Teachers prepare for Trauma Informed Care training

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — Trauma Informed Care is a structure and treatment framework that involves understanding, recognizing and responding to the effects of all types of trauma.

The school district's goal is to eventually have teachers trained on Trauma Informed Care with Dr. Jackson in all of the schools.

April Howard, the executive director of psychological and student services for Harrisonburg City Public Schools (HCPS), said Trauma Informed Care is something the district has been implementing for years, and they are always looking for ways to make it stronger.

For the 2018-2019 school year, HCPS has partnered with Dr. Allison Jackson, a licensed clinical social worker from the Richmond area, for peer coaching.

The model is being piloted at three different schools: Stone Spring Elementary School, Thomas Harrison Middle School, and Harrisonburg High School.

All of the pilot schools have a team of teachers who have professional development opportunities to receive coaching and consultation with Dr. Jackson.

Monday, March 18, 2019, will be a full day of coaching for all of the teachers involved with Dr. Jackson. They will get to talk about the progress they have made this year.

"It's important to have it on the front line, as far as the classroom teachers, to understand what that looks like and this partnership allows just that. It allows teachers to understand about trauma-informed care and the responses," said Jackson.

The focus for this school year has been on what is happening in the classrooms through observations. The training on Monday will help the teachers who are participating be able to discuss the steps of what is to come.

Howard said the goal is to have Dr. Jackson in different schools next year while the ones that were piloted this year would continue to use the techniques and move forward.

Howard said this training goes along with the social-emotional learning the district has implemented and that it will help to grow the understanding of Trauma Informed Care.