New Sensory Room Provides Calming Space for Spanish Lake Elementary School Students Thanks to the Ascension Fund | Ascension


All students deserve access to public education, but for students with disabilities, the public school environment can be overwhelming.

For students with autism or oppositional defiant disorder, their emotional outbursts, sensory needs and behavioral issues can sometimes prevent them from fully participating in a class with their peers, according to a press release from Spanish Lake Primary.

Special education teachers at Spanish Lake Primary are hopeful that a new Sensory Room funded by the Ascension Fund can reduce this barrier by providing students with a space entirely dedicated to their emotional and sensory needs.

Before the space was made up, students with emotional crises may have had to be pulled out to go to ISSP or the principal’s office and miss out on crucial teaching.

Hope Novak, one of the special education teachers, said, “I love that we were able to provide our students with a quiet place to unwind and be more ready to learn. When we can schedule their sensory breaks as part of their daily routine, we can make sure that they don’t have to miss and catch up on instruction time.

There are already many students at all grade levels who use the Sensory Room on a daily basis as part of their behavior plan, and the increase in learning time for students has been significant.

Grant funds were provided by Vulcan Materials through the Ascension Fund. The Ascension Fund is a non-profit organization established in 1991 by the Rotary Club of Gonzales as a vehicle for private sector leaders to invest directly in the work of teachers and schools through grants for ideas. and innovative programs in public schools in Ascension Parish. Teacher Grants of $ 500, $ 1,000, and Academic Impact Grants of $ 2,500 are awarded on an annual competitive basis.

To date, the Ascension Fund has awarded approximately 1,400 scholarships representing over $ 1.65 million to the school system. For more information visit

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