Chill Zone at Addams Elementary

Creating A Calm Haven
Posted on 02/05/2024
Chill Zone at Fun RunAddams Elementary has created a Chill Zone for students. In its first year of implementation, the Chill Zone has emerged as a crucial resource for students to re-regulate their bodies and emotions in a safe and calm environment. Unlike a play space or a crowded area, the Chill Zone offers a serene retreat where students can find solace and regain composure.

"This idea originally came to me in Fall 2022 as we were setting up for the Fun Run," said Jamie Schwartz, Addams Elementary parent and volunteer. "Knowing how overwhelming events like that can be for kids of neurodiversity, and the fact we didn’t have support previously in place, my goal was to give a safe space to re-regulate without pressure or judgment. I'm glad it’s been a success at our school, for ALL the students, neurodiversity or not."

The success of the Chill Zone relies on its strategic placement, striking a balance between accessibility for students and distance from the main event, ensuring it remains a serene retreat rather than succumbing to surrounding chaos. The calm and composed adults who manage the space are crucial to the Chill Zone's effectiveness. From setting clear expectations to employing a soothing tone of voice, they create an environment where students are encouraged to use available tools at their own pace while considering others sharing the space. Trained paraprofessionals or parents accompany students until they are ready to rejoin the event, making the Chill Zone a valuable resource at any school gathering where children may feel overwhelmed.

Equipped with sensory tools, sanitizer wipes, and comfortable seating, the Chill Zone offers a thoughtful and inclusive solution for self-regulation. Its success relies on the dedication of trained volunteers, emphasizing the commitment to creating supportive and inclusive environments for all students. The Chill Zone stands as a testament to the importance of prioritizing the well-being of students in various school event settings.