Rockwood opened its first sensory room at Pond Elementary where students can go to regroup and refocus. The idea came from a group of parents of students with special needs.
“A number of our students have used the sensory room when they needed to regroup. It is a peaceful place,” Principal Dr. Carlos Diaz-Granados said. “All of our students are welcome to use it when needed. It’s a tool for everyone.”
On a typical day, 15 to 20 students use the room. Pond Elementary wanted effective resources in the sensory room such as a sensory ball pit [for relaxing, not playing], bubble tubes, comfortable seating and special lighting.
“We want students to self-advocate for what they need,” Diaz-Granados said. “It is important for kids to have a break at times. When students return to class, they’re much more focused and ready to learn.”
According to fifth-grader Connor Wang, the sensory room provides “a calming experience.”
“It helps you focus when you’re back in class,” Wang said. “Going to the room helped me one time when I was upset. My favorite thing in the sensory room is the ball pit, but I like everything in there. The lighting is cool. I spend five to ten minutes at a time in there.”
“It’s been a wonderful resource,” said Diaz-Granados. “Before we had the room, we had some separate tools, but having one room that’s dedicated for this purpose has been a tremendous resource. We’ve seen our discipline issues decrease and student confidence increase.”
The new Eureka Elementary also has a motor-sensory room as well.