TLPI’s Response to Covid-19

Artwork from the cover of Helping Traumatized Children Learn Volume 1 by Phoebe Stone

Dear Colleagues and Friends:

This is a difficult time for everyone, and it will take collaboration and community to buffer the traumatic effects of this crisis on all, particularly our most vulnerable students. We must find new ways to look through a trauma lens as we help students learn and maintain the sense of community that can buffer the potentially traumatic effects of this crisis.

The Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative(TLPI) is implementing various ways to remain connected, including holding virtual meetings with trauma-sensitive school leaders and teachers. We are continuing to learn how trauma-sensitive schools are adapting their approaches to safety, predictability, and strong relationships that have always served as the foundation for our collective work. We remain focused on our work with families and students to understand and address their needs.

Urgent questions have arisen, such as how do we reach all students, every single one– including those who are living in foster care, shelters, with families who have members that are sick? How do we maintain ongoing relationships with each student so that they feel a sense of belonging and, despite it all, enthusiastic to return to the school community when the crisis is over? How can educators work more closely with families than ever before to create trauma-sensitive learning opportunities that fit the needs of each child?

Throughout this crisis, we will stay connected to our learning community, sharing updates and news on our website, and through our blogs and virtual presentations. We are continuing to advocate with policymakers for the resources that are needed to ensure every child stays connected to their school community and that remote learning is as accessible and trauma-sensitive as possible. We are also sharing ideas and resources through our parent organization, Massachusetts Advocates for Children.

We are grateful to you for joining us on the journey toward trauma-sensitive schools. While we work together to address the difficult questions of this moment, we will continue to pursue the larger vision: that someday all students will attend safe and supportive, trauma-sensitive schools where they learn and thrive at their highest levels.

Yours in community,

Susan Cole and the TLPI Team