Update on the Mask Policy

Governor Hochul announced on Sunday, February 27, 2022, that the NYS School Mask Mandate would be
lifted as of Wednesday, March 2, 2022.

For all the Catholic Academies and Parish Schools within the Diocese of Brooklyn effective Wednesday,
March 2 the face covering mitigation strategy will be a recommended mitigation strategy. Face coverings will
be an individual choice for school personnel and a parental choice for all students.

However, please note that the New York City funded Pre-K-3 and Pre-K-4 programs (UPK) must continue
to wear masks as required by the New York City Department of Education.

 

To read more click below.

St. Mask Policy Update 2.27.22 final

 

The NDCA Newsletter is here

We are excited to announce that NDCA created their first newsletter.  We hope to put out another one in May.  Thank you to Mrs. Livreri for putting this together for us.

Mrs. DiLorenzo

Newsletter 1-22

Mask Mandate Update – Letter from the Diocese

January 25, 2022

 

Dear Catholic Academy and Parish School Families,

 

As you may be aware, a New York State Supreme Court Judge in Nassau County ruled last night that the statewide mandate ordering students and staff to wear masks in schools is unconstitutional and cannot be enforced. However, the New York Supreme Court in Albany County has determined the mandate is constitutional and legal.

 

Shortly after the ruling was issued, the New York State Department of Education (SED) notified all school districts throughout the state that the Department of Health has appealed the decision, and a stay has been issued that restores the mask rule. Therefore, SED dispatched the following statement:

 

The State Education Department understands that Nassau County Supreme Court has ruled that the Department of Health exceeded its authority in enacting the mask regulation, 10 NYCRR 2.60, in Demetriou et al. v. New York State Dep’t of Health et al. This regulation is the subject of conflicting decisions, insofar as Albany County Supreme Court recently upheld the regulation in Massapequa UFSD et al. v. Hochul, et al.

 

It will now be left to the appellate courts of the State to resolve the conflict between the two Supreme Courts. Because an appellate court has Stayed the Nassau Supreme Court Order that Order cannot take effect at this time. Therefore, all schools must comply with the mask mandate as issued by the State. Naturally, if the Governor rescinds the mask mandate, there would be no need to await the Court decisions. It is our fervent hope for the Catholic Academies and Parish Schools in the Diocese of Brooklyn that the mask mandate will be eliminated which would allow our schools to make mask wearing optional based upon local circumstances. If the appellate courts strike down the mask mandate, our schools and academies will IMMEDIATELY be able to make masks optional. However, until the appellate courts render a final decision, our Catholic Academies and Parish Schools must follow the State mask mandate.

 

We will continue to monitor this situation closely and keep you informed.

 

We thank you for your continued patience and understanding!

 

Sincerely,

 

Rev. Msgr. David L. Cassato

Vicar for Catholic Schools

 

Thomas Chadzutko, Ed.D.

Superintendent ~ Catholic School Support Services

 

Joan McMaster

Deputy Superintendent ~ Catholic School Support Services

Mask Letter 1.25.2022 Final

Mask Mandate Update

Good Morning,

We are aware of the ruling that was made last night. Please see the statement below made by NYS to all schools.

The State Education Department understands that Nassau County Supreme Court has ruled that the Department of Health exceeded its authority in enacting the mask regulation, 10 NYCRR 2.60, in Demetriou et al. v. New York State Dep’t of Health et al. This regulation is the subject of conflicting decisions, insofar as Albany County Supreme Court recently upheld the regulation in Massapequa UFSD et al. v. Hochul, et al.

 

It is SED’s understanding that the Department of Health will appeal the Nassau County Supreme Court decision, which will result in an automatic stay that will unambiguously restore the mask rule until such time as an appellate court issues a further ruling. Therefore, schools must continue to follow the mask rule.

At this time all students are expected to wear masks and will not be permitted in the building without one.

Thank you for your understanding!

-Mrs. DiLorenzo

Welcome Back to in person learning on Monday.

January 7. 2022

Dear Parents,

I would like to thank you all for your patience and understanding while we transitioned to remote learning this week.  While it was not ideal and what we had planned I feel that it was what was best for all of us.  This week allowed us to not only educate our children, but wait out the excessive positive cases and exposures and not put anyone at risk. 

I would like to inform you, anyone that ordered lunch this past week, your lunch monies will be carried over to the first week in February.

As we return to in person learning we still have children quarantining so for those reasons we will be offering remote learning for anyone under quarantine orders or showing symptoms and waiting for test results or have been notified that they are close contacts.  We will be reviewing these cases on a case by case basis, I ask that you email any considerations to me at office@notredamecatholicacademy.net.  We are in unprecedented times again and need to be flexible and ready to work through it.  NDCA is ready to do so.  Remote learning will not look the same in each grade, the teachers will inform you of the process they will follow.  Teachers in grades 4-8 will no longer be switching classrooms they will be streaming into each classroom and teaching live in their homeroom class.  We have become very successful in zoom groups and continue to work with our Educate coach for new and improve strategies.  There will also be times when Asynchronous work will be assigned. Remote children will have links for all classes included homeroom.  They must attend all classes for attendance to be completed.

K-2 will look a bit different and we will need to work out what that will be this week.  I continue to ask for your patience and understanding as we figure things out and do what is best for all children.  Of course it is best for the children to learn in school so if your child is not showing any symptoms, is not sick, is not awaiting results or someone in your family is not awaiting results, please send them in.  However, if your child has been exposed and/or is awaiting a test result or is just sick.  PLEASE KEEP THEM HOME.  If you are unsure what to do, please call the school or email me at the office email.  Bottom line is, when in doubt keep them home and take them to a dr.

I would also like the parents in K and 8 to know that we have moved graduation photos to February 3rd

There has also been some confusion with the quarantining rules, please keep in mind that all Diocesan schools are currently following the 10 day quarantine rules for Faculty, Staff and Students.  We will also be following the 10+10 rule for all close contacts in the house hold.  For example, if student x parent tests positive on Jan 1st the parent’s quarantine in our guidelines is until Jan. 10 meaning the student then begins their quarantine on the 11th for 10 days allowing them to return on the 21st with a medical note.  This is what we have been following since last year and have seen it successful in slowing the spread in the classroom. 

Also note that any child that tests positive needs medical clearance to return.  No child will be allowed back into the classroom without a note from the dr. We will also be monitoring mask wearing, any child that is refusing to wear their mask properly will be moved out of the classroom and a parent will be contacted to pick up their child and move them to remote learning.

Everyone is asked to be mindful of the daily health check questions and if the answer is Yes to any question please stay home.

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.

Notre Dame Catholic Academy will continue to closely follow all direction of public health experts and proactively update you on any measures we are taking. Nothing is more important than the health and safety of our school community.

Sincerely,

Mrs. DiLorenzo & Mr. Carey

Welcome back to in person learning 2022

Merry Christmas!

Dear Families,

 

The Advent season has been filled with joyful anticipation for the birth of Christ. We wait each week and watch as the Advent candles glow, increasing in light as we approach Christmas. Lights play a significant role in our celebration of both the Advent season and our preparations for Christmas. Each year, I would spend an often-cold Saturday with my children preparing the outside of our home with Christmas lights. In the days of old Christmas lights, we would take time to check each string of lights to make sure each bulb worked, meticulously changing the bulbs that had gone out. At the end of the day, the kids were always excited to see the finished illuminated product and even as adults, there is something almost magical about the lights of Christmas.

 

Our hearts during the Christmas season are like the Christmas lights of the past. It is not enough to simply turn on the lights in celebration. We must take the time to tend to our hearts and prepare them for Jesus. As one would untangle strings of lights and check for missing bulbs, I encourage you to look within your heart to see where the light of Christ may be hindered. Do we hold burdens and anger within our hearts? Are there unresolved conflicts or distractions that dim our light? These are questions that are not just for our adult hearts but also the hearts of our children. During Advent, spend time in prayer with your children and model ways in which we can search our hearts and ask for God’s intercession in areas of need.

 

The Christmas season is an opportunity for families to come together and share the light of Christ. As a family, take time to consider ways to open your hearts to the greatest possible light. Just as Jesus is our light, we must be a light for others. Teaching this to our children through our words and our actions is tremendously important. These practices of being the light to others especially during the Christmas season is an opportunity for children to embrace these traditions into their adult lives. Volunteering, donating time and talent, and donating of material goods are just a few ways to guide children in being the light to others. Incorporating daily prayer and praying on behalf of others is also a wonderful way to kindle the light of Christmas.

Christmas lights are a wonderful symbol of the holiday season and provide a sense of magic for children and adults alike, but we must remember that they represent more than the secular celebration of the season. Christmas lights represent the light of Christ that shines within our hearts. Jesus is a light for all the world and the lights during Advent and Christmas are representations of the light in our world. It is a reminder that we can also be a light in the darkness just like Christ. I pray that this Advent and Christmas season is filled with opportunities for you to give and receive the light of Christ. May your Christmas be filled with the joy of the season as we celebrate the birth of the Messiah.

 

In Christ,

Thomas Chadzutko

Thomas Chadzutko, Ed.D.

Superintendent ~ Catholic School Support Services

Christmas Letter for Families 2021 Final

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 2021
Dear Families,
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 caugh t 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 ne eds.
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.
In Christ,
Thomas Chadzutko
Thomas Chadzutko, Ed.D.
Superintendent ~ Catholic School Support Services
R. C. Diocese of Brooklyn

Thanksgiving Family Letter 2021

Upcoming Home Academy Association Meeting

The Board of Directors has scheduled a Home Academy Association Meeting for December 2, 2021 on zoom.  This is a great way for parents to get involved and work off their hours.  This is a great way if you are not vaccinated to still be involved in planning upcoming events for the school.  Details in the flier below.

 

NDCA HAA Flyer Revised III.docx

State Test Results

Notre Dame Catholic Academy has a lot to be proud of.  Below are our results of the NYS tests and how we faired comparatively across the Diocese.  We did either the same or better and we are very happy about that.  We will continue wit our coaching and work on improving everything overall so that next year we see even more growth. Great Job NDCA!  I am very proud of you!

 

 

2021 NYS ELA and Math Test Results

Grades 4, 6 and 7

Comparative Chart for Diocese of Brooklyn

 

Percentage of Students Scoring at Levels 3 and 4 (Students who met or exceeded the proficiency standards for their grade):

 

2021 NYS

Testing Program

Diocese of Brooklyn

(Academies and Schools within the Diocese with appropriate grade levels tested)

Notre Dame Catholic Academy of Ridgewood
Grade 4-ELA 73.3% 76%
Grade 6-ELA 78.7% 95%
Grade 7-ELA 65.7% 77%
Grade 4-Math 52.0% 52%
Grade 6-Math 45.7% 67%
Grade 7-Math 44.7% 61%

Please Note:  Percentages reported include all tested students (general education and students with disabilities as reported by Diocese of Brooklyn). Since the 2021 State test scores were based on Session One, multiple choice questions only, the 2021 results cannot be compared to previous years.

 

 

2021 NYS ELA Test Results by Performance Levels

Grades 4, 6 and 7 – Diocese of Brooklyn

Diocese Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4
Grade 4  7.1% 19.6% 27.3% 46.0%
Grade 6  7.3% 14.0% 32.0% 46.7%
Grade 7  9.8% 24.5% 35.9% 29.8%
Academy/School NDCA NDCA NDCA NDCA
Grade 4 0% 23% 33% 42%
Grade 6 0% 5% 28% 67%
Grade 7 7% 15% 44% 33%

 

2021 NYS Mathematics Test Results by Performance Levels

Grades 4, 6 and 7 – Diocese of Brooklyn

Diocese Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4
Grade 4 19.9% 28.1% 23.8% 28.2%
Grade 6 25.1% 29.2% 27.6% 18.1%
Grade 7 21.6% 33.7% 25.7% 19.0%
Academy/School NDCA NDCA NDCA NDCA
Grade 4 23% 23% 38% 14%
Grade 6 5% 28% 24% 43%
Grade 7 14% 25% 29% 32%

 

2021 NYS ELA and Math Test Results-Comparative Charts for Diocese

Happy Fall!

October 2021,

Happy Fall……

Can you believe more than one month of school has come and gone?  I wanted to take a few minutes to recap some amazing things that have already taken place the past 5 weeks here at NDCA.

First let me start by saying Thank you to all of our families.  Thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate through the challenges and changes due to Covid-19.   Thank you for supporting me and taking this journey with me to continue making NDCA a place where our students and families come to learn and grow.

We have successfully navigated one month at school and have not had a positive test in the building.  That is due to the attention you take when it comes to completing the daily health screening, mask regulations, travel regulations and most importantly keeping your child home when they are sick.

Please note that if your child is absent, they need a dr. note stating that they are out due to a non-Covid related illness and have been cleared to return.  Also, anyone that travels and is unvaccinated will need to quarantine for 7 days and test on day 5. If you choose not to test then they need to quarantine for ten days. These are the CDC guidelines that the Diocese has adopted to follow.  As always if anything changes or is updated, we will let you know as soon as we do.

We have started our lunch program off successfully and have sent out our first catalog fundraiser with much success. Regarding the lunch program please note that we are not ordering additional items for purchase day of and will not take late or same week orders for lunch.  Due to the limited resources we have we need to get the calendars back by the due date so that the counting and counts can be sent to the vendor.  This time allows us to double and triple check so that we have limited errors and no one is left without lunch and if something happens it can quickly be rectified.  I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you and thank you for your understanding in advance.

 

October has started off with a BANG!  We have already started our Terranova testing and have completed the i-Ready diagnostics, this will give us a good picture when grouping students in the classroom and seeing where they are at so we can plan accordingly. 

I have met with Learn it our Title I vendor and they are scheduled to start the week of October 25th.  We were able to use i-Ready scores to have students qualify for Title I.  So, if your child has qualified for a Title I program it is because they are falling in the 45th percentile or below and can use some additional small group support.  After meeting with the District Superintendent in hopes of helping scheduling of classes for the children that need Title I services, we have decided that if and when possible, the children will be pulled first from a special subject class such as Italian or art, music or technology class if possible.  Title students that are pulled from a special subject will not receive an Italian grade on their report card for the second or third trimester. We hope you will opt your child into Title I services if asked.  If you have any questions please feel free to reach out and ask me, my door is always open.

I would also like to ask for some additional support with dismissal.  I have seen on the cameras and have spoken to some of the teachers dismissing, when the children are dismissed, they are playing very rough with each other and running around.  This is extremely dangerous.  We have staggered the dismissal times and locations and ask that when your child dismisses to please take them and leave the school yard.  If you are waiting for a sibling to dismiss, I would ask that you please keep your child with you and not have them running in the school yard.  My goal is to keep everyone safe and with all the different ages in the school yard, I am concerned that children will get hurt or that someone’s car parked in the school yard will get damaged.  I thank you in advance for your attention to this matter

Happy October!

 

Mrs. DiLorenzo

 

October 2021