Trauma Sensitive School

Today the staff at LPS underwent the beginnings of understanding Trauma Based Education. Trauma Based Education was brought to us by Dr. Stickley from UAMS. By understanding the ACE study (see resources linked here for information about ACE study http://www.aceresponse.org/who_we_are/ACE-Study_43_pg.htm)

educators able to understand children that are exposed to or are living through some of the experiences listed as the 10 adverse childhood experiences.

Schools across America are becoming Trauma Sensitive Schools. Our desire is for LPS to become a Trauma Sensitive School. We will stay in contact with Dr. Stickley at UAMS and some of her resources to help guide and even hopefully be funded through grant opportunities if they become available. In looking at other schools that have Trauma Sensitive strategies in place, we compare our current reality to their level of implementation. We also look to where we want to be and begin setting goals for our school.

Currently, LPS has pockets of strategies in place to support students working through traumatic childhood experiences. Most classrooms have “quiet corners, ” “time out corners,” or “peace corners” where students can go and decompress when they feel agitated. They go there to practice strategies to self calm and then return to the rest of the group and their current activity. A lot of our teachers use dim lighting. Mrs. Sandy, our counselor, uses essential oil diffusers in her office (they are amazing!) Some students have check in and check out members of the staff that they check in with for extra encouragement for a great day, and check out with before they go home. This is something that our staff has identified as something we all want to begin to use with students that we are most concerned about, and with which the strategy would be most successful (based on their motivators to curb behavior and provide the most support for that child.)

There were great conversations happening already at LPS after today’s learning. So proud of our LPS staff and the direction we continue to move to improve our school environment and provide the best for our kiddos!

There are somethings we long to incorporate at LPS:

–A therapy dog

— More essential oil diffusers

— More male role models (look for a flier soon on how you or someone you know may be able to help)

Stay tuned! We can not wait to highlight what all we are implementing and our progress towards becoming a Trauma Sensitive School!

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The Beginning of a Blog

Writing is something that I have always loved to do.  I can remember as early as I could read and write, I wanted to write children’s books (haven’t done that yet).  I would spend much time writing and drafting books as a young child.  My love for writing grew as I aged into my high school career and became the editor of our award-winning high school newspaper.

A lot of life has happened since graduating high school in 2000, and outside of writing papers for college classes, I’ve not set down to write as an expressive tool in quite some time.  As I have set and pondered things I want to improve on in 2019, I felt a desire to write again.

It is easy when I’m in the hustle and bustle of my daily life to not sit and reflect, learn, and share. Some days, if I’m just being real, I do good just to get the kids’ teeth brushed and in bed at a decent hour with a dinner other than PB &J.

I desire this year to be more intentional in my life.  To have a plan and purpose for my words, actions, and deeds.  To be more present for my family when it is time for family, but also focus on me.  Not a selfish focus on myself, but a self-care focus–including quiet time–something I rarely get.  During this quiet time, I want time for me to focus on what lies ahead, learn from past experiences through reflection, and yes, share with you, my readers.  I intend to share my learning, thoughts, and insight into me as a person, a principal, mom, and learner.

So welcome to my blog.  Look for a new blog post coming before school starts back on Tuesday, January 8th (for students).  If you have blog post ideas, or topics you would like to know more about, reach out to me and let me know amanda.rather@lonokeschools.org.  I plan to have some guest bloggers, and would love to make this a tool to continue to build relationships, and best inform and educate our community and families!

Hope your new year is already off to a great start.