April 20, 2019

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Offerings

ACES Interface workshop or a past ACES Interface workshop by Anne McNelis is REQUIRED in order to attend any of the other ACES workshops.

It is strongly suggested to take ACEs Comes to School-Interventions second. Once you have taken ACEs Interface you may take the other offerings in any order. During the 2019-2020 school year the following ACEs workshops will be PRESENTED by Anne McNelis & Jen Best and will be HELD at the ROE in Moline. (see below)

  • MUST ATTEND BEFORE ANY OTHERS ACEs Interface Sept. 5, 2019
  • ACEs Comes to School Interventions Sept. 16, 2019
  • ACEs: Building Resiliency in Students and Adults Nov. 6, 2019
  • ACEs: Restorative Practices for Elementary Classrooms Dec. 4, 2019
  • ACEs: Sensory Integration & Mindfulness for Students Feb. 12, 2020

ACEs offerings are for all: teachers, administrators, school social workers, counselors, psychologists, paras, nurses, disciplinarians and teams


TIME FOR EACH ACEs: 9:00 AM – 3:30 PM & 5 PD HOURS





#11844 ACEs Interface: Understanding the impact of trauma on health, behavior and your role in building resiliency for positive students outcomes

The ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) study confirms with scientific evidence that adversity during development increases the risk of physical, mental and behavioral problems later in life. The ACE Study and other research using the Study’s framework have taught us that ACEs are the leading cause of health and social problems in our nation – the most powerful determinant of the public’s health. Toxic stress during childhood can impact brain development and brain interaction with body systems and can result in negative behaviors. You see these behaviors and maladaptive coping skills every day in classrooms, hallways, and on the sidewalk.  But childhood is a window of opportunity for building resilience – after all, the developing brain is sensitive to all kinds of experience. Learn about these patterns of brain development, the ACE study, our opportunities for ACE prevention, and how protective systems promote resilience in children, families and our community for more productive learning and safe, nurturing environments.

This training will include a viewing and discussion of the documentary “Paper Tigers”. “Paper

Tigers” follows a year in the life of an alternative high school that has radically changed its approach to disciplining its students, becoming a promising model for how to break the cycles of poverty, violence and disease that affect families. This is the training that you must attend before you can attend any of the other ACEs offerings!

Date: September 5, 2019

Registration Deadline: 8/30/2019


#11845 ACEs Comes to School

When students have been exposed to traumatic events and situations, their neurodevelopment is altered in ways that impact their behavior, executive functioning and academic performance in school. These students often become our most challenging to serve and support. Building on the information in the ACE Interface training, this session will delve deeper into the neuro-psycho-social impact of trauma, and how these symptoms are exhibited in the classroom. Then, participants will explore a three-tiered approach for reducing symptoms and supporting healthy development. This approach will include practical tools for preventing traumatic symptoms through environmental and academic strategies, as well as evidence-based approaches to handling our own stress in order to make better connections with students who need it most.

Date: Sept. 16, 2019

Registration Deadline: 9/9/2019


#11846 ACEs Building Resiliency in our Students and Staff

During the last couple of years, over 400 educators have attended our Adverse Childhood Trauma (ACEs) workshops with Jen Best and Anne McNelis. Jen and Anne are back! They will be moving us forward and teaching us how to build resiliency in students AND adults (reducing professional burnout!)

During the morning session, Jen will address building resiliency in our students.

Resilience is defined as the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or significant sources of stress. When children are resilient, they are better able to make sense of difficult situations, build healthier relationships, regulate emotions more effectively, and experience control over their lives. Even in the face of adverse childhood experiences, individuals can learn the skills to become more resilient. Adults in a child’s life can develop environments that correlate to resilience, and engage children in experiences and activities that build resilience. This workshop will focus on what research tells us about how resilience develops, the role of protective factors in resilient individuals, and strategic ways to support children as they learn to become more resilient.

During the afternoon session Anne will concentrate on developing resiliency in adults and their specific needs. This portion of the workshop will cover the concepts of professional burnout vs. vicarious trauma, recognizing the signs and manifestations, how to prevent it/reduce/address it; and the importance of self-care on an individual level and how to build in self-care and resiliency within the school culture.

Date: Nov 6, 2019

Registration Deadline: 10/30/2019


#11847 ACEs Restorative Practices for the Elementary Classroom

Restorative Practices to work with ALL students, especially those who may have experienced mild to severe trauma in their lives. As you may have guessed, this may include most of your students.

American society is organized around the concept of rewards and punishments. It is commonly believed that individuals intentionally choose their behavior. If behavior is unsafe or unhealthy, we punish the behavior, which will deter it. With increasing numbers of suspensions and expulsions, as well as justice-involved youth, this behaviorist-based approach has been heavily critiqued by modern-day criminology for missing the mark on the causality of problem behaviors in youth.

Research is very clear that punishment does not deter antisocial behavior. In fact, traumatized youth are thought to be caught in a trauma-violence cycle that traditional approaches make worse. This session will review what the research says about punishment-based approaches, and discuss how to use a trauma-informed approach to discipline called Restorative Practice. Teachers will learn how to organize their elementary-school classroom around use of restorative practices as part of an overall trauma-informed philosophy, including time to practice the use of these strategies to start implementing them with students. Each participant will receive the book, Better than Sticks or Carrots, by Dominique Smith and Douglas Fisher.

Date: Dec. 4, 2019

Registration Deadline: 11/27/2019


ACEs Sensory Integration & Mindfulness for Students

This session is intended to provide school staff with an understanding of how children exposed to trauma often have unusual sensory needs. Due to the way trauma gets stored in the brains of young children as sensory experiences, children can be triggered by “too much” or “too little” sensory information from their environments.  These sensory problems are often exhibited by students in ways that look like agitation, avoidance, argumentativeness and non-compliance.  School staff will explain the role of the sensory system in emotional and physical regulation, and learn tools to make changes in the physical environment of the classroom to support sensory regulation strategies.  Then, school staff will be introduced to mindfulness as a technique to teach students to cope with sensory dysregulation and manage stress.



DATE: July 17, 2019

Registration Deadline: 7/10/2019


DATE: February 12, 2020

Registration Deadline: 2/5/2020