School District: Coatesville
How did Coatesville Area School District select MindUP?
During a process of exploring alternatives to suspension, a community member brought forward the Grades 6-8 MindUP™ curriculum. A discussion ensued with the District’s Discipline, Compliance and Community Committee that resulted in a small-scale pilot of the MindUP™ curriculum in three of our schools. The pilot was held after school with students who had a need for extra support in the area of self-regulation. The students who participated regularly showed remarkable growth not only in their ability to self-regulate but also in leading others through the process. During the early stages of the pilot the teachers stated that the curriculum should be implemented district-wide.
One of the teachers told the story of a student who requested the company of two fellow MindUP™ participants to help him through an anxious moment. The three students sat quietly and performed the Core Practice and returned to class to complete a successful day. A parent of another student commented on the impact of the Core Practice on her daughter at home. This primary student regularly takes a moment of breath and reminds her mom to breathe as well.
Launching MindUP™ District-wide
In August 2018, the Certified MindUP™ Consultant Team trained all staff in grades PK-8 for a total of 360 professional staff members including teachers, principals, guidance counselors, nurses, school psychologist and related service providers in the MindUP™ Curriculum over the course of two days. The school district is comprised of five elementary schools and three middle schools. Not only were the staff members enthusiastic to bring the Core Practice to their students, many commented on how the training helped them build a sense of community and optimism for the upcoming school year.
The scope and sequence was developed and disseminated to have all 15 lessons delivered by the end of January 2019. Staff agreed that the Core Practice would be minimally implemented to start and end the day and after lunch. Our middle school staff agreed to extend their advisory periods on Mondays (MindUP Monday) so all students would experience the lessons at the same time.
Each week teachers receive an email previewing the upcoming week’s lesson, the link for the MindUP™ video for each lesson and a link to complete the lesson feedback form. Notable feedback from lessons 1-12:
- 78% of respondents report completing the Core Practice at least 7 times per week.
- Respondents reported that students were engaged 95% of the time.
- 96% of the respondents report that they would implement the lessons again.
What are the teachers saying?
“I think the lessons have been going super! The kids are using the brain language and understanding the function of the three parts. For example, we talk about calming our amygdala after lunch and recess. I have heard them using the terms in their everyday talk. So far it is going really great. I don’t have anything that hasn’t worked yet.”
-Kindergarten Teacher, Coatesville Area School District
“My fourth grade class loved the mindful smelling activities! We took the opportunity to share connections we have made to places or experiences from simple scents. Many of the kids shared smells from their grandparents’ houses, seasonal activities, etc. I was impressed with the dialogue that took place after the ‘secret smelling’ activity that we did!”
-Fourth Grade Teacher, Coatesville Area School District
“Real world, every day experiences helped students understand the difference between mindful and unmindful. Examples like holding the door for someone at Wawa got students thinking about times they have experienced people being unmindful or they have been unmindful themselves.”
-Eighth Grade Teacher, Coatesville Area School District