What is Happiness Studies Academy (HSA)?
As it aligns with BCPS social-emotional and mindfulness initiatives, the Happier School Program (co-founded by Dr. Tal Ben Shahar) Is a comprehensive, multi-year educational intervention program with the purpose of helping an entire school community —students, school staff, and parents—attain higher levels of happiness. The HSA provides a framework for students to gain key SEL skills necessary to identify and manage their emotions, goal setting, show compassion and respect for others, build healthy relationship, and make responsible decisions.
What is the Mission?
Why is HSA important for students?
Two large-scale evaluation studies that have accompanied the program's implemetation in recent years, and have been published in international research journals, have shown a significant association between participation in the progaram and reduction of mental symptoms such as anxiety and depression, increased positive emotions, optimism, improvement in self-esteem in school and academic achievement, which is reflected in a significant increase in the grade average.
What is BCPS doing with the Happiness Studies Initiative?
For students to thrive and flourish in the fast-changing, ever-challenging world, they need to learn more than reading, writing, and arithmetic, more than science, art and the humanities. It is no less important that they learn to find a sense of purpose, take care of their physical wellbeing, learn to grow from failure and hardship, nurture healthy relationships, as well as deal with painful emotions and cultivate pleasurable ones.
These skills and abilities will contribute to students’ overall psychological wellbeing–both making them happier, as well as playing a preventative role, making the present and future onset of mental health issues less likely. Additionally, students will perform better academically and, later, professionally.
The Happier School Program is online in it's entirety and spans at least three years. BCPS's 3 pilot schools receive the following from the Happiness Studies Academy:
What are the vision and goals of the Pilot Study?
- Stay connected with our pilot schools through check-in meetings
- Get all teachers trained → access to platform → development of lesson plans → implementation with students
- Keep connection going within check-in meetings, HSA leaders share best practices and discuss key take-aways from HSA themed lesson plans
- Development of measurement aspect (HSA)
- The goal is to instill happiness with children, so they can live a meaningful and fulfilling life in the present and in later adulthood.
Which Schools are Involved?
BCPS Pilot Schools:
- Elementary School Level- Driftwood Elementary
- Middle School Level- Driftwood Middle
- High School Level- Hollywood Hills High
Who is Dr. Tal?
Where can I find more information?
More information can be found at the Happiness Studies Academy website.
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