We believe that a person is a product of their history and the events that shaped the development of their brain, both positively and negatively. Trauma-informed school environments threat the whole student, primarily taking into account their past trauma and the resulting coping mechanisms while attempting to understand their specific behaviors.
As a trauma-informed school, as we work with a child struggling with problem behaviors we don’t ask what is wrong with a child, instead we strive to find out what happened to the child. All instructional, behavioral, and clinical staff work with students to identify the root causes of problem behaviors and establish action plans for growth and change.
Consistent with trauma-informed environments, VDS focuses on the creation of a physically, emotionally, and socially safe environment by establishing a predictable environment with constant procedures, routines, and expectations. We also intensely focus on the creation of positive relationships between staff and students within our classrooms and through group and individual counseling experiences.
The Valley Day School is proud to be one of the few schools in the nation that have received certification in the Sanctuary Model of trauma-informed care. The accreditation process lasted over three years and during that time, VDS redesigned its internal systems to create an organization committed to implementing the best practices for supporting growth and change through trauma-informed care.