Date of Award

Spring 3-17-2020

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Education

First Advisor

Dr. Shelly Fransen

Second Advisor

Dr. Michelle Brenner

Third Advisor

Dr. Sherry DeVore

Abstract

Trauma impacts brain development, language, social and emotional regulation, and school performance (Stateman-Weil, 2015). Educators can positively influence student achievement when the impacts of trauma are understood (Terrasi & de Galarce, 2017). This study involved the analysis of secondary data and teacher perceptions to determine the impact of trauma-informed programming on student achievement in the areas of discipline, absenteeism, and special education referrals. Data were collected through a mixed-methods study. The quantitative portion of the study involved an analysis of secondary data in the areas of in-school suspension incidents, out-of-school suspension incidents, average daily attendance percentages, and the number of special education referrals. The qualitative portion of the study involved an analysis of the perceptions of trauma-informed team members. When comparing the three years before implementation of trauma-informed programming and the two years after implementation, the secondary data revealed there was not a significant difference in the areas of in-school suspension incidents, out-of-school suspension incidents, average daily attendance percentages, and the number of special education referrals. The qualitative data revealed seven themes to support trauma-informed programming: trauma training, relationship-building, staff selfcare, school-wide behavior systems, self-regulation, mind-shift, and providing safe learning environments for all students. Trauma-informed programming is feasible and sustainable when all stakeholders allow a paradigm shift supporting trauma-informed practices, policies, and school climate (MODESE, 2019).

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