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RDPSD seeing positive difference with addition of Student Support Rooms

Support Room

Student Support Rooms are making a significant difference in Red Deer Public Schools in ensuring all students have the best opportunities to learn.

“Red Deer Public began implementing 18 Student Support Rooms in our elementary and middle schools in fall of 2023,” said Nicola Golby, Associate Superintendent of Student Services. “These rooms are a place for students to go when they need to regulate their emotions, display big behaviours, or to connect with an adult while maintaining dignity in a more private space.”

Since the implementation, the Division’s Behaviour Support Team has been training the Student Support Room teachers, primarily using Bruce Perry’s Neurosequential Model of Education, Gordon Neufeld emotional playgrounds, and Martin Brokenleg's Circle of Courage.

On average upwards of 40 students use the Student Support Rooms in schools each day for various reasons including scheduled breaks that have been pre-arranged with teachers, students who are dysregulated for different reasons, and students who need a quiet place to work or to move their body to release excess energy.

“Teachers spend the majority of their time connecting with students in the Student Support Room, and looking to identify what they need,” said Nicola. “That could be playing a game, it could be imaginative play, it could be reading a book with the ultimate goal of regulating and returning to the classroom to reconnect with their teacher and their peers so they can continue to have a successful day.”

The positive impact Student Support Rooms are having is felt in both the classroom and school as a whole.

“We have a safe place for students to go for regulation, which translates to calmer classrooms, calmer hallways and calmer office spaces for all students to have a better opportunity to learn,” said Nicola. “Schools are sharing wonderful things about the impact the Student Support Rooms are having on their buildings and how they have quickly become an integral part of their space. We are so glad there is a space where students can connect, where they can regulate and where they can move on with their day in a positive way.”

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