School Board Approves Wellness Day And Wellness Week

The Johnston County Public School Board held a virtual meeting October 27, 2021 to approve a calendar change to include Wellness Days. YouTube Screenshot

Johnston County public school students will have a full week to enjoy their Thanksgiving Holiday along with an additional day out of school for Veterans Day following a calendar change approved by the Johnston County Public School Board.

During a special-called virtual session meeting Wednesday afternoon, the school board voted 7-to-0 to approve Wellness Day and Wellness Week recommendations after being given their options by Brian Vetrano, Chief of Human Resources.

The board approved Friday, November 12th as a Wellness Day for students and staff.  (Thursday, Nov. 11th, Veterans Day, was an existing holiday already built into the school calendar.)    

For the week of Thanksgiving, the board added Monday, November 22nd as an optional teacher workday and student holiday.  Tuesday, November 23rd was also added as an additional Wellness Day for students and staff. 

Previously, Wednesday, Nov. 24th through Friday, November 26th was approved for the Thanksgiving Holiday.  By adding Nov. 22nd and Nov. 23rd as student holidays, they will not have to attend classes the entire week of Thanksgiving.  School board member Kay Carroll called this a “Wellness Week”.

Mr. Carroll made a motion for a Wellness Day (Nov. 12th) and Wellness Week (Nov. 22 & 23) added to the school calendar.  Vice Chair Terri Sessoms seconded the motion, which was unanimously approved.
       
Vetrano said the Wellness break would give teachers time to re-boost.  “Teachers are picking up additional classes and taking on additional responsibilities due to the high number of vacancies.”

Vetrano said June 9th and 10th would now become optional teacher workdays at the end of the school year.

Board member Lyn Andrews said, “When we don’t have school parents miss work. I am trying to be mindful of that. My only problem with (Nov. 12th) and Thanksgiving Week, we are reducing the nine weeks down considerably.” 

Carroll responded, “I appreciate the issue of child care and academics, but you get to a point sometimes that keeping your nose to the grindstone gets less productive.”      

Dr. Bracy reminded the board that First Semester exams will begin on December 13th.

“We’re only in school 13 days in December. So really, high school students will have, after Thanksgiving, about 10 days to get ready…” Andrews stated.

“I truly believe all our staff need these Wellness Days,” Sessoms said. “We have people right now doing double duty. I want to make sure they are all paid.”

Carroll said he also wanted to make sure employees are compensated.

Superintendent Dr. Eric Bracy said he would determine the cost to pay bus drivers and child nutrition workers, so they do not lose any money when schools are closed for the Wellness breaks. Dr. Bracy said he will report back at a future meeting on the cost to pay staff and a funding source.

With the calendar changes approved today, November 12th will now be a Wellness Day with no classes for students or staff.  November 22nd will now be a student holiday and optional teacher workday.  November 22nd will be a Wellness Day with no classes for students or staff.   

Face Mask Policy
Prior to the conclusion of the meeting, Mr. Carroll said he was hopeful the school board would reconsider the mask mandate policy in November if the downward trend of COVID-19 cases continues. Carroll said the board may consider “mask removal” if the number of cases continues to decline. Previously, the board voted 4-to-3 to require face masks for students and staff.

16 COMMENTS

  1. So the kids who didn’t get regular instruction for 18 months and everyone was worried about them progressing now are so caught up they can have 3 extra days off! That is awesome and I can’t wait to see how great the test scores are now! An amazing recovery.

  2. Great decision. It made no sense to have Thursday 11/11 off for veterans day and then have to come back on friday. There would have been so many student and staff absences that it truly would have been a waste. Absenteeism is always very high for both students and staff on the monday and tuesday before thanksgiving as well.

    • Of course a teacher likes it. Just more days off when you don’t have to work. You were out of school the entire year last year. Wellness day my ____. What about the kids who want to be there that week and learn?

      • Rocky Mount, if you knew as much as you think you knew, you would see that teachers don’t get the days off. They are added to work days at the end of school. So, no teacher is getting a day off for free. And the problem with needing wellness days is that no kid wants to be in school and learn. They are acting like wild animals in a zoo because parents let them run wild for the past year. One other thing… teachers weren’t out of school the entire year last year, they were just out of the building. School took place. Blame it on the parents that didn’t make their kids wake up to join google meets and participate in class.

  3. What a crock of ____. And we wonder why our kids are they way they are. Wellness day for what? Time to replace this entire School Board.

    • Yeah the kids are hateful, rude, and self absorbed because they are getting some time off. It definitely has nothing to do with how this current generation of parents is doing a pathetic job of raising their kids. Blame the schools, blame the teachers, blame everyone else except yourselves.

  4. Look, all the infectious disease experts, election experts and international relations experts are now education experts! If you really cared about education in our district you would be applying to be bus drivers, cafeteria staff, custodions, teacher’s assistants instead of clacking away on your keyboard, whining about something you know absolutely nothing about. Teachers spent the month of September dealing with your children vandalizing the restrooms for social media notoriety. We’ve had threats of mass shootings both online and in person. Knives and toy guns have been brought to school. A student in the district discharged pepper spray at school and when the administrator called home the mom said, “why does my child have to face consequences for making a bad decision?” Teachers are tired. We have very little time to plan and grade because our planning is spent in meetings analyzing data. Of course students are behind, wouldn’t our planning time be better spent preparing lessons and grading over meetings that point out the obvious? If you really cared about your child’s education you would teach them respect. Spend the 12th, 22nd, and 23rd teaching your students to respect themselves, their classmates, their schools. Actually, some can probably teach you guys respect. Teachers will likely be using those days to get caught up. And by all means, stop pretending you know everything about everything because it makes you all seem all the more ignorant.

      • My students, their parents, my colleagues and administrators would disagree with you, but sure, I’ll take the advice from someone who has an obvious grudge against public education and the people who work in it.

  5. Wouldn’t it have been a better decision to determine how much it would cost for the schools to be closed these days and pay the nutrition workers and bus drivers prior to making this decision?

    It’s not like we’re working with a whole lot of discretionary funds here in our county.

    • From the memos coming out they aren’t paying bus drivers or child nutrition for the wellness days after all… giving them all smaller checks right before Christmas

  6. The children have been out of school too long already. It’s past time to let them live normal childhood lives. Take the masks off and let them be kids. They only get one chance at childhood. Quit screwing them out of that.

  7. Well apparently bus drivers and school nutrition are not getting paid for the wellness days so now we can look forward to smaller checks right before Christmas

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