Principal Newsletter 11.4.21

Congratulations to the Eighth Grade Class of 2022! The students were blessed with the Gifts of the Holy Spirit during their Confirmation with Bishop Sanchez. The ceremony was moving 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 Mrs. Beadle for helping to form the student’s faith in their preparation for this Sacrament. A tremendous thank you to Monsignor McGuirl for his spiritual leadership and Fr. Frank for meeting with our students for “Father Frank Fridays.” 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.

Mrs. Tizjana Fejzullaj

It is with a heavy heart that I share that Mrs. Tizjana Fejzullaj will be leaving Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Academy. Her last day will be Friday, November 12th. We are thankful for the incredible work that she has done during her tenure at OLMCA. From working with the students to design yearbook covers to her creative projects, she created an outstanding art program at OLMCA. She has always collaborated with our teachers on incredible projects especially with religious art. We are sure to miss her. We wish Mrs. T the best of luck in the next chapter of her life.

 

We are in the process of identifying a new art teacher. Once this position is filled, we will update you.

Student Council

Congratulations to our newly elected student council representatives. All students did an outstanding job with their campaigns from witty slogans to inspiring speeches. We are so excited to see how they bring their ideas into fruition.

President: Ashley Johnson

Vice-President: J. Benjamin Louis

Treasurer: Angelina Pustovoytov

Secretary: Morgan Dougherty

 

Class Representatives: Joanna Berrios, Selina Singh, Catalina Keating, Adam McConville

 

Changes to After School Program

Effective Monday, November 8th, the After School Program will be moved to the school building. Parents are to pick up their students from the Convent entrance. This is the entrance located closer to Juno Street where the Nursery students dismiss. See the picture below for the entrance:

 

Thanksgiving Raffle

THANKSGIVING RAFFLE -BLOCKBUSTER ITEMS

Please see Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Academy’s Thanksgiving Raffle! $10 per chance/ $50 for 8 chances.

 

Prizes:

Two Free Round Trip Jet Blue tickets; Thanksgiving Dinner with turkey and trimmings for 8-10 people; and sleek Vera Bradley backpack. Fill out your tickets and return to school or rectory with cash OR check payable to Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Academy by Tuesday, Nov. 16. Live Facebook Drawing 1 PM, Wednesday, Nov. 17. See flyer for details. THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR CONTINUED GENEROSITY!

 

Parking Hazards

We are asking for your help during drop off and pickup. There has been an increase in illegal parking and many of our neighbors have called to complain. Safety is our number one priority at OLMCA, and we do not want to see any of our students hurt, or worse. Please Do Not: 

  • Double park
  • Block driveways of our neighbors on Kessel Street and Juno Street
  • Park in no parking zones 
  • Block crosswalks
  • Block school entrances 
  • Honk your horn repeatedly
  • Drive aggressively 
  • Drive fast

Principal Newsletter 10.18.21

The Flying Classroom at OLMCA

 

I am so excited to share that we will be starting a new STEM program for Grades K-8 called the Flying Classroom next Friday.

 

Captain Barrington Irving is in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the youngest pilot and first black man to fly solo around the world. He was born in Jamaica and raised in Miami where he was a stand-out football player until a pilot that was a mentor challenged Barrington to try flying.

Captain Irving started Flying Classroom to expand the STEM+ curriculum that was available to schools. With specialized expedition leaders zooming into the classrooms once a week for 14 weeks, OLMCA students get to work through engineering design projects that come in a special kit provided by the Flying Classroom. Each class will get an expedition lesson with embedded activities. Each expedition lesson also has a career connection component to help students learn about the STEM+ professional that is involved.

The Kindergarten through 2nd grade classes will be learning about aerobatic flight school, the Bionic Chef and animal conservation. The 3rd through 5th grade will have the chance to dive into honey bees, water hydrodynamics and regenerative medicine. The 6th through 8th grade will be tackling the world of sustainable cities, weather and flight plans and the Orbis Flying Hospital.

 

Check out this exciting video from Captain Irving: https://vimeo.com/617331913/0841f37607

 

Revised International and Domestic Travel Advisory Guidelines:

 

Out of precaution at this time the Elementary schools within the Diocese of Brooklyn will follow the CDC Travel guidelines for vaccinated and non-vaccinated individuals for International Travel

This will apply to ALL International Travel.

 

Quarantine is not required following Domestic Travel.

 

Please Note: These guidelines are subject to change as the pandemic continues to evolve and information is shared by city and state agencies.

 

 

Virtual Rosary Rally

 

Tuesday, October 26th at 1:30pm via Zoom

 

October is the month of the Rosary. OLMCA will host a virtual Rosary Rally led by our students in Kindergarten-Eighth Grade. For the month of October, our theme has been a “Call to Family, Community, and Participation.” Call to Family, Community, and Participation describes the belief that family are a central part of our human lives. The Church serves as our faith family likewise our school serves as a type of “family.”

 

A Zoom link will be sent on Monday morning. We hope that you can join us in an afternoon of prayer.

 

Hunt for the Golden Ticket with Aigners

What’s better than a school fundraiser that asks you to eat chocolate or drink a latte? Making sure the school funds go towards Covid expenses and supporting a local business! Starting Monday, October 18th up until Friday, October 22nd we have partnered with Aigners chocolate shop for an adventurous fundraiser called “The Hunt for the Golden Chocolate Bars!” 

Picture Day

Individual pictures will take place on Tuesday, October 19th.  Students may dress up to have their picture taken.  Students may also wear their school uniform. Eighth Grade students will take their graduation photos on this day. At this time, Lifetouch is not offering any group photos.

Save the Date

 

  • Monday, October 18th…Aigner Chocolate Sale Begins
  • Tuesday, October 19th…Picture Day
  • Wednesday, October 20th …Unity Day (wear orange)
  • Thursday, October 21st…Progress Reports (Grades 1-8)
  • Friday, October 29th…12:30PM Dismissal (K-8) Regular Day for 3K, Nursery, PreK
  • Friday, October 29th…Confirmation for Grade 8 at 5:30PM
  • Friday, October 29th…Halloween Celebration (More information to follow)
  • Monday, November 1st…All Saints Day (School Open)
  • Thursday, November 11th…Veterans Day (No School)
  • Friday, November 12th….Professional Day (No School)

OLMCA’s Hunt for the Golden Ticket at Aigners

What’s better than a school fundraiser that asks you to eat chocolate or drink a latte? Making sure the school funds go towards Covid expenses, and also supporting a local business! 

Starting Monday, October 18th up until Friday, October 22nd we have partnered with our local chocolate shop for an adventurous fundraiser” The Hunt for the Golden Chocolate Bars!” 

See the attached flyer for details.  

Hope you can stop by!

OLMCA Golden Chocolate Bars

Principal Newsletter 9.28.21

 

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

Wall of Fame

 

Wall of Fame will begin on Friday, October 1st. Students in Grades 1-8 have the opportunity participate each month. Students that receive Wall of Fame will earn a dress-down pass and free ice cream.

 

To earn Wall of Fame, students must:

  • Be prepared for class
  • No unexcused lateness
  • No unexcused absences
  • No missing homework assignments
  • Classwork is complete
  • No uniform violations
  • No detention/disciplinary issues

 

Terra Nova Testing (Grades 3-8)

 

Terra Nova standardized testing for grades 3 through 8 begins this coming week of October 12th through October 18th. This standardized test is a national achievement that is an authentic measuring tool that asks students to construct their knowledge of Math, Reading, and Language in various ways. This assessment measures high-order thinking skills as well as basic and applied skills. Students have already begun taking their practice exams. We ask that all students make every effort to be at school daily and on time during this testing period. We also encourage all our students to do their very best!

 

During this time, expect lighter homework and classroom exams. Some helpful testing tips and strategies include: getting a good night’s sleep, having a healthy breakfast, bringing your sharpened pencils, and having a positive attitude! We expect to receive the results in early December. The teachers will share the reports with you at our first report card conference in December. Good luck to all our students!

 October Family Mass

We are happy to invite you to our first Family Mass of the 2021-2022 school year on Sunday, October 3rd at 10:30am. The Eighth Grade will be hosting the event and partaking in the readings. All students are encouraged to attend!

In honor of the Feast Day of St. Francis Assisi, there will be a blessing of the animals on Juno Street at 1:15pm on Sunday, October 3rd.

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.

Please note that the Family Portal is needed to see your child’s academic information in Grades K-8. For any questions, please contact Ms. Hinkson at rhinkson@olmercyca.com.

 

Family Letter on Catholic Social Justice

Dear Families,

 

Over the past year, we have undoubtedly struggled as a nation in our battle against the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time, our communities and country have also experienced significant social, racial, and political turmoil. The divisions within our society seem to be growing at time when we need to focus on loving and supporting our neighbor. When watching the news or reading the paper, it is evident that the spread of hate within our communities is on the rise.

 

Our Catholic faith calls us not only to be messengers, spreading the Good News of the Gospel, but also to act upon these teachings and truly live the Gospel message. It has become increasingly apparent our attention must focus on the way our students perceive their communities and the world, through the vision and mission of our faith. Our priority in helping students know and love Christ must also be to manifest this love in their interactions with others.

 

The tenets of Catholicism have a strong basis in the fundamental understanding of the value and dignity of each person. As we see polarization and discord within our society, it is important for students to discuss and understand the world through the lens of Catholic Social Justice.  This is why Catholic Academies and Parish Schools are continuing the process of strengthening our incorporation of Catholic Social Justice into their religion curriculum. Catholic Academy and Parish School leaders have already engaged in professional learning over the summer on leading school communities in difficult conversations focused on equity, justice, race, and tolerance. Our leaders are the starting point for changes within the school community and are the foundation with which we will be able to support staff as well as student development

 

The Catholic Social Justice Curriculum focuses on living the Gospel message, to create a just society considering the trials of modern times. There are several focuses of Catholic Social Teaching including the principles of solidarity, the rights of workers, life, and dignity of the human person, call to family and community, rights and responsibilities, and options for the poor and vulnerable. Each of these themes is rooted in the value of human life and the need to pursue justice and peace throughout the world. Catholic Social Teaching addresses issues of inequality and injustice, by helping students learn about the problem at hand, yet encourages them to consider their role and impact on the world. 

 

To encourage conversations within the classroom, teachers will be provided with suggested texts and activities, which introduce topics in an age-appropriate manner. These lessons will tie into religion, social studies, and language arts standards. The following are example from various grade levels describing the types of lessons that will be incorporated as well as cross-curricular ties.

  • Kindergarten students will learn about how holidays are celebrated in other cultures. This theme, based on the teaching of solidarity encourages students to embrace other cultures, identifying similarities across the globe, as well as tying into a social studies standard of learning about other cultures.
  • Grade 2 students will read a story about a young boy with different physical abilities and discuss what makes them unique. This theme reinforces the social studies standard that describes how communities are strengthened by the diversity of its members.
  • Grade 4 students, in a study of the rights of workers, will investigate the importance of farms on food supply as well as the workers that contribute to this. Discussions of farming and farm workers has strong ties to the grade 4 social studies standard which looks at the impact of the farming industry on New York State.
  • Grade 6 studentswill be building on their understanding of world religions by studying the function of holidays for different religious groups, the connections between celebrations, and the historical context of religious development. This will emphasize the social studies curriculum of origins of world religions.
  • Grade 8 students study the Reconstruction era in the context of challenges freed African Americans faced as part of their social studies curriculum. In continuation of the conversations of injustice, students will also look at slavery through reading and interpreting an African folktale.

Catholic Social Teaching is already a strong part of religion classes and will continue to encourage students to focus on caring for others through their faith. When we consider Catholic education, our goal must be the formation of saints and scholars, in that order. As such, faith development and living the Gospel message must be at the forefront of all that we do.

 

It is our hope to engage students at all grade levels with the intent of developing deeper conversations as students mature. Students may explore the same topic over the years, gaining a greater understanding and appreciation, as they get older with the overarching goal of developing a generation of servant leaders. We strive to graduate students who are globally focused, community oriented, and civically responsible. We want our graduates to be prepared to bring the words of the Gospel into the world, sharing the message of Christ in their words and actions.

 

Through the strengthening of our religion curriculum, we are committed to encouraging our students to grow in their faith. I pray for your continued support and commitment to helping your child along their journey of faith.

 

In Christ,

Thomas Chadzutko

Thomas Chadzutko, Ed.D.

Superintendent ~ Catholic School Support Services

Principal Newsletter 9.20.21

 

Following the Core Four

The health and safety of our students and staff is our utmost concern. As you saw from an earlier email, we had our first confirmed case of Covid-19. It is important that we continue to follow the Core Four: mask wearing, maintaining a safe distance, practicing healthy hand hygiene, and staying home if your child is sick. If your child is a sick, a doctor’s note is required for safe return to school. If you decide to keep your child home, please inform the office by calling 718-793-2086 or emailing Ms. Hinkson at rhinkson@olmercyca.com.

Please mark your calendars for Monday, September 27th at 6:30pm for a follow-up meeting to review the re-opening plan and provide you with any necessary updates related to our response to Covid-19. Topics included: teacher and student vaccination, travel policy, and quarantine procedures will be much of the meeting. A revised re-opening plan will also be sent in advance of the meeting.

A Zoom link will be emailed on Friday, September 24, 2021. 

Thank you for your partnership in keeping our students and staff safe.

i-Ready

I am excited to share that our Kindergarten through 8th grade is continuing to implement Mathematics and Reading program called i-Ready. Students in Grades K-8 will begin to take their diagnostic exams at the end of this week. Our Kindergarten students will take their diagnostic exam in early October.

What is i-Ready?

i-Ready is an online program that will help us determine your child’s strengths and areas for growth, personalize their learning, and monitor their progress throughout the school year. i-Ready allows us to meet your child where they are and provides us with data to inform instruction.

The i-Ready Diagnostic that students will begin to take next week (Week of September 20th) is an adaptive assessment that adjusts its questions to suit your child’s needs. Each item a student receives is based on their answer to the previous question. For example, a series of correct answers will result in slightly harder questions, while a series of incorrect answers will yield slightly easier ones. The purpose of this is not to give your child a score or grade but to determine how to best support their learning.

What can I do to help?

To help prepare your child for the i-Ready Diagnostic, encourage them to:

  •   Get a good night’s sleep and eat a full breakfast each day 
  •   Try their best on each question and try not to rush.
  •   Try not to worry about questions to which they do not know the answers—remind them that it is expected that they will only get about half of the questions correct.
  •   Be respectful of other students who take longer to finish.

What happens next?

The i-Ready Diagnostic will provide results that help us as a school identify your child’s strengths and determine the next steps for instruction. I look forward to sharing these results with you throughout the year and providing a learning experience that will engage your child while teaching important skills and concepts.

If you have any questions about i-Ready, please do not hesitate to contact me or the school. You can also learn more about i-Ready by visiting i-ReadyCentral.com/FamilyCenter.

 

OLMCA Monthly Family Masses (Grades K-8)

 

OLMCA is excited to share that Family Masses have returned. Masses for the first Sundays in October 2021 – June 2022 at the 10:30am Mass. Each grade will host a Mass throughout the school year. More information to follow this week.

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.

Please note that the Family Portal is needed to see your child’s academic information in Grades K-8. For any questions, please contact Ms. Hinkson at rhinkson@olmercyca.com.

 

Principal Newsletter 9/13/21

Dear Parents and Guardians,

We are very happy with a successful start to this new school year. We recognize the excitement and the stressors to both parents and students in adjusting to the new school year and want to make the following IMPORTANT REMINDERS based on observations from last week’s drop-off and dismissal procedures. 

As iterated several times in our Reopening Plan 2021-2022 provided to all of you:    

Parents and guardians must wear masks when picking up students. Parents are

encouraged to wait in their car until the classes dismiss or observe social distancing policies and not congregate on walkways, church steps, grass, sidewalk, or courtyard.

We trust this email reminder clarifies the Academy’s position and parental responsibilities on mask wearing and social distancing and thus ensure a continued courteous and safe environment. 

Please mark your calendars for Monday, September 27th at 6:30pm for a follow-up meeting to review the re-opening plan and provide you with any necessary updates related to our response to Covid-19.

Parking Hazards

We are asking for your help during drop off and pickup. There has been an increase in illegal parking and many of our neighbors have called to complain. Safety is our number one priority at OLMCA, and we do not want to see any of our students hurt, or worse.

What can you do to help?

Please Do Not: 

  • Double park
  • Block driveways of our neighbors
  • Park in no parking zones 
  • Block crosswalks
  • Block school entrances 
  • Honk your horn repeatedly
  • Drive aggressively 
  • Drive fast

Thank you for your cooperation in this matter. Your input is always appreciated, and we would love to hear any feedback from the parents. Thank you for keeping the area around OLMCA safe for our students.

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.

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 OLMCA-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 to see who your child’s academic information in Grades K-8. For any questions, please contact Ms. Hinkson at rhinkson@olmercyca.com.

Summer Office Hours

The office will be closed from:

Thursday, July 1st-Monday, July 12th

Friday, July 30th-Monday, August 16th 

The office is open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and  Thursdays from 9am-12pm.