The following letter was posted on Principal Dressler’s blog following the news of the sudden passing of Memorial School second grade teacher Suzanne Siegel during the past weekend.Please keep Suzanne and her family in your thoughts and prayers:
Dear Memorial Family and Burlington School Community,
It is with a heavy heart and great sadness that I share the news of the passing of our beloved second grade teacher, Suzanne Siegel. Mrs. Siegel has been a valued member of not only our Memorial learning community but also to the Burlington School community as well. She taught second grade for the past eight years and positively impacted the lives of many young students, parents and colleagues. Her commitment to students and love for learning has touched us all. When we know the details of her funeral arrangements I will pass that along.
We encourage you to talk with your child. How we, as adults, manage ourselves serves as an important model for helping kids handle tragedies like this. It is important that they know they are loved and supported as they talk about their feelings.
You may want to consider the following when talking with your child:
- Tell the truth. Talk about death vs. “going to sleep.” Explain the situation.
- Allow for your child to talk about feelings. If this is the first loss your child has experienced, your child may not know how to respond and will be looking for your guidance.
- Affirm all expressions. It’s okay to express feelings honestly. Tolerate the expressions rather than dismissing them or discouraging the expression of feelings.
- Encourage written expressions such notes, letters, pictures to the family etc.
- Reaffirm that your child is safe and that your child is loved.
- Affirm that your child’s reaction is normal and you understand the way the child’s feels.
- Watch for changes in behavior such as aggression, withdrawal etc.
- Help the children return to as normal routine as possible.
If you want anymore information on how to talk to your child, please refer to www.dougy.org. We have connected with community mental health resources for the Memorial staff and will continue to work with the Riverside Trauma Center on an ongoing basis.
We will have counselors at school on Tuesday July 22, 2014 from 4-6 pm to provide emotional support for our students and parents. If you have special counseling concerns or would like additional support for your child, please call us at 781-270-1721. Danielle Flaccavento, our guidance counselor, and Madeline Sedovic, our school psychologist, will be available to meet with her child/children at the beginning of the school year. Our deepest sympathies go to the Siegel family as we mourn the loss of a talented and cherished member of our school family.
With peace and love,