Whole-Person Education

Applied Wellness


After years of internal data pointing to the need for students to learn the skills of personal balance and wellness, DSHA embarked on a bold plan to integrate wellness education across all four years, embedded in both curriculum, mentorship, and resources. DSHA’s whole-person approach to overall wellness is a result of knowing its students, seeing them run on empty, and understanding — to the point of action — it was necessary for the adults in the lives of these young people to introduce healthy choices and the opportunity to develop enduring habits.

Wellness for the real world

This unique-to-DSHA program is designed to mimic how individuals achieve whole-person wellness beyond high school: through cycles of reflection, contemplation, planning, and action. We will provide students with the framework and a variety of opportunities to practice and internalize this process so that wellness becomes more than a requirement – it becomes a way of life. A four-year, school-wide commitment will allow students to grow into the ability to manage their own wellness — intellectual, spiritual, physical, emotional, and social — during the high school years and beyond. 


List of 3 items.

  • First Semester | Foundational Fitness + Freshman Wellness Seminar

    During their Applied Wellness hour, freshmen are enrolled in Foundational Fitenss and Freshmen Wellness Seminar. 

    Freshman Wellness Seminar:
    Designed to assist with the academic transition to high school and optimize individual and community wellness, this interactive classroom experience takes place twice each week. A faculty member will help you address the skills to help you thrive in a college-prep setting. Students will be introduced to the Applied Wellness educational framework and learn how to utilize the tools and resources needed to navigate your four years at DSHA. Throughout the semester, you will engage in the following:
    • Apply DSHA’s dimensions of wellness through self-assessment, reflection, and goal setting
    • Develop self-advocacy skills
    • Enhance leadership skills
    • Learn effective study and time management skills
    • Understand the impact of classroom etiquette on the DSHA community
    • Learn DSHA academic policies and procedures
    • Explore and embrace diversity
    Foundational Fitness:
    Freshmen begin their physical wellness journey with Foundational Fitness, a course focused on foundational concepts as it relates to their physical health.
    Students will:
    • Have scheduled fitness days in which they work on their physical health goals; these days occur opposite of the days they attend Freshmen Wellness Seminar.
    • Begin to understand their current fitness levels and set goals for self-improvement.
    • Develop a basic knowledge and understanding of each component of health-related fitness (flexibility, muscular endurance, muscular strength, body composition and cardiovascular endurance).
    • Participate in various activities offered in the fitness center, the mind/body studio, gymnasium, and outdoor fields.
    • Have scheduled class times with fitness instructors 2x/week for Foundational Fitness.
  • First Semester | Freshman Study Hall

    In addition to Freshmen Wellness Seminar, all freshmen are required to take a study hall for one semester. The goal is to create space that allows for a more seemless transition to high school where students will learn to create balance in their lives, meet the rigors of DSHA, and optimize available resources such as the library for quiet study time, or the ALPHA Center for help with math, science, or English. 
  • Second Semester | Foundational Fitness + Applied Wellness Introduction

    Foundational Fitness:
    Freshmen students will continue Foundational Fitness classes second semester.
    Applied Wellness Introduction:
    Second semester, after students have had the opportunity to transition into the high school environment, and have received the introductory Applied Wellness framework through Freshman Wellness Seminar, they will receive a guided introduction to the Applied Wellness experiences they will engage with during sophomore through senior year.

HOW IT WORKS | Sophomore - Senior Year:

List of 7 items.

  • Customized and individualized.

    No two students are the same, and new in the 2019-20 school year, no two wellness schedules are the same. We empower students with the opportunity to create their own wellness schedules based on their wellness needs. Want to focus more on physical wellness? You can do that. Having a more difficult time transitioning friend groups? You can do that too! 
  • Measuring and tracking.

    With the guidance of a mentor, students will assess their overall wellness using an experienced-based tool that is supported by normative data. This means DSHA faculty and staff will be equipped with the information and ability to help each student understand how "well" she is at the individual level, and respond with programming that meets the needs of each student.
  • Dynamic.

    The high school years are marked with seasons of continual change, growth, and challenges. As a result, students will be able to change their wellness each cycle to accommodate the greatest need at the time.
  • Applied Wellness Experiences | When and how?

    Applied Wellness Hour:
    • Students are assigned an Applied Wellness hour each semester. All Applied Wellness experiences can take place within this hour.
    • Students registered for a study hall may use this time to sign up for an Applied Wellness experience. 
    • Students will receive information as to how they can sign up for the Applied Wellness experiences. 
  • Applied Wellness Requirements

    There is not a wellness domain that stands alone or should have a greater focus than the others. Students have the opportunity to engage in a minimum number of experiences that focus on their social, emotional, spiritual, contextual, diversity, and physical selves. The intention behind structured choice is to allow students the freedom to grow in their understanding of themselves, relationships with others, and embrace the full spectrum of humanity.  
  • Applied Wellness Sample Schedules

    Click here to see three possible Applied Wellness schedules for three different DSHA students — each with unique wellness needs. 
  • What about "Study Hall"?

    Students can choose to engage in Applied Wellness experiences during their study hall if they like. This hour is another opportunity for girls to engage in wellness activities that enhance their balance and overall wellness.  

For more information, contact:

Joanna McQuide, DSHA '93
Applied Wellness Chair & Fitness Faculty
Rachel Uihlein
Assistant Coordinator, Applied Wellness

Divine Savior Holy Angels High School

Sponsored by the Sisters of the Divine Savior
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