Mindfulness Newsletter

August 2017--#mindfulAISD

Welcome Back!!

This year, I'll be sending a mindfulness newsletter at the start of each month. This month's focus is how to kick-start the year with mindfulness and build it into daily routines from the beginning.

We are changing to a monthly rhythm in an effort to reduce clutter in your inbox and allow for more intentional work with campuses. If you'd like more regular updates, please follow me on twitter, @mrbutler629. I post regularly, providing tips and highlighting mindfulness happening across the district. If you post, feel free to use the hashtag #mindfulAISD to keep everyone connected.

Starting Mindfulness on Day 1

Use 3-5 minutes to briefly define mindfulness, how it helps the brain and take three deep breaths together as a class. Below you'll also find some helpful resources, a letter to families and videos to help explain mindfulness to your students.

Communicate with Parents/Families

Communicating with parents & families is incredibly important to start the year off right, especially when it comes mindfulness. Here's a letter about mindfulness you can share with families. It provides a brief description of mindfulness and a message from Dr. Cruz supporting mindfulness in schools.

The letter is available in English, Spanish, Arabic, Farsi/Dari & Burmese. (Shout out to our amazing refugee support team for the translations!)

Explaining Mindfulness....

Secondary Videos

Mindfulness: Youth Voices

Elementary Videos

"Just Breathe" by Julie Bayer Salzman & Josh Salzman (Wavecrest Films)
Get Your Mind Ready With Mind Yeti

Mindfulness in 2017-2018

Mindfulness Specialist Role

Last year, all 130 AISD campuses were implementing mindfulness in one way or another. Way to go, y'all! This year, we're going to have a more intentional focus on sharing mindfulness.

Elementary Projects & Initiatives

  • Supporting PK-2 suspension ban, especially at Title 1 campuses
  • Creating mindful rooms/spaces
  • Connecting schools with community members to facilitate mindfulness for teachers/students
  • Working with teachers on how to lead mindfulness on their campus

Secondary Projects & Initiatives

  • Working with student-athletes at Lanier, Austin, LBJ & middle schools TBD (pilot program)
  • Starting a Mindful PALS program at Reagan, Ann Richards & McCallum (pilot program)
  • Connecting schools with community members to facilitate mindfulness for teachers/students
  • Working with teachers on how to lead mindfulness on their campus
  • Creating mindful rooms/spaces

As always, please email me at james.butler@austinisd.org if you have any wonderings on the projects above or would like discuss additional needs.

Vote for Mindfulness @ SXSWedu

I'm proposing an idea to present on mindfulness with 3 former students (1st, 5th & 11th graders) in a panel format titled "Mindfulness & Student Voice."

If you'd like to support the ideas below, take a minute to vote using the links. Thanks!

Kristina Yoder, 3rd grade teacher at Clayton Elementary, is proposing a presentation titled "A Brain Changer: Master Emotions with Mindfulness"
SEL Specialists Hilary Simon & Kevin Kerr are proposing a presentation titled "Changing the Conversation: A Restorative Approach."


#mindfulAISD archives

2016-2017 Newsletters (Check out the #mindfulAISD archives to access newsletters from last school year.)

Mindful Classrooms: The Educator Guide

For those using Mindful Classrooms: The Educator Guide, I recommend using Week 1 & 2 during August. This is a very loose recommendation though. Use what works best for you and your class. AISD staff can sign up for a free electronic copy in the support form at the bottom of this newsletter.

Sign Up for Mindfulness Support

If you haven't filled out the #mindfulAISD Google Form (below) and want to highlight your work and/or receive mindfulness support, please check it out. It only takes a moment to complete. Know someone in AISD interested in mindfulness? Send them this newsletter for them to fill out the Google Form.


James Butler

SEL Mindfulness Specialist