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This award-winning tool is the first of its kind--an evidence-based tool to facilitate interior design renovations and new builds of K-12 schools! It can be used to evaluate the physical space and identify changes that can lower the stress levels of students and staff. The tool is grounded in the Substance and Mental Health Services Administrations' guidance for a trauma-informed approach, the Trauma-informed Design (TiD) Society's framework, and feedback from almost 100 educators, school administrators, and designers across the country.


This project, which was supported by the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) Foundation and had institutional review board (IRB) approval, brought together educators and designers to bridge the gap in their understanding and areas of expertise and identify design impacts on educational outcomes. The Society partnered with nine schools nationwide, to evaluate their spaces and gather information about when and where students and staff experience the most dysregulation, and used this information to inform the creation of an evaluation tool for schools and designers.


Bridging the Gap


The TiDEvalK12 provides a lens through which users can better understand the relationship between spatial and interior design elements and student experiences and behaviors. In order to achieve trauma-informed design, it is necessary to bridge communication between educators and designers. Both groups bring valuable experience and knowledge, but cannot be fully understood without a common language. The tool provides an opportunity to create greater insight into both common and unique needs of each school and the ways in which designers can help.

Trauma-informed Design Evaluation Tool for K-12 Schools (TiDEvalK12)

  • The tool identifies and defines several key domains, and provides users a score in each. This can alert users to areas that might be contributing most significantly to dysregulation within the school. Schools are encouraged to have both, designers and school professionals familiar with the space, complete the tool and engage in conversations about their perceptions and experiences. These observations can inform decisions about the school community and the types of changes that will be most successful.

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