Training Catholic Elementary Administrators to Respond to the Death of a Student
Training Catholic Elementary Administrators to Respond to the Death of a StudentKristin A. Wickersty Witte, Doctor of Ministry Director: Rev. Romuald Meogrossi, OFM Conv., Ph.D.,In the event of the death of a child, an overwhelming situation may arise within the child's Catholic elementary school community. Catholic school administrators are expected to have within their skill base an ability to coordinate the logistics, the pastoral concerns, as well an ability to navigate the theological components of a faith-based school setting. The administrators of Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of Baltimore are expected to lead their communities through the difficult hours, weeks and months following the death of a student. Catholic School elementary principals often do not have the tools or training to fall back on when this type of tragedy strikes. The purpose of this project is to design, implement, and evaluate a workshop that will provide Catholic Elementary school administrators with 1) a basic understanding of grief and bereavement in regards to the traumatic death of a child attending their school, 2) Roman Catholic theological foundations surrounding death and dying especially in regards to the death of a child, and 3) practical skills to lead a school through the first few days following the traumatic death. Where there are a number of programs available regarding children and crisis response, the element which establishes this project as unique is the integration of the component of Catholic identity.
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