Your Trauma-Sensitive Back-to-School Transition Plan
Supporting Students and Staff After COVID-19
Special Education

When schools reopen after COVID-19 closures, your school will need a compassionate, intentional, trauma-sensitive plan for easing the back-to-school transition. That’s what you’ll find in this practical, reader-friendly new ebook from acclaimed trauma expert Jen Alexander.

Contains Companion Materials
54494 978-1-68125-449-4
2021 112
Available Stock

When schools reopen after COVID-19 closures, both students and staff will have experienced months of unprecedented challenges, from social isolation and family illness to stretches of prolonged stress and anxiety. Your school will need a compassionate, intentional, trauma-sensitive plan for easing the back-to-school transition—and acclaimed trauma expert Jen Alexander is here to help.

Author of the bestselling guidebook Building Trauma-Sensitive Schools, “Ms. Jen” has developed a concise, reader-friendly blueprint for making the return to school as smooth as possible for everyone involved. In this ebook, you’ll get timely, adaptable guidance on designing and implementing a trauma-sensitive transition plan that puts relationships first, prioritizes emotional and social supports, breaks down barriers to learning, and empowers everyone in your learning community. You’ll also find simple, specific activities and strategies for helping every student and staff member feel safe, be connected, get regulated, and get ready to learn. Packed with the practical, immediately useful information every educator will be looking for, this must-have guide is your key to making a thoughtful, trauma-sensitive transition plan—and creating a learning environment that meets everyone’s needs better than ever before.


  • Apply the four essentials of trauma-sensitive schools to your transition planning
  • Facilitate team discussions and professional development sessions to prepare for the “new normal”
  • Gather critical input from families about their concerns, experiences, and needs
  • Address the specific challenges of school reopenings, including separation anxiety, elevated stress, safety fears, the need to feel in control, and sensory overload after months of isolation and remote learning
  • Notice and meet needs: both your own and those of students and their families
  • Help students develop social-emotional skills to navigate the transition back to school (four lessons and extension activities included!)
  • Commit to examining and disrupting systemic inequities that affect children and families who have often been marginalized
  • Make a plan for self-care and maintain a healthier work–life balance

PRACTICAL MATERIALS: In addition to the activities, games, and social-emotional lessons in the book, you’ll get more than 50 downloadable resources, including journal pages, handouts, activities, planning forms, posters, and professional development PowerPoint slides.

About the Downloads
About the Author

Section I    Preparing for Back to School: Focus on Staff and Families
Chapter 1    Why Understand Trauma? COVID-19 and Its Effects on Students
Chapter 2    Who Do We Choose to Be? Educators Rising Up and Reaching Out
Chapter 3    What Do We Include in Our Schoolwide Transition Plan? Getting Ready
Chapter 4    How Will We Create Our New Normal? Team Reflection
Chapter 5    How Can We Tend to Staff Needs? Professional Development
Chapter 6    What Will Families Need? Gathering Input
Chapter 7    What Will Students Feel and Need? Anticipating and Planning

Section II   Making the Transition: Set Up Your School for Success
Chapter 8    How Do We Design the Components of Our Trauma-Sensitive Plan? Getting Started
Chapter 9    How Do We Meet Families' Needs? Establishing a Caregiver Lounge
Chapter 10    How Do We Help Students Find Their Way? Community Building
Chapter 11   How Do We Help Our Team Be Well? Fostering Educator Resilience



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Amy Hanken, M.Ed.,, Special Education Supervisor, Early Childhood and Related Services, Heartland Area Education Agency - August 31, 2020
“Jen Alexander’s words reach through the pages to support readers—not only for our heads to plan, but also for our hearts to support;and help one another heal after a collectively traumatic experience. I cannot recommend this book enough for educators as we begin to untangle snares of trauma in our school systems and create new webs—those that create safety, support, and connection.”
Julie Beem, MBA,, Executive Director, Attachment & Trauma Network, Inc. - August 27, 2020
“Just as we’re looking for back-to-school wisdom, this book highlights that being trauma-sensitive IS the bedrock of how we navigate the challenges of this extraordinary school year. And theory is backed up with practical, straight-forward activities that build resilience in children and educators alike.”
Dyane Carrere, M.Ed.,, Trauma Consultant and Staff Developer; Author of The Re-Set Process: Trauma-Informed Behavior Strategies - August 27, 2020
“Provides both big-picture understandings regarding stress and trauma as well as explicit guidance for addressing the emotional well-being of everyone in the school community during this complex era of COVID. It is an enlightening, encouraging, and practical resource for elementary educators.”
Attend a Building Trauma-Sensitive Schools Seminar to learn the essentials of trauma-sensitive PreK–12 learning environments and how to use trauma-informed response to intervention to meet the needs of all students.
Learn more about the seminar

This product has additional material available on the Brookes Download Hub.
  • more than 50 downloadable resources, including:
    • journal pages
    • handouts
    • activities
    • planning forms
    • posters
    • professional development PowerPoint slides

Visit the Download Hub for a preview of what's available.