SEL Awardee

Callie Boller

CL Smith Elementary School
San Luis Coastal Unified School District
San Luis Obispo, CA
“With close to 65% of our student population falling below the poverty line, and many of our students experiencing multiple ACEs, our school is home to countless students who walk onto campus each morning with untold stories that would take your breath away. We know that trauma alters a child's brain and has a profound impact on the way in which they navigate the world around them. In our experience, many behaviors are a symptom of a child whose brain and body are in a heightened state of arousal due to trauma and the toxic stress that results from living in poverty. In addition, we have found that many of these students are also coming to school deficient in basic coping tools; skills that would traditionally be taught at home. Historically, these students would receive punitive punishment for these problem behavior. However, the research is rich with literature that indicates punitive punishment is not effective, and the statistics on the school-to-prison pipeline are alarming. We knew we needed to break this cycle, so we developed the Reset Room, a restorative alternative to dealing with problem behaviors. Within the Reset Room, we understand that ALL behavior is a form of communication, and we believe that if students are allowed structured and purposeful time within a safe space, they can develop emotional awareness / expression, and learn adaptive coping skills to mitigate the impact of toxic stress.”
Tags: Elementary School, Students Affected by Suspensions, Teacher, Traditional Public School, Urban