Dear Parents, Guardians and Staff:

It is with deep sadness that I share with you the tragic loss of Vanya Citrano, incoming 9th grade student at Verona High School, who passed away yesterday.

News of such a loss affects our entire community, especially our children. This sad news may foster some unresolved feelings in your child that he or she would like to discuss with you. You can help your child by listening carefully, not over-reacting, accepting his or her feelings, and answering questions honestly according to your beliefs. You know your child best and how to approach talking about loss. Please do not hesitate to contact your child’s school if you need assistance. We are here to help your child and your family. You may find the following information helpful on the Traumatic Loss Coalition for Youth website:

The Verona Public Schools has coordinated our crisis management team to help your children with their reactions to this loss. Our district crisis team is comprised of counselors who will be available to talk with your child, answer their questions, and provide additional resources, if needed. Our crisis team will be holding counseling support for students, staff, and community members at Laning Avenue School on Saturday, September 3rd from 10 am-1 pm and Monday, September 5th from 6 pm-8 pm.

If you have any questions or need additional assistance, you may consider contacting any of the following resources listed below:

Diane Travers, Mental Health Association, Montclair, NJ (973) 509-9777

Vanessa Matos, Partnership for Children of Essex, West Orange, NJ (973) 323-3000

Andrew Evangelista, The Center for Creative Lifestyles, Caldwell, NJ (973) 226-4773

Platt Psychiatric Associates, Cedar Grove, NJ (973) 239-4848 ext. 201

Dr. Mark Faber, Montclair, NJ (973) 746-6711

NJ Regional Crisis Hotline (888) 222-2228

Our sincere condolences go out to the family and friends. Please join me in offering our thoughts and prayers to the Citrano family in their time of sorrow.

Sincerely yours,

Rui Dionisio

Superintendent of Schools