The Johnson City School System is hoping to be on the cutting edge of providing its staff with the tools they need to help students deal with the different adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) they encounter. As a part of this, the district recently hosted its inaugural Tri-Cities Regional Education Summit on ACEs – Trauma-Informed Care.
The event, which was organized by Liberty Bell’s Richard Church and sponsored by Ballad Health, delved into many of the obstacles that ACEs and childhood trauma present to students and the negative effects those obstacles can have on a child’s ability to learn.
Church said that informing staff about how to deal with ACEs is of upmost importance, especially when trying to make sure that every student is prepared for postsecondary opportunities.
“We’ve got to make sure that we keep our students of greatest need in school and on task,” Church said. “The one way to do that is to change our mindset and flip our lens a little bit and that is what we are hoping to do. About 40 percent of students in Johnson City Schools have multiple adversities like poverty, abuse, neglect; there are a gamut of things that they experience. So we want to make sure that our teachers, and teachers in the surrounding communities, are as prepared as possible to deal with those students.”
Niswonger Children’s Hospital CEO Lisa Carter, Johnson City Schools Supervisor of Safety and Mental Health Dr. Greg Wallace and Johnson City Board of Education member Kathy Hall also spoke at the event, which also included several informational sessions led by educators.