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Harrisonburg, WV: Elem school adds sensory room; "if a behavioral situation arises..."

Feb 20, 2023, WHSV TV, Harrisonburg, WV: Waterman Elementary School debuts new sensory classroom

A collaboration between Harrisonburg City Public Schools Special Education staff, the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Community Services Board, and behavioral specialists has led to the debut of a new classroom at Waterman Elementary School.

The room is dedicated to providing sensory-based activities for students, while also providing opportunities for social and emotional engagement.

It is complete with a ten-station circuit for students including gross-motor activities like balancing and bouncing, and moves to calming and organizational tasks like a sandbox and ‘crash pad’.

Waterman’s behavioral specialist Virginia Munns says, the concept for the room came to be after staff saw the needs of students change over the course of the pandemic.

“We want to tap into where they need that release or where they need that input. We’re constantly taking in sensory through our eyes, ears, mouth, nose, our body our balance, our body position,” Munns said.

Munns says students have a dedicated block of time during the school day they can visit the sensory room, and if a behavioral situation arises where they need to access the room staff will give them that opportunity. ...

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