Partnership for Resilience
Since the spring of 2015, the Education Redesign Lab has partnered with the Partnership for Resilience to accelerate collaboration between the Illinois Education Association (the NEA affiliated teacher’s union) and the Illinois chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Their new report, Early Lessons in Building Trauma-Sensitive Schools: Creating School-Health-Community Partnerships to Improve the Lives of Children, describes the launch and early lessons of the Partnership for Resilience and its efforts to foster and build health and resilience among children and teenagers, initially focused on the low-resource/high-need southern suburbs of Chicago.
Early Lessons in Building Trauma-Sensitive Schools: Creating School-Health-Community Partnerships to Improve the Lives of Children
Twenty years ago, Kaiser Permanente and the Centers for Disease Control issued a report demonstrating the profound relationship between adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and adult physical and emotional health. Despite the extensive research showing the negative impacts of ACEs on children’s academic achievement and overall wellbeing, many schools and communities continue to struggle to support children who have experienced trauma and adversity.
“Early Lessons in Building Trauma-Sensitive Schools” showcases a collaboration among schools, health care and community organizations that has made significant strides in meeting the health and social-emotional needs of children. Some of the work has been internal: Participating schools have organized “resilience teams” to build awareness of ACEs, re-thought discipline structures, and incorporated trauma-informed practices into the classroom. External partners have been brought in to address critical health care needs. In all, close to 16,000 students in seven high-need/low-resource school districts have benefited from the effort.
The report describes how to create the kinds of partnerships needed to launch the work, how to adapt school practices to promote healing and student growth, and how to bring needed health services into schools.