MANSFIELD — Discovery School has created a new “Retreat Room” space for students and staff members.

This calming space has a variety of applications in the grades Preschool-6 setting. Classes can visit as a group for guided meditations, breathing exercises, and yoga classes.

But, individual students can also use the space with a trusted adult for sensory breaks.

“We want to equip our students with healthy ways to deal with big emotions,” school officials said.

Plus, the developing nervous system in children can become easily overwhelmed. Having a space set aside that offers an escape from fluorescent lighting, a comfortable hammock or swing to rest in, and relaxing music and imagery playing is a real asset.”

Teachers may use the space during their prep time or lunch time, as well.

Head of School, Julie Schwartz, recently completed her certification as a Trauma-Informed Youth Yoga Instructor through Loyola University. She worked with all the Discovery staff during recent Teacher Inservice training on how to best utilize the new space. They also did a Restorative Yoga class together.

“This particular type of Yoga is especially good for activating the parasympathetic nervous system that is responsible for the rest and digest functions in our bodies,” Schwartz said. “The start of any school year can be a high stress time for any teacher. We want to help take care of our amazing teachers.”

Parents have been a huge help with this project, too. Some donated funds for the purchase of yoga mats, soft lighting, and creative seating while others donated their time for moving furniture, painting walls, and bringing in plants.

“We could not have done it without them,” Schwartz said. “This school has always thrived thanks to the involvement of families and I imagine it always will.”

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