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Strategies from K-12 schools, districts, and programs that are dramatically improving the learning process.
Educators from Visitacion Valley Middle School, in San Francisco, have provided these resources for you to use in your school.
All students at this urban middle school participate in a daily program of quietude and optional meditation. Tips for downloading: PDF files can be viewed on a wide variety of platforms -- both as a browser plug-in or a stand-alone application -- with Adobe's free Acrobat Reader program. Smart move to gather stuff for the schools as to how to deal with stress and are wonderful mindfulness techniques. Quiet Time is based in Transcendental Meditation, which has been successfully argued in the US courts to be religious in nature.
A large array of studies show that integrating meditation into a school’s daily routine can markedly improve the lives of students, the performance of teachers and the classroom atmosphere.
Dani works with schools interested in teaching students and teachers the scientific techniques of meditation and mindfulness practice – both to improve the school experience, but also as a life skill to take beyond school years. Years 11 & 12 practicing Mindful Breathing at the ‘Managing Stress through Mindfulness’ Workshop, Australian International School. Silence isn't something people usually associate with middle school, but twice a day the halls of Visitacion Valley School in San Francisco fall quiet as the sixth, seventh and eighth grade students meditate for fifteen minutes. And school administrators tell NBC News that the violence outside of the school, which is situated in one of San Francisco's poorest neighborhoods, was spilling into the school and affecting the students' demeanor. Instead, he decided to extend the school day by 30 minutes for meditation time, which resulted in better academic performance and a 75 percent decrease in suspensions. Students at Visitacion Valley School in San Francisco meditate, as part of a program in which students meditate for fifteen minutes twice a day.
Training, consistency, and trust are keys to successfully implementing a school meditation program. Middle school teacher Rose Ludwig rings the bell to begin Quiet Time, a daily program of silence and optional meditation for students. Quiet Time (QT) is a program of mandatory quietude and optional meditation that happens schoolwide, twice a day at Visitacion Valley Middle School (VVMS) in San Francisco.

Buy-In: How to get buy-in will vary depending on your district and community, but in general, education about the program -- especially clarifying that the meditation is non-religious -- and transparency are key.
Carlos Garcia, superintendent of schools for the San Francisco Unified School District, also recommends starting small with voluntary participation.
Ownership: Once the program is running, it's important that both teachers and students are invested in continuing it. Trust: Closing your eyes for 15 minutes can feel strange, and for many of the students at VVMS who come from high-risk backgrounds, it can even feel like you are exposing yourself to danger. Relevance: The benefits of the program -- feeling more focused and less stressed -- can seem abstract and subjective to some students. There are also several organizations that provide training for teachers and students in meditation and mindfulness practices. At VVMS, Transcendental Meditation (TM)* is the form of meditation practiced during Quiet Time. The non-religious forms of meditation discussed here have been used successfully in educational settings to reduce stress and improve attention and self-regulation.
I seriously object to the idea that only a secular "scientific" approach to meditation is acceptable. Principal Bill Kappenhagen was skeptical at first, as well, and had to wrangle with the problem of when in the school day to grab a half hour for quiet reflection. It was implemented by the Center for Wellness and Achievement in Education (CWAE), a San Francisco nonprofit organization that is a national leader of whole-school implementation of QT.
Students must be in their seats with their desks clear (unless they will be reading or writing during QT, which is permitted for students who elect not to meditate) and not talking. Building it into the structure and schedule of the school also ends up weaving it into the fabric of the school's culture. Most forms of meditation are more effective if taught by an expert rather than self-taught. There should be multiple options for other activities such as drawing or sustained silent reading in a safe and quiet environment.
Clearly informing participants that meditation is a non-religious and scientifically validated stress-reduction technique can help prevent misunderstandings.

These kids, teachers and administrators were using, as far as I know, the Transcendental Meditation (TM)program.
Here are some of the pieces that needed to come into place for QT to run and succeed at VVMS as well as tips for how you can get started and trained.
Though it may take time, a high-quality setup ensures a safe and consistent space for the students to close their eyes and optimizes the success of each session. There were presentations for parents so they could learn about what the program entailed, what their students would be doing, and why the school believed it would help.
At VVMS, homerooms compete with one another for who has the most people meditating during QT, and the winning class gets a trophy and sometimes a pizza party as reward. If you have never tried meditation, there are many ways to learn and develop your practice. There are four full-time, on-site QT instructors at VVMS from CWAE who train teachers and students and facilitate and maintain the program year-round. For some suggestions, see the list of resources for learning meditation on our Resources and Downloads page.
The cost of the program varies depending on the size of the school, grade range (high school is less than middle school), and how at-risk the population of students is, but can range from $500 to $1,000 per student. Next, interested students receive meditation instruction consisting of four 50-minute classes. Currently at VVMS, the majority of the funding for the program is provided by the David Lynch Foundation, a nonprofit that funds stress-reducing programs such as QT for at-risk populations.
The QT staff works with teachers to make sure the training causes minimal disruption to instructional or work time for the students.
If other forms of meditation have produced similar results then they should be shown independently of the TM results.

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