Magazine Feature

Toolkit for Shelter from the Storm

Dealing with trauma in a school setting can be challenging for educators. This toolkit offers a number of resources that help educators build trauma-sensitive schools. 

Responding effectively to trauma can be incredibly dificult for students and educators. Trauma is often under-discussed, and educators might feel isolated and overwhelmed when confronting these challenging situations. These resources can help all members of the school community better understand and respond to trauma. 


Essential Questions

  1. How can you and your colleagues collectively build a trauma-sensitive school?
  2. What resources can you draw on to adopt best practices for a trauma-sensitive school?
  3. To whom and where can you turn for help when trauma arises?



Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative:

Helping Traumatized Children Learn

Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative offers a wealth of online resources on how schools can become more trauma-sensitive environments. The resources equip educators with best practices and resources on how to build awareness, strategies, and a long-term commitment.


Lesley University Center for Special Education:

“Trauma-Sensitive School Checklist”

This checklist can go a long way to help educators ensure they are developing trauma-sensitive schools. The checklist is a useful resource for educators who might find themselves in the midst of a complicated situation.


The National Child Traumatic Stress Network:

“The Effects of Trauma on Schools and Learning”

This online resource offers research-based information on how trauma impacts students, including their learning. Of particular relevance to educators, this resource has information on how schools can understand and respond to the specific—and differentiated—needs of children experiencing trauma.  


Susan Cole:

“Addressing Trauma’s Impact on Learning Should Be Central to the Way Schools Are Run”

This article from The Huffington Post provides a clear argument for why trauma sensitivity needs to be an educational priority. The article is a helpful resource for anyone attempting to convince colleagues, parents, or administrators of why trauma sensitivity should be prioritized and given adequate time and resources.

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