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BGISD Results on the 2023 Kentucky Summative Assessments 

Trauma-Informed Plan

Purpose: BGISD recognizes the impact that trauma may have on the educational environment of the schools, individual student achievement, and the school community as a whole. As a district we want to address the effects of trauma in order to meet the academic, social, behavioral, and professional needs of both students and staff. With developing a trauma informed plan our goal is to strengthen  our trauma informed practices for the purpose of recognizing the presence and  onset of trauma, resisting the recurrence of trauma, and promoting resilience  tailored to the BGISD culture, climate, and demographics as a community as a whole. 

1. Enhancing trauma informed awareness within the school community: All classified  and certified staff received training on Trauma Informed Care. The training provides education in regards to trauma, ACE’s, and the overall impact of trauma on physical and mental health. A trauma informed approach includes a school-wide lens with consideration to the impact of trauma on education and a classroom based approach to student learning that recognizes the signs and symptoms of trauma and responds by fully integrating trauma into policies, professional development, and practices. Each school implemented a trauma informed team within their building to identify and assist students impacted by trauma. This team is made up of administrators,  school counselors, FRYSC, mental health, and health providers. This team also provides training, guidance and assistance to other school personnel on recognizing signs of trauma to explore intervention strategies to support students who have experienced trauma. These team members received trauma informed training prior to other school personnel being trained. Members of the trauma informed team regularly encourage teachers and administrators to the idea of using designated safe spaces throughout the school.

2. Assessing the school climate, including but not limited to inclusiveness and  respect for diversity-  The Kentucky Center for School Safety offers online surveys for Safe School Assessment.  This survey has been provided to students in grades 6, 7, 8. One of the items on the survey pertains to each student (especially those with a trauma history) having a trusted adult they can discuss issues with in the school building. The trauma informed team also looks at culturally responsive practices over the year to focus on identifying, valuing, and integrating the cultures, languages, and experiences of all students and staff to ensure a supportive school climate. The district mental health supervisor works closely with the Director of Operations on equity and inclusion to strengthen this component. A racial sensitivity training was provided to BGJHS school staff and a Black Scholars Program was implemented. Targeted interventions for EL students will be provided by the Student and Family Counseling Program due to the high prevalence of traumatic experiences in this population. Refugee related trauma informed trainings with simulations to mirror refugees experiences were held for school staff at the Teranga Academy and Bowling Green Learning Center.

3. Developing Trauma Informed Disciplines- BGISD developed a district trauma informed team that consist of administrators, mental  health, school counselors, FRYSC, and teachers. The purpose is to review current practices and look at revisions that will incorporate trauma informed discipline practices at both a district and school level. Disciplinary actions for students should be trauma informed and aimed to address the safety of those in the school environment and to utilize available resources to help students learn skills that support reintegrating into the school. BGISD administrators have been trained in effective discipline for students with significant behavioral and mental health histories. Any administrative personnel responsible for disciplining students should be aware of their traumatic experiences and adapt their approaches to accommodate student needs.

4. Collaborating with the Department of Kentucky State Police, the local sheriff,  and the local chief of police to create procedures for notification of trauma exposed students; Handle with Care. The District Mental Health Supervisor trained all school counselors on the Handle with Care system. The District Mental Health Supervisor works with the Director of Pupil Personnel consistently to strengthen this program which is in place and increase collaboration with law enforcement with reporting. The Director of Operations collaborates with BGPD chief and Warren County Sheriff to emphasize the importance of utilizing the program to student safety. BGISD initiated working relationships with Warren County Sheriff’s Department and Bowling Green Police Department to place SRO’s in our schools. This has enhanced our ability to access information related to students exposed to trauma and provided appropriate interventions to minimize the impact of those experiences. 

5. Providing service and programs designed to reduce the negative impact of trauma, support critical learning, and foster a positive environment for every student. BGISD collaborates with LifeSkills Inc. school based mental health counselors to provide more intensive support services to our at-risk students. The Student and Family Counseling Program also partners with other private practice agencies and community partners to provide clinical services to students that have been exposed to traumatic experiences. Each school looks at strengthening overall SEL components and tier two interventions. Staff integrates age-appropriate instruction for students related to social emotional learning as part of the curriculum. Topics may include but are not limited to self awareness, self management, responsible decision making, relationship skills and social  awareness, coping strategies, and seeking help for self and others. The District Mental Health Supervisor will continue to attend school mental health team meetings to strengthen services and evaluate current practices in place within each school community. BGISD currently has a district mental health team in place to review supportive services, school data, and current programming making sure to consistency with a trauma informed schools approach. This team collaborates with the Save Our Kids Coalition to utilize evidence based screening tools to evaluate the impact of traumatic experiences on student well-being and learning. The district’s trauma informed plan is implemented within the current framework of the Positive Behavior Interventions and  Support (PBIS) that is used within some of our schools. One of the BGISD student and family counselors represents the district on the GUS team where all students that have experienced physical or sexual are reviewed by an interdisciplinary team to determine on-going needs and care. All students in grades 6-12 receive training for suicide prevention and awareness.  BGISD uses training from our district mental health team to meet this requirement and our school counselors facilitate this training. All staff within our district also receive one hour of suicide awareness and prevention training through our school psychologist each year.  BGISD has representatives on the GRECC regional crisis team and collaborate with this team during the event of widespread traumatic experiences of students and staff in the district i.e. natural disasters, student deaths.