Trauma-Sensitive Schools are ones where the educators:
realize the impact of adverse childhood experiences on neurobiological development and attachment
recognize the impact trauma on learning and behavior
respond by building resilience and avoiding re-traumatization
(Perry & Daniels, 2016; SAMSHA, 2015).
Creating a Trauma Sensitive School is about creating a culture that prioritizes safety, trust, choice, and collaboration. Within a trauma-sensitive school, everyone (e.g., teachers, administrators, support staff, paraprofessionals, cafeteria staff, bus drivers, etc.) learns about the prevalence and impact of trauma in the lives of children and families. This awareness motivates and guides the examination and transformation of the school environment, policy/practice, educational strategies, staff training, and family involvement, etc. to ensure that children impacted by trauma can learn and be successful. (Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, 2015)
Trauma-Sensitive Schools are created via schoolwide trauma-informed practices aimed at helping children feel safe, be connected, get regulated and learn. (Alexander, 2016)