Hallett Elementary School

Start Date: 2021-04-02

Description: We were asked to deploy on short notice for a 5th grade teacher who had died on Wednesday and we deployed Friday of that week. Upon arrival we were lead to a multi-purpose room where there were counselors and student aids. We found out about 10:30 that the school was playing bingo until 11am so we stayed in the room and interacted with the counselor/aids until 11:00. We were told that the students in the class were aware that the teacher was sick but not that he was expected to die. Students were informed of his passing on Thursday. At 11am 3 counselors accompanied us to the 4 fifth grade classrooms where we visited with students who wanted to pet the dogs. In 3 of the classrooms the students were seated at their desks and the teams walked through the rows stopping to interact with students who were interested in petting the dogs. Many students told us about their dogs that they currently had or who they had in the past. Seemed like there were a lot of people who had labs. In the room that lost the teacher the students were sitting on the floor and they came to the dogs to interact. There was one boy that told me about his teacher passing from "age, Covid and cancer" and that they had just found out. He said "this day started out sad but now it is happy." We had a few interactions with staff in the hallways on the way out. People were very happy to see the dogs and said we were welcome back anytime. I gave them a card and told them to call if they wanted us back again.

Agency: Hallett Elementary School, Medical Lake WA
Teams: Debbie Bikafsy and Kutya