Counseling services available following elementary student’s death

Dear BKW families and staff,

It is with a great deal of sadness that I am informing you of the death of one of our students. This tragic event has affected the entire school and I wanted you to be informed so that you will know what happened in order to discuss it with your child. 

This Sunday, May 17th, one of our second grade students was fatally injured in a heavy equipment/ATV accident. The situation is still under investigation by the Albany County Sheriff’s Office. Therefore we are holding on sharing further details until the investigation is concluded.

We are shocked and saddened by this tragic event. Our district Crisis Team has been mobilized and grief counselors will be available to anyone in our school community in spite of the COVID-19 school closures. Counselors are available to talk and can be reached by email or by phone. 

We wanted all parents to be aware of the situation so that you can discuss this with your child. There is no way to predict how this tragedy might affect your child, but changes in behavior might be a signal that your child may need assistance to deal with the death of a friend. The following suggestions come from New York State mental health experts. They are, in part: 

  • Talk with your child about his/her feelings about the tragedy; share your feelings too 
  • Talk about what happened; give your child information he/she can understand 
  • Reassure your child that they are safe; you may need to repeat this reassurance often 
  • Listen and comfort your child often 

Additionally, the following website may help you better communicate with your child and others in this time of sadness and confusion:

DEATH AND GRIEVING

OTHER GRIEF RESOURCES

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family during this time of loss and grief. As a school community, we are here to support students, families, and staff as we all struggle to process this situation. Our counseling staff contact information is listed below.

Sincerely,

Dr. Timothy Mundell
BKW Superintendent of Schools

BKW Counseling Staff:
Dr. Katrina Emmerich, School Psychologist: katrina.emmerich@bkwschools.org
Lauren Larkin, School Counselor:  lauren.larkin@bkwschools.org
Alicia Caldera, School Counselor: alicia.caldera@bkwschools.org
Karen Corso, School Counselor: karen.corso@bkwschools.org
Erin O’Connor-Slater, School Social Worker: erin.slater@bkwschools.org
Emily Wylong, School Psychologist: emily.wylong@bkwschools.org