This Peer Learning Exchange will provide an opportunity to learn about how schools can create and use calming rooms and classroom corners to support students’ well-being and readiness to learn. Calming spaces can be integrated as part of a school’s comprehensive strategy to provide nurturing environments that foster positive student development and prevent harmful and persistent distress, thereby also improving school climate.
Laura Buckner will share lessons she gleaned from research and interviews with California school staff in developing a 2022 brief, Calming Spaces in Schools and Classrooms. Kim Bradley, Tahoe Truckee Unified School District (TTUSD) Wellness Coordinator, will discuss how she developed school wellness centers that offer space and opportunity for students to regulate themselves, as well as connection to more robust supports and services.
Participants will then have time to interact with colleagues from across California to share and ask about the intentions and outcomes of, as well as the nuts and bolts of setting up and overseeing, such supportive spaces.
Laura Buckner is a Technical Assistance Specialist with WestEd’s Resilient and Healthy Schools and Communities team. She is the author of Calming Spaces in Schools and Classrooms, highlights of which will be shared. Laura’s work centers on sharing information that is timely, relevant, and useful to education leaders as they seek to improve systems to address the whole-person and whole-community needs of their stakeholders. She does this by translating research to practice, supporting implementation of evidence-based practices in education, and designing learning opportunities that help practitioners align their goals with their activities. Prior to joining WestEd, Laura worked with community-based organizations, partnering successfully with schools and school districts to provide mentorship and mental health services to students in grades K–12. She holds a joint MBA/MA in educational leadership from Mills College in Oakland, California.
Kim Bradley is the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District (TTUSD) Wellness Coordinator, overseeing the school district’s Wellness Program. She is passionate about creating opportunities for youth voice and building connections between community resources and schools. Kim has worked in various roles with Tahoe Truckee social service and educational organizations including the Truckee Parent Co-Op, Tahoe Safe Alliance, and the Community Collaborative of Tahoe Truckee, and she played a key role in the creation of North Tahoe and Truckee Family Resource Centers, Sierra Expeditionary Learning School, and the TTUSD Wellness Program. Kim has a BS in Human Development from U.C. Davis and various professional certifications. She lives with her husband and two children in Truckee, and together, they enjoy spending time in nature, skiing, hiking, and going on family camping adventures.