Healing-Centered Framework

Healing-Centered Framework

Promoting wellness, safety, and support for CPS students.

Photo Courtesy CPS Office of Communications, Photographers: Vashon Jordan and David Saradin

Healing in Chicago Public Schools

Since 2019, Chicago Beyond has partnered with Chicago Public Schools (CPS) to help articulate Chicago Public Schools’ vision for a healing-centered future. 

Trauma is so common that most people including students, staff, families, and caregivers – have experienced it in their lifetimes. According to the CDC, almost two out of every three adults has experienced at least one adverse, or potentially traumatic, childhood event. Additionally, the experience of trauma extends far beyond adverse childhood experiences to include historical and racial trauma, as well as the social conditions in which many communities are contending with daily. Today, this trauma has been exacerbated as cities across the country continue the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and reckon with racial injustices spurring a movement towards a more equitable future for all young people. 

The Healing-Centered Framework takes a comprehensive approach to healing. The district’s vision focuses not only on the wellness of students but on the wellness of the adults like school staff, families, and caregivers that support them. The vision also frames healing as a participatory and collective process, one where students and adults are active agents of their own healing and providers of healing to those around them.

To learn more about this work, a first-of-its-kind, multi-year effort to transform CPS into a trauma-engaged, culturally-responsive school district that proactively and responsively meets the wellness needs of each individual student, please visit https://www.cps.edu/strategic-initiatives/healing-centered/.

"As a former CPS principal, I’ve witnessed how traumatic experiences can disrupt a young person’s academic performance, personal relationships, and future opportunities in life,” Founder and CEO of Chicago Beyond Liz Dozier said. “I’ve also seen how investing in healing can yield incredible results. Yes, increases in academic performance and attendance, but healing also allows kids to be kids and to feel empowered to show up in ways that are true and authentic to themselves. It’s been our privilege to help CPS articulate this bold vision for healing so that all CPS students can reach their full potential."

Liz Dozier, Founder & CEO of Chicago Beyond