Colorado Reconsidering School Discipline for PreK through Second Grade


Elementary school kids arrive at school from the school bus

Colorado (21.5% Latino) students have faced high rates of disciplinary action for years. In 2018, nearly 6,000 preschool through second grade students were suspended or expelled from schools in that state. That’s why state leaders are pushing to make stricter standards for expelling and suspending young students. Harsh Discipline is Troubling Ineffective school discipline policies disrupt learning and harm a child’s future, according to EdSource. This kind of correction can also possibly trigger traumatic stress, reinforce unconscious biases, and hinder opportunities to address the causes of challenging behavior. Young students behave in challenging ways. The classroom setting and school schedules can prompt defiant behaviors. Colorado state legislators realize the ...

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47 States Don’t Meet the Recommended Student-to-Counselor Ratio


Police in public schools.

Schools today are under-resourced, and students are overcriminalized, particularly children of color and those with disabilities, according to a new report from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). For the first time, the U.S. Department of Education now requires every public school to report the number of social workers, nurses, and psychologists employed. The ACLU analysis of the federal data provides a state-level, student-to-staff ratio for each position as well as a review of law enforcement presence in schools, student arrests, and referrals. The real crisis of schools isn’t violence, but a widespread failure to hire enough support staff that can meet students’ mental health needs, according to the report. The study uses data from the 2015-16 academic year, ...

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#SaludTues Tweetchat 4/2: How Child Toxic Stress is Bad for Health


Without responsive relationships with caring adults, children experiencing trauma may face developmental delays and health problems later in life.

Child toxic stress is bad for health. Strong, frequent, or prolonged toxic stress response in childhood can disrupt the development of brain architecture and other organ systems. Without responsive relationships with caring adults, children these children face developmental delays and health problems later in life. But many don’t understand of how childhood trauma impacts kids’ brains, bodies, and behavior. Let’s use #SaludTues on April 2, 2019, to tweet about toxic stress problems and solutions to celebrate National Stress Awareness Month in April. WHAT: #SaludTues Tweetchat: “How Child Toxic Stress is Bad for Health” TIME/DATE: 1-2 p.m. EST Tuesday, April 2, 2019 WHERE: On Twitter with hashtag #SaludTues HOST: @SaludAmerica CO-HOSTS: Turnaround ...

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4 Heroes Who Are Revolutionizing Trauma-Informed Care in Schools


4 heroes of trauma informed care and ACEs

Childhood trauma. Adverse childhood experiences. Mental health issues. Whatever you call it, trauma impacts a child’s brain and body. It undermines a child’s ability to learn, build relationships, and contribute in the classroom. Schools can play a big role in supporting students who deal with trauma out of school. That's why we at Salud America! are spotlighting four Salud Heroes who are creating school environments to address childhood trauma among students! 1. Ex-Coach Helps School District Change its System to Create a Culture of Care for Students of Trauma John Hernandez coached football in three disadvantaged school districts in Texas. When a player missed practice, Hernandez took it on himself to visit their home. He would check in on them and offer rides, so the ...

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Sesame Street Offers Hundreds of Bilingual Activities for Parents, Providers


Eating Colorful Fruits and Vegetables video from Sesame Street

Big Bird, Elmo, and friends have connected with children on TV for years—now Sesame Street is helping parents and community providers help kids and families grow smarter, stronger, and kinder. Sesame Street in Communities provides hundreds of bilingual, multi-media tools to help parents and community providers engage kids and families in everyday activities to boost early childhood development.  All content is available for free in English and Spanish. Parents and Caregivers Parents and caregivers can find activities and videos for all age ranges on 28 topics. These go from healthy eating to traumatic experiences. Eating Well: Food insecurity can make things seem hopeless. But programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the National School ...

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Social and Emotional Learning Leads to 64% Drop in Expulsions


A teacher at work with a class at Fall-Hamilton Elementary Source Edutopia

How can school leaders address early-life trauma among their students, improve academic and behavioral outcomes, and reduce harsh disciplinary action? Check out Nashville’s trauma-sensitive revolution. Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) (23% Latino) has spent the past six years integrating trauma-informed practices, such as social and emotional learning and restorative discipline, to help students feel supported and understood, Edutopia reports. They even hired a full-time trauma-informed coordinator. “Our ability to accelerate achievement in the future is dependent on meeting the social and emotional learning needs of our students,” MNPS Director of Schools Shawn Joseph told The Tennessean. “We expect it, and the students deserve it.” The Need to Address Trauma ...

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Minority Kids Face Harsh Discipline in School, Trauma Out of School


school discipline practices trauma childhood

Children of color who are disproportionately targeted by harsh school discipline policies are also more likely to face adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) out of school, according to a new report. ACEs—such as poverty, neglect, and parental divorce—can impair healthy development and education. But little is known about how exclusionary school discipline practices—suspensions, expulsions, referrals to law enforcement, and corporal punishment—affect children with ACEs. So, ChangeLab Solutions created an issue brief, School Discipline Practices: A Public Health Crisis and an Opportunity for Reform, that shows how widespread use of exclusionary school discipline aggravates pre-existing ACEs and robs students of opportunities for learning and growth. “These practices ...

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Game Changer: San Antonio Police to Notify Schools if Kids Exposed to Trauma



Diana Centeno knows kids exposed to traumatic events don’t get extra support they need at school. Doug Greene knows police come across kids at crime scenes but feel unable to help them cope. So, they teamed up to start a project where patrol officers send a notification to the district if a child was present at a traumatic incident, enabling monitoring and support for the child. Centeno, a student support leader at San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD), is passionate about providing wrap-around, social-emotional services, particularly for children facing adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). Kids exposed to ACEs often act out in class, miss school, and fall behind, increasing their risk of dropping out, getting into criminal activities, and suffering from poor ...

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Schools Must Integrate Social, Emotional, and Academic Learning


Social emotional learning

Schools should reshape their environment to promote students’ social, emotional, and academic learning, according to a new report from the Aspen Institute. In schools with little focus on social and emotional learning, students of color or those who have experienced poverty and other childhood trauma may fall behind in typical measures like grades, attendance, and graduation. They aren’t prepared for success in adulthood. The new report explores the science of learning and makes the case for integrating—rather than separating—students’ social, emotional, and academic development. This would benefit all kids, especially Latinos and others at-risk, for the future of our nation. “Educating the whole student requires rethinking teaching and learning so that academics ...

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