With crisis management a daily part of Staci Postema’s job at Rosa Parks Elementary, having a dedicated sensory space in the counseling office to help students stay calm became a necessity.
“A lot of our kids experience trauma, and there’s been so much homelessness,” said Staci, who is starting her 10th year at Rosa Parks. “Many students don’t know how to self-calm and a sensory space with calming tools can help students learn how to self-regulate.
“We want to meet students’ needs before they snowball.”
Staci estimates that she helps 40 students weekly with everything from family trouble to mental health to behavioral issues.
“Having a sensory space is awesome,” she said. “It helps to differentiate the play side of the office from the area for calming down, which makes for an easier transition for kids who come to see me. It’s exciting to have a process for the kids and for myself to know what’s working.”
The sensory space in the counseling office has alternative lighting, rocking chairs and other comfortable seating, mood calming aromatherapy sprays, handheld fidgets, kinetic sand, massage pillows, and a weighted lap pad.
“We love our new space,” said Staci.