Transforming Trauma

Trauma-informed practices has become a hot topic among schools and educators. Research shows us that 1 in 4 students will experience a traumatic event by their 16thbirthday. We know that symptoms of traumatic stress can mimic symptoms of ADHD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, and other behavior disorders which cause classroom disruptions and inhibit all students’ ability to learn. Schools across that nation have seen the importance of implementing trauma-informed practices in order to decrease negative behaviors and discipline referrals as well as improve the school climate and teacher satisfaction and retention. Our very own Riverside Intermediate School is in their second year of using trauma-informed approaches to make a difference with their students.

Riverside Intermediate has trained the entire staff in trauma-informed practices and continues to have monthly grade-level consultation meetings with Brittany Phillips, CCSD’s Social Emotional Learning Specialist. Every classroom has implemented ‘calm down corners’, equipped with sensory items to help students regulate themselves while remaining in the classroom environment. Students are taught important social emotional skills such as feeling identification, self-regulation, and reflection. Restorative circles are also used daily to help build community and a sense of belonging for all students. Riverside Intermediate has taken big strides in becoming a trauma-informed school and we are excited to see how they continue to grow and develop in the coming years.


Kelly McNabb, Supervisor
Positive School Culture

Contributing Author: Brittany Phillips, Social Emotional Learning Specialist

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