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Why are Trauma-Informed Practices important?

Between one-half to two-thirds of all school-aged children experience trauma, and more than 30 percent of children have multiple traumatic experiences. These statistics do not account for the trauma of ongoing racial discrimination and microaggressions that students of color experience, nor the lasting mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, suggesting that the actual rate of child trauma may be much higher.

Children who have experienced trauma tend to be disciplined more often at school and are frequently labeled as “problem children”. Without intervention, unaddressed trauma can be the first step of the school-to-prison pipeline. Punitive responses to trauma-based behavior can be particularly damaging to students of color, who are more likely to be suspended or expelled than their white counterparts. Schools that recognize and respond to child trauma have seen gains in student achievement and reduced incidence of delinquency.

What is the School of Education doing?

Office of Education Solutions (OES) is partnering with Resilient Futures to build the capacity of current and future teachers to recognize and respond to trauma in school environments with children, build healing and equitable classrooms, and address secondary trauma in themselves and their coworkers. This initiative includes:

Integrating trauma-informed practices (TIP) into the School of Education curriculum for pre-service teachers:

  • TIP is being integrated into the entire School of Education curriculum so all students graduate with the skills to build equitable, culturally-responsive and trauma-informed classrooms and schools
  • With TIP taught alongside existing course learning objectives, students understand how TIP is fundamental to all aspects of teaching and not supplemental or add-on
  • A four-part professional learning series on TIP is also offered to School of Education students, as well as School of Education alumni, faculty and staff

Supporting in-service teachers and schools to implement TIP:

  • The Office of Education Solutions is offering in-person and virtual professional development and consultation on TIP to support the widespread implementation of these practices in PreK-12 settings
  • Through a $100K Constellation Philanthropy Grant, the Early Childhood Education (ECE) department will scale the implementation of TIP and equity in ECE settings, and the placement of pre-service teachers in these settings

Ongoing research and evaluation:

  • Preliminary research by School of Education faculty Drs. Ofelia Schepers and Kathryn Young indicates pre-service teachers that participate in two or more TIP professional learning sessions have statistically significantly reduced secondary traumatic stress as compared to teacher candidates who do not participate in any sessions
  • Through a $389K Spencer Foundation grant, Drs. Schepers and Young will examine the impact of TIP on secondary traumatic stress in novice teachers. This study will examine an innovative partnership model intended to reduce secondary traumatic stress through supporting novice teachers in a unique Reflective Consultation approach in their first three years of teaching

If you are interested in learning more about professional development for in-service teachers and schools, or have questions about the program in general, please email [email protected].

The Office of Education Solutions is deeply grateful to the Buell Foundation, which has funded the TIP program from its infancy. The TIP program would not be possible without their support. The OES also thanks Gary Community Ventures and the Rose Community Foundation for their prior support.

Our vision is that trauma-informed practices will become so fundamental to educator preparation and school systems that future educators will not remember a time without it.


12/2/21: Spring 2022 TIP Professional Learning Series announced, save the date(s)!

School of Education students, alumni, faculty, staff and mentor teachers have an opportunity to attend a FREE 4-part professional learning series on creating trauma-informed and equitable learning environments! See the TIP Professional Learning Series listing in our Events section to learn more.

Events in Trauma-Informed Practices

TIP Professional Learning Series - Spring 2022


Every semester the School of Education provides a FREE 4-part professional learning series on creating trauma-informed and equitable learning environments. These sessions are available to all School of Education students, alumni, faculty, staff and mentor teachers.

We schedule multiple date options for these professional learnings. The content is the same for each date option (i.e. all Part 1s are the same and all Part 2s are the same).

The topics covered in these sessions are as follows:

Date options for Part 1: How Trauma and Stress Impact Learning:

  • Thursday, February 10th, 2022, 5:00 to 7:30pm (virtual)
  • Thursday, March 3rd, 2022, 5:00 to 7:30pm (virtual)
  • Saturday, March 12th, 2022, 9:00 to 11:30am (in-person, but subject to change)

Date options for Part 2: Cultural Humility (you MUST have already attended Part 1 to attend Part 2):

  • Thursday, February 17th, 2022, 5:00 to 7:30pm (virtual)
  • Saturday, March 12th, 2022, 12:00 to 2:30pm (in-person, but subject to change)
  • Thursday, March 17th, 2022, 5:00 to 7:30pm (virtual)

RSVP link for Parts 1 & 2 coming soon!

After completing Parts 1 and 2 you will be sent invites for Parts 3 and 4.

  • Part 3: Social Emotional Learning and Fostering Resilience
  • Part 4: Empowerment and Safety

Date options for Part 3: Social Emotional Learning and Fostering Resilience (you MUST have already attended Parts 1 and 2 to attend Part 3)

  • Thursday, April 7th, 2022, 5:00 to 7:30pm (virtual)
  • Saturday, April 23rd, 2022, 9:00 to 11:30am (in-person, but subject to change)

Date options for Part 4: Empowerment and Safety (you MUST have already attended Part 3 to attend Part 4):

  • Thursday, April 21st, 2022, 5:00 to 7:30pm (virtual)
  • Saturday, April 23rd, 2022, 12:00 to 2:30pm (in-person, but subject to change)

If you are interested in attending and you are not a School of Education student, alumni, faculty, staff, or mentor teacher, please email [email protected]. You can also email [email protected] if you have any questions or comments.

Did you miss the screening of Resilience?

Graphic promo image from the movie Resilience.
We’ve got you covered!  Click the image above to view a recording of the screening and following panel discussion from September 10th, 2020.

Resources for Trauma-Informed Practices

Adolescent Mental Health

Coping In Hard Times for High School & College Aged Youth (NCTSN) Homepage


Adverse Childhood Experiences

CDC Page on Adverse Childhood Experiences


COVID-19 Resources

A Trauma-Informed Approach to Teaching Through Coronavirus (Teaching Tolerance)

Addressing Race & Trauma In The Classroom for Educators (NCTSN)

Brief COVID-19 Screening Form Child & Adolescent PTSD (UCLA)

COVID19 HEARTS Core Guiding Principles (Resilient Futures)

COVID19 HEARTS Core Guiding Principles for ECE (Resilient Futures)

Helping Homebound Children During COVID19 Outbreak (CSTS)

How to Respond to Coronavirus Racism (Teaching Tolerance)

Online Teaching Can Be Culturally Responsive (Teaching Tolerance)

Parent & Caregiver Guide to Helping Families Cope with COVID19 (NCTSN)

Self Care During COVID19 (NCTSN)


Culturally-Responsive Teaching

Lesson Plans (Teaching Tolerance)

Teaching Strategies (Teaching Tolerance)

Articles (Teaching Tolerance)


Educator Wellness & Secondary Traumatic Stress

Care for the Caregiver After A Crisis – Tips for Families & Educators (NASP)

Coping In Hard Times for School Staff (NCTSN)

Secondary Traumatic Stress for Child Serving Professionals (NCTSN)



Childhood Traumatic Grief for School Personnel (NCTSN)


School Violence

Preparing for Crisis Anniversaries – Guidance for Educators (NASP)

Social Media & School Crises – Brief Facts and Tips (NASP)

Talking To Children About Violence – Tips for Parents & Teachers (NASP)


Science of Trauma

The Science of Stress and Trauma (hover over “Science” in top right and choose a topic) (Harvard)

Understanding Trauma: Learning Brain vs Survival Brain (Dr. Jacob Ham)


Trauma-Informed Practices in the Classroom

Simple Activities for Children & Adolescents (NCTSN)

When Schools Cause Trauma Article (Teaching Tolerance)

Newsletter Archive

The Trauma-Informed Practices program is now part of the School of Education’s Office of Education Solutions. The bi-monthly Trauma-Informed Practices newsletter will now be included in the monthly Office of Education Solutions newsletter.

OES Newsletters and all past Trauma-Informed Practices Newsletters are available on the Office of Education Solutions main page in the OES Newsletter Archive.

How can you support?

The School of Education's Trauma-Informed Practices initiative relies on support from our community.