Using Data to Find the Happiest School in San Francisco

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The California Healthy Kids Survey helped pinpoint the happiest school in San Francisco.

Visitation Valley Middle School might sound like an affluent school serving an upscale suburb, but as this San Francisco Chronicle article describes the area, “gunfire is as common as birdsong.”

A prime source of happiness at Visitation Valley is Quiet Time, a stress reduction program used at several Bay Area middle and high schools. In 2007, Visitation Valley was the first public school in the nation to adopt the program.

Twice a day, students close their eyes and try to clear their minds. It’s a form of communal meditation, and results suggest it warrants further adoption.

Since the adoption of Quiet Time, the number of student suspensions has decreased by more than 45 percent and is now among the lowest in the city. Daily attendance rates have risen to 98 percent, which is much higher than the city average. Grade point averages have risen, too, along with happiness scores.

WestEd develops and administers the California Healthy Kids Survey for the California Department of Education. It is the largest statewide survey of student well-being in the country.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle
Read the original article: Meditation Transforms Roughest San Francisco Schools

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  1. Donald Sosin says:

    The Quiet Time program is based in the Transcendental Meditation technique, which has been taught to hundreds of thousands of students around the world, veterans with PTSD, and millions of others. More info at

    The technique does not involve clearing the mind, but allowing it to settle down into a state of restful alertness. There is no effort involved, it’s a natural, simple process that is easily learned, and is delightful to experience.