January-February 2021: Trauma Doesn’t Stop at the School Door

Trauma Doesn’t Stop at the School Door: Strategies and Solutions for Educators, PreK-College explores how educational institutions have failed to recognize and effectively address the symptoms of trauma in students of all ages. Given the prevalence of traumatic events in our world, Gross argues that it is time for educational institutions and those who work within them to change their approaches and responses to traumatic symptoms that manifest in students in schools and colleges.

These changes can alter how and what we teach, how we train teachers, how we structure our calendars and create our schedules, how we address student behavior and disciplinary issues, and how we design our physical space. Drawing on real-life examples and scenarios that will be familiar to educators, this resource provides concrete suggestions to assist institutions in becoming trauma-responsive environments, including replicable macro- and microchanges.

This series will focus on the longer-term issues of how trauma impacts student learning and psycho-social readiness.

Attention will be paid to a range of issues including:

  • Understanding trauma symptomology and how it manifests in and outside the classroom.
  • Addressing how girls respond differently to trauma as compared to their male counterparts.
  • New approaches that will be trauma responsive and enable the creation of community in the near and longer term.
  • Importance of processing in place when untoward events occur with a student in a classroom or athletic setting.
  • Attention will also be paid to teachers and administrators being secondarily or vicariously traumatized and steps that are available for amelioration.

Concrete activities and approaches will be provided and there will be ample opportunity for give and take and questions.


The winter 2021 series of Beyond the Book with Karen Gross will be comprised of four sessions from 4:00 – 5:15 p.m. EDT on the following dates:

  • Thursday, January 21
  • Thursday, January 28
  • Thursday, February 4
  • Thursday, February 11

The registration fee will be $250 per person (cost of book not included). Space is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Interested in having multiple members of your team participate? Discounted pricing will be available for groups of three (3) or more.

Registration for this series will open in fall 2020.

About Karen Gross

Karen Gross is an author, educator, and advisor to nonprofit schools, organizations, and governments. Her work focuses on student success with a specialization in trauma, its symptomology, and approaches to its amelioration. She has worked with institutions planning for and dealing with person- and nature-made disasters including shootings, suicides, immigration detention, family dysfunction, hurricanes, and floods.

She currently serves as Senior Counsel to Finn Partners, is an instructor in continuing education at Rutgers University Graduate School of Social Work, and sits on the Advisory Council at the Center for Minority Serving Institutions at Rutgers. She is also a Visiting Professor at Bennington College and artist-in-residence at Molly Stark Elementary School (VT).

A frequent voice on education issues across the preK–20 pipeline, Gross is the award-winning author of Breakaway Learners: Strategies for Post- Secondary Success and Failure and Forgiveness: Rebalancing the Bankruptcy System. She is also the author of a trauma-sensitive children’s book series, Lady Lucy’s Quest.

She served for eight years as President of Southern Vermont College and as Senior Policy Advisor to the U.S. Department of Education during the Obama Administration. Prior to that, she was a tenured law professor for 22 years in NYC. She has also served on numerous local, regional, and national boards, including Campus Compact, New England Board of Higher Education, and the Sage Colleges.

Praise for Trauma Doesn’t Stop at the School Door

“This book is highly recommended to all educators and administrators who are interested in understanding the association of trauma and the autonomic nervous system as well as exploring strategies on policy, program, and practice in trauma-responsive education. It is a book for the ‘Generation T’ in the context of our time. The book offers strategies for quieting the hyper-aroused stress response system.”

—Ed K.S. Wang, M.S., Psy.D., Massachusetts General Hospital

“Most educators right now only know that trauma exists. But we don’t know what it looks like, how it impacts students, or how to help students find a pathway through it. So our response is to do little or nothing about it. No more. With Trauma Doesn’t Stop at the School Door, Dr. Gross helps educators and student advocates become trauma-aware and charts a course for teachers and schools to become trauma-responsive.”

—G. Gill Hunter, professor, Eastern Kentucky University