Creating Trauma-Informed School Districts

Team members from KCK Public Schools and KVC Hospitals who are working to create a trauma-informed district.

Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools and KVC Hospitals are working together to provide training to the school district staff on how to support our students impacted by trauma. The training is made possible through a generous $175,000 grant awarded to KCKPS by the Wyandotte Health Foundation.

Childhood Trauma’s Impact on the Classroom

Of the 22,000 students in Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools, about 70% have experienced some type of traumatic event, also known as Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). Experiencing childhood trauma can leave lasting negative impacts on attention, memory, social/emotional skills and cognition. When a student’s ability to focus, organize and process is interfered with, it may lead to behavioral problems in the classroom, poor attendance at school, increased drop-out rates and health issues. Click here to learn more about childhood trauma and its long-term impacts.

Creating trauma-informed schools will help the school district:

  • Recognize and respond to students who have been impacted by trauma
  • Provide training to staff to help students impacted by trauma
  • Strengthen partnerships with KVC and PACEs to develop training modules that will lead to expanded training opportunities for employees


Watch this video to learn more about how we’re working with Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools to create a trauma-sensitive school district:

Timeline for Implementation

The training for school district staff will happen over a three-year period and will be implemented according to school clusters. The first trainings are set to begin in 2019. The second and third years of training will occur in the years 2020 and 2021, respectively. This project has the opportunity to become a 3 year special initiative with the Wyandotte Health Foundation. Additionally, the school district and KVC are pursuing additional funding.

James Roberson

Developing trauma-sensitive schools has the opportunity to significantly improve overall health in the Kansas City, Kansas community. Building resilience buffers the negative impact of trauma and adversity. We know children build resilience every second of every day through nurturing and supportive interactions with adults. Schools play a major role in providing these types of interactions and are key to the long-term prosperity of our communities.

James Roberson, LMSW
Vice President of Behavioral Health Services, KVC Hospitals