Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $2,000,000)
Under Category 1 (State Applicant), Program Area 3) Train school personnel and educate students on preventing school violence, Wisconsin’s Department of Public Instruction (DPI) will implement the TRAIN-WI Expansion project across the southern half of Wisconsin. According to Mental Health America, the prevalence of mental illness in Wisconsin in 2021 is in the highest quartile in the nation. Just 23.9% of Wisconsin youth feel that they get emotional support when needed; and only 33% of those get that emotional support from a trusted adult. Adults in schools are in a unique position to recognize traumatic stress in children. However, to do this, they must first be aware of the issues facing children, how to detect signs of difficulty after trauma exposure, and how to create a supportive school environment. To ensure that all school-associated adults have a full understanding of children’s trauma as well as their own, DPI intends to expand a program that has been highly successful in the northern half of the state, to the southern more populous, and more diverse part of the state. Significantly more students in southern/urban areas were affected by more and longer school closings. The resultant trauma, and its accompanying behaviors, are something that showed up in classrooms once they returned. The Neurosequential Model for Education (NME) training will be offered to nearly 300 school districts and over 1500 school personnel. NME is sustainable due to offering trainer certifications, and advanced trainer certifications. DPI will see that trainers and advanced trainers are located at regional educational service agencies across the service area, as well as in large districts, to ensure long-term sustainability and to exponentially increase the number of adults and students benefitting from the program.