TLPI Video: Impact of Trauma on Learning Part 3: Relationships — September 15, 2018

In this post, we are excited to share the third in our three part series of short videos on the impacts of trauma on learning, classroom behavior, and relationships. One of the most important roles schools can play in the lives of students is helping them to have good relationships with peers and adults. Research indicates that positive student-teacher relationships can help increase academic engagement and performance. But for students impacted by traumatic experiences, forming and maintaining relationships with their peers and with the adults around them can be challenging.  To learn more, please view the video below. LEARN MORE

Safe and Supportive Schools Grant Opportunity through MA DESE — August 16, 2018

MA DESE announces that the Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) Safe and Supportive Schools Grant Program (Fund Code 335), funded through the Safe and Supportive Schools line item (7061-9612), is now accepting proposals for the 2018-19 school year.  For more information, please see the FY19 fund code 335 RFP Page LEARN MORE

Great News! Conference Committee increases funding for the Safe and Supportive Schools line item — July 19, 2018

Great news! The Conference Committee voted to increase the FY 19 Safe and Supportive Schools line item (7061-9612) to $700,000, an increase of $200,000 over the FY18 budget. LEARN MORE

Budget amendment for the Safe and Supportive Schools line item adopted by the MA Senate — May 24, 2018

Senator Sal DiDomenico’s budget amendment (# 171) for the Safe and Supportive Schools line item (7061-9612) was adopted by the MA Senate. The amendment increased the amount of funding for the Safe and Supportive Schools line item to $600,000, the same amount included in the House budget this year.  This will allow more schools and districts to receive grants to create and implement Safe and Supportive Schools Action Plans. The amendment also incorporated important language changes that were included by the House and that would implement recommendations made by the Safe and Supportive Schools Commission, such as providing leadership summits to help support superintendents and principals to create safe and supportive schools. LEARN MORE

New Article: Understanding Trauma’s Impact on Learning — February 22, 2019

We write this month to share a newly published article with you. The February, 2109 edition of School Administrator, the American Association of School Administrators’ award-winning monthly magazine, features an article written by TLPI’s Director, Susan Cole. LEARN MORE

Whole School Approach: The Importance of Community — January 30, 2019

We are excited to share a new video with you. Over the course of several months last year, we shared blogs that included a series of videos that schools can use for training and professional development.  This month’s blog features a video of TLPI Training Director, Joel M. Ristuccia, Ed.M., addressing the need for a whole-school approach to trauma-sensitivity and the importance of building community for all students. LEARN MORE

School Building Leadership’s Role in Creating a Trauma-Sensitive School — November 29, 2018

In this month’s post, we turn our attention to the vital role of school building leadership -- principals or headmasters -- in creating a trauma-sensitive school. LEARN MORE

District Leadership’s Role in Supporting and Creating Trauma Sensitive Schools — October 23, 2018

This month we share a new TLPI video featuring Dr. Sal Terrasi, Ph.D., former Executive Director for Pupil Personnel Services in the Brockton Public School System and Director of the Lesley Institute for Trauma-Sensitivity, sharing key ways school district administrators can work to create the infrastructure and culture to promote trauma-sensitive safe and supportive schools. In this video, Dr. Terrasi shares his thoughts on the School District’s role in supporting the creation of trauma-sensitive schools in four distinct ways: advocacy, communication, training/professional development and community connections. 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



Visit Our New Videos Page to see More videos


Trauma-sensitive schools help ALL children to feel safe to learn. Watch our new video to find out why.

The Impacts of Trauma on Learning, Part 1: Academic Performance

Traumatic experiences in childhood can impact learning. Watch Part 1: Academic Performance.

The Impacts of Trauma on Learning, Part 2: Classroom Behavior

Watch the Impacts Video, Part 2: Classroom Behavior

The Impacts of Trauma on Learning, Part 3: Relationships

Image of Massachusetts State House.The Governor signed the FY 19 budget increasing the Safe and Supportive Schools line item (7061-9612) to $700,000, an increase of $200,000 over the FY18 budget.  Included in the line item funding are grants to schools and $200,000 to establish and infrastructure to facilitate the coordination of school and community- based resources. Importantly, funds will be expended for leadership summits to “assist superintendents and principals with developing safe and supportive school and district cultures.” Funding includes staffing for DESE to continue to build the community of practice that will make help all schools become safe and supportive school environments by providing conferences, technical assistance, website upkeep and more.  The Safe and Supportive Schools Framework and Self-Assessment Tool has been updated and is expected to be posted soon.   Grantee schools will use the tool and   provide feedback to the Commission and DESE for the purpose of continuously improving it.


The MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in collaboration with the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC), the Collaborative for Educational Services, and Massachusetts Advocates for Children’s Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative (MAC/TLPI), hosted the second annual conference on Safe and Supportive Schools on March 23 in Worcester, MA. MAC/TLPI’s training director, Joe Ristuccia, provided the keynote, which include a plenary panel with five outstanding school leaders.

Pictured below from left are: Trina Camarao (Plymouth Public Schools) , Chyna Onembo, Stephanie Callahan (Salem Academy Charter School), Joanne Camillo and Natalie Pohl (Brockton Public Schools) and Joe Ristuccia (MAC/TLPI).





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

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