Principal Message

  • C.S. Porter Families:

    It is with great sadness that I have to tell you we were notified this morning that a student at our school has died. 

    The cause of death has not yet been determined by the authorities. Rumors may begin to circulate, and we ask that you not spread rumors since they may turn out to be inaccurate and can be deeply hurtful to the student’s family and friends. 

    There are many within our school, other schools in town, and the wider Missoula community who may know this student, may hear about this tragic event and who may be experiencing grief. I want parents to know that we are here to help you and your students in any way we can. 

    The grieving process is normal, but different for everyone. We are sending you this message to make you aware and so you can be empathetic by discussing this incident with your child. We recommend you stay close through this weekend.
     
    We will be offering extra support and resources to students, faculty and staff in our school throughout the week next week.
     
    If you or your students are experiencing shock, grief, and confusion right now, here are some resources from the National Association of School Psychologists with ways to support your students as they deal with loss and grief.
     
    For more information and resources to help talk to your child you can also connect with the following resources:
     
    Crisis Contacts
    • Emergency Response………………………………………………………….. 911
    • Hospital Emergency Departments:
      • Saint Patrick Hospital…………………………………………………………... 543-7271
      • 500 West Broadway 
    • Community Medical Center……………………………………………………. 728-4100
      • 2827 Fort Missoula Road
    • Crisis Text Line…………………………………………………………………... 741741 
    • Suicide Prevention Hotline…………………………………………………….1-800-273-TALK
    • Western Montana Mental Health Crisis Team……………………………….532-9710
    •  Local Mental Health Resources
    •  Youth Crisis Diversion Project:  http://missoulayouthcrisis.org/
    •  Local Mental Health Resource Website:  www.missoulaholisticmentalhealthnetwork.com
    • Mt Mental Health Warmline…………………………………………………….. 1-877-688-3377
    •  Western Montana Mental  Health Center……………………………………... .532-9700
    •  Winds of Change………………………………………………………………….721-2038
    •  Three Rivers Mental Health…………………………………………………….. 830-3294
    • Urgent Mental Health Clinic……………………………………………………..327-3034
      • 900 N. Orange Street, 1st Floor, Ste.102
      • M-F 8:30-5:00
    •  National Alliance for the Mentally Ill…………………………………………….251-2754
    • Mt Mental Health Services Helpline…………………………………………….888-866-0329

    These tips will help parents, and other caregivers support children who have experienced loss. Some of these recommendations come from Dr. Alan Wolfelt, Director of the Center for Loss and Life Transition in Fort Collins, Colorado.  

    • Allow children to be the teachers about their grief experiences: Give children the opportunity to tell their story and be a good listener.  
    • Grieving is a process, not an event: Parents and schools need to allow adequate time for each child to grieve in the manner that works for that child. Pressing children to resume “normal” activities without the chance to deal with their emotional pain may prompt additional problems or negative reactions.  
    • Help all children, regardless of age, to understand loss and death: Give the child information at the level that he/she can understand. Allow the child to guide adults as to the need for more information or clarification of the information presented. Loss and death are both part of the cycle of life that children need to understand.  
    • Don’t assume that children always grieve in an orderly or predictable way: We all grieve in different ways and there is no one “correct” way for people to move through the grieving process.  
    • Let children know that you really want to understand what they are feeling or what they need: Sometimes children are upset but they cannot tell you what will be helpful. Giving them the time and encouragement to share their feelings with you may enable them to sort out their feelings.  
    • Children will need long-lasting support: The more losses the child or adolescent suffers, the more difficult it will be to recover. Try to develop multiple supports for children who suffer significant losses. 

     

    We all share in this loss together, if you have specific concerns about your student, please contact me directly.

     

    Ty Solberg
    Principal