A Guide for Schools, Second Edition
The Grieving Student
Special Education

Educators and other school professionals can be a critical lifeline for grieving children. With the second edition of this bestselling book, school staff will have the practical guidance they need to provide sensitive support to students of all ages and their families.

Contains Companion Materials
54579 978-1-68125-457-9
2021 240
Available Stock

Educators and other school professionals can be a critical lifeline for grieving children. With the second edition of this bestselling book, school staff will have the practical guidance they need to provide sensitive support to students of all ages and their families.

Author David Schonfeld—a renowned expert on childhood bereavement and school crisis—partners with family therapist Marcia Quackenbush to guide school teams through a child’s experience of grief and illuminate the most powerful ways to make a positive difference. Drawing on both empirical research and extensive professional experience, the authors have enhanced this edition with up-to-date information on grief in the context of school crisis and trauma, suicide loss, social media, and other timely topics. School staff will get real-world tips, strategies, vignettes, and activities to help them skillfully support students as they cope with grief and work their way back to full participation in academic and social life.


  • respond constructively to children’s common feelings and behaviors after a death
  • address the classroom issues that grief may cause
  • learn what to say and what not to say when a child is grieving
  • offer effective guidance to families who are coping with grief
  • provide support to the student body after a death that affects the whole school community
  • address children’s responses to different causes of death, including suicide, illness, and violence
  • use simple commemorative activities at school to help students cope with their feelings
  • manage personal feelings that may arise as you work with grieving students

WHAT’S NEW: Expanded online study guide with discussion questions, action steps, and more * Expanded focus on all school personnel, from administrators to support staff * New chapters on suicide loss and providing support in settings outside of K–12 schools * New and expanded information on social media, ambiguous losses, school crisis and trauma, supporting children with disabilities, school policies, line of duty deaths, memorialization, and more * Reflection prompts throughout the book * Insights related to the COVID-19 pandemic * New foreword by Superintendent Robert Runcie of Broward County Public Schools regarding the impact of the shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

About the Authors
About the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement

1. Why Schools and Educators? Isn’t This Someone Else’s Job?
2. How Children Understand Death
3. When a Death Occurs in a Child’s Life
4. Support for Grieving Children: First Steps
5. Communication: Ways to Make Contact and Keep It Going
6. Working with Families
7. Special Concerns for Bereaved Children
8. Providing Support Over Time
9. When an Entire School Is Affected
10. Responding To A Death By Suicide
11. Applications Beyond K-12
12. Serious Illness: When Death Is A Concern
13. Memorialization And Commemoration
14. Taking Care Of Yourself



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Eric Rossen, Director, Professional Development and Standards, National Association of School Psychologists - February 9, 2021

Likely the most practical, accessible, and comprehensive resource for educators on grief and bereavement, The Grieving Student should be a fixture on the bookshelves of all school personnel.

Roger Weissberg, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Psychology, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chief Knowledge Officer, Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) - February 9, 2021

Unfortunately, all educators and health-care providers are faced with the challenges of helping many young people cope with the death of a loved one. This guide is the best and most informative resource available to help teachers, administrators, and school mental health staff understand and support grieving students with practical, beneficial strategies.

Vincent Giordano, New York City Department of Education, Executive Director, Student Support Services (Retired - February 9, 2021

The Grieving Student is an essential resource for school communities. It provides crucial and factual information with anecdotal examples that will enable school personnel to support students facing mental, emotional and bereavement or grief issues which have been magnified during the COVID pandemic.

Therese Rando, Author, Coping With the Sudden Death of Your Loved One and Treatment of Complicated Mourning - February 9, 2021

This unparalleled book is a veritable gold mine of how-to interventions for all who encounter bereaved students. There is literally no better resource to explain to educators, student support personnel, and administrators how children understand and respond to death, as well as what specifically should be done to help them best cope. I cannot recommend this book highly enough!

This title has additional material available on the Brookes Download Hub.
  • An online study guide that includes:
    • Discussion questions
    • Action steps
    • And more!

Visit the Download Hub for a preview of what’s available.