A Note from the Principal

 

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 info@stelizabethca.org or email my personal account at jshannon@stelizabethca.org.

Have a great week!

               

 

Welcome to the 2018-2019 School Year!

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. 

2018 Graduates Earn $225,000 in High School Scholarships

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!

Congratulations 2018 Graduates!

Wishing last year’s graduates, both Kindergarteners and 8th graders good luck this year. To those of you who graduated from Kindergarten and who are returning to SECA as First Graders, we’re so happy to have you back. I know you’ll do your very best this year. 

To our 8th grade graduates, as I said to you at Graduation in June, we feel certain that we have prepared you for success in high school. You will certainly be missed by all here at SECA and please remember, you’ll always have a home here. Drop by if you get a chance, we’ll be delighted to see you. 

Parent Survey

Dear Parents, 

We are always trying to make improvements at St. Elizabeth; as the school year draws to a close, we have devised a short, 3 question survey that we are asking all parents to complete. The survey is completely anonymous so please be honest. The link to the survey is below. Thanks for your help. 

 

https://goo.gl/forms/9pSoxG0sUbG3Q6On2

 

First Holy Communion

On Saturday, April 28th and Saturday, May 5th, students from our Academy along with students from the Religious Education Program will receive their First Holy Communion at the 5 p.m. Mass. We congratulate these students and ask God to continue to bless the children and their families abundantly. 

Title 1 Parent Meeting

The Title I Teachers will be holding an informative Parent Meeting on Friday, May 4th from 8:05 am until 9:00 am. If your child receives any Title 1 services, please feel free to come by to speak to the teachers. The meeting will be held in Room 11, on the third floor. 

Harvard Trip

Last Friday, we took a group of students who are part of our MiddyFund Social Entrepreneurship program to Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts to present their project to Harvard’s Graduate School of Education Innovation and Ventures in Education group. MiddyFund teaches middle school students to use design thinking to find innovative solutions to the problems they face in their community. This year the projects were: Stress Press – where students help students to deal with the stress they are feeling in their lives; The Purifers whose aim is to find creative ways to recycle used water bottles so that they do not find their ways into landfills, oceans, and rivers. Finally, At My Business Bank addresses the need to help young men and women become more financially literate.  Our students did a wonderful job of selling their ideas and then they received really valuable feedback from members of HIVE that will help our students to further their ideas. 

A big thank you goes out to Miss Gambino and Miss Maracina, who work with our Middy Fund students after school each week. We are also grateful to all the MiddyFund mentors who give up their time to work with our SECA students. Finally, we thank Revana Rahman and Koheb Rahman who are the directors of Middy Fund for their dedication to our students and to our program. 

Middy Fund Headed Back to Harvard

middy fund trip
Our Middy Fund students travel to Harvard annually.

Our Middle School Social Entrepreneurship Club and their moderators, Miss Gambino and Miss Maracina, will travel to Harvard University in Cambridge, MA, on April 20 to present their ideas for social change at the Graduate School of Education.

Raffle Extravanganza

Join us for an evening of fun on Friday, April 13th. We will have hundreds of prizes to raffle off!

Tickets are only $10 and are on sale in school and at the rectory during office hours. No one under 18 will be admitted.