Soda Creek Elementary to hold meeting for parents Thursday to address grief in wake of student's death

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If you go

What: Parent meeting

When: 5 p.m. Thursday

Where: Soda Creek Elementary School

— Soda Creek Elementary School will host a meeting Thursday night for parents to discuss how to talk to children about the death of 9-year-old Asher Lesyshen-Kirlan.

Principal Michele Miller said with help from Steamboat Mental Health professionals, school counselors will lead the discussion about how to talk to their kids about the tragedy.

The meeting, which is only for parents, starts at 5 p.m. in the common area at the downtown elementary school.

"This gives parents an opportunity to process this tragedy as adults, so they in turn can help their kids," Miller said.

She said a translator will be present for Spanish-speaking families.

Meanwhile, Miller said students and staff at the school continue to honor the memory of Asher as classes continue as scheduled, including a rodeo-themed assembly.

"It feels pretty normal right now as far as just the activity at the school and all of that, but definitely a heavy tone," Miller said adding counselors and teachers continue to help the kids talk about the death of their classmate. "We all want to support the kids. Today, we're going to honor Asher's memory and have a productive day at school, and support each other when we need to support each other."

Counselors, along with professionals from Steamboat Mental Health and the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurses Association, continue to be available Thursday at the schools to assist students and staff wanting to talk about the tragedy

On Wednesday, the district emailed the following letter and information to parents about how to talk to their children about Asher's death:

Talking to children about a tragedy

Parent email about grief counseling

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com

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