About Mindful Schools Retreats

Mindfulness Practice • Community • Connection

Strengthen your inner resilience and gain inspiration alongside a community of like-minded educators. Mindful Schools retreats are an opportunity to expand and deepen personal practice through more dedicated periods of guided practice. Together, we explore and cultivate a range of mindfulness strategies that support educator well-being in the classroom and beyond.

Join us for a day dedicated to mindfulness practice, community, and connection. Our retreats are five-hour, live virtual events guided by Mindful Schools faculty.

Upcoming Retreats

New Year Retreat

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Registration Deadline: January 12, 2023 at 11:59PM PT

This retreat is offered on a sliding scale basis. $245 suggested tuition for families making over $75,000 a year. Register below:

New Year Retreat: Tending the Fire of Inner Joy

Saturday, January 14, 2023
8AM–1PM PT / 11AM–4PM ET
with Dia Penning, Lucy MacGregor, Nathalie Monin Voelker, and Solissa Franco-McKay

Gathering around the warmth of fire during the colder seasons has been a practice since the beginning of time. This gathering is a time of connection, laughter, and community––a lightness in the dark. We will tend to the fires of our own inner joy––find ways to connect to it and cultivate it in ways that feel authentic for us. We welcome you to join us in this communal practice with the Mindful Schools community to remember the lightness in the dark.

This experience is designed to nurture your well-being, supporting you to strengthen your resilience, agency, and inspiration throughout the rest of the school year.

The retreat schedule includes:

  • Guided Silent Practice, Movement, Journaling
  • Connection and Interaction in Small Groups
  • Q&A with Faculty

Read our guide: How to Prepare for Retreat at Home

Mindful Schools retreats are an opportunity to expand and deepen personal practice through more dedicated periods of guided practice. Together, we explore and cultivate a range of mindfulness strategies that support educator well-being in the classroom and beyond. Join us for a day dedicated to mindfulness practice, community, and connection. Our retreats are live virtual events guided by Mindful Schools faculty.

Certificate of Attendance is provided for attendees who meet the criteria, see FAQs.

Registration Deadline: January 12, 2023 at 11:59PM PT

Register Here for $295 – Sliding Scale

Register Here for $245 – Sliding Scale

Register Here for $195 – Sliding Scale

This retreat is offered on a sliding scale basis in an effort to create access for as many educators as possible. We depend on you to select the option that most closely represents your financial capacity. Our intention is to uphold this sliding scaled option for as long as it is sustainable. We thank you for your thoughtful selection. $245 suggested tuition for families making over $75,000 a year.

Meet the Mindful Schools faculty guiding this retreat:

Dia Penning (she/her), Mindful Schools Faculty
Dia shares her expertise from 20 years in integration and systems change, and a lifetime committed to mindfulness. She has served as a K-12 curriculum developer, teacher trainer, arts specialist, mindfulness coach, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion professional, and program administrator. In all her roles she finds the themes that connect teams and organizations to one another and to a greater whole. Dia is committed to whole people, to the development of skills and resources that allow each of us to show up as our authentic selves and to support one another. With a Master in Interdisciplinary Studies from Columbia College, Dia leads international yoga and social justice workshops. She also coaches individuals in somatic awareness for social transformation.

Lucy MacGregor (she/her), Mindful Schools Faculty
For over 20 years, Lucy has taught children and youth in a variety of classroom and therapeutic settings from instructing teens at North Outward Bound School to educating young people in preschool. She co-founded a nonprofit focused on cultivating restorative school communities and expanding capacities of mindful well-being in students, educators, and families. Lucy received her Masters In Education, Mindfulness for Educators, from Antioch University New England and her Early Childhood Montessori Credential from the Center for Guided Montessori Studies.

Nathalie Monin Voelker (she/her), Mindful Schools Faculty
Nathalie shares her expertise from over 20 years in education. She practiced dance for seven years before taking her first yoga class in 2003 just after her daughter’s birth. Yoga and meditation have been long and interesting journeys ever since. For fifteen years, she led education and arts programs serving low income and immigrant families. Combining her passion for movement and philosophy, she currently teaches yoga and mindfulness to students, teachers, and parents in NYC public schools.

Solissa Franco-McKay (she/her), Mindful Schools Faculty
Solissa shares her expertise from over 10 years in education. She has worked with youth as a 7th grade classroom teacher, a college academic advisor, and program manager for a college access non-profit in Kansas City. As a champion for education, Solissa spent the last decade supporting and investing in the growth of adolescents and young professionals. She enjoys connecting people to meaningful experiences that will help empower and nurture their innate leadership skills. Through mindful education, Solissa likes to focus on shining a light on communities who often don’t see themselves in the mindfulness movement or dominant culture.

Why Retreats for Educators?

In our 101 and 201 courses, educators learn that a mindfulness practice is not something that we “achieve” and then check off as complete. It is an ongoing process of learning and investigation into ourselves and our experience. As we cultivate awareness over time, and through more dedicated periods of practice like retreats, we deepen our understanding of what it means to be an embodied educator. This is a foundational element of the Mindful Schools Domains of Mindful Teaching framework (see pg 4), supporting us to approach our work with young people with curiosity and compassion.

What to Expect

Our retreats are five-hour, live virtual events guided by Mindful Schools faculty. Retreats include both silent and guided practices as well as interactive elements to connect with each other as a community.

Since you will be joining us virtually, our faculty will create a retreat container that is both firm enough to hold your experience, and also flexible enough to meet our varied living circumstances. View our guide: How to Prepare for Retreat at Home.

Faculty

All retreats are guided by Mindful Schools faculty. You can learn more about our amazing faculty members, or Program Facilitators, on the “Meet Our Team” page.


Retreat FAQs

How do I join the live event? When you register, you will receive call-in instructions to join the zoom room as well as a 1-hour reminder on the day of the event.

What if I can’t make the live event? This live event will not be recorded. We encourage you to make necessary accommodations to attend the event at the scheduled time.

What can I expect at this retreat with Mindful Schools? Please read our How to Prepare for Retreat guide.

Who is this retreat for? Do I need a certain level of mindfulness or retreat experience to participate? Our retreats are appropriate for all levels of experience. Mindful Schools programs are designed by educators––for educators, counselors, parents, and a wide range of school community members who are excited to share mindfulness with students. We encourage you to take our 101: Mindfulness Foundations course so you may participate with a shared understanding of the Mindful Schools practice framework of secular mindfulness.

Cancellations: In order to receive a full refund, cancellations must be made at least 48 hours prior to the scheduled event. Refunds will not be granted after this time. If you need to cancel and request a refund, please contact support@mindfulschools.org.

Certificate of Attendance:
To be eligible for a Certificate of Attendance, participants are required to:

  • Register and pay for the retreat by the registration deadline (published on the event page)
  • Attend in full. Attendance will be verified if you complete the following:
    • Join the retreat, by web browser or Zoom App (not dialing in by phone) within the first 10-minutes of the start of the retreat.  
    • Join the retreat using the same email as used to register.
    • Stay logged-in, and engaged, for the duration of the retreat.
  • Complete the event survey within 1 week of receiving the link to access the survey. The survey link will be emailed on the day of the event.

Certificates of Attendance will be emailed to those who complete the attendance requirements and submit the survey within the stated time frame. Certificates will be emailed 2 weeks after the event.

Important Notes:

  • Certificates are available only for those who complete the attendance and survey requirements, without exception. 
  • It is the responsibility of the participant to ensure adequate internet reliability and bandwidth. 
  • Incomplete attendance nullifies eligibility for the certificate. Attendance is considered incomplete if the participant joins more than 10 minutes after the start time, has gaps in attendance, or leaves early. We are unable to give partial credit for incomplete attendance. 
  • There is a $20 fee to reissue certificates, and certificates are available only if the attendance and survey requirements were met.

Past Retreats

Summer Retreat

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Registration for this retreat is closed, thank you!

PAST RETREAT:

Summer Retreat: A Mindful Pause

Sat, July 23, 2022, 8AM–1PM PT / 11AM–4PM ET
with Neena Barreto, Solissa McKay, Dia Penning, Devon Sangster Rath

A day dedicated to mindfulness practice, community, and connection. Our retreats are five-hour, live virtual events guided by Mindful Schools faculty and designed to support you.

Summer break is literally a break: between two school years, two groups of young people. We have a chance to pause and reflect on the previous year and build resources for the year ahead.

At Summer Retreat, we’ll explore and cultivate the mindful pause––what it means to be fully present in this time of rest, and how the mindful pause can be a resourcing tool we can bring with us into the school year.

Read our guide: How to Prepare for Retreat at Home

The retreat schedule includes:

  • Silent Practice, Movement, Journaling
  • Connection and Interaction in Small Groups
  • Q&A with Faculty

Mindful Schools retreats are an opportunity to expand and deepen personal practice through more dedicated periods of guided practice. Together, we explore and cultivate a range of mindfulness strategies that support educator well-being in the classroom and beyond. Join us for a day dedicated to mindfulness practice, community, and connection. Our retreats are live virtual events guided by Mindful Schools faculty.

Certificate of Attendance is provided for attendees who meet the criteria, see FAQs.

Registration for this retreat is closed, thank you!

Meet the Mindful Schools faculty guiding this retreat:

Neena Barreto (she/her), Mindful Schools Faculty
Over 20 years in education as a public school teacher and teacher leader; mindfulness instructor for K–6th grade in over 30 classrooms; trainer and coach for both teachers and parents

Solissa McKay (she/her), Mindful Schools Faculty
Over 10 years in education; 7th grade teacher; college academic counselor; program manager for a non-profit youth college access program in Kansas City

Dia Penning (she/her), Mindful Schools Faculty
Over 15 years in education as a teacher trainer, program administrator, Director of Education and Curriculum, and Director of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging in the SF Bay Area

Devon Sangster Rath (she/her), Mindful Schools Faculty
Over 10 years in education as a social worker in an SF high school; passionate about making mindfulness accessible for all, specifically people who have experienced trauma or addiction, and historically marginalized populations––people of color, trans and LGBQ folks, people of size and different body abilities

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