Physician Assistant M.S.

Number of Pages


Year Approved


First Advisor

Naser, Lisa

Second Reader

Christy Anderson Jacob; Tracy Reimer

Third Reader

Tracy Reimer


Adverse childhood experiences or ACEs, are traumatic experiences in a person’s life which occur before the age of 18 and have been shown to negatively impact overall health (Petruccelli, Davis, & Berman, 2019). One area of research on ACEs and their negative effects that has not been investigated thoroughly is the classroom environment. ACEs often do not demonstrate their negative effects until later in life in which high rates of obesity, mental health concerns, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic pain, and higher rates of emergency room visits are seen (Koball et al., 2019). Teachers and support staff interact with children each day and thus are in an opportune position to intervene if ACE-related behaviors arise. Enhancement of education about ACE-related behaviors and trauma-informed care for the teacher and other support staff has the potential to identify and mitigate ACE-related behaviors from inhibiting children’s academic success. A framework of how to implement trauma-informed care into an elementary school was created at Unity Elementary School in Balsam Lake, Wisconsin, and is termed The Unity Model. The Unity Model allows teachers to recognize and support students who may have been exposed to ACEs; it further allows for a nurturing and trauma-informed approach to behavior in the classroom. The Unity Model and its tiered structure was condensed into an easy-to-follow information video that can be used with parents or guardians, newly hired district teachers, and during teacher in-service training. Finally, The Unity Model video was delivered to Unity Elementary School to use for their own intended purposes and for further distribution as seen fit by the school district.

Degree Name

Masters of Science in Physician Assistant

Document Type

Masterʼs thesis