High Desert Education Service District recently hired staff for three new positions that will forward the idea of a “Culture of Care” across Central Oregon.

The Culture of Care is an initiative of Better Together that aims to equip adults in schools with information about how trauma shows up in schools and how to keep students engaged when symptoms of trauma show up in the classroom. Better Together is a regional cross-sector partnership working collectively to improve education outcomes for children and youth from cradle to career. As one of Better Together’s core partners, High Desert ESD will house three staff positions to directly support the Culture of Care initiative.

The new positions at HDESD are the Culture of Care coaches, who will focus on policies, training and ongoing professional learning for educators in trauma-informed practices. The idea is that every adult a student encounters in school, including teachers, lunch staff, custodial staff and bus drivers, will have the understanding and tools needed to support students who bring symptoms of trauma to school, Katie Condit, Better Together’s executive director, said.

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Photo: Left to right: Erin Taylor, Amber McGill and Amy Yillik