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Wichita Public Schools' New Trauma Team To Help With Students' Behavioral Needs

Michael B.
flickr Creative Commons

The Wichita Public School district has started a new effort to address students' behavioral problems early on.

USD 259 Superintendent Alicia Thompson says the district is seeing more and more students who have experienced some kind of trauma: They could be in the foster care system, or living in an unstable home.

“More of those students are coming into our school district, and we need to be prepared," she says.

So, using some of the additional state funds included in this year's budget, the district formed an “elementary trauma team.” Three members of the special education team will be available to work in schools to help students with emotional, social or other behavioral needs.

“The team actually helps the students to build the character and the emotional stability that they need in order to be able to sit in the classroom to be able to take in the learning that the teachers are giving," Thompson says.

She says the team will work specifically with young learners to build their capacity to learn early on.

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Nadya Faulx is KMUW's Digital News Editor and Reporter, which means she splits her time between working on-air and working online, managing news on KMUW.org, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. She joined KMUW in 2015 after working for a newspaper in western North Dakota. Before that she was a diversity intern at NPR in Washington, D.C.