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Boarding Student Life : 2021

boarding student life maharishi schoolThe world is our family

Maharishi School is a global community with students and families representing more than 30 countries. Our school community is deeply enriched by students of diverse origin who come together to create global awareness and a vibrant school culture with rich traditions.

We know the decision to send your child to a boarding school far from homestudent at maharishi school is not easy and you are doing this as an investment in their future. We also understand you are making this decision out of love for your child. Because we believe that the world is our family, we take seriously our role as their extended family in the United States.

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Home away from home

The dorm rooms can be customized by each student’s comfort and to reflect their personality. The dorm features amenities such as a common media room where boarders can watch movies or sports on the big screen TV, board games and ping-pong tables, dedicated study hours where students can work productively and quietly, lean on dorm counselors for support in transitioning and who are on hand for assistance, chat with teachers, and more all while having fun.boarding student review Maharishi School is more than just academia or a place to sleep, it’s a community.

When you board at Maharishi School, you get to live next door to your best friends.

Hildenbrand Dorm

Living at Maharishi School, whether in the dorms creates lifetime bonds. Our students have shared experiences that span passion projects, classes, athletic teams, and day-to-day living. You’ll meet and live with people you would never have who come from all over the world to study at Maharishi School. Our new dorm is so close to the classroomboarding student life facilities that it serves as a social center for both residential and day students.

 

To find out more about our boarding program, 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.

How to Help Teens Work Through Daily Stressors

Is it stress or anxiety?

Have you ever felt paralyzed staring at the big letter “F” on a paper or been told that you’ve got to turn your grades around quick or you won’t get into college? Teens face pressures today that may seem easily solved to adults, but can actually make or break the teen’s mental health. So what is the difference between normal every day stressors and anxiety?

According to the Mental Health Curriculum Organization, “The hallmarks of an anxiety disorder are persistent avoidance and withdrawal where it causes major impairment in your life. That’s more than just a stress response.”

 

How can parents help?

How can we expect our children to create healthy habits if we are not modeling it for them? By modeling stress-management we are able to show children what it looks like to assimilate through tough circumstances. Even though our instinct is to protect our children from “negativity,” sheltering them from it can promote the exact opposite. They could be left lacking in their ability to navigate the inevitable highs and lows that will come up in throughout life.

As parents and caregivers, we have an important part to play, by adopting our own healthy habits and helping children and teens find stress-managing strategies. These strategies can even be discussed in a group so that the teen can brainstorm their own ideas and implement them into the family’s stress management model.

  • Model healthy coping. Caregivers can talk authentically with children about how they’ve thought about and dealt with their own stressful situations.

 

  • Let kids be problem-solvers. It’s natural to want to fix your child’s problems. But when parents swoop in to solve every little glitch, their children don’t have a chance to learn healthy coping skills. Let your children try to solve their low-stakes problems on their own, and they’ll gain confidence that they can deal with stressors and setbacks.

 

  • Promote media literacy. Today’s kids spend a lot of time online, where they can run into questionable content, cyber bullying or the peer pressures of social media. Parents can help by teaching their children to be savvy digital consumers, and by limiting screen time.

 

  • Combat negative thinking“I’m terrible at math.” “I hate my hair.” “I’ll never make the team. Why try out?” Children and teens can easily fall into the trap of negative thinking. When children use negative self-talk, though, don’t just disagree. Ask them to really think about whether what they say is true, or remind them of times they worked hard and improved. Learning to frame things positively will help them develop resilience to stress.

To read the NY Times Article about how to protect teens emotional well-being, 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.

Why Shoes? The Story of Micro-Enterprise

This years Raise Craze is focused around shoe donations and you may be curious as to what that’s all about. shoes raise craze

According to a report from the Environmental Protection Agency, in 2015:
• Textiles, including shoes and clothing, represented 16.03M tons and 65.7% of content in landfills.
• In the U.S., each individual produces 4.48 pounds of daily waste, which includes shoes that are thrown away.
Other realities:
• Most people do not know that shoes and clothing can be repurposed.
• 85% of consumer textiles end up in landfills, which is extremely harmful to the environment.
• Consumers are the primary reason for textiles ending up in landfills.
• Approximately 50 percent of collected shoes and clothing are re-used around the world.
• 70 percent of the global population uses repurposed shoes and clothing.

 

Developing Countries Around the World: Focus on Haiti

shoesThe gently worn, used and new shoes that are collected by the thousands of partners of the Funds2Orgs Group shoe drive fundraising brands are consolidated and shipped to many micro-enterprise partners around the world, where they are sold to small business owners for a low price.

The Funds2Orgs Group seeks to provide an opportunity for people to help themselves out of poverty. We do not just give away the shoes, as this would decimate the local market for shoes and clothing and destroy local jobs. Additionally, some developing countries, particularly in Africa, do not permit apparel to be given away. It is for these reasons that the Funds2Orgs Group promotes commerce and business for small business owners. Shoes are sold by these small business owners in communities in need of proper footwear, at an inexpensive price. Additionally, micro-entrepreneurs create a path out of poverty for themselves in countries where there are limited, if any, job opportunities that pay a living wage.

 

Focus on Haiti

Haiti is one of the countries where the Funds2Orgs Group ships the shoes that are collected in shoe drive fundraisers across Northraise craze shoes America. According to reporting by the World Bank:
• Haiti is the most impoverished country in the Western Hemisphere.
• It is the third largest country in the Caribbean, after the Dominican Republic and Cuba.
• Of the country’s population of 10.4 million people, over 6 million (59 percent) live below the national poverty level of
$2.41 USD per day.
• 24 percent of the population, or 2.5 million people, live below the national extreme poverty line, which is $1.23 USD.
• Inflation is high in Haiti, and the average per capita income is $480 USD annually, compared to $33,550 in the United States.

 

Meet the Micro-Entrepreneurs

Silvia

silvia shoesSilvia is one of the people who were able to move from extreme poverty to becoming a successful entrepreneur hiring her own team
of people to work with her because of the shoes collected in the United States. At the time of the 2010 earthquake, Silvia was living with her young son, David, earning about $2 a day. She was living in great poverty, and once the quake struck, she and David lost every material possession they had at the time. After a couple of weeks, Silvia’s friend asked her to help her sell shoes, which were
essential to prevent disease, especially in the aftermath of the earthquake.

Silvia immediately set to work, seven days a week for 12 hours a day, determined to find a path out of poverty for herself and her son. She also wanted David to get educated, which was a tall order in a country where poverty is systemic. However, it was with a focused determination that she was able to work hard, save and then start her own business.

Today, Silvia sells the footwear that she purchases for pennies on the dollar from the Funds2Orgs Group in her community, for a fraction of the original cost, but still at a profit. She has a few people working for her, and now she earns over $60 a day, in comparison to the $2 a day or less she was making before the 2010 earthquake. David was able to graduate high school, as opposed to going to work, and is now attending college, which is a first in the family.

 

David

If you were to walk through the main market in Port-au-Prince, Marché en Fer, you might meet another micro-entrepreneur
named David. He began selling shoes off of a thin carpet that he laid out on the street. The initial inventory, which was two dozens ofdavid shoes shoes that he received to begin his business was given to him, and once he sold that initial batch of footwear, he started to invest a portion of the profits for new inventory.

In Haiti, one of the few job opportunities people have to make money is to sell merchandise, including shoes. David’s wife supported him in his endeavor to become a micro-entrepreneur so they too could create a path out of poverty. David said of the start of his time as a small business owner, “It was not easy at first, but I was able to sell all my shoes and have enough to help my family and buy more shoes to sell.”

Today, David earns enough money in his business that he was able to get his wife to help him. He purchases and sells hundreds of shoes annually with his wife. Additionally, he has also assisted his friends and family in creating their own businesses selling merchandise in Haiti since he’s become successful. We estimate there are over 4,000 families that market our shoes WORLDWIDE.

What happens to the shoes that are not sold by micro-entrepreneurs?

Most of the gently worn, used and new shoes that are shipped to developing nations from North America are sold in local markets by micro-entrepreneurs. However, the shoes that are not sold are used to make and fix products or create something new. Some of these new products can be items such as insulation for homes, stuffing for car seats or furniture.

 

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Adjusting to Covid Protocols in School

The two month mark of being back at school is rapidly approaching. For some of our students this will be their inauguration for being back in a large-group setting for this first time in a year! You may be wondering how the students are handling all of this?

Our directors of the Lower, Middle, and Upper school as well as the boarding student supervisor reflect on how the kids are doing at this point in the year.

Kaye Jacob, Middle/Upper School Director

“This year we plan to launch a Middle School Student Council—and also hold regular MiddleKaye Jacob, Academic Director, Maharishi School
School assemblies. Our goal is to create as much opportunity for leadership experience, active
learning—and fun—as possible. We are also looking forward to being able to take students on
field trips—to outdoor locations such as Wilson’s Orchard as well as to museums and
performance venues, depending (of course) on our capacity to maintain Covid-safe protocols.

I think students are overall less anxious this year about the Covid protocols because they are accustomed to them and, more importantly, I believe that they are convinced that wearing masks and getting vaccinated (as the older ones have) actually have worked to keep our covid mask middle schoolcommunity safe and almost entirely Covid-free all last year. When students see the logic and meaning behind what they are doing, they tend to fall naturally into the routine of it. Not ONE student that I have seen so far has even hesitated to wear a mask–and wear it properly–so far this year.”

 

Lynn Shirai, Lower School Director

Lynn Shirai Lower School Director Maharishi School“The children are accommodating easily to our Covid protocols, and mask wearing seems second nature to them now. There’s a lot of handcovid mask lower school washing and social distancing going on also. Thank you for reminding your children of the importance of following all of our safety guidelines during this time. Everyone seems contented and so full of happiness being with their friends once again.”

David Pohlman, Boarding Student Supervisor

“Like previous years, the boarding students have shown great flexibility with adapting to the pandemic safety protocols. We saw this during the initial days of this school year when students had to follow an “isolation” procedure upon moving into the dorm. Students had to eatdavid pohlman boarding in their rooms and wear masks at all times when outside of their dorm room.
Interactions with others inside the dorm were limited, but encouraged outside. Each of these students needed to complete a final Covid test before joining everyone for regular activities, including in-person school.
We actually have fewer protocols in the dorm than when the pandemic started– mainly because we all have a better understanding of how the virus is transmitted than before.
For example, we no longer emphasize sanitizing surfaces as a strategy for prevention. Also, last year, we were able to have all but one dorm student fully vaccinated at the request of their parents. This year, we currently have a mix of vaccinated and un-vaccinated. We will need to consider what this means for the mask covid kidsliving environment and mask usage there.
Overall, the boarding students go with the flow and show respect toward each other and the safety guidelines we have established for the well being of everyone.”
To read our blog about “What the pandemic has taught us,” click here.

Want to read more about our Return-to-Learn plan, 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.

What the Pandemic Taught Us

Learning from a crises

With the Fall school year rapidly approaching, it seems like a good time to reflect on the past and what we’ve learned. One of the biggest lessons of the last year for parents and school administrators alike is how hard teaching is during a pandemic! Not only did teachers have to be creative and engaging in the classroom but the last year required them to become experts in newmiddle school pandemic mask technologies as well. The next hurdle for teachers to overcome was creating the strategies for getting students to participate in coursework from the comfort of their homes as well as in person. The challenges were endless but so we’re the rewards. Some of which might actually surprise you!

Online learning pros and cons from our teachers

I spoke with Maharishi School’s Third and Fourth-grade teacher Diane James about her experience, “I realized how deep my devotion and commitment was to have my students thrive academically and emotionally through this pandemic.  I moved into action and by the end of the year they truly ‘graduated” from their grade. I introduced Padlet, Google Classroom, Flipgrid, and Jamboard and surrendered to the technical genius of nearly the whole class to master each online program.  These programs connect the hybrid learning situation we were in. We danced and exercised every day.  We went outside whenever we could.”

The struggles that children experience in the classroom often indicate that a student may be having difficulties at home. In the case of the pandemic many members of our school community, students, and adults have experienced hardships.

Diane goes into further detail about this in her classroom, “I allowed myself to be vulnerable.  I cried in front of them (her students). I had to share the times I felt extremely sad and impatient.  I felt them as well. And yet, there was a class consciousness that said,” WE GOT THIS.”

David Pohlman is the Consciousness, Connections, and Life Skills (CCLS) teacher as well as the Residential Life supervisor for the boarding students at Maharishi School. Here is his reflection on what the pandemic has taught him.

“I’m impressed by the adaptable and responsible planning of our school leaders and my teaching colleagues who made a year of hybrid learning safe and successful. The students showed the same level of adaptability and responsibility and it created a sense of normalcy to the school year and whether in-person or online, the students progressed academically with hardly a blip.”

“When I see, too, the divergent responses to the pandemic on a national level, it has made me even more aware of the need to teach critical thinking skills to help students navigate the field of information and misinformation.”

I also talked to Kaye Jacob who is the Academic Director of the Middle/Upper School as well as an ELA and English Literature teacher. She goes into greater detail about the learning curve of last year, “It is by sheer determination, dedication, and professionalism that the Maharishi School teachers

kaye jacob administrator of maharishi school

and staff were able to offer a hybrid model of education for students, essentially letting them choose the mode of delivery that made them feel the safest, even if it meant (as it regularly did) teachers on Zoom calls at 10:00 pm at night with students in Korea, or accommodating just one or two students on Zoom in the classroom while attempting to create interactive, hands-on activities for those attending in person.”

“It was a challenging year, to say the least, and I honestly hope that parents and students appreciate the level at which we were able to ensure that students were, for the most part, meeting or exceeding the curriculum standards in all subject areas, across all grade levels–and even participating in activities, when it was safe.  It is a tribute of course to the resilience of our students themselves and their tremendous level of cooperation and even compliance with the safety standards we implemented, however restrictive they would have felt.”

The curve of online learning

mask pandemicA situation in which a student may be struggling can pivot quickly from containable to critical, especially if the student is already in a vulnerable group. What’s different about the last year for us is that our “vulnerable group” included every student, teacher, parent, and member of our community.

One of the biggest lessons of this past year is to be ready for the unexpected. This is why Maharishi School has put practices in place that ensure the safety of everyone.

We believe that in-person learning is the most effective and that the remote approach to learning is not ideal.  However, our desire is to support each family in the way they believe best supports their children which is why we are offering both learning approaches.

While some of our students have taken to screen school with aplomb and even a greater degree of confidence, others have reported that it is stressful and tiring to be on computers all day long—and that meeting their friends only virtually makes them feel their isolation more acutely.

Emphasize engagement

As an institution, we are committed to supporting our families and students.  Please communicate if your student needs time with our mental health counselor or if you need an alternative tuition payment plan.

“Learning is, or at least should be, a social activity, as students exchange ideas and contribute to activities, building on the divergent skills and aptitudes in the group. It is much more challenging to attempt to simulate that exchange through online learning, although I am amazed at how resourceful our teachers were this year at getting students to be active learners even online, through clever apps and features available to them.” -Kaye Jacob, Academic Director

 

Want to read more about our Return-to-Learn plan, 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.

How to Prepare for School: Fall 2021 Edition

What should you expect?  And who decides?

The Maharishi School Leadership Team make the hard decisions that keep our school in a constant state of improvement. They provide a vision for our future and take the action necessary toRichard Beall execute that vision. When it comes to issues such as the covid pandemic, our Leadership Team gets its cues from a lot of different authorities:

  •        Iowa Governor Reynolds
  •        Iowa legislature
  •       Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  •       Public Health officials
  •       Maharishi International University
  •       Our Board of Directors

Sometimes that input is informational; other times the decisions are made for us, like when the Governor closed in-person schooling in March 2020 or disallowed mask mandates in May 2021.

 

leadership team covid masksWhere do we get information from?

Our Leadership Team is monitoring CDC sources daily for COVID-related developments as we consider our options for 2021-22. We strongly recommend reading the Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools as a guideline.

In this guide you will find that the CDC recommends:

  • In-person learning
  • Vaccination
  • Masks for vaccinated persons

PLEASE NOTE: We have not adopted these recommendations at this point. Everything is still under consideration.

 

What can we prepare for?

At present we can foresee three different types of scenarios for the fall:

 

Scenario One: COVID cases decline, vaccination rates climb, masks become unnecessary. We’re pretty much back to “normal.”covid masks kids in mask

 

Scenario Two: COVID variants prove threatening, some precautionary measures continue, like mask wearing and social distancing.

 

Scenario Three: An upsurge of COVID cases, perhaps due to a variant, requires stronger preventive precautions, ranging from online-only classes to mask wearing mandates.

 

In other words, stay tuned. A survey will be sent to you in early August to solicit your perspective on the situation.

In the meantime, we are open to your input and will respond to questions, to the best of our ability.

 

 

To read about our Coronavirus guidelines, 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.

Middle School CCLS Newsletter: Quilt Tales; Warming Ourselves with Positives of 2020

By Dharma

dharma newsletterDid we ever think there were many positives in 2020? Probably not. Well, in our classes for CCLS, we realized that there actually were: 2020 was an extraordinary and positive year in many ways for all of us. The 6th, 7th, and 8th graders came together and started to work on a quilt. The purpose of the quilt was to show that even though 2020 was tough, because of Covid 19 and other events such as the wildfires in Australia, the US elections, and the stock market crash, we learned and grew a lot.

The process of making the quilt had many steps. First, everyone was given a square, and we needed to think deeply about what was important and meaningful to us, and what positive experiences we got out of 2020. Then we drew and colored a picture that represented our experiences on the fabric.

Next, an accomplished quilter, Roseline Woods, and a proud parent of a middle school child, Danielle Wallace volunteered to help us quilt the cloth squares. We got to use regular sewing machines and a special sewing machine to write our name, grade, and where we were from, on the cloth. Then Ms. Woods took all the squares and put them together to form one coherent quilt. The quilt now hangs in our school corridor, available for people to see and reflect upon.

Making the quilt helped us understand 2020 more deeply and find joy in it. We learned that everything has a plus side; it just takes a little time, effort, and intention to find it.

Poem inspired by the Quilt by Dharmanewsletter quilt middle school

Twenty-twenty is now long gone,

And in all of us, new qualities were born.

In the pandemic, the new “out was in”,

Giving us time to learn, and be with kin.

At home where we had to be,

Our creativity we could see.

We did and we discovered

Things that had to be uncovered.

We tried and we failed,

But each time, determination prevailed.

In the ups and downs, we were crafting history,

And when this time ends, we can share the victory.

The principle Dharma chose to represent in her quilt piece and poem is

Harmony exists in diversity

 

If you have any questions or comments about this newsletter please contact Josephine Ruffin, jruffin@maharishischool.org

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.

Middle School CCLS Newsletter: Better Sleep, Better Life Part 2

By Kate, Kyran, Poojita

newsletter middle school

When you don’t sleep it can make your attitude change. For example, you could get frustrated or mad. It doesn’t only affect you, but it affects other people. For instance, if you don’t sleep enough, you can get lazy and get on other people’s nerves. For example, if someone asks you a simple question or is trying to talk to you, you might answer in a rude or unmannerly way.

To read part one of this feature click here.

 

 

If you have any questions or comments about this newsletter please contact Josephine Ruffin, jruffin@maharishischool.org

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.

Middle School CCLS Newsletter: Better Sleep, Better Life

By Rahini, Yo, and Faeven

Sleep is an important function of the body that helps us rest and recharge for activities ahead. Enough sleep also wards off chronic diseases.middle school newsletter Your lifestyle could damage your body.

Many people take sleep for granted. Sure, you might need to stay up a little later to study for important schoolwork, but if you can, try to avoid staying up all night by not using your electronics or watching TV. It can seriously impact your health, both physical and mental, in the long term.

If you have any questions or comments about this newsletter please contact Josephine Ruffin, jruffin@maharishischool.org

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.

Middle School CCLS Newsletter: Gratitude

By Phoenix, Antariksha, Max, and Makayla

A simple “Thank you” can mean much more to someone than we actually think. In CCLS this year, we learned many valuable lessons, including how to clearly express our emotions, be clearer with our words, and connect with other people.

One big takeaway was one lesson on gratitude, for being grateful leads to your understanding of how to be a better version of yourself. One point that really stuck with us was that a “thank you” couldn’t be forced. It has to be genuine because the person receiving the “thank you” would be able to tell our emotions. Properly expressed real gratitude could really make someone’s day.

middle school kids

Other people aren’t the only ones we can express gratitude to. We can express thankfulness to ourselves, nature, and opportunities for anything that we think is deserving. Before this class, we might have thought that thanking an object was a bizarre practice. Who does that, right?

But the truth is that when we go out of our way to recognize somebody, it makes us feel good about ourselves. It doesn’t matter whether it’s an object or a person. Just that we can appreciate someone else without expecting anything in return except for the feeling of fulfillment we get.

Being grateful is a human thing, here is what some 7th graders are grateful for:

Makayla, for the new shoes she got for Christmas; Max, for his parents allowing him to build a PC; Phoenix, for being able to win level 44 of a game; and Antariksha, for the opportunities in America she has in her life.

Consider being grateful for any of these things: pets, family, education, travel, fun, sunny day, technology, laughs!

 

If you have any questions or comments about this newsletter please contact Josephine Ruffin, jruffin@maharishischool.org

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.