From Trauma-Impacted to Trauma-Responsive: The (Interrupted) Transformative Voyage (Part 1 & 2)
In this presentation, participants will learn about the transformative journey of Florida’s lowest-performing elementary school. How they went from being caught in the repetitive cycle of trauma to becoming a fully trauma-responsive school. Presenters will share the shift in mindset that occurred, the tools and resources utilized, and the community partnerships formed that attributed to the radical transformation of its scholars and staff. At the end of the 2017-18 school year, Lakewood Elementary in Pinellas County, Florida, was the lowest-performing elementary school in the state. Due to its chronically low performance over an extended period of time, it required oversight by an external operator to assist with improvement efforts. At the beginning of the 2018-19 school year, the student services personnel began noticing that the volume of students being impacted by trauma was overwhelming. With the full support of the administration, they decided to lead efforts to address the needs of students and staff. Trauma-Informed Care training was provided to staff at the beginning of the school year, which helped to raise awareness of trauma and its impact on student learning. Convinced that a significant improvement in student achievement could not occur until scholars’ unique needs were addressed, student services and administration realized a need to concentrate their efforts in professional development and continuous improvement.
At the beginning of the 2019-20 school year, this team decided to embark on a voyage through uncharted waters destined for success. Smooth sailing was interrupted with the introduction of a global pandemic, but Lakewood stayed afloat and continued the course. In this presentation, participants will learn how Lakewood Elementary applied the tools and zeal with creative approaches to improve student achievement and the social-emotional well-being of its scholars and staff.