SEL Pack Time—Students unsure of Pack Time program’s effectiveness

Amy Kang, Staff Writer

Have you been feeling overwhelmed, stressed or worried? Well, you’re not alone. With in-person school back in session, anxiety levels are higher than ever. To counteract this, Tualatin High School has implemented a new program called Pack Time. 

“Pack Time is meant to be a safe space for students,” said associate principal Nathan Stanley, who is in charge of the Social Emotional Learning program (SEL). “It’s important for students to be able to engage with staff about how they are feeling and how to deal with it.”

Pack Time consists of 20-minute activities that are meant to explore social and emotional learning. In September, students participated in an activity called “The Deck of Destiny.” They shared personal experiences based on a prompt provided by a virtual deck of cards. Stanley says that the program is still in the early stages of planning, but the future activities should include more resources and games that help develop social and emotional skills. 

So far, there have been mixed views within the student body on SEL and Pack Time. 

“Personally, the [SEL] lessons are not really helpful for me,” sophomore Satvika Vadapu weighed in. “[The effectiveness] depended on the class and how much people participated.”

Sophomore Nathan Ruybalid also shared his insight on the topic. 

“I am pro-SEL. I feel that it’s been a great way to integrate mental health into the classroom,” he said. “[However], I’m not sure how I feel about Pack Time. Many teachers skip it, but when we do it, I honestly space out and don’t pay attention. That also seems to be very common with my peers.”

Ruybalid agreed that the lessons only worked when everyone took it seriously. He also mentioned that some of the lessons might have worked better if they were shorter and quicker.

Because Pack Time will be based on feedback from students and staff, students hope the future activities will be engaging for more people. 

“The #1 thing Pack Time should be is meaningful, useful and authentic,” Stanley concluded. 


Photo taken by Kristina Ruybalid.