PTO Today Q&A

Question: How to deal with the death of a teacher?

My son's third grade teacher passed away this morning. As a Mom and PTO President, I am concerned about how the students from his class with handle the news. We are on break now and won't return to school for another week. I'm hoping the School District will have someone come in and talk to the kids that morning. But what can I do in the meantime for my child and his classmates?

Asked by Anonymous



Advice from PTO Today

Rockne writes:
Our condolences for your loss. As for advice, this is definitely the kind of situation that should be handled at the district/administartion level in a school-wide manner. As PTO president, you can certainly inquire about the school's plans for next week and -- if there is little planned -- even recommend an approach, but I'd say it's wholly a district-level responsibility. I'd be surprised if there isn't thought being given to the kids already. Would be great if district communicated in advance with parents about the plans and even perhaps with some links or articles about helping the kids at home.

Community Advice writes:
Thanks for your response. The District Counselor contacted each parent this morning to notify them. They will have grief counselors in the classroom in the day that the students return and will have them available afterward for the students also. My question was really how can I, as a parent and friend, help my child and his classmates deal with their feelings during this next week. The few that I have spoken to don't really understand, as most of them are 8 and 9 years old. I would like to ease my child into this over the next few days. Maybe I'm being overly concerned, but this is the first time he has had to deal with such a loss.

Community Advice

MaryKat Parks Workinger writes:
As the mother of an 8 year old, I don't think you are being overly concerned. You might want to take a look at some of the suggestions in this Goal on are some good practical steps to help you and your kids. Good luck and my condolences. (

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