Eagle Eye on Education: Student development at heart of Well-being Initiative

Jon Hood
Guest Columnist

The New Albany-Plain Local Schools statement of purpose is to create a culture of accountability that achieves the best academic and developmental outcomes for each student.  

This commitment to meet both academic and student developmental needs led the district to develop the Well-being Initiative.   

Jon Hood

The mission of the Well-being Initiative is to empower a caring community with resources that help maximize the mental and physical well-being of each student. The vision states each student possesses a strong sense of well-being (both mentally and physically). 

Now, more than ever, the well-being of our students, staff and families is of the utmost importance.  

As we navigate the rollercoaster ride of the pandemic, we also face unnecessary tragedies, unlawful events, and acts of violence in our nation. We must continue to focus our attention on helping students navigate these and other inevitable challenges.  

The Well-being Initiative provides students with a solid well-being foundation they can build upon into adulthood.  

Through the Well-being Initiative, we identify enhancement areas and fill these opportunities to support our students with age-appropriate research-based programs in all grade levels.  

Processes and accountability measures have been built to determine the effectiveness of programming and to annually review progress. We use these processes and measures to understand each program’s impact and to plan for continuous improvement. Some areas identified include: 

• Suicide prevention 

• Drug and alcohol prevention  

• Tobacco/vaping/prescription drug education and prevention 

• Bullying 

• Internet safety and citizenship 

• Emotional, behavioral and social competencies  

The district works in collaboration with a variety of organizations in our local community and throughout central Ohio to present a Well-being Expo which is held each year at the Philip B. Heit Center for Healthy New Albany.  

As our society adjusts and adapts this year, we adapted the well-being expo to be a virtual event accessible to our community, at any time, through the district website. Visit napls.us/wellbeingexpo to view resources, video interviews and more from more than 15 community organizations. We are grateful to these vendors for being a part of our virtual expo and for sharing their resources and information with our learning community.   

The NAPLS Well-being Initiative is grounded in current wellness best-practice programming that relies heavily on local organizations for support and partnership.   

Please visit our website at napls.us/newalbanywellbeing to learn more about the Well-being Initiative and our Community Forums. 

Jon Hood is director of student services, safety and security for the New Albany-Plain Local Schools.