Trauma-Sensitive Schools Series

The concept of trauma-sensitive schools has been gaining attention due to a number of trends, including: (a) widespread knowledge of the long-term effects of adverse childhood experience through data from the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study, (2) the increased recognition that school-based mental health programs can be extremely effective in meeting unmet mental health care needs among children and adolescents, and (3) the increased recognition of the need to integrate mental health and education outcomes in school-based programs, especially in vulnerable communities.

This webinar series will provide an overarching model for trauma-informed care (TIC) in schools and a roadmap for creating a comprehensive trauma-sensitive school building or system. This series is intended for both school-based administrators, pupil personnel services staff (psychologists, guidance counselors, and social workers), and school-based mental health providers interested in creating schools prepared to address the pervasive impact of trauma. We strongly encourage school-based MH providers and pupil personnel staff to invite teachers, school administrators, and other school-based staff to participate in this series.


October 26, 2017 | 12:00pm-1:00pm

Part 1: Trauma-Sensitive Schools – A Multi-tiered Approach

Presenters: James Rodriguez, LCSW, PhD

Creating trauma-sensitive schools requires a comprehensive approach that is anchored in principles of trauma-informed care. In Part 1 of the series, we will introduce a working model for trauma-sensitive schools that includes three tiers of intervention: universal, selected and intensive. We will review the need for trauma-sensitive schools with an emphasis on the research on ACEs and the effects of trauma on child development. We will provide a framework that integrates a TIC approach with evidence-based practices and interventions that are consistent with an overall model of trauma-informed school-based services. The framework has been developed and promoted by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN).



November 2, 2017 | 12:00pm-1:00pm

Part 2: Tier 1 – Trauma-Informed Care for All – Creating Safe and Healthy Classrooms

Presenter: Elise Cappella, PhD

A trauma-sensitive school system or building is one that is safe and healthy for students regardless of exposure to trauma. In this installment of the series, we will discuss the universal level of trauma-sensitive schools and provide information about the practices that can be implemented in classrooms and the school building that promote a healthy and safe environment for all students. This webinar will focus on classroom management strategies that are trauma-sensitive, promote social and emotional development, and increase opportunities for learning.



November 30, 2017 | 12:00pm-1:00pm

Part 3: Tier 2 – Trauma-Informed Interventions for Students in Need

Presenter: Erum Nadeem, PhD

A trauma-sensitive school includes approaches for addressing the needs of students who might be demonstrating social, emotional and behavioral challenges as a result of their exposure to trauma or chronic stress. Such challenges can certainly begin to manifest in poor educational outcomes and behavioral problems in the classroom. This webinar will focus on interventions for students with known exposure to traumatic or adverse childhood events.



March 8, 2018 | 12:00pm-1:00pm

Part 4: Providing Services to Students with Clinically Significant Difficulties Following Trauma Exposure

Presenter: Sarah Kate Bearman, PhD

A trauma-informed school system has the capacity to help meet the mental healthcare needs of children experiencing clinically significant difficulties resulting from trauma exposure. Problems can manifest as disruptive behavior disorders, PTSD and related symptoms, or other problems related to mood and self-regulation. A trauma-informed approach means being aware of and using the interventions that match the needs of the child based on their presenting problems. In this webinar, we will provide an overview of the typical clinical presentations of youth exposed to traumatic events and highlight the best evidence-based practices to address their emotional and behavioral needs. These strategies can be implemented by trained mental health professionals in schools or by partnerships with community-based mental health providers.



February 8, 2018 | 12:00pm-1:00pm

Part 5: Restorative Justice: A Trauma-Informed Approach to Discipline in School

Presenter: Gwendolyn Olton, MA, BSN, RN

A trauma-sensitive school must have discipline policies and practices to complement traditional behavioral approaches to managing problem behaviors. Many schools across the U.S. have begun to adopt and implement restorative justice programs in schools with promising results. These discipline strategies address the impact of behaviors that cause harm, while also empowering those affected to learn from their experiences and increase resilience. In this webinar, we will provide information about restorative discipline practices, including its guiding principles and several core strategies. In addition, we will share recommendations and resources for implementing restorative justice in your schools.