MAY 2017 
trauma Sensitive SCHOOLS IN FOCUS
Trauma sensitive schools in focus 
This is the eighth edition of the Trauma Sensitive Schools In Focus newsletter. Why are you receiving this update? Because you are either a local Defending Childhood (DCI) 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.  
IN DCI news....

Across Multnomah County the conversation of how to meaningfully integrate school based restorative justice (RJ) and trauma sensitive approaches is alive and well at many tables. The effort to integrate these two approaches will required a lot of shared learning, starting at the top with district leadership and filtering all the way down to building level staff. The Defending Childhood Initiative and Resolutions NW  have committed to supporting that exploration. 

At its most basic  both RJ and 'trauma sensitive' center on relationships as a vehicle for repairing harm and facilitating healing. They both elevate student empowerment, equity and voice. But the details remain less clear:  What do community circles look like when they are trauma sensitive? How can building-level leadership teams integrate trauma sensitive practices and RJ?? What are the underlying principles that both approaches share? What does it look like for professional development and follow up coaching to meaningfully include both?   Stay tuned, or if you are interested in helping with this visioning work e-mail Kate at 
DDSD Lincoln Park staff engage in an equity & resiliency library review 
In local districts... 

The Defending Childhood Initiative has now completed three Train the Trainer cohorts. Participants of these sessions engaged in two full days of interactive learning and engagement that prepared them to deliver the five curriculum components of Anchoring Resiliency: Trauma sensitive practices for educational settings.

The first cohort - held in December 2016 - is off and running around the County facilitating professional development and other planning activities. Updates are pouring in from Terry Marchyok (RSD), Laura Eccles (Multnomah County), Chris Roberts (Springdale JobCorps), Hannah Snyder (DDSD), Angie Turner (MESD, Unity Behavioral Healthcare) and Teisha Parchment (PPS). Read more about their great work here.
In the Legislature...  

Many of you are keeping your eyes on the State of Oregon's spring legislative session. In the last newsletter I mentioned Senate Bill 183, which is the Graduation Equity Fund. This bill, if fully funded, will scale up the Chief Education Office trauma sensitive pilot from 2 to 20 schools across the state. That bill was passed out of the education committee, and is currently sitting with the Ways and Means Committee. The Chief Education Office recently released this excellent one pager which frames their Trauma Informed Approach to Education. 

At the federal level there is also action.  This ACEs Connection blog includes a great summary of the Trauma-Informed Care for Children and Families Act of 2017 which would disseminate best practices to providers in a variety of settings, including teachers, and support the workforce through enhanced teacher training programs. 
In the media... 

Great videos are everywhere this month! 

Thanks to Terry Marchyok in RSD for her forward of  Every Opportunity, a video put out by the Atlanta Speech School. It is a stark before and after contrast of what it looks like for all sorts of school staff to provide a safe and supportive school environment. 

Hillsboro School District has a nice video highlighting the Wellness Center at Butternut Creek Elementary which was set up through their Trauma Informed Care pilot. They also have a good newsletter describing more of the work; look to page 12 for that summary. 

Laura Eccles, with Multnomah County School Based Mental Health, brought to my attention  Remembering Trauma which was recently released by the Center for Child Trauma Assessment, Services and Interventions at Northwestern University. " The film illustrates the impact of complex trauma and the potential for misdiagnosis across various service systems." The website that accompanies this short film is full of great training resources. 

Finally, my favorite essay from the past several months, comes from Berkeley's Greater Good Center:  How to Change the Story about Students of Color. The article is a warning about the role that Social Emotional Learning (SEL) initiatives can have in the propagation of a 'failure narrative' about students of color. The author Dena Simmons lays out the specifics of commitments that educators can make to transform the common stories that are told about students of color into those of survivorship. 
multnomah county trauma Sensitive schools advisory and networking group 

Interested in providing guidance on and networking around trauma sensitive strategies happening in schools county-wide? The advisory and networking group is composed of representatives from districts across the County.

Our last meeting of the school year is Monday, May 22nd from 4:00-5:30PM. Contact for more details. 
Kate Gigler | Defending Childhood Initiative | 503-988-2402 |