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Trauma Sensitive Schools and the Pandemic

Creating a Trauma Sensitive School Community

School Leadership Resources:

Trauma-Sensitive Schools Training Package – National Center on Safe and Supportive Learning Environments
  • The Trauma-Sensitive Schools Training Package offers school and district administrators and staff a framework and roadmap for adopting a trauma-sensitive approach school- or districtwide. The Training Package includes a variety of resources for educating school staff about trauma and trauma-sensitive practices and for providing school leaders with a step-by-step process for implementing a universal, trauma-informed approach.
  • Creating compassionate policies is a cornerstone strategy of educational leadership. This guide provides a deep dive into developing, implementing, and evaluating trauma-informed and compassionate school policies. It highlights four "choice points" for education and mental health leadership:
    • Choice Point 1: Names & Definitions
    • Choice Point 2: Platforms & Levers
    • Choice Point 3: Approach
    • Choice Point 4: Match Process to Product
  • “Creating a trauma–sensitive school can be the vehicle to improvements in school culture. By holding the vision, making trauma-sensitivity one of the school’s priorities, and being a key member of the steering committee, a principal or headmaster plays an indispensable role in making sure that trauma-sensitivity is woven into the fabric of the school and aligns with other important initiatives on campus (e.g. bullying prevention, PBIS, Social Emotional Learning).”

Guiding Questions for Policies and Procedures - National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments

Applying the Core Principles Worksheet - National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments

System Assessment - Building Trust and Well-Being Through Trauma Informed Communities - Center on Great Teachers and Leaders


TSS Leadership Team Resources:


Strategies and Resources by Topic Area to Create a Trauma Sensitive School, complied by DPI

Helping Traumatized Children Learn Resources - Trauma Learning and Policy Initiative

  • Volume 1 – A Report and Policy Agenda summarizes the research from psychology and neurobiology that documents the impact trauma from exposure to violence can have on children’s learning, behavior and relationships in school. The report also introduces the Flexible Framework, a tool organized according to six core operational functions of schools that can help any school create a trauma-sensitive learning environment for all children.
  • Volume 2 – Creating and Advocating for Trauma-Sensitive Schools offers a guide to a process for creating trauma-sensitive schools and a policy agenda to provide the support schools need to achieve this goal. Grounded in theory and practice in schools and with families, the guide is intended to be a living document that will grow and change as more schools become trauma-sensitive and add their ideas. The policy agenda calls for changes in laws, policies, and funding streams to support schools in this work. Together, the online learning community and the book are designed to complement each other, helping to build a growing and increasingly visible trauma-sensitive learning community.

Trauma Sensitive Schools Resources - The National Child Traumatic Stress Network

  • Including such resources as Trauma Sensitive Schools Training Package, Supporting Trauma Recovery, Promoting Mental Health.


Creating a Trauma Sensitive Classrooms and Interactions

  • Includes Trauma Facts, What can be done at school to help a traumatized child?, When should a referral for additional help be made?, What you might observe in children experiencing the impacts of trauma (at each level), How School Personnel Can Help a Student with Traumatic Grief?, and also a Guide for Parents.
Addressing Race and Trauma in the Classroom: A Resource for Educators – The National Child Traumatic Stress Network, 2017
  • Helps educators understand how they might address the interplay of race and trauma and its effects on students in the classroom. The guide outlines recommendations for educators and offers a list of supplemental resources. It should be implemented in accordance with individual school policies and procedures.
"Role-clarity and boundaries for trauma-informed teachers," 2019, Alex Venet, Educational Considerations, 44 (2)
  • An article written by a teacher for teachers including such ideas as, “We can hear from our students: “You’re my favorite teacher. You’re the only one I can talk to.” Rather than taking these comments as compliments, they should serve as immediate red flags. If I hear this from a student, my first step is to look at who else this student regularly interacts with and question why they don’t feel safe connecting with those adults.”
  • This handout includes an educator self-assessment for supporting student well-being that includes an array of trauma-informed strategies for fostering student well-being and resilience during these unprecedented times. The strategies outlined in this document are intended to be used to support all students.
Resources on Trauma - Child Mind Institute
  • Including: How trauma affects kids in school, helping children cope after a traumatic event, trauma guides…
How to Implement Trauma-informed Care to Build Resilience to Childhood Trauma, 2019, Jessica Dym Bartlett, Kate Steber, Child Trends
Free Racialized Trauma Course (Resmaa Menakem) Cultural Somatics Training and Institute
  • SHORT video learning series to help begin to heal racialized trauma by learning what it is so we can acknowledge that it exits.
The Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS) program is a school-based, group and individual intervention. It is designed to reduce symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and behavioral problems, and to improve functioning, grades and attendance, peer and parent support, and coping skills. CBITS has been used with students from 5th grade through 12th grade who have witnessed or experienced traumatic life events such as community and school violence, accidents and injuries, physical abuse and domestic violence, and natural and man-made disasters. CBITS uses cognitive-behavioral techniques (e.g., psychoeducation, relaxation, social problem solving, cognitive restructuring, and exposure).

Healing Trauma from Disaster and Crisis

  • Materials and guidance for schools experiencing crises or helping grieving students, Resources and guidelines to prepare to support children in times of crisis and loss.
School Climate, Safety, and Crisis - National Association of School Psychologists
  • The resources can be used by parents and other caregivers and school staff to teach children about disasters and how to prepare before they occur. Use the menu bar at left to narrow the results by disaster type, behavioral health issue or condition, treatment topic, and more.
  • This brochure, which is based on discussions with some three dozen experts who work with students, provides practical information for parents and students who are coping with the aftermath of a natural disaster, as well as teachers, coaches, school administrators and others who are helping those affected.
  • SCRR supports students, educators, school staff, and school-based clinicians to effectively implement trauma-informed crisis recovery and renewal strategies.