School spotlight: Laveen Elementary School. Laveen Elementary School in Arizona doubled down on their commitment to mindfulness in 2020 by inviting their staff to join our 101 and 201 courses. Here is their story:
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How has Mindful Schools helped your staff, students, and schoolwide culture?
“When we started implementing mindfulness there were some behavioral concerns in our school district. In response, every campus in the district was awarded with an additional full-time classified non-certified position for behavior management. Other campuses hired someone for in-school detention or behavior, but we invested in mindfulness and restorative justice. Now, we don’t have an extra in-school detention teacher because we don’t need one — since first introducing mindfulness we’ve had a 70% reduction in behavioral referrals.
When began to enroll people in 101: Mindfulness Foundations. I remember looking at that course description and thinking, “Wow, that’s too bad. The course is not talking about the classroom. It’s not talking about the students.” But then as we evolved, we realized that the courses are in the order they should be in, because the first step was to become mindful ourselves. Our staff has realized it’s us. It’s us that makes a difference.” — Dr. Robert Caplinger, Principal
“Our mantra has been to build relationships, build relationships. And things changed dramatically since finding Mindful Schools. Not just with the students, but with the staff too. This program has made mindfulness accessible for all of us and to realize that vision. And it is what has changed our school.” — Mindfulness Coordinator, Lindy Adams
“Schools are dealing now with social, emotional issues that they’ve never dealt with before and they’re seeking answers. When we returned to in-person learning after the first pandemic year, we had kindergartners crying at the gate week three, week four. Because our school had invested in mindfulness training, our counselors could immediately offer mindfulness practices to our students and provide the kind, nurturing care they needed to feel safe and supported.” — Dr. Robert Caplinger, Principal
What did approaches did you take to make your mindfulness program successful and sustainable?
“One thing we learned over the last several years, is that mindfulness really has to become the school’s program. Mindfulness had to become something everyone sees themselves in. We were very purposeful when we began to enroll people in 101: Mindfulness Foundations. We had campus leaders lead breathing at the beginning of staff meetings and people started saying, “Oh, this is something I could do. Oh, he’s doing it, she’s doing it. I could do it.” and more staff signed up for the program.
We are now very proud to say the majority of staff have taken the training and we have a 100% completion rate.” — Dr. Robert Caplinger, Principal
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