Holliston High School Superintendent Dr. Brad Jackson, decided to take action against the issue of student stress by creating a committee called the Task Force on Student Stress to make helpful changes and bring awareness to the struggles students are facing.
One of the main reasons for starting the Task Force was due to the results of the Youth Risk Behavior survey that all HHS students fill out.
It turned out that “well over 35% of our students reported feeling very stressed in the last 30 days,” said Dr. Jackson.
The main focus of the group is to find “ways we can better balance the student stress level,” said Dr. Jackson, making it known that it is very important to “find a relation between time and stress,” he said.
In order to recruit members for the committee, Dr. Jackson sent out an email on to the Holliston community. The group is made up of members ranging from HHS faculty and staff, to parents and high school students.
“I saw an email that Dr. Jackson sent out, and I thought it was something that went along with the Beautiful Mind Campaign,” said committee member, junior Megan Burke.
Burke runs her own cub after school on Thursdays called the Beautiful Mind Campaign, which aims to bring awareness to mental health and to provide a safe place for students to go when feeling overwhelmed.
Meetings of the committee take place on Monday nights at 6:30 and usually last about two hours.
Many students balance homework, sports, clubs, and or a job, all while trying to maintain good grades. Balancing all of these things often leads to a lack of sleep and an increase in stress.
Athletic director and Task Force member, Mr. Matthew Baker, knows the big commitment of sports, and how much time they can consume.
“I was interested in what the perception was of how athletics impact stress,” said Mr. Baker.
All members of the committee have their roles and different input, which makes it a well-rounded and focused Task Force. Having parents of students from all grades allows feedback from the early start of stress.
Since the Task Force is just getting started, their main accomplishment so far is that they have “started a conversation” about the issue, said Dr. Jackson.