By Sarah D. Sparks, Education Week, August 20, 2019
There's never been a clearer scientific picture of the ways damaging experiences and intense, chronic stress can hurt a child's ability to learn in school. But for many schools, the picture of what trauma-sensitive schooling looks like in practice is still developing.
"We're in an all-fired hurry because there's this 'trauma' thing and we have to help our kids," said Melissa Sadin, the director of the Creating Trauma-Sensitive Schools Initiative, a national group that trains school and district staff. "Yes, but you have to do it correctly, and nobody learns it in a day."
Cognitive and neuroscience studies show traumatic stress interferes with memory and attention, good health, and emotional stability. Students who experience traumatic stress perform worse academically and cognitively, and their teachers reported worse behavior in the classroom, according to a 2016 meta-analysis.