Social Emotional Learning (SEL)

Mindfulness Education

Our Mindfulness program provides students, faculty, and parents with comprehensive, age-appropriate trainings. Research demonstrates that mindfulness education improves attention, emotional regulation, working memory, academic performance, pro-social behavior, and self-compassion, while reducing stress, anxiety, and fatigue.
Our mindfulness director works with our school community inside and outside the classroom. Read more about how mindfulness is taught at St. Andrew's below, and contact Adam Ortman with any questions.

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  • Lower School

    • Social and Emotional Learning instruction includes mindfulness practices to help students learn effective methods for self-regulation, self-awareness, and kindness toward others.
    • Outdoor education includes mindfulness practices for connecting with the natural world.
    • Students learn practices to support focus in reading and writing.
    Lower School students say:
    “It helps me stay calm when I am frustrated or sad.”
    “At chess tournaments, I use mindful breathing to not feel so stressed.”
    “If I had something in my day and I needed a new start it helps me clear my mind.”
  • Middle School

    • Students in Science class learn mindfulness practices while exploring how they affect their brain and nervous system.
    • As they learn about bias and human group formation in Social Studies class, students learn mindfulness practices to encourage a sense of social connectedness and increase positive emotions.
    • In advisory, students learn mindfulness practices to help with test anxiety and focus.
    Middle School students say:
    “It helps in particular with situations when I deal with pressure.”
    “Mindfulness helps me to sleep and helps me to not be stressed out.”
    “It helps me with calming my body when I have a lot of unwanted energy.”
  • Upper School

    • Freshmen receive eight weeks of mindfulness instruction to learn how to deal effectively with stress, difficult emotions, and the world of thoughts.
    • Interested students join ‘Mindfulness Club’ to practice together every week.
    • Students in Religious Studies courses explore the relationship between modern mindfulness practices and contemplative practices of world religions. One course culminates in a 'silent retreat' day during finals week. 
    Upper School students say:
    “It helps me focus on whatever I am doing a lot more than before.”
    “It has helped me be alone with who I truly am and to accept what I find inside of me.”
    “When I am taking tests, about to give a speech, or facing an insane amount of homework, I feel like I can notice my current emotions without letting them consume me.”

Faculty & Parents

Through division-wide trainings, optional courses, and weekly guided practice, faculty have the opportunity to learn and cultivate a mindful presence they can bring into the classroom.
St. Andrew’s offers parents the opportunity to take a free eight-week mindfulness course, exploring the basic foundations of the practice to support their own well-being, while also learning the skills their children are developing in school. 
“It helps me stay calm when I am frustrated or sad.”
It has helped me be alone with who I truly am and accept what I find inside of me.”

List of 2 items.

  • Lower & Middle School

    1112 West 31st St.
    Austin, TX 78705
    Lower (512) 299-9800
    Middle (512) 299-9850
  • Upper School

    5901 Southwest Pkwy.
    Austin, TX 78735
    (512) 299-9700

Located in Austin, Texas, St. Andrew’s Episcopal School is a private co-ed elementary, middle and high school for grades K-12. Students benefit from dedicated faculty, a challenging academic program, fine and performing arts, competitive athletics, and a wide selection of extracurricular activities.