The Wellness Zone is staffed full time by one of the IMS counselors and is safe space for students to visit when they are unable to focus, be productive, and/or be respectful in class. This room is intended to address emotional dysregulation by providing related supports for brain breaks, physical dysregulation/minor ailments, and a quiet workspace for when students are feeling overstimulated. Many students like to work on assignments/tests in the Wellness Zone because of the 1:1 academic support provided in a quiet environment, without distractions. The Wellness Zone is the perfect space for students who can recognize and advocate for their own needs. The Wellness Zone is also used as an MTSS Tier 2 & 3 Intervention for students needing individualized behavioral support.
When should students visit the Wellness Zone and how should a teacher make that decision?
It is strongly advised that students stay for core instruction before requesting to visit the WZ. Students are expected to make their request in a polite and respectful way. Teachers will use their discretion to approve or deny a request and consider if a re-set is needed to support the student's engagement and/or productivity.
If the WZ is deemed appropriate, the teacher will call the WZ to ensure a counselor is present. If a counselor is available, students will be sent carrying a WZ pass. Students sent to the WZ without a pass will be told to return to class and retrieve one. If a student returns to class before the end of the period, students will do so carrying a pass signed by the counselor.
Students receiving Tier 2 behavioral support will check-in and check-out with the WZ counselor daily. These students are working on goals that require self-awareness and communication skills. These students seem to request the WZ more often than others in order to achieve their goal. Teachers are notified of these students and their daily goals.
How do counselors communicate with teachers about students visiting the Wellness Zone?
Many counseling related conversations are confidential,however counselors will share as much information as possible with teachers to ensure wraparound support. If academic support was requested in the WZ, the counselor will do their best to ensure the student is on task and focused. If a student is in need of a brain break, they will be given a short one and then return to the assigned work. If a student does not stay focused or there are other students in need of confidential emotional support, they will be asked to go back to class. Teachers are invited to connect with a counselor if they have further questions about student circumstances.
Are parents informed when a student visits the Wellness Zone?
Parents are notified about ongoing student emotional and/or physical health concerns through phone calls, emails, and/or MTSS notifications. If appropriate, counselors will suggest the WZ as an option during family meetings. Due to parents’ requests for confidentiality, it is important to be mindful of student issues/concerns that teachers may not be aware of.
Do all kids know about the Wellness Zone?
Within the first two weeks of school, all students received an introduction to the WZ through a period long lesson that ran through the Social Studies department.
Why are students allowed to sleep in the Wellness Zone?
Counselors use discretion to determine if a nap is appropriate for a student. In some cases, there are confidential emotional and/or physical health issues that a student is experiencing. Based on student feedback, the WZ is a motivator for attendance and may be the difference between a student not coming to school at all. Data on students is collected daily and will be compared to last year at the end of each semester. Our goal is to reduce chronic absences by allowing a break during non-core classes or by teacher discretion.
Is the Wellness Zone an option for lunch/recess?
Yes! Visiting the WZ for lunch/recess is an option to all students who need a calm, quiet, space to eat. Admittance is first come first serve and limited to 15 students. This ensures that the WZ environment remains calm and reduces anxiety for students. Students should sign in to the WZ at the start of lunch/recess regardless of their grade and are expected to remain in the WZ until the bell for Enrichment.