ABOUT THE CONFERENCE
A tumultuous academic year is quickly coming to a close, but the educational challenge is just beginning. It is likely that, as with Hurricane Katrina, there will be a continuing rise in the prevalence of mental health challenges for at least two years after the health crisis is brought under control. This is because families directly and indirectly affected by COVID-19 will likely experience multiple years of increasing personal and economic losses and instability.
This virtual conference brings together researchers, policymakers, and practitioners to provide evidence-based guidance for the role that schools can play as the primary social institution responsible for influencing the well-being of children and youth during this national crisis.
Attention to the role of schools in stemming the coming rise in educational inequality will be threaded through from the opening to the closing session. Schools are facing the layering of three racial and ethnic inequalities in children’s exposure to traumatic stress:
Before the traumatic event, racial and ethnic minority children were already coping with higher levels of toxic stress and trauma.
The traumatic event has disproportionately harmed racial and ethnic minority children.
After the traumatic event, racial and ethnic minority children will exhibit higher levels of dysregulation and receive fewer coping supports.
The conference will focus on high-frequency questions for which existing research and effective practices can provide evidence-based guidance. Each panelist will be providing a brief, which summarizes their guidance so that conference participants will have a resource to keep with them as they go into the summer planning months.
SUPPORTING ORGANIZATIONS AND UNIVERSITY OFFICES
9:15AM: OPENING SESSION (10:00AM EST; 7:00AM PST)
Opening Session: The Importance of Centering Psychological and Emotional Trauma in Planning for the Coming Academic Year
Panelists will discuss the roles of psychological and emotional factors in school functioning, and how attending to trauma among students and staff is a core academic issue that will facilitate a successful return to school. Panelists will also provide guidance for ways of mounting a sustainable whole-school response. View Session Recording Here
Director of Strategic Partnerships at Hemera Foundation. She previously worked as Early Childhood Mental Health Director advancing early childhood mental health policy and practice at the Colorado Office of Early Childhood. Learn more>>>
Cassandra R. Davis
Research Assistant Professor in Dept. of Public Policy at the University of North Carolina. She is examining the impacts of hurricanes on public schools in Texas and North Carolina. Learn more>>>
Tanetha J. Grosland
Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of South Florida. She examines pedagogical and emotional responses to educational policy. Learn more>>>
10:45AM: MORNING CONCURRENT SESSIONS (11:45AM EST; 8:45AM PST)
Session 1: Frameworks for Thinking About the Prioritization of Social and Emotional Learning and Mental Health for Academic Gains
Panelists will provide guidance regarding the role of social and emotional learning in assisting students in their return to a structured learning environment, and helping them cope with academic stressors while also coping with increased life stressors. They will also discuss how it can advance the teaching core academic content. View Session Recording Here
Session 2: Utilization of Discipline and Behavioral Data to Identify Students in Need of Additional Supports
Panelists will discuss how teachers, behavioral staff, and administrators can play a more supportive and proactive role when they can identify student, grade-level, and school-wide patterns of behavioral and discipline incidents. They will also discuss how to think about utilizing discipline and behavioral challenges as insight into students’ developmental needs. View Session Recording Here
Akisha Osei Sarfo
Research Assistant Professor in the Curry School of Education and Human Development at the University of Virginia. She examines interventions and solutions that build teacher skills to reduce reliance on exclusionary discipline. Learn more>>>
Session 3: COVID-19 Related Traumatic Stress Screening, and Managing Traumatic Stress Response Behaviors In the Classroom
This panel is based on research demonstrating that after traumatic events children show decreased self-regulation and increased reactive aggression. Panelists will provide guidance for how schools and educators can be proactive in identifying students who may be in distress, prepare for these changes in student behavior, and provide developmentally supportive responses while maintaining classroom management.
Lunchtime Twitter Town Hall
...join us on twitter for a collective discussion using #TREPtownhall follow @TREPProject
What is the role of educators and schools in supporting youth to transform institutions that maintain structural racism?
Discussion facilitated by Alicia Wilson-Ahlstrom @AhlstromAlicia and others.