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BKW schools get program to help with adverse childhood experiences

May 05, 2023 12:34 pm

Noah Zweifel reports in the Altamont Enterprise that the Berne-Knox-Westerlo school in southern Albany County is the first school district in New York state to be considered a trauma-skilled school, with accreditation through the National Dropout Prevention Center. The program is meant to help students with adverse childhood experiences. School Superintendent Timothy Mundell said, “It can be child abuse, or domestic violence in the home, or just constant arguing or bickering, or drug or alcohol abuse, sex abuse…. All of these things, they’re not just things that happen to people who live in poverty. These are things that can happen to all of us in our lives. We all have trauma in our lives that we have to overcome and be resilient to in order to succeed.” The New York State Department of Health reports that around 42 percent of New York State residents were believed to have two or more adverse childhood experiences. In 2019, more than half of the seventh-graders in the school district surveyed reported experiencing trauma. In 2022, the BKW schools had a dropout rate of 11 percent, more than double the state average of five percent. Read more about this story in the Altamont Enterprise.

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