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Trauma Informed Practices

The primary mission for schools is to support students in educational achievement. To reach this goal, children must feel safe, supported, and ready to learn. However, childhood trauma and adverse situations directly impact that ability to learn. 

Children are exposed to violence and trauma at an alarming rate in the United States. By age sixteen, two-thirds of children in the United States have experienced a potentially traumatic event such as physical or sexual abuse, natural disaster or terrorism, sudden or violent loss of a loved one, refugee and war experiences, serious accident or life-threatening illness, or military family-related stress. Students with a higher ACEs score also show higher rates of suspension, unexcused absences, lower rates of graduation from high school and progression to post-secondary school.

Mental health and wellness are integrally connected to students’ success in the classroom and to a thriving school environment. Strategies and curriculum building those underlying social, emotional and behavioral skills are critical. 

National Child Traumatic Stress Network - "Creating and Sustaining Trauma Informed Schools" 

What Strategies are Trauma Informed?

  • Promoting positive school culture
  • Mental health coping strategies
  • Social emotional learning
    • Building resilience
    • Emotional intelligence
    • Conflict resolution
    • Goal setting
    • Responsible decision making
    • Self-regulation and self-management
    • Building of relationships and friendships
    • Empathy and kindness
  • Bullying prevention
  • General wellness support and education

Videos about Trauma

What are ACEs? 

ACEs are "Adverse Childhood Experiences" and include things like physical and emotional abuse, neglect, caregiver mental illness and household violence. The higher number of ACES a child experiences, the higher the likelihood of toxic stress. ISD 728 uses trauma informed practices to support students who have experienced or are experiencing toxic stress.

Many of the students in our system have suffered multiple ACEs in their lives. As a result, their bodies carry trauma and toxic stress, leading to state of constant flight, flight or freeze, which in turn impacts the ability to cope and learn. Fostering strong relationships and building core life skills is critical to provide that buffer from the effects of toxic stress.