Nurtured Heart in Schools

The Nurtured Heart Approach® (NHA) is a set of strategies for social and emotional learningThis approach encourages all students, even those with emotional or behavioral disorders, to thrive not only socially and emotionally, but academically as well.  This is the foundation for building safe, respectful, cooperative and connected classroom environments and school culture.

The Nurtured Heart philosophy is based on creating caring relationships by acknowledging students when they are exhibiting good behavior, and teaches strategies which continue to reinforce appropriate conduct. 

The NHA is being used in thousands of classrooms and schools (E-12) across the United States as well as internationally, creating positive school environments and academic success.  


The NHA core principles are founded on 3 Stands™:

(1) Absolutely No! Refusing to give energetic relationship to negative behavior, (2) Absolutely Yes! Relentlessly bestowing relationship by recognizing positive behavior, and (3) Absolute Clarity!  Being very clear and consistent with rules and boundaries.

Studies have shown that when the NHA is introduced in schools, student’s disruptive behaviors in the classroom decrease.  Students feel connected and appreciated through positive relationships with teachers and learn to manage their own behavior! Data also reveals that teacher attrition drops, and academic success increases.  

See Programs and Classes for training and workshops that can be tailored to fit your schools needs.

Findings on NHA's effectiveness in schools...

Arizona Elementary School.  The NHA was implemented school wide in 2000.  At the time, this school was experiencing eight times the average of the districts school suspensions.  The rate of students being served under special education services was 15%, and teacher attrition was 50%.  Since NHA was implemented, only one student has been suspended.  As of 2006, students being served under special education services dropped to 1%, and teacher attrition dropped to 1%.  There have been zero cases of bullying.  Additionally, standardized tests have risen dramatically, with 85% of students meeting or exceeding standards as measured by AIMS math exam (2006-07).

Illinois Middle School.  The NHA was implemented in 2007.  At the time, this diverse school had over 48% minority students, 40% being African American.  Prior to the implementation of the NHA the African American student's academic scores on the Illinois State Learning Standards (ISAT) revealed that just 30.5 % were meeting or exceeding in reading and only 15.9% were meeting or exceeding in math.  In 2010, 70.6% of those same students were meeting or exceeding in reading, a 40.1 percentage point increase, and 75.3% were meeting or exceeding in math, a 59.8 percentage point increase.  Additionally, referrals for behavioral misconduct saw an 81% decrease.  The NHA “changed everything about who we were as a school, as a culture, as a climate” (Principal, 2010; IL State Board of Ed).

Virginia Elementary School.  The NHA  was implemented in 2008.  One year later disciplinary data showed suspensions were reduced 32%, administrator-parent conferences reduced 83%, classroom disruptions reduced 68%, bus misconduct incidence reduced 86%, truancy conferences reduced 83%, and other disciplinary infractions were reduced from 18 to 7, all occurrences being less serious.

"Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all." ~Aristotle

For more information on NHA in schools, and further research findings, go to:

Nurtured Heart In Schools - Video Clips