge,
exercise minutes
challenge)
A
7 Simple, Fun Challenges to Start at Work (Oce of Disease
Prevention and Health Promotion)
Move More Workbook (WorkWell NC)
Workplace Fitness Challenge Ideas (Marathon Health)
Workplace Wellness Challenges (Corporate Wellness
Magazine)
Form exercise clubs or
employee sports teams
(e.g. lunchtime walkers
club, soccer club)
A
Walking for Workforce Health Toolkit (Kaiser Permanente)
Sponsor a healthy lifestyle
club
A
Maintain Don’t Gain Toolkit (Kaiser Permanente)
Oer onsite physical fitness
assessments
A
N /A
Promote local fitness
opportunities (e.g., 5ks,
clubs, gyms)
I
N /A
Provide physical activity
resources and information
I
Build Physical Activity (Kaiser Permanente Thriving Schools)
Exercise and Fitness (Anthem)
Get Moving (AHA)
Health Kits (Anthem)
Investing in Health Workplace Guide (Partnership for
Prevention)
Move More Workbook (WorkWell NC)
Online Catalog (NHLBI)
Physical Activity (CDC)
Physical Activity Resources (PCFSN)
Allow time during the
contracted work day to be
used for physical activity
BD
N /A
Oer subsidized fitness
memberships
BD
N /A
Physical activity (continued)
APPENDIX 1
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 51
Oering Type Resources
Implement a nutrition
policy for all foods sold on
campus (if not currently
part of wellness policy)
HSE Eat Smart Workbook (WorkWell NC)
Financial Implications of Healthy Vending (AHA)
Healthy Eating at Work Food Policy Toolkit (Kaiser
Permanente)
Healthy Nutrition Guidelines (WA SDOH)
Healthy Workplace Food and Beverage Toolkit (AHA)
Model Vending Standards (NANA)
Recommended Nutrition Standards for Procurement of Foods
and Beverages Oered in the Workplace (AHA)
Use food labeling, nutrition
information, and signage
to promote nutritious food
choices
HSE Choose a Better Snack (Eat Smart Move More NC)
Cafeteria Menu Labeling (Kaiser Permanente)
Posters and Signs (Chef Ann Foundation)
Oer discounts on
healthier foods and
beverages for sta
HSE
N /A
Provide food preparation
facilities (e.g. fridge and
microwave in sta lounges)
HSE
N /A
Institute a healthy sta
meeting policy
HSE
Eat Smart Workbook (WorkWell NC)
Healthy Meetings (NANA)
Healthy Nutrition Guidelines (WA SDOH)
Provide access to drinking
water
HSE Healthy Schools: Water Access (CDC)
Sponsor an onsite farmers’
market
HSE
A
How to Run a Farmers’ Market (Mass.gov)
Oakland Fresh Schools Farmers’ Markets (Oakland Public
Schools)
Worksite Farmers’ Market How-to Guide (Hap)
Create a school garden
HSE
A
Resource Library (Edible Schoolyard Project)
School Gardens (Growing Minds)
Starting a School Garden Program (Kids Gardening)
Nutrition
Good nutrition supports all aspects of health. A healthy diet reduces the risk of obesity, cancer, and heart
disease
45
and has been shown to improve happiness and emotional wellness.
46
Seeing sta make healthy
food choices encourages students to do the same.
APPENDIX 1
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 52
Oering Type Resources
Oer healthy cooking or
nutrition classes
A N /A
Conduct taste testings A
Community Taste Test Event (Fuel Up to Play 60)
Hold healthy potlucks A
Healthy Potluck Sign-up (Alliance for a Healthier Generation)
Salad Potluck (Care2)
Hold nutrition challenges
(e.g., water challenge, fruit
and vegetable challenge,
low sugar challenge)
A
Worksite Challenges (Missouri Department of Health)
Oer onsite healthy eating
clubs or programs
A
N /A
Provide nutrition resources
and information
I
eatright.org (Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics)
Eat Healthy (Anthem)
Eat Smart Workbook (WorkWell NC)
Health Kits (Anthem)
Healthy Eating (AHA)
Healthy Weight (CDC)
Online Catalog (NHLBI)
Investing in Health Workplace Guide (Partnership for
Prevention)
Nutrition Resources (PCFSN)
Resource Center (Kaiser Permanente)
Provide subsidies for
weight loss programs (e.g.,
Weight Watchers)
BD N /A
Provide insurance coverage
for nutrition counseling
and weight management
BD
N /A
Nutrition (continued)
APPENDIX 1
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 53
Oering Type Resources
Institute a substance free
campus policy
HSE Develop a Policy (SAMHSA)
Investing in Health Workplace Guide (Partnership for
Prevention)
Oer onsite support
groups
A
Provide Support (SAMHSA)
Run a tobacco cessation
campaign
A
Great American Smokeout (ACS)
Quit for Life (ACS)
Quit Smoking (CDC)
Run a substance use
awareness campaign
I
National Prevention Week (SAMHSA)
National Recovery Month (SAMHSA)
Educate employees on
signs of substance use
disorders
I
Provide Education and Training (SAMHSA)
Supervisor Training (SAMHSA)
Provide substance use
resources and information
I
Online Catalog (NHLBI)
Resource Center (Kaiser Permanente)
Smokefree.gov (USDHHS)
Provide coverage for
tobacco cessation
treatment (medication,
counseling, nicotine
replacement therapy)
BD
Investing in Health Workplace Guide (Partnership for
Prevention)
Provide coverage for
addiction and recovery
services
BD
N /A
Oer an employee
assistance program
BD
Provide Support (SAMHSA)
Substance use
Substance use can negatively impact productivity and performance, cause serious health problems, and
create an unsafe climate for students and other sta.
47
APPENDIX 1
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 54
Oering Type Resources
Increase stang levels HSE N /A
Restrict email use outside
of work hours
HSE
N /A
Implement policies and
culture that support work-
life balance
HSE
Center for Work and Family (Boston College)
Family-friendly Workplace Toolkit (CDPHE)
Develop partnerships to
address urgent student
needs to reduce stress on
school sta
HSE Community Outreach (Center for Mental Health in Schools)
How to Start a Community School (Coalition for Community
Schools)
Create inviting sta
lounges
HSE
Healthier Break Room (Kaiser Permanente Thriving Schools)
Provide space for
relaxation or meditation
breaks
HSE
N /A
Provide passes that
allow teachers to call for
someone to cover their
class for 15 minutes if they
need a break
HSE
N /A
Incorporate mindfulness
meditation breaks for sta
and students during the
school day
HSE
A
Center for Mindfulness (UMass Medical School)
Mindfulness Resources (ASCD)
Include employees in
decision-making about
workplace issues
HSE
A
N /A
Recognize sta
contributions and
achievements
HSE
A
Recognize the Stars on Your Sta (Education World)
Social-emotional health and stress
Employees need to be emotionally healthy in order to be fully engaged and present with students and to
model self-regulation and social-emotional skills.
48
Depression and stress impact productivity,
49
increase
absences, and have a range of negative impacts on physical health.
6
Stress and mental health issues
are common among school employees, with half of teachers feeling under great stress at least several
days a week.
10
It is particularly important that school sta in districts using a trauma-informed approach
or serving high-needs populations receive training and support so they can avoid compassion fatigue,
vicarious trauma, and/or triggering of their own past traumas.
50
See also physical activity, substance use, finance, chronic disease management, and sleep oerings, as
those topics also have a direct impact on emotional well-being.
APPENDIX 1
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 55
Oering Type Resources
Institute gratitude program A The Benefits of Practicing Gratitude (OEA Choice Trust)
Oer 10-minute chair
massages
A
N /A
Hold social events (e.g.,
potluck lunches)
A
N /A
Put up a laughter board A
Check Pinterest for ideas
Oer mindfulness
meditation, stress
management, yoga, or
mental health classes
A
Center for Mindfulness (University of California San Diego
Health)
Mindfulness Awareness Research Center (University of
California Los Angeles)
Hold 5-minute mindfulness
conference calls
A
N /A
Institute a mentorship
program or buddy system
for sta
A
N /A
Oer support groups A
N /A
Provide professional
development on social-
emotional skills, trauma-
informed approaches, and
resiliency
A
Are You at Risk for Secondary Traumatic Stress? (Edutopia)
Supporting the Sta at a Trauma-Informed School (Treatment
and Services Adaptation Center)
Supporting the Whole Teacher (The Aspen Institute)
Trauma Sensitive Schools Learning Modules (Wisconsin
Department of Public Instruction)
Provide professional
development on
recognizing and
supporting employees in
mental distress
A
ICU Program (Center for Workplace Mental Health)
Mental Health First Aid (National Council for Behavioral Health)
Organizational Secondary Traumatic Stress (NCTSN)
Secondary Trauma: Guidance for Supervisors and
Administrators (NCTSN)
Social-emotional health and stress (continued)
APPENDIX 1
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 56
Oering Type Resources
Provide stress
management and mental
health resources and
information
I Finding Balance (Stress Management) Toolkit (Kaiser
Permanente)
Find Help and Treatment (SAMHSA)
Health Kits (Anthem)
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (SAHMSA)
Resource Center (Kaiser Permanente)
Right Direction (Center for Workplace Mental Health)
Secondary Traumatic Stress and Self-care Packet (National
Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments)
Oer an employee
assistance program with
access to resources,
referrals, and counseling
BD
Employee Assistance Programs (Center for Workplace
Mental Health)
Oer telephone or
telemedicine counseling
BD
Check with your benefits providers for resources and
coverage information
Provide coverage for
mental health services
BD
Mental Health Benefits (NCSL)
Social-emotional health and stress (continued)
Oering Type Resources
Increase natural light in
workspaces
HSE N /A
Restrict email use outside
of work hours
HSE
N /A
Oer sleep coaching A
N /A
Oer sleep hygiene classes A
N /A
Hold a sleep challenge A
N /A
Provide sleep resources
and information
I
Rest and Revive Toolkit (Kaiser Permanente)
Sleep.org (National Sleep Foundation)
Sleep Disorders (National Sleep Foundation)
Sleep Habits (Anthem)
Sleep
Insucient sleep impairs decision-making and productivity,
51
is linked to chronic diseases such as obesity
and cardiovascular disease,
52
and increases absences and healthcare costs.
53
APPENDIX 1
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 57
Oering Type Resources
Provide insurance coverage
for testing and treatment
for sleep disorders
BD N /A
Work with local mattress
retailer to provide
guidance on selecting
a mattress and oer
discounts for school sta
BD
N /A
Sleep (continued)
Oering Type Resources
Implement policy to
support breastfeeding
HSE Businesses Leading the Way in Support of Breastfeeding (Eat
Smart, Move More North Carolina)
Breastfeeding Policies at Work (OWH)
Breastfeeding State Laws (NCSL)
Provide lactation rooms HSE
Businesses Leading the Way in Support of Breastfeeding (Eat
Smart, Move More North Carolina)
Breastfeeding Support: Industry Solutions- Education (OWH)
Investing in Workplace Breastfeeding Programs and Policies
(National Business Group on Health)
Making it Work (NYSDOH)
Provide breastmilk storage A
Investing in Workplace Breastfeeding Programs and Policies
(National Business Group on Health)
Oer breastfeeding classes A
Investing in Workplace Breastfeeding Programs and Policies
(National Business Group on Health)
Ready, Set, BABY (University of North Carolina)
Oer lactation counseling
services
A
Investing in Workplace Breastfeeding Programs and Policies
(National Business Group on Health)
Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding is an important option that supports the physical and emotional health of mothers and
babies. It reduces medical costs for mothers and children and provides protection against illness to the
infant, which can reduce employee absences associated with caring for a sick child.
54
Providing lactation
support also boosts employee retention, can promote an earlier return from maternity leave, and reduces
the stress of returning to work.
54
In addition, time and accommodations to express milk in the workplace
are protected by law.
APPENDIX 1
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 58
Oering Type Resources
Provide lactation resources
and information
I Breastfeeding (American Academy of Pediatrics)
For Nursing Moms: Breastfeeding at Work (OWH)
Making it Work (NYSDOH)
Oer subsidies and/or
insurance coverage for
pumps
BD
Investing in Workplace Breastfeeding Programs and Policies
(National Business Group on Health)
Allow time for
breastfeeding/pumping
during contracted
work day
BD
Breastfeeding Support: Industry Solutions- Education (OWH)
Investing in Workplace Breastfeeding Programs and Policies
(National Business Group on Health)
Making it Work (NYSDOH)
Workplace Support in Federal Law (USBC)
Provide paid parental
leave (separate from sick
time, annual leave, or
vacation time)
BD
Family-friendly Workplace Toolkit (CDPHE)
Breastfeeding (continued)
Oering Type Resources
Develop, implement,
and practice multi-hazard
emergency response
plan
HSE Disaster Preparedness Resources (NASN)
Guide for Developing High-Quality Emergency Operations
Plans (US DOE)
K-12 School Security Practices Guide (US DHS)
Multihazard Emergency Planning for Schools (FEMA)
Resources for Schools (Red Cross)
Maintain well-marked,
accessible AEDs
HSE How to Maintain Your AED (AED Brands)
Is Your AED Ready to Shock (Occupational Health and Safety)
State Laws on Cardiac Arrest and Defibrillators (NCSL)
Maintain stock epinephrine
and albuterol (where
allowable in accordance
with state laws and
guidelines)
HSE Asthma Medications in Schools (ALA)
Toolkit to Manage Food Allergies in Schools (CDC)
Emergency preparedness
The ability to respond to medical emergencies, disasters, and other crises is key to protecting the
safety of sta (and students) while in school and to ensuring that employees feel secure and able to
focus on their work.
APPENDIX 1
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 59
Oering Type Resources
Maintain emergency
food, water, and medical
supplies
HSE
N /A
Ensure building
infrastructure meets
current building codes
HSE N /A
Form an emergency
response team
A
N /A
Provide training for
employees on first aid,
CPR, and AEDs
A Fundamentals of a Workplace First-Aid Program (OSHA)
Trainings for Your Organization (Red Cross)
Workforce Training (AHA)
Provide professional
development on
emergency response
A
N /A
Hang posters with
symptoms of heart attack
and stroke and instructions
on how to respond
I
Heart Attack (ACC)
Stroke (ASA)
Workplace Health Resources- Heart Attack and Stroke (CDC)
Provide resources and
information on identifying
and responding to
emergencies
I
N /A
Emergency preparedness (continued)
Oering Type Resources
Oer health literacy classes A Create a Health Literacy Plan (CDC)
Oer classes on navigating
insurance
A
N /A
Designate nurses or
other sta as navigators
to assist employees in
understanding and utilizing
benefits
A
N /A
Benefits
Strong benefits design is a cornerstone of employee wellness initiatives. Comprehensive benefits allow
employees to access the services needed to support their health and enable work-life balance. Programs
to support employee awareness and understanding of the benefits available to them are also key.
See also the benefits design (BD) oerings under other topic areas.
APPENDIX 1
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 60
Oering Type Resources
Implement utilization
campaign with incentives
for using benefits (e.g., a
$5 gift card for anyone
who uses the employee
assistance program)
A
N /A
Hold employee benefits
fair
A
N /A
Implement awareness
campaign to promote
existing benefits
I
Check with your benefits providers for resources
Provide paid time or
flex time options for
participation in disease
management, stress
management, or physical
activity
BD
N /A
Oer flexible work
schedules, as appropriate
to position
BD
Family-friendly Workplace Toolkit (CDPHE)
Oer adequate paid sick
and vacation time
BD
N /A
Allow employees to donate
their paid time o to
another employee
BD
Voluntary Shared Leave (University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill)
Oer paid parental leave BD
Family-friendly Workplace Toolkit (CDPHE)
Provide comprehensive
insurance benefits
including aordable
premiums and out of
pocket costs, no- or low-
cost preventive services,
and no- or low-cost
coverage for medications
for chronic disease, mental
health, and substance use
disorders
BD
N /A
Oer an Employee
Assistance Program
Employee Assistance Programs (Center for Workplace Mental
Health)
Employee Assistance Programs: An Often Overlooked
Resource (APA)
Benefits (continued)
APPENDIX 1
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 61
Oering Type Resources
Provide all employees with
a livable wage for your
locale
HSE Living Wage Calculators (NEA)
Living Wage Calculator (Massachusetts Institute
of Technology)
Oer financial literacy
workshops
A
Hold a Workshop (Consumer Federation of America)
Oer group or individual
financial planning
workshops
A
N /A
Run financial fitness
campaign to encourage
financial “check-ups”
I N /A
Provide financial resources
and information
I
America Saves (Consumer Federation of America)
MyMoney.gov (MyMoney.gov)
National Foundation for Credit Counseling (National
Foundation for Credit Counseling)
Provide retirement savings
plan with automatic
enrollment and employer
contribution
BD
N /A
Financial wellness
When employees are struggling financially, the worry can aect their emotional health and ability to
focus on their job. Financial struggles can also impact other aspects of health if an employee is unable to
aord needed medical care, nutritious foods, safe housing, utilities, and other basic needs.
Adapted from Fostering School Employee Health, Well-being and Resilience: A Framework of Proven
Strategies and Best Practices
APPENDIX 1
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 62
Person or Group Key points to convey
to gain buy-in
How to involve Plan for reaching out
District and school leadership
Employees
Other stakeholders (e.g., benefits providers, unions, families)
Appendix 2 CHAPTER 2 RESOURCES
Build support
Worksheet: Initial outreach
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 63
Sample initial communication to district and school leadership
About half of all adults have one or more chronic diseases, and many report health risk behaviors
such as substance use, depression, stress, poor nutrition, and inadequate exercise. These health
concerns and behaviors are linked with higher rates of sta absences as well as reduced productivity
and performance. In fact, it is estimated that health-related lost productive time costs employers
approximately $1,685 per employee each year, which can negatively impact student achievement. In
our district, [insert district-specific info about sta absences, healthcare costs, and other relevant
data, if available].
Establishing an employee wellness initiative is an eective strategy to address these issues.
A comprehensive, evidence-based employee wellness initiative can:
Increase sta productivity, satisfaction, team cohesion, and eectiveness;
Reduce sta absences and presenteeism (working while unwell at reduced capacity);
Enhance retention and recruiting;
Improve employee health and reduce health risks;
Lower healthcare costs;
Generate a positive return on investment of over $3 for every $1 invested; and
Improve student outcomes and create a healthy and supportive environment for
everyone in the school.
Supporting employee wellness aligns with [insert relevant info here about connection to district
mission, school improvement goals, accountability measures, use of WSCC model, etc. and how
employee wellness initiative can help accomplish these goals and priorities].
There are many simple, no-cost ways to improve employee wellness. Many school districts have been
able to successfully implement employee wellness initiatives and have seen positive results. For
example, [insert local example or use one of the success stories in this guide]. With our district’s
strong team and commitment to health, I know we can achieve similar results.
[Insert information about next steps and/or what you would like the recipient to do].
Thank you,
[Name, position, and contact information]
APPENDIX 2
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 64
Sample initial communication to sta
Each and every school day, you work tirelessly to ensure that our students have the best learning
experience possible. From educators to facilities sta to the business oce, each member of our team
works hard to help students succeed. I know that for many of you, your days and evenings are hectic,
and work often spills over into your personal time, making it dicult to find time to take care of your
own needs.
I am excited to announce that we will be launching a new employee wellness initiative to better
support you in caring for yourself. This is not just about salads and sit-ups. Our goal is to support your
physical, emotional, social, intellectual, and financial health. We are starting this initiative because
we value you and want to create a work environment that fosters wellness. I know many of you have
a “students first” mindset. We encourage you to take the time to participate in this initiative as it is
essential that you look after yourself if you want to be at your best for the students. We will do our
part to make it as easy to participate as possible.
During the coming months, we will be reaching out to collect your feedback through surveys and also
will be oering health assessments to get a sense of what types of programs might be helpful and of
interest. In collecting this information, we will be following strict protocols to protect your privacy. Our
district sta will not have access to identifiable health information, and surveys will be anonymous.
Participation is completely voluntary and choosing not to participate will in no way impact your
employment here. Every individual has dierent needs and interests, and our only purpose is to
provide the environment, programs, and other supports that allow you to pursue your own health
goals.
We will be convening a committee to guide this initiative with representatives of the multiple types
of positions we have in our district. We will also be enlisting wellness champions at each school. We
will share more details soon and welcome your participation and input. Please contact [insert contact
info] with any questions.
[Name and position]
APPENDIX 2
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 65
Committee
Committees currently working on health and wellness or related issues:
Committee identified to lead employee wellness:
New Existing
Additional representatives needed to ensure diverse skills and perspectives:
How new members will be recruited:
Term limits: Time commitment:
Leader(s)
How an employee wellness leader(s) (e.g., committee chair or employee wellness coordinator)
will be identified:
Time allocated:
Key responsibilities:
Champions
How champions will be recruited:
Key responsibilities:
Term limits: Time commitment:
How champions will be oriented to their role:
Appendix 2 CHAPTER 2 RESOUR
Appendix 3 CHAPTER 3 RESOURCES
Assemble your team
Worksheet: Employee wellness team
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 66
Scope: Example: The committee will take the lead on issues pertaining to employee wellness
in coordination with the SHAC, which leads student wellness.
Purpose: Example: To develop a school culture and environment that supports wellness
Resources available: Example: 0.3 FTE employee wellness coordinator and $25 per employee budget
Decisions that can be made by our committee: Examples: Use of allocated budget, selection
of activities and events, communications with employees
Decisions requiring approval: Examples: Any activities for which sta participation would be
required (not optional), benefits changes, policy and infrastructure changes, contracts or agreements,
communications with media
Member roles and responsibilities: See p. 21 for examples
Meeting frequency and format: Example: The group will meet the second Thursday of every
month at 6:30 am at the district oce
Decision-making process: Typical options are by consensus, by simple majority, by 2/3 majority
Tools we will use to facilitate communication: Options include email, Dropbox, Google Docs, Free
Conference Call, etc.
Expectations/norms for how our committee will operate: Example: Everyone will participate,
everyone will share responsibility for and commitment to our goals, everyone will complete their
assigned tasks, everyone’s contribution will be respected and valued
APPENDIX 3
Sample committee charter template
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 67
Employee needs and interests
How we will collect information about employee needs and interests:
Survey Interviews Focus Group Conversations Other
When information will be collected:
Key findings:
Existing programs and supports
How we will collect information about existing programs and supports:
When information will be collected:
Key findings:
Appendix 2 CHAPTER 2 RESOUR
Appendix 4 CHAPTER 4 RESOURCES
Gather information
Worksheet: Planning information
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 68
District and community resources
District/school sta to reach out to: Key supports they can provide:
Potential partners to reach out to: Key supports they can provide:
Potential funding sources:
Other information
Summary of results and potential wellness topics to address
Worksheet: Planning information (continued)
APPENDIX 4
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 69
Sample communication to employees
As you may know, our district is launching an employee wellness initiative to support your physical,
emotional, social, intellectual, and financial health. We value everything you do to make this district a
place where students can thrive, and we want to make sure that you are thriving, too.
Our goal is to design the wellness initiative around your needs and interests, and to do so, we need
your help. First, we ask that you take five minutes to respond to a survey by following the link below.
Your responses will be anonymous. We are considering a range of wellness programs, and this
information will help us select activities that you will find convenient, fun, and valuable. As an added
bonus, you will receive a code after completing the survey that you can submit to enter a rae for a
[incentive].
[insert survey link]
Second, we are excited to announce that one of our insurers, [company name], will be on-site [date]
to provide free screenings and health assessments for all employees. If you choose to participate, you
will receive a summary of your results along with personalized recommendations for ways to improve
your health. Please note that your individual results will be completely confidential, and our district
will only receive aggregate data (for example, the percentage of employees throughout the district
with high cholesterol). By participating, you will receive valuable information about your health, and
will also help us identify common health concerns in our district so that we can develop programs to
address those concerns. Please see the attached flyer for more information.
[Name, position, and contact information]
Employee wellness laws, ethical principles, and other considerations
Note: This information is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice.
Laws and regulations are subject to change and vary by jurisdiction. Districts and schools should
always consult their own legal counsel regarding compliance.
Though legal violations are rare, it is important to be aware of relevant laws and regulations. Consult
with an attorney and discuss the initiative with insurers and worker’s compensation regulators.
Key federal laws
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): Prohibits denying access to wellness programs based
on disability, provides guidelines for conducting medical examinations as part of wellness programs,
sets requirements for the collection and safeguarding of health information, limits the value of
incentives, and requires that wellness programs be voluntary.
APPENDIX 4
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 70
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA): Sets limits on the value of
incentives and stipulates that individually identifiable health information is protected under HIPAA
when wellness programs are oered through a group health plan.
Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA): Restricts the collection, use and sale of genetic
information and sets limits on the value of incentives.
Aordable Care Act (ACA): Requires reasonable alternatives to be oered for earning incentives
and sets limits on the value of incentives.
Ethical principles
Privacy: Ensure that employee privacy is protected.
Equity and inclusion: Provide opportunities and accommodations so that all employees can
participate, including those with health concerns and/or disabilities. Ensure that health status does
not impact insurance coverage, assessment of job performance, or employment status.
Choice: Participation should be voluntary, and employees should not be penalized in any way
for non-participation. Incentives should not be so substantial that they are coercive.
Other considerations
Comply with any state laws pertaining to worksite wellness programs and/or ethics laws that
aect gifts, incentives, and use of school space by employees.
Research the tax implications of providing incentives.
Address insurance implications and liability concerns. For example, it may be necessary to
have employees sign a waiver prior to participating in exercise programs.
Ensure alignment with any relevant district policies and procedures.
Resources
Fact Sheet: Final Rule on Employer Wellness Programs and Title I of the Americans with
Disabilities Act (US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission)
Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (Federal Register)
HIPAA Privacy and Security and Workplace Wellness Programs (US Department of Health and
Human Services)
Interim Final Rules Prohibiting Discrimination Based on Genetic Information in Health Insurance
Coverage and Group Health Plans (Departments of the Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human
Services)
Lawsuits Focused on Wellness Program Compliance (JDSUPRA)
Wellness Programs and Incentives (Cigna)
APPENDIX 4
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 71
Type of measure Ways to collect data Ways to analyze data
Process measures
Process measures evaluate the scope of the initiative and how well it is being implemented.
Process measures show what is being done, for whom, and how well. Collecting these measures
will help you identify what is working and what changes need to be made.
Number and types of activities
held
Work plan
Registration information
Total numbers
Comparison of numbers
year-to-year
Participation, including number of
participants in each activity and
their demographics
Registration information
Sign-in sheet
Total numbers
Percentage
Percentage by demographic
category
Comparison of numbers
year-to-year
Use of resources, such as clicks
on website and newsletter opens
Website and e-newsletter
analytics
Total numbers
Percentage
Comparison of numbers year-
to-year
Experience/satisfaction of
participants
Survey
Focus group
Conversations or interviews
with participants
Observation of classes/
activities to assess quality
and logistics
Percentage
Percentage by demographic
category
Quotes and testimonials
Changes to create a healthy
school environment (policies,
practices, norms, and
infrastructure)
Policy documents
Observation
Conversations or interviews
with employees
Repeat assessment using
School Health Index or
Worksite Health Scorecard
List of changes
Quotes and testimonials
Assessment tool results
Appendix 5 CHAPTER 5 RESOURCES
Plan for success
Example measures for demonstrating results
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 72
Example measures for demonstrating results (continued)
Type of measure Ways to collect data Ways to analyze data
Outcome measures
Outcome measures evaluate the impact of the initiative on employees. These measures show
what changes are happening as a result of the initiative. Collecting these measures will help
you determine whether your initiative is improving employee wellness.
Knowledge, attitudes,
motivation, self-
ecacy
Retrospective or pre- and post-
survey (see glossary for definitions)
Conversations or interviews with
employees
Percentage showing improvement
Averages before vs. after
Quotes and testimonials
Skills
Retrospective or pre- and post-
survey
Skills test or observation
Percentage showing improvement
Averages before vs. after
Health behaviors
(e.g., improved diet,
increased physical
activity, increased
sleep)
Retrospective or pre- and
post-survey
Conversations or interviews with
employees
Health assessments
Daily or weekly logs
Note: Logs work best as part of a
campaign or activity. For example, if
having a physical activity challenge,
participants can submit a log of their
daily physical activity.
Total numbers (e.g. of steps taken,
fruit and vegetables consumed,
etc.)
Percentage meeting
recommendations
Percentage showing improvement
Averages before vs. after
Quotes and testimonials
Change in health assessment results
Morale, climate,
culture, productivity,
quality of life
Retrospective or pre- and post-
survey
Focus group, conversations or
interviews with employees
Observation
Percentage identifying
improvement
Quotes and testimonials
Averages before vs. after
Benefits utilization,
insurance claims,
healthcare costs
Data from benefits providers Percentage change
Spending or utilization before vs. after
Average per employee before vs. after
Absences, retention,
recruitment
District data
Conversations or interviews with
employees
Percentage change
Averages before vs. after
Quotes and testimonials
Biomarkers
Biometric screenings Percentage showing improvement
Average results compared to
previous years
APPENDIX 5
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 73
Basic work plan sample template
Your template
Oerings:
Example: physical activity breaks, teacher break cards
Objectives:
Example:
By October of this school year, implement three 5-minute physical activity breaks for sta
and students during each school day with 80% sta participation.
By November of this year, implement break cards for instructional sta (1 card each semester
for a colleague to take over the class for 15 minutes).
Action steps Person(s) responsible Deadline Resources needed
Example:
Create list of exercises
for physical activity
breaks
Introduce plan for
activity breaks to sta
and collect feedback
Sara
Anton
10/1
10/7
Websites with activity
break ideas
Time during sta
meeting
Oerings:
Objectives:
Action steps
Person(s) responsible Deadline Resources needed
APPENDIX 5
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 74
Comprehensive work plan template
Goal 1:
Example: By 2020, improve employee productivity
and reduce absences by 5% by supporting employee
wellness.
Oerings:
Example: physical activity breaks, onsite flu shots,
teacher break cards
Objectives:
Example:
By October of this school year, implement three
5-minute physical activity breaks for sta and
students during each school day with 80% sta
participation.
By November of this school year, immunize 40% of
sta through onsite flu shot clinics.
By November of this year, implement break cards
for instructional sta (1 card each semester for a
colleague to take over the class for 15 minutes).
Outcome measures:
Example:
% of sta reporting increased productivity
and wellness
amount of change in absences
Process measures:
Example:
% of sta participating in activity breaks
% of sta with positive view of activity breaks
% of sta immunized
% of sta satisfied with flu clinics
% of instructional sta using break cards
GOAL 1:
Oerings:
Objectives:
Outcome measures:
Process measures:
GOAL 2:
Oerings:
Objectives:
Outcome measures:
Process measures:
APPENDIX 5
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 75
Comprehensive work plan template (continued)
GOAL 3:
Oerings:
Objectives:
Outcome measures:
Process measures:
Action steps Person(s) responsible Deadline Resources needed
Example:
Create list of exercises
for physical activity
breaks
Introduce plan for
activity breaks to sta
and collect feedback
Sara
Anton
10/1
10/7
Websites with activity
break ideas
Time during sta
meeting
APPENDIX 5
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 76
Topic or
Purpose
Audience(s)
Message/Key
information
to include
Format(s)
When to
distribute
Person
responsible
Appendix 2 CHAPTER 2 RESOUR
Appendix 6 CHAPTER 6 RESOURCES
Maximize your impact
Worksheet: Communications outline
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 77
Strategies for boosting participation How we will incorporate
Provide recognition
Demonstrate leadership support
Create opportunities for participation
during worktime
Provide options
Make it fun
Oer incentives
Connect to personal motivations
Make it automatic
Worksheet: Participation strategies
APPENDIX 6
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 78
DO DON’T
Consider no- or low-cost incentives such as
certificates.
Provide incentives for participation as well as for
achievements.
Reach out to community partners for donated
goods and services to use as incentives.
Be aware of legal restrictions, ethical issues, and
tax implications (see p. 69).
Don’t rely on incentives alone; they should be
one small piece of the initiative.
Don’t pass up incentives oered by your benefits
providers.
Don’t forget to promote incentives.
Don’t tie incentives to insurance premiums,
deductibles or other coinsurance, as there is
a risk of discrimination.
55
Oering incentives: Do’s and don’ts
APPENDIX 6
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 79
MEASURE 1:
How and when data will be collected:
How and when data will be analyzed:
Person responsible:
Results:
MEASURE 2:
How and when data will be collected:
How and when data will be analyzed:
Person responsible:
Results:
MEASURE 3:
How and when data will be collected:
How and when data will be analyzed:
Person responsible:
Results:
MEASURE 4:
How and when data will be collected:
How and when data will be analyzed:
Person responsible:
Results:
Appendix 7 CHAPTER 7 RESOURCES
Demonstrate results
Worksheet: Data collection and sharing
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 80
How results will be shared with stakeholders:
Audience(s) Format(s)
Key results to
include
When to
distribute
Person
responsible
Worksheet: Data collection and sharing (continued)
APPENDIX 7
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 81
Benefits providers: health, dental, and vision
insurers; prescription benefit providers;
employee assistance plan providers; and worker’s
compensation providers
Chronic disease: a disease that cannot be passed
from person to person and lasts longer than
three months, such as heart disease, stroke, and
diabetes
Disease management: equipping individuals
to minimize the eects of a disease through
improved management of the condition
Health: “a state of complete physical, mental, and
social wellbeing and not merely the absence of
disease or infirmity”56
Healthy school environment: policies, practices,
norms, and physical infrastructure that support
wellness
Health promotion: the process of assisting people
in improving their health through education,
behavior changes, and environmental changes
Oering: program, class, policy change, event, etc.
that is implemented to improve employee wellness
Outcome measure: indicator that measures the
impact of the initiative
Pre- and post-survey: survey administered at the
beginning of a class, campaign, policy change,
etc. and then repeated at the end to compare the
results
Presenteeism: working while unwell at reduced
capacity
Process measures: indicator that measures how
well the initiative is being implemented
Retrospective survey: one survey administered at
the end of a class, campaign, policy change, etc.
that asks employees whether their knowledge,
skills, behaviors, etc. have changed as a result of
their participation
School improvement plan: a plan that defines
how the school will work to increase student
achievement
General Resources
Employee Wellness Resources (Alliance for a Healthier Generation)
School Employee Health and Well-being (OEA Choice Trust)
Thrive at Work Resource Center (Kaiser Permanente)
Thriving Schools (Kaiser Permanente)
Virtual Healthy School (CDC)
Workplace Health Resource Center (CDC)
Workplace Wellness: Walk This Way (ChangeLab Solutions)
Worksite Wellness Resource Kit (Wisconsin Department of Health Services)
WorkWell NC (WorkWell NC)
Glossary
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 82
Self-ecacy: belief in one’s ability to perform a
certain behavior
Sta: individuals employed by the school district
Stakeholder: any person or organization that
aects or is aected by an initiative
Well-being: the presence of positive emotions and
resilience, satisfaction with life, feeling healthy and
energetic, fulfillment, and positive functioning57
Wellness: “a process of becoming aware of
and making conscious choices toward a more
balanced and healthy lifestyle”2
AAFA– Asthma and Allergy Foundation of
America
ACC– American College of Cardiology
ACS– American Cancer Society
ADA– American Diabetes Association
AFHK– Action for Healthy Kids
AHA– American Heart Association
ALA– American Lung Association
APA– American Psychiatric Association
ASA– American Stroke Association
CDC– Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
CDPHE– Colorado Department of Public Health
and Environment
EPA– Environmental Protection Agency
FEMA– Federal Emergency Management
Association
HA– Health Assessment
HERO– Health Enhancement Research
Organization
NANA– National Alliance for Nutrition and Activity
NASN– National Association of School Nurses
NCSL– National Conference of State Legislatures
NCTSN– National Child Traumatic Stress Network
NDEI– National Diabetes Education Initiative
NEA– National Education Association
NHLBI– National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
NIOSH– National Institute for Occupational Safety
and Health
NYSDOH– New York State Department of Health
OSHA– Occupational Safety and Health
Administration
OWH– Oce of Women’s Health
PCFSN– President’s Council on Fitness, Sports,
and Nutrition
ROI– Return on Investment
SAMHSA– Substance Abuse and Mental Health
Services Administration
SHAC– School Health Advisory Council
USBC– United States Breastfeeding Committee
US DHS– United States Department of Human
Services
US DHHS– United States Department of Health
and Human Services
US DOE– United States Department of Education
VOI– Value on Investment
WA SDOH– Washington State Department of
Health
WSCC– Whole School, Whole Community,
Whole Child
Acronyms
NACDD // Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness I 83
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2.
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gov/chronicdisease/overview/index.htm#ref11.
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4. Schultz AB, Edington DW. Employee health
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National Association of Chronic Disease Directors
325 Swanton Way • Decatur, GA 30030 • info@chronicdisease.org
chronicdisease.org
The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) and its more than 7,000 members seek
to strengthen state-based leadership and expertise for chronic disease prevention and control in states
and nationally. Established in 1988, in partnership with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
NACDD is the only membership association of its kind to serve and represent every chronic disease division
in all states and U.S. territories.
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