Staff Success with ICSD Wellness Program

For the third year in a row the Independence Community School District (ICSD) has partnered with the Buchanan County Health Center Wellness Staff (BCHC) to spearhead the implementation of the Staff Wellness Program, a proactive approach to establishing healthy habits in the life of school staff. With the end of the 2015/2016 school year health assessments complete, it’s clear to see the staff goals are not only being met, they are being surpassed.

Wellness Program LogoThe partnership between the BCHC and ICSD offers support and guidance while fostering health and wellness to those enrolled in the program. Participants take part in a health assessment at the beginning of the year, participate in onsite Mustang fitness classes, receive wellness newsletters and take part in health and wellness challenges throughout the year.

To highlight, in the 2015/2016 school year 140 staff took part in the Wellness Program, compared to 119 in the 2014/2015 school year. During one six week challenge, over 278 pounds were lost. As part of another challenge, 1,623 laps on the American Trotter Trail were turned in, totaling 3,067 miles traveled. ICSD is proud of the success staff and students alike have seen from the continued implementation of the ICSD Wellness Program.

West Elementary Wellness Committee representative, Helen Lukes, states, “The Wellness Challenges provide the opportunity to have healthy competitions with staff members in our building and in other buildings of the district. It is exciting to share what we are doing with students, as they are able to learn about healthy choices and activities from teachers and other staff members. Wellness Specialist, Susie Toale, and the BCHC staff have done an exceptional job of encouraging staff members to get involved in any way that they can.  Their support and enthusiasm for the program is very inspiring!”

The ICSD’s partnership with the BCHC also provides assistance for K-12 students. The entire school environment, not just the classroom, is aligned with healthy school district goals to positively influence a student’s understanding, beliefs and habits as they relate to good nutrition and regular physical activity. To facilitate nutritional and wellness awareness, the BCHC has implemented activities for students that range from SPARK, athletic training, weekly homeroom health newsletters and district wide walking days.

BCHC Wellness Specialist, Susie Toale, states “BCHC is proud to partner with the Independence Community School district for many health related initiatives, including their staff wellness program.  The response to the wellness program has been awesome!  The continued support from the Administration shows the district’s commitment to the wellbeing of not only the students but staff as well.”

To view the entire Independence Community Schools Wellness Policy, visit the District’s website at or contact Superintendent Russell Reiter at