Resolution Room Offers Support for GES Students
Granville Elementary School has created a program to help limit disciplinary trips to the principal’s office. It’s called the Resolution Room, and it operates as a safe space for students to work through their emotions and frustrations without having to worry about being sent to the office. General Education Teacher Stephanie Waldron is in her first year overseeing the Resolution Room and believes the room has become a critical support system for students and teachers alike.
“Students need an outlet, and need someone to talk to about all the emotions they’re feeling on a given day,” said Ms. Waldron. “There’s a lot going on emotionally and physically with young students. It’s important we provide them with a room where they can feel comfortable and be able to open up about anything on their mind in a productive way.”
Ms. Waldron, who has a background in psychology and communication disorders, has helped implement a system known as the zones of regulation. Before a student is excused from their class to spend time in the Resolution Room, students meet with their teacher to identify which zone that student is currently experiencing: blue, green, yellow, or red.
“Allowing our students to identify which zone they believe they’re currently in helps empower them and make them part of the process,” said Ms. Waldron. “It reinforces an understanding of their emotions and allows them to have some control in the conversation.”
The zones were developed with the help of Granville Elementary School Psychologist Jamie Culligan. Each zone groups together similar emotions or feelings a student could be experiencing. For example, the blue zone includes:
Lonely or Hurt
Once a student arrives at the Resolution Room, Ms. Waldron engages the students in a conversation about the factors that led to their behavior or attitude. Students also have the opportunity to discuss if these feelings have happened before, and what has created them in the past. Based on those conversations, Ms. Waldron helps identify activities that students can participate in within the Resolution Room, such as playing with fidget spinners, coloring, or a more hands-on activity like molding with kinetic sand.
“Deep breathing exercises are also a huge help with the students,” said Ms. Waldron. “Sometimes, all a student needs is a quiet moment to reset and regroup. I don’t want a student to feel like they’re in trouble when they come to the Resolution Room. I want them to feel like this is a way to get back on track and continue with their day in a productive way.”
Teachers throughout the school are also involved in the conversation when one of their students visits the Resolution Room. Ms. Waldron believes getting teachers involved in the process to identify which zone their student is in before leaving their room helps build a stronger connection between the two.
“Those conversations allow for teachers to be an important part of the process. It’s important for students to be comfortable and build a relationship with me in the Resolution Room, but if we can help encourage them to build a strong relationship with their teacher as well, it can help keep them from feeling like the only place they can work through whatever is bothering them is the Resolution Room.”
On an average day, Ms. Waldron sees about 10 students. Her goal for the next year is to engage students more directly on being kind to others, building their level of confidence, and helping build character.
“Our goal every day is to help our students build strong coping strategies not just for our classroom environments, but for life outside of the school building as well,” said Ms. Waldron. “There won’t always be a place like the Resolution Room for students to lean on, especially once they graduate from the district. If we can help set the right foundation for our students to be prepared for any difficult situation they may encounter in the future as teenagers or adults, then we have succeeded as educators.”