Reducing student stress


Lauren Arthur

Student signs up for Academic Support

Lauren Arthur

Stress and anxiety levels for teens in America are at an all time high. To combat the struggle that students are having to deal with, the Owatonna High School has implemented academic support.

Teachers offer academic support sessions based on what their students are struggling with. Mr. Leer said, “Academic Support is helpful for students who need extra support, but needs to be tweaked for the students who do not”. If a student is not required to go to a specific class for assistance, they can go to an enrichment session. In the past, enrichments have included; ACT Prep, Resume Building, Yoga and more. Typically there are around five to ten enrichment opportunities a week and fifty to sixty make up or help labs. When asked about the benefits of the enrichments he has offered Mr. Weide said, “I haven’t seen sparked interest in my class because the enrichments I offer has had more to do with current events then with my classes.”

Schools around Owatonna have started programs to reduce the stress on students. One of the programs that schools around Owatonna have provided is a longer lunch. The students have lunch for an hour, which will give students the opportunity to make up tests, or recieve help from their teachers. Others programs have included organized study groups, which the students to uses on their own time. In Rochester, the school system has started a conflict resolution room. This is a room for students to receive assistance any time they have a conflict, and the student will have the opportunity to talk to a student mentor.

Students at the Owatonna High School enjoy academic support, but most are not seeing the improvements in stress reduction. Most students use academic support as a study hall instead of signing up for an enrichment. Sophomore Emma Loveless said, “I think if we had more enrichment opportunities like yoga instead of just watching a video, or listening to a lesson, students would want to go to them more.” The general consensus from the student body is that a larger variety of hands on enrichment options would make them more inclined to sign up for an enrichment opportunity.

Some students have suggested to have academic support sessions be longer, with them being less frequent in the school week. Another idea that students have included changing the look of the academic support schedule to give more time to take tests, or make up work. Mr. Randall said, “We did see some positive movement with GPA, but it is still too early to really determine if there is long-term sustainable change.”   The Academic Support System is a solid foundation to help improve mental health problems that arise because of stress and anxiety for students.