Boot rooms

Being able to maintain appropriate behaviour in boot rooms and locker areas allows students to be more independent and creates opportunities for positive interactions with others.

Choose the statement below that best describes how this student participates in the boot rooms.
This will help you identify a starting point for selecting strategies (e.g., 1=specialized, 2=targeted, 3=universal).

  • 1. Requires one-to-one assistance to provide physical support (e.g., taking outside clothes off and on, managing backpack, etc.) and/or to facilitate interaction with peers and/or maintain appropriate behaviour
  • 2. Requires frequent (e.g., more than twice a week) adult prompting to follow basic routines and expectations related to boot room and locker routines and/or to prevent altercations with peers (e.g., crowding other students, pushing, verbal exchanges, knocking down coats of others)
  • 3. May require occasional (e.g., less than twice a week) reminders but generally follows routines related to boot room and lockers

Universal Supports benefit all students

  • Work collaboratively with school staff to ensure that there are consistent school-wide expectations regarding boot room and locker behaviour, such as:
    • remove outdoor shoes at door and carry to shelf
    • put outdoor shoes on designated shelf with toes out
    • take turns at shelves.
  • Develop effective routines that will support positive behaviour in boot rooms and locker areas, such as:
    • encouraging students to write their name on outdoor shoes and any other personal belongings they bring to school
    • labelling shelves with students' names
    • limiting number of students who access boot rooms and locker areas at any one time
    • being visible when students are in boot rooms and locker areas to ensure active supervision
    • assigning boot room monitors to put stray shoes back on the shelf and rotating this job weekly
    • scheduling and monitoring weekly boot room and locker clean-ups.
  • Teach student specific asking for help strategies, such as:
  • Post visual reminders of strategies for asking for help. When appropriate, collaborate with students to develop these visual reminders.
  • Use descriptive feedback to reinforce individual students when they demonstrate effective strategies for asking for help.
  • Communicate clear expectations for boot room and locker areas and teach, practise and review routines with students at the beginning of the school year, and several times throughout the school year, particularly at change-of-seasons.
  • Post visual reminders for behaviour expectations both in the classroom and in boot room and locker areas and review reminders before going into these areas.
  • Use descriptive feedback to acknowledge positive boot room and locker area behaviour demonstrated by individuals, small groups and/or the class as a whole.

Targeted Supports benefit students with more specific needs

  • Pair individual students with positive peers who can serve as role models and provide support in the boot room. Rotate these peers at regular intervals throughout the school year.
  • Provide proximity by positioning yourself nearby individual students who may require support in boot room and locker areas.
  • For students who require more structure and reassurance, develop and review social stories about what they need to do in the boot room and/or at their locker.
  • For students who are easily distracted or agitated, assign a designated space in the boot room that has less traffic. These students might also benefit from being dismissed from class three minutes early (or entering class a few minutes earlier) so they can have access to boot rooms and/or locker areas when a minimal number of other students are present. In these situations, they should be accompanied by a positive peer or supervising staff member.
  • Work with students to organize their locker, including:
    • posting a visual checklist on the inside door
    • organizing the space (e.g., books and materials for morning classes on bottom shelf, boots and materials for afternoon classes on top shelf).
  • For students who have difficulty with a combination lock, provide a one-number combination lock or a key lock with a key bracelet or necklace.
  • Develop self-monitoring strategies students can use to reflect on and keep track of their own behaviour in the boot room (e.g., using a quiet voice, taking turns).
  • Set up systematic reinforcement strategies for students who are working on improving and maintaining their boot room or locker area behaviour. Reinforcement should encourage moving toward intrinsic motivation (e.g., "How does it feel when you …?").

Specialized Supports benefit the small number of students with sensory, physical, cognitive or behavioural needs that require intensive, individualized interventions

  • For students who have chronic difficulties in the boot room or locker areas (e.g., agitated with other students, physical altercations, taking others' belongings, anxiety) establish an alternate space for storing personal belongings inside the classroom, such as a cubby or container. Use this alternate space for a limited time (e.g., one week to one month) and then provide support as the student transitions back into the boot room or locker area.
  • For physical safety or because of a physical disability, an individual student may need 1:1 adult support with boot room and/or locker routines. This support should be provided as unobtrusively as possible, and, when possible, students should take part in these routines at the same time as other students.