With your support, our vision of a sensory pathway outside for our learners at Cottonwood Creek Elementary will come to fruition. A sensory pathway is a strategically designed walkway that students receive sensory input through their feet by walking on different textures, surfaces and ground coverings. Each texture or surface provides different levels of sensory input to the brain and then the body responds. Our sensory pathway is for learners who need the sensory input and can get that input from the extra stimuli via their feet. There are three program classes as well as resource learners at Cottonwood Creek. Most of these students have a sensory need of some degree. In addition, students in our general education setting also have varying degrees of sensory needs. With our District’s focus on the whole child, Social Emotional Learning, and empowering students to self advocate, this pathway will enhance their experience at school, by increasing their confidence while giving them a valuable tool to self regulate. This pathway exemplifies the district’s core value of Collective Engagement by positively impacting the lives and well being of our Cottonwood learners and the community.
Explain your objectives.
The goal of the sensory pathway is to aid students in focusing, calming, and self regulating. The pathway will allow students to regulate their bodies so that they are calm and focused. Students will learn how their body responds to each surface and use that knowledge to select the surface that calms them and helps them to self regulate. Learners will then learn how to ask for a break so that they can utilize the pathway when needed. By teaching this self advocacy skill, we are empowering our learners to make decisions that help their bodies regulate, and gain knowledge of their bodies’ responses and confidence in their abilities. The strategic design of the outdoor sensory pathway is to help students receive the sensory input that they need to be successful emotionally and academically.
Here is a link to a news story of a sensory walkway that was installed at the early childhood center that fed into my previous elementary school. This explains some of the reasons why having one is important.
We plan to involve the community of Coppell by requesting volunteers from the local Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops to lead in the building of this community project. This will assist our Boy Scouts in achieving their Eagle Scout status and our Girl Scouts can work towards earning their Gold Award. The Girl Scout troop at CCE has already expressed interest. In addition, our Dad’s club and PTO remain steadfast supporters at Cottonwood.
Success will be measured by less verbal and physical outbursts of learners and students being more able to focus academically. We are hoping to have the project completed by November 18th, 2022. Tthe main items that are needed are: River Rock - Mixed Mexican Beach Pebbles, Brick Pavers, Landscape Rock, Artificial Turf - Fescue Multi-purpose, Infill for under Turf, Rope, Plywood, Red Lava Rock, Black Plastic Edging - Vigoro Heavy Duty, Fabric Liner, and Mulch/rock glue.