WIS approaches community health and wellness in a holistic, age-appropriate manner. Adults and children whose mental, emotional, and physical lives are in balance are supported in times of difficulty and have greater opportunities to lead happy, grounded, and fulfilling lives.
Our wellness initiatives emphasize the following:
- Helping students manage academic pressure.
- Working proactively through the Primary School, Middle School, and Upper School Student Support Teams to identify students at risk as early as possible. This includes being alert to: poor academic performance, bullying, depression/anxiety, as well as students engaging in behaviors such as drug and alcohol use.
- Teaching students about the parameters of healthy friendships and relationships.
- Emphasizing how to maintain wellness through balanced use of technology, physical activity, healthy dietary habits, and proper hygiene.
- Offering programs that include strategies for managing anxiety and depression.
- Engaging faculty and staff in professional development to support student wellness initiatives AND offering wellness activities for employees, such as yoga, mindfulness sessions, and social gatherings.
- Providing resources and programs so parents can better support their children. CLICK HERE for some useful information.
WIS's Responsive Classroom approach recognizes that there is a connection between social-emotional learning and academic success. Faculty members are encouraged to create engaging learning environments where all individuals recognize their value in the community. Responsive Classroom techniques are also employed outside the classroom, so children feel engaged and safe on the playground, in the lunch room, etc.
Other student-oriented wellness programs include:
- Early Years mindfulness and yoga classes
- Grades 1-2 mindfulness classes
- Topics embedded into PYP Units of Inquiry that examine feelings, character, healthy living, being a responsible member of a community, etc.
- Health-oriented sessions on topics ranging from hand-washing to puberty
- Programs to encourage and recognize positive behavior
WIS Primary School holds parents meeting nearly every Thursday of the school year. Topics covered include: child discipline; anxiety; diversity and inclusion; managing use of technology; child development; understanding and managing child behavior and more.
The Middle School Advisory Program guides student growth by nurturing social-emotional health, academic skills, executive functioning skills, and connections between students. Advisors help students explore identity and relationships and act as advocates for their advisees.
In their health classes, middle school students learn about topics related to puberty, sexuality, drugs and alcohol, body image, stress management, etc.
The Middle School recently introduced the Creating Caring Conversations program to provide a structured environment for students to hold difficult and/or brave conversations that are important for their emotional health and development.
WIS created a Middle School House Program in order to: build positive inter-grade relationships; create a sense of belonging and connection within a smaller school community; shape student positive behavior through healthy competition and House identity; foster student leadership.
Throughout the year, the Middle School offers special parent sessions that cover topics such as: managing children's use of technology; identifying and dealing with anxiety and depression; substance abuse; bullying; sexual behavior; and more.
The Upper School has carefully cultivated processes for identifying students who are struggling academically or on a social/emotional level in order to provide appropriate interventions quickly.
Using school-based data as well as results from surveys such as the Independent School Health Check, the administration has been able to identify trends and determine what types of additional programming might be beneficial. Special presentations and the Life Skills curriculum covers topics such as: healthy relationships; Internet use and safety; drug and alcohol use; mental health; suicide prevention; supporting friends; stress reduction and mindfulness.
Recognizing that the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program is exceptionally demanding, the Upper School has worked to offer flexibility and additional support for Grade 11 and 12 students.
Throughout the year, the Upper School offers special parent sessions that cover topics such as: managing children's use of technology; identifying and dealing with anxiety and depression; substance abuse; bullying; sexual behavior; and more.