Debating the effectiveness of the newly-implemented wellness periods
Wellness day has been going on for the last eight weeks and students must ask: Is wellness day worthwhile and should we keep it?
For the past couple years the administrators and staff at school have been trying to come up with a way to destress students lives while giving them more time to get their work done or go get help from teachers. Other schools like Blair and RM have schedules where there is time throughout the day to do homework or go get help. This school wanted to come up with their own way to accomplish this, but without taking too much time off the classes.
They have given surveys and have tried to implement a schedule like this. Finally this year they came up with a wellness period once a week. Every week there is a 30 minute wellness period attached to the end of a period. During those 30 minutes students can pretty much do whatever they want. If they have a pass they can go see a teacher or make up work or take a nap if that’s what the heart desires.
Wellness period shifts from one period to the next. After going through all eight periods the school’s wellness trial has come to an end. It has left the student body divided over whether it is worth the time and whether it truly helps students.
Wellness period is not a good use of our time. For the most part students don’t take it seriously and spend the time on their phones or playing games. Junior Antonia Roach said, “I don’t like the wellness schedule because I would rather just go through my normal schedule instead of spending an extra 30 minutes in a class that I sometimes don’t like.”
Another negative of wellness day is that if you don’t remember to get a pass from a teacher you aren’t allowed to leave the room. There have been multiple occasions when students forget that is was wellness day and therefore forget to get a pass to class. Sometimes students have to ask a teacher one question or turn in an assignment, but since they didn’t have a pass they aren’t allowed to leave. Junior Snehal Tamot agrees, and said, “I don’t like the wellness period because it is often more unproductive than the time that would normally be spent in a class.”
The main issue with wellness day is that it leaves a lot of time for students to sit around. When there is no work to do or assignments to complete it can be boring and a waste of time. Freshman Ryan Binder said, “Most of the time I just sit around and it can get really boring.”
It was a good attempt, but there is a better solution to our scheduling problems.
While an eighth of the school day is devoted to lunch, a time for relaxation from our stressful classes, it just isn’t enough. This is where wellness period comes into play: 30 extra minutes where you can do your homework, chat with friends, eat, or just relax.
Stress is a large part of school and students are often pushed over the limit with the amount of work and studying they have to manage throughout the school day and at home. There isn’t time to de-stress throughout the school day; it’s three hours of work followed by a brief 45 minute break followed by more than two hours of even more work. The added period of wellness allows students to cool down after a hard day of classwork and tests, and in turn it results in a more focused student body.
A common argument is that it takes up too much time of the day, less work can be done, and there’s less time for quizzes because of this. In actuality, the wellness period only takes up 30 minutes, a small percentage of the day, and only shortens the other periods by two or three minutes. Plus, you can do work from any class in wellness period, instead of having to do work specific to the class you’re in.
A situation where you forgot to print something or you forgot to do a homework assignment has become all too familiar and this extra chunk of time to do anything you need to is a great time to catch up on these forgotten tasks and assignments. Alternatively, you could procrastinate on these already forgotten assignments, delay them even more, and do whatever you want. After all, wellness period is a time for you, and if you don’t want to do your school work, then so be it.
When you realize you forgot to study for a test, you try to cram in as much information as you can, despite not retaining any of it. The wellness period allows for an easy-to-focus environment, good for studying and actually learning the material rather than cramming. With this, not only can you score higher on quizzes and tests, but you can do better in class as a result of better understanding the material.
Depending on the class, you can either have your phone out on your desk ready to respond to any messages that come your way, or you have to hide it under your desk so the teacher can’t see. In the wellness period, it’s a phone-friendly zone,:feel free to text your friends, check up on social media, play GamePigeon, do whatever. As long as you have a connection, a bit of a challenge in this school, you can use your phone.
Wellness period should be kept in the schedule for the next school year. It is great that the admin are addressing mental health and prioritizing their students’ needs.