Watch CBS News

As Stress Builds, North Allegheny School District Creates Wellness Wednesday

WEXFORD, Pa. (KDKA) - The back and forth of in-person to virtual learning is a stressor for parents, teachers and students.

Nearly a year into the pandemic, one school district decided to ask its student body what it needed to be successful.

"I have a choice of, do I need to focus on academics? Is my social and emotional well-being something that doing a fitness class or checking in with my school counselor will benefit from?" said Dr. Natasha Dirda, the principal at North Allegheny Senior High School.

For two hours every Wednesday, North Allegheny students in grades ninth-12th and staff have the opportunity to take a step back. From fitness to cooking classes or even one-on-one chats, Wellness Wednesday is a student-focused, student-driven initiative.

"Students are learning and making that connection with our school nurses, having questions answered. Same with our counselors forming a grief group. They are also available to chat about college applications," said Erin Crimone, the secondary principal at NA Cyber.

A recent student survey revealed that 79 percent of the North Allegheny student body get stressed as a result of school. This time is meant to help a student decided exactly what they need, whether it's physical, academic, social or emotional.

"We have this great status, this great faculty, great students. But how can we make sure everyone is continuing to perform at their highest level? We are making sure everyone is doing OK and following through to look forward to their day at school," said Julianna Werner, a senior at North Allegheny.

One month in and the administration believes the results are already showing.

"There is this little bit of ease that I think is great to see and nice to see students taking that little bit of time to just relax and do something for themselves," Werner said.

While it is a pandemic idea, this group hopes Wellness Wednesday will continue beyond as a way to drive student success.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.