Promoting Well-Being at DFHS (Part II)

I wrote a post back in May on promoting well-being at DFHS and the importance of emphasizing those efforts on faculty and staff. If our goal is to ensure the well-being of students, it is critical that we first focus on the well-being of the faculty and staff who work with our students on a daily basis. This belief has resulted in a number of experiences for teachers and staff over the last year in the areas of mindfulness, meditation, breathing, and stretching. It’s been wonderful to see so many of our teachers take the lead on this work and a clear shift in the climate and culture of our school is beyond apparent. It’s now common to walk into classrooms and to see students taking mindfulness breaks, or to see teachers engaging their students in head-to-toe meditations so that they may de-stress and clear their minds. AT DFHS, student and faculty wellness has been placed at the forefront while we simultaneously maintain our tradition of being a top performing academic high school at both the state and national level.  

This year, our Athletic Director Andrew Klaich has extended our focus by creating our very first district-wide Faculty and Staff Wellness Day that will be held tomorrow, October 16th. In doing so, he has put together a set of sessions that are truly differentiated based on the individual needs and interests of our staff members. Many of our sessions are run by professionals from our local community, and range from light walking, meditation and yoga to Barre3 and HIIT. There are also sessions on sleep strategies, injury prevention and First Aid/CPR, as well as allergy testing, hormonal testing, venous testing, vision/hearing screening, and BMI screenings. There is truly something for everyone! Our wellness sessions are organized as follows:

Physical Activity

Barre3 (Becca Light of Barre3 of Dobbs Ferry): Barre3 is for everyone! Barre3 is a full-body workout designed with our signature approach of sustained holds, micro-movements, and cardio bursts that will leave you feeling balanced in body and empowered from within.  

GymGuyz: Full Body Boot Camp HIIT style workout that will involve strength, aerobics and flexibility.  This class will be active and will be modified for all ages and ability levels.

Half Court Pick-Up Basketball: (Springhurst Elementary Gymnasium): Great opportunity to play half court basketball with your colleagues.

Pick-up Tennis (Springhurst Elementary School): Great opportunity to play tennis with your colleagues.

Fitness Center: Get your workout in! Cardio and strength equipment is available for you to get a great workout in!

Light Activity

Meditation Lab: In this mindfulness workshop, participants will be introduced to Jennifer Monness and her meditation program, The Meditation Lab. The workshop is divided into two sessions. In the first half of the session, participants will be introduced to the meditation practice through mindful movements and mindful breathing. The class begins with a series of stretches to warm the body and settle the nerves, giving participants the opportunity to move towards stillness. Students are encouraged to follow Jennifer’s simple three-step approach as they are guided through a five minute meditation. Please bring your yoga mat!

Riverstone Yoga: In this class the basic, foundational yoga postures are practiced to align, strengthen and promote flexibility in the body. Full-body relaxation and balance are the goals, as we make a full circuit of the body’s range of motion with standing postures, twists, bends, forward folds, and hip openers. 

Walk the Campus: 50 minutes of fast paced walking around the school.


Stress and Meditation: There are many health benefits of meditation. Learn how to use it to relieve stress and tension, relax the body, find focus, and center your mind.

Not getting enough ZZZZZ’s:  Better Sleep Strategies? Are you sleepy in the car? How about the grocery store?  Maybe it’s that need to nap at your desk! If you feel this way or you live with someone who is experiencing daytime sleepiness or snoring issues, a sleep disorder might be the problem. Join to learn more about the different types of sleep issues millions of American adults are faced with and what you can do about it! Presented by Phillicia Jones, Cardiopulmonary manager at St. John’s Riverside Hospital.


Q and A with a physical therapist (Motion Sports Medicine): Injury Prevention and Awareness: This presentation will address warning signs of low back pain and what leads to possible disc issues versus arthritis, and or inflammation and how to reduce these pains; when to use heat versus ice on an injury; how to stretch appropriately. The presentation will conclude with a Q and A from the audience on what they may be experiencing and how to help them and their injuries/pains. 

Stop the Bleed and CPR/First Aid Refresher Course:  Learn the basics and Q and A with Jared Rosenberg.

Q and A with pediatrician:  Do you have questions for the pediatrician about your children..?  Sleep strategies, nutrition, healthy eating habits, screen time recommendations, medicine/vaccinations are all topics open for discussion.

Personal Health and Wellness

Flu Shot: Walgreens will be providing flu shots. More detailed information will be shared with you after registration regarding necessary paperwork/insurance cards etc..

Allergy Scratch Testing: Allergies are not the only reason for a runny nose or watering eyes – they can also be the cause of headaches, fatigue, sore joints, nausea, and many other symptoms not typically attributed to an allergy. An allergy skin test is a non-invasive test performed on the surface of the skin and takes about 20-minutes for an allergy technician to identify any adverse reactions to known allergens.

Blood Allergy Testing: A blood allergy test is used in a variety of instances and often, in conjunction with an allergy scratch test. The test is greater in scope to include latex, penicillin, and additional airborne and food allergens, including Gluten.

Wellness and Hormonal Testing: Blood testing panels are uniquely designed for both men and women, to establish a thorough baseline of current health status, the health of organs, and provide indicators of potential health concerns. Hormone imbalances can also be a possible cause of unexplained weight gain, depression, heart disease, liver, and kidney disease. 

Clinical Assessment: The MyWellness123 physician conducts a general health-check screen to help detect the onset of early disease or identify potential health risks.  A typical exam includes, but is not limited to, obtaining a personal and family medical history, checking heart and lung health, blood pressure, examination of the eyes, nose, and throat etc.

Body Fat Screening/BMI: A body fat screening is non-invasive and used to identify the density of lean tissue versus fat tissue throughout the body. Body-mass index (BMI) can be a helpful tool to indicate risk for disease but offers a starting point to look at overall health.

Venous Ultrasound Testing: Unsightly veins, cramping, throbbing, weakness, or tired legs? If you sit or stand for long periods of time, this non-invasive test performed on the calves, can identify signs of venous insufficiency that can lead to further health problems. While varicose veins can also be benign and simply a cosmetic concern, for some people, they can cause aching, pain, and discomfort.

Vision Screening: A vision screening or eye test is a brief exam that looks for potential vision problems and eye disorders. This includes near and far distance testing, color-vision, and astigmatism.

Hearing Evaluation: This is a quick, non-invasive exam that determines any prevalence of hearing loss.

Our faculty and staff are looking forward to an amazing day! Please be sure to check out our HS Facebook page for pictures of our teachers in action! 


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