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Park Rapids High School to host second ACEs summit Aug. 30

The school board received a report from the ACEs MN committee on June 6.

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ACES MN committee members Angela Graham, Shelli Walsh, Mark Anderson, Dan Stacey and Lisa Coborn gave the Park Rapids School Board an update June 6, 2022 about the community's initiative to address adverse childhood experiences (ACES).
Robin Fish / Park Rapids Enterprise
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Members of the ACEs MN committee told the Park Rapids School Board on Monday about plans for a second summit addressing adverse childhood experiences (ACEs).

Committee members Dan Stacey and Angela Graham explained that the summit is scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to approximately 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 30 at Park Rapids Area High School.

The area’s first ACEssummit was held Feb. 2019 at the high school.

“The attendees will learn the ability to find resources and strategies to handle difficult times as they present themselves in their lives,” said Stacey.

As an example, he cited the “bull’s eye” diagram used in classrooms and on school buses to identify students’ state of mind, from comfort to challenge to stress or panic.

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Graham said the keynote speaker will be Shaun Floerke, a former judge from Duluth, and several presenters have also been lined up for breakout sessions.

According to information presented to the school board, Floerke will be discussing “The Actionable Pursuit of Resilience as People and Community,” exploring the nature of trauma and research-based solutions.

Other speakers and topics include:

  • Kiah Staloch with Essentia Health on vicarious trauma, or compassion fatigue.
  • Joe Johnson with Parenting Solutions on the topic “Hope Dealer 101.”
  • The National Alliance on Mental Illness on workplace mental health, suicide prevention and creating caring communitiies.
  • Peace Makers Resources, on a topic to be announced.
  • Former State Patrol Lt. Ryan Caroll, a drug intelligence officer with the Overdose Response Strategy team, on drug trends and the tendency to become cynical when seeing the same people over and over.
  • Laura Baum-Parr, a school psychologist in Walker, on compassion for self (preventing burnout) and trauma-informed strategies for working with children.
  • Sanford Health staff on mobile crisis and trauma stewardship and an ACEs overview.
  • Local youth on their traumatic experiences and how they overcame obstacles to achieve their goals. 
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Committee members Lisa Coborn, Mark Anderson and Shelli Walsh also discussed practices within the schools to respond to adverse experiences in students’ lives, including School Resource Officer Joe Rittgers’s relationship-building approach, social-emotional curriculum and a “Handle With Care” program that alerts school staff when a student or their family has been involved in a law enforcement response.

Graham described a tentative schedule for the summit, including a general session followed by breakout sessions, lunch, another large-group presentation, more breakout sessions and a panel discussion.

“Our hope is that we can bring this opportunity to the schools and our county and the community as a whole,” said Graham, “because we all need to be around this table to make a difference.”

Robin Fish is a staff reporter at the Park Rapids Enterprise. Contact him at rfish@parkrapidsenterprise.com or 218-252-3053.
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