You are here

Trauma Sensitive Schools Online Professional Development

Trauma Sensitive Schools (TSS) Online Professional Development System

Video transcript for the Introduction to TSS Professional Development System

trauma-informed lens Welcome to DPI’s TSS Online Professional Development System. This is a free, online, on-demand system consisting of three primary components. Through this system, learners will understand the prevalence and impact of toxic stress on youth and those who care for them. Additionally, participants will understand how to infuse the values of safety, trustworthiness, choice, collaboration, and empowerment into various aspects of their existing equitable multi-level system of support. This infusion is what we call the trauma-informed lens.

TSS table

The learning system is broken into Universal and Tier II and III modules. For each module set, you will find:

  • Foundations: These modules are meant to be viewed first and in order. They set the stage for the important prerequisite knowledge and skills needed before engaging in other individual strategies.
  • Strategies and Practices: These modules provide concrete ways to use the trauma-informed lens for various aspects of practice including social and emotional learning, self-regulation, relationship building and cognitive problem-solving. These modules can be viewed in any order, though we recommend the listed order.
  • Systems & Policy Approaches: Finally, these modules focus on the systems and policy changes that are necessary to fully implement and sustain a TSS. They support areas such as school-wide behavior supports, discipline, and family engagement.

At the end of every module, learners will have the ability to email a certificate of completion to a staff person of their choosing. Length of the modules varies based on both topic and individual factors of the learner. View the average length of time for each module.

Trauma Sensitive Schools Module Resources

The following document provides direct links to the module readings, resources, and implementation tools in one handy location: Trauma Sensitive Schools Module Resources. Good luck on your journey!

Trauma Sensitive Schools Action Planning Guide

The following document guides school or district teams through creating an action plan for work around trauma sensitive schools with specific action items, linked to objectives, linked to goals that align with the overall vision: Trauma Sensitive Schools Action Planning Guide


Trauma Sensitive Schools Modules

Please click on each gray bar below to see the modules in that section and implementation tools.

Universal Level: Foundations

Introductory Modules: Meant to be viewed first and in order

Module Name

Brief Description

Implementation Tool

Getting Started

Introduction to trauma and what it means to become a trauma-sensitive school. Support in determining readiness to engage in the work.

Hexagon Tool

Prevalence & Impact of Trauma

Prevalence of adversity in childhood experiences and impact of that adversity on learning and behavior. Discussion of resiliency.

Worldwide Observations


The impact of trauma on the developing brain and understanding the fight, flight or freeze response system. How educators can help build healthy and supportive brain architecture.

Classroom Sensory Strategies


Strategies to combat compassion fatigue and burnout. Building resilience in the educator.

Self-care plan

Trauma Sensitive Schools

The key components, principles, and practices in a Trauma-Sensitive School.

Strategies and resources to create a TSS


Universal Level: Strategies and Practices

The Trauma Sensitive Lens for Strategies

Learn how to apply the trauma sensitive lens to current strategies, policies and procedures. Support the team in determine which strategies need to be stopped, started, changed or continued in order to increase sustainability.

Review Tool for School Policies, Protocols, Procedures & Documents: Examination Using a Trauma-Sensitive School Lens

Trauma Sensitive Environments

Learn characteristics of safe, supportive environments and strategies that balance the need for all students in the classroom.

Safety review tool

Social & Emotional Learning (SEL)

Promoting social & emotional learning as a foundational component to a TSS.

Assessment of School-Wide SEL Instruction

Emotional & Physical Regulation

Learn the relationship between emotional and behavioral regulation. Apply effective strategies for supporting regulation in the classroom.

My Emotional Regulation Plans

Building Relationships

The components of developing relationships that include caring, challenges, support, shared power and expanded possibilities.

Determining Boundaries in Staff-Student Relationships

Cognitive Problem Solving

Learn about the role of executive functioning in problem-solving. Evaluate school-wide problem-solving methods.

ABC Classroom Activities

Identifying Intervention Targets


Universal Level: System & Policy Approaches and Considerations

Trauma Sensitive School Wide Behavior Supports

Integrating trauma into school-wide behavioral support in order to increase the effectiveness of the system overall.

Lesson Plan Template: Teaching Non-Cognitive & Non-Academic Skills Using a TS Lens

Trauma Sensitive School Wide Discipline

Examine the impact of traditional discipline programs on students and identify specific changes that can be made towards a more compassionate and trauma-informed discipline.

Examining the School-Wide Behavioral Plan Using a TS Lens

Engaging Parents as Partners

How to empower caregivers to become school leaders and key decision makers. Addressing barriers to family involvement.

4 versions of Family-School Partnerships

Trauma- Sensitive Academic Support

To provide for continuous improvement, this module is currently down for editing purposes.  Please move on to the next learning opportunity until further notice.

Trauma-Sensitive Academic Support Implementation Tools

Disclosures and Confidentiality

Special considerations for disclosure of confidential information by families and students.

Determining Boundaries in Staff-Student Relationships

Responding to Student Disclosure of Emotional Pain, Trauma or Mental Illness: Recommendations for Administrates




Tier II/III Supports: Foundations

Module Name

Brief Description

Implementation Tool

Readiness for Tier II/III Determining fidelity of universal TSS practices and supporting teams in integrating TSS practices into tier II and III supports. TSS Fidelity Tool
Compassion Resilience Supporting educators in recognize the cycle of compassion fatigue and develop compassion resiliency. Compassion Resilience Tools
Building Relationships Despite Challenges Understand how to develop relationships with students who are currently struggling within the school system. Building Relationship Tools


Tier II/III Supports: Strategies and Practices

Module Name

Brief Description

Implementation Tool

Emotional & Physical Regulation (Part 1)

Emotional & Physical Regulation (Part 2)
Learn how to apply the TSS lens to support individual and small groups of students to recognize when they are becoming dysregulated and manage those sensations successfully. Emotional & Physical Regulation Tool
Cognitive Problem Solving To recognize common cognitive problem solving strategies used in schools, understand the process by which common strategies can be enhanced using the TSS lens, and explore selected trauma intervention models for use at tier two and three. Cognitive Problem Solving Tools
Academic Interventions at Tier II/III Learn how to apply the TSS lens to individual and small group academic instruction. Academic Intervention Implementation Tools
Trauma Informed De-escalation Effective de-escalation is a valuable asset in a school system. Applying the TSS lens to these practices can increase a school’s ability to diffuse situations and limit the need for other types of interventions. Trauma Informed De-escalation Implementation Tools
Person-Centered Planning The hallmark of a TSS school is one that honors choice, collaboration, empowerment, trust and safety. This module will focus on how to infuse those values so that educators can collaborative and effectively co-plan with students. Person-Centered Planning Implementation Tools
Tier II/III Supports: System & Policy Approaches and Considerations


Screening and Assessment Learn the components of effective screening and how to ensure the TSS values exist within the process. DPI Mental Health Screening Resource Guide
Community Partnerships

Understand the process of developing an effective school-community partnership to make the communication and provision of services more efficient and effective.

Tier II/III Discipline Examine the impact of traditional discipline programs on students and identify specific changes that can be made towards more compassionate and trauma-informed discipline.  


For questions about this information, contact Elizabeth Strunz (608) 266-3361