September 28, 2021 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

John Adams Middle School Mindfulness Program Seeks To Enhance School Climate:

Did you know the sixth- through eighth-graders at the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified school participate in a Mindfulness Program, which is a part of the SMMUSD’s initiative to enhance school climate at all sites.

Every day, students at John Adams Middle School (JAMS) take a moment to stop, breathe and practice presence.

SMMUSD Superintendent Sandra Lyon said studies have shown that improving the quality and character of campus life leads to higher student achievement, increased teacher retention, lower dropout rates and stronger interpersonal relationships.

“We are so impressed with the staff, teachers and team who have successfully incorporated this program at JAMS – and perhaps, more notably, we commend each student for embracing this new practice so that they learn to be in control of their actions and reactions, allowing the campus to be a more positive place,” Lyon said.

The program, a District pilot, not only seeks to teach students how to be focused, calm and present, but also provides a community building component that affects the whole campus, including teachers and staff.

Mindfulness is a practice rooted in techniques like meditation and controlled breathing. The idea is to calm the mind and its tendency to make quick judgments or reactions so that respectful and effective responses emerge. The results are heightened awareness, reduced stress or anxiety and a boost in overall academic performance.

“The qualitative data at our school has been overwhelmingly positive – suspensions have seen a dramatic decrease, referrals are down and we anticipate that academic curriculum will also be positively impacted,” JAMS Principal Steven Richardson said. “The program truly unifies our school under a positive concept that builds a sense of belonging – a vital element in the life of a middle-schooler.”

The program, partially funded by the Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation (SMMEF) and with the collaboration of the YES! for Schools organization, began in August 2014 after teachers selected mindfulness training as a way to build on the school’s social curriculum. Teachers were trained in summer 2014 with the help of a District partner; classified staff are undergoing training now; and more training is planned this summer.

“Without the unwavering and steadfast support of our teachers and staff, who have all really rallied behind the program, it could not be as successful as it has become,” Richardson said. “I’m so proud of our staff for being so receptive and willing to embrace it.”

Once teachers were versed in how to fold in breathing techniques that can either calm or energize, depending on the time of day, physical education teachers were tasked with daily implementation of the six core values of the program.

The six values are: build a relationship with a teacher; create a sense of belonging; make a new friend; act, don’t react; respect for others is self-respect; and always be present.

“It really is quite remarkable to see our middle-schoolers, who are typically high energy, pause to get present before a test, remind each other to ‘just breathe’ or lead their class in a breathing exercise,” Richardson said.

Earlier in March, students participated in a full day of team-building and mindfulness exercises and activities with their teachers and peers.

Additionally, students partake in 13 hours of training throughout the school year in P.E. that helps to incorporate strategies of breathing, coping and mindfulness into areas like test-taking or problem-solving and conflict resolution, and fosters a sense of compassion and community.

Other District elementary and middle schools are working to incorporate similar programs on their campuses, with high schools in the District implementing Restorative Justice – a program that emphasizes collaborative and cooperative conflict resolution.

in News
Related Posts

Will SMMUSD Implement a Vaccine Mandate For Students? Santa Monica Beat – September 27, 2021

September 27, 2021

September 27, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * 72 Local Businesses Receive Financial Grant To Offset Covid-19 Related Losses...

Man Charged With Attempted Murder for Santa Monica Road Rage Shooting

September 23, 2021

September 23, 2021

Eliott Ferrando charged in connection to September 6 incident By Sam Catanzaro A man faces two counts of attempted murder...

Malibu’s Effort to Split From SMMUSD Stays Alive

September 23, 2021

September 23, 2021

City of Malibu given more time following September 18 hearing By Dolores Quintana The Los Angeles County Committee on School...

Person Shot While Sleeping in Car Near Santa Monica Beach

September 22, 2021

September 22, 2021

Submitted by SMPD Sergeant Erika Aklufi Santa Monica Police Department detectives continue to actively investigate an early Wednesday morning shooting...

Two Arrested for Santa Monica Prowling Incident and Meth Possession

September 21, 2021

September 21, 2021

Taylor Pacheco and Robert Chandler charged in connection to September 20 incident By Chad Winthrop Two men have been charged...

$390,000 Distributed to Santa Monica Small Businesses

September 21, 2021

September 21, 2021

78 Santa Monica small businesses received $5,000 grants By Staff Writer This month, 78 Santa Monica small businesses received $5,000...

Sexual Assault Filed Against Man for Two Santa Monica Beach Incidents

September 20, 2021

September 20, 2021

Jarvis Mathias Newman charged with assault to commit rape and sexual battery By Sam Catanzaro Sexual assault charges have been...

Street Sweeping Ticket? You May Qualify For A Dismissal Or Refund: Santa Monica Beat – September 20, 2021

September 20, 2021

September 20, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Street Sweeping Ticket? You May Qualify For A Dismissal Or Refund...

Is Cash Coming Back for the Big Blue Bus?

September 17, 2021

September 17, 2021

Santa Monica City Council discusses possibility of restoring cash service for buses  By Dolores Quintana Santa Monica lawmakers recently discussed...

UCLA Study Suggests Nearly Half of LGBT Renters Behind on Rent Fear Eviction Within 2 Months

September 17, 2021

September 17, 2021

UCLA study sheds light on concerning issue  By Susan Payne According to a recent UCLA study, nearly half of the...

Santa Monica Police Conducting DUI Checkpoint Friday Night

September 16, 2021

September 16, 2021

DUI and license checkpoint coming to undisclosed location  By Chad Winthrop Santa Monica police will conduct a DUI checkpoint Friday...

Veteran Killed in Stabbing at Encampment Alongside West Los Angeles VA

September 15, 2021

September 15, 2021

Wednesday morning incident under investigation    By Sam Catanzaro A homicide investigation is underway following a stabbing at a homeless encampment...

Santa Monica Partners with McCabe’s Guitar Shop for a Reimagined Annual Concert Series

September 14, 2021

September 14, 2021

Americana in the Park, a New Free Concert Series Launches this September and October By Sam Catanzaro The City of...

Vaccine and Mask Mandates for Santa Monica College In-Person Classes this Fall

September 14, 2021

September 14, 2021

As Santa Monica College returns for the fall semester new protocols are in place, learn about campus capacity, vaccine and...

Santa Monica Beat – Will Big Blue Buses Accept Cash Fare Again?: September 13, 2021

September 13, 2021

September 13, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Will Big Blue Buses Accept Cash Fare Again? * Video Game...