Klea Scharberg

Support, Optimism, and Hope

No community is immune to the effects of traumatic events. Our ASCD community includes the students, teachers, and residents of Newtown, Conn. This morning we shared posts from our archives that speak to providing safe and connected learning environments. We hope the following resources from ASCD and our Whole Child Partners connect to educators, families, and communities' resilient spirit so that they can tap the resilient spirit in their students.

In response to Hurricanes Rita and Katrina, ASCD developed a series of workshops that focus on helping educators meet students' academic, physical, and emotional needs. Educators in all locales are invited to download the workshop materials (PDF) and lesson plans (PDF) to use with their colleagues:

  • Building Resiliency: Introduces participants to an understanding of resiliency and how it pertains to individuals not only in an education context but also in a context related to crisis, trauma, or cataclysmic events.
  • Supporting Positive School Culture and Climate: Targets the importance of school culture and climate through interpersonal relationships, engaging diverse learners with fair and affirming curriculum and managing stress.
  • Exploring New Roles for Families, Schools, and Communities: Focuses on developing a collaborative environment that will support quality learning and improve family outcomes.


From Our Partners

The American School Counselor Association offers resources to help kids during crisis, including supports in counseling students in crisis, infusing a caring climate in your school, and supporting students after crisis and loss.

Educators for Social Responsibility shares its guide to "Talking with Children About War and Violence in the World" (PDF) and other resources to help adults engage in conversations with students and children.

The National Association of Elementary School Principals shares school crisis resources, including

The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) offers tips to help children deal with the aftermath of a school shooting that include

  • Provide a developmentally appropriate, clear, and straightforward explanation of the event.
  • Return to normalcy and routine to the extent possible while maintaining flexibility.
  • Let children know that it's OK to feel upset or angry.
  • Be a good listener and observer.
  • Provide various ways for children to express emotion, either through journaling, writing letters, talking, making a collage, or music.
  • Focus on resiliency as well as the compassion of others.

NASP also shares a number of resources to reinforce children's natural resilience and emphasize the preventive steps that schools can take to maintain a safe and caring school environment.

The National Education Association (NEA) Health Information Network created The School Crisis Guide to support crisis teams with ideas, tips, tools, and resources for effective leadership and crisis management. NEA also shares "Lessons on Loss: How a School Community Heals After a Student Dies" and "Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers."

The National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) has many resources to assist students, families, schools, and PTAs in coping with school violence. The resources are downloadable at http://PTA.org/SchoolViolence.

Responsive Classroom consultants and authors offer suggestions on what to do and what to say in the post "No Ordinary Monday."

The School Social Work Association of America offers resources to assist those working with students, schools, families, and communities after a tragedy, with sections on

  • Crisis intervention guidelines,
  • Resources for parents and educators,
  • Grief and psychological first aid,
  • Self-care for those providing crisis response,
  • Responding to media, and
  • Violence prevention.


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