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Navigating the Unexpected

A School Leader’s Guide for Trauma-Response Teams

By: Geri Parscale, Darcy Kraus

Foreword by: Heather Friziellie

Educators are accustomed to designing road maps that amplify confidence, structure, and ultimately successful outcomes for students and staff in known conditions. But what is the plan when the known becomes unknown? Navigating the Unexpected empowers school leadership to create and utilize trauma-response teams.

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Manage, maintain, and motivate through crises or traumatic situations

Nearly two-thirds of students show symptoms of traumatic stress. It’s imperative that every school is equipped to take a proactive approach and thoughtfully respond to trauma and high-stress events and situations such as chronic illness, physical assault, neglect, unexpected family crises, and other adverse childhood experiences. This book serves as a quick-reference guide for school and district leaders in designing their own Dynamic Problem-Solving Team (DPST).Throughout the book, readers will find identified systems that allow the DPST to navigate traumatic situations with structured flexibility.

This book will help principals, teacher leaders, and district administrators:

  • Assess the efficacy of current systems and protocols in response to a traumatic or unexpected event
  • Develop a Dynamic Problem-Solving Team (DPST) equipped to navigate traumatic situations with structured flexibility
  • Establish a system of communication to inform and empower students, staff, and the community at large
  • Design goals, action items, and monitoring protocols to meet students’ physical, academic, behavioral, and social-emotional needs
  • Provide templates, assessments, and other tools that will support a planned, systematic, and fully customizable response

Related Topics

Family & CommunityLeadershipViolence & Crisis Prevention

Additional Information

Product Code: BKG150, EKF695

ISBN: 9781958590720

Published By: Solution Tree

“Parscale and Kraus give school leaders a playbook that not only acknowledges the presence of trauma in their students’ lives, but provides a blueprint to equip educators to anticipate it and organize to respond. This is a very thoughtful book that just might save some lives.”

Anthony Muhammad, educational presenter and author

“This is the book that must be on the shelf of every school office and reviewed every school year. As the authors state, the conversation is not about if your school will experience a significant crisis, but when. In addition to action steps and reflective questions, the book also shares deep insights based on a personal story of loss for one of the authors. The establishment of the Dynamic Problem-Solving Team (DPST) is an essential component to being prepared to manage the inevitable. As they state in the epilogue, ‘It is incumbent on us to prepare for the unexpected because getting it right the first time is just too important to leave in the hands of happenstance.’ This book articulates the road map that will provide all schools the opportunity to be proactive and prepared instead of reactive and reluctant.”

Tom Hierck, author and educational presenter

“As a school administrator, I wholeheartedly recommend reading Navigating the Unexpected by Geri Parscale and Darcy Kraus. This resource has proven to be an indispensable tool for principals, teachers, and support staff in shaping our approach to student support. Its practical guidance enables our entire team to respond swiftly and effectively to diverse student needs, fostering a more inclusive and supportive school community. By equipping educators at all levels with the strategies outlined in this resource, we are better prepared to meet the evolving challenges of education and prioritize the well-being and success of every student.”

Melissa Rosselli, principal, Titusville Intermediate School, New York

“Trauma can take many forms and all schools face it every day. Educators must be prepared for all eventualities, and Parscale and Kraus offer a complete, fluid, and simple resource that is accessible to all educators, from the superintendent to the classroom teacher. A must-have in your library.”

Nathalie Fournier, French immersion teacher, Prairie South School Division, Saskatchewan

Navigating the Unexpected offers a compelling and timely exploration of how schools can proactively address trauma within their communities. Through insightful analysis and practical strategies, the authors illuminate the importance of developing comprehensive plans to support students and staff through challenging circumstances. With a focus on fostering resilience and creating safe, nurturing environments, this book is an invaluable resource for educators and school leaders seeking to navigate the complexities of trauma response in educational settings. By emphasizing the power of proactive measures, Navigating the Unexpected provides a road map for fostering healing and empowerment within schools.”

Kenneth C. Williams, educational presenter and author of Ruthless Equity
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