Weekly Update #2 SFDS Week of September 20th 2021

Dear Families,

This Sunday, we celebrate Catechetical Sunday. This is the day that we recognize those who serve in the official role of catechist to children, youth, and adults. In our school, we have approximately 40 individuals who have said yes to call to help young people encounter Christ and grow in their Catholic faith through religious education. There are many more who teach in Catholic schools, lead adult faith formation programs and preparation for marriage and baptism, and prepare adults for the Rite of Christian Initiation. We are grateful for their service and commitment to the people of God.

As we saw in two emails, we had our first confirmed cases of COVID-19 this week at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Academy. Of course, anytime we hear this news we get concerned first about the health and safety of our children, faculty, and staff, and second, how will this affect in-person learning for our children. Of course, each case is looked at individually so it is hard to say what will happen in the future. In the cases this week we were able to have minimal effect on in-person instruction mainly because of two reasons (1) following the New York State Mask mandate, (2) and the exposure of the virus was believed to have occurred outside of our school building. We hope to see in-person instruction continue if any more cases should possibly arise, yet the final decision comes from the Diocesan Office with consolation from the NYS and NYC Departments of Health. 

It is also important for all families to note that remote learning for those who have to be quarantined will look very different than it did last year. As we communicated in our Reopening Plan for this school year, individual remote instruction will be a combination of synchronous (live) and asynchronous (not live) activities; this will include the 1st day of remote instruction being completely asynchronous to allow family, student, teacher(s), and administration to plan accordingly. In case of a school-wide or class-wide closure, classes will switch to full remote classes similar to what was the case in the 2020-2021 school year

Just a reminder as a school we are focused on the health and safety of all members of our community.  During the school day we follow Public Health Tenets:

  1. Stay Home if Sick- Although it is never ideal to miss school, we want to keep everyone healthy and the best way to do that is by having sick children stay home.
  2. Keep Physical Distance-Stay at least 3 feet away from other people, especially when indoors in a classroom
  3. Keep Hands Clean-Wash your hands often with soap and water.  Use sanitizer if soap and water are not available
  4. Wear a Face Covering-You can be contagious without symptoms.  Protect those around you by wearing a face covering.

It is also important that you the parents help us maintain a healthy environment as much as possible.

Now onto some announcements from the past week and the days ahead


Back to School Nights (Meet the Teacher): A special thank you to all who came out the past few nights for our In-Person Back to School Nights. For those who were not able to join us please click here for all the handouts that were given by the teachers.  


i-Ready: I am excited to share that our Kindergarten through 8th grade is continuing to implement Mathematics and Reading program called i-Ready. Below, you will find information about the program and how we will be using it in the classroom.

What is i-Ready?

i-Ready is an online program that will help us determine your child’s strengths and areas for growth, personalize their learning, and monitor their progress throughout the school year. i-Ready allows us to meet your child where they are and provides us with data to inform instruction.

The i-Ready Diagnostic that students will begin to take next week (Week of September 20th) is an adaptive assessment that adjusts its questions to suit your child’s needs. Each item a student receives is based on their answer to the previous question. For example, a series of correct answers will result in slightly harder questions, while a series of incorrect answers will yield slightly easier ones. The purpose of this is not to give your child a score or grade but to determine how to best support their learning.

What can I do to help?

To help prepare your child for the i-Ready Diagnostic, encourage them to:

  •   Get a good night’s sleep and eat a full breakfast each day 
  •   Try their best on each question and try not to rush.
  •   Try not to worry about questions to which they do not know the answers—remind them that it is expected that they will only get about half of the questions correct.
  •   Be respectful of other students who take longer to finish.

What happens next?

The i-Ready Diagnostic will provide results that help us as a school identify your child’s strengths and determine the next steps for instruction. I look forward to sharing these results with you throughout the year and providing a learning experience that will engage your child while teaching important skills and concepts.

If you have any questions about i-Ready, please do not hesitate to contact me or the school. You can also learn more about i-Ready by visiting i-ReadyCentral.com/FamilyCenter.

As always, thank you for your continued support and for being a partner in your child’s learning! It is much appreciated.


Academy Family Association: We are happy to introduce the 2021-2022 Academy Family Association Executive Board

President: Lisa Hayden

Vice President: Tim Henning

Treasurer: Pete Mullen

Secretary: Jennifer Burke


The executive board will be meeting in the upcoming two weeks for the first time and look forward to working on various fundraisers this school year. The first major fundraiser they will be working on is the 2nd Annual Franny Fun Run in November. I also will be looking for them to assist the school and the Board of Directors explore the feasibility of and assistance in raising funds to air conditioner all classrooms in St. Francis de Sales Catholic Academy in the future. 


Dress Down Day: Please note we will be having a dress down day for $1 on Friday 9/24  where students will “Go Gold” for Childhood Cancer Research. 


Important Forms: We have assembled some websites, information, and digital forms pertinent to the start of a new school year.  These links along with the Family-Student Handbook and our Acceptable Use Policy are our way of keeping everyone “in the loop.”  

Please note that some digital forms are optional and others are mandatory to be filled out. They are noted next to the name of the form. Any questions please call the main office. 


Digital Forms

Please note that the Family Portal is needed both to see who your child’s academic information is and is needed to fill out the daily health screening form. Please click here for instructions to do the daily health screening form.


Peanut/Nut Free: We Are a NUT Aware School! Unfortunately, our school cannot guarantee a nut, milk or “allergen-free” environment. The risk of exposure is always present. Instead, we have an “allergy aware” policy, which empowers everyone. Children with allergies become aware of what they can and cannot eat, and school staff is alert and careful about each student’s allergies. As we have students with SEVERE LIFE THREATENING ALLERGIES, we ask all families to avoid bringing in items such as nut butters, Nutella, or any other nut based products. We ask that you be very aware of any items brought into our school which: may contain nuts/may have been processed or manufactured in a facility which uses/contains nuts. Finally, please remind your children to never share snacks, food, or drinks with anyone.


Afterschool Program: Saint Francis de Sales Catholic Academy’s Afterschool program will begin on Monday, September 20th, 2021. Afterschool registration forms and information are available on our website or by clicking here. 

Due to COVID, we have new regulations and procedures that MUST be followed:

  1. Because After School is predominantly indoors, please remind your children that masks must be kept on, except while eating snacks.  This includes ALL children, even PK and K.
  2. We hope to give After School students some outside play this year.  While outside, children may remove their masks to play.  Indoor play will be limited, and again, masks must be kept on during inside play.


For those that have registered for afterschool as a reminder, when completing the After School sheets, please let us know if your child will be attending any other in-school enrichment programs and whether they will return to After School when the program is over.  Listing this information helps us to keep your child supervised while in our school building. Any concerns or questions, please feel free to contact me.


Early Morning Drop Off Program: Starting on Monday, September 20th we will be offering an Early Morning Drop off program from 7 am-7:40 am each day. For more information about this program please click here. 


Paul Effman Band: Unfortunately due to health guidelines and Diocesan regulations we have to wait to start up the Paul Effman Band once again. It was our plan to start registration this week and to have lessons again on Tuesday after Columbus Day. At this time we do not have a tentative date as to when this program can begin again.  


Fundraising Corner


Bagels: We are happy again to offer Bagel Mondays from Boardwalk Bagels every Monday this school year. This form will cover every Monday until Monday 1/31 for Grades K-8.  NOTE:  Please fill out a SEPARATE order form for each child. 

After you submit your order you will be charged on your FACTS account. Payment is expected within 20 days of posting. 

The completed form is due this Monday September 20th.  

No refunds will be issued if a child is absent.


Fall Flower Sale: We are partnering up with Shannon’s Florist in Brooklyn to have a Fall Mum, Cabbage, Corn Stalk, and Hay Bale sale. Please see below the order form.


Please for each item pick a quantity even if it is zero. All order forms are due by Sunday, September 26th.  We need to have the order to the florist no later than Monday, September 27th. You will be billed the amount you order through your FACTS account during the week of September 27th. At that time you can pay through FACTS or send in payment to the main office. The completed form is due by Sunday, September 26th, 2021  The items will be delivered to the school on Friday, October 1st, and will be available to be picked up at dismissal on the 1st.


Amazon Smile: AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support St. Francis DeSales Catholic Academy every time you shop, at no cost to you.

When you shop at smile.amazon.com, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection, and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to our Academy.

To shop at AmazonSmile, go to smile.amazon.com from the web browser on your computer or mobile device. You may also want to add a bookmark to smile.amazon.com to make it even easier to return and start your shopping at AmazonSmile.

Good news! AmazonSmile is now available in the Amazon Shopping App to all AmazonSmile customers using supported Android devices. You can use the below copy and instructions to share the news with your supporters!

If you are an AmazonSmile customer, you can now support St Francis deSales Catholic Academy in the Amazon shopping app on your Android device! Simply follow these instructions to turn on AmazonSmile and start generating donations.

  1. If you have the latest version of the Amazon Shopping App, open the App on your Android device.
  2. View Settings and select AmazonSmile.
  3. Follow the in-App instructions to complete the process.

If you do not have the latest version of the Amazon Shopping App, update your App. Click here for instructions.

AmazonSmile is not currently available for iOS users. 



Upcoming ½ Day: For planning purposes, Thursday 10/7 will be a half-day with 12n dismissal for all students due to our afternoon faculty meeting. 

School Closed for Professional Development on October 8th:  Just a reminder that Friday, October 8th is a scheduled day off for students. Enjoy the 4-day Fall weekend! 

Have a good weekend!