Compassionate & Resilient Schools

Over the past year and a half, the staff at The Dragonfly House have been working closely with key personnel at Davie County Schools to create our own, local, community-specific version of a trauma-informed/trauma-sensitive school and community.  This is called “Compassionate & Resilient Schools” (CRS).  Our CRS model is a whole school, whole child, trauma-sensitive framework that supports all students by creating Compassionate & Resilient schools that will improve academic, behavioral, and social-emotional outcomes for students.

It is our mission to show compassion and promote resiliency both in our schools and in our communities.  We will be intentional about building relationships with all students so that we may more effectively prevent, recognize and heal childhood trauma by creating safe and nurturing relationships and learning environments.

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Childhood trauma can have a direct, immediate, and potentially overwhelming impact on the ability of a child to learn. We want educators and school professionals to understand the role of trauma, its effect on children and learning, and how they can change methods of interacting and responding to children impacted by trauma. By adopting a Compassionate & Resilient approach, schools undertake a shift in perspective at the staff and organizational level to recognize, understand and address the learning needs of children impacted by negative experiences. This requires a commitment to shaping school culture, practices, and policies to be sensitive to the needs of traumatized learners. This effort positively impacts schools and changes the life-trajectory of vulnerable students.

It is a fact that all schools and educators are working with children who have experienced trauma, but you may not ever know who these students are or what their trauma experience was/is.  A Compassionate & Resilient school operates much like a wheelchair ramp does for handicap accessibility… it exists for those students who we already know need it, it is there for those students who may not have been recognized as in need of it, for students who may not need it now but could need it in the future, and those who may not ever need it but having it in place teaches them compassion from modeling the mindset and perspective shift that their peers and teachers display within a Compassionate and Resilient school framework.

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The CRS logo was uniquely created using key elements of logos from both Davie County Schools and The Dragonfly House. The CRS website explains in more detail.

By joining together to provide education, training, resources, awareness, and support, we can open our eyes to the realities our children are facing and give them a successful learning experience that will only help them grow into successful, productive members of society.  By joining together as a community, a children’s advocacy center, and a school system, we can extend our reach and catch children before they fall.  Please take some time to visit our website at www.compassionateresilientschools.com to learn more about this initiative and the data, reasons, & resources behind it.

Currently Mocksville Elementary School and South Davie Middle School are piloting the program in Davie County.  Davie County Schools has designated through their Strategic Plan that by June 2023, DCS will create and enhance learning environments that support and prepare students socially & emotionally as measured by annual student & staff surveys, discipline, attendance, dropout data, and counseling data. One strategy for this is to Implement a compassionate and resilient schools approach district-wide.

In Davidson County Schools, Churchland Elementary School and Tyro Elementary School are piloting the program and have just begun their first steps of implementation.

We are excited to be partnering with Davie County Schools to create this model and to be working with each of the individual schools and their staff to create real change – change in mindset and change for our children.


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“It is hard to play chess in a hurricane, just as it is hard to focus on school learning when struggling with trauma. However, teachers who are kind during the storm increase the likelihood that students will return to chess after the wind stops blowing. Long after students may have forgot what you tried to teach them, they will remember how you treated them. Whatever your approach to teaching and discipline, remember to treat your students with respect and compassion.”  ~The Heart of Learning and Teaching: Compassion, Resiliency, and Academic Success

Compassionate and Resilient Schools Website:  www.compassionateresilientschools.com

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National Children’s Alliance Position on Family Separation

national childrens alliance logoEarlier this year the Trump Administration began enforcing a “zero tolerance” policy that arrests and prosecutes all individuals who illegally enter the United States. However, because this policy applies to adults and not children, families that are attempting to cross the border together are being separated, with the parents being arrested and the children being placed with sponsors, in shelters or other facilities.

We are deeply concerned of the impact a policy of separating families at the border may have on children. Because Children’s Advocacy Centers have been on the front lines in protecting children and serving abused kids for almost 30 years, we see first-hand the effects childhood trauma can have on children, families, and communities.

Individuals may differ on the best policy prescriptions to address immigration and border security.  What is indisputable, however, is the potential for lasting harm to children experiencing family separation due to the implementation of such policies.

A sizeable body of research literature exists on the negative health and mental health outcomes of children who endure traumatic separation from parents and caregivers.  For a child to grow to a healthy and contributing adulthood he/she must be able to trust, feel safe, and form lasting familial attachments.  Threats to any of these seriously threaten healthy childhood development.

Children who are separated from their parents experience overwhelming fear, anxiety, loss of attachment, and terror.  That is greatly exacerbated when the separation is sudden, inexplicable, and neither the child nor parent knows the location of, nor can communicate with, each other.  Whatever the intended public policy outcome of such practices, the only sure outcome for children is trauma.

To prevent lasting harm to these children, we urge Congress and the Administration to work together to end family separation immediately and permanently as a part of immigration policy and border enforcement.

National Children’s Alliance
516 C Street NE
Washington DC 20002
202 548 0090 telephone
202 548 0099  facsimile