Health Links [HL]: Why is the health and safety of your employees important to you?
Indian Peaks Charter School [IPCS]: Creating a place in which employees feel supported, healthy, and satisfied creates a place that welcomes students and families. Health and safety is a foundation to create a positive atmosphere of learning at our school. We seek to promote, nurture, and model health and safety.
HL: What does your workplace health and safety program look like? Do you offer both components to employees?
IPCS: We do offer both components to employees. We break down our health into our wellness program which seeks to satisfy 4 areas: nutrition (healthy food alternatives ), physical activity (walking team meetings, promote staff skiing or walking during recess, free after-work physical activity ), health services (full-time staff receive health benefits, participate in Pinnacol/Virgin Plus program, district health committee challenges ), and social-emotional support (mindfulness, flex scheduling, and resources for support/counseling as well as massage/reflexology as part of staff wellness program ).
For safety, we provide training and reviews by various state agencies including Health and Safety & Fire for building safety.
HL: How will you/do you know your program is successful?
IPCS: We look at staff attendance and staff satisfaction via a survey and we also distribute a parent survey to gather feedback from them as well.
HL: What obstacles did you have to overcome to get your program started? How did you overcome them?
IPCS: We had to come to an agreement on what "health and wellness" is, particularly regarding nutrition and physical activity. We held many meetings discussing the mission and vision as well. We agreed to provide funds for enrichment/training pieces, grants specific to programs and we encourage staff to take time for themselves even if they have tasks to complete. It's all about training and education.
HL: Does your health and safety program help give back to your community?
IPCS: We provide health/wellness fundraisers that are open to the community and we provide opportunities for parents to check out equipment for family wellness activities.
HL: What tip/advice would you give to a business that is considering starting a workplace health and safety program?
IPCS: Just do it! A healthy, safe and well staff member provides us with the ability to be more focused and as a result, we function better as a school.