Chapter 4: Planning for when a student is dying

Informing families

What the educator says
Sue Massaad, elementary school principal, talks about informing the school community of a death.(3:22)Video transcript

“We sent the emails out to let parents know what had happened in order to assist them in supporting and answering questions when the kids came home. What I didn’t expect was all the calls that came in that afternoon as a result”. – Vice Principal

Parents in your school community should be informed of a student’s death as quickly as possible. This will prepare them to support their children at home. Email or phone calls are preferable for initial contact because letters take longer or may not be received. Mark the email as “important” or “urgent”. However, letters can be sent home in addition to email and phone contact. 

Click the arrows below to view some suggestions on informing and communicating with the parents and families of the other students.

See for additional information about supporting grieving children.

For additional considerations, including student belongings, see Chapter 5 - Other considerations after student death in Module 3—Support for Student Deaths.