SFDS Week of March 11th 2019

Dear Families,


Hopefully we’ve made it through the last of this year’s winter weather. I know that we are all longing for some warmth and sunshine! Good luck to our second grade students from Blessed Trinity Parish who will be receiving first Penance this Saturday. A special word of thanks to both Mrs. Schmitt and Mrs. O’Malley for preparing our second graders for this important sacrament. We will keep you all in our thoughts and prayers as you continue on your spiritual journey and prepare for receiving the Eucharist for the first time.


Reminder: Tomorrow is a day off for a Faculty Professional Day! Enjoy the long weekend!


Now onto the week of March 11th, our RESPECT Week….


RESPECT Week: This Monday we kick off our 4th annual RESPECT Week here at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Academy. During this week we come together as a school to focus on kindness and respect for ourselves and others through prayer, classroom lessons, assemblies, contests, and various presentations in different grade levels that highlight and build upon meaningful lessons that focus on preventing bullying and unkind behavior. We are all created in God’s likeness and image and we are called to love one another. We hope that through the week to inspire students to follow that message of love and respect.


Please see below for some special events:


RESPECT Week Presentation of Ryan’s Story: During this year’s RESPECT Week, we have recruited Mr. John Halligan to conduct two presentations. Mr. Halligan did similar presentations during the Spring of 2015.  One will be for parents on Tuesday March 12th  7-8:30pm.  The student presentation for Grades 5-8 will be held during the school day on Tuesday March 12th as well.   Mr. Halligan will relay his own tragic experience as a Dad whose 13 year old son took his own life in 2003, after incessant bullying by peers since the 5th grade, both in school and online. His story is riveting and powerful, and reminds students that there is a face, a person, a heart, on the other end of the computer screen.


His presentation will begin with a short video collection of home movie clips and still pictures of Ryan.  John will then begin to tell the story of Ryan and the factors that led up to his son’s suicide. The students will gain a perspective from inside a family of a child who is a victim of bullying and cyberbullying. They will also gain awareness about the signs and risk of teenage suicide and how best to help a friend. As part of Mr. Halligan’s presentation, students will have the chance to ask him questions. We encourage you to visit a website named for his son: www.ryanpatrickhalligan.org for more information.  


RESPECT Week Prayer Service: Finally please join us as we gather as a school community on Friday March 15th at 11am. This prayer service will be the culmination of a wonderful week celebrating each other and the respect we have for ourselves, our peers, and our communities.

Stations of the Cross: Over the course of this Lenten season, each individual class will pray the Stations of the Cross. Please see the school calendar for individual grade times.  


$1 Dress Down: On Tuesday March 19th, all students are welcome to dress down, wearing RED, for $1. All proceeds will go to Hemophilia research.


Tuition Arrears: This week final tuition arrears reports will be going out for those families that are in arrears. Please be mindful of keeping your account up to date for all outstanding tuition or fees. Please remember that report cards are not distributed unless your account is up to date as of 2/15/19. Any issues please feel free to be in touch.  


Honor Band: Congratulations to Emma Bodnar, Isabelle McLoughlin, Claire Mehta, Christian Murray, and Katherine Rudolph for being selected to join the New York City Catholic School Honor Band Concert. Claire will perform at St. Francis Prep on March 24th. The New York City Catholic School Honor Band represents the “best of the best” from all the Catholic School in the Diocese of Brooklyn and Archdiocese of NY.


Haircuts: Just a reminder from our Family Handbook: “Both boys and girls are to have moderate, neat hairstyles. Boys may not have hair covering

their ears.” Please keep these guidelines in mind when we get ready for our spring haircuts.


Report Cards: It’s hard to believe that our second trimester is coming to an end, but we have some important dates and information regarding Report Cards coming up in a couple of weeks:


On Wednesday March 20th, report cards will be sent home with your child(ren). Parent Teacher Conferences are scheduled for Thursday March 21 from 12:45-2:45 for our afternoon session and from 6-7:30 for our evening session. All families in grades Nursery through 4 are able to sign up for their conference time until Friday March 15th. To sign up for a conference, please click here and visit the website listed above your child’s class to sign up for a time for your conference. You will need to enter your name and an email address, but you do not need to create an account.We will assume that families not signed up by 3/15/19 are not coming to either session. You will not be able to confer with your child’s teacher that afternoon or evening. If you have daytime availability, please consider signing up for a daytime slot, and leave the nighttime slots for families with limited availability,


Since parents of students in 5th Grade through 8th Grade sometimes need to see multiple teachers (not always their child’s homeroom teacher) due to this we do not schedule conferences. All teachers will be available on a first come first serve basis at the above listed times.


PDHP Parent Workshop: Please join us this Monday March 18th for our reschedule Family Fun Night! Looking for a way to spend some quality time with your children? Look no further! Join us for Family Fun Night For Grades K-6,  hosted by The Program for the Development of Human Potential. (PDHP) Families will participate in enjoyable cooperative games and low impact activities designed to help parents and children play, work, and communicate better.


Mother-Son Bowling: This is the last call for any Kindergarten through third graders to attend the Mother-Son bowling event in two weeks. This event will take place on Saturday, March 23, 2019 at 1:30 pm at Woodmere Lanes. There are just a few spots available.  The cost is $20/per bowler and it includes light fare & photo booth. Please send in CASH to Monica Spaeth (4A) to reserve a spot; please include name(s) and grade(s).


Terranova Testing: This Spring, we are implementing TerraNova testing in Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd  grades. From May 16th-May 23rd the Terra Nova assessment series will be administered to students in grades Kindergarten  through Grade 2. It is important that all academy families understand the rationale behind administering a standardized assessment.  The word test means different things to different students.  Some students embrace the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge; other students become apprehensive and fearful at the prospect of taking a test.  There is a difference between testing and assessing.  An assessment is an educational tool to measure the present status of a student’s skills.  The Terra Nova is designed to measure concepts, processes, and objectives taught throughout the nation.  Terra Nova results are used to: analyze strengths and weaknesses of a student’s achievement in each content area; plan for further instruction; plan for curriculum development; and to report progress to parents.


In closing, I ask families to keep the Terra Nova testing in perspective.  While the information provided from the test scores is important, we sometimes forget that a child is far greater than the sum of their percentile scores.  Luckily, all we have to do is look into their familiar eyes, or sneak a peek at night when they’re closed, to remember why we care so much in the first place…


The assessments will be done over the course a few days, and will be guided by your students’ classroom teachers. As always, please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have an issue, or question.  We are only a phone call or email away.


Fundraising Corner


Chocolate Sale: A big thank you to all who participated in our World’s Finest Chocolate Bar Sale! If you purchased a box and have not yet sent in the money raised, please make sure that all chocolate sale payments are sent into school as soon as possible, as the sale ended on Tuesday February 26th.


Save the Date: Our 16th Annual Golf Outing will be held on Friday May 10th 2019 at the Marine Park Golf Course. Get those foursomes ready so we can have a great year! More information to follow.


Card Party: Dust off your Cowboy Hats and Put On Your Dancin’ Boots!

St. Francis de Sales Card Party Committee Presents

The Blue Jean Ball” Friday, March 29th, 2019, 7PM – 11PM

Doors open at 6:30pm in the Gym, Complimentary Coffee and Cake, BYOB,

Ticket & Table Requests will be available on March 11, 2019 and will sell out fast!!


Anyone interested in helping or donating a prize to be raffled off, please feel free to come to our next meeting on March 6th at 7PM at the school or send an email to sfdscardparty@aol.com.


One of the most anticipated and biggest prizes every year at the Card Party is the

Tuition Raffle for one student for the 2019-2020 school year. Please think about supporting this raffle and get a chance of winning a free tuition for one child. (Winner need not be present). Tickets can be bought in the main office or by handing in tickets found on the order from by clicking here.


Have a great weekend.


PS: We are always in need of some parents to help volunteering for our lunch periods. If you are VIRTUS trained and are able to do the lunch duty, we certainly appreciate it. We are continuing to assign lunch duty using a web-based service called Sign Up. It enables those who want to do lunch duty to sign up for slots on specific days with email reminders. It is our hope this will help with the number of cancellations and no shows from families.

To sign up for lunch duty please use the website: Lunch Duty Sign Up

1) Click the link above to see our Sign-Up on Sign 2) Review the options listed and choose the spot(s) you like.

3) Sign up! It’s Easy – you will NOT need to register an account or keep a password on Sign Up

Volunteers, thank you so much for all of your help!