Photos of a dog and sitting areas in the Woodbridge High School Wellness Room

In partnership with, a nonprofit that promotes mental wellness, anti-bullying, and kindness, Woodbridge High School joins 11 other PWCS schools with the implementation of a wellness room. Similar to the wellness room at Potomac Shores Middle School, Woodbridge High applied for a grant and was awarded the funding to put together a wellness room. With funds left over, the counseling team plans to build upon the success of the room.

The intention is to provide a safe space for students to practice coping skills where they choose to re-align to their best selves. The location is designed to be a space for any student to take 5-10 minutes to reset. The students have multiple coping strategies available in the room to self-regulate their emotions and calm down. Woodbridge students are encouraged to practice their own best mental wellness by utilizing a strategy in the Wellness Center and then re-engage in their school day.

“It has really been a place for kids to go. We have students who are connected to staff, counselors, and our nurses sharing that it really works for them to advocate for themselves,” explained Joe Lederman, acting director of counseling.

In the middle of last school year, Woodbridge instituted the wellness room, which garnered a lot of attendance, especially when Roxy, the therapy dog, made her visit.

As time went on, the counseling department found long-term solutions and have begun to show results. “We are starting to see students using their long-term strategies to continue with the school day and not have to use the room as an emergency stopgap,” said Lederman.

Students who experience anxiety or need a calming safe space have a location next to the counseling office to go. “Students get a session using a variety of tools: widgets, kinetic sand, calming music, relaxing visuals,” said Lederman. “The goal is to get the students back to the counselor’s office and be able to have a conversation about what they are experiencing.”

After the calming session, counselors work with students on establishing longer term emotional and behavioral measures to empower students in ownership of their social and emotional wellness.

The wellness rooms across the county help to support Commitment 2: Positive Climate and Culture by creating welcoming, safe, and sustainable environments for learning. “We don’t want to just respond to crisis,” affirmed Lederman, “We want to prepare students with the habits of mind and personal skills to prevent or manage them in a healthy way.”