Director Susan Cole describes the work of the Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative and its vision for creating and advocating for trauma-sensitive schools.


Remember, They’re Only 4 Years Old — April 7, 2014

On March 31, 2014, the New York Times published the following Letter to the Editor by Susan Cole and Harrison Polans, responding to an editorial about students being suspended and expelled from schools and highlighting Massachusetts legislation that could serve as a model for the country. LEARN MORE

Understanding of trauma guides Worcester’s response to suspensions — March 11, 2014

Jennifer Davis Carey, executive director of the Worcester Education Collaborative, discusses how an understanding of trauma's impact on learning and TLPI's Flexible Framework is guiding Worcester Public Schools' response to a high rate of suspensions. LEARN MORE

Bill would light way for safe, supportive schools — March 1, 2014

On March 1, 2004, the Boston Globe published a letter to the editor by TLPI on why An Act Relative to Safe and Supportive Schools (H3528) should pass. This law would provide a statewide framework to help schools create the safe and supportive school-wide cultures that are the foundation for a trauma-sensitive school. LEARN MORE


HTCL_book_cover Volume 1
A Report and Policy Agenda
TLPI’s groundbreaking publication describes the impact of trauma on learning and proposes a policy agenda.
Purchase or download


Creating and Advocating for Trauma-Sensitive SchoolsVolume 2
Creating and Advocating for Trauma-Sensitive Schools
This book offers a guide to a process for creating trauma-sensitive schools and a policy agenda to provide the support schools need to achieve this goal
Purchase or download

Full of the wisdom of hard won experience and a flexible framework for change, this volume holds great promise for students, teachers, parents, and entire school systems to transform the historical effects of childhood adversity among students—truancy, expulsion, school failure, and rejection—into the promise of hope, healing, and academic success.

—Robert Anda, MD, MS, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study Co-Founder and Principal Investigator, Co-Founder ACE Interface, Senior Science Consultant to the Centers for Disease Control

…a must-read for school leaders. Volume 1 created awareness of trauma’s impact and laid a foundation on which schools can build. Volume 2 is all about rolling up your sleeves and getting to work. It provides a clear path on how schools can become trauma-sensitive.

—Ryan T. Powers, Principal, Mary E. Baker Elementary School, Brockton, MA and Adjunct Professor, Lesley University



H 3528 in the House Committee on Ways and Means

Click here to email your representative and help get An Act Relative to Safe and Supportive Schools through Ways and Means! This bill will help establish a statewide infrastructure that empowers schools to create safe and supportive environments so all children learn and succeed.



To contact the Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative, click here.

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Dr. Sal Terrasi Discusses Safe and Supportive Schools

Principal Ryan Powers on His Trauma-Sensitive School