Policy introduced for school children affected by trauma
If a traumatic event requires a Winchester Police Officer to enter a home where a Winchester Public Schools student lives, the officer can choose to notify school administrators with the child’s name and the phrase “Handle With Care.”
When a “Handle With Care” notice goes out, it is initially sent to three school administrators: Director of Student Services Judy McKiernan, Director of Elementary Instruction Jake Boula and Director of Secondary Education Brian Wray. They determine what other school administrators or counselors to notify, and those officials may then notify a teacher or other staff.
The parent or child does not have to give consent for a police officer to tell the school division the affected child’s name with the alert. No further information about the incident with police is divulged to the school division.
A “Handle With Care” notice helps teachers and administrators working with a possibly traumatized student. Many times, this can help to explain the child’s changed behavior. Winchester Public Schools teachers have received training on trauma-informed care, which explains the neuroscience that goes on in a child’s brain who has experienced trauma.
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