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Post-pandemic, Wellness Wednesdays return in new format

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By Lexi Lin, Staff Reporter

Conestoga’s administration is implementing monthly Wellness Wednesdays for the 2023-24 school year. These days originated during the COVID-19 pandemic as weekly asynchronous half days to provide students with time to connect with teachers and clubs. For the past two years, Conestoga held one Wellness Week during the year with the goal of reducing student stress. Now, Conestoga plans to dedicate the last Wednesday of every month to student wellbeing.

“We decided that to just give it that one week wasn’t really doing it justice,” said Dr. Nicole Jolly, ninth grade assistant principal and student activities administrator. “We decided to do a Wellness Wednesday to focus on wellness and different activities that we could do for the students and also the staff.”

There have been two Wellness Wednesdays this year, one in September and one in October. On these days, Conestoga created gratitude walls, brought in therapy dogs and showed movies in the auditorium. In the future, the school hopes to hold raffle giveaways and stop-and-read activities.

“We’re really just trying to give the culture here at school a break and being okay with taking a break,” Jolly said. “It does not take away from your academics, but it gives you things that you can apply throughout your life in school and outside.”

Some teachers feel that monthly Wellness Wednesdays allow students to take a break from schoolwork and address mental health issues on more than just an annual basis. Chemistry teacher Kelly Showers took action by lessening the workload and allotting time in class to relax.

“I did not assign homework,” Showers said. “I taught a lighter load that day in class and then gave my students time to do what they needed to do to feel well.”

Other teachers took different approaches and dismissed students from class early to participate in the school’s organized events.

“In one of my classes, we went outside to pet the dogs, which was awesome. That was probably my favorite,” said math teacher Karen Mull.

However, some students feel that Wellness Wednesday did not affect their school day as their teachers did not alter class plans.

“Recently, the Wellness Wednesday — at least the one I had — wasn’t really a Wellness Wednesday,” said sophomore Chloe Deterick. “We didn’t really have less work than usual.”

With the new changes to Wellness Week, Jolly hopes that Wellness Wednesdays can allow for more opportunities to take breaks and focus on mental health.

“I just think that we need to all be in and be open,” Jolly said. “I know that sometimes it can be uncomfortable to have those type of conversations and to take those moments to stop and breathe. But I think we need to be open as teachers, students, and  the comunity to try new things.”


Lexi Lin can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Lexi Lin, Staff Reporter
Lexi Lin is a sophomore and Staff Reporter for The Spoke. She has reported on community events and sports games. Outside of The Spoke, she is a board member of the Asian American Culture Club, a member of the Math Competition Team and a competitive dancer.