What to do when the kids aren’t alright

By Ginger Christian, Megan Quinn and Virginia Foley
October 2022
In the aftermath of the acute phases of COVID-19, some schools are adopting trauma-informed, high-leverage practices to help educators and students cope with the psychological impact of the pandemic on learning. But given the scope of the pandemic’s devastation, scattershot approaches are not enough. We need systemic approaches to ensure that all educators and students can benefit from trauma-informed approaches. East Tennessee State University and Unicoi County Schools recognized the value of developing and sustaining a partnership to build strategies and leadership capacity for trauma-informed systems. Seeing the need for professional learning, coaching, and assessment tools, the professors and researchers at the Strong Brain Institute and Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis Department developed a five-year strategic partnership with the school district. Through this partnership, we

Read the remaining content with membership access. Join or log in below to continue.

Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium, totam rem aperiam, eaque ipsa quae ab illo inventore veritatis et quasi architecto beatae vitae dicta sunt explicabo. Nemo enim ipsam voluptatem quia voluptas sit aspernatur aut odit aut fugit, sed quia consequuntur magni dolores eos qui ratione voluptatem sequi nesciunt. Neque porro quisquam est, qui dolorem ipsum quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci velit, sed quia non numquam eius modi tempora incidunt ut labore et dolore magnam aliquam quaerat voluptatem.

Log In


Baker, P.J. (2011). Three configurations of school university partnerships: An exploratory study. Planning and Changing, 42(1), 41-62.

Benner, G., Kutash, K., Nelson, R., Fisher, M. (2013). Closing the achievement gap of youth with emotional and behavioral disorders through Multi-Tiered Systems of Support. Education and Treatment of Children, 36(3), 15-29.

Ehlert, U. (2013). Enduring psychobiological effects of childhood adversity. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 38(9), 1850-1857.

Hirsh, S., Psencik, K., & Brown, F. (2014). Becoming a learning system. Learning Forward.

Learning Forward. (2021, December). Set a SMARTIE goal to target inclusion and equity. The Learning Professional, 42(6), 66-68.

Loman, M. & Gunnar, M. (2010). Early experience and the development of stress reactivity and regulation in children. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 34(6), 867-876.

National Scientific Council on the Developing Child. (2014). Excessive stress disrupts the architecture of the developing brain: Working Paper No. 3. Updated Edition.

Ginger christian

Ginger Christian is an assistant professor at East Tennessee State University for the Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis Department. Originally a special educator, she has experience in elementary, middle, and high school administration and champions opportunities for innovation, school leadership, and P-20 redesign. As an elementary principal, she facilitated a partnership with the University of Tennessee focused on trauma-informed practices resulting in a TN State Gold Level of Model School Designation. She specializes in leading organizational systemic changes grounded in implementing Resilient Systems and believes school and university collaboration is the fuel for innovation to occur.

Image for aesthetic effect only - Quinn Megan

Megan Quinn ( is associate professor, Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology at East Tennessee State University.

Virginia foley headshot

Virginia Foley ( is professor, Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis Department at East Tennessee State University.

The Learning Professional

Published Date


  • Recent Issues

    October 2022

    Professional learning can help educators navigate the competing...

    August 2022

    New teachers have unique professional learning needs and challenges. When...

    June 2022

    This issue celebrates the 2022 revision of Standards for Professional...

    April 2022

    This issue celebrates the many ways coaches are helping schools thrive in...

    Skip to content