New report shines light on high rates of student trauma

The Children’s Law Center has released a new report detailing the high rates of trauma that many D.C. students carry with them from home to the classroom. The report also discusses the ways in which the public school system can effectively address the issue and bring about lasting reform. (WaPo, 6/24)

“Education reforms in the District will not fully succeed if schools do not address the trauma that students bring with them to class,” the report said.


Advocates argue that trauma is a pressing issue in the District, where 1 in 4 children live in poverty, with household incomes of less than $24,000 a year. In wards 7 and 8, the poverty rate is close to 50 percent.

Children from poor families are more often exposed to chronic stress and traumatic experiences. Last school year, about 4,000 D.C. public school students were homeless, the report said. At the end of 2014, more than 1,000 D.C. children were growing up in foster care. And with one out of every 50 adults incarcerated, many children have a parent in prison.

According to the report, children can be affected by a single event or by ongoing trauma. It harms executive functioning and their ability to regulate emotions and shapes the way their brains develop. Children who have been traumatized often feel unsafe and can’t concentrate. They may be withdrawn or have a strong emotional reaction to something seemingly harmless.

Click here to access the full report.

Opinion: Is Special Education Racist? (NYT, 6/24)

– Despite the closure of Rosslyn’s Artisphere arts center, the region’s creative community remains optimistic with a little imaginative thinking and support from sources like the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities. (Washingtonian, 6/23)  

NoMa Parks Foundation Chooses Second Underpass Design (DCist, 6/23)

– This week, the Montgomery County Council unanimously passed a bill that will require all employers to give employees paid sick leave and paid time off. Though the bill will not go into effect until late next year, here are five things to know about the new law. (Bethesda Magazine, 6/23)

Minimum Wage For Tipped Workers Set At $4 In Montgomery County (WAMU, 6/24)

RACIAL EQUITY/DISTRICT | Digital legislative data company Quorum has released an interactive map displaying the concentration of race within the District’s neighborhoods. (DCInno, 6/23)

REGION | Cities and counties come to grips with the high cost of recycling programs (WaPo, 6/23)

NONPROFITS | RAISE DC announces their Data Spotlight Awards, highlighting the schools and nonprofits that use data in innovative and impactful ways to address challenges youth face from cradle to career.  Organizations can apply here by July 24 to win a $10,000 award for their data endeavors.

PHILANTHROPY | Grantmakers for Effective Organizations presents their newest publication, Learning Together, that examines open learning and evaluation practices among grantees, other funders, community members, government agencies and more, along with some informative case studies. (GEO, 6/17)

Multitasking at its finest…this baseball fan caught a foul ball while feeding his baby.  

– Ciara