November 2016 
trauma informed SCHOOLS IN FOCUS
Trauma informed schools in focus 
This is the sixth 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.  
After the Election 
As this newsletter was being finalized the Presidential election results were rolling in. The outcome had an immediate impact on students, their families and school staff in districts around Multnomah County. The impact was disproportionate: students and families of immigrant and refugee backgrounds, from communities of color, Muslims and LGBTQ identified youth have real reason to experience fear and toxic stress as they navigate their daily interactions with other individuals and the larger systems in which they participate. Now, more than ever, the resiliency, healing and equity described in trauma informed approaches can establish schools as safe harbors for  all students, families and staff

Teaching Tolerance has tangible resources for school staff, including essays and activities entitled The Day After, What to Say to Kids on November 10th and the Days After and Post Election Activity: "Voting in Your Town".  
Changing Minds 
Futures Without Violence, in partnership with co sponsors Ad Council and the Defending Childhood Initiative, released several new resources for school staff designed to raise awareness of and address childhood exposure. 

First, the public relation campaign: Changing Minds was launched at a White House event on October 18th and features a series of print, web based and social media campaigns targeting teachers, medical professionals and others who have regular contact with young people.   Here is a really nice Washington Post article describing the campaign. 

The website for this campaign includes powerful videos that can be used as training tools and lay out the 'everyday gestures' that can be used to help students heal from trauma.  Both the 'Unique' and 'Chad' videos are excellent launching points to engage with staff about resiliency. 

Simultaneously, Futures Without Violence also developed and piloted a curriculum for use with school staff on trauma informed practices. Five local schools recently attended a pilot of this two day 'Changing Minds' Institute in Portland, OR. They engaged in dialogue and provided feedback on the curriculum.  Huge thanks to the small teams from Vestal K-8, Rigler School and Alliance High Schools (Portland Public) and Lincoln Park and Mill Park (David Douglas SD) for taking the time to attend. The curriculum is still in development so stay tuned for more news on its future availability. 
Click here to learn more about gestures that can heal
local happenings and resources 
There are bright spots of trauma informed work happening in schools and districts across Oregon this fall. Here are three highlights:   

ACE Intervention Learning Collaborative: Last school year the Gladstone School District facilitated a series of monthly learning sessions that included small teams of administrators, including superintendents, from seven school districts. The teams participated in sessions with national thought leaders in the trauma informed schools movement. This summary provides nice detail on that effort.  

Oregon's Chief Education Office is continuing its pilot of trauma informed organizational change. Last spring the state legislature allocated funds to, among other things, hire 'Trauma Informed Coordinators' to support the building-level work at Tigard High School and Central High School. For districts or schools considering allocating resources to support similar work, a job description for the Coordinator role can be found here.

Multnomah Education Service District's Hospital Program at Legacy  Emmanuel partners with Peace in Schools to offer professional development to staff on mindfulness. This partnership was was recently spotlighted on Peace in School's blog. Be sure to watch the powerful video highlighting a student's story. 

Equity, empowerment and behavioral health planning: A local group representing mostly mid and east Multnomah County school districts has been in dialogue over the past two years about how to better support the social emotional needs of students, families and staff following an acute traumatic incident. The result of this work is a trauma informed   Behavioral Health Response Plan that summarizes best practices. After considering the application of this plan to the local school context here in the County the group perceived the need to take a step back and apply a race and equity lens to this document. Linked here is a draft of Equity, Empowerment and Behavioral Health Planning ; we welcome your feedback, suggestions or edits. Please send to 
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Brief
September 2016
This issue brief highlights the impacts of teacher stress on the profession and the hopeful and promising interventions in use to mitigate the negative impacts of that stress. If you don't have time for the entire brief, check out this video summary.  

ACES Connection blog
October 24, 2016 
The Defending Childhood State Policy Initiative and the National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice issued guidance on how to determine when trauma screening is indicated, and how to go about collecting and utilizing data generated from the process. 

Kaiser Permanente, Thriving Schools partnership 
October 2016 
Kaiser is taking on school staff wellness in a big way. Their Thriving Schools initiative offers a ton of resources and opportunities for learning. 

ACES Connection blog 
September 28, 2016 
The White House convened a forum in September that highlighted work designed to specifically support girls of color through school-based trauma informed approaches. The article link above provides some good resources that sit at the intersection of schools, trauma, race and resiliency. Among the partners of this forum is the National Crittenton Foundation, which focuses on the belief that girls and young women impacted by violence can 'believe, achieve and empower. '  
multnomah county trauma informed schools advisory group 

Interested in providing guidance on trauma informed strategies happening in schools county-wide? This advisory group is composed of representatives from districts across the County. As an example, In the past month this group guided the roll out of a new Trauma Informed Practices Train the Trainer initiative. Twenty five candidates who work in settings ranging from early childhood to K-12 to higher education were selected to participate in this two day event in early December 2016. Look for a Train the Trainer recap in the next newsletter. 

The next advisory group meeting is Monday, November 28 from 4:00-5:30PM. Contact for more details. 
Kate Gigler | Defending Childhood Initiative | 503-988-2402 |