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Camden, NY: 'Many of our students don't have the wherewithal or skills to be resilient'

Aug 31, 2017, Camden (NY) Courier Post: Calming classroom shows kids empathy, coping skills http://www.courierpostonline.com/story/news/2017/08/31/calming-classroom-shows-kids-empathy-coping-skills/598681001/ ...Her room, on the lower level of the Camden school that teaches prekindergarten through eighth grade, is the most serene in the building. It's no accident. Each color is chosen, and every item and seating area is researched, to impact an elementary school pupil's state of mind when they enter. … Now, she teaches patience, resilience and coping skills to kids learning how to be less disruptive in the classroom. They take 10 to 15 minutes in the school day to refocus from what's bothering them at home to what's going on in their classroom. Yorkship's calming room is part of the school district's initiative to cut suspensions and disciplinary issues and boost uninterrupted instructional time in all city classrooms. ... T While many South Jersey high schools have turned to in-school suspensions to keep students from running amok during the school day, the superintendent said Camden's approach also gives students support services to address the reasons they're acting out. …. She and Brown-Bartlett used absenteeism and suspension data to look for repeat offenders. These students may need extra help in coping with stresses, the women determined. "We discovered many of our students don't have the wherewithal or skills to be resilient, to be able to cope with what's going on in their daily life in the city and our school, and it reflected in the classroom," Brown-Bartlett said. "Teachers were constantly having to deal with repeat behaviors over and over again."… This school year, Brown-Bartlett is the calming room's full-time therapist, expecting about 35 students to participate in the program. "We are helping them to self-control and get back into the classroom," she said. …