Teaching to Strengths: Two Day Workshop

Supporting Students Living with Trauma, Violence, and Chronic Stress

Professional Development


One in every two students is experiencing some type of childhood trauma. This startling statistic has, understandably, raised our alarm about what we can do to support them. Instead of looking at what is "broken"; in the lives of these students, this workshop will emphasize the urgent need for evidence-based teaching and leadership practices that focus on seeing, acknowledging, and capitalizing on the many assets these students and their families possess.

In this two-day version of the workshop, participants will collaboratively:

  • discover key tools and strategies for identifying key elements and characteristics of a strengths-based practice
  • explore how these apply to our work in classrooms and schools with students, families and communities
  • design an action plan for using a strengths-based approach with students and families living with adversity


Administrators, Early Educators, Paraprofessionals, Teachers and Specialists; Grades PreK - 12


12 PDPs will be awarded to participants upon completion of this training, in addition to outside readings and assignments (as per DESE regulations).


Future training dates will be announced here. If you have questions or are interested in offering this training on-site, please contact us.


  • Photo of Lourdes Alvarez-Ortiz

    Lourdes Alvarez-Ortiz is a bilingual/bicultural school psychologist and school leader with more than two decades of experience working in inner city school districts in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Dr. Alvarez-Ortiz has also worked as an educational administrator in the non-profit sector where she successfully pioneered innovative educational reform initiatives targeted to improving the opportunities and outcomes of students and schools deemed at risk of failure.

For more information, contact:
Events Coordinator
413.586.4900 x5981


A maximum class size is set for each course and registrations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. If the number of registrations for a course exceeds the maximum seats available or is too low to be able to conduct a quality learning experience, CES will inform you of available options.

Course Cancellation

If you wish to cancel your registration, please submit a request in writing (via mail, email or fax) no later than 7 business days before the workshop’s start date. After that, there are no refunds or billing adjustments.

In the event that a course is cancelled by the Collaborative for Educational Services, we will notify you as soon as possible. Please be sure to provide your best email address and phone number so we can contact you. Although every effort is made to avoid last minute cancellations, if an emergency arises, we will do our best to reach you at the phone number and email address you provide. 

Inclement Weather

Any delays or cancellations are posted online at collaborative.org. You may also call 413.588.5979 after 6:30am for information about classes that day. Or for Early Childhood Professional Development information, please call 413.588.5570.