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Kansas Board of Education Encouraged to Address the Effect of Adverse Childhood Experiences on Achievement

Kansas Board of Education Encouraged to Address the Effect of Adverse Childhood Experiences on Achievement

Kansas might soon be a leader for how public schools can help students dealing with trauma resulting from Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE).

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ACE affects an individual’s health and well-being throughout their entire lifespan. Research has concluded that ACE leads to disrupted neurodevelopment, which consequentially leads to social, emotional and cognitive impairment. In a worst-case scenario, these occurrences can lead to health-risk behaviors and an eventual early death. It goes without saying, then, that ACE can also have a profound effect on a child’s academic achievement.

When addressing the Kansas Board of Education to urge for action to better understand the needs of students affected by ACE, school counseling program consultant for the Kansas Department of Education Kent Reed discussed these neurological changes.

If a child is exposed to poverty or abuse, that will change their chemistry, their neurochemistry,” Reed said, according to

"Evidence is showing that has an impact on how children behave. It keeps them from learning which impacts them even more.”

During his presentation, Reed referenced strides the Topeka Unified School District is making in addressing the needs of students who have experienced trauma, and urged the state to follow in the district’s footsteps to ensure all public schools are as forward-thinking.

At the moment, workgroups are working to study the relationship between ACE and academic achievement and " recommendations will be presented to Kansas Education Commissioner Randy Watson,” the article said.

Read the full story.

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor


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