Why Wellness Day is Important


Wellness Day schedule (Credit: Janelle Kwatia)

 Last week, Dr. Millard announced that West Po would be hosting its very first Wellness Day on the 25th, the last day of the quarter. Students would be able to go to activities they chose throughout the day. 

Many students are looking forward to the day off. “I think it’d be a good break from school,” Claudia Bunea, freshman, said. “It’s just something fun.” 

“It gives us an opportunity to try other things that we wouldn’t usually do in school,”  Kai Everette, freshman, said. 

Mental health days are when a student stays home from school even if there is nothing physically wrong with them. With the social and academic responsibilities of school, mental health days can be crucial for a student’s mental well being. 

Though these days off are crucial for their well being, only 26.1% of students have ever taken a mental health day. 

“I think we need to have more [mental health days] at the end of the quarter.”

The Wellness Day being at the end of the quarter is important for students. “There is.. stress at the end of the quarter to get grades finalized,” school counselor Stephanie Bluestein said.

”I’m excited and I feel good. I’m gonna be with my friends. Finally, no freaking school work.” Maria Taha, Freshman said.

Besides letting students hang out with their friends, the Wellness Day was created with a larger purpose in mind. 

“This was Dr Milliard’s initiative to try to find something that could bring a breath for students and staff,” Janet Babic, school technology specialist and member of the Wellness Day planning committee, said.  “We looked around and saw that students and staff are very stressed and having a hard time coping with a lot of the demands of day-to-day academic life.”

“When we were virtual, we had those Monday off that…weren’t instructional days where you could do other things,” Babic continues. “We kind of wanted to bring that back a little and give students and staff a chance to explore their wellness in different ways.”

“[Mental health] has been a big focus for West Potomac this year,” school psychologist Dr. Runion said. “Especially thinking about belonging…for students to feel like they have a place at West Potomac.”