(Secaucus, NJ––March 2, 2022) After two long years of disrupted schooling, students at High Tech High School took a collective deep breath together on Thursday, March 3, for the first-ever Student Wellness Day, announced Ms. Kathy Young, principal of High Tech High School.
The premise of Wellness Day is simple: it’s school without so much of the “school.” For one abbreviated day, students took the helm, leading workshops and seminars in a range of areas from knitting to poetry-writing. Teachers, too, went beyond their typical content-areas to host seminars on time management, building growth-mindsets, and embracing the philosophy of wabi-sabi. Organized by student council advisor Ms. Jean Urbano, and supported by Peer Leadership advisor Ms. Valeria Arias, Wellness Day was about getting students out of the typical academic-focused school mode and into a more relaxed, student-centered learning experience. All told, there were nearly sixty different activities for students to choose from, whether it was throwing down in a Super Smash Bros. tournament or donning a Judo gi and battling it out on the mats, students and teachers alike were united by a much needed dose of time off-task.
Wellness Day was not possible without the hard work of the teachers and students who ran the show, as well as the blessing and encouragement of High Tech administrators and supervisors including Principal Kathy Young, Assistant Principal Mike Ra, and academy supervisors Gregory Simon, Samantha Doria, and Steven Ricciardi. Additionally, pulling off this endeavor required a major logistical effort which was spearheaded by HCST’s Data Management and Technology Resource Coordinator, Asuncion Los Banos who ensured that every single student had a unique schedule of engaging activities for the day.
Looking back on the day, Ms. Urbano said: “It was awesome to see the collaboration between our student leaders and staff members pay off—everyone enjoyed themselves, whether it was doing something they love or learning something new. Looking forward to continuing this tradition every year!”