Arts & Crafts
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Mindfulness can be defined as “a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.” (Webster free dictionary)
Mindfulness at SPHS is a program in which students meet as a group during the first part of the day. The class involves a video lecture followed by a short discussion The second part of the class is the mindfulness practice. Students sit in chairs or on a mat, and they simply follow their breath in silence.
Starting the academic day off with mindfulness practice sets the tone for the day. It helps students obtain a clear focus, as students are able to put the thoughts they brought with them aside and clear their minds for the day. Students begin to become self-aware and start to practice self-regulating behaviors.
Short-term as well as long-term benefits are clearly recognized. Students involved in mindfulness have improved attendance, earn more points per week, and complete more classes than students that do not participate in the group. Further, the students who have been attending the group on a regular basis have emerged as school leaders. Many students look up to them as role-models, and they often serve as mentors to new students – they help them to learn the routine of the school and give strategies on how to pass their classes.
Students, teachers, staff, and our principal find that the practice of mindfulness has assisted the students in regulating their own behavior, expressing their thoughts and concerns, and advocating for themselves.
Students begin to develop a common language related to mindfulness. Rather than reactive discipline, teachers, staff and our principal engage students in teachable moments which focus on making good choices and becoming more self-aware. Talk such as “Were you being mindful when you ________________?” or “Were you mindful of the choice you made when you ____________?” Creating a mindful campus reduces the negative behaviors we have seen in the past.
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Students Run LA (SRLA)
Students Run LA (SRLA) is a city-wide program in which students train to run the Los Angeles Marathon in the spring. SPHS students participate in this program annually, with Mr. Padgett and Mrs. Del Canto leading the program.
Students in SRLA train by running several days per week and participate in several running competitions ranging from 5k’s to half marathons with the culminating run being the LA Marathon. Participants learn to stay in shape, how to live a healthy life, and accomplish goals.
Visit https://srla.org to learn more about the program.