Author Archives: Sara Daniel, VP of Educational Services

Engaging Caregivers as Allies in Virtual Learning

Many of us are well into week eight of virtual learning. Others are sustaining a fully-in-person model with social distancing, or a hybrid somewhere in-between. Still others have begun the semester one way, only to abruptly have to change course. Sure, we’ve had victories along the way. We’ve faced challenges and have learned valuable lessons. But the thing I hear … Continue

Compassionate School Leadership In Action

In a popular video clip, Brene Brown, author of Dare To Lead, describes the core components of empathy. Two of these components are recognizing emotion in someone else and communicating that recognition. In other words, “Empathy is feeling with someone,” Brown states. Empathy is essential for connection with others and is the foundation of positive relationships. Our educators are stressed. … Continue

Why Equity Matters in Trauma Sensitive School Work

Trauma Sensitive School practice has gained momentum in the last several years, inspiring changes in educator perspective, administrative policy, and classroom practice. I am often inspired by efforts to understand student challenges in new ways and use innovative strategies. What can give me pause is when this work is applied to institutions or systems where structural bias and inequity are … Continue

Creating a Next Normal in Education

For a long time, school leaders have felt the stress of needing to balance efforts to meet a student’s social and emotional needs while remaining focused on academic excellence. High stakes testing and school and district report cards place pressure on administrators to focus on academic performance. Educators have felt overwhelmed by the increasing demands in the classroom, the rising … Continue

Accelerating the Compassion Curve: Who is Caring for the Caregivers?

It seems like every news feed or social media post you have seen in in recent months leads with the same sentiment: “In these uncertain and trying times….” We see worries abound about the spread of coronavirus and an overrun healthcare system; stressed out families and a potential increase in abuse or domestic violence; business closings causing financial stressors and the long term negative consequences for people living in poverty; existing structural inequities that will result in a disproportionate impact … Continue

5 Observations About Trauma

In our 10 years of practicing and teaching trauma informed care (TIC), we have seen a great deal of progress. Social services agencies who didn’t know what TIC stood for, five or six years ago, are diligently training their constituents. Schools that have historically felt plagued by “bad” or “disruptive” behavior are looking at their students through a different lens … Continue

Trauma Sensitive Schools: A perspective, not a profession.

As the academic and developmental needs of school children continue to increase, there’s an ever-increasing expectation that teachers help meet those needs. Not surprisingly, this leaves teachers feeling overwhelmed. They often report that they don’t have the time, nor do they feel qualified, to adequately support students. And, it leaves administrators feeling protective of their teachers who are already stretched … Continue

SaintA Leads Wisconsin Discussion on Adverse Childhood Experiences

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are “one of, if not the leading, determinant of the health and social well-being of our nation,” according to Robert Anda, the co-principal investigator for the ACE Study. Sara Daniel ACEs have been shown to have a strong influence on smoking, alcohol abuse, illicit drug use, sexual behavior, mental health, homelessness, workforce performance. They also increase … Continue

Learn More About Trauma Sensitive Schools

For many years now, I have had the good fortune of working with a group of professionals from around the state working on increasing trauma sensitive practice in schools. This group has produced some amazing work, including a toolkit of resources available on the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction website. We originally launched the site in 2011 with a PowerPoint … Continue

The Importance of Our Trainings

We were pleased to note that members of our SaintA team recently were recognized in the Instructor Forum, a quarterly publication put out by the Crisis Prevention Institute, (CPI). Therapist Chris Kangas, Jeff Stephani, who heads our Transitions Therapeutic School, and Tim Grove, Chief Clinical Officer, presented a case study in which the neurosequential model of therapeutics (NMT™) tools were … Continue

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