Attendance and Behavior as Symptoms or Signals of Trauma

Schools that provide and foster authentic and safe relationships, create an environment that all students can benefit from. For students who have been trauma-exposed, we may begin to observe both internalized and externalized behaviors to include increased attendance issues and difficulty engaging in school. Research has shown that students who have experienced trauma are more likely to miss significant amounts of school. So, what can we do as school staff to influence a student’s internal motivation to attend school? Creating trauma sensitive classrooms as well as developing strong relationships with both students and families that allow the safe expression of student voice, validation and authentic interactions are key to creating a supportive and safe environment for students. In this session, participants will learn from their colleagues, strategies utilized in a school setting designed to meet the student where they are at and to provide individualized supports to address their needs. Further, the session will discuss how staff can build student resiliency, one of the most important protective factors needed to successfully engage in the school setting. This will be a hands-on, highly participatory and planning session designed to allow staff to consider how to build strong and supportive relationships designed to improve overall student belonginess and success.


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