Creating Trauma-Sensitive Schools: First Step Resources
Project GROW: Generating Resilience, Outcomes, and Wellness
Cassie Yackley, Psy.D., PLLC
AUNE Center for Behavioral Health Innovation
Trauma-Sensitive Schools Defined:
“A trauma-sensitive school is one in which all students feel safe, welcomed and supported” (Cole, Eisner, Gregory, & Ristuccia, 2013).
“Once schools understand the educational impacts of trauma, they can become safe, supportive environments where students make the positive connections with adults and peers they might otherwise push away, calm their emotions so they can focus and behave appropriately, and feel confident enough to advance their learning—in other words, schools can make trauma sensitivity a regular part of how the school is run. Trauma sensitivity will look different at each school. However, a shared definition of what it means to be a trauma-sensitive school can bring educators, parents, and policymakers together around a common vision. “ (Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative)
from Massachusett’s Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative
American School Counselor Association Trauma-Informed Education Position
What Can You Do? Suggestions from Dr. Yackley’s Presentations (drawn from the literature)
NCTSN Child Trauma Toolkit for Educators
Trauma Aware Schools
Adverse Childhood Experiences
Harvard Center on the Developing Child
Trauma-Sensitive School Manuals/Guides:
Cole, S.F., Greenwald O’Brien, J., Gadd, M.G., Ristuccia, J., Wallace, D.L., & Gregory, M. (2009). Helping traumatized children learn: Supportive school environments for children traumatized by family violence. Massachusetts Advocates for Children, Boston, MA.
Craig, S. (2016). Trauma-sensitive schools: Learning communities transforming children’s lives, K-5. Teachers College Press: Amsterdam.
Souers, K. & Hall, P. (2016). Fostering resilient learners: Strategies for creating a trauma-sensitive classroom. ASCD: Alexandria, VA.
Wolpow, R., Johnson, M.M., Hertel, R., & Kincaid, S.O. (2011). The heart of learning and teaching: Compassion, resiliency, and academic success. Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.
A Few Books on Trauma-Informed Approaches to Education:
Cozolino, L. (2014). Attachment-Based Teaching: Creating a Tribal Classroom. W.W. Norton and Co., NY.
Cozolino, L. (2013). The Social Neuroscience of Education: Optimizing Attachment & Learning in the Classroom. W.W Norton & Co., NY.
Olson, K. (2014). The invisible classroom: Relationships, neuroscience & mindfulness in school. WW. Norton & Company, Inc., NY.