Student Trauma: How School Leaders Can Respond
Each year, nearly one-third of schoolchildren in the United States suffer significant brain-function impairment—with academic and social consequences—as a result of abuse, neglect, domestic violence, poverty, or other personal challenges, writes researcher Bruce D. Perry.
District and school leaders are uniquely positioned to offer trauma-informed practices to their staff and students. Art therapy, yoga, and mindfulness training for students, as well as professional development and coping strategies for educators, are just some of the cortisol-reducing activities that have been shown to promote healing and improve school climate, student attendance, and student learning.
In this special Education Week Commentary package, past and current district superintendents, a principal, and two founders of trauma-informed programs reflect on proven strategies that are making a difference in the lives of children and adults.
The brain’s response to trauma and unpredictable stress has critical implications for student learning, explains researcher Bruce D. Perry. Read Story
Read StoryEffective systems of student trauma support can be replicated from one district to another, writes superintendent Tiffany Anderson.
Read StoryWellness and self-care practices can equip students from underserved communities to handle the circumstances of poverty, writes Ali Smith.
Read StoryCreative expression in schools gives students an opportunity to work through deep emotional wounds, writes Heidi Durham.
This special section is supported by a grant from The Wallace Foundation. Education Week retained sole editorial control over the content of this package; the opinions expressed are the authors' own, however.
Top illustration by Anthony Russo for Education Week. Bottom illustration by Melody Newcomb for Education Week.
Vol. 36, Issue 15