Be CALM Program Development

Since 2018, we have developed a Be CALM Program for middle school level and one for high school. The middle school program was developed by a research team at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with funding from the Institute of Education Sciences. The high school program was developed with funding from the Administration for Children and Families.

DEVELOPMENT & INITIAL RESEARCH

The Be CALM Program was developed by a research team at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) with funding from the Institute of Education Sciences.

 

Early development was informed by 1) interviews with 30 teachers and counselors across 7 schools in the Triangle region of North Carolina, 2) systematic review of the self-regulation intervention literature, and 3) consultation with North Carolina’s Department of Public Instruction’s Healthful Living Director as well as national experts (Patricia Broderick, John Lochman, Catherine Bradshaw).

During the 2018-2019 school year, the Be CALM Program was pilot tested with over 400 6th to 8th grade students in 28 classes with 5 teachers across three school districts in North Carolina.

DEVELOPMENT TIMELINE

Systematic review of self-regulation intervention literature

Interviews with 30 teachers and counselors from 7 schools

Consultations with Learning to BREATHE and Coping Power developers and NCDPI's Healthful Living Consultant

Piloted with over 400 middle school students in 28 classes with 5 teachers across 3 districts

Randomized control trial with 9 teachers and 480+ students across 4 schools; Results forthcoming

2017

2018

2019

2020

WHAT WE LEARNED

Teacher ratings of student engagement were relatively high (3.5-3.9 on a 1-5 scale for mindfulness practices, videos, and other activities). The large majority of students reported practicing mindfulness outside of class and making progress on goals they were pursuing (69% and 81%, respectively). In feedback sessions, teachers noted that practicing mindfulness was personally useful to them as well as in their ability to respond more calmly and intentionally to students.  

In addition, four school counselors used Be CALM strategies with students where the Be CALM curriculum was being taught. They reported that students were receptive in over two-thirds of their meetings, which focused most often on mindful breathing as well as other emotional awareness and emotion management strategies. They identified clear benefit from having teachers and counselors “on the same page” and “using the same language” to support students in managing their emotions and stress.

During the 2019-2020 school year, the BE CALM Program is being evaluated in a small randomized controlled trial with 9 teachers and 480+ 6th to 8th grade students in 4 schools. Results forthcoming.

Research to Practice

At the end of this project, we will have a fully developed intervention protocol including video-based training resources and a student curriculum manual that we will make freely available for further testing and adaptation.

We will continue to disseminate findings through presentations and publications. We have presented findings at the following conferences:

  • Southeastern School Behavioral Health Conference, Myrtle Beach, SC, April 2019

  • Mindfulness in Education Conference, Omega Institute, NY, July 2019

  • Advancing School Mental Health Conference, Austin, TX, November 2019

 

We were slated to present at the upcoming conferences prior to changes caused by the Covid19 virus:

  • North Carolina Middle Level Educators Conference, Greensboro, NC, March 2020

  • Southeastern School Behavioral Health Conference, Myrtle Beach, SC, April 2020

 

We will provide updates on research conferences where we will be sharing additional information on the curriculum, implementation, and participant feedback. Please connect with us if you are interested in learning more!