Shallowford Falls Opens Sensory Room to Benefit Students

Shallowford Falls opens a sensory room for students.

Smiles filled the room as students, educators, and guests explored the new sensory room inside Shallowford Falls Elementary School. From the floor to the ceiling, the transformed space will serve as an extension of the classroom where students can relax and refocus so they are ready to learn. 

The ribbon cutting of Shallowford’s “Cub Corner” marked the opening of the 34th sensory room that Piedmont Church has helped open for students. The newest sensory room started with two teachers talking over lunch, dreaming of how to help their students more. 

“We need to have a sensory room at our school,” declared Lauren Gorsky, a 5th-grade IRR teacher at Shallowford Falls. 

So, Ms. Gorsky and second-grade IRR teacher Megan Smith began researching and talking to other educators in Cobb Schools about how to make their dream a reality. They even toured the sensory room at Rocky Mount Elementary School. Shallowford%20Falls%20opens%20sensory%20room-18.jpg

“We picked out things we thought would meet the needs of our students,” Ms. Smith explained. 

The teachers are excited that their students and all the students in Shallowford Falls can now have access to the room. 

“If they need a break or some have a little anxiety before a test, they can come here and swing or play with the toys and kinetic sand to relax them,” Ms. Gorsky said. “Before a test, I could bring a few of them in here to calm them and relax for a few minutes and get their mind off the test. I think this is going to be great, especially during state standardized testing.” 

In addition to easing anxiety and nervousness, Ms. Smith says the room will help students with other needs, too. 

Shallowford%20Falls%20opens%20sensory%20room-30.jpg“We have some who really seek sensory movement, and so this will be a place for them to come and meet that need,” Ms. Smith added. “We have some who come a little tired, and this is a way to get that arousal level up. I think they are going to love it.” 

“Cub Corner” will be available to students as they need it. 

“Maybe someone comes in the morning, and they are feeling sad, and they don’t really want to be around all their peers. We can give them an opportunity to come to the sensory room so they can get in the right zone,” Ms. Smith said as an example. “The idea is to be proactive about it. If we know a kiddo struggles before math, before they start struggling, bring them in [Sensory Room] to get them in the right mindset and go back to where they can learn.” 

The duo are not done building out the sensory room and providing what Shallowford students need to succeed. During Exceptional Children’s Week, the school collected items from the teacher’s wish list. Shallowford%20Falls%20opens%20sensory%20room-14.jpg

“We are going to put kits together for classrooms to have. That way, we can try to help meet the needs in the classroom, some of the smaller needs,” Ms. Smith said. 

The sensory room is not the only step Ms. Gorsky has taken to help her students. The veteran educator signed on to continue her education as a Georgia’s BEST teacher. She will graduate in July with her specialist degree, thanks to the Cobb Schools program that allows Cobb educators to pursue an advanced degree at no cost to them. 

“[Georgia’s BEST benefits students] because it gives me more experience in my job. It makes me a better teacher,” Ms. Gorsky declared. “I love working in Cobb.”

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