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Superintendent's Blog

 

Do you ever wonder what exactly staff does on those Professional Development days?

This current school year the K-12 staff and Administrators at Genesee have been engaged in professional development regarding Trauma Informed Strategies .

As educators we are aware that many students enter our doors having experienced some type of stress, anger or trauma outside of the classroom.  Research has proven that stress, anxiety, depression or other forms of trauma alter the brain and affect children socially, emotionally as well as behaviorally, which in turn is likely to affect their academic abilities. Three strategies that you will see on a daily basis in our school district are:

 Building Relationships.  Strong connections are vital for ALL children.  Relationships with teachers and other adults in the building can help children feel secure and understood.  Building bonds with students is essential to their emotional, behavioral and academic success.    At Genesee we literally look at each individual child K-12 and make sure that they have some type of connection with an adult within the district.  We want every student to feel that someone is looking out for them and that they have someone who cares about their well-being.

Safe Environment – Teachers play a critical role in making students feel safe and connected to their education. Students need to connect not only with the teacher but peers as well, in order to learn.  We often will divide students up in groups randomly (such as color groups) so that students get to build relationships with others in our school district.  I also feel that is a benefit of a K-12 building.  Our little ones get to know older students as a resource as well as a peer and mentor.  

 Predictability – Feeling a loss of control is tough for students at any age.  Classroom routines are essential in providing a sense of security for students.  Many teachers have visual schedules at the front of their room which is updated daily, so students know and understand what to expect throughout the day. Secondary students get direct contact with their teachers through google classroom, emails  and other tools that are age appropriate.

These three strategies/ techniques don’t just benefit those students who may be struggling.  These strategies help ALL students build a sense of resiliency, confidence and sense of well-being.

As educators, we want every student to feel that they belong at Genesee Joint School District.   If you know of someone that you have concerns about, please contact a teacher, counselor or an administrator.  Our job is to support "our" children.

Thank you for sharing your child(ren) with us. I feel blessed to be working with such a caring group of educators and community where EVERY child matters

 

If you would like additional information on Trauma Informed Strategies, some additional resources can be found at:

https://education.cu-portland.edu/blog/classroom-resources/trauma-informed-strategies/

https://mcc.gse.harvard.edu/resources-for-families/5-tips-cultivating-empathy

https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/responding/trauma/caregivers/

 

 Sincerely,

Dr. Wendy Moore

Superintendent