Title

Social and Emotional Learning to support students with Complex Trauma

Focused Area

Improving School Climate for Youth-At-Risk

Relevance to Focused Area

Kids coming from Complex Trauma need an exceptionally safe environment in order to fully capitalize on their learning. Social and Emotionally Learning can be used to help build that environment as well as to help these students to manage their emotions and control their attention in order to aid their learning.

Primary Strand

Social & Emotional Skills

Relevance to Primary Strand

This session will discuss how to use Social and Emotional Learning to directly impact students coming from Complex Trauma.

Brief Program Description

Exposure to adverse childhood experience rates in marginalized communities often exceed 60%! The result: students developing complex trauma. This session will cover how complex trauma impacts a student's ability to cope and to learn. We will discuss ways to shape our instruction to support these students, and explain how social and emotional learning plays a crucial role in these students' success.

Summary

In the general population, exposure to adverse childhood experience rates are about 30%; in marginalized communities those exposure rates often exceed 60%! The exposure to these experiences: maltreatment; substance abuse in the caregiver; community, school, or family violence; death of a parent; even poverty, can result in students developing complex trauma, and this trauma has the potential to overwhelm a child's ability to cope and to learn.

Research into complex trauma shows students with three or more adverse childhood experiences, after controlling for other risks, are three times more likely than peers with no known adverse childhood experiences, to face academic failure; five times more likely to have severe attendance problems; six times more likely to have severe school behavior concerns; and four times more likely to have frequent reported poor health.

Studying the way that complex trauma impacts the brain has given educators insight into how to shape instruction to support the learning of these students and to help them to overcome these odds.

This session will go over the research behind complex trauma, where it comes from, and how it shapes a students' educational experience. It will then cover the types of simple interventions that can be weaved into a school day that will help these students retain their sense of safety, and thus their ability to learn.

Social and emotional learning (SEL) can play a key role in providing this support. With SEL's emphasis on teaching self-awareness, self-management, relationship skills, social awareness, and positive decision-making - this intervention can not only shape the climate of the school for these students, but also help them to build skills necessary in bolstering their resilience and helping them to be successful learners.

Participants will leave having gained useful insight into their students and feeling empowered with tools and strategies they can use to impact their students' learning in a positive way.

Evidence

According to the Washington State University Area Health Education Center, Complex Trauma can disrupt cognition - causing students to have difficulty in their ability to learn and process verbal information, to use language as a vehicle for communication, to organize and remember new information, to understand cause and effect, and to focus on tasks at hand.

According to EdSource, (Dec. 2, 2013) classroom strategies for managing traumatized students align with evidence-based social and emotional programs. Social and Emotional Learning programs, per Durlak, Weissberg, et al meta-analysis of 213 rigorous studies of SEL in schools help students to reduce their emotional distress, including fewer reports of student depression, anxiety, stress, and social withdrawal.

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Victoria Blakeney holds a Master’s Degree in Education Leadership and more than ten years’ experience in the administration of school-based programs for social and emotional learning. In Victoria's current role at the Nevada Department of Education she is responsible for providing technical assistance and training in bullying prevention, identification and reporting; facilitating positive school climates and positive human relationships; and teaching pro-social skills. She served as the first Social and Emotional Learning Curriculum Coordinator in the Anchorage School District, bringing together diverse stakeholders to plan, coordinate and implement school initiatives, and was honored by the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning as the first ever winner of the Joseph E. Zins Purpose Award, given to a practitioner who has contributed substantially to promoting system-level changes for SEL in schools. Victoria has been both a high school teacher and an elementary school vice-principal, where she worked to implement social and emotional learning theories and practice at the classroom and school level, and has worked with curriculum developers to write SEL lessons for publication.

Trish Shaffer is the Coordinator of the Multi-Tiered Systems of Support and Social Emotional Learning Department at the Washoe County School District. As such, she has designed and offered district-wide professional learning with follow-up coaching or support to central office personnel, site-based administrators, school-based educators, and educational support professionals on Social and Emotional Learning. She is in charge of designing and executing the roll-out plan for SEL for 102 schools and all students PreK-12 in the Washoe County School District. Trish has a Master of Arts Degree in Special Education, with an emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis, and served as a Special Education teacher as well as a college instructor, teaching courses on how to teach special education and how to support families with children with disabilities. Trish won the Mary Utne O'Brien Award, given by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) in 2013, and gave a TEDx Talk in 2014. Trish has a second Master of Arts Degree in Administration and Supervision.

Start Date

11-7-2015 10:15 AM

End Date

11-7-2015 11:30 AM

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Nov 7th, 10:15 AM Nov 7th, 11:30 AM

Social and Emotional Learning to support students with Complex Trauma

Exposure to adverse childhood experience rates in marginalized communities often exceed 60%! The result: students developing complex trauma. This session will cover how complex trauma impacts a student's ability to cope and to learn. We will discuss ways to shape our instruction to support these students, and explain how social and emotional learning plays a crucial role in these students' success.