The end of October and beginning of November is often the start of the “holiday season.” For many parents, this is a time of tremendous stress, as you scramble to complete Halloween activities, prepare for family gatherings, and squirrel away the coveted Christmas gifts. This time of year, can be very secular in nature and while that should not be the focus, it is difficult to avoid getting caught up in the frenzy of toy lists and Instagram expectations.
The month of November provides us two focal points to center ourselves in gratitude, All Saints Day and Thanksgiving. We begin the month with All Saints Day on November 1st. During this celebration, the Catholic Church recognizes the saints who have come before us, as well as the saints who are not yet known to us. All Saints Day is a multi-faceted opportunity to share stories of the saints with your child, but also to remind them about the humanity of the saints. The saints are often viewed as holy, almost to the point of being inaccessible.
One of the greatest lessons we can learn from the saints is that they were ordinary people who were blessed with extraordinary faith. Children can see this in the actions of Blessed Carlos. While he has not yet achieved sainthood, his actions remind us that anyone can be blessed along the path to sainthood and a relationship with God should be our constant goal. By studying the saints, we remind our children to be grateful for all the individuals who provide us with the example of living our faith. I encourage you to take time this month and read about the saints with your child. A short passage can be coupled with a discussion for even the youngest learners. How did this saint show their faith? How did this saint show gratitude? What can this saint teach us about living a faithful life?
The conversation of faith and the saints can be a continuous reminder through the month of November about the practice of gratitude leading to the celebration of Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is often watered down to a single day or less and rarely encompasses a true sense of gratitude. In the wake of a long-term pandemic, there is a great sense of fatigue and despair in the world. Our faith reminds us that God’s presence in all things provides us strength and hope if we seek it. Activities such as offering a family prayer of gratitude each day or creating a “gratitude tree” throughout the month of November provide the opportunity for families to share in the daily expression of gratitude. In doing this, you are modeling a positive approach to seeing the world as well as cultivating a relationship with God that is built upon the understanding that He is the provider of all our needs.
In this season of gratitude, I pause and consider the importance of the families that create our school communities. Your commitment to the faith and educating your child in a faith-filled environment is vital to the sustainability of schools and parishes. It is through the parents and families that children embark on a rich and vibrant faith journey. I thank you for your continued presence in our school communities, understanding the choices and sacrifices that are made to partake in a Catholic education.
May you and your family enjoy a blessed Thanksgiving, filled with the abundance provided from our Creator. Take the time to reflect on the greatest blessings of children, family, and friends.
Thomas Chadzutko, Ed.D.
Superintendent ~ Catholic School Support Service
Diocese of Brooklyn
November is here and we are starting the path to winter. Please make sure your children are wearing the appropriate uniform for the rest of winter. If you have not received your skirt, blue (girls’) or gray (boys’) pants please let me know. FlynnO’Hara have said they only have a few more orders left to fill. It is starting to get cool outside. On cold days make sure your children are dressed warmly. We will be taking them out until it gets too cold.
Congratulations to our Eighth graders for having completed the TACHS exam. I am so happy for them as they look to the future. Any High School would be lucky to have our students attending.
Don’t forget to donate for the Thanksgiving food collection. Students were assigned, by grade, food to bring in. Check for Mrs. Kaouris’ email listing those items. We are almost done collecting candy for the veterans. Thank you to all who were able to do so.
Our Lunch program has started on a limited basis. We are starting with lunch on Tuesdays and moving forward from there. The children who ordered seemed to have enjoyed their chicken pita with fries. We will continue adding to the lunch in December. The December order form will be out next week.
On November 1st we celebrated All Saints Day. Our children watched the mass from their classrooms. Today, November 10th we have been asked to participate in celebrating the traveling Statue of Fatima at church. Grades 4 – 8 will be attending Mass at 11 AM. It will only be for our students.
IReady is being used regularly in the classrooms with teacher programmed instruction. Your children are working on My Path two times a week. Once in Reading and once in Math. This is one more tool in bridging the learning gaps we have seen since the lockdown. If you have any questions please contact Mrs. Spordone. NYS State parent reports will be out shortly.
Remember to fill out the Daily Health Survey in the morning. We are almost at 100% of families responding. Mrs. Kaouris will call if you have not completed the online form.
Please speak to your children regarding appropriate behavior during recess. We’ve had many trips to the nurse and complaints from parents regarding unnecessary roughness. Some classes have had equipment taken away because of this. All must play safely and respectfully with each other. Children who are not mindful of how their manner of play or language affects others will lose their recess privileges and parents will be notified.
The Academy is currently participating in the COGNIA self study. This is similar to the Middle States process that was done years ago. The only difference will be that this one will be completely virtual. More information will be given out regarding parent participation that is required. There will be some surveys given out to our students, parents and teachers to assist us in developing the self study further.
The November calendar is listed below.
November 10th – Mass at 11 AM Grades 4 – 8
November 11th – Veterans Day School closed
November 12th – School Closed Teacher PD
November 19th – Picture Day
November 24th – ½ Day no Afterschool
November 25th – Thanksgiving Day
November 26th – School Closed
Any questions please contact me.
Happy A”Priestiation” Day
On Monday, October 25th, Sacred Heart Students offered thanks to Msgr. Tom and Father Alex.
We are so grateful for their spiritual assistance and the image of Jesus that they bring into our school.
Students presented them with cards and gifts. Please view the attached video.
Dear Parents and Guardians,
Due to a forecast of rain, the Trunk or Treat event has been moved to Sunday, October 31st from 2 – 4.
Nursery – PK 4, Grades 1 and 2 should arrive at 2:00 PM.
Grades 3, 4 and 5 at 2:40 PM.
Grades 6, 7 and 8 at 3:15 PM
We look forward to seeing you then!!!
Last week on October 7th Sacred Heart Catholic Academy students participated in the Rosary Rally led by Bishop DiMarzio. Students also participated in the veneration of the Blessed Carlo Acutis. Please see the attached links to the media outlets that were with us on that day.
Dear Parents and Guardians,
October has arrived and with it the season is changing. Thank you all for continuing to cooperate in filling out the form in the morning. Hopefully, we will be able to begin enrichment classes for our students soon. I will let you know as soon as it happens. Mrs. Waranis can’t wait to start her oil painting classes and we have other enrichment opportunities that will be available to our students.
Mrs. Kormusis has begun working as our Math leave replacement in Junior High. She is very motivated and I believe that we are lucky to have her teaching the children. She has extensive experience working in Catholic Schools.
The iReady diagnostic in Reading and Math has begun. Children have already completed the Reading portion and are now continuing into the Math benchmarking. Kindergarten students will begin later. This diagnostic is a great tool in helping us to understand how our children are achieving academic growth. Next week, after Columbus Day, students in grades 3 – 8 will take Terra Nova tests. This will be a longer testing process that will start on October 12th.
SETTS services have begun for those students who receive . Speech, OT and PT providers are also coming into the building this year. All of our providers are vetted and must present vaccination credentials or testing credentials in order to work in the building.
Mrs. Lisa Bisciello has returned as our PDHP school counselor on Tuesdays. She is available to speak with your child if necessary. She is currently working with some of our classes on age appropriate programs. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Students in grades 3 – 8 participated in the Rosary Rally at church. Bishop DiMarzio, Msgr. Tom and Fr. Alex participated. This event was filmed for the Currents network and our students were interviewed by the media in English and Spanish. See Link:
Please remember that we are maintaining a clean environment, sanitizing and spraying on a daily basis. Children cannot come into school until all of their COVID test results are in. We need a doctor’s note and a negative COVID result. I thank you for your cooperation. As always the safety and wellbeing of the Sacred Heart community is my priority.
I wish you all a wonderful Columbus Day weekend.
Sacred Heart needs new altar servers!
Fr. Alex will be training new servers starting at the end of September. All children in fourth grade or higher are eligible.
Training sessions will be held in the church on Thursdays from 4:00-5:00 p.m. on September 30, Oct. 7, 14, and 21.
Please call the rectory at 718-428-2200 to register.
Parents are kindly requested to stay in the church during the training sessions. All Covid safety protocols will be followed.
I hope you had a good summer and were able to relax and enjoy the summer weather. I am grateful to have been able to take some time for myself this summer. The teachers, staff and I are looking forward to seeing all of you on September 8th for the first day of school. We will have three half days to start, dismissal will be at 11:30am. Many of you are new to the school and we welcome you to our Sacred Heart family. This year promises to be very special as we begin to transition into a more normal routine.
We have a new Board Chair, Mrs. Annmarie McLaughlin. I am very excited to begin working with her. Many thanks and good wishes to former Chair Mr. Douglas Libby. He will continue on the board as part of the Facilities committee.
As you know there have been some changes in staffing. Mrs. Kritikos has moved to Grade 1, Ms. Shrinivas will take over the 4th and 5th grade ELA and Social Studies. In Early Childhood, former PK Director, Mrs. Alison Cosgrove will be the SHCA PK 4 teacher and Ms. Alexandra Godden is the new Kindergarten teacher. We will have another 3rd grade teacher. I have a strong candidate in the process of applying and I hope to introduce them to the parents this week. I am still looking for a Junior High Math leave replacement. Unfortunately, there are not many candidates out there for this position. We will have the class covered by a sub until a qualified candidate is found. I know it is disappointing but I will make sure students continue to have instruction.
All specials are back in place as they were post pandemic. Students will be back in regularly scheduled Gym, Art and Music Classes.
Families are required to fill out a health survey in the evening before, or the morning of, each school day. The surveys can be found on the school website. Click on the link below to see your child’s class. At this time temperatures do not have to be taken. https://sacredheartbayside.org/all-grades-health-screening-forms-qr-code-and-links/
Please read the Highlighted items below. Contact me if you have any questions regarding the information below. I will be happy to answer any you may have.
Morning care will start at 7:30 am students enter on 38th Avenue on Wednesday, September 8th.
Afterschool begins on Monday, September 13th
As you know there is a NYS requirement for equivalency of instruction. This means that we have to be in compliance in the Length of the School Day: (5.5. hours to 6 hours)
Our day is increased as it had been the previous year. Let me know if you have any questions.
The school day will begin at 7:50am for Junior High Arrival – entrance on 38th Avenue Main doors.
Nursery 8:20 – 2:20 Half day ends at 11:20 am. The Bridge doors on 217th St.
PK 4 8:30 – 2:30 The Doors on 217th St. past the Playground under the awning.
Grades 1 and 3 on 217th Street by the playground. 3rd grade 8:00am – 1st grade at 8:10am
Grades 4, 5 and 2 Main Entrance (38th) Avenue 4th and 5th grade 8:00am, 2nd grade 8:10.
Dismissal is at 2:40pm for elementary. Dismissal is at 3:00pm for Junior High.
At this time Sacred Heart is not offering remote instruction. It will only be available in case of a quarantining child or if a cohort has to stay home due to exposure. Children will be wearing masks while in the school building. All classrooms are air conditioned and have large ceiling fans. They worked well last year and we expect that to continue. Key to this is parent cooperation in filling out the daily health survey.
Everyone will be wearing masks inside the building and the Health Surveys will continue for adults and children. any visitors to the building will be required to do a survey. All adults and children, ages 3 – 13, still have to wear masks. Sanitizing is our greatest priority in maintaining a clean environment for ourselves and the children. Children will be moving throughout the building to Art, Music and Gym. We will also be able to use the library. Junior High will also be changing classes during periods. Students will be distanced by three feet in the classroom wearing masks with all facing the same direction. Lunch will be in the classrooms until October.
When walking in the hallway the children are expected to socially distance. We will again follow the same protocols as last year with hand sanitizing and desk cleaning a constant throughout the day. The bathrooms will also be cleaned many times during the day.
Students will have mask breaks as they did last year. While outside students and staff do not have to wear masks. Please let your child’s teacher know if you wish to have your child wearing a mask outside.
Mr. Quinn will not be returning this year. Mr. Whelan will be watching the door in the morning and Mrs. Jane Oralis will be at the door in the afternoon for dismissal and early pick up. All the cameras are functioning and Mrs. Kaouris and I can view all the videos from her office and my phone.
The security system that was installed last year allows us to view and record who is at the door. It is constantly monitored from the Main Office. We also have the option to unlock the door when necessary. This is controlled in the office. Three of the main entrance doors have this option. We have also moved to keyless entry for all staff. We are able to record entry at each doorway and have video recorded through many points around the building. All activity around the building can be viewed at all hours.
We will continue using Google Classroom throughout the building to share information with parents and students. Each teacher will let you know how they will use Google Classroom for your child. All students will have devices that they can use in the classroom. They will also be learning how to use the keyboard and about Internet safety while on a device. Grades 4 – 8 should have their own Chromebooks as they begin the new school year. K – 3 will have class devices that they can use.
This is the new platform for attendance, viewing grades and parent communication. It will replace OptionC. Please have patience with us as we learn the system. You will be receiving credentials shortly so that you can view your child’s grades. FACTS is also used for Tuition payments by some of you. The credentials for entering the Student System will be different.