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.
Coverage of leadership, expanded learning time, and arts learning is supported in part by a grant from The Wallace Foundation, at www.wallacefoundation.org. Education Week retains sole editorial control over the content of this coverage.