GSOE Female Teacher Students Reading Floor

Lesley Institute for Trauma Sensitivity

Our Institute for Trauma Sensitivity helps teachers, staff, schools, and districts understand how trauma can affect learning, and what to do about it.

Support for the Educational Initiative on Childhood Trauma

Oak FoundationLesley's Educational Initiative on Childhood Trauma is supported by the Oak Foundation. The Oak Foundation commits its resources to address issues of global social and environmental concern, particularly those that have a major impact on the lives of the disadvantaged.

Center for Special Education

Patricia Crain de Galarce, Director

Juliet LeBlanc, Assistant Director

Center for Special Education

Is Your School Trauma-Sensitive?

Trauma Sensitive SchoolsUse our free online survey tool to assess how your school is doing in terms of sensitivity to children's learning and trauma. Do discipline policies balance accountability with an understanding of trauma? Are activities structured in predictable and emotionally safe ways? Does your school contain predictable and safe environments (including classrooms, hallways, playground, and school bus) that are attentive to transitions and sensory needs? Take this survey, and then print it out to refer to as you think about more ways to make your school trauma sensitive.

Trauma and Learning Resources

Helping Traumatized Children LearnHelping Traumatized Children Learn, a 117-page report by the Massachusetts Advocates for Children Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative, summarizes the research on how child development is affected by trauma, noting the varied consequences for academic performance as well as social and emotional functioning. This book also identifies the need for school-wide ecological supports (Trauma Sensitive Schools) as the basis for student success.
Helping Traumatized Children Volume IIA second volume, Helping Traumatized Children Learn Volume II, articulates the process for encouraging development of Trauma Sensitive Schools, through the creation of Learning Organizations within schools that follow an effective change process using an inquiry based methodology. A policy agenda calls for changes in laws and policies to support schools.

LIfTS Director at White House

In September of 2016, LIfTS director Sal Terrasi was invited to attend a day-long White House summit, "Trauma-Informed Approaches in School: Supporting Girls of Color and Rethinking Discipline." It brought together organizations that share a commitment to promoting policies and practices that support the needs of underserved populations, including marginalized girls, young women, and their families. Read about the summit.