The Zephyr Wellness program is a new initiative by Mahtomedi Public Schools to help students, staff, and community members learn, grow, and support each other on wellness issues. The Zephyr Wellness program includes a community conversation series, staff development to support student wellness, and co-located mental services in all of our school buildings. This year’s program scope is made possible because of the generosity of the Mahtomedi Area Educational Foundation (MAEF) through their annual Fund-A-Need fundraiser.

Community Conversation Series

Upcoming Event: April 7, 2020

Helping Kids and Families Thrive During Distance Learning

On March 30, Mahtomedi Public Schools transformed the way teaching and learning looks in the school district and launched Distance Learning. Our students, teachers, and families are at home trying to learn and work simultaneously. It is a stressful and uncertain time, however, there are important things we can do to support both our kids and families as we transform our work in a digital context. Discover with author and speaker Dr. Devorah Heitner, the essential considerations for families to help kids thrive during this unprecedented digital time.

This session will give you the tools and strategies to support your kids and family to thrive during Distance Learning. Dr. Heitner will also answer questions from the audience. This session includes:

  • How to set up routines and learning spaces at home.
  • What should the “screen time” rules be for both recreational and learning technology use during this time?
  • How can adults model healthy habits and boundaries while working from home with our children?
  • How do adults keep up with the news without getting overwhelmed and at the same time be cautious with the news kids are consuming?
  • How can social media help our kids keep in touch with friends?
  • How can parents mentor kids on social media, texting, and gaming during this time?


Tuesday, April 7, 2020

7:30 pm

Online Live Event-A link to the event with be sent to participants who RSVP.

E-21 parents, caregivers, and educators are welcome to attend this online event.

Continuing Education Credit available

RSVP required (a link for the live event will be sent to those who RSVP):

About the Presenter

An expert on young people’s relationship with digital media and technology, Dr. Devorah Heitner is the author of Screenwise: Helping Kids Thrive (and Survive) in Their Digital World and founder of Raising Digital Natives. Her mission is to cultivate a culture of empathy and social/emotional literacy. Dr. Heitner’s work has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, TIME magazine and Education Week. She has a Ph.D. in Media/Technology & Society from Northwestern University and has taught at DePaul and Northwestern. She is delighted to be raising her own digital native.

Canceled Nurturing Empathy and Kindness in Kids

Explore the value of empathy and kindness with educator and 2011 Minnesota Teacher of the Year Katy Smith. Discover how nurturing these abilities and actions impact a child’s wellness, development, and personal excellence throughout their E-21 education and beyond. Katy makes use of current research and combines her educational experience with humor to keep audiences engaged.

Tuesday, March 31, 6:30-8:30 PM (canceled, will reschedule)
Wildwood Elementary School
Dinner and childcare provided
E-21 parents, caregivers, and educators welcome.
Continuing Education Credit available.

RSVP required:

About the Presenter: Katy Smith has spent a career engaging communities in transformative conversations. She is a keynote speaker, an educator, a trainer, and a valued resource for parents and educators. Katy is the 2011 Minnesota Teacher of the Year, the first early childhood teacher in Minnesota, and the first parent educator nationally, to be honored with the award.


The Key Ingredient to Your Child’s Emotional Well-Being
January 14, 2020

At this event, Dr. Natale Garrity and Dr. Jessica Dresden from Embolden You (, a Mahtomedi-based clinic that specializes in providing individual therapy and psychological services, discussed with families and educators the key to supporting children’s emotional well-being.

This session will give you the tools and strategies to grow and support your child’s emotional well-being. This session included:

  • The key ingredient to help your child be successful
  • Specific and easy-to-use parenting strategies
  • Approaches to support and nurture your child’s emotional development
  • Strategies to help de-escalate intense emotions
  • Communication techniques to improve your relationship with your child

Resources from the Presentation:
Presentation Slides
Validating Phrases
Invalidating Phrases
November 4, 2019: The Impact of Vaping on Student Wellness
Resources from the event: Vaping Presentation, Article, "How Vaping Causes Serious Lung Disorders."
Handout: How to Talk to Your Kids About Vaping

This event explored the connection between engaging in at-risk behaviors and wellness. At the event, educators and families will learned about vaping and the impact on student wellness. Presenters reviewed common questions, what to do if you think your child is engaging in the behavior, and how to seek support.


  • Sharrilyn Helgertz, PhD, Senior Research Scientist Center for Health Statistics, Minnesota Department of Health
  • Cassandra C. Stepan, M.A., Local Policy Planner, Tobacco Prevention and Control, Minnesota Department of Health
  • Deputy Justin McDonough #178, Washington County Sheriff's Office, School Resource Officer / Mahtomedi High School

October 15, 2019: Mental Health Overview

Resources from the Event: Google Slides Presentation and Wellness Resources at Mahtomedi Public Schools

Close to 100 families and staff members from Mahtomedi Public Schools gathered on October 15 to discuss mental health. The conversation is part of the Zephyr Wellness series and is an opportunity for families and staff to earn, grow, and support each other on wellness issues. Presenters discussed the difference between age-appropriate expected behaviors and common behavioral signs that may benefit from professional mental health support. The presenters also gave an overview involving how to access mental health supports in Washington County and at Mahtomedi Public Schools. Members of the Mahtomedi High School Student Leadership Council assisted in the free childcare program so parents could attend the event.
Co-Located Mental Health Services

Lindsay Morgan is a mental health therapist from NorthHomes Children and Family Services and will be working within the Mahtomedi School District this year full-time.

Click here for a document regarding Children's Mental Health and steps to take if you feel you're child and family could benefit from Mental Health Services. If you have any questions regarding the service at Mahtomedi Public Schools or are interested in receiving services, please contact Ms. Morgan or your child's teacher.
Lindsay Morgan

September 10, 2019: Community Connection Night
The Community Connection Night is an opportunity to meet other families and find out about community groups, athletic and activity organizations, and other wellness-oriented groups in a fun, family-friendly way, at the start of the school year. Resources from the Event: Resource Fair Participant List and Wellness Resources at Mahtomedi Public Schools