Dear City School District of New Rochelle Community,
This has been a heartbreaking week. As a community, we are devastated by the death of New Rochelle High School junior Valaree Megan Schwab, who was fatally stabbed at a local business on Wednesday. The arrested suspect is also one of our students, deepening our pain and sorrow over this tragedy.
Speaking not only as District leaders, but also as parents, there is no greater tragedy than the loss of a child. An incident like this makes us realize that although the City School District of New Rochelle has nearly 11,000 students, not to mention thousands of faculty, staff and administrators, we are all connected to each other in profound ways.
We know that many of you are worried, and have questions. Some of those questions we cannot answer due to the ongoing police investigation and others due to privacy laws.The district is cooperating fully with law enforcement regarding the investigation. District administration and staff continually examine ways to improve security procedures and will continue to do so, consistent with the district mission to provide a high quality and challenging education for every child, in a safe, nurturing environment. The safety and security of our students is, as it always has been, our first priority.
There have been many inquiries as to why the suspect was attending New Rochelle Schools. While we cannot legally make public confidential information about specific students, we can attest that she was legally and properly enrolled as a student in our District.
We appreciate the devotion of our teachers, administrators and staff to the children and young adults they serve. That dedication, that heart, was evident this week, during one of those times when it was most needed.
Since the incident, grief counselors, social workers and other professionals have been working with our students and staff. They will continue to do so as long as is necessary.
As we continue to mourn Valaree's death, we must continue to keep her family, who has been devastated by this horrible tragedy, in our minds and in our hearts. Our community draws its strength from the great diversity of our people. It is times like this that we must come together with love and support for each other, and for New Rochelle.
Dr. Brian G. Osborne, Superintendent of Schools
Rachel Relkin, Board of Education President