WCHS implements catch up days to support students


Photo by Sneha David

WCHS junior Emma Datch takes advantage of class time and catching up on assignments that she is behind on.

By Sneha David, Assistant Online Editor

Many students can find themselves overwhelmed and stressed when they fall behind on work. Making an effort to eliminate this stress, WCHS has now implemented “catch-up days”, a day each month where teachers must dedicate class time for students to catch up on work.

After seeing a large decline in student mental health, the WCHS instructional leadership team—a team of all the resource teachers from each department, administrators, the staff development teacher and media center specialist—has worked to implement new policies this school year to help student wellness. WCHS resource counselor, Leigh Kleinson, is one of the members on the team that worked on creating the catch-up days.

“We wanted to provide students with a structured opportunity to make up some of their work that they might be behind on,” Kleinson said. “We wanted to provide another opportunity for them to get help directly with their teacher that isn’t necessarily outside the school day or outside of any regular routine. So, in that week, each teacher will have one day that week that they will not assign new work and they will allow students to work on making up work that they have not submitted.” 

Many students feel that once they get behind on assignments, it is hard for them to get caught up because they do not have time to finish their work and are often busy in the afternoon with extracurriculars. Teachers and counselors at WCHS are trying to eliminate this and help students feel less burdened.

“Students and teachers often feel overwhelmed by the workload and their commitments outside the school day,” WCHS English teacher Kelly Knarr said. “Having this time dedicated to catching-up gives each student the opportunity to relieve that stress.”

The goal of the catch-up days is to allow students to make up missing work. With these days, teachers hope students will be able to complete the work that they owe.

“We hope that this will help students actually make up that work and not feel reluctant to go to their teachers when maybe they are behind on something,” Kleinson said. “It provides an opportunity where they don’t have to work it into their lunch schedule and their teacher is ready and willing, as they always are, but additionally just to work on make up work. So we are hoping that this can help kids complete any of their missing assignments without adding extra stress.”

There are multiple hard deadlines throughout the school year where students must turn in their work by a specific date, including interims and at the end of the quarter. In the past, students have ignored these deadlines. Counselors and teachers are hoping that the catch-up days will help this issue.

“We do have the hard deadlines for assignments at interims and end of quarter as we try to help reintegrate students back into having a little more structure,” Kleinson said. “We know that kids at the end of a grading period have a lot of stress so we wanted to provide another opportunity for them to get help directly with their teacher that isn’t necessarily outside the school day or outside of any regular routine.”

While these catch-up days may take away from class time, it is important that students have them to help eliminate stress. By having these days, students may find themselves with more time to complete assignments and prioritize their well-being just as much as their school work.

“Wellness and work-life balance is extremely important,” Knarr said. “A person cannot function at their best if they feel overwhelmed and stressed. Time is something none of us has enough of. Administration and teachers are working together to provide students with this gift of time so that they can show what they know and so that we can best assess their mastery of course skills. I hope that students take full advantage of this gift.”