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Roanoke, VA: District staff all being trained to recognized how parents traumatize children

Aug 15, 2018, Roanoke (VA) Times: Roanoke schools sharpen focus on trauma in new school year Training all Roanoke school staff members to recognize trauma in the lives of students could help “change this district forever,” Superintendent Rita Bishop told hundreds of educators Wednesday. Bishop pledged that Roanoke City Public Schools will “become a trauma-informed school district” during her opening remarks at the division’s annual convocation at the Berglund Center, calling the initiative “one of the most important things” the division will ever undertake. A movement to educate communities on how traumatic childhood experiences can influence future behavior has been prevalent for years throughout the nation, including in the Roanoke Valley. Now more school divisions are focusing on the effects of adverse childhood experiences on learning. In Roanoke, that means all school staff members, including bus drivers, cafeteria workers and aides, will be trained to identify signs of trauma in students, said Taisha Steele, the division’s director of school counseling…. The division has worked closely with Carilion Clinic professionals, including mental health specialist Laurie Seidel, to develop its mindfulness program starting at the elementary level this year. …

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