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Superintendent's News

Posted: September 29, 2023

Now’s the Time to Prioritize Your Health

In his weekly message, Superintendent Scott Elder asks employees to prioritize their wellbeing and to take part in next week’s Employee Wellness Fair.

Happy Friday, everyone!

I’ve been thinking a lot about the work we do at APS. We impact the lives of tens of thousands of students every single day. It’s an awesome responsibility that is challenging, fun, and rewarding.

But it can also be stressful, whether you’re in a classroom directly interacting with our kids or working in a support role. I know what it’s like to walk in with a list of all the things you’re going to get done that day, only to have that plan disrupted by some unexpected challenge or crisis.

I also know what it’s like to get so busy that you sacrifice your daily workout, resort to fast food, or skip meals altogether. And if you’re anything like me, you’ve probably also put off seeing your doctor or another health care provider. It’s easy to fall into these patterns.

The work we do at APS is vital, but so is taking care of our physical and emotional health. We owe it to ourselves, to those who love us, and to our students to prioritize our own wellbeing. The Employee Wellness Fair and Open/Switch enrollment is a great place to start!

As you’ve probably seen from previous district communication, we’re about to enter the period when APS employees are allowed to enroll, re-enroll, or switch health care plans and make other changes to their benefits packages for the coming year. You'll be getting emails from starting Monday with information and links for enrollment. So please, take the time to review your benefits, see what changes are coming, and pick the options that are best for you and your family. View the medical plan comparisons and premium rate changes for 2024 here. 

Open/switch enrollment runs from Monday, Oct. 2, through Tuesday, Oct. 17. Medical benefit premiums will increase by 9.8 percent while dental and vision rates will remain the same.

We’re fortunate as APS employees to have access to the benefits we get, which also include prescription coverage; flexible spending accounts; and free in-network mental and behavioral health services. We also have a new virtual physical and exercise therapy program for employees covered under APS Benefits called Hinge Health.

I encourage you to make the most of these benefits, and attending the 2023 Employee Wellness Fair will help you do that. It will be held from 2:30 to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 3, and Wednesday, Oct. 4, at the Berna Facio Professional Development Center. Benefits specialists will be on hand to answer questions and help with open/switch enrollment, and our health plan providers will host information sessions and be on hand to discuss benefit options.

The wellness fair has a lot to offer. Flu and COVID-19 shots will be available, and this year employees can avoid the line, expedite time, and book appointments in advance. The links to do that are on the  Annual Open/Switch Enrollment & Wellness Fair web page.

There will also be a number of different wellness screens like BMI, blood pressure, a body composition scanner, vision and dental screens as well as wellness coaches and local mental health resource counselors. Local businesses will be on hand from farmers market vendors, massage therapy, and acupuncture to local gyms, financial wellness resources, and so much more.

If you can’t make it to the fair, there’s a lot of information on the district’s Annual Open/Switch Enrollment & Wellness Fair web page.

There’s no better time to get a handle on your health than right now.