New Hampshire to Launch State’s First ‘Trauma-Skilled’ School


From “Bud Carlson Academy, an alternative high school housed within the Rochester School Department, is on track to become one of the first certified ‘trauma-skilled’ schools in New England, a program run by the National Dropout Prevention Center (NDPC). Most of the students enrolled in the school are considered at-risk, didn’t succeed in a typical high school environment and have many layers of childhood trauma . . .

As schools nationwide begin to spotlight social and emotional learning as a critical primer for academics, Bud Carlson is taking the approach a step further. Each month, the school is visited by representatives from the National Dropout Prevention Center. To become a trauma-skilled certified school, it’s a two-year process, which includes re-structuring the school’s climate, modifying instructional practices, and imparting educator skills to improve achievement and graduation outcomes for trauma-impacted students . . .

Greer said much of the trauma-skilled school model focuses on the behavior of adults in the environment, and how they may or may not exacerbate — usually unintentionally — trauma through language, instruction, and other interactions.

Especially at a school like Bud Carlson, Nielson said, where there isn’t a consistent student population, ‘it’s real important to make sure that your culture builds connection, that every student who comes in feels like they have a meaningful positive relationship with the adults here.'”

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