Have You Heard Of Green Organic?

The boarding meals at our school will make you drool

maharishi school alumni brea hallen

Whitney Kemac and Brea Hallen

Maharishi School boarding students have been eating in style with seasonal, vegetarian, meals delivered to them by Green Organic. Green Organic is a local and sustainable catering service created out of Fairfield, Iowa. They provide regularly scheduled meals with the convenience of delivery right to your door!

Green Organic has a passionate commitment to sourcing fresh, organic and local ingredients.  Green Organic is dedicated to seasonal cuisine and sustainable lifestyle. They’re doing their part to improve the environment by utilizing reusable glass containers, wooden boards for catering and reusable bags.

The founder, Whitney Kemac and sous chef, Brea Hallen (who is also a Maharishi School alumni) have answered some questions about catering to our boarding students. You can find more pictures of their delicious food on their Instagram @greenorganicfairfield.

How did you come up with the idea for Green Organic?

boarding meals

Green Organic started when all the restaurants in Fairfield shut down during COVID 19. A family friend posted an ad in the Next Door App looking for homemade meals. Having just moved to Fairfield in December and looking for work, this was something I was excited about and could do while taking care of two young children.

I was able to cook and deliver homemade meals with my kids and maintain minimal contact with my client.  I created a versatile menu of organic ingredients, based on the client’s taste and using whatever I could find from the empty grocery aisles. I created signature sauces, dishes and recipes that would be delicious and healthy-using local ingredients I was able to source during a time when sourcing food was a little scary.

I asked if the client wanted it in some sort of Tupperware and he said “Oh, no no don’t put it in plastic”, so I delivered in a reusable glass container the client could just clean and set out at the next delivery time.  Very quickly my experience with hospitality and culinary arts, love and passion for food came through in the dishes- and word of mouth set off a chain reaction.  I now deliver for 30 special clients, honoring their dietary restrictions the best I can. I am so grateful to have found an amazing team who have come together and believe in the future of Green Organic.

What sort of meals do you have planned for the boarding students?

green organic meals

Our Catering Manager & Sous Chef Brea Hallen and I meet together, test and brainstorm new dishes and flavors we think all would enjoy. The students receive meals from our Fall Menu which you can also check out on our website www.GreenOrganicFairfield.com as well as additional meals we come up with that we think they would enjoy.  They also receive an organic dessert on Thursdays which is fun!

Where do your ingredients come from for those meals?

We source produce from Bob’s Barn (who sources special organic bulk produce for us), Stout’s Market, Fairfield Farmers Market, RPA Garlic Farm, Jorge’s Organics, Tim’s Garden at 8th & Grimes, our Greenhouse at the Depot, our family and friend’s gardens/backyards, Hyvee & Everybody’s Whole Foods.  Foraging is a constant process, but our mission is to support local farmers and work with seasonal, fresh ingredients.

We have a very culturally diverse group of students in the boarding program, do you plan on green organicexperimenting with meals from all over the world to accommodate this?

Definitely, creating a multicultural culinary experience is REALLY important to me.  Since moving from New York City where you can really get that experience right at your fingertips, it was something I missed a lot from my hometown.

The concept for the food is Farm-to-Table World Cuisine, at Green Organic we call it “Farm-to-Door” since most of our meals for Meal Delivery and Catering are delivered. I believe food brings people together and a significant way to connect and learn about different cultures is through food.

Brea and I are working on a little questionnaire for the students to get to know a little more what kind of foods they miss the most from their homes.


Do you feel like Green Organics is gaining support from the Fairfield community?

Green Organic was truly created for the Fairfield community. I honestly never pictured myself becoming a Chef, I don’t have classically trained culinary experience.  But I am very passionate about hospitality and the food/beverage industry.  I am always learning and I am very grateful to have a catering to maharishi boarding studentjob during this time when so many people in the industry are struggling so much.

I was really impressed with how abundantly produce grows in Fairfield coming from a concrete jungle, and my feeling was-Fairfield really needs a Farm-to-Table dining experience.  The delivery option has really seemed essential for many of my clients who either don’t cook, or want to get a break from cooking.  Thank you Fairfield, I am honored to provide you with this service, and I only hope the business continues to grow and reach more of the community.

 

Find out what a day in the life of a boarding student is like, click here.

To learn more about our academics or to contact a member of our admissions staff, click here.

To learn more about school events and student life, follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

To read more about boarding at Maharishi School, click here.

NY Times Article: Dear Teenagers, Here’s How to Protect Your Emotional Well-Being

Teen health is an ongoing conversation that’s so important to have during this unprecedented time. Our teens can feel especially vulnerable and emotionally strained during times of isolation. We love this article written by Lisa Damour posted on the New York Times about teen health that we had to share it with you!

Guidance for teenagers on staying steady in the turmoil of the pandemic.

Following my most recent column offering adults a 2020 back-to-school list for teens’ emotional well-being, several teenage commenters asked that I address them in the same way that I address their parents: “as intelligent people who have the tools to support themselves and their loved ones through this trying time.”

Dear teenagers, you are right. And I’m so glad you asked. Here’s my guidance on what you can do to keep yourself steady in the turmoil of the pandemic.

Make the Most of Your Emotional Superpowers

Teenagers experience feelings more intensely than adults do, both negative and positive ones. While this amplifies the psychological discomfort you’re certainly experiencing right now, it also means that you get more out of pleasures and delights. These days the only bright spots many of us are finding are small ones, and for a lot of adults, these don’t feel very satisfying. But for you, small comforts and joys are more comforting and joyful than they are for adults. So, when your mood needs a lift, make the most of this emotional superpower.

What makes this power work for you will be highly personal. You might enjoy video games, pumpkin spice treats, cuddling your pet, being in nature, listening to music, going for a run or doing something else altogether. The adults in your life might not quite grasp how happy it makes you to watch your favorite movie for the umpteenth time. That’s OK. Just know what gives you a boost right now and enjoy it fully.

Trust Your Feelings

When you are worried, sad, stressed, frustrated or anything else, trust that you are almost certainly having the “right” feeling. I say this because you have been raised in a culture that is unnecessarily fearful of unpleasant emotions and which may have given you the impression that emotional distress invariably signals fragile mental health. This is not true. In upsetting times, feeling upset proves, if anything, that your emotions are working exactly as they should. You are in touch with reality — a painful one though it is — and attuned to your circumstances.

When your mood is good, trust that too. With the world off its axis, you might wonder if it’s all right to let yourself feel at ease. It is. Should you notice that calm emotional waters follow stormy waves of distress, don’t assume that you have somehow lost touch. In all likelihood, you have processed and moved past a painful mood, largely by allowing yourself to have it.

Count on Your Psychological Circuit Breakers

Sometimes we helpfully make room for unpleasant feelings. Other times psychological defenses kick in on their own like circuit breakers to protect us from emotional overload. Though psychological defenses can be problematic, such as when people use denial to ignore a painful truth, they are often healthy and can help us regulate how much of an upsetting situation we take on all at once.

For instance, you might notice that the anger you feel about your disrupted school days gives way to an appreciation for your growing self-sufficiency. Shifting from exasperation to rationalization maintains your connection to what’s happening while reducing the emotional charge. Using humor — say, when you are inspired to find inventive ways to crack up your classmates to manage the sheer frustration of sitting through online classes — works the same way. Here’s the point: Your mind is built to help you through this hard time. Put stock in its ability to keep your emotional current at manageable levels.

Have a Basic Plan for Mental Health Maintenance

Plenty of sleep and physical activity will improve your mood, reduce your stress, and increase how much you like yourself and other people. Enjoy the company of people who soothe and energize you. Steer clear of those who leave you feeling stirred up or spent.

Distribute your mental energy with care. So much will go sideways this year, and you have every right to resent the challenges and frustrations of Covid-19. Allow yourself time to be upset. Then try to direct the bulk of your energy toward that which you can control. What kind of friend do you want to be this year? What do you want to learn and get better at? What can you do to support others? Focus on what remains within your power, because exercising that power will help you feel better.

Understand When to Worry

If distress is to be expected, when is it time to worry? A first reason would be if your unwanted emotions start to feel like bad roommates: constantly around and taking the fun out of everything. It’s one thing if sadness, anxiety, irritation, outrage or grief stop by for a visit. But it’s another if they move in or linger for more than a day or two.

A second reason for concern would be if you find yourself routinely using unhealthy strategies to numb or contain painful feelings. Avoiding everyone, being cranky all the time, misusing substances, or sacrificing sleep to binge on social media may bring relief in the short term but create bigger problems down the line.

Finally, you should be worried if you feel you might harm yourself or do not feel safe in some other way. Should you be concerned about your own well-being, or that of a friend, reach out to a trusted adult. Tell a parent, a counselor at your school, or any other grown-up you can count on to take the situation seriously and mobilize the proper supports.

These are incredibly difficult times that are emotionally taxing for everyone. But teenagers should not underestimate the value of their own special strengths. Understanding, harnessing and protecting your mental health resources will serve you well now, and for the rest of your life.

 

School in the Time of a Pandemic

Things are different this year…

sanitize hands students 2020 coronavirus pandemic

Students using hand sanitizer before each class.

It’s two weeks into the 2020 school year at Maharishi School and the students are just starting to settle into

their new way of learning in a pandemic. For some that means social distancing and wearing a mask inside the classroom with their peers, for others that means staying home and logging into Zoom on the computer.

We currently have 72% of our student population in person, who get their temperature taken each day, sanitize their hands before stepping into the classroom and wear masks while inside the building.

How do the kids feel?

indie in school learning kindergarten during pandemic

Indie Picard

I’ve gotten feedback from several parents and students about what they’re going through with this new hybrid learning. Emmy Auge is the mother of Indira Picard, a 5 year old who just started Kindergarten and is doing in-class learning.

 “Indie is doing better with her mask than I anticipated, she’s definitely understanding the safety precautions of wearing it. Her class size is so small that it seems less scary for her than if she was in a class of 20 or 30 kids. I’m happy with her being in school because I know she missed the stimulation and routine of school. Seeing her friends, even if it’s from a distance, is so beneficial for her happiness.”

Lily Fenton is 16 years old, in 11th grade and participating in both in-class and online learning, here she talks about these changes;

lily in school and online learning during pandemic

Lily Fenton

    “I’m doing well with in school learning, although it is weird having half of my class online. I like having a schedule and a place where I can have face-to-face connections. Before coming to school in-person, I thought that online school was my preference, however, I have found that I am more productive when I have the feeling of physically going somewhere. Additionally, during our first days of school, I thought that the masks and new protocols were hard to deal with because it was something I was not used to. Now, the masks and protocols have reached normalcy and have integrated well into my day to day life.”

 

What’s it like learning online?

Natalie Kahiu is 9 years old in 4th grade and her mother Mala Markowitz talks about how she’s currently doing with online learning;

      “Natalie wakes up enthusiastic and eager to learn remotely from the comfort and ease of home. She loves to go outside in her new

natalie online learningneighborhood during recess or writing to reflect on the world around her. She likes to draw and write about what she sees. So much to learn! She loves remote learning. Her next big adventure is global learning where she gets to travel in an RV and move around from state to state learning about different cultures, food and people. She wants to study anthropology in college and she wants to be an anthropologist when she grows up.”

Return to learning during a pandemic

At Maharishi School we believe that in-person schooling is the priority for the holistic health and development of our students. In-person education allows greater social-emotional experience with peers and teachers, more hands on learning, and more easily facilitated group projects.

We are still accepting applications for the 2020-2021 school year. Our Admissions Team is available to connect and we encourage you to reach out to us at admissions@maharishischool.org

To learn more about how Maharishi School has responded to the coronavirus pandemic, click here.

To learn more about our academics or to contact a member of our admissions staff, click here.

To learn more about school events and student life, follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Missing Maharishi School Tennis? We Have Too!

History of Tennis

maharishi school tennis champions

Tennis is one of the predominant sports at Maharishi School. Our Pioneer tennis program is renowned in Iowa for 20 State Championships–singles (9), doubles (6) and team tennis (5). Maharishi School is the only Iowa high school to win three Triple Crowns (1999, 2000, 2014) winning State Singles, Doubles, and Team titles in the same year. It’s also true that Maharishi School is the only Iowa high school to win consecutive Triple Crowns–1999 and 2000. Needless to say we love tennis!

Our four indoor courts and our outstanding coaches provide a path to excellence and several of our graduates have gone on to compete at the university level.

On-court success can be measured in another way, beyond wins and losses. We have a proud tradition of exemplary sportsmanship, of demonstrating our school’s Core Values of Respect and Responsibility, even in the heat of competition. That is social and emotional fitness, another factor in a well-balanced, integrated life.

Tennis tournament in Fairfield

Maharishi School didn’t get to have a spring tennis season at all this year due to the coronavirus, so our Head of School Dr. Richard Beall organized a fun and competitive tournament! This way everyone who missed out on the previous season could join together with the addition of teachers, alumni and community members. Here are some pictures of those who participated in the event.

 

maharishi school girls sportsmaharishi school alumni tennismaharishi school boys sportsmaharishi school tennis

Click here to see more pictures from the event on our Flickr account!

To learn more about our academics or to contact a member of our admissions staff, click here.

Find out about our school events and student life, follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

How to Shift Teens from a Complainer to a Reformer?

Learning to command change

Teens today can often be misunderstood. Their dialogues are quick to get emotionallyempowering teens charged and the older generation could describe them as complainers.  I would not argue with that label at times, but, as with all characteristics, it has a flip side that can be embraced. We have to ask ourselves, how do we as adults help to empower teens to become reformers and not complainers?

Teens will at times find complaints about life inside their social circles, family life, or at school. As parents we wish we could tell our kids to demand a higher expectation or outcome for their life and from their friends. Instead of complaining we want to shift their perspective to the status of a reformer who can take charge of their life and do what needs to be done. So how can the change be made from a complainer to a reformer?

How to become a reformer

The definition of a reformer is a person who makes changes to something in order to improve it. As a teen this can be done by becoming highly alert to your surroundings and its context.

“When you start to feel yourself wanting to complain or are unhappy with your current situation, stop and examine those feelings. Ask yourself, what can I do to change this?

empowering teensIf it feels like something is out of your control, find someone with a higher amount of control and approach them to make the change.”

Even if the teen is unable to physically make the change, that doesn’t mean they can’t start a conversation with people who can!

The parents role

Instead of complainers, I advise parents to see your teens as reformers. Meaning that they’re not satisfied with the way things are because they know it could be better and are willing to work to change them. Feeling powerless is often the source of teen angst. Therefore parents need to put them in a position of power in which they can solve their own problems, as set up and modeled by the adults.

You can start in the home. Interview your teen, or start the tradition of family meetings, to see what they’re happy and unhappy with in the family setting. Having power at home can give them that boost of confidence they need to make changes at school or even in their social circles. A teens observations and demands for change come from a passionate belief that life should be as good for everyone as it has been for themselves.

This can be done by demanding equity and compassion in all areas of life. Becoming areformer is a powerful position from which to approach the wider world that our teens inevitably enter. Teens today represent a cross-section of the world across all parameters—women and men of color, a range of religions and ethnicities, national origins and visa

healthy teens at a party, empowering teens

statuses, complex family dynamics, sex and gender roles.

Challenging teens to do the work

We have many teens today that are willing to do the work to make the changes.  We must present them with the right challenges to get them moving in a positive direction. We want our teens to work hard and take full advantage of any opportunity or challenge put in their path.

Your teen can go from being a complainer to being someone who is willing to jump in and work hard to make that change happen, not perfectly from the beginning but ideally in the end.

Learning to be a reformer is never a clean and perfect process but we take and celebrate each small accomplishment along the path. Our role as parents is to call it out and say “I see your power in action, keep building on that!” Teens are going through many changes on the physical and emotional level. Help your teen by adding a tool for releasing stress into their daily routine. Click here to learn about Transcendental Meditation for your teen!

Interested in learning about how the hero’s journey narrative can help your teenager? Click here.

To learn more about Transcendental Meditation at our school, click here.

To learn more about our academics or to contact a member of our admissions staff, click here.

Find out about our school events and student life, follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Private School Profile: Maharishi School

Pop Quiz

Interested in learning more about a private boarding school in Iowa? Here are five questions and answers, that will introduce you to the world of Maharishi School!

  1. What will my child have to wear?

boarding students at Maharishi SchoolPrivate schools tend to have dress codes. Most are fairly simple, but some require clothing with the school logo. If the school your child is attending requires a specific logo or emblem on the clothing, they will direct you to the place you can purchase this article of clothing. For example, at Maharishi School, we go through Lands’ End for our school uniforms. We provide a special link to our uniforms.

2. Can I receive financial aid?

Definitely, over 70% of our students receive financial aid! Click here to find out more details on domestic and international boarding tuition and financial aid packages.

3. Will my child get the individual attention that they need?

Yes! Our teacher to student ratio is 1:5. This allows our teachers to make valuable connections with their students that last a lifetime.

4. If my child has a special skill, will they have time to advance in that area?

Our  Project-Based Learning Period gives students 70 minutes to explore their passions threerocketry project based learning at maharishi schooldays a week, whether in a teacher designed project or one they have proposed as an independent or small group project. They are exercising real-life skills in areas of interest, supported by teachers, community experts, and/or online resources. Project Period is another doorway to finding oneself.

5. What do you offer for stress management for my child?

At Maharishi School we invest in rest—of a special kind. Our students and teachers take time to transcend twice a day, with the practice of yoga and Transcendental Meditation. students meditate and release stressThis allows them to gain deep rest and dissolve stress before it accumulates. It improves brain functioning. In a world of nearly incessant outer stimuli, it gives them a respite of inner silence, a connection with their own individual true self.

Interested in learning more about why do people choose private schools? Click here to read our blog about it!

Click here to read our profile on Boarding School Review.

To learn more about our academics or to contact a member of our admissions staff, click here.

To learn more about our school events and student life, follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

 

Helping Teens Grow in Times of Crisis: The Hero’s Journey 

How can heroic narratives help teenagers?

We can look at “the hero’s journey” as a framework for what we are collectively experiencing as a society today.  Joseph Campbell is perhaps the world’s most renowned expert healthy teens at a partyon mythology and advisor to the likes of George Lucas, who based Star Wars on this archetypal journey. As adults, we need to help our students/children find their own archetypal journey amidst the grief and loss they are experiencing. We seek to reframe these challenging times in a way that is realistic, while observing quarantine protocol, but also give them hope for the future.

I want to talk about what has become an important topic during this time of isolation: the social-emotional well-being of our students. The stress and anxiety that adults experience are felt even more intensely by our adolescents. They may express their feelings in ways that are hard to interpret and even downright exasperating. That’s why the Hero’s Journey  can be a useful template to young adults and I am including a diagram of the journey, as I think it might be helpful for you to share with your children.

The Hero’s Journey

The Hero’s Journey is a classic story structure that’s shared by stories worldwide. Designed by academic Joseph Campbell in 1949. Many author’s draw on it to illustrate a wide-ranging category of tales in which a character ventures out to get what they need, faces conflict, and ultimately triumphs over adversity. The Hero’s Journey can be broken up into 4 main parts.

heros journey for teens in crises

Part 1: The ‘Call to Adventure’

The journey begins with some event that pulls the hero away from the comforts of home into an unknown world. Resistance to the call (the pull to remain in a child-like state) is normal as venturing out into the unfamiliar can be a daunting task. According to Joseph Campbell there could be a supernatural guide or mystical item that encourages the hero to go forward.

 

 

Part 2: The Initiation

Once the call to adventure is accepted by the hero, the journey will be the ultimate test and reveal  their true nature. The trials experienced on this road will force the hero to lose old coping skills and be pushed to new levels of self discovery. All energy in this phase is concentrated on resolution. A humbling of our hero occurs when there’s successes and failures, discovering new values, beliefs, and gains a deeper wisdom because of this. In this phase our hero may find a mentor or seek guidance from a higher power to aid on their journey

One example of the therapeutic use of the Hero’s Journey is by the CRC Health Group , which includes a wildlife treatment program that helps over 30,000 people every day overcome addiction and related issues. Meghan Vivo reflects on this issue in her blog “Slaying the Dragon: Teens Embark on the Hero’s Journey in the Wilderness.”

“Although the mythological road of trials is made up of ogres, demons, and three-headed monsters, today’s teenage hero faces obstacles like overcoming his use of alcohol, drugs, or other addictive and high-risk behaviors. His battle is with himself.”

Part 3: The Hero’s Transformation

The actions taken thus far on the journey have deeply changed our hero. There’s an inner and perhaps outer transformation that takes place when all tasks have been completed. This is necessary before the hero can return home with an expanded vision of life, a matured understanding of self, and lessons that will enrich the family as well as the boarding students at Maharishi Schoolcommunity.

Part 4: The Return 

The hero has a transformed perspective and is therefore “reborn” into an evolved version of self. Meaning has been found in the hero’s life where before there may have been a sense of purposelessness. Our hero has triumphed over the enemy and has returned with the freedom to live.

Life slows down and growth speeds up

You may be wondering what all of this has to do with being a teenager during a pandemic. Well many who study Joseph Cambell have related the coronavirus to a similar catalyst in the Hero’s Journey, the dark night of the soul. Here is an article by Vogler that he wrote a number of years ago explaining the hero’s journey. The website actually includes a new article that specifically likens Covid 19 to the “dark night of the soul.” Vogler explains in the following paragraph what that means.

“If it (coronavirus) really is the global darker night where the self-destructive complexity became as bad as it could get and in order to survive we had to hit a wall, then the virus is going to remain long enough to complete what it needs to do to create the circumstances needed to complete our transformation.”

Today’s experience of isolation can push us to the brink of what we previously were comfortable with in our minds. Perhaps we are forced to examine unhealthy habits of eating, or parts of ourselves that need closer work. This anxiety and/or depression that people are experiencing can be channeled into a drive for growth, adventure and challenge. One way that inner growth can be achieved is through the Transcendental Meditation® technique. To transcend, by definition, means to go beyond human limitations and to break boundaries. At Maharishi School, we teach you a technique to break internal boundaries and to sink deep into yourself, to tap into your essence and live in a state of flow.

Consciousness-based education

To learn more about the Hero’s Journey during the coronavirus click here.

To learn about Transcendental Mediation at our school click here.

To learn more about our academics or to contact a member of our admissions staff, click here.

To learn more about school events and student life, follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Maharishi School in the Southeast Iowa Union 4/30/20

Classes have continued over Zoom for Fairfield’s private school

FAIRFIELD — While most schools in Iowa have opted for voluntary distance education during this quarantine, Maharishi School has not. The private school in Fairfield specializing in consciousness-based education has made its coursework mandatory.

That means the school can do everything it would during a normal school year, like give grades, which schools doing voluntary learning have offered options of giving students a “P” for passing instead of typical letter grades.

Maharishi School Head Dr. Richard Beall

Dr. Richard Beall, Maharishi School Head

Richard Beall, co-head of the school, said there were a number of reasons Maharishi School chose to make its classes mandatory, one of which was that administrators believed the students would benefit from sustained structure to their days. But first, the school had to determine whether its students had access to internet and devices to allow for online learning.

“We had to troubleshoot solutions for some families, and there are still instances where signal strength or other problems occur,” Beall said. “But generally our students and families have been able to connect and adjust to this different type of learning.”

Beall said most students strongly prefer the traditional, in-person style of education. Some students actually prefer the online model, while others are struggling with it.

“That is definitely a downside to this, but we’re trying to make adjustments — in collaboration with our teachers, students, and parents — to help these students succeed,” Beall said.

Parental investment

Another reason that Maharishi School is requiring participation is that parents have made a financial commitment to the school, and the school wants to fulfill its responsibility by finishing the academic year to the best of its ability. Academic director Kaye Jacob said a number of parents from other countries have sent their children to Maharishi School to prepare them for entry into U.S. colleges and universities.

“They have entrusted their children to our care and we want to provide them the best support we can, from keeping them safe in the dormitory on campus to offering them a full academic experience even under these circumstances,” Jacob said. “For those students who went home early, that even means setting up synchronous tutorial sessions for them when it is evening here and morning there, just to be sure they are able to keep up with their classes.”

Kaye Jacob, Academic Director, Maharishi School

Kaye Jacob, Academic Director, Maharishi School

The school’s enrollment director Carol Chesnutt said those boarding students who returned home to China or Korea last month are expected to complete their work just like everybody else.

“Of course, we don’t expect them to stay up until 4 a.m. to attend all the classes but they do need to arrange a separate time to meet with the teacher during the early morning or evening,” Chesnutt said. “This has stretched the workload for many of our high school teachers, but we do what we have to do to get these students ready for college.”

Maharishi School students will receive a full semester’s credit for their work, and most importantly, Jacob said, they will be ready for their next adventure. The school’s seniors have gained admittance to demanding colleges such as Oberlin, Sarah Lawrence, Princeton, Agnes Scott, the University of Iowa and Iowa State University.

“A significant number of our students are taking AP exams in a total of 11 different courses this spring and of course we want them to be fully prepared for those exams also,” Jacob said.

Jacob said the school has worked with families to set them up for distance education, whether by helping them get internet connectivity and even dropping off resources at their homes.

“For us, there really has not been a disadvantage to making school mandatory,” Jacob said. “I think our parents appreciate it also, as their kids are productively occupied all day long.”

Getting ready

In March, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds announced that classes would be suspended beginning March 16 to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Even before this announcement, Maharishi School was busy preparing for distance learning. It used a professional development day to make a plan, and rolled it out two days before the school’s scheduled Spring Break. The school and its students took that break as planned, from March 23-27, during which time its teachers were preparing for online courses once the break ended.

Explore maharishi preschool“The next big reality check was when we knew this wasn’t a stopgap but would be our mode of instruction the rest of the school year,” Jacob said. “That called for some additional changes and adaptations, especially in preschool and Lower School.”

Online learning

Chesnutt is teaching an AP economics course to upper school students, and she’s found plenty of material on the internet for her students to study. She said she has made use of the “flipped” classroom model, whereby students are asked to watch a video or read an article at home, and then she will recap the concept and discuss the more obtuse issues during class time.

“Because I only have seven students in my class, I can easily attend to each student and be mindful of who is leaning out rather than leaning in,” Chesnutt said. “In Zoom, you can read a student’s face or expressions much more readily than in a physical classroom. As some students are digesting a new concept, they lean in to the screen, tilt their head, and within seconds they are raising their hand with a question. This close-up view on the learning process is a thrill to me.”

Laurie Eyre teaches two mathematics courses in the upper school. The classes last just 30 minutes each, which means Eyre must be “well organized and efficient.”

“Every minute counts,” she said.

Maharishi School Screenwriting project- online learningThe students meet once a day, five days a week. Eyre said she’s fortunate that her classes are relatively small, which makes it easier to interact and communicate with all the students.

“Zoom has wonderful features like ‘chat’ where I can send a message to all students, a few or one,” she said. “The breakout room feature allows for group work or private meeting time with one or more students without disturbing the others.”

In addition to being head of middle and upper schools, Jacob teaches an 11th grade English class. Her students are working on a literary analysis paper, a major assignment, and that means she often holds video conferences with each student individually as well as in a group.

The school’s physical education teachers are assigning homework, too, in the form of a scheduled fitness regimen. Zara Colazio, who teaches PE along with health and math, remarked “While they are doing their fitness routines on Zoom, I can mute their moans and groans if I want to and just watch the workout.”

Lower school

Lynn Shirai is director of the lower school, covering grades 1-6, and she also teaches third-grade writing. The lower school began its distance education using learning packets from March 18 through April 10, but since then has transitioned to remote online learning through Zoom like the other grades.

The students are receiving instruction in reading, writing, science, social studies, math, physical education, art, and the Science of Creative Intelligence. Shirai said the school is

Lower School student makes bird feeder at home learningtrying to keep parent-assisted homework to a minimum since so many parents are also working at home.

Shirai said teachers are constantly coming up with innovative ways to incorporate hands-on activities with the students, something that is not easy when they can’t meet in person. For instance, many of the grades performed hands-on projects for Earth Day. Second-graders made their own bird feeders.

 

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Supporting Our Students Through Crisis

Safety First

The coronavirus pandemic has changed many things about our daily lives as well as our supporting students through coronaviruschildren’s education. In these times of uncertainty, where is the best place for your children to continue their education?  Here are a few reasons you might want to choose Maharishi School:

  • #1 in Best Private High Schools in Iowa We’re the #1 private/boarding school in Iowa, and the health and safety of our students is OUR #1 priority. One parent has shared their review “My children attended Maharishi School from K-12 grade and it has been the best experience for them. My daughter having just completed her Masters degree in Fisheries and Aquaculture has her dream job in New Zealand. My son is finishing his degree in Software Engineering. Very proud of them and couldn’t have done it without Maharishi School.”
  • Fairfield’s small population makes it a safe town to live in (see our blog about the Top 10 Benefits of Living in a Small Town) for reasons such as having low crime rate, no traffic, and a strong sense of community.
  • Local businesses have stepped up to make their essential services safe for customers. In response, our community is showing immense support for the small businesses that are taking a hit because of the coronavirus. Click here to see what fairfield community member Hannah Layne Nichols has created to raise over $5,000 for local businesses.

Self Care: Stress management for a stressful time

Maharishi School Screenwriting project- online learning

Evelyn Chase Winer, Senior at Maharishi School

While everyone is staying safe at home, releasing built-up stress becomes even more crucial. Our students at Maharishi School have segments of meditation built into their online courses. I interviewed Maharishi School senior, Evelyn Chase Winer, about what her meditation means to her during the time of the coronavirus.

1) How is your meditation more important to you during times of high stress?
Evelyn: During more stressful times, I look forward to having time to sit down and relax. It definitely becomes more important and useful when I am stressed.
2) Have you noticed a change in your stress levels now that you are doing online learning?
Evelyn: I have become a lot less stressed. Being able to stay home all day, relax, not worry about travel, and be comfortable all day while still getting the same amount done is nice.
3) In general, how do you feel about your meditation practice?
Evelyn: I enjoy meditation, just closing my eyes when I’m constantly doing things lets me settle in and be fully aware of how my mind feels. When I don’t meditate for a long period of time, I notice that I can become anxious about simple things. Meditation is a great way for me to clear up my foggy mind and think more clearly.

Creative and Flexible Education

During this lockdown all students at Maharishi School are currently engaged in remote students doing projects online during coronavirus pandemiclearning. As this crises evolves we will continue to flex and respond to the needs of our students. We may be able to return to in class learning but, regardless, our focus will always be on the individual needs of the students. This is the advantage of being a small school where every child is known and every child is attended to.

What is our response to the coronavirus?

As a small school with a competent and compassionate staff, we can assure you that Maharishi School will reach across this digital divide to care for each student. We ask that you also share with us your thoughts, ideas, and concerns so we can collaborate for your child’s best interests and on-going educational experience. Our school updates parents on safety and what our school is doing to prevent an outbreak several times a week. Our administration is in constant contact with the local public health officials. Click here to read more about how the school is responding to the coronavirus.

fairfield iowa

To learn more about our academics or to contact a member of our admissions staff, click here.

To learn more about school events and student life, follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Feel Stressed? Add Meditation To Your Quarantine Routine

What if all of this is stressing you out???

With all of the news and social media overstimulating us, it’s normal to feel stressed. During this time we find ourselves searching for an inner state of calm. Sometimes we turn to forms of self care such as learning yoga, doing a face mask, organizing the house, or binge watching TV shows. While these things make us feel better on the outside, there’s a deeper

students meditate and release any feeling stress

level of stress that can be released. This can be achieved through the Transcendental Meditation® (TM) technique.

What is Transcendental Meditation?

The nice thing about the Transcendental Meditation® (TM) technique is that you can do it anywhere, at any time (even in the middle of a pandemic)! TM®  is a simple, natural technique that’s easily taught through one-on-one instruction by a certified TM® teacher. It’s not a religion, philosophy or lifestyle. To transcend, by definition, means to go beyond human limitations and to break boundaries.

Meditation + Online Learning

At Maharishi School, we teach you a technique to break boundaries and sink deep into yourself. Here, we believe that all parts of ourselves should be developed – the body, mind, heart, and consciousness, and, therefore, the practice of TM® is required for all students. Even our online learning day has time for meditation built into it!

To learn more about Transcendental Meditation at our school, click here.

To learn more about our academics or to contact a member of our admissions staff, click here.

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