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Ms. Reale Explains the Purpose of STAAR

Naomi Linde
The STAAR room welcoming students with open arms

In January of last year, a new space cropped up at the end of the counseling wing. Past the counseling offices, a room brimming with beanbags, fidgets, and Harley the therapy dog welcomes students with open arms. 

The Student Transitional Assistance and Academic Reengagement room, also known as the STAAR room, is a safe haven for students in grades eighth through twelfth. It is coordinated by Ms. Reale with academic support by Ms. Barrett. The room helps students struggling with mental health or physical issues transition back into the pace of their classes. 

“There’s lots of ways that people use it,” said Reale. For people who’ve been hospitalized or out of school for a long time, the STAAR room helps them make up work, map out assignments, and ease back into their schedules. For students struggling with anxiety or depression, or who find it difficult to go to school on a regular basis, the room acts as a place where they can calm down before going back to class.

The STAAR room was first proposed in the fall, though the idea had been stewing for a few years. After COVID-19, an uptick of students struggling with their mental health prompted Bromfield to open STAAR sooner. “We wanted to find a way to support students beyond just the counseling department,” said Reale. “We want people to be able to function to their optimum and to be happy and enjoy school, so if that’s not happening, then we really want to make sure that we provide some support and services that might help with that.”

To enter the program, a student is referred by their family or teacher. Counselors and guardians then . Counselors meet together to assess the appropriate response before gathering with parents and the student to address their needs. The program is worked around the student’s schedule and tailored to be the most effective. Already, there has been an increase in the percentage of students using the room. “It’s an evolving process,” said Reale, “But I think we’ve got a pretty solid and helpful program right now.”

Reale maintains that it is important to support good mental health in order to operate effectively in school, and continues to work within this program and plan others to offer further resources to the community.

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About the Contributors
Olivia Muller-Juez, Editor in Chief, Staff Writer
Hi! I'm Olivia, a Junior at Bromfield. I joined The Mirror last year because I love to read, write, and talk to new people. There's never a dull moment in the news room!
Naomi Linde, Staff Writer, Copy Editor
I am a junior, and I have been a part of the Mirror since the beginning of my freshman year. I have been a writer, editor and/or photographer throughout the editions.

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