NC Resilience & Learning Project

The NC Center for Resilience & Learning works in partnership with schools and districts to design and implement whole-school and district-wide trauma-informed strategies to improve the academic performance and social-emotional well-being of students, needed now more than ever before. The Center utilizes two action strategies: 1) Broad-based professional development for educators to increase understanding of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and trauma, the brain science behind the stress response system, and resulting impacts on student learning and behavior. The training introduces resilience-building interventions that can improve safety and agency for students; 2) Coaching for action planning with structured steering committees in partner schools. These teams focus on creating and implementing strategies to build safer and more supportive learning environments that increase student resilience, support social-emotional learning (SEL), reduce discipline referrals, and improve learning.

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Fast Facts

Relevant Actions
State or Local? Local
CountiesBladen, Columbus, Cumberland, Edgecombe, Greene, Johnston, Lee, Nash, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Pitt, Robeson
Lead Agency Public School Forum of NC
Type of Agency


Racial Equity Lens
  • Seek wisdom from people of color and researchers in educational equity work when incorporating equity-related content into our professional development.
  • When collecting school and district data, we ask for data to be broken down by race and ethnicity.
  • Internally, have read and done an in-depth team book study on “Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain” to better weave together discussions with school teams around trauma-informed practices and culturally responsive teaching practices.
Community Voice
  • Our school resilience teams are made up of teachers in the school who represent various grade levels, subject areas, and roles. The goal for this group is that they take the lead on decision-making around the changes and new strategies to be implemented within the school instead of the Center Coach leading those decisions.
  • Full model of ongoing training and coaching led in partnership with 60 schools across 15 districts; other models of short-term training and/or individualized consultation with an additional 18 districts. Over 4,000 educators have been a part of one of our trainings and there have been just over 26,000 students in the schools in which we have led our full model of ongoing training and coaching who have benefited from new strategies and adult mindset shift. 
  • Improved awareness, understanding, and mindset for educators around student behavior as it relates to trauma-informed practices and the stress response system:
    • 79% of partner educators agreed or strongly agreed that Center training and coaching increased their knowledge about ACEs, stress, and trauma
    • 78% of partner educators agreed or strongly agreed that Center training and coaching increased their knowledge about ways to build resilience for themselves and their students
    • 78% of partner educators agreed or strongly agreed that Center training and coaching helped them learn new strategies to implement with their students 
    • 70% of partner educators said they saw changes in their relationships with students while working with the Center
    • 69% of partner educators said they changes in how they think about causes of misbehavior or in their responses to misbehavior 
    • Data Summary Report
  • Intended results include decrease in discipline referrals and improved test scores and attendance rates across partner schools. This data is not readily available due to the impact of Covid on collecting meaningful pre- and post-administrative and proper comparison data across multiple school years. We plan to have this fully available by the end of summer 2023.
Next Steps
  • Incorporate more training and coaching content and time to culturally responsive teaching in addition to trauma-informed schools practices
  • Work with 3-4 partner districts to collect comparison data around things like discipline numbers to better understand program impact during Covid
  • Support districts with sustainability of our work by helping create district resilience teams who can ensure the work continues at the individual school level and becomes embedded in the strategic plan for whole districts
Primary Partners
  • Duke’s Center for Child and Family Policy – Dr. Katie Rosanbalm, research and evaluation partner 
  • Our school districts (12 for the 2022-2023 school year)
Primary Funders
  • Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust
  • ChildTrust Foundation
Secondary Contact

Eulanda Thorne ([email protected])

Contact Elizabeth DeKonty

Active Counties