Trauma-Skilled Schools Certification Offered by the National Dropout Prevention Center

The National Dropout Prevention Center (NDPC) partners with schools and school districts to become Certified Trauma-Skilled Schools. Schools and districts achieving Trauma-Skilled School Certification are verified to have fully implemented the Trauma-Skilled Schools Model by training all staff members in trauma knowledge, resiliency development, and skills for trauma management, to have on-site teams of staff members who are individual Trauma-Skilled Specialists, and to have a working plan in place for sustaining the plan over time.  Attainment of Trauma-Skilled Schools Certification is typically achieved over a three-year period and requires that the following criteria be met. An overview of school and /or district certification requirements is below. The graphic of Steps 1—5 provides specific criteria and benchmarks.

  1. A Trauma-Skilled School Readiness Assessment is conducted by NDPC staff.
  2. A four- to six-person Trauma-Skilled Lead Team is established and in place at each school.
  3. A minimum of 80% of staff members have participated in orientation to the Trauma-Skilled Schools Model with orientation delivered either by NDPC staff, by site Lead Team members, or virtually.
  4. All members of school Lead Teams have been trained in all steps of the Trauma-Skilled Schools Model and have achieved individual certification as Trauma-Skilled Specialists.
  5. A minimum of 80% of staff members have been trained in Steps 1, 2, and 3 of the Trauma-Skilled Schools Model with training delivered by NDPC staff or Lead Team members.
  6. There is a Trauma-Skilled School Plan in place for each participating school. Each plan was developed by the school Lead Team under direction of NDPC staff. Each plan provides for implementation of the Trauma-Skilled Schools Model, continuation of the model over time, and measurements of ongoing success of implementation efforts.
  7. Implementation of the Model and compliance with certification requirements (Items 1-6 above) verified by NDPC staff.
  8. Certification is awarded for three years and may be renewed by biannual verification of all certification requirements by NDPC staff.

For additional information on achieving Trauma-Skilled Schools Certification, contact the National Dropout Prevention Center at

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