The Mindfulness Director Initiative, founded in 2019, is placing Mindfulness Directors in five schools across the US in Fall 2020, providing an ideal research opportunity to evaluate the implementation process of school-wide mindfulness programming delivered by a resident Mindfulness Director. The five participating schools include two middle schools, two high schools and a university community, together representing diverse racial, ethnic and socio-economic demographic features. This research will include a case study investigation of the five sites, using mixed methods that include both qualitative and quantitative data, collected from multiple perspectives. Implementation outcomes include acceptability, adoption, appropriateness, feasibility, and penetration of mindfulness programming throughout the school system. Adverse experiences will also be considered. Evaluating the implementation process is critical to successfully and ethically integrate mindfulness into school systems, in order to promote well-being for teachers and students, and foster healthy learning environments and life-long coping skills. The COVID-19 pandemic increases the urgency of this work. Products of this project include a visual timeline of implementation across the first year of having a Mindfulness Director at each site, a conference abstract, and a scientific manuscript submitted for publication.

Rebecca Acabchuk, PhD

University of Connecticut