Since November, a small alternative high school in New Haven, Connecticut, is seeing remarkable change in its school environment and academic performance.
The only change has been the introduction of Quiet Time program for those who want to do Transcendental Meditation during their schoolday.
According to a local newspaper, New Haven Independent, the first 6 months of daily meditation at New Horizons School have:
- improved grades;
- reduced the use of tobacco and marijuana;
- “made the whole school calmer and quieter“ (principal Maureen Bransfield);
- changed the disposition of the students: they’re more interested in school, happier, the aggression is gone (Math teacher Diana Gregory);
- “drastically decreased” the number of referrals to the school’s “redirection room” for misbehaving students (the school’s social worker Cristina Martins).
In surveys, the meditating students that they now fight and argue less, accomplish more, and feel happier and less stressed.
An approach chosen after careful research
The school’s Principal, Maureen Bransfield, says that the idea of bringing meditation to the school came to her when she saw the studies performed on its benefits to students.
To narrow down the choices, she and her staff went through many meditation courses and workshops on offer. They finally settled for Quiet Time, based on Transcendental Meditation.
“The data [for TM] is so strong,” explains Bransfield. “The statistics are amazing. This is cutting edge.”
The Quiet Time program at New Horizonz School is not mandatory, but it does carry one phys ed credit. Students who don’t want to meditate go to study hall or tutoring. The program is offered in partnership with the David Lynch Foundation.
Watch a video about “Quiet Time” program implemented at Visitacion Valley Middle School, San Francisco: