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Oakland Unified School District

Trauma Informed Practices

Trauma-informed practices are trainings for teachers, school leaders and staff to recognize that students’ explosive anger, classroom outbursts, habitual withdrawal and self-injurious behaviors could be symptoms of traumatic stress, the result of repeated exposure to violence, abuse and neglect.

How do trauma-informed services support efforts to create a positive, effective school climate and culture?

While trauma informed care focuses primarily on counseling for youth to mitigate the social and academic impacts of repeated exposure to violence at home or in the community, trauma-informed professional development aims to provide teachers with the science and skills to better manage traumatized students in the classroom, an approach known as “trauma-informed” or “trauma-sensitive” teaching. This approach asks teachers and staff to look at how their responses to behavior may contribute, knowingly or unknowingly, to combative interactions with traumatized youth. In addition, teachers are supported to examine the impact of secondary trauma on their own health and well-being and to take steps toward self-care. 

How can I implement trauma informed services at my school site? Who do I contact?

The Behavioral Health Unit sponsors a trauma informed care work-group that identifies best practices and offers PD at school sites at the request of leadership or teachers. PD occurs on-site with all staff and focuses on brain science, prevention and de-escalation strategies to develop trauma informed classrooms and conditions for learning.  

Please click the images below for Trauma Informed Practices training resources:

Contact Us

Director of Behavioral Health


Behavioral Health Program Managers

Elementary Networks


Middle School Network


High School Network

Sandee Simmons, LCSW

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Restorative Justice Coordinator 

David Yusem

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Restorative Justice Program Manager 

Denise Curtis

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Clinical Supervisor of Intern Program

Heather Graham

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For more information on OUSD Behavioral Health

Andrea Bustamante

Executive Director
Community Schools Student Services

cell: (415) 987-6478

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