Wellness, mindfulness and social-emotional learning, as well as character development and skills such as conflict resolution, are part of a new focus in the Asbury Park school district. The district is encouraging a healthy environment for teaching and learning by cultivating students’ and teachers’ inner lives.
The mindfulness-based approaches are helping students hone the skills of self-regulation, attention and stress reduction. Included are specific interventions such as an alternative learning lab; “Yoga Calm”;“Reflective Time”; and “Responsive Classrooms.” Walk through the schools, and it is possible to see elementary students taking part in a responsive classroom morning meeting, high school students engaged in a program of yoga and self-esteem building exercises, and preschoolers practicing “mindful breathing.”
The program has already shown results. The total number of suspensions at Asbury Park High School fell dramatically in the program’s first year, and discipline referrals for students involved in the program dropped by more than half.
Contact:Dr. Kristie M. Howard, Esq., Director of Student Services.
Profiled in an upcoming edition of School Leader magazine.