Research-Based Trauma-Skilled Schools Model Jointly Released by Two National Organizations

Research-Based Trauma-Skilled Schools Model Jointly Released by Two National Organizations

Model Addresses Strong Links Between Childhood Trauma, School Violence, Truancy, Low Grades, and Dropping Out of School

Anderson, SC (October 24, 2018)—In response to an alarming rise in the number of students who have experienced trauma and mental health issues and who do not succeed in school, the National Dropout Prevention Center (NDPC) and the Successful Practices Network (SPN) announce the release of the Trauma-Skilled Schools Model.

The Trauma-Skilled Schools Model was developed to address two serious challenges faced by our nation’s schools: The growing negative impact of childhood trauma and the absence of clear and doable action steps to address it. “When it comes to students who’ve experienced childhood trauma, schools have a real solutions gap,” said Dr. Sandy Addis, Director of the National Dropout Prevention Center. “That’s why we combined the resources of two national nonprofit organizations to study this issue and to generate a solution.”

High numbers of students, possibly more than half, have experienced one or more childhood traumas that sometimes distort mindsets and negatively impact behavior and learning. Educators do not know about most of the traumas and are not expected to be mental health professionals. They must, however, deal with trauma’s influence to achieve acceptable school behavior, teach effectively, and help students graduate. Recent research suggests strong links between childhood trauma, school violence, truancy, low grades, and dropping out.

Much of the recent discourse about student mental health, stress, and trauma has focused on helping educators become “trauma informed” and “trauma sensitive”, but knowledge and sensitivity are insufficient to alter the dismal school outcomes of these students on a large scale. The Trauma-Skilled Schools Model provides schools specific steps, tools, and resources to ensure that practices and instruction develop resilience and foster success of trauma-impacted youth.

Dr. Bill Daggett, Founder and Chairman of SPN noted, “Simply doubling down on academic delivery of content will not produce increased learning for many of these students. Without deliberately addressing mental health needs and building resilience, we won’t be able to engage, prepare, and graduate most of the stressed and trauma-impacted youth.” Ray McNulty, President of SPN, states, “To achieve better school outcomes for these students, we must critically consider our current approach, reshape their school experiences, and deliver instruction differently. The Trauma-Skilled Schools Model is a guide for that change.”

A publication detailing the Trauma-Skilled Schools Model is available at For additional information, contact Dr. Sandy Addis by email at haddis@ or by phone at 864-934-8572 or visit

About the National Dropout Prevention Center (NDPC)
The NDPC was begun in 1986 to serve as a clearinghouse on issues related to dropout prevention and to offer strategies designed to increase the graduation rate in America’s schools. Over the years, the NDPC has become a well-established national resource for sharing solutions for student success. It does so through its clearinghouse function, active research and evaluation projects, publications, and through a variety of professional development activities. The organization’s Web site——is the nation’s leading resource in providing effective, research-based solutions to engaging students and reducing dropout. In addition, the NDPC conducts a variety of third-party evaluations and Program Assessment and Reviews (PARs) for schools and districts nationwide. By promoting awareness of successful programs and policies related to dropout prevention, the NDPC impacts education from the local to the national level.

About Successful Practices Network (SPN)

SPN was founded in 2003 by Dr. Bill Daggett, and led by Ray McNulty, with an initial five-year grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Since inception, the nonprofit has won multiple additional grants that have allowed the organization to conduct proprietary research and create exclusive instructional and assessment tools that are shared broadly with a network of users. SPN has also worked one-on-one with educators at the state, district and school levels, helping all craft a plan to improve student-centered learning as tailored to their unique school and student needs. Learn more at


For Additional Information Contact:

Lynn Dunlap
National Dropout Prevention Center
Phone: 864-642-6372 Ext.105
Email: ldunlap@


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