San Diego Unified Transitions Toward a Trauma-Informed School District (Chronicle of Social Change)
By Nadra Nittle, The Chronicle of Social Change, October 1, 2015
Godwin Higa may not be famous, but the San Diego principal has no shortage of fans.
He fields phone calls from admirers from across the country and, at times, even from across the pond. He speaks at conferences far beyond the bounds of City Heights, the rough neighborhood his elementary school calls home.
Higa’s transformation of Cherokee Point Elementary into what’s known as a “trauma-informed school,” where staff members strive to meet the emotional and physical needs of children in addition to their academic needs, has made him one of the most sought-after administrators in San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD). Higa credits this approach with reducing suspensions at Cherokee Point from seven in 2008, the year he started, to zero last school year, when 580 students attended.