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WPS Program That Helps Students and Teachers Deal With Trauma is in the Spotlight

Melisa Sandoval, the Director of Social Emotional Learning and Student Agency for Westminster Public Schools has a lifetime of insight into how trauma affects both students and teachers.Melisa Sandoval

In fact, she has so much information to share that last week Chalkbeat Colorado shared a lengthy question and answer session it conducted with her with the publication’s readers.

You can read the full interview here.

In December, Sandoval, who has been with the district for more than 15 years, became the first educator in the country to earn a new Trauma-Skilled Specialist certification from the National Dropout Prevention Center.

She has now expanded the program in Westminster Public Schools by creating an eleven-person trauma team to work in schools across the district. The program helps teachers to do a better job of identifying troubled kids and getting them the help they need.

She told Chalkbeat, “What we know about trauma is you can’t just walk into a room and see which student is traumatized. We need to make sure we’re infusing universal practices for everyone and making sure we have supports in place for any student who might be impacted by trauma.” 

Sandoval’s commitment to helping troubled children began when she was an instructor at an art education program at the Denver Art Museum. She quickly developed an attachment to kids in need and found her life’s calling.

She now has people calling her for insight.