Dear Academy Families,
Happy Weekend and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Hopefully, this week will be the last of this year’s winter weather. I know that we are all longing for some warmth and sunshine! Looking forward to the days of 70 degrees.
This weekend also marks one year since all schools in our area had to shift to a remote learning approach. It is difficult to believe that a year ago today, St. Francis along with all schools in the Diocese took the extraordinary step of suspending face-to-face instruction to protect the academy community from the threat of the COVID-19 virus. Over the past year, the pandemic has upended virtually every aspect of our lives. We especially keep in our prayers this weekend everyone who has lost a loved one this year.
Our school although open to in-person instruction has looked different this year with different classroom configurations and methods of instruction. Yet it does look like brighter days are ahead, as safe and effective vaccines are rapidly being distributed locally, nationally, and globally.
One question that I am asked multiple times a week is when will this end? When can our school go back to normal? I am pleased to share with you the news that St. Francis de Sales Catholic Academy is preparing to offer the full range of in-person instruction and resumption of early morning drop-off and after-school programs no later than September 2021. The CDC now projects that every adult in the United States will have access to the COVID-19 vaccine by this summer. Therefore, we anticipate that many of the COVID-19 constraints under which we operate today will be relaxed as the pandemic subsides following mass vaccination efforts. If it is any earlier than next September we will let families know as soon as possible. Of course, this is always subject to change based on guidance from state and local authorities.
In preparing for the next academic year, St. Francis de Sales Catholic Academy will continue to prioritize the health and safety of our community as we plan for a return to the robust classroom experiences that are the hallmark of a Catholic education. Please be assured that, as has been the case during the current academic year, our planning efforts will be fully informed by guidance from local and state Department of Health officials along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In the meantime, please know that I am deeply grateful to and proud of all our teachers and students have done and continue to do to make the current academic year as successful as it is. I am especially grateful for the many sacrifices you have made to protect our teachers, staff, and students. I believe the finish line is in sight, and I ask you to be mindful of COVID-19 precautions for the next few months.
Finally this weekend in the second reading we hear St. Paul say “For we are his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the good works that God has prepared in advance,”
This phrase calls to mind two practices that are alive within our Catholic academy. First, we are created by God in His image. Second, we are created to live through good works and in the spirit of Jesus. Children in our Catholic Academy are taught from a young age that God has designed each of us in a special way. Each of us is perfectly made in His image. Through this, we celebrate the differences that make us unique but also connect us all together in the likeness of God. Last students are also prepared to live through good works by participating in projects and activities that are centered on helping others. Let us continue this week to Thank God for the gift of a Catholic Education.
Onto the week of March 15th, 2021…………
Congratulations Mrs. Faughan: We are so happy to announce that Mrs. Faughnan and her husband will be expecting their third child this August. Congratulations to the Faughnan family, we can’t wait to meet Baby Fuaghan next school year.
Ordering of School Pictures: All students in Grades Nursery-Grade 1 and Grades 5-7 were photographed this week, this is in addition to Grades 2-4 and Grade 8 who were photographed in the fall. If you would like to order pictures please click here. This is your last chance to order pictures for this school year. Full payment MUST be received by Harisch Studios no later than Friday, March 19th, 2021. Please contact Harisch Studios and not the school with any questions at 718-821-2390 or e-mail us at email@example.com
Report Cards: It’s hard to believe that next week we are officially in Trimester 3. The year continues to fly by! Please note that all report cards are digitally distributed on Wednesday 3/24 at about 3pm. This year all conferences will have to be done remotely and will take place on Tuesday 3/30. More information about signing up for these conferences will be sent out in a separate correspondence prior to the 24th. This week final tuition arrears reports went 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 2/22/21. Any issues please feel free to be in touch.
Tablet’s Covid Relief Fundraiser for Catholic Schools: On Monday the school will be sending out information about “The Tablet’s Covid Relief Fundraiser for Catholic Schools.” We’re excited about this new campaign because our school and students will directly benefit. This campaign will also support The Tablet’s work in reporting important news for Catholics. We believe it’s a win, win, win! You’ll be happy to know that our school can apply all of our students’ sales toward our DeSales Technology Grant requirements. Our participation in the DeSales Technology Grant in the past was one of the main reasons we were able and still are able to provide a device to all students in our school. This was very helpful especially last spring when we had to go to a 100% remote model. We hope that all of our families think of participating in this fundraiser as it helps us keep technology current in our school building.
Lenten Journey: We continue our Lenten journey of giving alms with our annual collection of mite boxes for the Propagation of Faith. We sent home each student with a mite box and asked that students return them no later than Friday, March 26th. It is not about how much is given in the box, it is about the children learning to give a little bit to those who are less fortunate than we are. Every penny is helpful.
Continuing this week all grade levels will be praying the Stations of the Cross in our schoolyard. Please save the date for Friday, March 26th at 7 pm for a school-sponsored Stations of the Cross for students and families. Speaking of the Stations of the Cross, many of our 7th-grade students and faculty members have been working very hard to produce this year’s Passion Play that our entire school community will be able to watch on the morning of March 30th. A special thank you to Mrs. Buckley, Mrs. Hayes, and Mrs. Mangano for helping to put this year’s version together.
5th-8th Grade Hybrid Learning Schedules
5th, 6th Grade, and 7th Grade are on a Week 3 Schedule
Monday 3/15: Groups 2 and 3 in School; Group 1 Remote- Bagel Day for Group 2 and 3 Students
Tuesday 3/16: Groups 1 and 3 in School; Group 2 Remote
Wednesday 3/17: Groups 1 and 2 in School; Group 3 Remote
Thursday 3/18:Groups 2 and 3 in School; Group 1 Remote- Group 2 students that sold a box of chocolate may dress down.
Friday 3/19: Groups 1 and 3 in School; Group 2 Remote- All students that sold a box of chocolate may dress down.
8th Grade is on a Week 2 Schedule
Monday 3/15: Gold Group in School; Blue Group at Home Learning. Gold Group Bagel Monday
Tuesday 3/16: Blue Group in School; Gold Group at Home Learning
Wednesday 3/17: Gold Group in School; Blue Group at Home Learning
Thursday 3/18: Blue Group in School; Gold Group at Home Learning- Blue Group students that sold a box of chocolate may dress down.
Friday 3/19: Gold Group in School; Blue Group at Home Learning- Gold Group students that sold a box of chocolate may dress down.
Please note that all Spanish and STEM classes will be live for Grades 5-8 students who are remote. If your child is home please make sure that they login for those classes just as they would for their Core Subjects.
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.
Chocolate Sale Dress Down Day: All students of families selling a box of Chocolate will be able to dress down on Friday, March 19th (March 18th if your child is remote on March 19th) Thank you again for helping to fundraise for our school.
If you haven’t paid for your chocolate boxes yet we do ask that you make payment no later than next Monday, March 15th. After that date, all outstanding payments will be added to your FACTS account.
Stop and Shop A+ Rewards: Thank you to all of our school families for your continued support of our school. This year through your purchases at Stop and Shop we were able to raise over $5003 through the A+ Program. Thanks also to Stop and Shop for continuing to help raise funds for schools all across the country.
St. Jude’s Math-a-thon: It is that time of year that St. Francis de Sales Catholic Academy participates in St. Jude’s Math-A-Thon program. Last year we raised over $16,000. We are happy to announce that we already have raised over $7,000 this year. A lot of children are helped by the generosity of our school community. This year you can do your donations online and order your prizes online and have them delivered to your door or you can send in your donations to Mrs. Foti and she will take care of the paperwork and get the prizes sent to the school.
All Permission slips (registration forms) are due back by 3/15 so we know who is participating. All Money is due by 3/26. All students who participate may dress down on Monday, April 19th.
You can also easily register online by clicking below. This is a great way to raise money via Social Media.
Thank you in advance for your kindness and generosity to children in need. Any questions, please contact Mrs. Foti at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Have a great week. Be safe and stay healthy. Don’t forget to “Spring Ahead” those clocks on Saturday evening.