Learn More About Trauma Sensitive Schools

Sara Daniel

For many years now, I have had the good fortune of working with a group of professionals from around the state working on increasing trauma sensitive practice in schools. This group has produced some amazing work, including a toolkit of resources available on the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction website. We originally launched the site in 2011 with a PowerPoint presentation for use in schools, a webcast and a bibliography with additional resources for teachers to use in the classroom.

In 2013 this group set about the mission of adding additional resources to this page to enhance its usefulness in providing practical classroom strategies. We have added a link called “Resources schools can use to incorporate trauma-sensitive practices”. This document has key strategy areas and then additional resources, links, etc. to help in that targeted area. I encourage you to check it out … or send it to a teacher in need!

We have also worked to more fully integrate trauma sensitive schools philosophy into the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) framework that is going on in many schools. Like PBIS, being a trauma sensitive school (TSS) means that you recognize the diverse needs of students and strive to create environments and practices that meet them universally whenever possible so that more intensive intervention, labeling and specialized support is not needed in most cases. This practice then also frees up resources such as school counseling and special education in the event that extra support is needed for some. PBIS and TSS initiatives so closely align that is my hope that we can work to further integrate these for schools, not present them as separate competing initiatives.

I have been talking a lot about this in my trainings with schools and it has generated a lot of excitement and discussion in the many districts that I have the opportunity to work with. Please feel free to contact me to find out more at sdaniel@sainta.org

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