A Trauma-Sensitive School Addresses Students’ Needs in Holistic Ways

A Trauma-Sensitive School Addresses Students’ Needs in Holistic Ways

A trauma-sensitive school addresses students’ needs in holistic ways, taking into account their relationships, self-regulation, academic competence, and physical and emotional well-being. Within the school, there is recognition that these domains are inextricably linked and an understanding of the critical role they play in helping students succeed.

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Welcome to the Trauma Sensitive Schools Learning Community

A Trauma-Sensitive School Addresses Students’ Needs in Holistic Ways

We have been hard at work updating and improving the format and content of our learning community and we appreciate your patience as we launch this effort. This summer, we are in the beginning phase of establishing our learning community and plan to have more robust content by the fall of 2016.

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Helping All Children Feel Safe

Teacher-with-kids-in-corridor

The second common attribute of a trauma-sensitive school is that the school supports all students to feel safe-physically, socially, emotionally, and academically. A child’s traumatic response, and the associated difficulty in learning, are often rooted in real or perceived threats to his or her safety, undermining their fundamental sense of well-being. Because of this, it is important to ensure that students feel safe, not just in their classrooms but also on the playground, in the hallway, in the cafeteria, on the bus, in the gym, and on the walk to and from school.

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Leadership and Staff Share a School-Wide Approach

Teacher-Staff-Discussion

The first attribute of a trauma-sensitive school is that leadership and staff share an understanding of trauma’s impacts on learning and the need for a school-wide approach. This awareness is the critical first step in creating a trauma-sensitive school. All staff—educators, administrators, counselors, school nurses, cafeteria workers, custodians, bus drivers, athletic coaches, advisors to extracurricular activities, and paraprofessionals—should understand that adverse experiences in the lives of children are exceedingly common and that the impact of these experiences on child development can play a major role in the learning, behavioral, and relationship difficulties faced by many students.

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Trauma Sensitive Schools

Teacher with group of kids studying

A trauma-sensitive school is one where all students feel safe, welcomed, and supported and where addressing trauma’s impact on learning on a school-wide basis is at the center of its educational mission. It is a place where an ongoing, inquiry-based process allows for teamwork, coordination, creativity, and sharing of responsibility for all students, and where continuous learning is for educators as well as students.

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