Daun Kauffman, member of the Philadelphia ACEs Connection group, has an op-ed in the Daily News that exhorts the reader to consider the significant impact of ACEs on children in Philadelphia when thinking about the issue of education and charter schools. 

Read the article HERE

Leave your comments here, and at Philly.com.

Original Post

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! You hit it out of the park! I had been an inner-city Philadelphia school teacher for many years (both school district & charter) and left feeling ineffective and frustrated for just the reason you stated (although I didn't have a name for it then). I am now back in school studying to be a social worker and having just completed a certificate program in trauma, I learned about ACEs and the impact on families and on children's learning. 

It is my hope to return to schools, this time as a counselor, to work with children, their families, and their schools on this very issue - but first, there have to be counselors in our children's schools.

So, thank you for bringing to light this very important, very real elephant in the living room issue - one that cannot be solved by privatizing - or anything else until it is recognized for what it is - and addressed directly!

A few (very few) "real stories" of real children,  all from only one room in only one year, in only one school, all less than 9yrs old !

At least 12+ more children dealing with chronic or complex trauma in that same room that same year.  Sadly, NOT an unusual year.

It is hard to read the stories and I fear we lose readers with the intensity.  Imagine living it with the children hour by hour, day by day, semester by semester,  while (of course) your focus is "raising test scores" with less and less awareness,  interest or attention to the injuries.

Very insightful article!!  I agree with Daun whole-heartedly.  He expressed very real and problematic concerns our Philadelphia School systems face daily.   Being in the Trauma Counseling Program at Philly U has instilled in my mind (and my class-mates), that the superficial "surface" issues we witness from children are only the tip of the iceberg - there are more than likely underlying concerns to be uncovered.   Families living in urban, poverty-stricken areas are exposed to micro and chronic stressors throughout their lifetime.  In order for children to receive a fundamental education, they must first be grounded in the foundation of stability, consistency, and safety from their families at home. The question arises, however - - how can these children receive this support from their families if their families have experienced similar trauma along with (more than likely) un-diagnosed PTSD?         We must must must focus behavioral and cognitive health of the families living in these conditions - by reaching out to these families and making therapists more available and accessible to those in need.  Gaining more funding for mental health services with appropriate application will lead to furthering growth and progress in the urban community of Philadelphia.     The re-framing of the paradigm, I believe, should begin with the mental health community.

Yes,  a smaller "Urban" study was conducted right here in Philadelphia. It was similar to the CDC/Kaiser study, but added some "Urban ACE" categories and apparently deleted one of the original categories.  I am trying to attach a link to a paper summary and a separate Power Point slide show summary.

http://www.instituteforsafefamilies.org/sites/default/files/isfFile...

http://www.instituteforsafefamilies.org/philadelphia-urban-ace-study

Just read through the links up uploaded!

"In all, over 37% of Philadelphia respondents reported four or more ACEs. The findings from this study suggest the need for services that address the unique environmental stressors experienced in urban neighborhoods to mitigate their impact on individuals and prevent ACEs."

When finding out this number, were you expecting the number reported or believed it was going to be different?

Here are links to a few stories I've done about trauma-informed schools: 

Lincoln High School in Walla Walla, WA, tries a new approach to school discipline; suspensions drop 85%

The secret to fixing school discipline? Change the behavior of adults -- the overview

At Cherokee Point Elementary, kids don't conform to school; school conforms to kids -- San Diego

There's no such thing as a bad kid in these Spokane, WA, trauma-informed elementary schools -- Spokane, WA

Q-and-A with Suzanne Savall, principal of trauma-informed elementary school in Spokane, WA    -- Spokane, WA

San Francisco's El Dorado Elementary uses trauma-informed & restorative practices; suspensions drop 89%

 

I used the numbers available from the public study.  I tried to obtain additional data access with other questions and manipulations,  but no luck.

The "45%+" with 4 or more ACEs is for the Zip Codes Comprising "North Philly", where I have taught for 13 years in same neighborhood. The Zip Code map is found on page 17 of the study.  The caution is the statistical reliability of small sample size.  The reliability concern is why I tried to lump North Philly Zip codes into an aggregate (they're all 45%+ incidence of 4+ ACEs).  I used ONLY the existing data I was allowed to access.

My belief ?  My belief is that Childhood Trauma in North Philly is way understated in this study,  related to some design aspects and some decisions about specific questions included/excluded.  My classroom experience in North Philly, of children I was pretty aware of explicitly (home visits and my neighborhood residence, longitudinal experience with family siblings/relatives etc)  is between 2/3 and 3/4 (very conservatively) have 3+ injury categories.

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