Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - NLU Access

Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education

Academic Discipline

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Harrington Gibson


Students from disadvantaged backgrounds, especially those exposed to a traumatic event, bring complex experiences to the classroom setting that can affect learning and/or behavior. This qualitative study provided district administrators, policymakers, and community partners (providers, liaisons, funders) in the education field with strategies and examples from two tuition-free boarding schools that successfully implemented and sustained evidence-based trauma-informed practices. I surveyed and interviewed former students who shared information on the academic, social, and emotional impact their schools had on their success. In addition, I analyzed publicly available data such as annual reports and programmatic reviews. I featured real-world experiences, cost factors, partnerships, and allocation of resources that are distinctive to educational organizations and essential for the successful execution of trauma-informed practices and provided answers regarding the extent to which the rules, rituals, and routines present in boarding schools inform the supports needed in public schools related to SEL and Trauma-Informed Practices. Public school districts are provided with protocols of academic, emotional, and social support required of students in need of additional services to provide equity. Results show that trauma-informed programming can have a direct impact on a disadvantaged student’s success in being prepared for college, careers, and beyond. Recommendations include increasing the amount of time that public school districts, educating disadvantaged students, are engaged in a holistic learning environment as well as creating a school culture that focuses on closing the opportunity gap, preparing them for college and career success, and beyond. I also proposed funding solutions in this study.