February 01, 2024

SFDS Update #21 2024 (Week of February 3rd 2024)

Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams.  

Think not about your frustrations but about your unfulfilled potential.  

                                                                             - St Pope John XXIII

Dear Academy Community, 

I don’t know about you, but I am done with the winter cold. It is so nice that the days are getting longer again, and we look forward to the spring weather. 

As we look forward to tomorrow’s Groundhog Day, a seemingly whimsical tradition, let us take a moment to reflect on the deeper connections that exist between this day and our Catholic faith.

Groundhog Day is a reminder that even in the shadows of life, light is promised. Our Catholic teachings are guided by the belief that no matter how long the winter of challenges may be, the light of faith will always shine through. Groundhog Day, anticipating shadows and sunlight echoes the hope we find in Christ's teachings.

Let us use this day to reflect on our own shadows, those moments of doubt, fear or uncertainty. Just as the groundhog's shadow is a temporary obstacle, so too are the challenges we face. Our faith, like the warmth of the sun, has the power to dispel the shadows and bring forth new beginnings.

May this Groundhog Day serve as a gentle reminder that, in our journey of faith, even the briefest shadows can be transformed into moments of grace and enlightenment. Fingers crossed that Groundhog doesn’t see his shadow, and Spring will be here before we know it. 

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

Catholic Schools Week: We are one week 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. 

2024 Catholic Schools Week Schedule of Events

Some highlights of the first ½ of Catholic Schools Week are as follows: 

  • Thursday 2/8: Students are asked to wear their full school uniforms. Bishop DiMarzio is visiting our school and will be spending time in some classrooms. Grades 1-8 will join the Bishop in church for an opening of Catholic Schools Week Prayer Service at 10;45am.  We also welcome all to join us in a new monthly tradition of praying the rosary after school in SFDS Church right after school at 2:35 pm. Please come, students and families, and help us bring all of our prayers of thanksgiving and petition to our blessed Mother and her son.  

  • Friday 2/9: All students can wear their favorite sports jersey. 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 it is a ½ day with a 12n dismissal as well. 

  • Sunday 2/11: On Sunday, 2/11, all are invited to the Opening of Catholic Schools Week Mass Sunday, 2/11, at 10 am at Blessed Trinity Parish (St. Edmund’s) and at 10 am at St. Francis de Sales Parish. This is a great way to kick off Catholic Schools Week, and being a part of our two aligned parishes. There will be a small reception with light refreshments after each mass, including our Mary Apparition Projects. All students that attend in their school uniform will receive a dress-down ticket to be used during the month of March. We hope to see you there!

  • Monday 2/12: All students are invited to wear Neon colors on this Dress Down Day

  • Tuesday 2/13: All are asked to wear a CSW Shirt or SFDSCA Shirt. We will have a school mass at 10am for grades 1-8. The Academy Family Association will be having a Pancake Breakfast/Lunch in the school gym for all grade levels. Please click the link below for all the ingredients in the pancake mix. If there are any allergy issues, please email us at [email protected] 

NJHS Carnation Kindness: A random act of kindness, no matter how big or small, can make a HUGE difference in the lives of others.  The National Junior Honor Society of St. Francis de Sales Catholic Academy will be running a program called “Carnation Kindness.” 

They will be visiting the Residents of the Beacon Rehabilitation Center, right here in Rockaway Park, on Valentine’s Day to deliver carnations to the residents and staff as a surprise, a random act of kindness.  Their goal is to deliver 200 carnations so that ALL the residents and staff receive a little bit of love that day.  

If you would like to participate, the donated cost is $5.00 Please submit your donation to your child’s teacher in an envelope with the EXACT amount and your name on it by Wednesday, February 7.  Orders for the flowers need to be submitted by then to ensure we get the correct amount for the Residents and Staff at the Beacon.  

We appreciate all your support.                            

SFDS Family Mass: This Sunday, February 4th, St. Francis de Sales Parish will be having their monthly Family Mass at 10:00AM.  There will be light fellowship afterwards with juice and munchkins for the children.   

Volunteer opportunities are available to children in all grades, as we look to fill the following roles: Greeters before Mass, Children to read the First and Second Readings (Lectors) as well as  Children to read the Prayers of the Faithful Petitions, Children to bring up the Offertory Gifts and Distribute Bulletins before Mass. 

If your child would like to participate in the Family Mass in any role, please complete the following form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSf0seHJGLPThNsSKOt3VuV-RMIHQ6wATdNzKm9UiVyyd19SqQ/viewform?usp=sf_link

Class of 2025 Ring Order Form: In the next few months, we will be celebrating the graduation of the Class of 2024. As we celebrate that occasion, we also would like to kick off the Class of 2025 with a tradition that we have here at the St. Francis de Sales Catholic Academy, a Class Ring/Pin ceremony. The class ring is a symbol of school-wide pride and a reminder of their academic achievement. 

All students in the 7th grade will receive a class pin and have the option of purchasing a class ring made out of Sterling Silver for $80.00-$90.00. The price explanation is below.   Ring orders must be placed by Monday, March 4th, 2024. A bill (charge) will be added to your FACTS account soon after. 

A special Class Ring/Pin ceremony will take place on Tuesday, May 29th 2024 in Saint Francis Church. Details of this very special event will go out in a separate correspondence.

Please complete the form below and return it by Monday, March 4th. Please feel free to get in touch if you have any questions.

Class of 2025 Ring Order Form

I-Ready and Mid-Year Writing Benchmark Update: Thanks to all the parents who came out on Monday to discuss I-Ready here at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Academy.  To spotlight the success of Diocesan educators using our i‑Ready program, we wanted to share the recent analysis of Catholic Schools That Implement i‑Ready Personalized Instruction Level Up on Student Growth. A review of data from Catholic schools using i‑Ready indicates that students who used i‑Ready Personalized Instruction an average of 30 minutes per week showed remarkable growth. Catholic school students saw 26 percent greater growth in Mathematics and 34 percent in Reading than students who did not complete i‑Ready lessons.

Next week we will be sharing your child’s Mid Year Diagnostic results in I-Ready and as we did with the Trimester 1 Benchmark we will share the Writing Benchmark grades on FACTS before Mid-Winter break.  Just a reminder, the purpose of the writing 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 the previous academic year).


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


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!