The Lancaster Middle and High School social workers and psychologists have always worked diligently to make sure students’ social emotional needs were met. This year they have also focused on their peers; the faculty and staff at the two schools.
At the start of the 2020-21 school year, social workers and psychologists met to brainstorm ways to support staff emotionally after they had been away from school since March 2019. The idea of a virtual calming room came out of those discussions.
Nicole Fink, middle/high school psychology intern, created the Calming Corner Google Classroom based on a template from Clarence Central Schools. Adapting the ideas for Lancaster faculty, the link was shared at the beginning of the school year. Passing on resources and best practices to teachers has allowed those lessons to become part of daily routines for themselves, as well as for students.
“Some teachers use the tools at home, in their classrooms or have shared the link directly with some students they thought could benefit,” Ms. Fink explained.
The department held a teacher support day in the fall where they passed out paper materials and demonstrated how teachers could use the Calming Corner as a resource. The virtual calming room includes videos on topics from mindfulness to breathing and calming music. The Calming Corner also includes other resources like how to talk about COVID-19, coping strategies and crisis resources.
Since its onset, the department has added a 30-day yoga challenge and plans to add other engaging resources as the need arises.
Lancaster High School
One Forton Drive
Lancaster, NY 14086