Washington, D.C. (SEPTEMBER 11, 2019) –– Oklahoma State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister today testified about trauma-informed practices at a hearing of the House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education.
During the hearing, "The Importance of Trauma-Informed Practices in Education to Assist Students Impacted by Gun Violence and Other Adversities," Hofmeister shared how providing increased support to address the implications of trauma and adverse childhood experiences among Oklahoma youth is a priority of the state’s education agency.
Among the state’s efforts, the Oklahoma State Department of Education has organized two statewide trauma summits and provides professional development for educators to better understand the connection between trauma, the science of the brain and the negative impact on student performance, Hofmeister explained. The third summit, in February 2020, will accommodate an audience of 10,000 and feature nationally known trauma expert Dr. Bruce Perry.
“No conversation about the impact of trauma-sensitive instruction is complete without students. When we ask students what they need from their teachers, their message is consistent: ‘Get to know us. Connect with us. Care about us as people’,” Hofmeister said in written testimony.
“When we empower teachers with evidence-based strategies and greater awareness of trauma, we allow them to harness their creativity to develop positive connections with students.”
The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) is a nonpartisan, nationwide, nonprofit organization of public officials who head departments of elementary and secondary education in the states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity, Bureau of Indian Education, and five U.S. extra-state jurisdictions. CCSSO provides leadership, advocacy, and technical assistance on major educational issues. The Council seeks member consensus on major educational issues and expresses their views to civic and professional organizations, federal agencies, Congress, and the public.
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