The purpose of the Wellness Center is to provide Daniel Webster students with a space to focus on the development and awareness of their emotional needs. This space has two designated functions – Cool Down and Talk it Out. These areas provide focused interventions to support individual students who are demonstrating difficulty in regulating their emotions.
A “Cool Down” intervention is intended for students who are demonstrating mild to moderate behavioral challenges or who are experiencing a strong emotion. Teachers are coached to try all classroom pro-active strategies and allow time for these strategies to be effective, before determining that the student would benefit from a break. A Cool down may also be used for students who are proactive in asking their teacher for a break.
A “Talk It Out” is intended for students who are having peer/staff conflict within the school. This area is a designated space for students to talk about their concerns, problems, and frustrations, either independently or with a staff facilitating the conversation.
Each classroom was given guided tours of the Wellness Center, allowed an opportunity to sample the ‘cool down’ items (squeeze balls, play-dough, coloring sheets, etc.), and participated in role plays to allow for Seneca Staff and the SFUSD social worker to coach the students on how to use restorative practices. Classroom teachers have been provided similar cool-down items and reflection activities for their classroom peace-tables, so students can utilize skills learned in the Wellness Center in their own classrooms. After a full year of implementation of the Wellness Center, Daniel Webster staff view it as an integral part of our school, and we look forward to watching the Wellness Center evolve!
Trevor Burns, UE Coach