Dear St. Francis de Sales Catholic Family,
This weekend, we take some time to honor and say thank you to the special women in our lives. A mother’s love can take many shapes and forms, but no matter what, remains unwavering and unconditional. Thank you to all of the wonderful ladies who help raise the children of St. Francis de Sales Catholic Academy; you are so appreciated.
Please take a look at a special MOMtage that was put together featuring the students of SFDS.
I know the last two months have been difficult. This is hardly the way any of us envisioned the school year when it began last summer. Thank you for your faith in our school community, and thank you for enduring the hard work and frustration I’m sure you’ve experienced adding “teacher” to your list of jobs. I hope you and your family are in good health as we hope to finally begin to see the end of the coronavirus tunnel.
Whether we are gathered together in virtual classrooms or participating in a live-stream school Mass, the past months have proven that our Catholic schools can continue to deliver quality learning and faith formation, even in a temporarily virtual world.
The key word here is “temporary.” While we are steeped in the present moment with all of its challenges, frustrations, worries and doubts, we need to remind ourselves that this will not last forever. We know that eventually St. Francis de Sales Catholic Academy will open its doors again.
We have two priorities as we plan for opening the 2020-2021 school year: 1) maximizing student learning & integrated faith formation, and 2) minimizing any health risk. As soon as we are given State, City, and Diocesan guidelines we will fully develop those plans.
In 2016, Pope Francis began a catechetical series on Christian hope. At the time, he wrote a line that strikes profound resonance during this COVID-19 crisis, “Hope opens new horizons, making us capable of dreaming what is not even imaginable.” Catholic schools are illuminating that same horizon with hope, to be sure, but also courage. As people of faith, may we be filled with the hope of the Risen Christ as we carefully plan and courageously dream for the future of our Catholic schools.
Know that we miss you all tremendously. Although we cannot share the same physical space, I keep all of our students, families, and teachers close to my heart where no social distance is needed. Through your love and support, we will return to our beloved school stronger than ever. Until then, be assured of our prayers and gratitude. Be healthy and safe. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to support you or your children.
See below some issues and topics that will help all be successful during the week of May 11th.
Refunds for Various Items: This week refunds were made for the following events that were canceled: 5th and 6th Grade Trip to the Intrepid, 8th Grade Graduation Trip, Abrakadoodle Art Afterschool, and the Mother-Son Bowling Event. If your refund is being made by check please be on the lookout this week in the mail. This week we will start to make refunds for Bagel Mondays and in the following weeks we will be making refunds for Pizza and Chicken Finger days. We hope to make all refunds by Friday May 22nd. Any questions in regards to the status of refunds please email Mrs. Endall at email@example.com.
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 this Friday 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.
May Special Events:
Save the Dates
May 11th: Crazy Sock Day- Wear your favorite crazy socks to class
May 12th: Thankful Tuesday- On this day we encourage our students to express their gratitude to someone, their family, their priests, an essential worker, another classmate, a teacher, etc. by sending them personal messages of appreciation. If you want to share your gratitude with our school community, here’s how:
- Write what you are grateful for on a post-it note
- Take a picture of it
- Post it and tag us on social media, or send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
We encourage our St. Francis de Sales Catholic Academy community to practice gratitude to help us get through these challenging times.
May 13th: yaD sdrawkcaB yppaH- From your dress, to your walk maybe even to your talk this day is the day to do things backwards.
May 14th: Throwback Thursday- The 1970’s- Look forward to some activities that are based on the Disco times of the 1970’s.
May 15th: Name that Tune (6pm-7:30pm)
You are invited to a Zoom webinar.
When: May 15, 2020 06:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Topic: St. Francis de Sales Name that Tune- Disney Edition
Please click the link below to join the webinar:
May 16th and 17th: Lego Masters Challenge- Information will be sent out on Friday May 15th.
Week of May 18th: Christmas Family Feud- We will be looking for 26 families (4-5 members) to participate in various “episodes”. More information to be emailed this week.
Grade 8 Parent Meeting: We will have one more 8th Grade Parent Virtual Meeting this Tuesday 5/12 at 7pm. The feedback from this meeting in conjunction with directives from the State/City and the Diocese will help us make final decisions in regard to the graduation events. When: May 12, 2020 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Topic: Class of 2020 Parent Meeting
Please click the link below to join the webinar:
2020-2021 School Year: Although there are so many unknowns right now about the next school year we will be doing our best to make sure we are ready for the first day of school in September 2020. As a school we are beginning to inventory subscriptions, workbooks and materials so that we can be ready to go in the Fall. The school website also has a landing page for information regarding the next school year. You can find it by clicking here. We will be building the webpage over the next few weeks so please continue to check it for more information. Presently information in regard to ordering uniforms for next year is posted.
Early Childhood Information Nights: We will be shifting our annual Early Childhood information nights to a digital platform . On Tuesday June 9th at 6pm Pre-K information night, on Wednesday June 10th we will be hosting Nursery information night, and on Wednesday June 17th at 6pm, we will invite our incoming Kindergarten parents to join us for the Kindergarten Information Night. On all evenings, the early childhood teachers will be sharing all the details of what is in store for your children who are entering their early childhood years. Parents will be receiving supply lists and summer ideas during this meeting as well. We hope to see everyone there. Formal invitations to follow.
Option C Grades: Although school has moved to a distance learning approach this last trimester, teachers have been assigning, collecting, and assessing student work. As we finish the 2nd month of distance learning please if you haven’t already, log on to the parent portal of Option C to check on how your child is progressing this trimester. This is a great way to see if your child is missing any assignments. You should have already received usernames and passwords. Please contact the main office via email at email@example.com if you have any questions. As soon as the Diocese finalizes the report card for this trimester we will share with families.
Final Exams (Grades 5-8): Just to clarify there will not be final exams for Grades 5-8 this school year. The main reason we are not taking final exams is because we do not need to unnecessarily cause more stress and anxiety during a very difficult time. Teachers will focus on the most important skills and concepts of the course units left in the year. In grades 5-7 there may be an ending project assigned that can be completed at home over the final month of the school year. Grade 8 will have their last day of classes on Tuesday June 9th.
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. As of today we have over 555 students registered for next year. This week we continue our Virtual Tours. For more information about them please click here.
Last Chance: 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.
We hope to announce our plans in regard to our Early Childhood step ups in next week’s update.
Have a great week!