BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Bethlehem Superintendent Dr. Joseph Roy says the district has spent more time learning about trauma the last few years.
More than two thirds of children nationwide report experiencing at least one traumatic event before age 16.
"There has been a lot of learning over the last few years, of not just the psychological impact, but the physiological impact of trauma, especially chronic trauma on children," Roy said.
And the district has implemented strategies for helping to best serve those students.
Bethlehem, along with other districts in Lehigh and Northampton counties, will be partnering with police departments for a program called Handle With Care.
"We've instituted a program here, to identify kids who have come into trauma the night before school," said Northampton County District Attorney Terry Houck.
Police will notify schools the next day, simply saying, handle with care.
"If you have a young kid who sees something at home that night, a drug raid that night, traumatized from seeing police arresting his dad, and then goes to school and acts out, we don't want that kid dragged down to the principal's office," said Bethlehem Police Chief Mark DiLuzio.
No details-just a heads up.
"So if they walk in the door, they are without their homework, in the same clothes they wore yesterday, extra sensitive, behavior out of the ordinary, that lets us know that we need to be more sensitive," said School Nurse Janet Allio.
Handle with Care was first piloted at a Charleston, West Virginia elementary school in 2013. Allio says it's made a world of difference.
"Building that relationship, it has proved so successful," she said.
The program can also connect students with support resources, if they appear to be having trouble coping.