Principal Newsletter 10.29.20

Congratulations to the Eighth Grade Class of 2021! The students were blessed with the Gifts of the Holy Spirit during their Confirmation with Bishop Tiedemann. The ceremony was beautiful and we are so proud of all of our 8th graders during this very special time in their lives. A special thank you to Mrs. Hoffman and Ms. Leone for helping to form the student’s faith in their preparation for this Sacrament. A tremendous thank you to Monsignor McGuirl for continuing our favorite Mercy tradition of “Monsignor Mondays” with our students. Thank you to Father Frank for leading such a beautiful ceremony and ensuring that the students and their guests were safe. Thank you to our Director of Religious Education, Ms. Ana Tavares, for organizing the retreat and the beautiful ceremony.

 

Please see our school Facebook and Instagram for some photos from the day.

Father Grzegorz Stasiak

It is with a heavy heart that I share that Father Greg will be transferred to the St. Lima Parish in Brooklyn. Father Greg has been at Our Lady of Mercy Parish since 2016. We are thankful for his contributions to OLMCA. From the legendary Broadway Christmas productions with Ms. Leone to the incredible sound and music production of our Talent Show. Our students created beautiful cards, created slideshow presentations, and even sang a song in Polish. A fitting contribute to an incredible person.

 

We wish Father Greg the best of luck in the next chapter of his life. His new parishioners are lucky to have him!

 

Important Changes to the November Calendar

The Diocese of Brooklyn has determined it is best to postpone Terra Nova testing for Grades 3-8 at this time. Terra Nova Testing will take place in early January 2021. We will update you as more information becomes available.

The original calendar indicated that Friday, November 6th as a professional day. This is now a regular instructional day. In addition, Wednesday,  November 25th was a ½ day. The Diocese has decided to close on this day for Thanksgiving recess.

 

Pie Sale and Raffle

 

Our Annual Thanksgiving Pie Sale will begin today October 28, 2020. Attached for your convenience is an order form which must be returned to the school office no later than Monday, November 9, 2020. Payment must be made in full with the order form and all checks are to be made payable to the school. ** No late orders will be accepted due to the company’s high volume. Delivery of the pies will be on Monday, November 23, 2020. Our Food Pantry is organizing Thanksgiving baskets for those in need. Their greatest need are pies for a delicious dessert. Please indicate on the order form if you would like to donate a pie to our Food Pantry. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the school office.

 

We are holding a Thanksgiving Day raffle to raise funds for Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Academy. The revenues generated by this raffle will be used to pay COVID 19 related expenses which continue to grow. Following is a description of the prizes that are available: 1. Thanksgiving Turkey and Sides from Metro Meats: Includes a fully cooked 10-12 lb. turkey, gravy, homemade cranberry sauce, stuffing and two vegetable sides. Enough to feed 8-10 people 2. Thanksgiving Basket: Includes a set of 12 Autumn Scroll Damask Napkins, and a cornucopia of products including: stuffing, pumpkin cookies, cranberry sauce, cakes/cookies/bread mixes, seasonings, sweets, and nuts. 3. Wine and Cheese Basket: Includes 4 bottles of wine, variety of cheeses and sweet/savory treats. Raffle Tickets are $10 dollars each OR 8 for $50. Raffle tickets are being sent home today. If you need additional tickets, please contact the office. When filling out the raffle tickets, kindly indicated the prize you want to win. Tickets will be sorted and entered for each prize. Raffles without a Prize Number will be placed in #3.

 

All proceeds will help to cover the cost of Covid-19 related expenses.

 

Keeping OLMCA Safe

 

 

You can help keep your school community safe and healthy by following these important “Core Four” actions to prevent COVID-19 transmission: 

 

  • Stay home if sick: Monitor your health and stay home if you are sick except for getting essential medical care (including COVID-19 testing) and other essential needs.

 

  • Physical distancing: Stay at least 6 feet away from people who are not members of your household.

 

  • Wear a face covering: Protect those around you. Wearing a face covering helps reduce the spread of COVID-19, especially if you are sick and don’t have symptoms. For more information about face coverings, visit nyc.gov/health/coronavirus and look for “FAQ About Face Coverings.”

 

  • Practice healthy hand hygiene: Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available; clean frequently touched surfaces regularly; avoid touching your face with unwashed hands; and cover your cough or sneeze with your arm, not your hands.

Unity Day 10.21.20

Wear and share ORANGE in support of Bullying Prevention.

Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Academy is encouraging students and staff to join a national movement in support of an inclusive, nurturing environment for all.

Unity Day, the signature event of National Bullying Prevention Month, has been recognized in the United States since 2011. To participate in Unity Day, individuals, schools, communities, and businesses wear or display orange to show support for students who have been bullied.

Students will complete different activities in their classrooms on Unity Day.

For more information, please visit:

https://www.pacer.org/bullying/nbpm/unity-day.asp

Superintendent Letter for Parents 10.19.20

October 17, 2020

 

Dear Catholic Academy and Parish School Families,

Since September, our Catholic Academies and Parish Schools have been open and operating safely and efficiently. Thank you for your support in ensuring our guidelines for health and safety have been followed. Every person in our extended Catholic Academy and Parish Schools’ community has the responsibility to observe social distancing and wear a mask. This is what will keep the doors to our Catholic Academies and Parish Schools open; this is what will continue to keep everyone at our Catholic Academies and Parish Schools safe and healthy. Our principals, teachers and health aides have rigorously enforced health and safety protocols in our Catholic Academy and Parish Schools. For all this is being done on a daily basis, we are most grateful.

However, as students’ participation in outside extracurricular activities increases, the possibility of exposure to individuals who are positive for COVID may increase for both the students and their families. The same outcome can be true for attending any event with large numbers of people. This past week we have seen a very slight uptick in positive cases, and every positive case has been traced back to exposures at gatherings, parties, and events outside of the Catholic Academy/Parish School. We are sending this letter as a stark reminder COVID protocols do not end at the end of the school day and/or take the weekends off!

With that being said, it is crucial that every family completes the daily self-screening checklist, prior to sending their children to the Catholic Academy/Parish School.

If you can answer YES to any of the questions, your child may NOT enter the Catholic Academy/Parish School building. You MUST contact a health professional for guidance and notify the Catholic Academy/Parish School principal.

As a reminder, the questions are:

1.       If your child has any of the following symptoms, that indicates a possible illness, which may decrease the student’s ability to learn and put them at risk for spreading illness to others. Does your child have any of these symptoms?

·         Temperature 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit

·         Sore Throat

·         New uncontrolled cough that causes difficulty breathing (for students with chronic allergic/asthmatic cough, a change in their cough from baseline)

·         Diarrhea, vomiting, or abdominal pain

·         New onset of severe headache, especially with a fever

·         Shortness of breath

·         Fatigue

·         Muscle or body aches

·         New loss of taste or smell

·         Congestion or runny nose

·         Nausea or vomiting

2.      To the best of your knowledge, in the past 14 days, has your child been in close contact (within 6 feet for at least 10 minutes) with anyone who has tested positive through a diagnostic test for COVID-19 or who has or had symptoms of COVID-19?

3.      Has your child or a member of your household traveled internationally or from a state with widespread community transmission of COVID-19 per the New York State Travel Advisory in the past 14 days.

According to the New York State Department of Health, your child will need to receive a note of medical clearance and a negative PCR COVID test to return to school, should they develop any symptoms or be sent home from school. 

What else can we all be doing to maintain a safe environment for all? We can limit our exposure to large groups of people, continue to practice good hand hygiene, have a supply of masks on hand so that the fabric masks can be washed daily, and ensure everyone in your family receives a flu shot and all immunizations are kept up-to-date.

We truly appreciate everyone’s honesty, cooperation and dedication, to keeping our schools safe and healthy places of learning. During the month of the Most Holy Rosary, we continue to entrust our students, teachers, principals and staff to our Lady; the cause of our hope and joy.

Sincerely,

Thomas Chadzutko

Thomas Chadzutko, Ed.D.

Superintendent ~ Catholic School Support Services

Principal Newsletter 10.15.20

In recent days, you have heard many news stories from Governor Cuomo about the COVID Cluster Initiative.

As you know we have worked diligently to re-open our Catholic Academy and the first month of the academic year has been a great success. We have submitted our re-opening plans to the New York State Department of Health and Education. We practice the Core 4: Stay at Home if Sick, Social Distancing, Mask Wearing and Healthy Hygiene.

 

As we continue to keep you updated on the on-going impact on the Catholic schools within the Diocese of Brooklyn. We wish to share the following information.

 

What we know today:

 

  • The initial NYC Zip Code Closure Plan has been replaced by the NYS COVID Cluster Initiative.

 

 

  • Schools within the Diocese of Brooklyn have been notified if the school has been identified as being in the Red Zone, Orange Zone or Yellow Zone.

 

  • Red Zone and Orange Zone schools have switched to Remote Instruction no later than October 9 and are awaiting the re-opening criteria from NYS Department of Health.

 

  • The earliest date for the possible re-opening of schools identified in the Red and Orange zone is October 23rd pending re-opening criteria and guidelines from New York State.

 

  • Yellow Zone schools are continuing in-person instruction with the addition of required COVID testing.
  • The NYC Department of Health will be conducting a survey of the Yellow Zone Schools requesting information on the challenges of implementing a COVID testing program. Areas of concern, but not limited to:
    • Parental Consent
    • Testing Supplies
    • Administration of the COVID test
    • Reporting of the COVID Data
  • Currently there are many more questions regarding COVID testing than we are receiving answers. We are waiting to receive details and additional information regarding testing from the New York City and New York State health agencies.

Action Steps:

  • Bishop DiMarzio filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Churches and Schools within the Diocese of Brooklyn. Our request for a TRO (temporary restraining order) was denied our request for an expedited hearing on our lawsuit was granted and the Judge set a hearing for Thursday, October 15th in the Eastern District Court of New York.
  • Parents should continue outreach to the following:
    • Mayor DeBlasio 212-788-3000
    • Governor Cuomo 518-474-8390
    • Joseph P. Addabbo Jr. 718-738-1111
    • Grace Meng 202-590-0442
    • Karen Klosowtiz 718-544-8800
    • Andrew Hevessi 718-263-5595 
    • Call “311”

The Office of the Superintendent of Schools continues to advocate on behalf of all the Parish School and Catholic Academy communities to request that New York State provide clarity on the COVID Cluster Initiative and its impact on the schools within the Diocese of Brooklyn.

 

Since this is an evolving situation, we will continue to maintain open communication and share information as we receive it from New York City and New York State agencies.

Breast Cancer Awareness Dress Down

Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Academy will be having a special Dress Down for Breast Cancer Awareness on Friday, October 16th. Students and staff are encouraged to wear pink. 

Dress Down is for $2.00.  Additional donations will be accepted.

We are doing this in support of Ms. Revette Hinkson. All proceeds will benefit her walk on Sunday, October 20th. Together, we can make strides toward a cure! If you would like to learn more about why she walks, please visit:

http://main.acsevents.org/goto/teamwalkdwalk

A Worthy Cause for Halloween (Grades Nursery-1)

Halloween will look a bit different this year at OLMCA. Unfortunately there will not be a parade or trick or treating in school. We would like to purchase small pumpkins for the children in grades N-1 to decorate.

The pumpkins were grown on the Navajo Nation Reservation in New Mexico. The proceeds benefit a community where there is 40% unemployment. A portion of the sale of these pumpkins provides medicine, clothing, education, and work for the Navajos.

If you are interested in buying a small pumpkin for your child please send in a $2.00 donation by October 20th. The pumpkins will come with stickers to create funny faces.

Let us have fun and support a worthy cause! Thank you for your anticipated generosity and support!

Principal Newsletter 10.8.20

In recent days, you have heard many news stories from Mayor DeBlasio and Governor Cuomo about the Cluster Zone Initiative within New York City.

After using the COVID Zone Locator sent by Governor Cuomo, Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Academy’s address is identified as being inside the Yellow Zone

As you know we have worked diligently to re-open OLMCA and the first month of the academic year has been a great success. We have submitted our re-opening plans to the New York State Department of Health and Education. We practice the Core 4: Stay at Home if Sick, Social Distancing, Mask Wearing and Healthy Hygiene. We continue our Daily Health Questionnaire and Temperature Checks. We have done everything correctly and feel disrespected by the actions of Mayor and Governor.

We will continue to contact the Mayor and Governor to get answers to our many questions.

We also ask you to contact:

            Mayor DeBlasio                                  212-788-3000

            Governor Cuomo                                518-474-8390

            Joseph P. Addabbo Jr.                        718-738-1111

            Grace Meng                                        202-590-0442

            Karen Klosowtiz                                 718-544-8800

            Andrew Hevessi                                  718-263-5595                         

 

Since this is an evolving situation, we will continue to provide you with regular updates as we receive information.

Call to Action

We are all being affected by the recent closings of the Catholic Academies and Parish Schools in areas of Brooklyn and Queens.

Yesterday, again we heard of the Cluster Zones announced by Governor Cuomo (Red, Orange and Yellow). We are in the Yellow Zone. We await further guidance from the Diocese.

We have had no direct communication from the Mayor or Governor on this matter, only what we hear during the press conferences. 

We have worked diligently to re-open the schools within the Diocese of Brooklyn and continue to ensure the health and safety of everyone.

We need your assistance in making our voices known to the Governor, Mayor and Elected Officials. Please share the letter with your friends and family. It will also be shared on our social media page. 

Call_To_Action_Arch of NY_Brooklyn-Queens_10-06-20

 

Principal Newsletter 10.6.20

Thank you to all the parents that attended last night’s webinar.

The health and safety of the OLMA community continues to be our priority. The situation regarding COVID-19 is rapidly changing, as is our knowledge of this disease. We encourage everyone in our school communities to listen to facts and not respond to fear.

We understand the importance of limiting the transmission and exposure to the COVID-19 virus by following the “Core Fore” Actions:

  1. Stay home if you are sick
  2. Social Distance (6 feet)
  3. Face Coverings
  4. Healthy Hand Hygiene

OLMCA Daily DOH Report Card

I would like to share “The COVID-19 Report Card”, an online dashboard that tracks real-time COVID-19 infections and testing operations of every New York school and school district. 

To access OLMCA’s report card please see the below link:  

https://schoolcovidreportcard.health.ny.gov/#/schoolData;schBedsCodeId=342800127163;dsBedsCodeId=undefined;schoolType=Private%20School;redirectToHome=true%20On%20Mo

The COVID-19 Report Card will provide parents, teachers, students, and all New Yorkers with comprehensive data updated daily, including:

  • Positive infections by date of students & staff by school & school district
  • Whether school/district (& student and staff) are remote, in-person, or hybrid
  • Number of students and staff on-site
  • Percentage of on-site students & staff who test positive
  • Number of tests administered by the school, test type, lab used and lag time
  • Date of last submission/update

Travel Advisory

Finally, back on June 24th Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order 205, requiring all travelers coming from states with significant rates of transmission of COVID-19 to quarantine for a 14-day period from the time of their last contact. This includes school age children. The states that are on this list are fluid and can be found here: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-travel-advisory.

We were given guidance that any child who travels to these states will need to stay home for two weeks. If a family member is under the travel quarantine and cannot self-isolate, meaning separate bathroom facilities and living space , than it would also be recommended that other family members residing in the home would also be under quarantine due to exposure to the individual.

Please note this is not a DOH Guideline, this is an executive order from the Governor that must be followed. It is the school recommendation that children do not travel to these states currently. If this applies to you or you have individual questions, please reach out to me directly at dmccann@olmercyca.com.

ParentLocker

The ParentLocker app is used exclusively for daily Covid-19 health screenings. The app screens students and staff to make sure anyone showing symptoms stays home.

To get started, visit https://olmca.parentlocker.com/, click the “Activate Account” link under the login box, and enter your activation code in the box that pops up.

If you do not complete the Parent Locker app, you will be notified. Parents will need to pick up any child if the survey is not completed.

Save the Date

 

  • Thursday, October 8th…$1.00 Dress Down
  • Monday, October 12th…School Closed for Columbus Day
  • Friday, October 16th…Breast Cancer Awareness Dress Down (wear pink)
  • Wednesday, October 21st…Unity Day (wear orange)
  • Thursday, October 22nd…Progress Reports (Grades 1-8)
  • Friday, October 23rd…12:30PM Dismissal (All Grades)
  • Friday, October 23rd…Confirmation for Grade 8 at 4PM