March 2017 
trauma Sensitive SCHOOLS IN FOCUS
Trauma sensitive schools in focus 
This is the seventh edition of the Trauma Sensitive Schools In Focus newsletter. Why are you are receiving this update? Because you are either a local Defending Childhood partner or a leader in implementing trauma sensitive projects in your district, building or agency. This bimonthly newsletter features general DCI news, updates from local districts and a collection of media stories from the past month highlighting issues related to addressing trauma in schools, positive behavior supports and educational equity.  

With the federal grant funding for Defending Childhood's trauma sensitive schools work ending in June 2017 the focus of this winter and spring is all sustainability.  

Toward that end DCI staff completed two cohorts of Train the Trainer sessions.  In December 2016 the first cohort of twenty five participants selected from local districts, youth serving agencies and institutions gathered to gain familiarity with and practice delivering five curriculum components. That first cohort has now moved into a learning community phase, with monthly meetings to support peer learning, problem solving and next steps. One nice example of how this Train the Trainer increased capacity is the inclusion of a  Trauma Informed Practices for Youth Workers session into the Institute for Youth Success' training calendar.

Defending Childhood staff also continue to support the Chief Education Office and the Oregon School Based Health Alliance with universal training for staff at Central High and Tigard High, the two schools who received grant funding to pilot trauma informed organizational change. Small teams from these two schools also participated in a second cohort of Train the Trainer held in February.  

A third and final cohort is planned for April 27 and 28 2017, in partnership with the Multnomah Education Service District. There are still a few spots available for this cohort, so please reach out to Kate at for more information. 
Oregon State legislative update 

Thanks to Maureen Hinman, Policy Director at the Oregon School Based Health Alliance (OSBHA), for this summary of two bills working their way through the Oregon State legislature. These bills would reinforce the current pilot of trauma informed organizational change at two Oregon high schools. Maureen cautions that this is the most current information, with changes in bill text, number and dollar amounts likely. 

The Chief Education Office has had a hearing on their bill, Senate Bill 183, which includes an ask for funding (about $6 million) for "Improving access to comprehensive counseling services, instructional strategies and supports that are culturally responsive and trauma-informed". The bill has been referred to the Ways and Means Committee. 

OSBHA also is working on moving a bill, House Bill 2408, which includes an ask for funding specifically to extend the two pilots for two more years. We expect a hearing in the next two weeks. 
trauma sensitive Classroom materials for students
A few very powerful classroom-based materials for educators have crossed my inbox in the past couple months. Here is sampling: 

Thanks to Vanessa Micale with Multnomah County's STRYVE Initiative for forwarding me this excellent curriculum guide   Liber-acy: Liberation from Trauma through Literacy. The closing from this guide, written by Jessica Grande, is so powerful I had to include it all right here: 

From the start of my teaching career, I have been invested in the power that language has to transform an individual, society and the world. I have seen the clichés happen before my eyes.  Books have changed lives.  Books have saved lives.  I have received numerous prison letters thanking me for literacy.  I have students who are still imprisoned, yet write and read to be free. This is liber-acy.

I am confident that this unit will provide new lenses for my students to approach literature and themselves.  It will empower them to create healthy lives even while living in dire conditions; as educators we must all be hopeful that this can actually happen. I care deeply about my student's understanding, but after my research, their health is also my concern.

The etymology of the word doctor is "to teach" from the Latin, docēre.  What if all teachers knew this role? We are not simply knowledge givers but actual healers.

Teaching Tolerance continues to be the 'go to' resource for supporting students and staff in the new post election reality. Their Spring 2017 Magazine is loaded with resources, including this very practical and helpful guide about supporting immigrant youth and their families who may be undocumented.

Don't Flip Yo Lid, forwarded to me by Kristin Wilson in Gresham-Barlow, is a super catchy video featuring students talking about the brain and staying emotionally regulated. Check it out! You won't be able to get it out of your head!
Upcoming conferences 

Clackamas, OR 
March 17, 2017  

Beyond Paper Tigers 2017           
Walla Walla, WA 
June 28 and 29, 2017 

St Louis, MI                               
June 12 and 13, 2017 
On the web... 
A few more local resources and articles 

Education NW, February 2017
This dense, but useful guide from Education NW provides an overview of the seminal research supporting trauma sensitive practices in schools. 

ACES Connection,  February 27, 2017 
This essay is a nice summary outlining the best thinking in how schools can engage, at the leadership level, with trauma informed organizational change. 

Huffington Post, February 21, 2017 
This article provides a nice description of the participation of Oregon Health Sciences University, Trillium Family Services, Concordia University and Portland Public Schools in the Building Community Resilience initiative.
multnomah county trauma sensitive schools advisory and networking group 

Interested in providing guidance on trauma informed strategies happening in schools county-wide? The advisory group is composed of representatives from districts across the County. Themes for 2016/2017 include guiding the development of Train the trainer models, building readiness and furthering the inclusion of educational equity into school based trauma sensitive practice. 

The next meeting is Monday, March 20th, 2017 from 4:00-5:30PM. Contact for more details. 
Kate Gigler | Defending Childhood Initiative | 503-988-2402 |