Arkansas schools prepare to install calming rooms

Published: Nov. 14, 2023 at 5:18 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 14, 2023 at 6:06 PM CST
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CAVE CITY, Ark. (KAIT) - Select schools in Arkansas will be home to calming rooms, which are intended to help students keep their cool in the classroom.

The Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield’s Blue and You Foundation announced schools in all 75 counties had been awarded grant funding to build a calming room on its campus, and must be installed by May.

Cave City Middle School was the school selected in Sharp County.

Principal Dr. Cheryl Bell explained the room had been needed for some time.

“There’s still a lot of stress surrounding COVID years, and that anxiety has not gone away for many of our students and our families,” Dr. Bell said.

The principal expects 80% of its students at the middle school to utilize the room, and the school will keep an eye on students to ensure the room isn’t being abused.

“If the teacher has a student in class and they see the student is stressed or if the student comes forward themselves and says they need a moment or some time, they’ll go through Mrs. Johnston, our counselor,” Dr. Bell explained.

Dr. Bell stressed that this is a tool to help students succeed, not only in the classroom but also after graduation.

“It will help them to self-calm and self-regulate their emotions. That helps us in our cause of wholistically educating our students to be ready for the world outside of school,” Dr. Bell added.

Cave City plans to begin work on its calming room in January and hopes to have it finished in the spring.