As with many schools that have students living in poverty and who have a high number of adverse childhood experiences, Franklin Middle School in Green Bay, WI, has some who need assistance with attendance or behaviors.
They received a grant to form the Responder Project to address school discipline issues. As part of the project, Sara Daniel, SaintA’s clinical services director, met with a group of 17 seventh-grade teachers and seven staff members, including a social worker dedicated to the project, several times since August 2014 to provide training in trauma-informed care and trauma-sensitive schools.
As a result, 63% of the 22 students in the project had improved behavior compared to the previous year, 71% had excellent attendance, and 25% were referred to outside sources for mental health assistance.
“Sara’s support has been critical; she’s key to all of this,” said Kim Shanock, the school district’s coordinator of Community Partners and Grants, who secured funding for the one-year pilot project. “She brought a way to think about kids’ mindsets, and the teachers and staff adored her.”
Part of the reason for those feelings toward Daniel, Principal Jackie Hauser said, was that she did a great job of blending research with practical experience and real-life applications. In early meetings, she said, staff shared their frustrations and Daniel just listened.