Trauma Responsive Schools

November 2 & 3 Buena Vista University Storm Lake, IA

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Prairie Lakes AEA welcomes you to attend a conference focused on creating a trauma-responsive school. The conference will be held Nov. 2 & 3 at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake. Creating a trauma-responsive school is not about educators doing therapy. It is about creating a culture that prioritizes safety, trust, choice, and collaboration.

A trauma-responsive school is a safe and respectful environment that enables students to build caring relationships with adults and peers, self-regulate their emotions and behaviors, and succeed academically, while supporting their physical health and well-being.

The conference kicks off at 1 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2 with keynote speaker Jim Sporleder, principal of Lincoln High School in Walla Walla, Washington who changed his school's approach to discipline to help students overcome traumatic events.

The afternoon will also feature a variety of break-out sessions on topics including:

  • Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) (Connections Matter)
  • Dr. Ross Greene's Collaborative and Proactive Solutions (CPS) model
  • Promising practices in the area of behavior and academics from local schools
  • Therapy Dogs
  • Blue Zones
  • Restorative Justice
  • ... and many more!

Dinner is provided with registration and will begin at 5:30 at BVU Campus Dining.

A special showing of the documentary, Paper Tigers, will conclude the night on site.

An alternative option is the showing of Resilience

Registration details

Cost is $199 per person. Teams of three or more from the same district is $149 per person. For an additional $35 per person, the option for credit is available upon registration. Registration deadline is Oct. 26. After that date, registrations will be accepted for $249 per person.

**In the event of inclement weather, all announcements will be made through Prairie Lakes AEA Alerts. Sign up here.

Keynote Speaker #1 - Jim Sporleder

Jim Sporleder has dedicated the next chapter of his life to assisting schools become more trauma informed and centers of healing. After 33 years as an educator and most recently as principal of Lincoln High School in Walla Walla, WA, Jim and his staff’s pioneering work was documented in the movie, "Paper Tigers."

Schedule - Saturday, Nov. 3

For those who wish to stretch their learning, Saturday kicks off with yoga and exercise at 6:00 a.m.

A light breakfast is offered which is included with the registration.

Breakout sessions be held from 9-11:20 a.m.

Carla Tantillo Philibert, founder of Mindful Practices, will close the conference with a keynote session at 11:30 a.m. Philibert is the author of Cooling Down Your Classroom and the Everyday SEL series on Routledge, which provides practical Social-Emotional Learning and Mindfulness solutions for Early Childhood to High School teachers.

Keynote Speaker #2 - Carla Tantillo-Philibert

Carla Tantillo Philibert, is the author of Cooling Down Your Classroom (2012), and the Everyday SEL series (Routledge, 2016 & 2017). Carla has a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction, is a certified yoga teacher and is a founding teacher and curriculum director of a high school in Chicago. She has taught at both the elementary and secondary levels, is the co-creator of Hip-Hop Yoga, and is a highly qualified professional development provider. Carla has presented in Ireland, Canada, Greece, Spain, India, and Mexico.

Schedule of Events

Friday, November 2:

12:00-1:00 Registration

Refreshments Available

1:00-3:00 Keynote #1 - Jim Sporleder, Paper Tigers Principal

3:30-4:30 Breakout Session #1

4:40-5:40 Breakout Session #2

5:40-6:20 Dinner at BVU Food Court

6:30-8:00 Paper Tigers OR Resilience Video Documentary Showings w/ Q&A

  • Paper Tigers - Schaller Memorial Chapel (Jim Sporleder)
  • Resilience - Anderson Auditorium (Liz Cox)

Saturday, November 3:

6:00-7:15 Yoga/Walk/Run/Weights/Bike for all those interested in participating

8:30-9:00 Light Breakfast/coffee

9:00-10:00 Breakout session #3

10:10-11:10 Breakout session #4

11:10-11:20 Refreshments Available

11:20-12:30 Keynote #2 - Carla Tantillo Philibert, Mindful Practices

Lodging Details

A block of rooms have been reserved at the Super 8. Rooms are $64 plus tax a night and reservations can be made at 712-732-3063. Be sure to mention "Prairie Lakes AEA conference".

Other lodging options in Storm Lake:

*Quality Inn

1726 Lake Ave N, Storm Lake, IA


*King's Pointe

1520 East Lakeshore Dr, Storm Lake


*The Gables on Geneseo (B&B)

226 Geneseo St., Storm Lake