Students, Trauma, and Social-Emotional Support



Students, Trauma, and Social-Emotional Support

Goal: CEA will continue to advocate for legislation that protects teachers and students from repeated disruptions of learning and potential physical harm, and allows all to feel safe and secure while at school.

Ensuring the most positive and healthy school learning environment requires the state to do much more to address the needs of students who have had adverse childhood experiences. CEA calls for comprehensive legislation to ensure every child has access to the key programs and services each needs. Legislation should include:

  • Kindergarten Start Age: Connecticut law sets the youngest kindergarten start age of any of the other 49 states. We support legislation requiring children attending kindergarten to be at least 5 years old by Sept. 1, unless a parent or guardian of a child under such age attests to their child’s developmental readiness.
  • Universal Preschool: Require SDE and OEC to develop plan for universal preschool and report its finding and recommendations for implementation to the legislature.
  • Acceptable Counselor, Social Worker, and School Psychologist Staff Ratios: ensure that the ratios of social workers, school psychologists, and school counselors meet national standards. For social workers and school counselors, the student to teacher standard is 250:1; for school psychologists, it’s 500-700:1.
  • Reducing Testing: By prohibiting standardized tests from Pre-Kindergarten through second grade and limiting the amount of time spent preparing for and taking state-required testing.
  • Class Size Reduction in Alliance Districts: Provide additional ECS funds to Alliance Districts that maintain class sizes at or below the state average for similar classrooms.
  • Special Education Caseload: Propose a comprehensive study be conducted by the Special Education Advisory Council (with input from parents, educators, board members, and advocacy groups) that results in caseload limits for school districts. Limits should take into consideration intensities of various services, the amount of time students’ IEP indicate as classroom inclusionary time, and other key factors.
  • Social Emotional Learning and Revising the Common Core for Grades K-2: Require districts to incorporate social and emotional learning standards throughout the curriculum and include SEL in the state’s accountability framework under ESSA. The state should also create model curricular units to save teachers time and districts money.
  • Addressing Trauma for Students Who Exhibit Need: Require schools to have plans for helping students whose behavior indicates deeper needs. Plans must:
    1. Identify a suitable location where student who has been temporarily removed from class for dangerous behavior so that educational needs can be met.
    2. Implement interventions to address underlying trauma, such as therapeutic support; restorative practices with training; trauma-informed instruction; and strategies to improve the school climate, etc.
    3. Ensure teacher input into the supports and interventions necessary to support affected students and protect teachers who advocate for their students from workplace retaliation – an all too familiar form of silencing teachers.
  • Flexibility in Teachers Evaluation Law and Guidelines: Permit more flexibility in teacher evaluation plans to allow for social-emotional learning indicators.
  • Community School Strategies: Establish pilot program to develop comprehensive community schools that involve parents, educators, and the community in developing solutions to a school’s biggest challenges.

Teachers Talk. Education Commissioner Listens.

Bloomfield teachers had the opportunity to watch the documentary Resilience recently. To watch the film and hold a facilitated discussion in your local, contact CEA at myprofession@cea.org.


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Documentary Assists Teachers in Helping Students Dealing with Trauma

When new and experienced educators stepped up to the microphone last night to talk about underresourced schools, overtested students, and dysregulated behavior in classrooms, Connecticut Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona stood with them—and listened.


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Teachers tasked to deal with students' emotional issues

As teachers say they’re tasked to deal with emotional issues on a higher level than ever before, Channel 3 surveyed the trend.


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More Support Needed When It Comes to Mental Health

Fifty thousand Connecticut public school teachers from two unions were asked 23 questions for a one-of-a-kind survey.


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Teacher survey looks into if standardized testing impacts vocational training

In an exclusive week-long series, Channel 3 has been showing an in-depth look into Connecticut classrooms.


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Teachers explain how standardized testing causes stress on students

Fifty thousand Connecticut public school teachers from two unions were asked 23 questions for a one-of-a-kind survey.


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View Other Teacher Issue Videos

HB 5378, An Act Concerning the Integration of Social-Emotional Learning in Programs Of Professional Development For Educators In Connecticut


Read testimony from Teachers and CEA staff before the Education Committee.

Testimony of Amy Farrior
Teacher Marlborough Elementary School
Testimony of Brendan Murphy
Union Representative for the Connecticut Education Association
Testimony of Donald E. Williams, Jr.
Executive Director, Connecticut Education Association
Testimony of Jeff Leake
President of the Connecticut Education Association
Testimony of Kate Field
Teacher Development Specialist
Testimony of Mary Enright
Teacher in the Stamford Public Schools
Testimony of Ray Rossomando
CEA Director of Policy, Research, and Government Relations
Testimony of Stacey Paley
Teacher
Testimony of Stacey Pollock
Teacher at Torrington Middle School
Testimony of Tom Nicholas
Vice President of the Connecticut Education Association

BPRC: CEA Wants Safe & Compassionate Preventive Care for Students with Trauma


Read testimony from CEA before the Black and Puerto Rican Caucus.

Testimony of Orlando Rodriguez
Research and Policy Development Specialist for the Connecticut Education Association (CEA)

View All 2020 Testimony


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