Dr. Lori Desautels
Assistant Professor
College of Education
Butler University

(C) 2018
Adversity/ Trauma and Brain Aligned School Assessment

An adversity sensitive and educational neuroscience informed school/ district is a safe and cohesive environment that embraces attachment and emotional regulation brain aligned strategies in all classrooms. The school deeply considers the brain state of all educators and staff who serve the students. This district, school and/or classroom embrace the emotional, social, l and academic health and challenges of all students. Than Adversity and Brain Aligned environment prepares students to understand their own neuro-anatomy along with brain aligned strategies implemented as procedures, routines and structure dampening the stress response systems when activated. In this environment, the language of applied educational neuroscience and adversity is implemented school wide.

Please use the following scale when rating your school in the different components involved in creating an adversity and brain aligned informed and responsive school.
1. Not yet
2. Emerging
3. Developing
4. Established

School- wide Policies and Practices

1. To what extent do schools/ districts contain predictable and safe environments ( classrooms, hallways, playgrounds, lunchrooms, bus) and are attentive to the sensory, emotional and present moment needs of students as they transition through their days. 1 2 3 4
2. To what extent does your school have a strategy or plan in place for a student who may present harm to staff or another student? In other words, do you have backup systems that are created for co- regulation if the removal of a student is necessary within a safe and connected environment? 1 2 3 4
3. To what extent has your staff been trained in regulation and attachment brain aligned practices which make up the prevention strategies that provide predictability, routine and connection? 1 2 3 4
4. To what extent do your discipline policies balance accountability with sensitive students who have been exposed to significant adversity? 1 2 3 4
5. To what extent have teachers been trained to provide emotional support to students following a traumatic event? 1 2 3 4
6. To what extent has all staff been trained to provide emotional support to students following a traumatic event? 1 2 3 4
7. To what extent is the healthy brain state of all staff and teachers addressed in this school? In other words, is the emotional and social well-being of staff a priority?
8. To what extent has the staff been trained in identifying ACE’s and stress response systems of both staff and students? 1 2 3 4
9. To what extent has the staff been trained on how adversity and trauma impact brain development, behavior, learning and life perceptions? 1 2 3 4
10. To what extent does your school / district train all staff in brain aligned strategies for attachment and regulation? 1 2 3 4
11. To what extent do these educator preparation trainings enhance the culture and climate in every classroom? 1 2 3 4
12. To what extent has school staff been trained in identifying potential triggers of students and ways to effectively de-escalate and regulate emotions when a child or adolescent has been triggered? 1 2 3 4
13. To what extent are classroom guidelines procedures, routines and discipline procedures implemented in cohesive brain aligned systemic ways? 1 2 3 4
14. To what extent do teachers consistently provide and model positive behaviors and coping strategies that can replace negative actions? 1 2 3 4
15. To what extent does the school utilize morning meetings, bell work and times of transition to consistently implement brain aligned strategies THAT REGULATE AND USE ATTACHMENT? 1 2 3 4
16. To what extent are classrooms implementing organic consequences that are aligned to how the brain feels, learns, and behaves? 1 2 3 4
17. To what extent are schools including parent involvement in adversity and brain aligned learning? 1 2 3 4
18. To what extent are their positive supports, resources, and procedures for staff and students who need regulation and some time to repair and make a new plan of action? 1 2 3 4
19. To what extent has your school created a team of staff (ENAT) Educational Neuroscience Adversity Teams to be prepared and called upon during growing emotional crises? 1 2 3 4
20. To what extent is the leadership in the building and district informed and responsive to adversity / educational neuroscience? 1 2 3 4
21. To what extent does your school/ district engage community partners, organizations and families in the preparation of applied educational neuroscience/ brain and adversity? 1 2 3 4
22. To what extent has the school/ district developed “touch points” for students who carry in pain based behaviors/ trauma? These touchpoints are dyadic conversations and check-ins by a variety of educators and staff each day connecting with students. 1 2 3 4
23. To what extent have students been given a voice and choice in sharing their emotional, social and academic needs?
24. To what extent have office and discipline referrals decreased because of these adversity / trauma and brain aligned practices and instruction? 1 2 3 4
25. To what extent does your school/ district provide opportunities for all school, grade levels, and classrooms to provide collective brain aligned strategies throughout each day? 1 2 3 4
What are your concerns and challenges?

What specifically are your students and staff doing well? How can you build upon this?