At Waverly, wellness is a positive approach to living that emphasizes the whole person, not just a healthy lifestyle. It is the integration of body and mind and the appreciation that everything one does, thinks, feels, and believes has an impact on one’s health.
The elementary school wellness curriculum is focused on fostering respect for self and others, as well as how to build community and build healthy relationships. It introduces students to the concepts of diversity, equity, and tolerance. Discussion of gender, gender expression, and gender identity is done through this lens. Students critically examine common stereotypes and media messages, and brainstorm empowering strategies in order to be agents for change in their communities. Wellness at Waverly is a continuous curriculum. To that end, wellness at the early elementary school level also presents introductory lessons on puberty and human sexuality, topics that form the foundation for wellness at the upper elementary level. Students learn basic anatomy and physiology, an overview of the hormonal changes of puberty, and how to keep bodies safe and healthy. The wellness class is dynamic and has been designed to flexibly respond to the needs of the student body. Students in the early elementary school experience wellness in two 10-week units, while students in the 5th/6th grades have wellness every other week for the duration of the school year.
At the middle and high school levels, the wellness program explores these same themes in developmentally appropriate ways. Students meet weekly in a year-long wellness class. Students continue to learn how to define and practice healthy relationships, and learn about consent, healthy boundaries, and sexual decision making. Students critically examine media, social media, and societal messaging with respect to these topics.