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New classroom will help serve more students with social-emotional needs

Riverside Elementary School is home to Stepping Stones, a unique program which serves students throughout the district who need intensive social-emotional and behavioral support.

This fall, the district broke ground on a new classroom at Riverside, so staff can support more students. 

construction crews pour concrete outside of school

“This program was hugely needed,” Riverside Principal, Rob Henderson, says. “There were times I wound up in tears because we had students with trauma backgrounds and other severe behavioral struggles who couldn’t regulate. Because of Stepping Stones, students are able to learn the skills necessary to regulate and in many cases return to their regular classroom.”

The program was started in 2016, and continues to grow today. Stepping Stones is now served by two licensed teachers as well as a Skills Trainer from Options for Southern Oregon. The school is currently serving about a dozen kids. When the new classroom is complete, they will be able to double that.

“As kids graduate out of the program, we think we can serve as many as 30 kids throughout the school year,” Henderson says.

Crews broke ground in September. Weather permitting, they hope to have the modular installed and ready for use by early next year.