Effingham, IL -(Effingham Radio)- Regional Superintendent Julie Wollerman is proud to announce that ROE 3 Youth Education Services (Schools Division) is implementing a trauma-informed school training program for staff and students this year. Both the Vandalia and Effingham alternative sites will be part of a 3-year pilot program to introduce trauma-informed practices including trauma care, trauma sensitive classroom strategies, restorative practices and mindfulness.
This first year both schools have adopted a new Social Emotional Learning Curriculum and are implementing with fidelity. The school day is beginning with restorative circles and students are learning to engage in discussions that will connect them with each other as well as the adult in the room. With just these few changes, the building principals are reporting fewer absences, less tardies and office referrals. Data is being collected in all stages of implementation so both quantitative and qualitative data can be compared and analyzed.
When asked what benefits are being noticed in just these first few months of school, building principal, Amber Kidd, replied, “In the short time we have been using trauma informed practices, we have seen students recognize their triggers, regulate themselves and return to class without an outburst or disruption to the classroom. Students are using the classroom circle time to create a community within the classroom which has decreased classroom disruptions.” Principal, Laura Benhoff noted, “After almost 20 years in education and 13 years working with the alternative education population, a closer look at trauma practices has been eye opening. Our students are flourishing with circles and our attendance is improved. We are truly thankful for this opportunity.”
In year two and three of implementation, more professional development will be provided and more strategies will be implemented gradually. We are now helping ten other district teams in our region start their own three your journey in hopes that we can better meet the emotional needs of our students and more learning can occur giving students the opportunity to be more successful. For more information please contact Angela Reeter at firstname.lastname@example.org or (618) 283-5011.