Expanding Our Notion of Success

A-B Challenge Success Newsletter- January 2017

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Challenge Success Partnership

In the spring of 2016, ABRSD entered into a partnership with Challenge Success, out of Stanford University. Challenge Success aims to "provide schools and families with the information and strategies they need to create a more balanced and academically fulfilling life for their kids." The team at Challenge Success collaborates with educators, parents, and students to implement best practices and policies in areas such as assessment, homework, and schedule.


Patricia Jennings, author of Mindfulness for Teachers, defines mindfulness as "attending to things in the moment with curiosity and acceptance." Said differently, mindfulness is about focusing on the present in order to remain aware of what is going on with our thoughts and feelings, as well as what is happening outside of our bodies.

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¿Necesita esto en otro idioma? Precisa disto em outro idioma? 需要其他语言版本? Нужно это на другом языке?

Mindfulness in Our Schools

Throughout the district, there is evidence of work in the area of mindfulness.

ELEMENTARY: At the elementary level, our social emotional programs, Open Circle Curriculum and Responsive Classroom, both incorporate mindfulness.

MIDDLE SCHOOL: At RJGJHS, students in Grade 7 health classes work to identify and describe the experience of different feelings (such as elation, joy, grief, and rage) and how their feelings affect daily functioning. This past fall, the JH offered a yoga club for students, as well.

HIGH SCHOOL: At the high school, Grade 9 PE/Health lessons include yoga and meditation, progressive muscle relaxation techniques (PMR), and mindfulness activities with positive affirmations and visualization of goals. At different times throughout the year, advisory periods focus on mindfulness; students learn to explain what “mindfulness” is and to gain techniques to help them purposefully pay attention to their present surroundings, manage their stress, and feel present enough to connect with others.

Mindfulness Poster at ABRHS:

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Bren Bataclan Mural at Blanchard:

Mindfulness Video Resources

What is Mindfulness?
From mindlessness to mindfulness
Mindful Parenting

Books and Resources to Consider

Mindfulness Resources

Apps, Websites, Books, and More!

These tools will help to teach students be mindful. Arranged by age, be sure to scroll all the way down to see apps for older students!

Mindfulness w/ Pamela Katz Ressler

Wednesday, Jan. 25th, 7-8:30pm

16 Charter Road

Acton, MA


This learning event is for all parents/guardians and grandparents with children preschool through grade 12, and for any interested community members.

Pamela Katz-Ressler, RN, MS, HNB-BC

Pamela Katz Ressler, RN, MS, HNB-BC is the founder of Stress Resources in Concord, Massachusetts, a firm specializing in building resiliency for individuals and organizations through tools of connection, communication and compassion. Pam is a frequent, sought after speaker to local, national and international audiences on strategies of resilience. She is a faculty member at Tufts University School of Medicine in the Pain Research, Education and Policy Program and is an appointed member of the Consumer Health Advisory Board of the Massachusetts Health Quality Partners. Additionally, Pam is honored to be the first nurse selected to serve on the Executive Leadership Board of Stanford University's Medicine X.

A graduate of the University of Michigan and Tufts University School of Medicine's Pain Research Education and Policy Program, Pam's work in resilience is grounded in both the science and the art of health and human connection. She has received additional training at both Harvard University and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Pam is a featured contributor to WBUR's Cognoscenti pages, an author with various print and online journals, and has been interviewed extensively on her research on resiliency and social media in healthcare. Her academic research on the intersection of social media and healthcare has earned her the distinction as one of the country's thought leaders in the field. Pam was recently selected as one of 30 collaborators from the US and UK by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Business Innovation Factory to design The Narrative Playbook: The Strategic Use of Story to Improve Care, Healing and Health (2015)

Ms. Ressler's consulting work with businesses, education and healthcare organizations is ongoing and expanding as leaders seek strategies of sustainable resilience in our fast paced society. Cultivating Resilience, Pam's upcoming book, will be published in 2016.

Challenge Success Mantra

At Challenge Success, we believe that our society has become too focused on grades, test scores, and performance, leaving little time for kids to develop the necessary skills to become resilient, ethical, and motivated learners. We provide families and schools with the practical, research-based tools they need to create a more balanced and academically fulfilling life for kids. After all, success is measured over the course of a lifetime, not at the end of a semester.

Mindfulness Poster at ABRHS: