ICS Stories

<img src="Poster.png" alt="Poster of the Elementary School Wellbeing Workshop at ICS">

Fostering the physical and mental health of school employees has an impact on students’ wellbeing and academic success. It’s no secret that teachers who feel their best can give their best. School employee wellness programs have never been more essential than over the past year.

In line with this understanding, ES Deputy Principal Calley Connelly, has spearheaded weekly Wellbeing Workshops for ES staff.

The Wellness Workshops take place every Thursday for thirty minutes. The main goal of the workshop is to encourage teachers to be mindful in taking care of their own wellbeing through five steps based on the Twitter campaign #Teacher5aday that encourages teachers to focus on five areas in their daily lives. These five areas are about:

  • Connecting - focusing on re-establishing former connections or creating new ones;

  • Learning - encouraging participants to remember they are lifelong learners and to commit to learning something new each day;

  • Noticing - being mindful of your environment and things around you by noticing the little things;

  • Exercising - adding activity to your day for your physical health;

  • Giving - thinking about what you do to give to others or yourself, either by way of gratitude, grace, or time.


“The pandemic has isolated people from each other in a way they haven’t been before. Many people feel lonely and disconnected. We hope that people can see that taking that time for their wellbeing during the day is not only something that we sanction but that we encourage. While the Wellbeing Workshop is an ES project, there are other wellbeing initiatives being implemented in different divisions.” - ES Deputy Principal Calley Connelly

"This wellness workshop was a nice change of pace to find alternative ways of looking at my personal wellbeing. The activities were facilitated in a very supportive and caring manner with no pressure to actively participate. Realizing that I was the only male participant did not deter me from engaging in the group dialogue and feeling welcomed." - ES Counselor, Ron Moore

“A big shout out to Calley for the Wellbeing Workshop last week. Just as the fiery intentions of January the 1st were (for me anyway) beginning to cool a little, Calley's workshop refocused and reminded me of the importance of taking 5 to plan my '5 a day'. Under Calley's guidance and encouragement we took time to consider connections, learning, exercise, giving, and the importance of noticing. Feeling Grateful..... and giving. Want to make some gift cards? Book in for a Thursday cut 'n' paste session. By no means an expert, I can, however, share my supplies.” - Cindy Cartwright, EY Teacher

ICS’ number one school-wide goal this year has been to support the health and wellbeing of the community through various initiatives and services for staff that include on-campus healthy meal options, physical activity programs, divisional initiatives geared at lifting staff spirit, and mental health support services.

ICS in the News

Recent articles and blogs about and by ICS:

  • Dr. Tim’s Interview with Tom Vander Ark on PLCs HERE
  • ICS Addis Hosts Africa’s First Professional Learning Community at Work Institute, HERE
  • Making Personalization Work: Transferring Agency from Superheroes to Students, HERE
  • Wild and Thoughtful Innovation, HERE