Building Resilient Communities
BUILDING RESILIENT COMMUNITIES:
School Pathways for Trauma-Informed Practices
The Grants Pass School District is committed to creating safe learning environments for all students. To that end, we are focused on what is called trauma-informed practices for all of our schools and facilities. But what does it mean to be "trauma-informed?" Based on the latest brain science, we now know that most of us experience some form of adversity, sometimes to such a degree that our actual body will adapt to the adversity--that is, our bodies adapt to our surroundings so that we can be resilient. This often is evident in the way that we face daily issues, usually in a quick fight, flight, or freeze response. To read more about Building Resilient Communities, click here.
Understanding How We Adapt to Adversity: The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACES)
Stress is a normal part of human existence. The body’s response to stress enables us to act quickly, avert danger, and even save lives. However, what we understand now about how chronic stress affects us has substantially changed due to the findings of a particular study. Based on a large scale population study in the 1990s, the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACES) has provided significant insight into how we as human beings respond to trauma in our own lives. Based on a middle-class population in San Diego, California, over 17,000 adults participated in the study.
To learn more about ACES, please click here.
Dr. Bloomquist is featured on the state website regarding adversity and schools. To watch the video, you can click the link below:
School-Wide Staff Development Models
New training for school personnel, stemming from the research, is resulting in methods and strategies that help students self-regulate and become what we call, “brain ready” for learning. As we do trainings about ACEs with our school staff, the most common question posed is, “What can we do?” Fortunately, there is a next step for us that is rooted firmly in the research of ACEs and trauma-informed practices with a direct application to schools.
Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)
Why are Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) standards important for Oregon? This is an important question and the core of the answer to this question lies in how our bodies adapt and interact with the world. Dr. Bruce Perry’s work in understanding the way in which humans adapt to adversity has provided keen insight into how SEL skills increase a person’s ability to adapt positively to the world. He has helped us understand that how we learn is done in a neurosequential way, that is, there is a sequential process to how neurons grow and connect or are pruned away and disconnected. As we understand how this works in us, we learn that SEL skills support our neurosequential processes and in fact, increase our ability and be resilient in life. Click here to read more.
The Neurosequential Model for Education (NME) or Therapy (NMT)
Neurosequential Model in Education (NME) draws upon the NMT (a neurodevelopmentally-informed, biologically respectful perspective on human development and functioning) to help educators understand student behavior and performance. Click here to learn more about NME and NMT.
As we learn more about the complexities of development, an important aspect of our school work is remaining healthy. We need to be our best self in order to support our children and families while in our care.
Positive Discipline in the Classroom (developed by Jane Nelsen and Lynn Lott) is a research-based classroom management program that empowers teachers with skills to build their students’ sense of community, prepare them for successful living, and increase academic achievement. Positive Discipline in the Classroom materials go hand in hand with the Positive Discipline Parent Education Program that can be taught at your school to increase the parent-school connection. Click here to learn more. You can download the Positive Discipline flyer here.
Restorative justice is a theory of justice that focuses on mediation and agreement rather than punishment. Offenders must accept responsibility for harm and make restitution with victims. The concept has been around for hundreds of years, with indigenous people, like the Maori, using restorative justice successfully in their communities for generations. In the late 20th century, restorative justice gained traction in the US and other countries as various groups sought to improve the effectiveness of the criminal justice system. Using restorative practices in schools is highly successful, repairing broken relationships with students, and keeping students in school. Click here to learn more.