Emotional and Physical Mindfulness
District State: California
District Website: http://www.hbcsd.org/
The Hermosa Beach City School District shifted away from traditional academic plans to a curriculum that includes mindfulness and social-emotional learning.
The MindUP program, launched in 2011, incorporates breathing exercises and physical activities into class time for stress reduction, emotion regulation and attention improvement. Administrators implemented the program in response to a student survey that found that while students generally felt safe on campus, they wanted help managing personal issues.
The core practice of the program is mindful breathing. Several times per day, a chime will ring, acting as a “focal point” for students. The class will sit together, taking deep breaths in and out. After a few minutes, the chime rings again, and traditional instruction resumes.
Teachers reported strong student engagement during the MindUP curriculum in a fall 2015 survey. And 96 percent of teachers said they and their students enjoyed the mindful breathing exercises.