OEA Choice


Help others learn what’s working:

Congratulations to those school districts who have already implemented a Wellness Program.  You are making a difference in the lives of staff in your school.  Any activity you have implemented in an effort to increase physical activity and encourage healthy eating and healthy living behaviors is considered a success!  Check out what some school districts have put into action.


Baker School District 5J

Baker School District Wellness Program

Baker Wellness Program
Wellness saved Anthony Johnson’s life. The curriculum director for Baker School District knew he had high blood pressure. But results from his on-site screening alarmed the OEA Choice Trust program manager who screened Johnson, then advised him to see the doctor. Johnson heeded the advice and, “after a regimen of medications,” Johnson’s blood pressure and cholesterol levels are now normal. He is not the only person who benefits from Baker School District’s wellness program, funded through a grant from OEA Choice Trust.

The district tallies:
• A reduced rate of overweight and obesity
• Less hypertension and lower levels of bad cholesterol
• An 11 percent drop in substitute teacher costs because of fewer sick days

The program has changed conversations in Baker School District, said Barry Nemec, district director of special education and wellness coordinator. He credits a program that measures “body age” through screenings, including blood pressure, body mass index, and bicep strength. Employees ask each other, “Did you hear what my body age was?”Screened employees can take community supported classes, ranging from Zumba dancing to healthy cooking and yoga. “It has motivated people to make life-long changes in their diet and exercise,” Nemec says.


Griffin Creek Elementary – Medford School District

2B Fit + 2B Strong = 4 Ever Healthy”

Griffin Creek Hula Hoop

At Medford’s Griffin Creek Elementary School, a gym bag, workout video, bike helmet and low-fat salad compete for space with that apple on the teacher’s desk. “We’re a pretty healthy staff to begin with,” says Ginny Hicks, Griffin Creek’s principal. But the 50-person staff got a wellness boost with an OEA Choice Trust Wellness Grant that helped the school integrate physical activity and nutrition into the daily activities—with overall results:
• 4 percent drop in collective body mass index • 11 percent drop in body fat • 22 percent increase in flexibility • 300-pound total weight loss
The key, says Hicks, is variety. Griffin Creek hosts staff health screenings through partner YMCA; after-school classes, including fitness, cooking, and yoga; health lectures; tasty and nutritious soup competitions; weight-loss challenges; and a library of employee-donated wellness books.
What sustains Griffin Creek’s culture of health, says Hicks, “is when you have personal success and when you’re surrounded by other people who are taking steps to improve.”


Central School District 13J


Central School District had a friendly bowling competition and over 36 staff members participated!  The building sites competed against each other and Talmadge Middle School was victorious.  What a great way to build camaraderie amongst staff and even more importantly what a great way to have FUN!


Griffin Creek Elementary – Medford School District

2B Fit + 2B Strong = 4 Ever Healthy”

Oct. 14 – Dr. Alan Bates “Taking Responsibility for your Health”

Nov 8 – Dr. Williams “Dealing with Stress”

Dec. 13 – Dr. Matt Sheehan – “The Power of Massage”

Jan. 31 – Dr. Robin Miller – “Aging Well”

March 7 –Dr. Robin Miller

Griffin Creek has teamed up with their local YMCA to do “Lunch and Learn”.  On professional development days when there are no students the staff orders a HEALTHY catered lunch from a local restaurant.  The lunch usually consist of 2-3 salads, build your own sandwich or chicken of some kind.  As the staff is eating lunch a guest doctor speaks for about 30 minutes on a variety of health topics from dealing with stress to aging well.  The staff enjoys the catered lunch, but also values the important health information being presented.


Central Point School District 6


Central Point School District is offering a variety of health informaton and classess.  On January 22nd, 2011 Central Point SD hosted the Rogue Valley Health Fair.  The fair had workshops, classes and vendors that provided a wealth of wellness knowledge. Every other Tuesday there are wellness workshops with Dr. Jim Said covering a variety health and wellness topics and coming soon will be a class by Victoria Boutenko about the “Green Smoothie Revolution”.


Santiam Canyon

“S.W.E.A.T. – Santiam Wellness Exercise Activities and Training Program”

Santiam Canyon reports they purchased and installed exercise equipment and monitoring devices (scales and blood pressure cuffs). Participants were tested for blood work, weight and blood pressure.  Activity information was collected monthly and in addition, “healthy living tips” periodicals were distributed to each staff room.

Staff who worked out at least 3 times a week were eligible to take place in a drawing for a bathroom scale.  There were over 25 entries and the scales were awarded on the last day of school.

Work was also started this summer on a permanent walking trail for school staff.


Griffin Creek

2B Fit + 2B Strong = 4 Ever Healthy”

Griffin Creek reports they have accomplished a lot in a short amount of time. Here’s an update on their

wellness program:

  • Completed 5 sessions of ZUMBA, aerobic exercise routine inspired by Latin dance.
  • Started Boot Camp, a workout program for weight loss, strength and endurance that will run through the end of the year.
  • Thirty-one employees participated in “Wellness 2000” blood profile work ups. The results of the comprehensive blood profiles informed staff the potential for developing certain health problems.

Here are the results:

  • 4 staff are at high risk for heart disease and stroke from high blood pressure;
  • 6 staff are at high risk for heart disease and stroke from high cholesterol,
  • 11 staff are at high risk for diabetes from elevated glucose,
  • 3 staff are at severe risk for diabetes from elevated glucose.

Thirty-three staff member participated in a series of physical fitness testing, including strength, endurance, flexibility, electrical impedance, circumference measurements and skin fold caliper testing.  Participating employees have received confidential printouts with recommendations for improvement.  Staff members are also scheduling the first of four personal training sessions with an experienced coach to design an exercise and diet program for staff.  The group also purchased a new set of digital scales and a blood pressure cuff.  They also had a “Nutritious and Delicious” pot luck and have a growing library of health and nutrition books available for staff to check out.

One staff member said, “Informally, I have observed more conversation in the staff room regarding health and nutrition. Teachers of a similar age and weight are paring up together to walk and attend classes at the YMCA. Support and camaraderie is evident among staff and welcomed at this stressful time of year.”

“Thank you again for giving us the opportunity to participate in this life changing, purposeful activity.”



“Let’s Start It Again”:

Cascade began their program with screening tests that included blood pressure, lipid panels, glucose and BMI testing.

One of the staff said, “I have had two employees thank me for having the testing because they said it may have saved their lives.”  They had no idea they had a severe health issue.

Other projects Cascade has undertaken are:

  • Walking clubs were launched at three schools
  • Kayaking
  • Aqua-jogging (25 slots were filled 45 minutes after the enrollment email was sent )
  • Golf 101
  • Tennis 101
  • Line dancing lessons
  • Two Ultimate Frisbee Games
  • Badminton Tournament

Additional Information