Trauma-Skilled Professional Development

Professional Development Offered by the National Dropout Prevention Center

The Trauma-Skilled Schools Institute is a two-day professional development event that provides in-depth training in the National Dropout Prevention Center’s (NDPC) Trauma-Skilled Schools Model. The Trauma-Skilled Schools Model focuses on the implications of adverse childhood experiences on school behavior and learning, the development of essential resiliency skills in the classroom and in other school experiences, and on acquisition of educator skills that enable trauma-impacted students to succeed in school.

The Trauma-Skilled Schools Institute is delivered by teams of NDPC’s Trauma-Skilled Schools Faculty who participated in initial research and development of the Model. For best results, NDPC recommends attendance by a 4- to 6-member team from participating schools or districts with a recommended enrollment of 100 or fewer participants per event.

The Institute may be utilized as a first step for schools to begin local implementation of the Trauma- Skilled Schools Model, may be a beginning step for schools desiring to implement the model with additional training and support of the National Dropout Prevention Center, or may be utilized by participants as one of several additional professional development activities leading to individual Certification as a Trauma-Skilled Specialist. The Institute’s two days are interactive, with participants receiving information, reflecting on trauma in their local context, and identifying best action steps for their schools. Access to materials and workbooks is provided to assist participants with local implementation.

The two-day Trauma-Skilled Schools Institute goes beyond “trauma informed” and “trauma sensitivity”to action. The Trauma-Skilled Schools Institute shares the findings and recommendations of NDPC’s study of trauma’s impact on school outcomes by a national research team over a three-year period. The Institute addresses the advantages and limitations of common school, district, and state responses to the issue and prepares participants to determine and implement specific action steps in their local setting.

Trauma-Skilled Schools Institutes are portable, cost-effective, and easily offered as regional drive-in events. NDPC can provide Trauma-Skilled Schools Institutes locally or regionally and all costs of delivery, travel, and materials, but excluding costs of venue and food, are included in contract costs. NDPC will provide promotional materials and online registration support for sponsoring agencies.

For additional Information, contact Todd Daggett, Chief Operations Officer at

Trauma-Skilled Schools Online Courses

Trauma-Skilled Schools

This course gives an overview of the process for building a trauma-skilled plan that fits your school or district and how to implement and maintain the plan. Designed as an introduction to the Trauma-Skilled Schools Model, the course previews content from each of the five steps outlined in the model itself. Current systems are examined and the need for a trauma-skilled educator training is addressed.

Trauma-Skilled Schools Educator Knowledge

Increasing educator knowledge is Step 1 of Trauma-Skilled Schools and focuses on the effects of chronic stress and trauma on brain development and behavior and how these effects manifest in the classroom. It establishes the baseline language that all staff need for understanding and effective classroom management. The course examines the effectiveness of Trauma-Skilled as a Tier 1 strategy.

Trauma-Skilled Schools Course: Building a Climate of Resilience

The Trauma-Skilled Schools Model Step 2 explains the value of managing stress and trauma and of building a culture that fosters the development of five resilience factors that leads to success in the classroom and in life. Emphasizing that culture must be systemic, intentional, and consistent, this course focuses on developing five resilience factors: Connection, Security, Achievement, Autonomy, and Fulfillment.

Trauma-Skilled Schools Course: Management Skills for Educators

Step 3 of the Trauma-Skilled Schools Model develops individual skills that can be used to respond to the effects of chronic stress and trauma. Categorized as skills related to Prevention, Intervention, Recovery, and Referral, the course covers preventing negative manifestations, intervention techniques and identification of danger zones, basic de-escalation, and the use internal and external referral resources.

Trauma-Skilled Schools Course: Implementation and Maintenance Strategies

Step 4 and Step 5 define the processes for Assessment, Implementation, Maintenance, and Validation of the of the Trauma-Skilled Schools Model. This course highlights the strengths of different methods of implementation of the model and outlines how to earn and maintain Trauma-Skilled Schools certification for a school or district.

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