The Total Child

Coalition To Support Grieving Students Mini Articles: Grief Triggers

(National Awareness) Permanent link



 Dr, Tom Demaria, National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement, develops a number of topical articles on bereavement for the Coalition to Support Grieving Students.

 AASA has joined other professional organizations that represent K-12 educators in an unified effort to address the lack of support for grieving students, forming The Coalition to Support Grieving Students. A primary objective of the Coalition is to effectively address and remedy the gap between an educator's desire and an educator's ability to help grieving students. Learn more.

 In March 2016, the articles focused on supporting grieving children by being informed about grief triggers. Grief triggers are sudden reminders of a person who has died. They elicit powerful emotional responses in grieving children. They are especially common in the first few months after a death, but may occur at any time. Read the Grief Articles here.

See our Mini-Article Library to help support your grieving students.

We Are Liberty! Strong Community Support Strengthens Alternative School Breakfast in Liberty County School System

(Alternative School Breakfast , On The Road) Permanent link

By Kelly Beckwith, Project Director, Child Nutrition, Hunger and Obesity 

 When I visited Liberty County School System in Hinesville, Georgia, which is part of AASA’s school breakfast Community of Practice, it was clear that the district’s success is in part because of strong community support.

 On every school breakfast site visit we attend, we meet with the district’s School Breakfast Team. Liberty County’s was one of the largest SBT meetings I’ve ever attended!. The meeting included two parents, a representative from the United Way who was also a parent, and many diverse stakeholders within the school system. They discussed the ways in which the new breakfast program – eating breakfast in the classroom in the elementary schools and getting breakfast from kiosks in the middle and high schools – has impacted the community as a whole.

 "This used to feel like an emotional pressure cooker," said Linda Holland, Liberty County’s Food Service Director, about the school cafeteria before moving to breakfast in the classroom. A parent said that breakfast in the classroom helped her son, who has ADHD, start his day off with focus, because having breakfast with his teacher meant that he wasn’t going to be playing in the cafeteria.

 LibCoPressureCooker      LibertyStudents


 "I thought breakfast outside of the cafeteria was going to be a nightmare; it was one of the worst things I had ever heard,” stated a high school principal about Grab’n’Go. “I was wrong. Breakfast [on the kiosks] has reduced the number of tardiness and late comers and it has increased our instructional time."


The high school principal discussing his experiences with me

 The kiosks have resulted in an impressive uptake in school breakfast in Liberty County’s high schools. As school administrators know well, it’s hard to get high school students to eat first thing in the morning, but this district is doing it well; about 40% of the students at two high schools take a breakfast in the morning.


  The Grab‘n’Go kiosks at Bradwell Institute feature a tiger image, which was chosen by students.

In districts with high free and reduced meal rates, an increase in breakfast participation makes a difference in the lives of students and their families.

Learn more about AASA’s School breakfast initiative.

AASA Children’s Programs On the Road: Superintendent Professional Development Redesign Community of Practice

(Innovative Professional Development, On The Road) Permanent link

 For the first time , school system leaders from across the country convened in Charlotte, N.C., as part of the AASA Superintendent Professional Development Redesign Community of Practice.


 Superintendent Sybil Knight-Burney, Harrisburg (PA) School District; Superintendent Beverly Emory, Winston-Salem Forsyth County (NC) Schools; Superintendent Phil Lanoue, Clarke County (GA) School District; Superintendent Luvenia Jackson, Clayton County (GA) SD; Ron Wade, Fulton County (GA) Schools; and Superintendent Rodney Watson, Spring ISD (TX).

 Nearly 20 superintendents came together on March 11-12, 2016 to share best practices and hear the latest research and most effective strategies for developing instructional leaders for their respective administrative and teaching staff. Twenty-two school districts are part of this professional development initiative.


 Superintendent Dana Bedden, Richmond (VA) Public Schools; Superintendent Larry Spring, Schenectady City (NY) School District; Eli Pristoop, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

 Eli Pristoop of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Bryan Joffe and Sharon Adams-Taylor of AASA, and Marcy Singer-Gabella of Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of Education also participated in the Community of Practice meeting in Charlotte.


Shawn Joseph, PG County (MD) PS; Superintendent Dallas Dance, Baltimore County (MD) PS; Superintendent Roberto Padilla, Newburgh Enlarged City (NY) School District; Superintendent Lolli Haws, Racine USD (WI) 


During this initial meeting, superintendents established individual professional development redesign goals as well as collective goals for the Community of Practice. Presentations were made on teacher and principal PD, the latest research in the professional development field, as well as the technical assistance available from AASA, The School Superintendents Association.


 Superintendent Robert Avossa, School District of Palm Beach County (FL); Jesus Jara, Orange County Public Schools (FL), Superintendent Lyle Ailshie, Kingsport City Schools (TN), Bryan Joffe, AASA, Superintendent Philip Lanoue, Clarke County School District (GA).


 Learn more about our Innovative Professional Development initiative.

Celebrating National School Breakfast Week in the Cafeterias, Classrooms, and Everywhere in Between!

(Alternative School Breakfast , National Awareness) Permanent link

 National School Breakfast Week was held March 7-11 in schools across the country, and AASA’s school breakfast grantees were no exception. They had a lot of fun enticing activities, encouraging students to try new foods and taste test breakfast – in the cafeterias, in classrooms, and places in between. Here are some shining examples.


liberty county georgia original  MeridenFearfactor Hempstead Julius the Tiger
  The mayor of Hinesville, Georgia, Allen Brown, issued a proclamation to the Liberty County School System in honor of National School Breakfast Week.  Meriden Public Schools (Conn.) held a “school breakfast Fear Factor” – despite the fact that young students had never heard of the TV show that went off the air in 2006. Students tried new breakfast products in front of the entire school!   In Hempstead Union Free School District (N.Y.), Julius the Tiger was out and about visiting elementary schools. Julius encourages children to eat breakfast, and even Superintendent Susan Johnson eats breakfast under Julius’ good influence.    


 For more NSBW-related activities, check out AASA Children’s Programs Storify feature.

AASA Children's Programs On the Road: Smallest School District Has Significant Impact on Students

(Alternative School Breakfast , On The Road) Permanent link

In mid-March, members of AASA Children’s Programs Department boarded a train to New Jersey to see how Breakfast in the Classroom is being implemented in Clayton Public Schools, the smallest participating school district with 1450 students in three schools. 

Clayton Public Schools offers a wide array of food options for their students.

 The Breakfast in the Classroom program serves 80% of the districts’ students’ breakfast each morning. Before the program began in 2015, only 16% of the elementary school students were served breakfast.

“I’d be devastated if the program was taken away next year,” said one fifth grade teacher. “I love how it helps my students start school off on the right foot.”


 Breakfast in the Classroom helps students start the day off happy, healthy and ready to learn!

Superintendent David Lindenmuth, of Clayton Public schools, paved the way for a Breakfast in the Classroom program in their elementary school. Before receiving the grant from AASA he often talked the school board about the program, which helped get people comfortable with the idea. Once the district received the school breakfast grant from AASA he assigned a district-level administrator as a liaison with the school food services team to communicate and listen to all employees in the schools from teachers to custodians.

Superintendent Lindenmuth’s leadership combined with the excellent communication among staff paid off. The implementation of the school breakfast program went smoothly and there’s been only positive feedback from the parents and the school community.

 School Breakfast in Action at Clayton Public Schools

 Beyond the elementary schools, the district serves fresh, delicious smoothies made of yogurt and fresh fruit to their middle and high school students!  

 clayton smoothies 









 Learn more about AASA's School Breakfast Program.

 AASA Children's Programs On the Road: School Breakfast