Grief-Informed Schools


Become a Grief-Informed School or District

Schools play a vital role today in ensuring that our children are able to learn, grow and develop as human beings. Children spend a majority of their lives in school. And, all over the country, children are grieving due to divorce, death, illness, deportation, incarceration, deployment of a family member, and so much more.

Grieving children and teens are at risk for poor school performance, absenteeism, mental health issues, addiction, behavior problems and depression.

In October 2020, the American Federation of Teachers released a survey in which 95% of educators say they would like to do more to help grieving students and 91% of educators say they would be interested in participating in bereavement training.

Our education programs offer that training.

“Imagine is such a blessing to all those who love and grieve. I cannot say enough about Imagine’s programs for high school students.”
Joanne Scarano Jakubik, School Counselor at Union Catholic High

Our vision is to create communities where students who have experienced a painful loss grow up emotionally healthy and able to live up to their unique potential.

We do this by training school administrators, staff, parents, and students themselves, on how to support grieving youth.

You can elect one or more of the following options or choose all four to become an Imagine University grief-informed school:

How to Support Someone Coping with Loss




Understanding loss, grief, and mourning

  • Define loss, grief, and mourning.
  • Identify the different types of primary and secondary losses that we may experience and the impact of these losses.
  • Explain the importance of mourning and also describe what happens when mourning doesn’t occur.
  • Recognize the importance of using the Companioning Model to support those who are grieving.


Diving into grief
through an

  • Describe how shame affects how we protect ourselves and inhibits our ability to mourn.
  • Apply an intersectional lens to explore how we experience our own grief and support others who are grieving.
  • Give examples of how grief impacts children at different developmental stages.
  • Recognize how the school, organization or workplace climate affects those who are grieving.


Skill building,
planning, and

  • Discover ways to help rebuild the internal locus of control following a loss.
  • Apply knowledge and skills learned to various scenarios when supporting someone who is grieving.
  • Evaluate and/or create support responses to grief for various roles within the community of the school, organization or workplace.


  • Discover the parallel process that occurs when stories are shared, and space is created where you can bear witness to each other’s stories.
  • Practice facilitation and companioning skills that are modeled throughout the training.
  • Recognize the importance of self-care and community care and the consequences of not doing either.
For additional resources

Our friends at The Dougy Center compiled extensive research on the values of becoming a grief-informed district. You can view their findings here.

Testimonials & Shoutouts!

The foundation for understanding grief

“Students and educators manage so many types of grief in any given year and the Imagine training provides the foundation for understanding grief and for creating the time and space to talk about it in ways that strengthen the overall resilience of the community. My school partnered with Imagine to become a grief-informed community. Their amazing facilitators worked with our administrative team, faculty, students and parents to help us understand that school communities need this kind of training and conversation in an on-going way.”

Nicole Hager
Kent Place School
Creating a safe space to reflect, share, and learn

"The Point Pleasant Borough School District was fortunate enough to partner with Imagine to provide our School Counselors and Child Study Team with the necessary tools to assist our students and school community when experiencing grief. Veronica kindly accommodated our training needs to ensure the staff members' needs and questions were answered. Imagine created a safe space during the training to reflect, share, and learn from one another."

Nicole Hankins
Point Pleasant Borough School District
Helped elevate our work inside our schools and beyond

“We truly cannot say enough about the incredible experience our school social work team had during the Grief/Loss Specialist trainings with Imagine. Veronica and Angela created a safe environment for our team to not only learn how to support grievers, but also reflect on our own experiences and understanding of grief and loss. The information, exercises, and opportunities to share and learn from one another helped elevate our work inside our school buildings and beyond. We are on our way to becoming a grief informed school district because of Imagine and look forward to this continued partnership in service of our school community!”

Dr. Jillian Martinez, DSW, LCSW
North Star Academy - Camden Prep

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