By Contributing Writer Ben Falasco (’24)
This weekend, there will be an unusual but beneficial mini-break for both students and staff. An often recurring Wellness Weekend event is taking place, which is something focused to prioritize mental health over the three-day weekend. This includes no homework for any classes when Friday afternoon hits. Along with the no homework rule, this special weekend has plans for no exams (tests & quizzes) to take place the Tuesday and Wednesday of next week. This is to ensure that students don’t spend their weekend studying. Wellness Weekend is a clear sign of the J-D Student Government putting in the effort to prioritize mental health and personal life.
Students are happy about the plans for no homework and no exams coming up soon on the calendar. However, it has come as a surprise to many students who knew about this upcoming event. “I was not aware of Wellness Weekend happening this weekend, but I’m happy that it’s here,” says junior Will Westpfal. He continues by saying, “I think it’s a great way to put our mental health first and not have to worry about school for a short period of time over the weekend.”
According to senior Nathan Warren-Faricy, “I think [the Wellness Weekend] is a good concept, and it definitely helps make kids less stressed. If the school is trying to use it as the silver bullet to solve mental health issues though it’s not enough, there needs to be more real action.”
“You’re always trying to think of ways to make it right for opportunities for mental breaks and wellness for our community. I also know it’s hard on teachers to adjust their schedules so it doesn’t then backlog with tests, quizzes, and projects after [the Wellness Weekend],” says English teacher Courtney Romeiser.
Along with this, when asked if teachers were given enough notice about this Wellness Weekend, history teacher Vitaliy Yanchuk, responded, “I think so. We have a BLT [Building Leadership Team] community where there is a teacher from every department. And so, they communicated to us fairly early on about the weekend, at least a month [ahead] for me.”
Another question raised regarding this recurring event is how frequently this idea should take place. “Part of me thinks about every marking period, but then it gets old and taken for granted. Having less makes them more exciting,” reports English teacher Terese Eaton.
Wellness Weekend continues to be implemented every year at J-D, and while students are, for the most part, happy about this, the teachers have mixed feelings about this no-homework and no-tests weekend. Many have noted that they believe more things can be done to benefit students mental health other than just a no homework weekend. Nonetheless, it is an effort put forward by J-DHS to prioritize students’ and staff members’ mental health in a positive manner.