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AHS Community Mourns Passing of Student

November 14, 2022

Forest Hills Superintendent Larry Hook sent the letters below to families in FHSD, informing them of the passing of Eli Jones, a 10th grader at Anderson High School. The letters include important grief resources and information to help families dealing with this tragedy. At the bottom of this page, you will find additional information about the Traumatic Events Crisis Intervention Plan (TECIP™) that each FHSD school utilizes.


Letter from the Superintendent

AHS Student Death - Additional Resources

November 15, 2022 at 8:40 a.m.

Forest Hills Families,

We shared unfortunate news yesterday about the death of an Anderson High School student. I wanted to follow up and provide additional information that I believe is important for all families to know during difficult times like this.

Any time there is a student death, it can be a traumatic experience for members of the school community. While we are providing extra support in our buildings and reaching out to individuals who have been closely impacted by this tragedy, we understand these situations can leave families looking for ways to help their children cope with the impact of hearing about this.

I respectfully ask that you make efforts to openly communicate with your child to regularly assess their emotions and feelings. The impact of a death can have a negative effect on overall mental health, so it is important to be vigilant and aware of how students are coping with the news. I understand these are difficult times and it can be healing and helpful to continue to have open dialogue and to check in with kids on an on-going basis.

If you know or suspect your student may be having a difficult time in light of this news, you can always reach out to your school counselor. They are a good first contact and are equipped to direct families to appropriate people and resources for support.

Additional Resources:

  • How to Help a Grieving Child” from Fernside Center for Grieving Children, (513) 246-9140
    • Fernside provides grief support services, outreach and education to the community and families. An affiliate of Hospice of Cincinnati, Fernside services complement Hospice of Cincinnati's comprehensive bereavement program by addressing the unique needs of children.
  • Companions on a Journey Grief Support, Inc., (513) 870-9108
    • Sheila Munafo-Kanoza, Founder and Executive Director, sheila@companionsonajourney.org
    • Companions on a Journey Grief Support (COJ) is open to anyone who grieves the death of a loved one. COJ provides over 35 grief specific support groups assisting every type of loss including.
  • Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, (513) 636-0069
    • The Bereavement Services department of Cincinnati Children's provides bereavement support to families who experience the death of a child or young adult. Bereavement services are provided through StarShine Hospice, our pediatric hospice program, integrated into the Palliative Care Team and part of the overall services provided throughout the medical center.

We have several dedicated staff members at all school buildings who are specifically equipped to support students during times of crisis. Anderson High School immediately activated the TECIP team (Traumatic Event Crisis Intervention Plan) to provide initial mental health and counseling support to students and staff in need. Those resources will be available as long as there is a need.

Encourage your child to reach out to a trusted adult for additional help if needed. The most important thing right now is student safety and we want to be there to support anyone who might be struggling.

Please reach out if you have any questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

Larry R. Hook
Superintendent


Letter from the Superintendent

AHS Student Death

November 14, 2022 at 9:30 a.m.

Dear Forest Hills Families,

It is with deep sadness that I inform you of the death of one of our students, Eli Jones, a 10th grader attending Anderson High School. Eli was hit and killed by a driver on Clough Pike around 1 a.m., according to the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office. This tragedy is devastating to our Anderson High School community and for the entire district. It will surely touch many students and staff members, and may leave parents searching for ways to communicate with their children and ways to help them cope with their grief.

If you would like information on ways you can help your children through their grief, we have provided grief resources on the district website home page (www.foresthills.edu) and the Anderson High School home page, both under the “News” heading. Additional resources may be found by clicking these links: “How to help a grieving child” from Fernside Center for Grieving Children.

This guide offers tips on how to talk with your children, recognize signs of depression and help your children through any difficult situations they may be experiencing. It also lists phone numbers for Hamilton County resources. Particularly in times of tragedy, we are reminded of the importance of maintaining open and on-going communication with children.

The Anderson High School administration is working closely with our district TECIP team to respond to this unimaginable tragedy. TECIP stands for Traumatic Event Crisis Intervention Plan and it guides our plans to better meet the psychological and emotional needs of all people impacted by events like this. We have additional counseling staff in Anderson High School today and will offer additional support to anyone who needs it throughout the next couple of weeks. We also have therapists from our community partner, Child Focus, supporting our students. Anyone who is struggling with this news can reach out to their school counselor to be connected with necessary resources.

Out of respect for the privacy of this student’s family, we are waiting to provide any additional information in accordance with their requests. I know our community will come together to support each other during this difficult time. If you have any concerns or questions, please do not hesitate to reach out.

Sincerely,

Larry R. Hook
Superintendent


TECIP Information and Background

When a child experiences a traumatic event, whether in school, in the community, or at home, many emotions follow. We know that many people can be impacted by these events, whether it be a well-publicized event or an event within a family. Sometimes knowing that there is a school-based response plan provides an additional sense of security. Along with our safety plans for fire, tornado, etc. each Forest Hills school building also has a Traumatic Event Crisis Intervention Plan (TECIP™).  This is a plan that can be implemented based on student needs and follows an explicit process.
In partnership with COPES Consulting, Forest Hills developed school-level TECIP plans and a district response team, called a flight team, to support schools when needed. These plans were developed in 2009 and continue to be updated yearly. 

Why is this important?

COPES Consulting shares: “Tragic events within the school community, such as an unexpected death, or a catastrophic disaster, have significant potential to not only adversely impact academic achievement, but also to inflict pain, turmoil, confusion, and heartache on both students and staff. The Traumatic Event Crisis Intervention Plan (TECIP ™), a program developed by the founders of COPES Consulting, has taught schools and districts how to develop sound aftermath crisis response plans, along with providing practical strategies and support materials in helping those impacted by the incident. TECIP is a field-tested model that is adaptable regardless of the size of the school or school district. Crisis intervention should be conducted by school staff BECAUSE children in crisis look to their school counselors, school psychologists, teachers, and administrators for protection and help.” 

The safety and well-being of all Forest Hills students is a top priority in our schools. If you have questions or would like more information, contact Josh Bazan, FHSD Communications Coordinator, for more information. Mr. Bazan can be reached at (513) 231-3600 or joshbazan@foresthills.edu.