We have a robust counseling program at Valley Vista. From individual crisis intervention to friendship groups, we meet student's needs yearlong. Mrs. Segal, MFT, is here two days a week. We have district counseling support if a crisis arises on her off days. Hilda Leon also works with our students. She's with Side by Side, a four-county organization providing behavior and mental health support as well as school-based counseling. Ms. Perry, PPS, works with students around topics like friendship, leadership and growing up.
Our staff uses Toolbox to support students with self-regulation. Just as adults will fidget with a pen, get up for water during a meeting or use breathing to control our restless bodies, we coach students on how to notice what their minds and bodies need, then provide tools to manage the feelings. For example, if a hurtful or rude remark is heard but doesn't need an adult to help out, a student might use his/her garbage can tool to "throw those words away" and move on with the day. We coach students to let go of things that might otherwise be a burden. And likewise, how to get help with things that are beyond the garbage can tool. That's just one example of the various tools within the Toolbox Program.
Movement and calming strategies are a big part of every classroom. "Dots and Squeezies" are big in our primary rooms to calm the body for learning time. "Smell the rose, blow out the candle" is used to regulate breathing as we transition from active recess to a calm classroom. Chair pushups in the hallway might be just the thing for an active body so that a student can return to class ready to learn. Our staff have many strategies at the ready for supporting students as they move through their school day.