The Voice of Wakefield High School

The Howler

The Voice of Wakefield High School

The Howler

The Voice of Wakefield High School

The Howler

Making these earl grey and blackberry cupcakes is the perfect way to welcome the spring season. Theyre a perfect treat to enjoy on any occasion.
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PACK time allows students to choose activities targeting their interests

Students+participate+in+Zentangle+activities+in+the+media+center.+Not+only+can+they+exercise+creativity%2C+they+also+get+to+hang+out+with+friends.
Maya Schindler
Students participate in Zentangle activities in the media center. Not only can they exercise creativity, they also get to hang out with friends.

The 2023-2024 school year at Wakefield High School has had many additions to its schedule, including the new AllTimely system and PACK time. Split into two sessions, PACK time is a full hour allotted for students to pick two different activities to do, one of them being their lunch time. The 30-minute sessions are designated for students to go to their teachers’ classrooms where they may be having trouble and work on missing work, retake tests or do work to improve their grades. While PACK time was designed to help students succeed in their grades, there are many other activities that kids can pick to make their day more enjoyable.

These activities are geared towards students and their interests which is a great way for kids to get involved in the school’s community and meet new people. Joyce Deaton, one of Wakefield’s media specialists, runs some of these PACK times in the media center and they seem to be well-received by students.

It’s nice that even if I don’t see my friends during classes, I can plan to meet up with them during PACK time and spend some time with them.

— Marley

“Since [PACK time] is still new, our activities are evolving and we’ve been trying things and experimenting,” Deaton said. “The most popular one is the Maker’s Space which is open for any kind of exploration. We’ve also offered some specific activities like puzzles, calligraphy, card making and Zentangle.”

These distinct activities allow students to go where they please and take time to learn something fun and targeted towards their interests.

“Offering something [such as these fun activities] is a way to sort of nudge kids into maybe trying something that they never tried before,” Deaton said.

For many students, this is the case as it gives them time to try new activities and interact with new people. Senior Mary Marley, has been able to use PACK time as a way to see her friends during the day compared to outside of school.

“Last year I didn’t really see a lot of my friends all the time because we didn’t have lunches that aligned,” Marley said. “It’s nice that even if I don’t see my friends during classes, I can plan to meet up with them during PACK time and spend some time with them.”

A Zentagle produced at the Media Center’s Zentangle PACK Time. The student had a fun, simple activity and got an art piece to take home! (Photo Courtesy of Joyce Deaton )

Along with interacting with peers, this time can be spent to take a break from some of the stresses of the school day.
Laylee LaCarter is a freshman has found that PACK time has some mental health benefits as well.

“I find that the activities during PACK time help to reset from the stresses of the school day because it gives me time to not have to do work,” LaCarter said.

While PACK time has set activities that are input in the system AllTimely, there is always room for changes. Jacara Poole, a Civics teacher at Wakefield, wants to let students know that they have a hand in what PACK time activities are available.

“I think that students should make sure they remember there is an opportunity to put forth their ideas [for PACK time activities] for more fun connection hours so teachers can pick them up,” Poole said.

The introduction of PACK time has seemed to be well received by many students and teachers. The time not only allows kids to work on school work, but it also enables them to spend time with friends, do fun activities and explore new and old interests.

“I think it’s fun to mix up your day and keep things exciting,” Marley said. “I [also] think it’s fun to have things to choose from.”

 

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