Helping Students Heal from Trauma

The first in our Back-to-School Blueprint series, this Action Guide focuses on helping students heal from trauma. Many children will return to school still grappling with the emotional toll of the crisis. In addition to a disrupted daily routine and a long period of isolation from classmates, many students will have experienced widespread suffering in their community, including joblessness, housing instability, illness, and economic insecurity. In this disaster, as in others, the collective harm has disproportionately impacted low-income communities and communities of color. 

This action guide provides resources for schools and districts looking to address trauma and anxiety through an equity lens, helping students heal from both individual and collective trauma. It looks at the causes of trauma, the effects of trauma on child development, the effects of secondary trauma on educators, and the symptoms of trauma that educators may see in the classroom. It provides strategies that educators can use to help students heal from trauma, including building positive relationships and creating a predictable classroom environment. Each lesson includes embedded resources, including videos and articles to support further learning.