Become a Trauma-Informed District or School

Elements of a trauma-informed school

There are many avenues to incorporate trauma-informed approaches in a school environment. Trauma-informed approaches can be included as part of the Ohio Improvement Process (OIP) and align with the social and emotional programs that are part of the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) framework. Trauma-informed approaches strengthen staff and student connections, promote parent and community partnerships and improve school climate. 

A trauma-informed approach:

  • Uses a holistic lens to explore all domains that impact a student’s growth, development and learning;
  • Prioritizes relationships and focuses on building connections between students and school;
  • Promotes physical, social/emotional and academic safety for students and staff;
  • Proactively addresses trauma by teaching students self-regulation techniques.

Steps districts and schools can take to become trauma informed

  • Establish administrative and staff buy-in for creating a trauma-informed environment;
  • Develop or identify an existing team to plan and coach trauma-informed approaches;
  • Build partnerships with community agencies for training, consultation, resources and services (hospitals, mental and behavioral health agencies, health department, job and family services, law enforcement);
  • Provide ongoing training and professional development on the following topics:
    • Chronic stress and trauma;
    • Instructional techniques for teaching traumatized students;
    • Nurturing relationships with students and creating safe and respectful environments;
    • De-escalation techniques;
    • Restorative practices;
    • Cultural competency. 
  • Review policies and procedures to ensure they reflect an understanding of trauma, remove barriers and prevent re-traumatization (e.g., discipline and restraint and seclusion);
  • Establish a continuum of academic and nonacademic supports and interventions, ranging from promotion of skills to prevention and intervention;
  • Embed social and emotional skill building in learning activities.

Mental Health and Trauma Training Library

​The Department of Education and Workforce's Mental Health and Trauma Training Library contains training videos from Department led conferences and webinars to help support the ongoing education of school staff on various topics such as: Trauma Sensitive Schools, Classroom Strategies for Supporting Students, School Wellness, Safety and more.   



  • Supporting Student and Staff Mental Wellness Video Series: The series features Dr.  Bruce Perry discussing how understanding brain science and the biological need to socially connect to an environment can help teachers in the classroom. The videos include techniques to support mental wellness through safe and inclusive classrooms, alternative strategies to discipline and educator wellness. This is a follow-up to a previous series starring Dr. Bruce Perry.
  • Trauma-Informed Digital Training Series: The Mayerson Center for Safe and Healthy Children is offering  no-cost, digital trainings to support K-12 educators, administrators and staff on how to be trauma-informed when interacting with students and families. This unique training includes interactive exercises for users to apply practical skills and places an emphasis on learning from peers with lived experience. 
  • Trauma-Informed, Resilience-Oriented Schools Toolkit: The Trauma-Informed, Resilience-Oriented (TR) Schools Toolkit outlines a framework for implementing trauma-informed, resilience-oriented approaches in any school or school district. The primary audience for this toolkit includes school administrators, school board members, teachers, and student support staff, parents and families and community partners.
  • Trauma-Informed, Resilience-Oriented Leadership and Crisis Navigation: In this training, school leaders can learn how touse a trauma-informed, resilience-oriented approach to navigate crises that occur in schools. 
  • Ohio Trauma Informed Care Certificate - Click Trauma Informed Care Certificate on left of the page. 

Other Tools to Support Implementation

Examples In Action

Last Modified: 1/9/2024 12:35:54 PM