Weekly Update #1 SFDS Week of September 13th 2021

Dear Families,

We had a wonderful first week here at the school! Your children arrived on Wednesday with big smiles across their faces. The first couple of days were filled with excitement, introductions, and reuniting with friends, teachers, and peers.  As I walked around the building, it was so nice to see both our students and teachers hard at work. And of course, we began the 2021-2022 school year with a joyful Opening of School Mass.  I know next week we will hit the ground running for our first full week of school. 

We are so happy that you have chosen what we feel is the best investment a parent can make in a child’s future; a catholic education. That choice and investment don’t end each week on Friday afternoon. We as parents are all called at our children’s baptism to be primary caretakers of our children’s faith formation. When our kids go to Mass, they are physically in the presence of Christ. When our kids go to Mass, they hear the word of God and prayers praising Him. Those precious phrases expressing the foundations of our faith are repeated week after week, and they will stay with our kids forever. When our kids go to Mass, they will see that the Communion of Saints is made up of real people all united in the same act of worshipping God. It’s invaluable to see that reality played out in person every week. 

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, do not stop them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” Mk 10:13-14

As parents, we are called to ensure that our children come to Mass every Sunday and educate them in participating in the main divine worship event of the Church’s week and help them celebrate and learn about their faith. Please know that the Pastoral Staff of both Blessed Trinity and St. Francis de Sales invite and encourage your families to participate in the mass each and every weekend. 

 

Back to School Nights (Meet the Teacher): On Tuesday, September 14th at 6 pm (Grades 1-4) and on Thursday, September 16th at 6 pm (Grades 5-8 all parents are invited to meet their child’s teacher(s). 

To help limit the number of people in our building we do ask that on Tuesday 9/14 for Grades 1-4 that only one parent comes to the Back to School meeting. The teachers are scheduled to do the same presentation twice on the scheduled night. We ask that if your last name ends from A-L that you attend the 6 pm meeting and we ask that if your last name ends from M-Z that you attend the 6:30 pm meeting. All families will need to enter the main entrance and follow all health guidelines including the wearing of a mask inside the school building.  If you have children in two grade levels in Grades 1-4 please feel free to attend one meeting at 6 and the other at 6:30 pm. 

 

As you know students in Grades 5-8 have more than one teacher. More information will be mailed out directly in regard to Back to School Night for Grades 5-8 on Thursday 9/16.

 

This night is an information night. If there are any pressing issues or matters that need to be discussed with the teachers please make an appointment to see them at another date. Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate individual conversations on Meet the Teacher night, but would be more than happy to set up a time to discuss your child(ren). The teachers will be presenting the same information twice to accommodate those families that may have more than one child in the school. 

 

Summer Uniform: This week we were very accepting of students out of uniform yet do expect that corrections will be made by Monday. Just a reminder that summer uniform consists of the following:

Boys and Girls Grades 1-8

Tan uniform shorts (skorts for girls), blue golf shirts with the school emblem, black or brown shoes (sneakers and sandals are not permitted; Sperrys/Boat shoes without design or bright colors may be worn with white/black socks), white/black socks and a black or brown belt.

Shorts (Skorts) are to be worn just above the knee. Short shorts are not acceptable.

Pre-K and Kindergarten

Uniform mesh shorts and t-shirts with school emblem, (Pre-K: Maroon, Kindergarten: Gray) white socks, sneakers with velcro or shoelace closures

For more information about uniforms including our winter uniform policy please click here.  Please check with our uniform policy before buying shoes, socks, and belts for the 2021-2022 school year.  

 

Pre-K and Nursery Start: This week Pre-Kindergarten and Nursery both begin here at St. Francis. Monday and Tuesday Pre-K is in school from 7:55 am to 11:50 am. Our Nursery program meets at their normal time each day this week for both AM and PM sessions. Families are asked to follow the drop-off and pick-up guidelines that were discussed at Back to School Night this week. 

 

Important Forms: We have assembled some websites, information, and digital forms pertinent to the start of a new school year.  These links along with the Family-Student Handbook and our Acceptable Use Policy are our way of keeping everyone “in the loop.”  

Please note that some digital forms are optional and others are mandatory to be filled out. They are noted next to the name of the form. Any questions please call the main office. 

 

Digital Forms

 

FACTS Student Information System: We’re excited to announce our new school management system – FACTS SIS (Student Information System). We have now set up the FACTS Family Portal – a private and secure online platform that will allow you to see academic information specific to your children while protecting their information from others. All you need is an internet-capable device to view information such as Attendance, Daily Grades, Transcripts, Discipline Issues, School calendar, and Tuition Accounts. This replaces OptionC. Please have patience with us as we learn the system. You will find the Family Portal link on the school website under the STUDENT/FAMILY RESOURCES section or by following the steps below:

FACTS Family Portal Login Instructions

  • Click on “Parent Log In” at the top, then “FACTS Family Portal.”
  • If you already have an account, enter district code, username, and password and click Login.
  • Create New Family Portal Account if you have not set this up yet
  • Enter thE email address that you gave when registering your child, and our District Code

Our District Code is SFDS-NY

  • You will receive an email from SIS Customer Support containing a link that will allow you to create your username and password.  For security purposes, the link will remain active for six hours.
  • Please click on the link.  A Change/Create Password screen will open.  You may use the default username provided, or create a new username.  Then type in your desired password into the Password field and Confirm Field
  • Click on the Save Username and/or Password button
  • Close the window.
  • Log into FACTS Family Portal as instructed above

To see a video that explains this process please click the link below:https://vimeo.com/152634570. Please note the password for the video is Portal 

Please note that the Family Portal is needed both to see who your child’s academic information is and is needed to fill out the daily health screening form. Please click here for instructions to do the daily health screening form. 

 

High School Meeting: There is a special 8th Grade Parent High School Meeting on Monday, September 13th via a Zoom Webinar. Please come to ask any last-minute questions on the high school admissions process (Catholic High Schools and Public High Schools). This meeting is scheduled to be recorded in case any family cannot attend. 

Topic: 8th Grade High School Meeting

Time: Sep 13, 2021 06:00 PM 

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89129349628?pwd=dHRVUHNBUDlHbElEQjlxSG1SRnNGdz09

Meeting ID: 891 2934 9628

Passcode: SFDS2022

 

Academy Family Association: We are happy to announce the slate of candidates for our inaugural Academy Family Association Executive board.  To see the bio’s of the candidates please click here. 

Each Family has the opportunity to vote for one candidate for President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary.  All ballots have been distributed. Families can submit their ballot at the main office on Back to School Night or any day after school from 2:30 pm-3:30 pm. Those families can submit their completed ballots into the main office during their respected Back to School Night on Tuesday 9/14 or Thursday 9/16.  If a family is not attending Back to School Night their ballot can be submitted at the main office any day after school from 2:30 pm-3:30 pm until Thursday 9/16/21.

If you lose your ballot please contact Mrs. Endall at hendall@stfrancisschoolbh.net to obtain a replacement ballot. The Academy Family Association Executive Board will be announced in the 9/17/21 Family Update.  A special thank you again to all the parents who volunteered to run for the executive board.

 

Peanut/Nut Free: We Are a NUT Aware School! Unfortunately, our school cannot guarantee a nut, milk or “allergen-free” environment. The risk of exposure is always present. Instead, we have an “allergy aware” policy, which empowers everyone.

Children with allergies become aware of what they can and cannot eat, and school staff is alert and careful about each student’s allergies. As we have students with SEVERE LIFE THREATENING ALLERGIES, we ask all families to avoid bringing in items such as nut butters, Nutella, or any other nut-based products.

 

We ask that you be very aware of any items brought into our school which: may contain nuts/may have been processed or manufactured in a facility that uses/contains nuts. Finally, please remind your children to never share snacks, food, or drinks with anyone.

 

Afterschool Program: Saint Francis de Sales Catholic Academy’s Afterschool program will begin on Monday, September 20th, 2021. Afterschool registration forms and information are available on our website or by clicking here. 

 

Early Morning Drop Off Program: Starting on Monday, September 20th we will be offering an Early Morning Drop off program from 7 am-7:40 am each day. For more information about this program please click here. 

 

Change of Plans: We all know that life gets in the way at times and plans change. For your child’s safety, please inform the office if there is a change of pickup or usage of the bus by note or email (before 9 am). If it is last minute it will have to be by office phone. 

 

Tuition Accounts: Starting a few weeks ago all families should have begun to pay their families tuition through our FACTS system. Tuition payments for the 2020-2021 school year can be paid online, by phone, or by mail. You may also sign up for autopay as well. The second payment of the year is due this Wednesday 9/15. 

For those families that have an Invoice Payment Plan, each month, 20 days before your payment due date, FACTS will send you an email or mail invoice letting you know that your invoice is ready.  If you want to mail in a payment, you will need to log into their FACTS account and click on the Actions button and choose the Mail-In a Payment link.

Any questions please feel free to call FACTS at 1-866-441-4637

Any questions about your account please reach out to our Bookkeeper Mrs. Marguerite Kazalski at mkazalski@stfrancisschoolbh.net

 

Special Education Services: We do anticipate that majority of students’ special education services will start this week. Please note that if you are new to the school and your child has an IEP or IESP please make sure that is sent in to Mrs. Buckley as soon as possible. Also if any IESP’s were updated over the summer we do ask that an updated copy be sent to Mrs. Buckley as well. 

 

NYC Yellow Bus Service: The New York City Department of Education provides transportation to all eligible New York City students in public, charter, and non-public schools. This includes the students of Saint Francis de Sales Catholic Academy. This year NYC Yellow bus service will start on Monday, September 13th. Those students who applied and qualified for busing received routes yesterday. Please note that times and stops are determined by the NYC Office of Pupil Transportation, of course if there are issues with the times and stop please contact Mrs. Kenny, we will do our best to let OPT know of the concerns and advocate for any changes, yet please know we are at the mercy of OPT and their regulations. 

 

SAVE THE DATE

Dress Down Day: Please note we will be having a dress down day for $1 on Friday 9/24  where students will “Go Gold” for Childhood Cancer Research. More information to follow. 

Catechetical Sunday: Catechetical Sunday is when those designated to serve as catechists are called forth to be commissioned for their ministry. Catechetical Sunday is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the role that each person plays, by virtue of Baptism, in passing on the faith and being a witness to the Gospel. All are welcome to join the Saint Francis faculty and Saint Francis Religious Education faculty at this very special liturgy at 10:00 am on Sunday, September 19th. 

Have a good weekend!