Trauma-Sensitive School Leadership

Trauma-Sensitive School Leadership

Building a Learning Environment to Support Healing and Success

Bill Ziegler, Dave Ramage, Andrea Parson, Justin Foster


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Fifty concrete strategies to help school leaders create a learning environment that better serves and supports students living with trauma.

Many educators have heard about the need to implement "trauma-sensitive" practices in order to help students heal and succeed. But what does this look like on a day-to-day basis? What does it require of teachers and of those who lead them?

In Trauma-Sensitive School Leadership, Bill Ziegler, Dave Ramage, Andrea Parson, and Justin Foster provide a framework to guide administrators and their teams through the process. With reference to research and their own experience as teachers, counselors, and school leaders, the authors explain how to

* Develop empathetic and supportive relationships among students and staff.
* Identify biases and barriers that hinder educators' ability to support learners affected by trauma.
* Design all-school events and daily lesson plans to minimize the likelihood of retraumatizing vulnerable students.
* Retool discipline practices and physical spaces to foster a more trauma-sensitive culture and climate.
* Establish supports to help teachers and other staff deal with secondary trauma.

Accepting students for who they are and responding compassionately to their needs leads to greater success in academics and life. With 50 recommended strategies and real-life examples of trauma-informed healing practices, Trauma-Sensitive School Leadership can help you transform your school to better serve your students.


Bill Ziegler:

Bill Ziegler, EdD, has worked in public education for more than 27 years as a teacher, assistant principal, and principal. A national speaker and the co-author of Future-Focused Leaders and You Don't Need Superpowers to Be a Kid's Hero, Ziegler served as treasurer for the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) and as a member of the Apple Distinguished Schools Advisory Board. Honored as the 2016 Pennsylvania Principal of the Year and the 2015 NASSP Digital Award Winner, he is an Apple Distinguished Educator and the former co-host for the #AppleEDULeaderChat on Twitter.


Dave Ramage, PhD, has been a public school educator for more than 30 years, serving as a middle school music teacher, instructional coach, staff developer, assistant principal, and principal. He is currently the director of integration for learning and instruction at Pottsgrove School District in Pennsylvania. A 2005 national finalist in Technology & Learning magazine's Technology Leaders Award, Ramage has presented at conferences including PETE&C, NECC, ISTE, PASCD, and the National Principals Conference, and he is the co-author of Future Focused Leaders and You Don't Need Superpowers to Be a Kid's Hero. He became an Apple Distinguished Educator in 2019.


Andrea Parson is a school counselor at Cumberland County Elementary School in Burkesville, Kentucky. She has served at the elementary level since 2005 as a classroom teacher, library media specialist, and school counselor. She was a 2009 Mickelson Exxon Mobil National Educator and a Kentucky Teacher of the Year nominee in 2012 and 2013. She is a Youth Mental Health First Aid national trainer. As a regular presenter across the region, Parson has most recently presented at the Kentucky P3 Project Conference as well as The Leader in Me Symposium.


Justin Foster is a school counselor who specializes in the whole child and interventions for students and teachers. He has worked in various settings from high school to his current assignment as an elementary school counselor, and he continues to serve, as he has for more than 20 years, as a community mental health therapist working with children and their families who have experienced trauma.