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K-State Today

January 22, 2020

Trauma-informed educator to speak at CPSI conference next month

Submitted by Patrice Scott

Steve Graner

A leader with the ChildTrauma Academy in Houston is the featured speaker at the Council for Public School Improvement professional development conference at 9 a.m. Feb. 19 at the K-State Alumni Center. 

Steve Graner, a former middle school English teacher and North Dakota cross-country coach of the year, is serving as the ChildTrauma Academy's first project director of the neurosequential model in education. He will present "Childhood Trauma and the Neurosequential Model in Education" at the organization's quarterly meeting. Registration is open and details are available on the Council for Public School Improvement website. The neurosequential model was pioneered by ChildTrauma Academy founder Bruce D. Perry, and the group has developed public-private partnerships to advance this field of study. 

Graner's presentation will address the key principles of neurodevelopment to understand how kids who've experienced trauma can learn better; the neurodevelopment lens as it applies to teachers and staff; the key elements of classroom management and curriculum development using a neurodevelopmental perspective; and specific direction to strengthen the school's therapeutic web so all staff function as a team to support traumatized children. 

"Trauma comes to school with students, and it is well documented how it can undermine student success," said Debbie Mercer, dean of the College of Education. "This is a critical conversation designed to help educators understand the effects of trauma on learning and provide proven strategies for building a classroom that is effective for all students. I believe this is one of our most important conferences of the year, and we invite teachers, school counselors, social workers, administrators and staff members to attend this important event. Your school and students will be the beneficiaries."  

In a previous interview, Graner described his work in the context of seeing through a new lens. 

"This is about a new pair of glasses," Graner stated. "This is about a different way to see the kids that have confounded you the most. That's our main goal…to teach core concepts so that you have a trauma-sensitive lens so that you can see your kids and your classrooms through that lens and let that affect your work." 

The Effective Schools Conference Series is the cornerstone of the council's professional development program. The conference is from at 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., with registration at 8:30 a.m. Morning refreshments, program materials and lunch are included in the conference fees.

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