Dear St. Francis de Sales Catholic Families,
We have officially finished week seven of distance learning and we are 1/2 of the way there until the end of the school year! I know that this has been a difficult time for all and the transition to working & learning from home is a difficult one. I just want to thank all of the parents & guardians who have reached out to provide positive comments, suggestions/ideas for improvements or just general comments especially all who came to our first ever virtual conversations with the administration. I am fairly certain that this is every one’s first experience with a true pandemic and I am so impressed with how our teachers, students, parents and community has responded.
I just wanted to take some time to provide all of our stakeholders with a few important updates:
- Per the Governor’s announcement on 5/1/20, distance learning will continue for the rest of the 2019-2020 school year. We will continue the current model and finish out the year on distance learning. Our entire team was saddened to hear that our kids would not be returning to the building but we know that decisions are made with the health and safety of the community in mind.
- Please continue to reach out to your student’s teacher and let them know of any struggles or health issues that are occurring in your home. This is our teachers’ first experience with a pandemic and going to remote learning but they really do have our kid’s best interest in mind. They have the delicate job of providing standards-based curriculum that is meeting the intent of the state standards while also balancing the notion of not overwhelming their students. A difficult balance but one they are committed to.
- I have been sharing the feedback received from parents which includes reminding our teachers to limit the number of places to find information and to also be mindful of the workload for our kids.
- Please do not be afraid to share any positive comments or words of encouragement with your child’s teachers if you feel things are going well! I have spoken with so many of our faculty who are working nights, weekends and many more hours than a traditional day to make this happen for our kids. Don’t be shy about giving them a “pat on the back” if you feel they deserve it!
- End of year “Tasks” – With school being closed for the remainder of the year, the admin team will be formulating plans and processes for common “end of year” tasks. Examples include desk and locker clean outs, and a few other tasks to “close out the year”. We will be sure to communicate those processes once we have more information on how they will happen. Challenges include ensuring the 6 feet social distancing rule, keeping rooms sterile and many other challenges but we will have a safe and simple solution for all tasks.
- Please know that we have already been in collaboration with the diocesan office in planning “meaningful (albeit, creative) ways to honor our students in their ceremonial end-of-year events.” We will continue to update you once plans are finalized. It is still our hope to have an in person graduation for our 8th graders even if it needs to be a later date.
- If you have a question or concern. Start with an email to the classroom teacher. They know the specifics of instruction and their own procedures best for their particular class/grade level. If the concern or question is not resolved after this step, please contact Mr. Scharbach or Mrs. Faughnan
For parents, please know that you are doing all you can for your kids and that this is a truly unique time for everyone. It is trying for even the most organized professionals to fulfill their work duties from home, juggle finances, monitor your new “homeschool students”, provide childcare and do all you can to keep your family safe during this pandemic. I encourage you to show “Grace & Flexibility” on yourself at home during this time in addition to your children, their teachers and the community. I would also encourage you to take this time with your children to really explore new areas of their interests or partake in family activities that you may not have had the luxury of time to do before. A silver lining can always be found if we look hard enough!
Also, rest assured that teachers across our diocese are ready to “meet students where they are” in their learning when they return for the 2020-2021 school year. I know that for St. Francis de Sales Catholic Academy our mission will be to look for any learning gaps that occurred during this trimester, formulate lessons and resources to address them and make our students even better than they already are! Have a great week and stay SFDS Strong!
See below some issues and topics that will help all be successful during the week of May 4th.
SFDS Mother’s Day Video: St. Francis de Sales Catholic Academy will continue to collect pictures of children holding a flower, an image of our Lady, holding a sign that says Happy Mother’s Day, I Love You, etc. All these pictures will be included in a school Mother’s Day Video for all the Moms, Grandmothers, aunts, godmothers, and other special women in our lives. We hope to get participation from all families over the next two weeks.
1) The pictures need to be clear. We ask that the picture be of the child or children holding flowers or a Mother’s Day message.
2) The orientation of the picture needs to be vertical.
3) Send all images to email@example.com by May 8th at 3pm.
4) You will receive a confirmation email that says the picture was received within 24 hours.
May Special Events
May 2nd and 3rd- Star Wars STEM Challenge
May 4th: Star Wars Day- Wear your favorite Star Wars Shirt/item to class
May 5th: Thank Our Essential Workers Day- St. Francis de Sales wants to thank each and every person that is an Essential Worker. We made this day so that our students would hopefully get a better understanding of what you do to make this time in their lives better. The definition of a hero is simple- a person admired for courage. That is what you are. For all those working in the healthcare field, custodial staff, drivers, stock persons, store clerks, emergency responders, government officials and so many more- Thank you! We pray for your health, so that you can continue to help others. If you are an essential worker please send a picture to firstname.lastname@example.org for our essential worker montage no later than Tuesday May 5th at 3pm so we can display our montage later than night.
May 6th: Sunglasses Day- Wear your sunglasses to class day.
May 7th: Throwback Thursday- The 1960’s- Look forward to some activities that are based on the Groovy times of the 1960’s.
May 8th: Fun and Furry Friday- We all love your pets and we love to see them so let your furry friends shine. Stuffed Animals and drawings are fine as well.
May 9th: Dance Parties
When: May 9, 2020 10:30 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Topic: Dance Party (Grades N-1)
Please click the link below to join the webinar: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83476487354
When: May 9, 2020 06:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Topic: Dance Party (Grades 2-4)
Please click the link below to join the webinar:
May 10th: Happy Mother’s Day
Save the Dates
Friday May 15th: Name that Tune (6pm-7:30pm) More information to follow.
Week of May 23rd: Christmas Family Feud- We will be looking for 26 family (4-5 members) to participate in various “episodes” . More information to follow.
My Catholic Faith Delivered: A great way to enrich your child’s faith formation throughout the week in Grades 1-4 is My Catholic Faith Delivered. About a month ago we sent out emails out to all 1st-4th graders inviting them to My Catholic Faith Delivered. It is recommended that students work on this for 10-15 minutes each day (3-4 times a week). The courses are designed to make learning convenient and fun. They feature engaging lessons, interactive activities, and real-time feedback. Please note that this curriculum is self-paced meaning that students will be at different lessons based on how quickly they complete the lessons. Any questions about this curriculum or how to log on please email Mr. Scharbach at email@example.com
I want to congratulate the following students all who have completed 25% of the My Catholic Faith Delivered Curriculum. Great job!
Grade 1: Erik, Anthony, Mackenzie, Quinn, Sean, Nathaniel, Jenna, Jacqueline, Caroline, CJ, Saoirse, and Mairead
Grade 2: Charlotte, Bianka, Molly, Silas, Adriana, Preston, Molly, Anna, Brendan, Kassidy, and Colin
Grade 3: Logan, Sadie, Matthew and Gennaro
Grade 4: Charles, Emma, Brendan, Hannah, Lucas, and Ashlee
Financial Questions: During these challenging times, I am sure that many families have obvious concerns regarding tuition. I know that we all are in different places, some more capable than others to help in these unusual times. As we state each year in our State of the Academy, approximately 85% of our school income is tuition & fees. We are aware that we are not all able to meet our commitments in the same way as we might have in the past. We are committed to continuing to support our teachers and staff in the work they are continuing to do. We want to support families as much as possible, but are also limited in resources as well. Please contact us right away if your family is experiencing a change in your financial position. Changing payment schedule or tuition assistance (see below) is available.
Together we can ensure that Saint Francis de Sales remains open and strong, both as we pray to return to our building soon and for the future to come. If you have additional questions or concerns regarding tuition, please email me.
COVID-19 Relief Fund: As we go through this crisis together, there are so many needs that continue to grow. We are continually praying for you and your loved ones so that we may heal and emerge from these difficult times. We recognize the financial burden many have experienced as the school endures its own financial struggles.
Our partner scholarship organization, Futures in Education, has established a Relief Fund to assist families affected by the COVID-19 health crisis in completing their 2019/20 tuition payments.
You are invited to complete this form ONLY if your family has been directly impacted by the COVID-19 health crisis, resulting in a reduction or loss of income, and you are seeking tuition relief for the 2019/2020 academic year. Funding is very limited, and it is critical that we are able to assist those most affected by this crisis. Please only apply if your family has been affected in a way that it will not be possible for you to complete this year’s tuition payments.
We will work with Futures in Education to assess the overall need and funding received to determine how we may best help our families. The application will be open from now through May 15, 2020 and may be found at www.futuresineducation.org/covid19app.
Please alert us directly if you need this assistance so we are aware of your situation. This is a requirement of the fund.
In addition, we encourage you to apply for the regular financial aid program administered by Futures in Education for the 2020-21 academic year now, by going to www.futuresineducation.org/scholarships.
Note: Returning Teddy J. Forstmann recipients should apply for regular tuition assistance for 20-21 through Children’s Scholarship Fund/Civicore. Instructions have been emailed to you.
Please contact Futures in Education at 718.965.7340 or by email: Scholarships@FuturesinEducation.org if you have any questions or need assistance.
Re-Registration and New Registration: Although we are not physically present in school, we continue to register students for the upcoming school year beginning in September 2020. This week we continue our Virtual Tours. For more information about them please click here.
IESP Students/Free iPads: The NYC DOE is making iPads available to all students who have an IESP. Please see the form below from the NYC DOE Office of Nonpublic Schools regarding the iPad distribution for students who have an IESP.
Please note that you, the parent, can apply online to receive an iPad for your child. The iPad will be shipped directly to your home. Please review the Device Agreement (attached to this email) specifically in regards to the use, care and that the device is on loan and the expectation is that it will be returned when we return to in class lessons. This tablet is intended to allow students to participate in remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the students are required to return the tablets to the NYCDOE when schools reopen. The tablets may be used by the students only for participation in instruction required pursuant to the Education Law and not for religious instruction.
Although we know St. Francis has already given a device to every child in Grades K-8 we wanted all of our Special Education Families to know what you are entitled to.
Any questions please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
Postponements and Cancelations: Just a reminder that due to the school closure and regulations from New York State in regard to bans on large crowds there will be many postponements and cancellations. Please click here for more information. It is our hope to make up many of the events in the next school year when appropriate.
Have a great week!