Calming rooms open at Edgewood, Turtle Creek Elementary STEAM Academies

Posted by Jeremy Tepper on 2/9/2024

Last year, the Woodland Hills School District was able to open up a Resiliency Room in the high school, to help students center themselves in times of stress and trauma.

With support from Project SEEKS SES — a grant partnership between the AIU and ACHD that supports school districts in addressing social and emotional health — the district has been able to add a similar level of support in their Edgewood Elementary STEAM Academy and Turtle Creek Elementary STEAM Academy schools.

Equipped with dim lighting, beanbag chairs and a variety of activities to help a student calm down, the district is thrilled to provide its youngest learners with a safe, calming space in times of need.

“The students can come to that room and take a break from the everyday stressors that they’re dealing with,” said Pamela White, the district’s Director of Administrative Services and WHOA Coordinator.

“A lot of our students deal with trauma, and we want to give them a safe space to take as much time as they need.”

Additionally, through SEEKS SES support, the district was able to revamp and retouch its Resiliency Room. White said the district had long been thinking about adding additional calming spaces after seeing how valuable of a resource the Resiliency Room has been.

“When we learned about this grant, we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to make these rooms happen,” said White.

White said the calming spaces have quickly proven to be successful additions. The need for such a room has come to the forefront in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, as students deal with high levels of stress, trauma and depression. 

By providing students with a room to chill out when dealing with these feelings, the district is not only giving students short-term solutions, but also teaching students sustainable ways to center themselves in the future.

“The earlier you teach them to regulate their emotions, the better off they’ll be as adults,” White said.