PATERSON, NJ  – Recognizing Dr. Gerald Glisson as “a dedicated and caring educator who touched the lives of so many people during his 20 years working in Paterson Public Schools,” Superintendent Eileen Shafer announced that a Virtual Grief Counseling center will be launched Tuesday to help anyone who may need help while grieving the loss of the “longtime Paterson educator, friend and community member.”

Glisson, the Eastside High School Principal of Operations died Monday at the age of 46.

Three phone lines will be established to take calls, each dedicated to a particular group of people touched by Dr. Glisson’s passing. One line will be dedicated to high school students; another line will be dedicated to help elementary school students, and a third line will be dedicated to taking calls from adults from the school district and the community at large. 

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“In normal circumstances, we’d have grief counselors dispatched to the schools.” Shafer said, giving a nod to the fact that schools remain shut as a result of COVID-19. “Hopefully, this virtual counseling center can help connect people with professionals who can help them cope with their feelings of loss and grief.”

Starting Tuesday, the Virtual Counseling Center will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. In a manner similar to the Information Call Center that was launched in March, callers will leave recorded messages at the phone lines. District staff will retrieve the messages on a daily basis and help provide a response as quickly as possible as well as a qualified grief counselor to those who need one.  

The Virtual Counseling Center phone numbers are:

·         High school students – 973-321-0548

·         Elementary school students – 973-321-0551

·         Adults from the school district and the community at large – 973-321-0552

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