Atlantic County middle school educators Jennifer Keeney and Jessica Torcicollo were awarded a $1,900 grant to expand resources available in The Reset Room for students in crisis. The current administration of Absecon Public Schools has promoted using restorative practices, hired a full-time middle school counselor, and utilizes two district-wide therapy dogs.
The Reset Room will have soft furniture and accents to provide a comfortable space. Positive and inspirational quotations will be affixed to the walls, as well as a tapestry of yoga poses. Various resources will be incorporated to address a variety of student needs. There will be a small mini-trampoline for students who need to exert physical energy to de-escalate. Art supplies will be available for creative expression. A curtained area will provide a quieter, slightly darker space where a student can meditate. A Sensory LED Bubble Tank will provide a calming focal point for the meditative area. District therapy dogs may be called on to accompany students in crisis in the Reset Room. When students have de-escalated, they will be encouraged to write a short goal or reflection.
At the end of each marking period, an analysis of the Reset Room log will be compared to previous marking period disciplinary infractions, reported HIB cases, and behavioral contracts. Stakeholders will meet and a focus group of students will reflect upon the log, analyze trends, and make goals for improvement. A survey will be distributed to students grades 5-8, which will be compared with 2018 surveys. The data will show how many students take advantage of the room, for how long in each session, and how frequently. The log book may show those students visiting the room less, as the year progresses. Another trend that may be observed could be a decrease in total minutes spent in the Reset Room, per session, by students. The goal is to reduce the number of in-school suspensions by at least 30 percent annually, and the number of behavioral student contracts by 20 percent.
Professional development in mindfulness, social-emotional learning, and trauma-informed teaching will continue in the district and further support the usage of the Reset Room. In the future, The Reset Room may continue to be funded by the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO), Education Foundation, and district budgeting.
For more information, contact:
Jennifer Keeney, Project Coordinator
(609) 641-5375 (school)