June 2016
trauma informed SCHOOLS IN FOCUS
Trauma informed schools in focus 
This is the fifth edition of the Trauma Informed Schools In Focus newsletter. Why are you receiving this update? Because you are either a local Defending Childhood Initiative (DCI) partner or a leader in implementing trauma informed 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....
Responding to acute incidents in and around schools

While Defending Childhood initiative sites tend to focus on chronic forms of childhood violence exposure, we are locally involved with supporting buildings and districts in the response to and recovery from acute traumatic incidents that occur in and around school communities. Here are some resources and highlights from that work:    

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) has a wealth of resources to support schools with the three  R's of Crises and Disaster  ( Readiness, Response and Recovery ). Two resources we have relied on include: 
  • There are fabulous handouts designed for parents and caregivers with tips on how to provide support to their children following an incident of mass violence. Defending Childhood is hoping to get translations of these sheets into other languages commonly spoken in Multnomah County.  
In May 2015, 170 local Counselors, School Psychologists, School Based Mental Health Consultants and other partner staff attended two full days of training on PFA and Post Traumatic Stress Management (PTSM).  A survey was distributed in Fall 2015 to get updates on participant progress with trying out these approaches within their districts; a summary of that report can be found here. Thanks to all those who responded! 

Finally, local district representatives have been engaged in a process to develop a recommended  Behavioral Health Response Plan  to support student's socio emotional needs following a crisis or disaster .  The plan pulled from the work of other states, like New Hampshire and West Virginia, but was adapted for local needs. Racial and economic inequities tend to be exacerbated during times of crises, so as the process continues this summer it will include an application of Multnomah County's Equity and Empowerment Lens.

Lorena Campbell, East County Schools Intergovernmental  Liaison, has been guiding this process, and summed up the project this way: "Partners in mental health, law enforcement, and emergency management have worked with schools to build a long term response that uses best practices to develop common practice and training to support students, staff and families after a critical incident."
Also in DCI events.... 
Black Men and Boys Healing Summit; the 'Changing Minds' Institute. 

Defending Childhood will be busy in the fall with several big initiatives on the horizon: 

The Black Men and Boys Healing Summit is set for early October 2016. This summit is being organized by Healing Hurt Men, Black Male Achievement and the National Center for Male Trauma and Loss and is supported through Defending Childhood, Multnomah County and the City of Portland. There is currently an RFP out for session proposals. Please send out to your networks. 

As part of its Changing Minds Initiative,  Futures Without Violence will be piloting its new curriculum for school staff -  Preventing and Responding to Childhood Trauma: new strategies for schools and communities - in October 2016 In Portland.  Three schools from PPS and two David Douglas schools are lined up to send small teams to this two day institute.
In the media.... 
A collection of reporting, blog posts, and essays from the last month.  

The past month delivered quite the varied and rich range of articles that sit at the confluence of childhood adversity, education and race. Here is the round up: 

A sobering summary of the 2013/2014 data collected as part of the U.S. Education Department's Civil Rights Data Collection survey, which  covers more than 95,000 schools and 50 million students.
NPR Ed, June 7th 2016 

Two public health researchers provide commentary on providing a more seamless system of support that blend physical health supports in education settings in: 
Washington Post, June 6th 2016 

This story provides a great description of the engagement with school staff around a trauma informed lens:
KQED News & NPR, June 6th 2016

An interview with the author Paul Tough about his new book, Helping Children Succeed. 
Salon, May 28th 2016

A team of researchers spent a year in schools in Chicago studying Mindfulness, specifically its impact on students of color.  This great article details their work and research results: 
The Atlantic, May 20th 2016.  

This article details the ways in which punitive discipline responses can actually intensify stress responses in children that are already at toxic levels. 
Slate, May 13th 2016 

multnomah county trauma informed schools advisory 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. We are on our summer hiatus now, but are recruiting for new membership for the 2016/2017 school year.

The next meeting is Monday, September 26th 2016 from 4:00-5:30PM. 
Contact Kate.gigler@multco.us for more details. 
Kate Gigler | Defending Childhood Initiative | 503-988-2402 | kate.gigler@multco.us