The Coalition to Support Grieving Students
The Coalition to Support Grieving Students, grievingstudents.org, is an innovative multimedia resource designed to empower educators and school professionals in their efforts to support grieving students as they cope with loss. “Although school professionals have long confronted the issue of student grief, for the first time, all of the right stakeholders are formally working together to address this issue in a concerted, interdisciplinary way.” stated New York Life Foundation President Heather Nesle.
The Coalition is a unique collaboration of the leading professional organizations representing classroom educators (including teachers, paraprofessionals, and other instructional staff), principals, assistant principals, superintendents, school board members, and central office staff, student support personnel (including school counselors, school nurses, school psychologists, school social workers, and other student support personnel), and other school professionals who have come together with a common conviction: grieving students need the support and care of the school community.
The Coalition’s Website includes 5 Modules Full of Resources. Each topic includes instructional videos as well as flyers to assist you and other educators.
Conversation & Support
Developmental & Cultural Considerations
Crisis and Special Circumstances
New York State Resources including Grief Camps, Grief Organizations and Hospice Programs
Prepared by The New York Life Foundation and the Moyer Foundation
Need Resources for another state?
Click here for an interactive state map of resources as well other Regional and National Supports.
Research shows seven out of 10 teachers have a student affected by loss in their classroom. We know that the challenges associated with grief can lead to missed school days, a loss of concentration, and falling behind in school work. Too many schools fail to properly assist grieving students. School staff are often so concerned with saying the wrong thing that they sometimes don’t say anything at all. To help remedy the problem, the Coalition to Support Grieving Students launched grievingstudents.org. The website includes online professional-development modules (see links below) —created in consultation with Dr. David Schonfeld and the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement—that address subjects like classroom discussions, consultation between educators to plan for re-entry to school, funeral attendance, and the psychology of child grief. It’s the culmination of several years of work to develop resources to help educators understand and address student bereavement.
As we know, a compassionate response and a supportive environment for students to express and work through their grief can go a long way in preventing long-term damage to the student’s educational progress and enhancing their social and emotional well-being. The coalition’s resources bring greater awareness to the unique needs of the grieving student and all affected by loss. School personnel will be empowered to support students if they are given the proper resources to respond appropriately in times of grief and crisis. This includes alleviating the stress of feeling helpless, unsure of what to say or how to help. These resources were designed to help.