Skip Navigation
archived information

Supporting Student Resilience in Trauma-Sensitive Schools

Date: March 8, 2016
Location: Reno, NV

This one-day conference engaged educators, school counselors, district student services staff, educators, mental health experts, and community stakeholders in a statewide conversation about the impact of trauma on youth development and the role of schools to create safe and supportive environments for students who have experienced trauma. Presented by the Washoe and Clark County School Districts, the Nevada Department of Education, and REL West, the event addressed ways we can transform Nevada schools into more supportive environments for the many students who experience trauma that affects their learning, behavior, engagement, and success in school.

Event Goals:

  • Understand what constitutes childhood trauma and how it affects learning and normal development.
  • Learn about ways to mitigate long-term effects of family violence and adverse childhood events.
  • Hear concrete examples from other schools to help you create supportive environments that foster student abilities to focus and learn.


Speakers included the following national and local educators, researchers, and mental health experts:

  • Christopher Blodgett, Professor of Human Development and Director of CLEAR Trauma Center, Washington State University
  • Erika Ryst, Professor of Pediatric Psychiatry, University of Nevada - Reno, School of Medicine
  • Victoria Blakeney, Safe and Respectful Learning Environments Educator, Nevada Department of Education
  • Panel of educators (video of this session featured below)
    • Robyn Ganeles, Project Coordinator, Seneca Family of Agencies
    • Megan Evans, PEACE Grant Counselor, Washoe County School District
    • Michele Watkins, Project SUCCESS Counselor, Central Lyon Youth Connections
    • Robert Weires, Director, Clark County School District
    • Jennifer Caldwell, Social Worker, El Dorado Elementary School
    • BethAnn Berliner, Senior Research Associate, REL West - moderator
  • Nevada State Superintendent Steve Canavero, along with Washoe County School District staff and Board of Trustees President Angela Taylor, welcomed participants

This event was modeled after a previous REL West event in Utah. More resources on youth trauma and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) can be found on that event webpage.

Questions? Please contact Kenwyn Derby:


School counselors, teaachers, school administrators, district student services staff, child mental health professionals, and community-based youth support providers.


March 8, 2016


Reno Ballroom at the Silver Legacy (NV)

Contact Information

Kenwyn Derby

Trauma-Informed Practices (Supporting the Whole Child)

Practitioner Panel Session: What Does Trauma-Informed Practice Look Like in Schools? (portion of the event)