For those of you who may not have received the Textcast we sent today, let me begin by including it here:
Last evening, Nicole Ramsden, a 7th grade student here at PRM, passed away due to complications from a long illness. Our thoughts are with her family during this difficult time.
This is something that touches all of us in different ways. Some students will feel a need to talk about this with teachers or counselors, while others will choose to deal with it in a more quiet and personal way. Coping with the loss of a friend is very difficult, and this is a new experience for many of our students. Please know that we have made counseling services available here at school throughout the day.
Your child may also want to discuss this at home. The National Association of School Psychologists has resources that can support you in talking about grief and loss with your child. You can access that here:
If there is anything further that we can do to be of assistance to you or your child, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Mark P. Mongon
Our hearts and thoughts turn first to the Ramsden family at this time for whatever support we can give. This is something that has affected our school community very deeply, and yet I know it cannot match what the family must be enduring. What comfort we may give, I know we want to.
We all deal with grief in different ways. There are people here, students and adults alike, who need to talk with someone to help come to terms with the feelings of sadness and loss that many of us share. There are also those who cope through personal and quiet reflection. Knowing this, I thought a lot about how we could respect each person’s individual choice about how they wanted to deal with this, while still making sure that everyone recognized that many of us shared the same feelings, and that anyone could talk to someone about this as soon as they felt they needed to.
Our teachers spoke with the students in individual classes to let them know that this is something that affects all of us, and that counseling was available. I know that some students would have preferred a whole-school announcement or meeting, and others were not yet ready to deal with this in any sort of a public forum. We tried to balance these feelings while still making sure that everyone knew that there was help available if they needed it. In speaking to students throughout the day, and in seeing how many students did take the opportunity to speak with the counselors, I think we were able to do this.
The way people come together in a time like this says a great deal about our school community. I am so impressed with our students. Our cafeteria was a sea of blue during each lunch period because the students decided to wear that color in honor of Nicole. In talking with students today, I heard so many heartfelt and kind thoughts about Nicole and her family. And with our staff, everyone wanted to help the students through this, even as they dealt with feelings of grief and loss in their own way. To see everyone come together in this time of sadness in this way really speaks to what an amazing group of people comprise our school community.
Of course, this touches many of you, as well. I hope the parenting resource we sent is helpful if you discuss this at home. Know that more help is only a call, email, or visit away—you need only let us know if you’d like to discuss further how to speak with your child about this. Again, this is something that reaches all of us.
Anyone who was in our school today would see right away how much Nicole meant to all of us, and her loss will be felt far beyond today. Again, our thoughts turn to the Ramsden family with warmest wishes of support and condolence.