First, let me thank you for your support and understanding as we, as a nation, state and community, responded to the unexpected pandemic of COVID-19 in March. I am very proud of the way our St. Francis de Sales Catholic Academy students, parents, faculty, and staff handled the demands we were faced to educate our students during the most unusual of circumstances. As you know, there continues to be concerns and questions related to how schools plan to reopen in September 2020. While we are in the business of educating, our first priority is the safety of our students and our faculty and staff. Be assured, we have been working diligently on our 2020-2021 SFDS STRONGer Together Reopening Plan.
Due to all the factors and information needed to plan as COVID-19 issues unfold, the comprehensive Plan will be released around July 31st 2020. Our desire is to return to school as normal (traditional) with enhanced safety and cleaning procedures. However, we must be proactive and be prepared during these ever-changing times to continue educating our students if and when circumstances change, as predicted, throughout the year related to the health and safety of our students and employees.
We are working on three scenarios:
- Enhanced Traditional Plan-We would continue school as normal with enhanced safety precautions in place such as increased hand sanitizer availability, increased frequency of cleaning of high touch areas, limited visitation to our school by visitors in order to possibly prevent the transition to a hybrid or full distance learning option. (Again, this is our plan for September pending more restrictive guidance from the Governor.)
- Social Distancing/Hybrid Plan-Hybrid would be a combination of distance and face-to-face instruction with increased safety and disinfecting measures as listed above, which could be done in a variety of configurations. This would only be enacted if the Governor’s Executive Order or guidelines required us to.
- Full Distance Learning Plan-All students would participate in the learning of new material, continued standard pacing, interactive lessons, graded assignments, and assessments. This would be enacted if the Governor’s Executive Order or guidelines closed schools again due to health concerns.
I encourage our parents to frequently visit our webpage and follow our social media for up to date and accurate information. There are many false rumors being disseminated which leads to unnecessary confusion. Our priority is to keep everyone safe while not making life more difficult for our parents. Each family situation is uniquely different. We fully understand your varied concerns about health and safety, distance learning, the importance of face-to-face instruction, parents needing to work, the economy, and all of the other unexpected consequences of not being in school or being in school in a traditional method. If for some reason, we can’t be in a traditional school situation, our goal is to find the best way to have our students safely in our buildings as frequently as possible to ensure the health and well-being of all.
As we continue the 2020-2021 SFDS STRONGer Together Reopening Plan planning process, we will keep you updated. Thank you for your continued support and positivity as we strive to do what is best for ALL of our students and employees during these challenging times.
Please make note of the following:
- A list of tuition fees for the 2020-2021 school year can be found by clicking here. Tuition is due by the 15th of the month, August through May. By taking advantage of the security and convenience of payment processing and information technology offered by FACTS. Tuition payments for the 2020-2021 school year can be paid online, by phone, or by mail. You may also sign up for auto pay as well. Only in an emergency will payment be accepted in the school building and/or rectory. You should have received or will be receiving an email invite from FACTS with information necessary to enroll if new to the school. Included in the invite will be the website you will need to access. If you do receive this invite by June 26th, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to let her know. She will be sure to respond to your request in a timely fashion.
- The summer office hours along with the calendar for next year are already posted on our website. Throughout the summer check the calendar for any updates. Although the school office may be closed at times, we are always available with any question or concern through email at email@example.com.
- Summer Assignments and Supply Lists are available on the 2020-2021 School year tab on our website and can be found by clicking here. Every student is expected to have all supplies as well as a school bag on the first day of school. This year we will be working again with comto to host a supply kit sale. Please note that this will not be available until early July. Please note that you can choose not to buy certain items from the list if you already have purchased or will purchase elsewhere.
- Flynn & O’Hara continues to be our uniform supplier. First and foremost, they are excited to announce that they have begun shipping online and phone orders from their Philadelphia distribution center! Please note that delivery times will be delayed as they work back up to full operational capacity. FlynnO’Hara will continue to offer Free Shipping on all online and phone orders as long as our stores remain closed. The store location is The Shops at Atlas Park, 8000 Cooper Avenue, Lower Level, Glendale, NY Uniforms can be ordered online at www.flynnohara.com, or by phone at 718-326-2704.
- My Catholic Faith All of our students who are returning to 2nd-5th grade can continue to complete the curriculum of 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. Any questions about this curriculum or how to log on please email Mr. Scharbach at firstname.lastname@example.org We have had quite a few students already complete the curriculum and looking forward to celebrating a few more.
- Virtus training is mandated by the Diocese as a requirement for anyone who would like to volunteer to help with the children in the school (lunch parent, class parent, trip helper, etc.). For a list of upcoming sessions and information on how to register, log on to virtus.org. This training must be completed prior to starting your volunteer service.
- School will officially begin Wednesday 9/9 for students in Kindergarten – Grade 8. Children in the Nursery and Pre-K will begin on Monday 9/14.
This week, sadly, we say farewell to Mrs. Tara Davan and Mrs. Sally Quinn. While we wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors, we certainly will miss them here at St. Francis.
I am also happy to announce the following changes to our current faculty:
- Ms. Meittinis will be moving up to join her students as a new 5th and 6th Grade team member
- Mrs. Bodnar will be teaching our Nursery PM class while Mrs. Troia continues to teach the Nursery AM class.
We remain dedicated to advancing your child’s academic, social and spiritual development in a supportive, safe and challenging learning environment. We welcome your active participation in your child’s education, and we urge you to be proactive in communicating with our administration and teachers, and, as time allows, to volunteer in our various programs and events. By working together, we will ensure success for your children.
I hope we all return in September with new energy and with renewed commitments to this very special Academy. We look forward to opening our doors next year to about 550 students. But remember, summer does not mean we take a vacation from the Lord! I encourage you, wherever you may be this summer, to make time to watch or come to Mass on Sundays and to pray every day!
Enjoy the summer, and we will see you in the Fall! Don’t forget to have your child(ren) read each day.
Christopher Scharbach, Ed. D