TSS Blog

Social and Emotional Learning with BeWell + Warner

Nashville students have experienced quite the year with tornadoes, early school closures, and a global pandemic impacting the way school has continued this fall. Throughout the obstacles, schools have found various ways to keep students engaged and resume learning in the safest way for both teachers and students. Warner Arts Magnet Elementary School utilizes BeWell in School in their day-to-day structure and has maintained this program for the 2020-2021 school year – virtually instead of in person. Keep reading to learn about the BeWell program, what it is, and the improvements Warner has found in their students as a result.

BeWell in School is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Nashville, Tennessee, teaching mindfulness and movement as a proactive behavior management system. 

BeWell launched their first Pilot Program at Warner Arts Magnet Elementary School, led by Riki Rattner, in the 2019-2020 school year. The impact of the program immediately exceeded expectations. By the end of the first quarter, the school saw discipline referrals drop by more than 75 percent. This was sustained throughout the remainder of the abbreviated school year, with only 33 disciplinary referrals when the school year ended early in March, compared to 147 during the same time in the previous school year (August 2018-March 2019). This decrease in disciplinary referrals had a positive ripple effect throughout the school community — more time on task, more positive behavior among students, boosts in teacher morale, and significant increases in test scores. By the end of the first semester, Warner students doubled their proficiency in reading and tripled their proficiency in math on the Measure of Academic Performance (MAPs). When Warner students took the same test in the spring, they were one of only twelve schools in the district to have more than 60 percent of students meet or exceed their growth goals in both reading and math. Even more exciting, Warner students led the district in numeracy growth with 78.9 percent of students meeting their goals! 

Shortly after the tornado hit Nashville, affecting many students and families, the school year came to an abrupt and early ending due to COVID-19. BeWell in School immediately pushed out virtual content to continue providing students with strategies to manage difficult emotions and the ever-changing circumstances of our world. 

As we return for an unprecedented school year, BeWell and Warner are excited to continue their partnership! To begin each day of virtual learning, the Warner community comes together for a school-wide Morning Meeting. Dr. Ricki Gibbs, Principal at Warner, opens up the Zoom room for students, teachers, and families to be online together for breakfast and good music. At 8am, he begins the day with morning announcements, the same way he begins each day when we’re in the building. After announcements, Ms. Riki Rattner, Founder of BeWell in School and the BeWell teacher at Warner, comes on to lead the Warner community through a MeMoment, time for each person to focus on themselves, their body, their breath, and their mind, so that they can have the best day possible. Check out these pictures below to see some of our Warner students practicing their MeMoments during Morning Meeting and on their own!

To learn more about this work please check out this video, visit BeWell in School’s website, and follow them on Instagram and Twitter at @bewellinschool! 

To hear from students and teachers themselves, click here: https://youtu.be/1cGYoxT75Lc

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