We do not let trauma be an excuse. Wolcott Elementary has become a trauma-informed school during the last couple of years. This means that our staff and our programs are designed so that those students suffering from trauma (whether it be the more benign traumas stemming from neglect or the more direct traumas related to violence) can be successful. First, we talk frequently about these issues; we’ve stopped complaining about kids, and we now focus on solutions. Most teachers and paraeducators have completed de-escalation/restraint training (CPI), about ten staff members have completed a two-day training on Functional Behavioral Assessments/Behavior Intervention Plans, we share articles and training materials, many staff have listened to presentations about the effects of poverty and trauma on the development of the brain, and we created the A-Team (a crisis response team to help de-escalate or restrain safely). All this work undergirds the behavior systems we have put into place recently.
Improving climate and student behavior has been a major focus of the last few years at Wolcott Elementary. Now that the fruits of our labor have become apparent, it is time to share what is working. Our positive behavior data looks great, our numbers of discipline cases keeps dropping. There are many factors; this was another one.