Second Annual DESE Conference: Safe and Supportive Learning Environments: Bringing Together Social, Emotional Learning, Trauma Sensitivity, & Positive Behavioral Approaches, March 23.

The MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE), 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), is hosting the second annual conference on Safe and Supportive Schools. The conference will be held on March 23 in Worcester, MA.

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TLPI responding to tragic event in Florida

In the wake of the school shooting last week in Parkland, Florida we have been humbled by the outpouring of care and concern expressed by so many. As we all grapple with the magnitude of this tragedy, we wanted to share a few pieces that relate to the importance of creating safe and supportive schools for all students. 

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MassHealth Applications for Hurricane Evacuees

There is new information from MassHealth to share. In the aftermath of recent hurricanes (Harvey, Irma and Maria), some evacuees are seeking out family and friends in the Commonwealth and are now residing in Massachusetts.  MassHealth has developed processes to streamline the application process for hurricane evacuees.  For more information, please visit the MassHealth website at

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New Video Discussion Guide Available Now

TLPI Video Discussion Guide-Why We Need Trauma-Sensitive Schools

Since the release of the video last fall, we received a large number of requests to share the video. Many who contacted us let us know that there was a desire to start a trauma-sensitive schools discussion in their own communities. In response to these requests, we developed a discussion guide to go along with the video.

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Urgent! Act Now–Safe and Supportive Schools Line Item

Image of Massachusetts State House.

Unfortunately, the Safe and Supportive Schools line item (7061-9612) was significantly decreased in the FY18 House Ways and Means Budget. The proposed budget includes only $200,000, which is a reduction of $200,000 from the amount that was appropriated in last year’s budget. Thankfully, Representative Ruth Balser of Newton is filing a budget amendment to fund this line item at $400,000. This will restore critical funding for the line item.

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Children’s Rights Orgs Amicus Brief Says Criminalizing Burping Goes Too Far.

This amicus brief in AM v Holmes asks the Supreme Court to hear a case on behalf of a student who was charged with a crime for burping loudly in class.While we know little of the reasons behind the behavior, advocates across the country from well respected children’s right organizations argue that the precedent established by this 10th Circuit decision upholding the criminal charge, could result in criminalizing behavior that includes: “boredom or insecurity due to a lack of understanding of the material being taught, to hunger, stress, disability, health issues, or unaddressed trauma”

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