Melissa Sang is at the forefront of making Buffalo Grove High School a better educational institution. She thinks about the bigger picture of the whole child and how staff can best support students in the building.
Buffalo Grove is working toward incorporating trauma-informed practices, which is an approach that helps staff understand and recognize the effects of trauma on children. To meet this goal, Sang, a social worker, and a group of colleagues have spent countless hours researching, planning and educating staff on how incorporating these practices will benefit and impact the lives of students.
Under Sang’s leadership, when a student discipline issue now arises, staff begin with the idea of "What happened to this student" as opposed to "What is wrong with this student." This approach has led to numerous interventions that get to the heart of an issue and better support students, their learning and their lives.
The Trauma-Informed School approach also emphasizes the importance of teachers to be better equipped to handle the daily stresses of teaching, so that they can be better situated to help students that are going through their own trauma.
To do just that, Sang and her colleagues on the self-care subcommittee send weekly tips to all staff through email and organize lunchtime walks, free yoga, a wellness campaign, coffee with colleagues, and more.
“The work at Buffalo Grove High School is the work of many, and I am honored to have the opportunity to lead this incredible group of staff members,” says Sang. “I am also excited to see the growth we make over the years to come because we are just at the beginning.”