The Compassionate Schools & Communities Movements” are built on the evidence that shows when schools and communities focus on meeting children’s basic needs, there are significant improvements in student self-regulation, pro-social behavior skills and habits, pro-social motivation, and in attention, listening, concentration, explicit learning, grades, school retention, graduation rates, positive employment records, and positive family and community interactions. When youth needs are met, pro-social behaviors follow. We all want youth who behave pro-socially, are emotionally healthy, and are competent at some pursuit that contributes to the well-being of their families and communities. However, a significant number of youth behave anti-socially, have, or are at high-risk for, behavioral health disorders, and not only do not contribute, but actually harm their families and communities.


Compassionate Schools & Communities are:

  • Synonymous with the terms “brain-friendly learning”, “whole child approach”, “trauma sensitive/competent education”. All of these terms are based on the same neuroscience research, which was prompted by the findings from the 1998 study conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and entitled the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Study;


  • Based on the historic purpose of public schools, which is to build caring, competent, and contributing members of society so they can create and maintain coherent, functioning and law-abiding communities;


  • Based on the knowledge that in order for students to behave, learn and develop, they must have their basic needs met first, i.e., their physical, emotional, social, and behavioral health and well-being needs.


This session uses videos to provide examples of how schools and communities can improve youth behavior, attention, grades, and success regardless of what is happening in their homes and neighborhoods.