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New Kaiser Permanente program trains teachers to help traumatized students

By in Press Enterprise on November 1, 2017

By Beau Yarbrough

Some students come to school with bigger challenges than forgetting a pencil or having their dog eat their homework. They may be dealing with domestic violence, substance abuse, crushing poverty or other trauma that leaves them unable to learn as easily as their peers.

A new Kaiser Permanente program is attempting to improve the chances for traumatized children in selected Riverside, Los Angeles and Orange county schools.

Jurupa teachers are getting training on dealing with students’ trauma. pic.twitter.com/25unhaI7Vl

— Beau Yarbrough ⌚️🐶 (@LBY3) October 30, 2017

“We’re retraining their brain and their nervous system how to feel that, how to feel safe,” Michelle Kurta told a classroom full of educators from Ina Arbuckle Elementary School in the Jurupa Unified School District. “Then, and only then, can they learn how to read.”

Kurta, who works for the nonprofit Los Angeles Education Partnership, has been the coach for Ina Arbuckle staff during Resilience in School Environments Project (RISE) training.

The program is funded by a two-year $2.5 million grant. Kurta’s hope is that, by the time the program ends, it will have made a permanent change in how Ina Arbuckle staff and teachers relate to their students.

“So that it becomes, not so much like all the teachers are doing ‘trauma-informed practice,’ but that it’s just how they do what they do.”

In addition to Ina Arbuckle, RISE training is being offered to educators at Los Angeles Unified’s Parmelee Avenue Elementary, San Fernando Middle School and Young Oak Kim Academy; Inglewood Unified’s Hudnall Elementary and Morningside High School; and Santa Ana Unified’s McFadden Intermediate School and Cesar Chavez High School. Schools in Northern California, Colorado and Georgia also are participating in the program.

Ina Arbuckle Elementary teacher Ashley Cameron is participating in a program to teach students who have been through trauma. […]    

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