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Creating Trauma-Sensitive Schools to Improve Learning

Professional educators know that many students face challenges in their personal lives that adversely affect their learning in school. Unfortunately, many children have been traumatized by directly or vicariously experiencing violence, homelessness, loss (or fear of loss) of loved ones, or other kinds of trauma.

Trauma changes people. Just as a physical assault on the body can cause bodily impairment, psychological trauma can result in a mental injury that impacts such things as a child’s ability to regulate emotions, attend to classroom activities, and/or achieve normal developmental milestones. However, this does not mean that traumatized children and adolescents cannot grow up to be healthy and happy adults, despite the often overwhelming obstacles they face.

What it does mean is educators and school systems need to reduce the barriers to learning these students experience in order to help them grow to become successful adults. The school and the classroom can become a “sanctuary” for these children, a place to experience academic success and social acceptance.

We now know there are ways to make our schools more sensitive to these children’s needs. Through these changes, schools can support all children in the development of healthy coping strategies and resilience in facing future struggles.

Many school districts have chosen to utilize a Response to Intervention (RtI) model to successfully support students with a wide range of behavioral and emotional issues. Schools can build on these efforts by providing universal, selective and targeted strategies that will emphasize children’s strengths and address the educational needs of students who have been affected by trauma.

This website provides a variety of resources to help schools become more trauma-sensitive. The information you find here can serve as an entry point in your understanding of the intersection of trauma and education. Over time, more resources will be added to benefit a school’s journey to becoming more trauma-sensitive.

Get the full list of links and resources at:

1 Comment
  1. Am living this no help for my 8yrs boy 3years now

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Important: This site has been provided for information purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for clinical therapy.

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