• Jeff Blessum Good Afternoon Manhattan Parents and Community Members:


    On Friday, September 27th, Manhattan Public School staff and several other schools in the valley will participate in a Professional Learning Day in the Manhattan Commons. Pete Hall, former teacher, principal, and now an internationally-acclaimed speaker will lead the workshop. Mr. Hall is the co-author of the best-selling and award-winning books Fostering Resilient Learners: Strategies for creating a trauma-sensitive classroom and Relationship, Responsibility, and Regulation. 

    Many school districts in the valley have been seeking professional learning opportunities regarding social emotional learning (SEL) and self-regulation. Mr. Hall will share keen insights into the creation of a “Culture of Safety” that benefits all of our students and adults. This workshop will review how toxic stress impacts the developing brain, enable participants to obtain clarity of their essential WHY, and explore communication strategies for partnerships with parents and families. In addition, he will share strategies on how to implement timely interventions for our students by addressing the New 3 R’s in education: Relationships, Responsibility, and Regulation. We are hoping that the participants will leave refreshed and excited about meeting the challenges awaiting them, with tools in the toolbelt and the energy and optimism needed to use them.

    The “learning outcomes” of this Professional Learning Day are:
    *Deepen understanding of childhood trauma (key vocabulary and research behind the topic).
    *Embrace the need to build self-awareness and tend to self-care.
    *Deepen understanding of the value of fostering a “Culture of Safety: a safe, predictable, and consistent learning environment.”
    *Learn the new 3 R’s – an intervention model aligned with *MTSS and packed full of multiple strategies for education staf and community members to utilize with those who have known and unknown trauma histories. These strategies will help to sustain learning-ready and teaching-ready states.
    *Process real-life scenarios in a collaborative setting designed to facilitate a solution-oriented, strategy-rich protocol that can be replicated back at your building and in your classrooms.


    I am very thankful that we will host this amazing opportunity for our teachers, staff and regional schools. The Manhattan Commons is a beautiful venue that all of us should be proud to share. Sometime after Friday, September 27th, please consider engaging your child’s teacher in a conversation about social emotional learning and how they foster a “Culture of Safety” in their classrooms.

    *A Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) is a systemic, continuous improvement framework in which data-based problem-solving and decision making is practiced across all levels of the educational system for supporting students.

    Be well,
    Jeff Blessum, Superintendent