San Leandro Unified
Employee Wellness
Do Good December
2020 has been a difficult year in so many ways. We have suffered with uncertainty, anxiety, isolation and challenges with our financial situation, health or relationships. One thing that can hold us together and help us get through is kindness. Although we can't change our situation, we can choose to respond to others (and ourselves) with kindness. And when we're kind, everything goes better. We help others, we help ourselves and we encourage others to be kinder too. Download and print the calendar here.
SAVE THE DATE: SLUSD's Wellness Workshops Start in January!

We are excited to announce new, free opportunities every month for SLUSD employees to learn how to reduce stress and increase resilience.

Mark your calendar for our first workshop on Thursday, January 28 from 3:30 to 4:30 pm at the following link:  

TOPIC: Introduction to Mindful Stress Management
This 1-hour workshop includes practical tips and strategies to manage stress,
particularly in this time of COVID-19. Review how stress impacts the body, brain, behavior, and better understand your unique relationship with stress. Learn evidence-based micro-practices, including mindfulness and breath work, that can help you deal with stress and calm the nervous system. Come, strengthen the health of your brain and body.

Facilitated by Claremont Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Certified Stress Mastery Educator and Certified Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Instructor Terre Passero.
Get a "Personal Advantage" in the EAP

Did you know that SLUSD pays for you to have access to an interactive online resource center with thousands of tools to help you prepare for and handle most major life events?

In addition to FREE personal counseling sessions, the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) has a "Personal Advantage" website with tons of webinars, articles and other resources on the topics shown in the graphic above.

You need to register to access by using San Leandro Unified as the company name, but the process is quick and easy! Explore the site and bookmark it for future use!
How to Overcome Your Reluctance to Ask for Help at Work

People are very generous—if you ask. Here's how to make a thoughtful request.

Should You Call or Text? Science Weighs In

A new study suggests that we undervalue the bonding and enjoyment we get from hearing someone's voice. Read more here.
How to Clear Your Head
Do you dwell on the negative and let moments of joy just pass you by? Discover how Pixar's Pete Docter got out of his head and savored the good in his life in this quick video.
Breathing for Better Balance

When life feels out of control, we want to focus on what we can control--our food, exercise, how we speak to ourselves, and our breath. While your breath occurs without conscious thought, you conscious thought can also control it.

Falling Out of Breath (for your body)
To start, take a deep inhale, filling your lungs with as much air as possible. At the top of your breath, take one more sip of air. Then, exhale, with a big sigh (so you can hear it!) as you release the air from your lungs. The falling out of breath is a great way to release physical tension in the body.

Box Breath (for your mind)
Inhale to the count of 4, hold your breath at the top to the count of 4, exhale to the count of 4, and hold your breath at the bottom to the count of 4. The box breath is a helpful tool to increase your mindfulness.

Emptying Breath (for your spirit)
Inhale to the count of 3 and exhale slowly to the count of 6, focusing on releasing as much air as possible. The emptying breath is a strategy to activate your parasympathetic nervous system and calm your sympathetic nervous system (calm your insides)

Focus on the things you can control. Stay positive! Thank you to Bancroft's Deanna Slaton for sending this our way.
YMCA 360: On-Demand Exercise Videos
During this time of uncertainty, the Y is there for you. Regular exercise is one component of a healthy lifestyle that can help reduce stress and prevent illness. You can take group exercise classes for all ages right in your own home at no charge for a limited time!

American Fidelity Section 125 Benefits - LAST CHANCE!

Employees must meet with American Fidelity to renew Flexible Spending and Dependent Day Care accounts or to change to pre-tax premium deductions.
Last Chance Enrollment Begins: December 7, 2020; 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Pacific Time)

Below is a link to sign up for an appointment. If you need additional assistance scheduling your online benefits review, please call American Fidelity at
800-365-8306, Option 1

SLUSD Pet of the Month
Muffin Othen

Just last month, we were talking about the healing powers of our pets, and this month is a perfect example of that power.

Muffin is a rescue dog that joined SLHS teacher Jan Othen's family in 2007. Since she doesn't shed or bark, Muffin was a perfect candidate to become a canine comfort dog for Valley Humane Society in Pleasanton. For the last eight years, she has worked with children who have reading difficulties, visited people with dementia and alzheimers, and visited local high schools to give grief relief after school tragedies. Miraculous work from a sweet-faced angel!

We want to see your pets and hear their stories! Send your photos in to and share the love and licks today!
Staff Spotlight: San Leandro High School

If you have spent any time on the Pirate Ship, you know that our twin principals Drs. Ronnie and Reggie Richardson at SLHS have an enviable outlook on life. But recently, they were on the receiving end of some perfectly timed words of wisdom from their own staff. "Our head custodian Mr. Ramirez shared his personal mantra with me one day at work," Reggie shared, "And Ronnie and I knew we had to share it with the rest of our staff."

Those words of wisdom are now immortalized on the back of new staff t-shirts that the brothers gifted to every SLHS employee. Thank you Mr. Ramirez for reminding us that we all have the choice to make gratitude our own attitude!
Thank you to SLHS health teacher Kim Stanley for sharing this story! If you have wellness work happening at your site, let us know! Email and help all SLUSD build capacity for health, wellness and resiliency.
Vitamins and Minerals: Who Needs What?
Every vitamin and mineral plays a different role in the body, and they are all important. They support the health of our bones and teeth; are part of blood and tissue; and have roles in building hormones and supporting the immune system. 

Most people can get the majority of their vitamins and minerals from food. You can, too. At each meal, fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables, a quarter with whole grains and a quarter with protein-rich foods (legumes, fish, chicken, eggs, dairy, etc.). 

Of course, healthy eating is hard to achieve every day. A low-dose multivitamin-mineral supplement may help boost your nutrition on days when you don’t eat well. But they don’t contain the protein, fiber and calories found in food, so supplements can never replace a nutritious diet. 

Remember, you can have too much of a good thing. The more is better philosophy doesn’t apply to vitamin and mineral supplements, since high doses can be harmful — especially for vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin E and iron. 

Supplements are beneficial for people with nutrient deficiencies, but there’s little utility in taking them if you’re already getting enough nutrients from food. Individual vitamin and mineral supplements are most useful when you have a specific deficiency as diagnosed by your health care provider, or if you  
fall into one of these categories: 

• Women of child-bearing age may need to take folic acid.
• Pregnant women may need extra iron.
• Men and women over age 50 may need vitamin D.
• Vegans and older adults may need vitamin B12.

Important: Check with your health care provider or dietitian before taking supplements to ensure they won’t interfere with the medications you take.
Garlicky Kale & Pea Sauté

Even professed carnivores will go back for seconds with this unique kale and pea sauté that comes together in about the time it'll take to ask, "What's for dinner?"

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 hot red chile, finely chopped
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 bunches kale, trimmed and chopped (about 1 lb. total)
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 lb. frozen peas

In 5- to 6-quart saucepot on medium, cook garlic and chile in oil 2 minutes, stirring often. Add kale, sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook 6 minutes or until kale is tender, stirring occasionally.Stir in peas. Cook 2 minutes or until heated through.
Gluten & Dairy Free Millionaire Shortbread
Paleo and vegan friendly recipe for a little slice of celebration! 


Shortbread Layer
  • 1 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
"Caramel" Layer
  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 2 tablespoon almond butter
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Chocolate Layer
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 pinch sea salt


Shortbread Layer
  • Mix together the coconut flour, maple syrup melted coconut oil, vanilla extract, and sea salt in a mixing bowl. 
  • Spread mixture in a thin layer onto the bottom of the prepared pan. Set in fridge for about fifteen minutes while you prepare the next layer. 
"Caramel" Layer
  • Prepare the "caramel" layer by blending together the pitted dates, almond butter, maple syrup, coconut milk, sea salt, and vanilla extract in a high powered blender. 
  • Spread the caramel mixture onto the prepared shortbread layer that was chilling in the fridge. Chill in the fridge for another 15 minutes. 
Chocolate Layer
  • Melt together the chocolate chips, coconut oil, and sea salt using a double boiler. 
  • Remove from heat and allow the chocolate mixture to cool for about 5 minutes before spreading onto the prepared pan that was chilling in the fridge. 
  • Allow entire pan to cool in fridge for another 20-30 minutes. Remove the bars from the pan using the parchment paper. Cut into square and enjoy! 
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