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Sensory Path keeps students on track

January 15, 2020
J.T. Whitehouse , The Town Crier

Poland Union Elementary School has come a long way in helping kids be the best they can be. One new tool has played a big part in that role, and that tool is the school's new Sensory Path that was installed several months ago.

What is the Sensory Path? It is a series of floor decals in various designs and shapes that allow kids to progress through a path that requires various movements like jumping or twisting.

"The path is centered around having kids regulate behaviors," said Union Principal Mike Masucci. "They slow down and get motivated at the same time."

Article Photos

Photos by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier

Poland Union kindergartener Katarina Falasca progresses through the ‘jump frog’ portion of the sensory path in the school’s hallway.

According to the website The SensoryPath.com, the paths were created originally for autistic children who had a hard time learning. By going down a Sensory Path and doing the physical activities, they were able to reset their brain to learn better. It was discovered the same paths helped all children, by acting as a reset. When the students go through the path, then return to the classroom, they are better prepared to absorb the lesson.

"When we looked at the efforts at Akron Children's Hospital and physiology studies, we see emotions are getting more attention," Masucci said. "The children come to us with so many unique needs and the Sensory Path diverts kids thinking to what we need them to learn."

As for the children, Masucci said they love the path. Often a child will be seen walking on it and jumping, turning and doing whatever the path requires. They have fun doing it and don't realize they are preparing their minds to learn faster and better.

Even the teachers will use the paths when walking the entire class down the hall for a restroom break.

The Poland Union Sensory Path includes the alphabet, numbers, mirrors, frog hops, a twisting snake, and animal paw prints, all designed to spur the imagination and improve learning.

"When they get to the end they say ok, I am ready to go into the classroom," Masucci said.

The Sensory Path decals are a permanent decal made for high traffic schools. The decals can be cleaned and hall floors waxed by maintenance crews to help prolong the life of the path.

 
 

 

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