April 2019
Newsletter of the Center for Educational Improvement
The Importance of Safe and Nurturing Classrooms
Dear Educators,

The Childhood-Trauma Learning Collaborative (C-TLC), designed by the Center for Educational Improvement (CEI) and the Yale University Program for Recovery and Community Health, is a regional effort to strengthen mental health supports that address the needs of children who have experienced or are at risk of experiencing significant trauma in the New England area.

Learn more about the C-TLC and our upcoming "Kick Off Event" with the 23 Fellows selected to support this initiative. We are excited to work with this diverse group of educational leaders from school districts across the New England region.

Through this effort, CEI will work with a core group to learn how trauma affects their students and provide them with valuable resources like the interventions for trauma we explore in this month’s newsletter. Stay posted for updates on our work to expand this initiative nationally.
The Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools: Success in Two School Districts
By Kristen Hayes, CEI Intern

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (2017) reported that about two-thirds of children in the United States experience at least one traumatic event, either as victims or witnesses, by the age of 16. A large public health movement has arisen to address the numerous negative consequences of these experiences. Many organizations have begun to explore what it might look like to bring information on trauma and child development into the educational context to create trauma-informed schools.

The Work of Dr. Bruce Perry: Breaking the Intergenerational Cycle of Trauma
By Suzan Mullane, CEI Faculty

The dark side of childhood traumaits essence and the healing potential of human relationships is brilliantly captured in Bruce Perry’s classic work, The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog (Perry & Szalavitz, 2006).

Neuroscience and childhood trauma can be confusing, but Dr. Perry’s case studies are fascinating and easily understood. He presents the developing brain in the context of the human condition a blend of science and humanity. Narratives on sociopathic behavior and how it develops, for instance, crystallize the reader’s notion that childhood trauma is everyone’s problem.

Reactive Attachment Disorder and Brain Architecture

By June Naureckas, CEI Intern & Suzan Mullane, CEI Faculty

Some children have difficulties bonding with others. In extreme cases, these children may appear sad, listless, and withdrawn. They may show little or no interest in toys, playing, or interacting with peers.

Normally, young children will respond when an adult picks them up to comfort them; however, in cases of Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) children may not quiet the yelling and distress may continue.

What role do early classroom teachers have when young children show such distress?

Improving Mental Health in Schools

T he Yale University Program for Recovery and Community Health  and the Center for Educational Improvement invite school leaders in the New England region to learn more about the Childhood-Trauma Learning Collaborative.

Applicable States:
Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont

“...It is probably the sense of being really needed and wanted which gives us the greatest satisfaction and creates the most lasting bond.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt

For a child who has experienced trauma, the school building might be their only safe space and the adults inside might be their only opportunity for a healthy bond. If we want to help heal the pain our students carry within, we must react to their challenges with compassion and questions rather than frustration and punishment.

Christine Mason
Executive Director
Center for Educational Improvement