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Cope with Loss & Grief

Please know, our counselors and social workers are available for students who may need to talk about their feelings regarding any situation the student may be experiencing.

The following tips for parents may be useful in helping children cope with loss and grief.

  • Children grieve differently. Be prepared to listen when they are ready to talk.
  • Give children the information about loss and death at the level they can understand.
  • Keep in mind that grieving is hard work. It will take time for our children to work through the process.
  • Children need assurance from their parents that their own families are safe.
  • Normal social activities may offer a much needed distraction and sense of connection and normalcy.

Here are some additional resources for your family:

Stranger Danger

The following are some basic tips you can share with your child:

  • Know your surroundings. Look and listen for the things and people around you that could pose a safety risk. It’s also a good idea to know your neighborhood (practice different ways of getting home from school or a friend’s house).
  • Always in a group. There’s a lot of truth to the saying, “safety in numbers” and we encourage all students to travel with a buddy at all times. Walking, riding bikes, running, or playing outdoors with multiple friends is much safer than alone – not to mention, much more fun!
  • Remove distractions. It may not be as enjoyable to run without music playing, but those headphones could prevent you from hearing a car or another safety hazard. The same is true for using your cell phone, which can easily distract you from surrounding safety risks.
  • Don’t go. If someone you don’t know or don’t trust asks you to go somewhere with them, say “no” and run in the opposite direction to tell an adult. If someone in a vehicle asks you to come closer to them or to the vehicle, say “no” and run in the opposite direction to tell an adult. The same is true for personal information. Never give out your name, telephone number, address, or other personal information.
  • Speak up. If you see or hear something you believe could be dangerous or has made you uncomfortable, report it to an adult immediately. School buildings statistically remain the safest place for children to be. Please remind your child that they are safe at school and the adults at school care deeply about their safety. Please reassure your child that they can and should feel safe reporting any incident to an adult and that we will take every report seriously.

Unfortunately, “stranger danger” issues can arise in safe neighborhoods, public places, and the internet. Please talk to your children about the ways in which they can keep themselves and others safe.

National Tragedy

Social Media 101

Why should I be concerned?

  • Nearly 43% of kids have reported being bullied online (www.dosomething.org)
  • The location (past and current) of a social media user can be obtained instantly, via information posted online - "Creepy" app
  • Approximately 1 in 7 youth internet users received unwanted sexual solicitations (US Department of Justice)
  • Sending or receiving a sexually suggestive text or image under the age of 18 is considered child pornography and can result in criminal charges
  • Out of 381 colleges surveyed, 31% said they had visited an applicant's Facebook or other personal social media page to learn more about them (The New York Times)

How to help protect your child:

  • Check your privacy settings: Most apps and internet sites offer privacy settings. Always make sure you are comfortable with the privacy settings on your child's profile and make changes to the settings with your child so they know what they can and cannot change.
  • Know who your child's friends are. Who are they sending messages/video/photos to? Ask your child to tell you how they know each person. Did they meet them in English class or online? This is important.
  • Disable or turn off GPS before taking photos that you intend to share online. Be aware of other private information, too. Taking photos on a family vacation? Someone may strike up a conversation with your child by asking how the trip went.
  • Be aware of the future. Posting a photo of your child in an embarrassing situation may be cute at 5 years old, but it will live in their "digital footprint" forever and may not be quite as cute at 25 years old, when they apply for a job.

"Snow Day" Decisions

Dear Bloomfield Hills Schools Families,

Given the winter weather we've experienced the past few school years, I thought it might be helpful to remind you of the process by which I make school closing decisions.

To minimize disruption to the educational process, the goal is always to keep school in session unless road conditions, severe cold or other weather conditions pose a significant risk to student safety. In the 2013-2014 winter, record snowfalls and extended bitter cold (beyond -25 degrees) reacted with one another (e.g. salt not working), making actual conditions even tougher to accurately predict. In the 2014-2015 winter, we faced some additional days that did not nearly reach the -25 and beyond mark, but also a few that did.

However, just as there is no defined depth of snow accumulation that indicates closure (because of the overall effect of wind, ice, temperature, humidity and other factors), likewise, there is no exact temperature that indicates closure. Typically, when wind chills head into the -22 and below range, we consider school cancellation because frostbite can set in within approximately 30 minutes. If the road conditions are not favorable, bus delays may push bus stop wait times into the 30 minute range, posing a risk to our students. For that reason, a designated member of my administration will often drive district roads between 3:00 and 4:30 a.m. and report to me findings and recommendations that help inform my decision. I also consult with weather authorities and other area superintendents, but ultimately I have to make a decision based on what I feel is in the best interest of Bloomfield Hills students.

Whenever possible, I try to provide advance notice of school cancellation so that parents can make alternate plans. Yet, this has to be balanced with waiting as long as possible to make sure the weather stays true to the forecast. Of course, no forecast is perfect, and sometimes the temperatures and snowfall amounts vary, which supports waiting until 4:30 am to make the decision (despite the difficulty we know this poses to families who have less time to make alternate arrangements). There is no way to be perfect with this. I can only make the best possible decision in real time with the best available information.

Thank you for your patience and understanding. Michigan winters are never predictable or easy to navigate, but we will do our very best to keep both learning and safety as our top priorities.

Sincerely,

Dr. Rob Glass
Superintendent

Looking for activities for a rainy day? Interested in growing your own food from a home garden? Check out our Pinterest boards for inspiration!

As educators, we realize that it can be difficult to navigate the challenges in raising a child. Each child is unique and, while we sometimes wish they were born with their own "user manual", the learning moments you face together have the power to strengthen your relationship and enhance their learning experience with us.

The family to school connection is special and we believe it is an important piece in each child's education in Bloomfield Hills Schools.

Together, we can prepare our community's children for whatever may be in their future.

Brian Gordon Cartoon