Death and School Crisis

“It is the preparation and the planning ahead of time that I think makes a difference. It is the relationship-building with these groups that are outside school districts that really makes the benefit, because when you know somebody and you know who to call and you know the capabilities of what they are able to do, it makes that kind of response much more responsive, responsible, and proactive.” (School Superintendent)

The death of a student or school staff member can have a profound effect on the entire school community. Virtually everyone will be impacted to some degree. This module emphasizes the value of prior planning to meet bereavement needs in the context of a crisis. It also reviews practical considerations in notifying the school community about the death, as well as strategies for identifying students and staff who may need additional support. The importance of ongoing support is emphasized.

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Importance of prior planning

Notifying the school community about the death

Identifying those in need of support and providing ongoing assistance

Supporting school staff

For more information on supporting grieving children, refer to The Grieving Student: A Guide for Schools by David Schonfeld and Marcia Quackenbush.