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How Does Change Happen in Schools?

The past year has been an incredible time of adaptation, refinement and change in our schools. This comes on the heels of decades of educational evolution as we respond to the growing need for diverse learning strategies and social and emotional support. Even before the pandemic, schools had a pattern of trying out new innovations every few years, each implemented … Continue

SaintA Steps into Early Childhood Sector to Help Prevent Childhood Trauma

Research has proven that experiences in early childhood have a significant impact on brain development.  It is a critical time for shaping a child’s future. High-quality, early education and care can provide a safe and nurturing environment for young children to learn and grow, while giving them a solid foundation for their future education.  It can also act as a buffer for any stress they may be experiencing.   “Because of SaintA’s understanding … Continue

Defining the Next Normal in a Post-COVID World

Since March 2020, life has changed drastically as our nation has struggled with a global pandemic, racial injustice, a challenging election and civil unrest. Early on, scientists warned of the impact of these stressful events on physical and mental health. One year later, these impacts have come to fruition. Researchers are finding that due to the inability to cope with … Continue

What is Resilience?

I’ve started to do a new activity in my virtual trainings: I ask participants to write in the chat box whatever word comes to mind when they hear the word “resilience.” Immediately, the chat box begins filling up with descriptive words. Perseverance. Strength. Grit. Flexibility. Then, I ask participants to categorize the words they see based on whether the focus … Continue

Transforming Systems of Care: What’s Going On in Racine County

Do you remember your first job as a helper? Mine goes back more than 25 years when I was hired as a Treatment Foster Care therapist for Community Impact Programs in Racine, Wisconsin. I still remember so many formative experiences: my first court hearing, my first missed court hearing (which got me properly chewed out by the county case manager), … Continue

Coping with the Loss of School Traditions

As we enter Holiday Season, we are reminded again that this school year is so very different than any we have ever experienced. There will be no Snowball Dance, no Thanksgiving lunch with grandparents, no year-end Holiday Party with snacks and parent volunteers milling about. Semester exams look different, and every week there are adjustments to schools’ plans for virtual, … Continue

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

Perspective View: The Thriving Mission

SaintA’s mission is to facilitate equity, learning, healing and wellness.  This mission is fulfilled through an array of services and support for the people in our care. In 2020, we offer mental health, foster care, child welfare, training, and community-based programs that serve 5,000 people each day, throughout southeastern Wisconsin and beyond. And while the words of our mission statement … 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

The Healing Starts With Us: The Work Is The Real Work

As news of the unconscionable murder of George Floyd filled the airwaves and then the streets earlier this month, the collective pain was palpable in Milwaukee and in our nation. It was an incident of brutality that shook the world. And the world’s still shaking. At SaintA, heartfelt discussions across our organization unearthed the concern that we should not reduce … 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

Prioritizing Mental Health Amid COVID-19

With the current ever-evolving COVID-19 situation, therapists everywhere are shifting their practices to remote televisits. Times are particularly stressful for essential workers who risk their lives every time they do their jobs; parents who now act as both caregivers and  teachers; and children who miss their friends and school activities.There are also many who were working through trauma and living … Continue

SaintA Cares: Perspective View

By Ann Leinfelder Grove, President and CEONow five weeks into Wisconsin’s Safer At Home order, we’re finding our way to a temporary state of new normal. With virtual home visits, telehealth appointments, online trainings, virtual gatherings, and enough Teams meetings to fill our digital calendars, at SaintA we believe we’ve got this! Our initial goal to stay focused on the safety … Continue

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