Breaking Down the Details of Student Mental Health

Daniel Hellriegel, Staff Writer

Throughout the 2019-2020 school year, the administration has been increasing many efforts to reduce the overwhelming stress caused by heavy amounts of schoolwork. There have been many tactics to promote healthy life choices for the students in their journey through their four years of high school. The students and teachers are supportive of creating a less stressful and more positive environment. 

As a part of the school’s efforts to reduce stress, the administration has implemented “Homework Free Weekends.” While most students are overjoyed to receive a solid weekend for a break from schoolwork, there are also some issues, questions, comments, and grievances from both students and teachers about some of the details. Teachers and students are concerned about what qualifies as homework: is studying for a quiz or test considered homework? Another issue of concern to both is how students are swamped with homework due on Tuesday after a homework-free weekend, which creates more stress for students and teachers. Another issue with these blocked out weekends is misinformation or clouded communication. For instance, some students received information that the homework-free weekend was canceled and rescheduled for the next weekend, which would cause some confusion for many students. Some teachers even said that they were told the homework-free weekend was canceled. While the homework-free weekend has good intentions, it seems that some of the details need to be revisited for both student and teacher mental well being. 

Another initiative that the school has taken includes the work that Ms. D’Alessio has put  into helping the mental health of the student body. Guidance has hosted “Wellness Wednesday” since last year. At these meeting, they provide puzzles, coloring, and other calming exercises for the students to unwind during a lunch or a study hall. On Wednesday, October 23, Wellness Wednesday reached a new high when they brought in a service dog for the students, which was a large success for the school. The school also has been participating in Respect and Wellness weeks throughout the past month, which bring awareness to bullying and mental health problems that are super helpful for the well-being of the students. Ms. D’Alessio also just sent out a “Monthly Mental Wellness Spotlight: Mindfulness,” which includes many helpful tips for students to implement, plus apps to download to help students achieve their mindfulness. Make sure to check out her e-mail if you feel overwhelmed.

Overall, the direction that the school is taking to improve the well-being of the students is extremely appreciated, and once all of the details are worked through, it will be a complete success.S