Elementary establishes wellness room

Relaxation station to curb behavior in elementary

The+ambiance+created+by+the+Ikea-esque+lights+helps+to+calm+students.+Students+are+able+to+calm+down+before+escalating.+%E2%80%9CIt+doesn%E2%80%99t+address+the+needs+of+all+of+our+students.+There+are+students+who+struggle+with+bigger+issues+that+this+is+never+going+to+fix.+There+is+no+answer+or+at+least+no+answer+here.+We+are+a+school%2C%E2%80%9D+Norwood%2C+elementary+president%2C+said.
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Elementary establishes wellness room

The ambiance created by the Ikea-esque lights helps to calm students. Students are able to calm down before escalating. “It doesn’t address the needs of all of our students. There are students who struggle with bigger issues that this is never going to fix. There is no answer or at least no answer here. We are a school,” Norwood, elementary president, said.

The ambiance created by the Ikea-esque lights helps to calm students. Students are able to calm down before escalating. “It doesn’t address the needs of all of our students. There are students who struggle with bigger issues that this is never going to fix. There is no answer or at least no answer here. We are a school,” Norwood, elementary president, said.

Emma Nolan

The ambiance created by the Ikea-esque lights helps to calm students. Students are able to calm down before escalating. “It doesn’t address the needs of all of our students. There are students who struggle with bigger issues that this is never going to fix. There is no answer or at least no answer here. We are a school,” Norwood, elementary president, said.

Emma Nolan

Emma Nolan

The ambiance created by the Ikea-esque lights helps to calm students. Students are able to calm down before escalating. “It doesn’t address the needs of all of our students. There are students who struggle with bigger issues that this is never going to fix. There is no answer or at least no answer here. We are a school,” Norwood, elementary president, said.

Emma Nolan, Editor-in-Chief

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The smell of lavender and the glow of Christmas lights surround the relaxation station, a safe haven for students amidst the chaos of elementary school.
The room has only been open since late November but has already taken off with elementary students.
In the four hour block the room is open, classified aide, Keri Shafer, sees about 35 kids a day.
“The kids that are impacted are not just the typical ones who have behavior issues. It is also the kid who is used to getting straight A’s and gets an A- and is heartbroken and devastated. Those kids need a break too,” Cera Norwood, elementary principal, said.
Students can choose two activities per visit; some are designed to relax while others give them an opportunity to release energy in a safe environment.
Students are limited to two visits a day in an attempt to prevent students from abusing the system.
Before and after every visit Shafer helps the kids chart their emotion on a mood meter.
By the end of the ten minute break, almost all students have reported a more positive emotion.
“I had my doubts. Will students abuse the privilege? Will they use it incorrectly? There is always what ifs. But I feel like it is going really good,” Norwood said.
The room is not for kids who are already escalated but instead is designed to prevent the behavioral problem.
It has also been utilized as a reward for students who have been working hard and may need a break.
Some students with chronic behavioral problems have a morning and afternoon appointment to give them a good start and end to their day.
“Every single one of us is a human being and there comes a time when we just need a break and it happens a lot at school,” Norwood said.
The equipment was purchased by a grant, MOU, through The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. Annually, the tribe funds a project through the school for the betterment of students.
In an attempt to curb behavioral problems, the grant was also used to hire Will Henson, a behavioral psychologist, quarterly. He recommended a relaxation station be implemented. The district modeled their room after Butternut Squash Creek Elementary School’s relaxation station.
“Teachers have taken less days off and the kids absentees have gotten a lot better,” Shafter, who visited the elementary, said.