The recent fires in California are one more reminder about the multiple roles schools should be prepared to play when disaster strikes. Such roles reflect the school’s role as a key contributor to the well-being of a community, and its need to address all factors that may interfere with learning and teaching.
Examples of what schools can and should do:
- Schools often are mobilized as disaster centers, and school staff can help meet the needs of students and families at such centers.
- In the days after a disaster hits, schools are in a position and have a need to help all students, their families, and staff cope with what has occurred and especially must pursue ways to ensure appropriate supports are provided for those who have experienced loss.
- Over time, schools must consider ways of helping any students, families, and staff who manifest lingering effects.
For resources, see Responding to a Crisis online at
Think about adapting some of the resources that were produced related to the Gulf-coast disasters
( e.g., Schools Helping Students Deal with Loss -<http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu/pdfdocs/loss(hurricane).pdf> )
(SOURCE: School Mental Health LISTSERV at UCLA)