January 26, 2024

SFDS Update #20 2024 (Week of January 28th 2024)

Dear Academy Community, 

As we bid farewell to January next week, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on the incredible month we've had at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Academy. It's been a time of growth, learning, and community spirit, and I'm thrilled to share some highlights with you in this week's email blast.

Our students continue to excel academically, and I'm proud of their hard work and dedication. From some really engaging projects to outstanding work on their I-Ready Mid Year Diagnostic Tests and the great news we heard from the Class of 2024 and their high school decisions, their achievements reflect the commitment to excellence that defines St. Francis de Sales Catholic Academy.

Get ready for an exciting February! We have a range of events planned, including all of the special events of Catholic Schools Week.  Make sure to mark your calendars and join us in some of these memorable experiences. Your involvement is crucial to the success of our school community. We encourage you to stay connected with your child's teachers, attend parent-teacher conferences, and participate in school activities. Together, we can create an environment that nurtures every student's potential.

Finally, we welcome Mr. Anthony Castellano to our Board of Trustees. Anthony is a lifelong resident of Belle Harbor and an alum of SFDS who graduated in 2009. He is a local attorney and is looking forward to collaborating with the board to continue enhancing the academy and community.

Onto the coming days and weeks ahead with some important information…..

Catholic Schools Week: We are two weeks away from what many of us feel is the best week of the school year, Catholic Schools Week. Please see our schedule of events for the week below. Some of the highlights of the first ½ of Catholic Schools Week are as follows: 

  • Catholic Schools Week Shirt: During Catholic Schools Week, on Tuesday, 2/13, we will be asking students to wear a T-shirt with an SFDS logo on it. Any previous CSW T-shirt or gym shirt they may have is fine. We will also be selling a 2024 St. Francis de Sales Catholic Schools Week T-shirt, that can be worn on that day designed by 8th grader, Emma Minson. Shirts will be available in short sleeves only. We have both youth and adult sizes available for purchase. Shirts are $13 each and will be billed to your FACTS account. All orders must be in by Monday, January 29th. Unfortunately, no late orders will be accepted due to meeting our February 13th deadline. If you have any questions, please email Lisa Hayden at [email protected]


  • Jersey Day 2/9/24:  All students can wear their favorite sports jersey, and all students are asked to bring in a canned good for the “SOUPer Bowl of Caring.” All donations are going to the St. Rose of Lima Food Pantry. Just a reminder that 2/9/24 is a 12n dismissal for all students.  

  • Opening of Catholic Schools Week Mass 2/11/24:  All are invited to join the parish, administration, faculty, students, and families for the Opening of Catholic Schools Week Mass on Sunday, 2/12 at 10 am at Blessed Trinity Parish (St. Edmund’s) and at 10am at St. Francis de Sales Parish. All students are asked to wear their full dress uniform that day when they sit with their families. This is a great way to kick off Catholic Schools Week and be a part of our two aligned parishes. There will be a small reception with light refreshments after each mass. Our Marion Apparition Displays will be on display. We hope to see you there!

Coffee with the Administration 1/29/24: Over the next two weeks, students in Grades K-8 will bring home the results of their mid-year i-Ready diagnostic test. Please remember that these results are just a snapshot and one piece of the puzzle; they are not the entire picture of where a child is as a learner. 

The i-Ready Diagnostic will provide results that help us identify your child’s strengths and determine the next steps for instruction. We look forward to sharing these results with you now and at the end of the year in June 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 the classroom teacher or the school.

This trimester’s Coffee with Administration theme will be to discuss the home reports that will be sent home and how I-Ready is used here at St. Francis and how it can be used at home. There are two sessions that will both take place in the Small Hall on Monday, 1/29/24. The morning session will take place at 9am with the evening session taking place at 7pm. Hope to see you there. 

You can also learn more about I-Ready by visiting www.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.

Last Call for Re-Registration 2024-2025: St Francis de Sales Catholic Academy’s administration and staff are already planning for next school year. In preparation for the start of 2024-2025, please take time now to complete your child’s re-enrollment for next year. This form is due on Friday, February 2nd and the $200 re-registration fee per student is due on Sunday, February 25th.

Mid-Year Writing Benchmarks: During the week of January 29th students in grades 1-8 will be taking the second round of writing benchmarks.  There is no preparation necessary for this benchmark assessment.  As we did with the Trimester 1 Benchmark we will share the grades on FACTS, however these grades will not count towards a student's overall grade. The purpose of the benchmarks is to help inform our instructional practices and inform families of their child’s progress in becoming proficient writers. 

Financial Aid for the 2024-2025 School Year: Futures in Education is proud to provide partial tuition assistance for families demonstrating financial need, and who meet eligibility requirements, to attend a Catholic academy or school in Brooklyn or Queens.  We are also a proud partner with the Children’s Scholarship Fund, which administers the Teddy J. Forstmann and Bishop’s Scholarship programs.

Families requesting tuition assistance must complete a financial aid application with Futures in Education through our third-party vendor, FACTS AND submit supporting documentation, which will be used to verify all application responses.

When is the deadline?

March 31, 2024 – Returning Families who received an award in the previous academic year.

April 30, 2024 – New families (students who did not receive an award in previous academic year).

Futures in Education Scholarship Application Form

Yearbook Ads: We are now accepting ads for the Class of 2024 yearbook! All ads will be accepted and considered on time until Wednesday, February 7th. Late ads will be accepted on 2/8 and 2/9 with a $10 late fee per ad included in the total price. 

All ads must be submitted as a JPG or hard copy. No PDFs can be accepted. Please follow all directions EXACTLY as they are printed in the link below. Directions are provided for ways to create a JPG ad using Canva.  Please share the directions with any family members/friends who may want to submit an ad for a graduate. 

We recommend working on your ads early. Working on your ads early will allow us to assist you should you encounter any issues.  All questions and ad submissions should be sent to Ms. Farragher using our school's yearbook email:  [email protected]

SFDS Class of 2024 Yearbook-Creating an Ad

Paint Night: On Friday, February 2nd, from 7-9 pm, Mrs. Gina Todd (an Academy art teacher) will host an adult paint night in the SFDS Small Hall. Attendees will receive step-by-step instructions to create a beautiful painting. Light refreshments will be provided, and guests can bring their own appetizers and beverages.

Please note this event is for adults 21+ and is $35 per person. Please send in a check or cash to the main office.

The deadline for registration is January 29th. Space is limited. To register, please use the link below.



Mid-Winter Recess: Just a reminder that from February 19th-February 23rd St. Francis de Sales Catholic Academy will be closed for Mid-Winter Recess.

Have a great weekend!