Last month, Educators for Excellence-Boston teachers gathered to discuss ways to create school environments that better support students dealing with trauma, and making how students learn just as important as what they learn. As a result of this discussion and work by current educators on their policy team, E4E-Boston released, Schools that Heal: Creating trauma-informed school communities, which explores how educators can become powerful agents in helping break the cycle of trauma.
The report, written by educators, for educators, looks at ways to better address the needs of students who have dealt with Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).
While state and district-level policymakers have begun to address this issue, the report suggests that in order to effectively create a long-term plan for safe and supportive schools, educators must be included in the policy-making process.
Through direct interactions and relationships with students, educators are well-positioned to provide valuable input that can build upon student resilience and limit the negative effects of these experiences.
The authors make several policy recommendations that aim to create school environments that support students dealing with trauma, including:
- Deepen practitioner competencies through professional development programs that offer lessons on how to create a trauma-informed environment, and equipping school-based staff with the assistance they need to create this.
- Cultivate a trauma-informed community that teaches families and community members about the impacts of trauma.
- Update funding formulas to provide schools and educators with the resources to reach and educate vulnerable students.
In addition to E4E-Boston, Network members Educators for Excellence-Chicago, Stand for Children Louisiana, and Public School Forum of North Carolina are also making this issue a priority. For those interested in learning more about trauma-informed schools and wanting to connect with these organizations, please reach out.