Friday November 12th: A Day for Mental Health


Screenshot from WSFCS website

Jackson Fromm, Staff Writer

After finishing the first quarter of school being fully in person, stress is high among students and staff. To help relieve some of this pressure, Friday, November 12th is a mental health day, meaning school is off for students and faculty across the school district. This, combined with Thursday being off for Veterans Days, gives the district a 4 day weekend. 

The vote among school board members to approve this day off was unanimous, according to board member Leah Crowley. She also said that she wanted to make sure that this day off would be helpful to everyone, especially those who rely on child care for days of no school.

“My main question ahead of the vote was about childcare for parents who work and depend on their children being in school so parents can work,” Crowley said. “Our superintendent made sure that a variety of sites would be open for children whose parents need to work that day. With that settled, my vote was a yes!”

Crowley says that everyone should use the day to do anything that will help them come back to school feeling better. 

As far as kindness and mental health, I think students and staff should use the day to take care of themselves – get a check up, do yoga, take a walk, visit family, talk to a friend – whatever it is that helps put you in a good mood and is healthy,” Crowley said. “For some people this may take form in helping others – a great way to make you feel good especially if you don’t normally have this opportunity. People will have different ways that this day will be meaningful for them and that is okay!  I would encourage staff – whose job it is to help others – to take time for themselves during this break.”

This first quarter was one full of uncertainty and uneasiness around Reynolds. Students are happy to get a bit of a break.

“I think [having the day off] is really good,” junior Katie Cockman said. “I think tensions have been high with the recent fights and stuff, so I think having a break from school will be beneficial, so people will calm down and distress.” 

Students are going to use the day to recharge by spending the time doing activities they enjoy.

“I think I’m going hiking,” Cockman said. “That’s something I enjoy doing, so Friday will give me time to do things that I enjoy doing, and not that I have to do.”

It is not only students who are on board with the mental health day. Teachers around the school also feel that it will help everyone in the school, not just students.

“I think it is great and much needed,” Spanish teacher and Department Head of Foreign Language Lundon Sims said. “Coming back to school after 18 months of no routine nor understanding expectations has been a lot. 7th and 8th graders are suddenly 9th and 10th graders and have had some difficulty navigating, so a break is needed for students, teachers and administration.”

This mental health day does have an effect on teaching, though. Teachers will miss out on a day of teaching for their A-day classes on Friday. The day of the Pre-ACT fell on an A-day, as well as the lock down on October 21st. 

It’s frustrating because A and B days don’t shift to accommodate a missed day because they’re already built into the calendar,” English teacher Stephanie Walters said. “Any time we miss a day that wasn’t already scheduled, it throws plans off. It wouldn’t be as difficult if missed days were balanced, but that never works out.”

Regardless, teachers still believe that everyone can benefit from a day off. 

“Everyone is stressed and overloaded,” Walters said. “I think that transitioning from last year has been harder than anyone could have anticipated, so an extra day off will be a welcome reprieve for everyone.”

Everyone around the school and district agrees that this mental health day will be a nice way to recharge and feel better for when they return to school Monday.