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Baraboo, WI: Teachers trained in adverse childhood experiences; schools add calming rooms

Oct 25, 2018, Baraboo (WI) News Republic: Baraboo schools receive state grant to train staff in mental health care for student https://www.wiscnews.com/baraboonewsrepublic/news/local/education/baraboo-schools-receive-state-grant-to-train-staff-in-mental/article_51354696-f06f-51ee-a791-ddcd8e81a60c.html A $165,000 grant from the Wisconsin Department of Justice will allow the Baraboo School District to improve school safety primarily by training staff members to provide care focused on students’ mental health.... “(This grant round) allows us to go deeper with addressing student concerns that could lead to safety issues,” said District Administrator Lori Mueller. “It will just allow us to develop the capacity to better serve students that have experienced trauma in their lives … and support their mental health needs that will support their learning.” ... Baraboo’s application for the grant indicates Christina Olson, a counselor at Jack Young Middle School who has a Level III trauma certification, will provide Level I training for 20 other staff members. JYMS special education teacher Thomas Vaccaro will train staff members in nonviolent crisis intervention. The instruction focuses partly on trauma-informed care, which aims to help students who have experienced what are called adverse childhood experiences — anything from physical or mental abuse to parent separation. ... The safety grant requires recipients to establish school safety intervention teams that consist of local educators, counselors and members of law enforcement, according to the news release. Intervention teams monitor student behavior and assess threats in order to intervene. At Baraboo, one trained staff member at each school will serve as the trauma intervention coach for two years, while other trained teachers will be assigned to intervention teams and trauma-informed care leadership teams at each building. ...

In addition to professional development, Baraboo will use grant funds to: ...Set up “calming/self-regulation rooms” at each school. According to District Administrator Lori Mueller, the rooms will provide a safe space for students when unable to control their emotions or behaviors, but are intended to return them to the classroom as quickly as possible once calm. ...