The Difference between Developmental Trauma and Bad Behavior: Helping Students Succeed from a Developmental Perspective

(Clinician Track)

Students impacted by trauma easily find themselves overwhelmed, over-stimulated, confused, and completely unequipped and unable to follow instructions or focus when in an academic environment. Their experiences of trauma can produce heightened states of autonomic arousal, anxiety, depression, mood changes, irritability, agitation, and a general pattern of dysregulation. In addition, interruptions along their developmental journey set these students up to rapidly decompensate when faced with the typical academic, behavioral, and social expectations of a classroom. From a clinical perspective, this session will give participants a deeper understanding of the impact of trauma on a student’s brain, belief system, and neurodevelopmental timeline. Strategies to help  support students reach to their full academic, social, and emotional potential will be given and demonstrated.


School Leadership Through a Trauma-Informed Lens

(Administrator Track)

Understanding the implications of leadership through a trauma-informed lens is paramount in building and cultivating a trauma-informed school or system.  Participants will hear from an experienced principal who led transformative change in a low-performing, high-poverty school. They will be introduced to trauma-informed leadership practices that are aligned with the latest research.  

Topics we will cover include:

  • Understanding behavior as a function

  • Mentoring staff in understanding instruction through a trauma-informed lens

  • Using behavioral data to drive decisions on supporting students in and out of the classroom

  • Engaging families and the community in support of student learning

Teacher & Practitioner Leadership in Trauma informed Schools

(Educator Track)

Attending to adult learning culture is fundamental in applying trauma-informed practices in schools. Structures for routine review of student progress and collaborative problem-solving are at the center of school reform. Educators best support social, emotional, behavioral and academic growth of all students when they feel a sense of collective efficacy.

In this session, Teacher Leaders will learn evidence based collaboration practices to lead colleagues towards improved student outcomes in a trauma informed school.  Combining lecture with protocols, leaders will identify, learn & apply:

  • Key principles of trauma informed leadership

  • Preferences & behaviors as a facilitator of adult learning

  • Attending to adult learning principles

  • Data informed decision making including SEL and behavioral data

  • Facilitation stance & maximizing relationships

  • 7 stages of professional learning teams and goal setting for PLCs

  • Culturally responsive leadership approaches for school-wide change