This story is the second in a series of five articles on Education NC on expanding educational opportunity in North Carolina, culminating in the release of Public School Forum’s Study Group XVI final report.

We live in a state where over 500,000 children live in poverty. Across North Carolina, we have students for whom school breakfast and lunch are their most consistent source of nutrition.

 

“Adverse childhood experiences” (ACEs) like these can trigger trauma responses that impact a child’s ability to learn and to function in the classroom setting. With data showing the high prevalence of ACEs in the lives of North Carolina’s children, and with research drawing a direct line between these experiences and the learning process, we might well pose the question:

Is it possible for every child to succeed in North Carolina’s schools?

The Public School Forum’s Study Group XVI explored the issue of trauma and learning — and ultimately the question of how we might create environments where every student has a chance at success. Our committee — one of three written about in this week’s series on EdNC — studied the prevalence and impact of traumatic experiences on student learning, and learned from state and national experts about strategies for addressing these impacts within educational settings.

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