Randolph County school staff attend Handle With Care Conference in Elkins


ELKINS, W.Va. – Staff members in Randolph County Schools were learning Monday about how to respond to students in need after an incident at home. The county partnered with a statewide organization to provide the most effective training possible.

“We have partnered with the Handle with Care folks to provide session and training opportunities for our staff, so we know better how to deal with our children and families who have experienced trauma,” said Randolph County Superintendent Debra Schmidlen.

Schmidlen said trauma can be anything from an arrest in a home to children dealing with family members using drugs. But no matter what the cause for an individual trauma, she said they’re becoming more common.

“Broken homes, children being raised by grandparents, children living in foster homes, we find that this is more and more obvious in these last few years than in the past,” Schmidlen said.

She also plans to work with law enforcement and other emergency authorities to help identify those students on a daily basis, so that the school’s response can begin as early as when kids get on the bus.

“I would like for them to be able to recognize that, and to be able to offer that smile in the morning to all students, but especially those children who may have had a really bad night at home for whatever reason,” said Schmidlen.

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