SCHOOL EMPLOYEE HEALTH AND WELL-BEING

OEA Choice Trust has years of expertise and experience working with school districts, education service districts and community colleges across the state to create healthy school environments. The resources on this page offer best practices and proven strategies based on national worksite wellness research to help you create or strengthen your employee wellness program. Click on the buttons below to learn more.

Video Resources

Superintendent Michael Carter of Rainier School District  speaks about administrative buy in and the importance of leadership support for SEW programs. Rainier School District currently has a School Employee Wellness Grant.

Joanne Maki is a PE teacher and Wellness Coordinator for David Douglas School District. She helped initiate the district’s school employee wellness program and continues to serve as a co-Coordinator. Joanne shares her experience with developing and growing her district’s SEW program.

Whitney Ellersick is the Nutrition Services Senior Director at PPS. She discusses how to make SEW programs work for hard to reach employees that may have different needs and work schedules.

Gigi Sims is the grant coordinator and district wellness coordinator for Corvallis School District. Her district successfully completed the OEA Choice Trust SEW grant in 2015-2016 and was awarded a Mini Grant from the Trust in 2018. Gigi discusses how to sustain programs and build off a successful foundation.

Print Resources

Fostering Healthy, Resilient Schools to Address Chronic Stress – Position Paper

This position paper by OEA Choice Trust examines the chronic stress and low morale that have become so pervasive in today’s school communities. It also explores the power and potential of fostering resiliency and the key role it can play in reducing stress and improving health and well-being across an entire school system.

Fostering Health, Resilient Schools to Address Chronic Stress

Blueprint for School Employee Wellness

OEA Choice Trust developed this six-step guide to help grantees develop a new program from scratch or strengthen an existing program. Each section of the Blueprint includes links to free, evidence-informed resources.

Blueprint for School Employee Wellness

Staff Wellness Needs and Interest Survey

Before starting a program, it is important to determine the needs and interests of staff. Use or customize OEA Choice Trust’s survey to gather valuable data that can inform your planning and increase employee engagement in your program.

Staff Wellness Needs and Interests Survey (PDF)

Staff Wellness Needs and Interests Survey (Word)

Benefits of School Employee Wellness Programs

Though the benefits of each school employee wellness program are different, they can have a sizable impact on employees, students, schools and communities. Read about more reasons to start a school employee wellness program in your organization.

Benefits for Staff

Benefits for Leadership

Catalyst for Improved Community Health

School Employee Health and Well-being Model

The School Employee Health and Well-being Model reflects the Trust’s holistic approach to well-being and resilience. The Model includes multiple elements of personal well-being as well as cultural and environmental elements. Acknowledging all of these elements can make your employee well-being initiative stronger.

Working Well at School Brochure

OEA Choice Trust’s “Working Well at School” brochure is tailored to raise awareness about the value of promoting school employee wellness. It also doubles as a poster for your staff rooms!

Working Well at School

Organizational Resilience: Reducing the Impact of Secondary Trauma on Front Line Human Services Staff

This Issue Brief from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration examines how an organization’s culture can positively impact the well-being of helping professionals. To counter burnout, vicarious trauma and compassion fatigue, organizations can use the information and strategies in the brief.

Organizational Resilience: Reducing the Impact of Secondary Trauma on Front Line Human Services Staff

Regarding Chronic Stress

Chronic stress directly undermines employee well-being and resilience. Therefore, developing support systems for employee resilience, purpose and social-emotional well-being is important. School employee wellness programs can help address chronic stress through environmental and cultural changes, community building activities and staff health and well-being opportunities.

The articles below can help you learn more about job-related stress:

Resilience Takes Root – This article from Today’s OEA discusses how schools in Oregon have worked to support employee health, well-being and resilience at the workplace. Disruptive learning, student trauma and compassion fatigue all speak to why it is more important than ever to support school staff in being healthy and resilient.

Teacher Stress and Health – This brief by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation examines the causes and consequences of teacher stress. It highlights efforts to reduce teacher stress and makes recommendations in research, practice, and policy to ensure schools are healthier places for teachers and students.

Reaching a Boiling Point – This article from Today’s OEA discusses how important stress management and resiliency are to teacher and student success. With anecdotes about successful wellness programs and tips for stress management, the article highlights how well-being helps employee retention and prevents burnout.