Coping with Loss at School

Coping with Loss at School is an interactive role-play simulation to prepare schools for responding to a death in the school community. Teachers and administrators learn key elements of a crisis response plan, including postvention, and best practices for communicating with students and colleagues impacted by a loss in the school.

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Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), Suicide Prevention, and Trauma-Informed Teaching

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40 Minutes



According to the American Federation of Teachers, less than half of educators report that their school has a protocol for how to respond when a student experiences the death of someone close.

In Coping with Loss at School, users will assume the role of an educator or administrator in different situations related to the impact of a loss in the school community and how to prepare for a death in the school. Users practice talking with virtual humans and colleagues in role-play conversations and have access to customized national, local, and school-specific resources in addition to simulation content.

The goal of Coping with Loss at School is to prepare school communities for dealing with a loss and build resiliency among students and staff.

Learning objectives:

  • Take the next steps to establish a crisis response plan which includes identifying a crisis response team, communicating clear and universal expectations, and collaborating with community mental health services
  • Understand the extra considerations for postvention when dealing with a death by suicide
  • Support students impacted by a death by spotting signs of distress, affirming and normalizing their emotions, and connecting them with support, if needed
  • Identify signs of compassion fatigue in colleagues and advocate for their self-care and support

Research shows that with experiential practice, increased emotional engagement and reflective thinking leads to stronger self-efficacy and behavior change.

Coping with Loss at School was developed in collaboration with school psychology experts Richard Lieberman, MA, NCSP and Scott Poland, Ed.D.

Users select whether they are teachers or administrators, and their appropriate grade level (elementary, or middle and high school) and receive customized feedback based on their in-simulation choices.

The simulation is available online 24/7. Users are asked to complete pre-, post-, and 3-month follow up surveys to assess changes in skills. Attitudes, and behavior. Upon completion, users receive a certificate of completion.  Clients have access to usage reports and evaluation data via the Kognito client portal.

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