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Happy New Year! I hope 2020 brings you all you wish for. We have been very busy in the Academy the last few months. Currently, we are preparing for our celebration of Catholic Schools Week, which will begin on Sunday, January 26th, at the 11 am Mass. I hope many of you will be able to attend. A schedule for Catholic Schools Week will go home shortly. We will finalize the schedule this Friday, January, 17, 2020.
As you can imagine, every day at school is a busy one for the teachers and I, but I am always looking to improve. To that end, I would really like all parents to fill out the survey below about academics. If you have children in more than one grade band, you can take the survey more than once if you’d like to do so. There is a second survey that comes from one of my “Coffee with the Principal,” Meetings. I would appreciate it if you would complete that one, too! Please just copy the links into your browser.
Thanks for your help!
Parent’s Survey Academics
Dear Students, Parents and Guardians,
The Faculty, Staff and I are very excited to welcome you back to school this week. We have new academic programs that we will be introducing in both English Language Arts and Math. We are looking forward to a productive school year.
School begins for grades 1-8 on Wednesday, September 4th with a half-day. Dismissal on Wednesday is at 12:30. Full days begin on Thursday, September 5th for all students K-8.
Kindergarten parents are invited to attend a Parent Orientation on Wednesday, September 5th at 10 a.m in the Kindergarten Classroom. Full days of school begin on Thursday for the Kindergarten students.
All students need to bring lunch to school on Thursday and Friday. The Breakfast and Lunch Programs begin on Monday, September 9th.
We will have an Opening School Mass this Friday, September 6th at 9 a.m. Please join us if you are able to do so.
I look forward to seeing you all this week.
As you know, a crime took place on our property earlier this week. Thankfully, through the efforts of the 102nd Precinct, the suspect, a homeless man, was apprehended quickly. I, along with other neighborhood leaders am very concerned because in my 33 years here at St. Elizabeth, nothing like this has ever happened. My predecessor, Mr. Ferguson, who has almost 50 years of service to this community, agrees that we’ve never seen an incident like this before.
Sadly, we have reason to believe that this incident is connected to the proposed shelter on 101st Avenue and 86th Street. The fight against this shelter is a priority for the newly resurrected Ozone Park Block Association and of course, it is a priority for me, because I am responsible for the safety of your children while they are here in school.
The Block Association is planning a rally this Saturday Afternoon at 2 pm in front of our school. If you are available, please come to support the fight against this shelter. Below you can find the flyer that is being distributed by the Block Association.
Jeanne A. Shannon
Greetings SECA families
Do you ever wonder what to cook for dinner, or think to yourself, “I really don’t feel like cooking tonight?” Well maybe this Thursday, September 27th you’ll consider joining members of our school community at Pizza Hut for dinner. On the Documents page of this website, you’ll see a Pizza Hut Flyer and ticket; if you go to Pizza Hut in the Stop and Shop shopping center on Atlantic Avenue, have dinner and present the flyer, a portion of your bill will be donated to St. Elizabeth Catholic Academy. I see this as a win-win – you can take a night off from cooking and the Academy will benefit. I hope to see many of you there this Thursday.
Parents in grades Kindergarten through 3rd, if you were with us last year, you may remember that we made a survey available to parents at the end of the year where we asked 3 things: What do you like about St. Elizabeth? What is something you’d change immediately and Name something that is not happening at St. Elizabeth that you would like to see happen. We had a decent response to the survey and during the year, we will work to address issues the parents raised. One thing that was mentioned by parents is a desire to see after school activities and clubs for students in the lower grades. In response to that, we have created a survey will help us to plan for these activities.
Finally, as many of you know, I have been attending meetings about the proposed shelter that the city wants to open on 101st Avenue and 86th Street. I am opposed to this shelter because I believe that the residents pose a threat to our community. I know that many of you are also opposed to this shelter because I see you at the meetings and rallies. The next meeting will be this Tuesday, September 25th at 7 pm in the basement of Nativity Church located at 101-41 91st Street, Ozone Park. If you can attend the meeting please do. There will be an update on the lawsuit that has been filed to halt the opening of this shelter and a report about a meeting the leaders of the group will be having on Tuesday morning with Public Advocate, Leticia James. I hope to see some of you there.
Have a great week!
In response to last June’s survey, we’re wondering what kind of after school clubs you’d like to see at St. Elizabeth Catholic Academy. To help us with this, would parents of students in grades Kindergarten through 4 please fill out the survey below? Thanks!
Hello Parents and Guardians,
Thank you to all parents who attended last week’s Open School Night for grades 1-8; this evening gave you an opportunity to meet the teacher and hear the expectations the teacher has for your child this year. At the meetings, all parents should have received their log in information for Option C. We opened the Option C Parent Portal about 2 years ago. If you received your log in back then, the information is still the same. If you’ve never logged into Option C, I ask you to do so. You’ll be able to see your child’s current attendance record for this year and all grades that have been posted for your child. If you were unable to attend last week’s meeting, please reach out to your child’s teacher for the information.
For those of you who used the Remind app to message your child’s teacher, you may have noticed that this year, we are using Remind as a one way means of communication – to send messages and reminders from the school and teachers to the parents and guardians. Parents are not able to send a message back to the teacher. The Diocese has asked that we do not engage in “texting,” with families. Instead, you can email your child’s teacher or send a message to the teacher through Option C. Of course, old fashioned methods of communication – a handwritten note or a phone call to the school are still acceptable means of communication. The only exception we are making to this is for the After School Program – the nature of the program really requires that parents be able to send messages because sometimes, emergencies arise and someone different will be picking up their child and Mrs. Merckling needs to know that. We felt like texting was the most efficient way to do this.
On Friday morning, I hosted the first of my monthly Parent Meetings. A small but dedicated group of parents attended the meeting, for which I am grateful. Next month, I will hold a similar kind of meeting at night because I do know that daytime meetings are not convenient for parents who work during the day. At the meeting, I updated parents about what has happened at the Academy during the summer. The update included the following information:
I am pleased to announce that we did receive AdvancEd Accreditation, an important step in our quest to earn an Absolute Charter from the NYS Board of Regents. I am grateful to all parents, teachers, students and staff who participated in the review.
We are continuing to expand our iPad program; last year at this time, only students in grades 3 and 4 had iPads to use during the day. Throughout the last school year, we were able to expand the program to include grades K-2 in the iPad program. This year, I am pleased to say that we continue to expand the program and soon, we will roll out iPads in grades 5 and 6.
Of course, with all those iPads, we need reliable infrastructure to support them so that we can have many students online at once. Using federal funds called E-rate and though a grant from DeSales Media, we were able to have both the Academy building and the Pre-K for All building completely rewired. The work cost more than $100,000, but all the work was covered by e-rate and the grant. By the way, the iPads are also courtesy of a DeSales Media grant. DeSales has been a wonderful partner to our Academy.
After the update, I opened the floor to questions, concerns, and/or suggestions. Parents brought up the following items:
- Parents are concerned about the safety of students outside in the morning because the barricades do not always go up as early as they should. Parents asked if they could put out the barricades, to which I said yes. Parents also asked if they could block the street with their cars because the do see some people move the barricades and drive through. I said that I was okay with that, but that I was concerned that parents could receive tickets from the police for blocking the street.
- Parents also asked about after school activities for students in the lower grades, because currently, only grades 4-8 are included in clubs. I mentioned that that issue had been raised in the survey that I sent out last June. I will send out another survey this week asking parents of students in those grades what types of activities they are looking for. I will also look to see if there is any parent or faculty member who is willing to run these clubs. I did mention that in most cases, teachers are not being paid for their after school activities, most do it out of the goodness of their hearts and their dedication to the Academy.
- Parents asked me to investigate the NYS Music Association which would allow or students who take private music lessons to participate in special activities. Parents also asked about the National Junior Honor Society. I will investigate both.
- Parents also mentioned that they had seen some shady characters engaging in lewd activities near the school. I did ask that when parents see such activity to the school so that we can call the police. I am working to establish a relationship with the 102nd because I believe it would be good for our Academy.
As I mentioned, next month’s meeting will take place in the evening. If you would like to reach out to me for any reason by email you can either email the school at email@example.com or email my personal account at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a great week!
Dear SECA Families,
Welcome Back! I hope you had a wonderful summer and I look forward to seeing you all again. Many of you remember that we were working on earning accreditation from AdvancED last school year, as required by the State Education Department. I am please to announce that we are have received the accreditation. Thank you to all who helped us with this process.
School begins on Wednesday, September 5 for grades 1-8 and on Thursday, September 6th for Kindergarten. For these 3 days only, school starts at 8 with dismissal at 12:00 pm. Full days begin on Monday, September 10th. All students should arrive at school between 7:45 and 7:55, class begins at 8:00 a.m. Dismissal for all grades is at 3:00 pm.
Kindergarten will have orientation on Wednesday, September 5th at 10:00 a.m. in the Kindergarten classroom. Open School Night for grades 1-8 will be on Thursday, September 13th. 8th grade parents are asked to come at 6:15 to the Computer Room on the Second floor so that we can go over High School Admission Procedures. All others are asked to come to the Main Building at 7:00 p.m. Generally, we begin with a large group meeting in the auditorium followed by meeting the teachers in the classroom. This year, we are asking parents to go directly to the classrooms.
Each month, I will host an Open Parent Meeting; all parents will be invited to attend to hear about what is going on in the academy. During those meetings, parents will also have the opportunity to raise whatever concerns they may have. I will be alternating between daytime and night time meetings. This month, the meeting will be held on Friday, September 14th, from 10 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. A letter will go home next week about the meeting.
Please note, on the Documents page, there is a Tentative Calendar for the whole year; this will not replace the monthly calendars, but it was produced to give parents an idea about when school will be closed for Holidays and also for Teacher Professional Days. Your children will be given a hard copy in class, but it will remain on this site for the year, too.
Also, this year, the Diocese updated the Acceptable Use Policy for Technology along with the bullying and cyber-bullying policies; these new policies can be found in the Family Handbook, which is also available on this website. I urge you to read though it; teachers will discuss the handbook at orientation next week.
Congratulations to our 2018 8th Grade Scholarship Winners. The students pictured below earned more than $225,000 in scholarship to Catholic High School. We are very proud of their accomplishments and wish them well as they begin the next chapter of their lives!