Battle Creek, MI: Special classroom helps students "to process stress and regulate emotions"

Jan 4, 2018, Michigan Radio (Battle Creek): Battle Creek students get emotional, social support in a new type of classroom Early in the morning on a snowy Wednesday, eighth grade student Xzavionna Reed is eating breakfast at a table across from her teacher. She’s the only student in the room. It’s a new type of classroom at Battle Creek Public Schools (BCPS); an initiative focused on giving more emotional and social support to students who have struggled with regulating their own behavior, and been in trouble because of it. … She visits this classroom several times a day to work with the teacher, Erica Giron. Together they work on ways to process stress and regulate her emotions. And Giron sets goals with Xzavionna to make sure she gets to class on time, and gets her work done. Battle Creek Public Schools calls it the CLIMB classroom. The program started this fall and there are three of these rooms in buildings across the district – all funded by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg foundation. “[CLIMB] stands for Concrete Lessons in Mindful Behavior,” Giron says. “We’re teaching students how to be students: self-regulation techniques, coping skills, how to be successful in a world that’s constantly upsetting you.” … The CLIMB classroom project is a tiny piece of the recent efforts to build in more emotional and social support for students. It's also an alternative to traditional discipline. … Giron says the district is keeping a close eye on how many times students get sent to the principal’s office, the number of suspensions, and how often students just get up and walk out of class. She says in recent years, they’ve actually had a lot of kids leaving class without permission, a potentially unsafe problem. And parents of BCPS students haven’t always been happy with how the district managed student-misbehavior. She says some families have even decided to leave the district because of those student behavior issues. “Whether it was their student that was having a hard time making good choices at school and they felt like their needs weren’t being met, or it was students who were affected by other student’s behaviors that decided to leave because it wasn’t being managed,” Giron said.