Students exposed to domestic violence and drug use at home can have a difficult time at school.
Director of Schools Bobby Cox has announced WCHS has been selected to be a member of the first group participating in the State Department of Education Trauma Informed Schools Grant.
WCHS is one of only five high schools in the state selected.
This initiative is born from research gathered in the CDC-Kaiser Permanente Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study. The study found the greater the exposure to things such as domestic violence, addiction, and depression in early childhood, the greater the risk for later-life problems such as higher risk for chronic illnesses, poverty, depression and addictive behaviors.
“We are extremely excited to have been chosen to participate in this grant,” said Cox. “This will help us continue to improve the culture at Warren County High School and in our district as part of our overall strategic plan to improve social and emotional learning district wide.”
According to WCHS assistant principal Julie Wood, the first step was for their five-member team to participate in a webinar on Thursday. In November, they will attend three-day training to learn how to train teachers to be more trauma- informed and to recognize signs of ACEs.
“Adverse childhood experiences can disrupt a child’s brain-building process and can compromise the brain’s structural integrity,” explained Wood. “Left unaddressed, ACEs and their effects make it more difficult for a child to succeed in school, live a healthy life and they’re more likely to suffer consequences later on down the road.”
Research shows the benefits of implementing trauma-informed approaches in schools include improved school climate, decrease in suspensions and expulsions, improved attendance, and an improved teacher sense of satisfaction and safety.
According to the Tennessee Department of Education, schools were selected based on a competitive application process.