From Trauma-Impacted to Trauma-Responsive

Last school year, I embarked on an unexpected journey. I accepted an assignment at the lowest performing school in our district and in the state. It had a poor reputation. I knew it would be challenging. What I didn’t know was the volume of students who had been impacted by trauma I would encounter and come to love. It wasn’t long before my colleagues (social worker and counselor) — who were also new to the school– and I became overwhelmed by our work. We felt an urgency to do something to address our students’ needs. And so we did…..

We learned about the Attachment and Trauma Network’s (ATN) 2019 National Conference for Creating Trauma Sensitive Schools and gained approval and support from our administration to attend. We absorbed every bit of information we could and came back with a zeal to make a difference in our school. Since then, we have networked, trained, collaborated, and planned. The result: our school began a voyage this school year to become a fully Trauma-Responsive School. Our goal is to develop a model that can be emulated in similar schools in our district and, hopefully, in every school in our district. We are only in our infancy of this initiative but we have seen encouraging results. Also, we have the honor of sharing our voyage so far at the same conference where this all began! We will be presenting at the ATN’s 2020 Conference in Atlanta, GA (check out the link here:

This post will be the first of many to educate others on the topic of trauma and what can be done to address it. My next post will be to introduce what trauma is and how it impacts development and learning. Stay tuned!

Thank you for reading! ~Rebecca