The Board recognizes that good nutrition and regular physical activity affect the health and well-being of the Corporation’s students. Research suggests that there is a positive correlation between a student’s health and well-being and his/her ability to learn. Moreover, schools can play an important role in the developmental process by which students establish their health and nutrition habits by providing nutritious meals and snacks through the meal programs, by supporting the development of good eating habits, and by promoting increased physical activity both in and out of school.
Under the leadership of the Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Larry Young, the MSD of Pike Township has made an intentional effort to focus on staff and student wellness as one of the district’s non-negotiables. Pike Township Schools has in place resources to support the mental health, well-being, and self-care of teachers, staff, and students.
"Teacher well-being is incredibly important, not only for them but for their students’ learning experiences as well.”
-Leigh McLean, an assistant research professor at the Center for Research in Education & Social Policy at the University of Delaware.
Fostering the physical and mental health of school employees also assists in supporting a student’s health and academic success. Every school employee, no matter their role, contributes to a school’s mission and the success of each child. School staff can give their best when they feel their best. Healthy employees are more productive, have more energy, are better able to manage stress, and are more likely to model healthy behaviors. By prioritizing employee wellness, we empower staff to feel their best while further supporting students' well-being.
Schools alone, however, cannot develop students’ healthy behaviors and habits with regard to eating and exercise. It will be necessary for not only the staff but also parents and the public at large to be involved in community-wide efforts to promote, support, and model such healthy behaviors and habits.
Through a strong commitment to enhance the emotional well-being of our staff and students since 2018, Pike Township adopted the use of Second Step as a universal Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) curriculum and has hired additional counseling staff so that every building has a counselor and additional social workers to support the district. We
have built the infrastructure to support a multi-tiered, school-based mental health prevention and intervention system.