Creating Grief Sensitive Schools

Creating Grief Sensitive Schools

Research shows that most schools have students who have experienced trauma ( GPISD is working to create schools that mitigate the impact of trauma or loss on a child’s development and educational experience.

Staff Training

GPISD Counseling Services staff provides training to staff to recognize the types of trauma, such as:

  • Witnessing violence
  • Experiencing abuse or neglect
  • Loss of a loved one
  • Experiencing a traumatic event (fire, car wreck, natural disaster, etc.)

GPISD Staff are also trained in recognizing trauma responses which might include:

  • Changes in behavior
  • Lack of interest
  • Change in appetite
  • Change in sleep patterns
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty retaining information Counseling Services Staff receive more intensive training on interventions and ways to train staff in traumatic interventions.

Classroom and School Responses



GPISD schools have components that support students in the classroom. Some examples may include:

  • Teaching coping strategies to all students
  • Providing clear routines and expectations
  • Social-emotional learning lessons are taught to encourage healthy development

Additional programs promote kindness, empathy, and inclusion throughout the school day

Additional Supports

Teachers and staff are also trained to reach out to the counseling services department if the trauma or loss responses continue for a sustained time frame or are making it difficult for a student to learn. Some supports that may be offered as a result include:

  • Referrals to community mental health agencies provided to the family
  • A campus team formed to collaborate and create behavior interventions for the student
  • Small group counseling at school
  • A mentor to meet with the student and offer encouragement

A Note for Parents

If your child has experienced trauma or loss, consider the following:

  • Reach out to your child’s school counselor or social worker for assistance and support
  • Visit GPISD Counseling Services website for information on our programs and community resources
  • Read the following tip sheet from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network for ways to support your child at home (Trauma and Grief Handout)