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Building Resilience in Students Impacted by Adverse Childhood Experiences

A Whole-Staff Approach
By: Victoria E. Romero, Richard Robertson, Amber N. Warner

Foreword by Gary R. Howard

Discover how to make a whole-school change to establish a healthy social-emotional climate for students impacted by adverse childhood experiences and the staff who support them.

Full description

Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9781544319414
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2018
  • Page Count: 248
  • Publication date: May 30, 2018

Price: $33.95

Price: $33.95
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Use trauma-informed strategies to give students the skills and support they need to succeed in school and life

Nearly half of all children have been exposed to at least one adverse childhood experience (ACE), such as poverty, divorce, neglect, homelessness, substance abuse, domestic violence, or parent incarceration. These students often enter school with behaviors that don’t blend well with the typical school environment. How can a school community come together and work as a whole to establish a healthy social-emotional climate for students and the staff who support them?

This workbook-style resource shows K-12 educators how to make a whole-school change, where strategies are integrated from curb to classroom. Readers will learn how to integrate trauma-informed strategies into daily instructional practice through expanded focus on:

  • The different experiences and unique challenges of students impacted by ACEs in urban, suburban, and rural schools, including suicidal tendencies, cyberbullying, and drugs
  • Behavior as a form of communication and how to explicitly teach new behaviors
  • How to mitigate trauma and build innate resiliency through a read, reflect, and respond model

Let this book be the tool that helps your teams move students away from the school-to-prison pipeline and toward a life rich with educational and career choices.

“I cannot think of a book more needed than this one. It gives us the tools to support our students who have the most need while practicing the self-care necessary to continue to serve them.”

—Lydia Adegbola, Chair of English Department
New Rochelle High School, NY

“This book highlights the impact of trauma on children and the adults who work with them, while providing relevant and practical strategies to understand and address it through reflective practices.”
—Marine Avagyan, Director, Curriculum and Instruction
Saugus Union School District, Sunland, CA

Transform your school with trauma-informed strategies for teacher and student well-being. Learn more about consulting.


Victoria E. Romero photo

Victoria E. Romero

Victoria Romero is an educator with over 42 years of experience working as a classroom teacher, principal, and leadership coach. She continues to coach administrators, directors, principals, vice principals, and school leadership teams for equity and sustainable school improvement in three school districts in Washington. Victoria is a certified consultant and lead author of two Corwin Press books, "Building Resilience in Students Impacted by Adverse Childhood Experiences: A Whole Staff Approach" (2018) and "Race Resilience: Achieving Equity Through Self and Systems Transformation" (2021). Both books focus on the impact of traumatization as it relates to social-emotional needs of students as well as how to create school cultures that foster resilience. In her more recent work, Victoria provides guidance to school staff in engaging in authentic dialogue about how racialization and racial positioning influences perceptions, behaviors, expectations, and decisions. Her guiding framework emphasizes that systems will change when the people working in them change.
Richard Robertson photo

Richard Robertson

Ricky Robertson is an educator, author, and consultant. He has had the privilege to work with students from pre-K to 12th grade who have persevered in the face of adversity and trauma. He began his career in education as a New York City public high school teacher, teaching in one of the city’s highest-performing public schools. He then went on to work as a teacher, behavior specialist, and, eventually, as an administrator in traditional and alternative schools supporting students with significant mental health and behavioral needs.

Ricky is the co-author, along with Victoria Romero and Amber Warner, of the Corwin bestselling book, Building Resilience in Students Impacted by Adverse Childhood Experiences: A Whole Staff Approach. The model that he and his co-authors developed in their book was included in the Roadmap for Resilience: The California Surgeon General’s Report on Adverse Childhood Experiences, Toxic Stress, & Health as an example of best practices for schools to support children and families impacted by toxic stress and trauma. Ricky continues to work with state and federal policymakers as an adviser on trauma-informed care in public health and education policy.

As a consultant and coach, Ricky works with schools, school districts, education service districts, and state departments of education across the country to develop systems of support that foster achievement, well-being, and resilience among staff and students. His work has been featured in podcasts, online media, books, magazines, national conferences, as well as a trauma-informed teaching video series developed by the National Education Association, WETA, and AdLit.

Ricky finds inspiration in the resilience of young people and the heart and hard work of educators.

Amber N. Warner photo

Amber N. Warner

Amber N. Warner is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, with over 20 years of experience. She has had the privilege of serving as a community outreach case manager (4 years), school social worker (8 years), medical social worker (5 years) , and behavioral health therapist (3 years). As a School Social Worker, in addition to her work with children and their families, she was part of the school wide Modern Red School House Leadership Team and the Positive Behavior Interventions and Systems Team. She facilitated K-6 monthly classroom discussions utilizing Second Step and Character Counts curriculums. Amber is also a co-author of Building Resilience in Students Impacted by Adverse Childhood Experiences: A Whole Staff Approach.

In 2011 Amber worked in healthcare and part of the organization’s leadership team, she was introduced to the work of Dr. Bryan Sexton on healthcare providers’ staggering burnout rates and the healing proponents of Positive Psychology. A new passion and interest developed for her. She became a Certified Duke Patient Safety Officer in 2013 at Duke University’s Patient Safety Center.
Amber has also studied under the direction of Dr. David Burns, leading Psychiatrist, and adjunct professor at Stanford University and the developer of TEAM a new form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for the treatment of depression and anxiety. She has achieved Level 2 TEAM certification from the Feeling Good Institute.
She has a certification from the National Clearinghouse on Families and Youth in Trauma-Informed Care.

Most of all, Amber has a passion for people, their wellness, and quality of life. She currently resides in California. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, hiking, Inferno Pilates, learning new things, traveling, community service, attending church, and an occasional new pair of shoes.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Foreword by Gary R. Howard



About the Authors

Chapter 1 ACEs and the New Normal

ACEs Are an Equal Opportunity Occurrence

Lost in Translation

The New Normal

Chapter 2 Put on Your Own Oxygen Mask Before Helping Others

Burnout or Compassion Fatigue?

The New Normal: A Case Study Intervention

Self-Care Is an Ethical Imperative


Chapter 3 It’s Easy to Have High Expectations—Hard to Grow a New Mindset

Knowing Myself Precedes Teaching Students

Knowing My Students and Knowing Pedagogy-Growing Mindset

Knowing My Strengths, Knowing the Strengths of My Students Fosters Resiliency

“I Can’t Learn From You Because You’re White”

Progress Not Perfection

Knowing Myself and Responding to Change Are About Self-Care

Knowing Myself Matters—Because When Negative Bias Shows Up, Students Are Miseducated

Good Teaching Is Not Enough—The New Normal Warrants Transformationist Teaching

Chapter 4 The Effects of Trauma on the Brain

Acknowledging That Trauma Is Sitting in the Classroom Is Transformational Teaching

ACEs and Learning

ACEs and Behavior

Trauma Has Many Forms

If I Knew Then What I Know Now

Chapter 5 Teaching Behaviors, Differentiating Interventions, Changing Pedagogy

Relationships Precede Learning

Talk, Trust, Feel, Repair

Schools and Classrooms Have a Culture and Culture Is Learned

Response to Intervention (RTI)

Looking at Behavior Management Through a Trauma-Informed Lens

Change Is Hard and Leadership Matters

Talk, Trust, Feel, Repair: My Rookie Year

Schools Are Ideal for Social Working

Chapter 6 Plan With the End in Mind: Visioning a Compassionate School

The Innovative School District PreK–12th Grades

SEL Data Team/Self-Assessment Checklist

Case Study: ISD’s Response to Behavior Interventions

Changing Positions to Change Lives

What Does It Mean to Work in a Trauma-Informed School or School District?

Chapter 7 From Theory to Practice: Transformationist Actions Convert ACEs to Aces

Transformationist Schools and School Districts

Transformationist Instructional Staff

Transformationist School Counselors and School-Based Social Workers

Transformationist School Psychologists and School Nurses

Transformationist Support Staff (Office, Cafeteria, Custodial, Bus Drivers)

Chapter 8 The Process, the Plan, the Transformation

The Process

Step 1: Assessing Capacity

Step 2: Building Capacity

Step 3: Implementation

Step 4: Evaluating Program Effectiveness

Where Is Our Sense of Urgency?

The Plan: Implementation Guide to Transformation


Evaluation and Planning

Chapter 9 In Their Own Words

Antwone Fisher

Cleressa Brown

Conor Black

Maria Gonzales

The Salomon Martinez Family

Additional Reading and Resources

Glossary of Terms





Price: $33.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

Request Review Copy

When you select 'request review copy', you will be redirected to Sage Publishing (our parent site) to process your request.