Embracing Wellness

“Any interest?” My question, asked to our nurse, Liz LaRocque, felt innocent enough. It was attached to a forwarded email regarding the “AISNE Health and Wellness Symposium” in May. Given Belmont Day’s leading work in Health and Wellness–a program that has been showcased for other schools with consistency from year to year–this felt like the right question to ask, knowing that they want to stay abreast of the latest and greatest of professional development opportunities.

The response, which looking back seems all too obvious, was this: “Oh boy, is there interest. Let’s talk.” A fitting reply from the teacher who, along with being the nurse at BDS, had co-designed the very conference I was recommending with one of our second grade teachers, Tina Fox. BDS out in front again, and their Head of School right on top of it, as usual.

Wellness within our community has long been a focal point of the work we do each day. Belmont Day School strives to strike that critical balance between work and play, rigor and relief. With anxiety in pre-adolescents on the rise across the country over the past decade, every school should be aspiring to find such a balance, and I am grateful for the ways in which BDS has done so. From nap time in Kindergarten to the planting and harvesting of our community garden to a Capstone presentation on the the benefits of meditation, the thread of wellness exists throughout our school.

Wellness does not live solely within the curriculum, either. This coming weekend, we will be working with Cradles to Crayons, folding and organizing donated clothing that will be provided to low-income and homeless families in the greater Boston area. In April, Braiding Different Strands will be welcoming a panel on transgenderism in an effort to educate our community about gender diversity and the experiences of transgendered people both within and beyond our community. This spring, our very own Zumba instructor will be offering classes to interested faculty in the evenings, a chance to recharge and get some fun and energizing exercise together.  

In all things, Belmont Day is committed to embracing wellness. We have a leading curriculum, a willing student body, and a thoughtful community dedicated to the balance we aspire to achieve in all things.

Next week, our final installment: “Leading Innovation.” This is a story not about what lies ahead, but about all that we are, and always have been, doing to prepare for the bright future that awaits us as innovative students and teachers. Until then, have a great weekend, everyone.

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