For the past year, increasing the wellness and mental health of the staff and students has been a big initiative for the administration. Wellness days and the somewhat new wellness periods were designed to relieve stress from those in the school.
During wellness periods, teachers must stop classroom instruction and allow students to do whatever they please in the classroom. If a student wants to go to another teacher, they must get a pass from that teacher. Wellness periods take place on most Tuesdays and Thursdays in a rotating period.
Junior administrator Jane Cocker has been in charge of wellness related activities since last year. This year, she is in charge of a new club, the Wootton Wellness Warriors.
The Wellness Warriors are a staff and student coalition of about 68 people who are committed to improving the wellness of faculty and students. Different subcommittees have different missions. These subcommittees include individual campaigns (such as suicide prevention or drunk driving), wellness days, stress relieving activities (like concerts or games in the Commons), staff wellness, putting together the ninth-grade picnic and patriot time.
The Wellness Warriors are a combination of different wellness related associations. “Sources of Strength and other groups were all doing similar things but nothing was coordinating. So, I came up with the idea of the Wellness Warriors to have a more cohesive approach to wellness at this school,” Cocker said.
The biggest project currently in the works is the wellness day set to take place Oct. 16 after the PSAT. Similar to last year, wellness day will include fun stress-reducing activities. Last year, these activities ranged from playing with dogs to intense games of spikeball and even karaoke in the chorus room. “We have interesting games and things planned this year. I think it will be way better than last year. Especially since it’ll be something relaxing instead of hard classes after the PSAT,” junior wellness warrior Tyler Konigsberg said.
An inrroductory meeting took place on June 11 at the end of the last school year. However, the first official meeting with the entire group took place on Sept. 26. The discussion revolved around meeting with the subcommittee that each member was assigned to. Group leaders were picked, and moving forward with each individual initiative were discussed. “I’m looking forward to engaging students in different activities, which are supposed to relax and enhance their well-being. I am hoping that this year we can see real change in lowering the amount of stress that people feel every day; even if it is just for a little bit,” junior wellness warrior Salma Younis said.