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The Evolution of a Trauma-Informed School


Two years after Edutopia filmed trauma-informed practices at a Nashville school, we check in with the principal to see what has changed.

By Alex Shevrin Venet
September 13, 2019

There is no arrival at a perfect implementation of trauma-informed practices, and no one knows this better than Mathew Portell, principal of Fall-Hamilton Elementary in Nashville. Portell has been leading Fall-Hamilton’s journey with trauma-informed practices for the past several years, and Edutopia profiled one point in this journey in May 2017.

I recently heard Portell share this thought with a group of educators: “Trauma-informed education is a journey, not a checklist.” I wanted to know more about what that journey has looked like at Fall-Hamilton, so I contacted Portell to learn what’s happening at his school now.

T o read the full interview click here

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This is an encouraging read and a good advocacy tool. I’ve been sharing it with administrators and other school counselors in my school district as I am advocating for trauma informed schools.


Alyshia Boagni

School Counselor 

Lafayette, La.

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