Project SEEKS SES holds virtual community of practice around Handle with Care

Posted by Jeremy Tepper on 12/20/2023

Zoom participants observe during the community of practice meeting

On December 20, the AIU and Project SEEKS SES held its fifth virtual community of practice meeting. The meeting revolved around the Handle with Care and TEAR (Trauma Education and Response) programs.

Each community of practice meeting focuses on a shared topic of interest between school district, higher education and community partners. Each meeting is led by the Project SEEKS SES coordinator, Shannon Fagan, in conjunction with a school district/university partner and subject matter expert. 

During this meeting, the Highlands School District shared details about Handle with Care, a tier-one, trauma-informed intervention between schools and police. Highlands explained how it has collaborated with local law enforcement and a family center to establish Handle with Care, which has catered to the needs of both the district and the community. Additionally, they explored how data derived from this program is actively utilized to build a comprehensive system of support.

Dr. Monique Mawhinney and Dr. Amber Dean, the Superintendent and Director of Student Services of the Highlands School District, gave their perspective during the meeting. Additionally, Brian Turack, the Harrison Township Police Chief, shared details from his end about the program. If you have any questions about Handle with Care, Dr. Mawhinney and Dr. Dean can be reached at and Chief Turack can be reached at

For video of the community of practice meeting, click here.