Supporting Families With Remote Learning — May 18, 2020

Trauma-sensitive school leaders spoke to the critical role that parents and care givers are playing in this time of remote learning. Educators are now working closely with parents and caregivers in new ways, often supporting them as collaborating co-teachers.  They shared the wonderful examples of how elementary school educators are inviting families to join the learning. LEARN MORE

Students Speak: Why We Need Safe and Supportive Schools — March 2, 2020

TLPI convened a legislative briefing where students from Massachusetts High Schools shared with legislators what they need from their schools in order to learn and do well.  The students’ comments make a powerful argument for why we need to include their voice in education reform efforts. LEARN MORE

Trauma Sensitive Middle/High School – Video — September 8, 2020

Watch the video

We are thrilled to share with you this short video highlighting one middle/high school’s journey to create a trauma-sensitive, safe and supportive school. Highlighted in the video are the ways in which this school embraces parent engagement and student voice to help guide their efforts to create a vibrant learning community where all staff work together to create a school that embodies the values of safety, trusting relationships, connection, equity,  belonging, and adaptability. LEARN MORE

Not Belonging Hurts — August 14, 2020

Everyone knows what it feels like not to belong, not to be welcome. Sometimes we feel rejected, left out, or hurt by lost friendships and partner relations. Now scientific literature corroborates that social rejection affects the brain in similar ways that physical pain does. Social rejection really does hurt! This is important information to consider as schools reopen, whether remotely or in person, especially for students who may already feel a lack of belonging or are marginalized. LEARN MORE

Education in Times of Crises

Remote Teaching of Student
Research on Trauma-Sensitive Schools Offers Timely Insights for Educating Students During Times of Unprecedented Crises

Study shows transformational benefits of a trauma-sensitive school culture

As the world confronts the collective and unprecedented trauma of a public health and economic crisis – exacerbated by systemic racial inequities – understanding the impact trauma has on the ability of children to learn is more important than ever. Trauma-sensitive schools are uniquely positioned to understand and respond to the impact these crises, and the resulting trauma, are having on students, families, and educators. Developing a deep understanding of trauma’s impact on student success helps educators recognize that learning requires safety, trusting relationships, connection, equity and belonging, adaptability, and working together as a school community. This understanding can guide changes in practice and decision-making processes, which lead to inclusive and equitable school cultures that help strengthen student learning and foster a sense of belonging. During these crises, trauma-sensitivity is critical to keeping students engaged in learning while connecting them to a supportive school and caring teachers. Educators have been guided by the trauma-sensitive lens as they responded to the COVID crisis. Read More…



Trauma-sensitive schools help ALL children to feel safe to learn. Watch the 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.


Helping Traumatized Children Learn

Cover of the Purple Book: Helping Traumatized Children Learn Volume 1Volume 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

Volume 2
Creating and Advocating for Trauma-Sensitive Schools
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


Students Speak:Why We Need Safe and Supportive Schools

Recently a legislative briefing co-sponsored by longtime lead sponsors of the Safe and Supportive Schools Law and line item, Sen. Sal DiDomenico and Rep. Ruth Balser, was held at the State House. High school students from several cities shared with legislators what they need from their schools in order to learn and do well.  As part of TLPI’s ongoing work on the Safe and Supportive Schools Commission, we conducted listening and learning sessions last spring with 73 urban middle and high school students across Massachusetts, which resulted in a report documenting what those students shared with us, entitled “Students’ Voices: Their Perspectives on How Schools Are and Should Be.”  This legislative briefing grows out of of this work, as the high school students with whom we are currently collaborating volunteered to come to the State House to share their perspectives on why we need Safe and Supportive Schools. Please click here to read more.


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

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