Via Caller Times

Rachel Denny Clow/Caller-Times Youth attend an award ceremony recognizing volunteers and mentors with Brockton's Promise in January in Brockton, Mass. The organization is a coalition for youth development that aims to improve conditions of youth within the community by offering safe places, effective education, healthy starts and caring adults and opportunities to serve.

Rachel Denny Clow/Caller-Times Youth attend an award ceremony recognizing volunteers and mentors with Brockton’s Promise in January in Brockton, Mass. The organization is a coalition for youth development that aims to improve conditions of youth within the community by offering safe places, effective education, healthy starts and caring adults and opportunities to serve.

CAMBRIDGE, MASS. — Violence children see at home can affect their chances for success in school and later in life.

That’s why the Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative, based at Harvard Law School in Massachusetts, advocates for trauma-sensitive schools to help children impacted by trauma to feel safe at school.

There are six attributes of a trauma sensitive school that are explained in the initiative’s book, “Helping Traumatized Children Learn II: Creating and Advocating for Trauma Sensitive Schools.” Those attributes came from work done in schools in Brockton, Mass., and other places, and describe what a trauma sensitive school looks and feels like, said Michael Gregory, a senior attorney with the initiative and a clinical professor of law at Harvard Law School.

Leadership and staff share an understanding of trauma’s impact on learning and the need for a schoolwide approach.

“So this isn’t something that just the school psychologist understands, or just a few teachers that are interested in it, but really the whole staff,” Gregory said.

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