The principal of Steckel Elementary in the Whitehall-Coplay School District told the school board Monday night that his entire teaching and support staff were put through a "mindfulness training" program earlier that day in an effort to improve focus, reduce anxiety, and both energize and calm students down -- all in an effort to promote a more productive learning environment.
Principal Glenn Noack said the program, "Yoga 4 the Classroom," was introduced because his diverse student population often struggles with "executive functioning," which includes impulse, focus and attention control. He explained the students can perform the exercises right from their classroom seats. He added the program will not only help reduce stress and tension, but will also help reduce pre-test anxiety.
Noack said he calls the program "mindfulness training," which includes self-regulating and breathing techniques. Students will be introduced to it beginning Oct. 11.
In other business, new Whitehall High School Principal Nate Davidson and Gavin Wood, president of the student council, said students bought nearly 500 tickets, costing $10 each, to the high school's homecoming dance, which happened Saturday and followed a well-attended bonfire last Thursday night, and a week-long homecoming celebration at the high school.
Davidson recently was hired prior to the beginning of the school year to replace former principal Chris Schiffert, who was promoted to assistant superintendent late last summer.
For the last eight years, Davidson was the assistant principal at Southern Lehigh High School in Center Valley. He lives in South Whitehall Township with his wife and two children.