Safe and Supportive Schools Grant Opportunity through MA DESE — July 22, 2019

MA DESE announces that the 2019-2020 (FY20) Safe and Supportive Schools Competitive Grant (FC335) is now posted. Please visit for more information. LEARN MORE

Trauma-Sensitive Schools Research Study Snapshot — May 6, 2019

We  are pleased to share with you a summary of the Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative (TLPI) Trauma-Sensitive Schools Descriptive Study. This two-year study by the American Institutes for Research (AIR) provides new evidence that an understanding of trauma sensitivity can lead to changes in practice and new ways of interacting with both students and with fellow staff members. In turn these new ways of thinking and changes in practice can serve as a foundation for school-wide culture change that enables students and their educators to feel safe and supported to learn and be successful.  LEARN MORE

Act Now! Safe and Supportive Schools — April 11, 2019

The House Ways and Means budget was released this week and the line item for Safe and Supportive Schools includes $400,000.  Representative Ruth Balser has filed a  budget amendment for the Safe and Supportive Schools line item (7061-9612) to increase funding to $500,000. This will restore funding to last year's level. We are writing with an URGENT request to please email your MA Representative and ask him or her to co-sponsor Representative Balser's amendment! LEARN MORE

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

Are we ready to become a trauma-sensitive school? — July 24, 2019

This month’s blog post explores one of the key findings of the AIR research report related to readiness or the extent to which the school is both willing and able to undertake the process of becoming trauma sensitive, safe and supportive. We also share readiness questions that can help your school determine readiness to engage in the work of becoming trauma sensitive. LEARN MORE

Australia’s Trauma Aware Schools — June 27, 2019

TLPI Director, Susan Cole, shares news from the Trauma Aware Schools Conference In Australia. LEARN MORE

Trauma-Sensitive Schools Research Study Released — May 3, 2019

We are pleased to share with you a summary of the Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative (TLPI) Trauma-Sensitive Schools Descriptive Study. LEARN MORE

Trauma-Sensitive Schools Descriptive Study Coming Soon! — April 26, 2019

Please click on the video to hear about exciting new research from Susan Cole, Director of the Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative (TLPI).  LEARN MORE

How Do We Get There? Becoming a Trauma-Sensitive, Safe and Supportive School — March 24, 2019

This month, we share a ten minute video featuring TLPI’s Training Director, Joe Ristuccia, Ed.M., sharing key information on HOW we create trauma-sensitive, safe and supportive schools. Creating a trauma-sensitive school is about engaging in a process of change that embraces the uniqueness of each school community. 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

Great news! The Conference Committee report includes $508,128 in the FY 20 Safe and Supportive Schools budget line item (7061-9612). We are grateful to the Safe and Supportive Schools champions, Representative Ruth Balser and Senator Sal DiDomenico.

Included in the line item funding are grants to schools and leadership summits to “assist superintendents and principals with developing safe and supportive school and district cultures.” DESE will continue to build the community of practice that will help all schools become safe and supportive school environments by providing conferences, technical assistance, website upkeep and more.



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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