Rebecca Bautz, Troy Kunt and Marisa Riesinger
This year we had a unique experience when one teacher was nominated by two different schools that she worked at! While Rebecca is no longer teaching in the same district, the groundwork she laid with these programs led to teachers being hired at each campus to continue her work. To ensure that the innovations she started continue, Marathon Oil awarded grants to both schools.
Rebecca developed a systematic approach to identifying the social emotional needs of students and supporting these students with purposeful and research-based interventions, providing the necessary emotional and mental health support. Rebecca helped create a "READY ROOM"! When students enter the room, they take their heart rate and choose two calming activities. The Ready Room environment is calming, with soft lighting and music. The goal is to help the student “self-regulate” and be able to re-enter the regular classroom within 15 minutes. Options for the student to choose from may include coloring, moon sand, emotion cards, calming swing, Orbies, breathing and sensory tools. They also created a sensory hallway with physical activities on the floor and wall to stimulate self-regulation. Before the student leaves the Ready Room, they take their heart rate again.
This allows teachers to collect data on each student's progress. Their data shows that the Ready Room has made a significant positive impact on student’s social emotional regulation and school readiness.
Accepting the funding on behalf of Berg and Lincoln Elementaries were Troy Kunt and Marisa Riesinger.