Grand Forks, North Dakota Goes Back to School
Tali Raviv, PhD NCS3 Co-PI and Midwest Regional Site Co-Director
Grand Forks Public Schools in Grand Forks, North Dakota, was a member of our first NCS3 Cohort of districts. After two years of virtual collaboration, I recently got to travel to Grand Forks to see their work in action along with my NCS3 colleague Sybil Baker. During a whirlwind 72 hour trip, I got to drive a pickup truck, learn about “chippers” (a Grand Forks original treat: chocolate covered potato chips), tour the campus of the University of North Dakota, and meet some of the most welcoming and dedicated educators, mental health professionals, and future educators I have had the pleasure of working with – that Midwestern kindness is alive and well in Grand Forks!
Based in part on the work that was started while they were part of the NCS3, Mental Health Coordinator Christine Litzinger and her team at Grand Forks Public Schools were awarded a Stronger Connections Grant by the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction to expand their plan for incorporating evidence-based activities, programs, and practices to create healthier and safer learning environments for their students and staff. We were proud to support Grand Forks Public Schools in taking this next step to expand, build, and improve services and supports for their students by providing training in Tier II
trauma interventions (Bounce Back and Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools) to their school mental health professionals.
Thanks to a warm introduction from our colleagues at Grand Forks Public Schools to the College of Education at University of North Dakota (UND), we were able to partner with UND to integrate trauma-informed training into
pre-service workforce development for educators. Check out the blog they published after our in-person launch event! We’re excited to build on this momentum with a semester-long series of lectures and classroom and self-guided activities.
Even without the Chippers, I would have left North Dakota feeling satisfied after witnessing the commitment of this community to the health and wellness of their schools, staff, and students. The NCS3 is honored to be part of the Grand Forks 2023-2024 “back to school” plan.