• Trust Based Relational Intervention

    Center Grove Community School Corporation has worked diligently to provide a safe environment where students can learn and grow. In order to continue these efforts, Center Grove is prioritizing a trauma informed initiative to address childhood adversity and its effect on students’ academic, social, emotional, and behavioral outcomes.

    How prevalent is trauma in our society and schools?
    According to research conducted by the CDC and Kaiser Permanente, approximately 67% of adults have experienced at least one adverse childhood experience (ACE) while 12.5% have experienced 4 or more ACEs. Given these results, we can infer that approximately two thirds of Center Grove students will experience at least one significant trauma before graduating high school, indicating that in a classroom of thirty students, twenty are likely to have experienced deeply distressing events that may affect their academic, social, emotional, and behavioral functioning. Additionally, 3-4 of those twenty students are likely to have experienced 4 or more ACEs, and their outcomes are very disheartening.

    Our approach to helping our students to better regulate themselves.
    While some students display more obvious signs of adversity, the effects may be less visible for others. Comprehensive training and consultation in Trust Based Relational Intervention, gives Center Grove the foundation needed to become a trauma informed school corporation in order to meet the needs of all students who have, or are currently experiencing, distressing situations.


  • What is TBRI?
    Trust Based Relational Intervention is an attachment based, trauma informed approach designed to meet the complex needs of vulnerable children. Although this research based intervention was designed for children who have experienced adversity, TBRI is beneficial for all students. High doses of adversity are linked to negative outcomes such as low academic performance, high school dropout, substance abuse, high-risk behavior, incarceration, mental health issues, suicidality, and physical health conditions. By comprehensively addressing the three pillars of trauma informed care (i.e., connection, self-regulation, and felt safety) through the use of TBRI, children can develop the resiliency needed to overcome their adversity.

    Center Grove adopted Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) as a framework for meeting the social and emotional needs of our students and committed to training our elementary staff, as well as administrators and others staff members who directly support students. This summer, Center Grove will begin training for middle school staff. The TBRI training includes two full days of instruction with our certified trainer, Amy Abell.

    How can TBRI help students? 
    Our teachers focus on teaching students self-regulation strategies and how they can build strong relationships with teachers and peers at school.

    Below are some specific terms and strategies teachers are using that can help you connect with what your children are learning at school related to TBRI.

    Meeting basic needs of students:

    • Offering snacks and water throughout the day to keep blood sugar levels regulated. More information on the importance of blood sugar regulation can be found on page 5 of this article about TBRI.
    • Teaching students to use their voices to ask for needs {restroom breaks, sensory breaks, etc.}
    • Offering movement breaks throughout the day to increase focus.

    Self-regulation strategies that you may see:

    • Awareness of our emotions
      • Students learned about their internal “engines” for self-regulation. Our optimal state is in the “green zone”-alert, focused, and ready to learn.
      • When we are in the “blue zone” we may be tired or sad and we teach strategies to get back into the “green zone.”
      • When we are in the “red zone” we may be hyper, angry, or overstimulated and we teach strategies to get back into the “green zone.”
    • Breathing Strategies
      • Box Breathing
      • Trace hand breathing
      • Hissing Breath
    • Using sensory items for self-regulation
      • Fidget tools
      • Weighted blankets, lap pads, or neck pads
      • and or bubble timers
    • Proprioceptive Strategies
      • Chair pushes
      • Chair pulls
      • Chewing gum
      • Yoga poses

    Building relationships:

    • Teachers have naturally found ways to make connections with their students but now have more intentional strategies for building relationships. Nurture Group is a format learned through TBRI to practice self-regulation strategies and build connections with others by learning how to give care to and receive care from peers. Teachers may also incorporate a morning meeting or other format to build community and connection in the classroom.

    As a district, Center Grove highly values rigorous academic instruction and expectations. We also believe that building strong relationships along with healthy social and emotional instruction is the foundation for success in schools. We work to create a environment where students feel safe and loved for optimal learning to take place.