Wellness Initiative


Along with other towns across the state stemming from Cape May to Sussex County, Wayne has introduced district-wide Wellness Weekends. A wellness weekend, as stated by the district board, is a weekend in which students have no assigned homework. Superintendent Mark Toback hopes that the students use this opportunity to relax, go outside, and spend time with their families. At a wellness summit last year, educators agreed that with the rise of counseling needs that exist due to academic stressors, it was a no-brainer to provide an opportunities to alleviate stress from students.

The students largely support the initiative, “I think it’s a really good way to de-stress students, because there is a lot of work in high school… we get what we need to get done in class” says Jane Justin, a freshman.


How often are these weekends?

So far, there are three weekends scheduled throughout the year, though some think that there should be more, “I think there should be a wellness weekend per month, because kids get stressed a lot, with a lot of work, and so much new curriculum” adds freshman student Madelyn McDermott. Others suggest one every other month, saying 4-6 weekends would be ideal. The movement is a huge step forward, and has been well received by both parents and students.


What problems could this initiative pose?

Considering the recent homework-free weekend, there were definitely some faults, but nothing too overwhelming. Firstly, students found themselves working on long term projects, studying for Wednesday quizzes, or working on homework due the next week. Additionally, students found themselves studying for three, four, or even five quizzes or tests on the Friday before the weekend, and after that, they surely needed that weekend to decompress.

When speaking with a parent who also happens to be a teacher in another district, she cited that as a teacher, it is easy to understand the problem it could pose for teachers, in terms of the rigorous pacing required for the curriculum. However, as a parent, she thought the ability to have a weekend homework-free would be very enticing.


Is the wellness initiative a progressive movement?

Wayne is one of the first in the region to propose and implement this type of weekend, and many agree that it is proactive, as well as effective.

Kiley McGraw, a student at George Washington Middle School, claims that the initiative is progressive in that “it is allowing students to have less stress, and is better for their mental health, which is a need today. This initiative is letting students relax.”


Overall, many agree that the wellness initiative in Wayne is extremely beneficial, and appreciation radiates from the students who finally get a chance to spend time with family, friends, and take some time for themselves. So put the notebooks and pencils away, Wayne students, because the Wellness Initiative is here to stay.