Wellness Center

Nicole Braun, Opinion Editor

Ah, it’s that time of year again. The lively summer leaves begin their descent to the ground, grocery stores start selling Halloween candy, and, most notably, Ramsey High School opens its doors to welcome students to a new year filled with learning, friendship, and most of all, stress. Already, only a month into school and students are drowning in work. From summer reading essays to the anxiety that comes with meeting new teachers, the amount of work already assigned is overwhelming.

This year, to combat student stress, RHS is renaming the Physical Education program Wellness because it is going to place more of an emphasis on educating students about the mind, body, and spiritual connection. Though the program is now titled the Wellness Center, it’s not going to be an actual center. Along with having health for one marking period, students will have gym class in a series of rotating cycles according to grade. For example, all the Sophomores in one class will be in the same gym activity for a week or two, then move on to a short health class that focuses on the stress management practices. Instead of mental and physical health being squeezed into your regular health class, “mind, body, and spirit” will carve out its own designated time during gym class.

The idea behind the wellness center is to take the ideas of mind, body, and spirit wellness and sync it with physical activity to suit your own personal needs. The teachers are hoping to open up a discussion about mental health, and relate the lessons taught in the classroom back to the gym. For example, if you were taught about stress relief and time management skills in health, the next physical education cycle you might have is yoga.

Another crucial fact about the new health classes, is that they will not really “test”. Basically, students will be given “tests” that will be used to judge their level of progress in the subject that is being taught. The tests will be more self-reflective than anything else and there will be no grades attached. The teachers do not want to be contradictory by educating students about stress management, and then adding more stress to their lives.

The Wellness Center will be a useful tool for students who struggle with stress and time management because it will provide information and coping mechanisms to students who need it. Additionally, the way the gym cycles will be run will provide more physical education opportunities and add more structure to gym class. The Wellness Center promises to provide more connectivity to physical and mental awareness.