Update: Fort Frye music teacher dies suddenly, school mourns

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BEVERLY, Ohio (WTAP) -- UPDATE 4/13/2016 2:55 PM

The Fort Frye community is mourning the loss of one of their own as Amy Shields, a music teacher in the district, passed away Tuesday afternoon.

Shields came to the district last year as the band and choir director for seventh through twelfth grade.

This year, she switched roles teaching music for kindergarten through sixth grade.

Mr. shields, her husband, is now the high school band director.

With so much involvement in the district between the two, the school saw that it was necessary to hold the normal morning assembly to address Mrs. Shields sudden passing.

The school says the rest of the day goes as normal.

"When students are struggling, and adults as well, with grief, one of the most important things is to try to keep their routine as normal as possible. It helps them process it better, so we felt like that was the best for students in grades 7 through 12. At our elementary schools, we've decided the best way for our younger students to process it is with their homeroom teachers who they're closest with usually. They'll be having that type of meeting that we had this morning with their homeroom teacher," says Fort Frye superintendent, Stephanie Starcher.

The school has counselors and pastors on hand if any students or staff need that option.

The family did tell the school Shields' death could have been caused by bacterial meningitis, but that is not confirmed at this time.

The school is stressing that students and staff are safe at the school.

The Fort Frye Local Schools District mourns the loss of one of its own.

According to a post on the district's Facebook page, Mrs. Amy Shields died suddenly Tuesday.

Shields was the district's elementary music teacher. She previously served as its band and choral director.

She is survived by her husband, Eric, and two sons.

Shields' cause of death is unknown at this time. School officials say bacterial meningitis is a possibility, but has not been confirmed.

Health officials say the bacteria is spread through close and physical contact over time. Students are considered a low risk for contracting the bacteria.

Administrators consider it safe for students and staff to attend school.

Parents are advised to monitor students. Symptoms include: sudden nausea, headaches, irritability, confusion, muscle pain, and/or fever.

The school stresses there is no confirmed case of bacterial meningitis at this time, but promises to keep parents informed.

Meanwhile, a special nurse line is set up at Marietta Memorial for questions: (844) 474-6522.

In addition, the school with be discussing Shields' death with students. They will have grief counselors available for students and staff.

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