California Surgeon General Visits Los Angeles to Promote Trauma-Informed Schools

SACRAMENTO – Thursday, February 22 – Last week, California Surgeon General Dr. Diana Ramos visited Los Angeles Unified School District’s Ramona Opportunity High School. The visit comes after the launch of The Office of the California Surgeon General’s (CA-OSG) trauma-informed training designed to help educators, school personnel and early care providers respond to trauma and stress in children. The CA-OSG collaborated with experts in education, youth mental health and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) research to develop Safe Spaces: Foundations of Trauma-Informed Practice for Educational and Care Settings.

“Research shows we can have a significant impact in interrupting the negative cycle of ACEs and toxic stress,” said California Surgeon General, Dr. Diana Ramos. “Our educators, administrators and other school personnel are indispensable partners in the lives of our children. Our Safe Spaces training provides strategies that can lead to healthier environments—for everyone.”

During the visit, Dr. Ramos met with Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho, Deputy Superintendent of Business Services and Operations Pedro Salcido and other school leaders to learn about the school’s unique history and the various ways that both Los Angeles Unified and Ramona Opportunity High School prioritizes youth mental health.

“While childhood trauma can affect children for a lifetime, interventions that build resilience can be protective factors,” Los Angeles Unified Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho said. “At Los Angeles Unified, we are committed to ensuring that our schools are healthy environments where all children thrive and are ready for the world.”

Highlights included:

  • Ramona Opportunity High School’s Optimism Room—a safe, quiet, and healing space where students experiencing crisis or emotional dysregulation can go to decompress.
  • Los Angeles Unified is the only school district in the nation with the Nurse Family Partnership Program—which provides free comprehensive health education services and support to first-time pregnant teens enrolled in an Los Angeles Unified school.

WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT: Research suggests that ACEs affect student learning and behavior in the classroom. Children with three or more ACEs are five times more likely to have attendance issues, six times more likely to have behavior problems, and three times more likely to experience academic failure. Trauma-informed environments can play a critical role in enhancing resilience for children impacted by ACEs or other prolonged adversities.

BACKGROUND: This training was made possible through California’s Children & Youth Behavioral Health Initiative (CYBHI)—a five-year, multi-billion initiative that is transforming the way California supports children, youth and families. To date, more than 4,800 individuals have initiated the training.

Learn more and take the training at

Ramos and LAUSD Superintendent