Foundations for Trauma Responsive Schools

It is estimated that one in four children experience trauma. Educators must be prepared to effectively serve this population. Understanding neurological and psychological development is an imperative part of working effectively with children who have experienced trauma and may be struggling with mental health issues. In order to establish effective interactions the adults, not our students, must make the initial adjustments. Educators must learn how to understand the experience of these children in order to better serve them. This three hour training covers all of these components for those working with our most vulnerable children. It is highly interactive with videos, music, and discussion to increase the level of impact and application.

Applications for Trauma Responsive Schools

This three hour training is a follow up to Foundations for Trauma Responsive Schools. Managing maladaptive behavior, which his often displayed by children who have experienced trauma, is identified by many educators as the most challenging part of their role as a teacher. The foundations regarding the impact of trauma, the impetus and sustainment of behaviors, and corresponding mental health issues are briefly reviewed. Creating effective learning environments that support the needs of traumatized children is an imperative first step in preparing to teach them. Maintaining clear role definition, an informed perception of student learning capabilities, and specific curricular strategies, assists with rigor and engagement. Tools for purposeful and solution focused teaming that supports educators will be discussed in order to achieve continuous improvement and accountability. In addition, numerous interactional, instructional, and visual classroom management strategies will be presented.

Theis Performance Tracking System (PTS)

The Theis PTS is a trauma responsive system to identify, measure, and effectively support positive behavior modification solutions that increase student engagement. The system has been developed by Danielle Theis to simultaneously:

  1. Increase student investment and engagement.

    The Theis PTS will maximize student’s ability to self-monitor, increase their awareness of their barrier areas and the corresponding impact, and motivate them to attempt change.

  2. Ensure objective, consistent, and purposeful language.

    The Theis PTS will release trained adults from bantering or repeating expectations which can lead to power struggles and additional barriers.

    The Theis PTS will provide staff with common language across classrooms when defining barriers areas and the level of adult management currently needed.

  3. Provide data that guides instructional strategies, behavior modification, and progress monitoring.

    The Theis PTS will provide objective current data to be reviewed regularly to ensure common language and maintain forward progress.

The Theis Performance Tracking System cannot be accessed prior to the Foundation and Application trainings for Trauma Responsive Schools.

Life Space Crisis Intervention

Life Space Crisis Intervention (LSCI) teaches the foundations regarding the impact of trauma, maladaptive behavior patterns, and mental health issues. This graduate level course then provides specific stages that guide the educator through the process and language involved in effectively intervening with this challenging student population. Six interventions are taught to assist the educator with students who are explosive, misperceive other’s intentions, miscue socially, justify harming others, display excessive guilt, and/or are exploited by their peers. This is a 4 ½ day course. Those who complete the certification will receive thirty CEUs and graduate credit is available for those who are interested. I am one of 30 Master Trainers in LSCI and I combine it with my knowledge as a building Principal and Special Education Director. Every staff member in my building is certified and we have reduced restrictive procedures by 90%. As LSCI Master Trainer I am able to bring this training to your District or area!

Learn more about LSCI at

Contact me to set up a training!

“We need to understand how the human brain functions when emotionally charged, and how to help children verbalize feelings. The more exposure we have with Danielle’s techniques the more effective we will be, and the safer our schools will be.”Principal