Jon Kabat-Zinn defines mindfulness as "paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally."
Mindfulness skills create a foundation for learning and personal reflection. Students acknowledge their thoughts and feelings and use mindfulness strategies, such as breathing exercises, to manage emotions and stress. Mindfulness skills allow young learners to respond to a challenge rather than react to it. Mindfulness skills are learned through practice, such as guided relaxation or meditation exercises, deep breathing exercises, and bringing a mindful focus to daily activities including walking and eating. Mindfulness skills can be cultivated through exercises practiced over time.
The Living Mindfully program teaches students how mindfulness skills can support their academic performance and personal well-being, and provides opportunities to practice mindfulness exercises at school.
- Living Mindfully at the River Campus
- Pre-K through Grade 1: Students practice mindful movement in a movement class twice a week
- Grades K-5: Students practice mindfulness-based skills during the daily morning meeting time
- Living Mindfully at the Hill Campus
- Grade 6: Students participate in a comprehensive mindfulness curriculum during grade level meeting time
- Grades 7-8: Students practice mindfulness-based skills at the start of weekly health classes. Yoga is offered as a PE elective for students in Grade 8
- Grade 9: Students participate in interactive lessons on well-being and mindfulness as part of the RCS Delta program.
- Grades 10-12: Students participate in mindfulness classes during advisory time
- Faculty: there are several ongoing opportunities for faculty to practice mindfulness at school
- Living Mindfully for Teachers: Building a Personal Practice, a four-week after school workshop offered each fall
- Faculty yoga offered weekly before school
- Faculty Pilates offered weekly after school
- Optional Mindfulness Programs at the Hill Campus
- Mindfulness in the Classroom: Upper School teachers have the opportunity to collaborate with a mindfulness teacher to combine course work and mindfulness practice. For example, students in science class can learn about the physiology of stress and how mindfulness can counter the effects of stress
- Mindful Lunch: Upper School students and all faculty are welcome to rest and reflect during a monthly silent dining experience in the MPR during the upper school lunch periods
- Week Two Wind Down: Upper School students and all faculty are welcome to come to the dance studio to participate in a guided relaxation during the Week 2 Wednesday break period
- Yoga: Yoga is offered as a PE elective for Upper School students each semester