Escondido Union School District Introduces Trauma-Informed Strategies

NEWS // August 15, 2017

Escondido Union School District Introduces Trauma Informed Strategies

The Escondido Union School District (EUSD) values its staff, students and families. The district welcomed their 1,800 employees to the 2017-2018 school year through events coordinated to connect staff to each other, develop a trauma informed school system and encourage staff wellness and self-care during events held on the first staff work days of the school year. 

EUSD has been engaged in work related to school-community collaboration, positive school climate and school wellness since 2009 through its’ CARE Youth Community Advisory Committee, a school-community partnership with the goal of creating a safer and healthier community for youth. Over the past eight years, the district has integrated positive behavior interventions and supports, restorative practices, cultural proficiency, family engagement and student and staff wellness. 

On Thursday August 10th, all EUSD employees attended an inspirational presentation by Dr. Dawn Griffin, Associate Professor and Program Director at Alliant International University in the Concert Hall at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido. This training provided attendees with an understanding of the impact on trauma on academic and long-term health outcomes of youth and introduced tools for the continual development of compassionate and trauma informed schools. The presentation, entitled “Creating Trauma Informed Systems: Actualizing the Unlimited Potential of Every Learner” focused on the integration of these trauma informed strategies into everyday practices for all staff within the district. Employees participating in the training included members of the district’s board of education, district and school site leaders, teachers, and district and site clerical, maintenance and operations and nutrition services staff. 

“We know our students experience a number of barriers to their learning and come to our schools with their own personal experiences and history,” said EUSD Superintendent Luis Ibarra. “Our vision for the district is to create schools and classrooms where students, families, and staff feel safe, supported, connected and welcome every day.”

The EUSD Annual Staff Health Fair, held at Grape Day Park on Friday, August 11th, was an opportunity for staff to access tools for staying healthy during the school year, a strategy to creating trauma-informed systems. Organized through the EUSD Human Resources Department, participants could take part in a health screening and well as obtain information related to health eating, exercise and access to preventative health services.