As students are welcomed back to school this year, new needs and urgencies will be identified by school staff. As educators think through how to address these urgencies in a trauma-sensitive way, TLPI offers a tool-the trauma sensitive vision questions- to help support educators’ efforts to engage in active reflection and thoughtful inquiry on ways to achieve their vision of creating a trauma-sensitive, safe and supportive learning environment.
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.
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.
Research on trauma-sensitive schools provides timely insights for educating students during this time of unprecedented crises. Boston University researchers completed “An Evaluation of the Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative’s (TLPI) Inquiry-Based Process: Year Three.” The report evaluated the efficacy and sustainability of the trauma-sensitive culture changes that occurred in three demonstration schools that used TLPI’s inquiry-based process.
In our recent interviews, trauma-sensitive school leaders pointed to the importance of teamwork, collaboration, and staff cohesion for mitigating stress and helping educators feel effective and empowered.
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.
Educators share the questions that they use to guide their COVID-19 response and how they are addressing their most urgent priorities in trauma-sensitive and culturally responsive ways.