Press Release

Contact: Rachel Stoff
The Cambridge School of Weston
rstoff@csw.org
781-642-8608, 617-960-6186

News Release

“School Within a School” Pilot Program Will introduce Mindfulness and Peace Studies
Program Brings the Endorsement of the Dalai Lama

Weston, MA – January 29, 2014 – The Cambridge School of Weston (CSW) announced a partnership with The Karuna School to pilot an inner and outer peace curriculum at CSW for the next two years. Originally conceived as an independent high school and endorsed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, The Karuna School: a High School for Peace currently works to bring peace studies, including mindfulness-based social and emotional curricula, to independent schools. “Karuna” is the Sanskrit word for compassion. The partnership will essentially create a “school within a school” at CSW. The Karuna School co-founder and educator Lisa Prajna Hallstrom will be at CSW to develop and teach peace studies, mindfulness and related courses.

This spring, Hallstrom will offer a course called .b (dot-be), an innovative, research-based course that teaches mindfulness as a life-skill for students to use both in and out of the classroom. Mindfulness involves learning to direct attention to experience as it unfolds moment by moment, with open-minded curiosity and acceptance. Research shows that practicing mindfulness can contribute to an increase in young adults’ self-esteem, focus, and emotional regulation. Next fall Hallstrom will teach .b more broadly as well as co-teach a course on social ethics and a course on the history of non-violent movements.

Over the next two years, CSW and Karuna will work to create more classes in peace and equity studies, a local to global service program, and classes in leadership skills such as mediation, non-violent communication, and restorative justice.

“We could not be more excited about this partnership,” head of school Jane Moulding said. “Our social justice and global engagements programs are integral to the mission and values of CSW. My colleague, Johàra Tucker, Director of Social Justice and Multicultural Programming, will partner actively with Hallstrom and, together with other leaders in these programs, we plan to equip our students with the distinctive skills that will make them well-prepared for their future.”

The Karuna School/CSW partnership may evolve to include global service trips to India and South Africa, courses in Mindful Parenting, faculty trainings and the development of a certificate granted to students who choose to fulfill a more rigorous Karuna School course requirement.

In response to this new development, Hallstrom says, “The Karuna School Board of Directors and myself could not be more excited about this partnership. CSW is the perfect school to embrace our inner and outer peace curriculum. It already has a standing commitment to helping its students develop their emotional intelligence, their leadership skills, and their vision of what an equitable world could and should look like. We feel we can seamlessly share our curricular resources with an already outstanding school.”

About CSW:
The Cambridge School of Weston is a progressive, coeducational day and boarding school for grades 9 through 12. Established in 1886, CSW provides an education that emphasizes deep learning, meaningful relationships and a dynamic program that inspires students to discover who they are and what their contribution is to their school, their community and the world. (csw.org)

About The Karuna School:
The Karuna School: A High School for Peace was designed to be a five-year independent school built on the pillars of sustainability, equity, self-awareness and inner and outer peace. Two years ago its Board of Directors made the decision to use its curricular resources to enhance the offerings of already existing independent schools. (karunaschool.org)

About .b:
.b (dot-be) is a the name for a range of courses created by the Mindfulness in Schools Project out of Oxford, England and evaluated by the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford Brooks. .b stands for “Stop, Breathe, and Be” and the high school version of the course is a series of nine sessions of engaging exercises in mindfulness with “homework” in between. (http://mindfulnessinschools.org/what-is-b/)

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