Calming Rooms Help Students De-Stress - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Calming Rooms Help Students De-Stress

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Teachers say they try to turn every experience for their students into one they can learn from. Whether it's a behavioral or academic situations, kids can adjust and grow. The use of calming rooms for behavioral management is one that Bismarck Pubic Schools supports.

School administrators says they work with parents every step of the way when it comes to students using calming rooms as a way to de-stress.

A room filled with classmates screaming, shouting and wiggling around can be overwhelming for some students.

In those cases, schools do have areas where a child can go and de-stress, a place called the calming room.
"What we try to do is to give the control to the child. That's what we're teaching all the way through," says Bismarck Public School's Assistant Director of Special Education Bob Salveson. 

They say the calming room isn't a punishment. Administrators say it's a tool for students who need a little more help in trying to self regulate.

The room is completely empty, but a child can control the environment by choosing to have the door open or closed and the light on or off. The door has a window so staff members can see how the child is progressing.

It's more commonly used for students in the special education program.

"It can be used for general education students too, but we would never use the calming room for taking them out of their classroom, unless we had parent permission," says Solheim Principal Jim Jeske.

The school district says parents are involved every step of the way. There's a behavioral plan set in place on how to respond to an agitated student.

"We want them to be able to be in charge of themselves. If a student chooses or if an adult says they must go to the 'Calming Room' there's always staff present," says Salveson.

Solheim Elementary school has two staff members present whenever a child goes into the room.

"I like the opportunity for a student to learn. It's all about teaching and learning. How to potentially get yourself out of a situation in which you didn't particularly like," says Jeske.

As a father himself, he says the room provides a safe method for students to calm themselves.

School administrators say polices for calming room use are tailored specifically to what the parents and teachers feel is best for their student.
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