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First Name
Wendy
Last Name
Harris
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More by Wendy Harris

Addressing childhood trauma in schools: Expert views

By Paul Jablow on Nov 25, 2014 12:36 PM

William Hite had not even started his first day as superintendent of the School District of Philadelphia in August 2012 when he called for changes in climate in the system’s classrooms and corridors.

At a principals' summit that month, Hite said, “We can't arrest our way to higher student achievement. … We can't suspend our way to higher student achievement. We can't arrest or suspend our way to safer schools.

“Sometimes that angry look, that stare, that inappropriate response, is a cry for help more so than anything else.”

Bolstered by more than a decade of research, Hite and other educators in Philadelphia and across the country have said that schools must recognize how many of their students have been traumatized by events in their lives and teach them accordingly.

The Notebook conducted interviews with two local experts: Sandra Bloom, a board-certified psychiatrist and associate professor of health management and policy at the School of Public Health at Drexel University, and Roy Wade, a pediatrician and researcher at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, about the concept of “trauma-informed care.” They explained how the trauma-informed care movement got started, some of the science behind it, and what it means when that science is applied to a school setting.

Beers, bars and babies: Next generation of Philly school parents gets serious

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Nov 21, 2014 12:59 PM

Dark bars, craft beers, cooing babies and a basic philosophical belief in the power of public education: Meet the new generation of urban-professional parents who just may be crucial to the long-term success of the Philadelphia School District.

At two separate evening events in the city this week, throngs of young, civically minded parents gathered at bars to drink in the pros and cons of sending their not-yet-school-aged children to the District's oft-beleaguered neighborhood public schools.

For Tom Wyatt, an attorney by trade, that neighborhood school would be Andrew Jackson Elementary.

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