Experts on trauma-informed schools will lead breakout sessions during Advocacy in Action Conference

Two experts on trauma-informed teaching will lead breakout sessions during the Advocacy in Action Conference this month in Topeka. 

The conference, a joint effort of KASB and United School Administrators of Kansas, will be held Wednesday and Thursday Jan. 16-17 at the Maner Conference Center in Topeka. To register, go here.  

Dr. Marcia Weseman and Susan Pinne, both with the Crittenton Children’s Center at Saint Luke’s Hospital, will offer information on trauma-informed schools on Thursday, Jan. 17. Pinne is director of Trauma Smart at Crittenton Children’s Center and Weseman is a Trauma Smart trainer. 

Sessions at 8:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. will focus on trauma and why schools should be trauma-informed. This session will provide an overview of the prevalence of trauma within the school-age population and its consequences. Untreated childhood trauma presents lifelong physical and mental health challenges and consequences for learning. Students who don’t feel connected and can’t self-regulate can have difficulty learning. We can’t protect all children from traumatic experiences, but we can help them cope and recover. In a trauma-informed school, adults recognize the needs of students who have experienced trauma and create a nurturing, supportive environment that promotes healing. Trauma-informed schools help all students, regardless of their trauma history, increase resiliency to face future challenges.     

A 10:30 a.m. session will focus on what to do after becoming trauma-aware. This session will discuss the process to become a trauma-informed school and district. Consideration will include developing leadership, building community, coaching, parent engagement, and sustainability in the context of the principles of trauma-informed schools.  Trauma-informed schools recognize that not only students, but, their parents and staff members bring their trauma history to the learning process.     

Please join us at the conference, during which education advocates can get the latest information on K-12 issues, visit with legislators and hear from state leaders as well as benefit from a full slate of educational opportunities during the break-out sessions.

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