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Seaside, OR: School has sensory room for regulating emotions; 'lack of social-emotional education'

June 19, 2018,(OR) Daily Astorian: Better behavior, happier kids Schools are tasked with teaching reading, writing and arithmetic, but it’s hard for kids to get the lessons when they are upset and misbehaving. That’s why Seaside School District launched an innovative approach to behavioral health in the 2017-18 school year. Mission Control is a calming room where kids can focus on self-regulating their emotions and behavior….. Prior to this year, “There was a real lack of social-emotional education that kids need to know in order to function,” says Rachel Whisler, a behavior support specialist at Seaside Heights Elementary School…. In addition to the Mission Control room, regular classrooms have new flexible seating, including yoga balls, standing tables and cushions, so students can learn where they were most comfortable…. She says kids learn that all feelings are OK. What matters is what they do with them and how they act. They can identify their feelings and not let emotions run the show…. For two years Seaside educators have studied trauma-informed practices that take into account adverse childhood experiences. It involves treating people with compassion and understanding around traumas they may have experienced. ... All staff members and students are trained and familiarized with Mission Control. It is open to everyone and is not used for punishment or reward. It is a place where students can self-regulate their behavior. … Most classrooms have a peace corner that students can access to self-regulate, says Seaside Heights Principal John McAndrews. It is part of the classroom but is a place where the student can use sensory items or cushions to feel more comfortable….

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