Traumatic events can directly impact a student’s ability to learn. The National Survey of Children’s Exposure to Violence found that over 60 percent of children surveyed experienced some form of trauma, crime, or abuse in the prior year, with some experiencing multiple traumas. This exposure often prevents students from their ability to focus in class, study or can even impair their capability to do well on a test.
The Genesee Valley Educational Partnership has a Trauma, Illness and Grief (TIG) Service to serve component school districts by delivering training and crisis support that links schools’ vision for trauma-responsive practices to processes for implementing sustainable change. The service includes crisis training for teams in each school district, crisis response support in the event of a school tragedy, public relations/communications support and regional coordination of services to support students with mental health needs.
The TIG service brings together school districts and mental health providers to create a comprehensive support system in the Genesee Valley region. The mission of TIG is to maintain and grow a community and school-based consortium of culturally sensitive and clinically appropriate training, support, and resource services to assist
schools in responding to the emotional needs of children, teachers, and other school personnel, which arise from trauma, violence, illness, grief and loss. The TIG core curriculum prepares schools/districts to respond and intervene effectively during times of crisis and to support resiliency. This shared training assures that any responders are able to effectively and efficiently intervene to support their own district as well as districts as well as districts throughout the network.
In the event of a district- or school-wide crisis, school districts can deploy and receive responders from both within and outside of the school in a coordinated and systematic manner through the Back Up Support Network. Julie Donlon, Assistant Superintendent for the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership, explains why this service was launched and how it supports component districts.
“Despite our best efforts in taking a proactive approach at protecting our students, staff and communities from trauma, illness, grief and loss, life events happen that impact people in different ways. The TIG service is designed to create supportive networks that encompass trained professionals to respond effectively in times of crisis. GVEP has partnered with Monroe County TIG to serve schools in the Genesee Valley region to ensure our students, staff and community have access to comprehensive support networks during times of tragedy,” Donlon said. “Through a regional approach, we've partnered with districts and local agencies to build a stronger, more resilient community. The service revolves around proactive efforts in planning, preparation and response. Together, we are stronger.”