Reports and Resources

Students’ Voices: Their Perspectives on How Schools Are and Should Be

Massachusetts Advocates for Children (MAC), through its Education Law Clinic at Harvard Law School, partnered with the Department of Public Health (DPH) Primary Violence Prevention and Youth-At-Risk Grant Program to host eight Listening and Learning Sessions with young people who attend secondary schools in urban settings across Massachusetts. The purpose of these sessions, which were conducted in February and March 2019, was to hear from young people about what they need to do well in school, what their schools might do differently to help them do well, and how their schools should be assessed. This memorandum distills the discussions that took place in these Listening and Learning Sessions. It is not a formal research study; rather, the goal is simply to share the viewpoints and voices of approximately 73 high school and middle school students across Massachusetts.
Read the full Student Voices Report

Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative (TLPI): Trauma-Sensitive Schools Descriptive Study Final Report

The purpose of this study is to understand and describe how five demonstration schools in Massachusetts implemented the Inquiry Based Process (IBP) to create trauma-sensitive, safe and supportive learning environments. Major outcomes observed include positive changes in school climate as evidenced by reports of fewer crises, schools feeling “safer” and “calmer,” decreased office referrals and disciplinary incidents, increased staff communication and cohesion (e.g. more consistent implementation of school-wide expectations), improved staff and student relationships, and more parent communication and engagement. In addition, the IBP empowered teachers and helped to build shared ownership for school climate and culture change, produced shifts in mindset that led to changes in practice, and over time appeared to become embedded in the culture of the school
Read the TLPI Descriptive Study Full Report

Safe and Supportive Schools Commission: Principles of Effective Practice for Integrating Student Supports, December 2017

This document lays out the principles of how a Safe and Supportive School (SaSS) effectively integrates services that appropriately support individual students. All students need safe and supportive school environments in order to learn at their highest levels. A school culture that promotes a sense of safety and belonging, nourishes relationships, fosters students’ ability to regulate emotions and behaviors, supports health and well-being, and enhances academic development is a necessary foundation for educational success.

  Safe and Supportive Schools Commission: Principles of Effective Practice for Integrating Student Supports – 12/2017


No School Alone: How Community Risks and Assets Contribute to School and Youth Success, Washington State University, March 2015

In this report to the Washington State legislature, the Area Health Education Center at Washington State University looks at the effect of adverse experiences, economic well-being, safety and family challenges on academic success.

PDF-download: No School Alone, Washington State ReportWashington State—No School Alone: How Community Risks and Assets Contribute to School and Youth Success, 2015


Safe, Health, and Ready to Learn

Safe, Healthy and Ready to Learn: Policy Recommendations to Ensure Children thrive in Supportive Communities Free from Violence and Trauma, Futures without Violence, May 2015

This new policy report from Futures without Violence calls for “sufficient funding to dramatically increase the creation and expansion of trauma-sensitive schools”, as one of several key recommendations about what children and youth need to overcome the effects of violence and other traumatic experiences.

PDF-downloadSafe, Healthy and Ready to Learn, May 2015


Addressing Childhood Trauma in DC Schools, DC’s Children’s Law Center, June 2015

Children’s Law Center of Washington, D.C. calls for the implementation of trauma-sensitive schools to support students. Highlighting the work done to bring trauma-sensitive schools to Massachusetts, “Addressing Childhood Trauma in DC Schools” uses the components laid out in TLPI’s Helping Traumatized Children Learn: Volume 2 to identify what makes a school trauma-sensitive.

PDF-download: Addressing Childhood Trauma, DC Schools Children’s Law Center: Addressing Childhood Trauma in DC Schools, June 2015


Urbanhealth - Healing Together - John Hopkins UniversityHealing Together: Community-Level Trauma—Its Causes, Consequences and Solutions, Johns Hopkins’ Urban Health Institute, April 2015

Johns Hopkins’ Urban Health Institute a summary report documenting its April 2015 symposium, “Healing Together: Community-Level Trauma– Its Causes, Consequences and Solutions.” The goal of the symposium was to provide education and opportunities for partnerships to make Baltimore, MD a more “trauma-informed” city.

PDF-download Johns Hopkins’ Urban Health Institute—Healing Together: Community-Level Trauma–Its Causes, Consequences and Solutions


Forward Through Ferguson: A Path Toward Racial Equality, September 2015

The Ferguson Commission, an independent group appointed by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon to conduct a study of the social and economic conditions that impede progress, equality and safety in the St. Louis region,  released its final report, entitled “Forward Through Ferguson: A Path Toward Racial Equity.”  The report highlights the need for schools to understand the impact of trauma on students and cites TLPI’s work as a model.

PDF-download Ferguson Commission: Forward Through Ferguson: A Path Toward Racial Equity


Citizens-for-Juvenile-Justice-Missed-Opportunities-2015-CoverMissed Opportunities: Preventing Youth in the Child Welfare system From Entering the Juvenile Justice System, Citizens for Juvenile Justice, September 2015

Citizens for Juvenile Justice’s report, Missed Opportunities: Preventing Youth in the Child Welfare System from Entering the Juvenile Justice System, focuses on multi-system youth.  The report notes Massachusetts Safe and Supportive School law as a practice that may positively impact young people involved in both the juvenile justice and child welfare systems.

PDF-download: Citizens for Justice: Missed Opportunities Citizens for Juvenile Justice—Missed Opportunities: Preventing Youth in the Child Welfare System from Entering the Juvenile Justice System