Letter from the Superintendent

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 students will 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

 

Letter to Families Regarding Catholic Social Curriculum 9.15.2021

I look forward to seeing our K-5 families at our meeting tonight at 7:00 PM

I can’t wait to see you all virtually this evening.  Just as a reminder, please login with your child’s name and grade to the link below.  Once we meet and greet each other, you will then go to your child’s class specific zoom. 

See you tonight!

Grades K-5
Topic: Back to School Meeting Grades K-5 Welcome Session
Time: Sep 14, 2021 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Jennifer DiLorenzo is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Join Zoom Meeting
https://us04web.zoom.us/j/77100414137?pwd=dmJIMm1abzVKZHlWRUk
0VHVKaU0rUT09
Meeting ID: 771 0041 4137
Passcode: fN9WDL

First Day of School Letter

September 8, 2021

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Welcome Back!  I can’t believe it is already September and we are starting back in school.  I wanted to write a letter to let you know what the plans are as of today, September 8, 2021.  We have been working very hard continuing to follow the guidelines and work on what we need to do to reopen safely following the updated guidelines.

This year I am happy to say that we will not have any overflow rooms.  We have been able to have all classrooms with children spaced apart 3 feet.  While the students will be required to wear masks in all grades, we will continue to allow mask breaks when safe to do so.

The children will be receiving 5 special subjects each week.  They will have technology, Italian, physical education, art and music.  The children will only travel to physical education class which will take place either outside or in the cafeteria.  Grades 4-8 will not be switching classrooms; the teachers will be coming into them.  We found this worked well last year and will be continuing to follow that procedure this year.

We are working on scheduling at this time for lunch.  The children will be eating lunch spaced out 6 feet in the gym.  They will have an assigned seat and be expected to sit at that seat each time the are in the cafeteria.  This will help us track close contacts as needed.  We also plan to give the students recess outside weather permitting.  We are working on alternatives for inclement weather.

This year we will no longer have temperature checks, however I would ask that you take the health screening seriously and honestly.  If your child is not feeling well, I would ask that you keep them home or take them to the doctor to get cleared to return to school.  It is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT that we do the right thing to protect our NDCA family.  If your child comes into school and is not feeling well, they will be sent home and need to remain home until they are 3 days symptom free with no medication. Please note that as inconvenient this may be, this is what limited the exposure to the building.

We hope to be able to welcome back into the building to work off their service hours.  If you are interested in working off your service hours, please keep an eye out for sign up sheets.  We will be looking for lunch parents as well as door parents and hallway monitors. My hope is that as the situation in NY improves, we will be able to welcome families back into the building for special events.  But in the mean time we will be planning everything virtually and pre-taping. 

I would like to thank you for choosing to send your child to NDCA!  We take the safety of our families and students very seriously; I appreciate you following the guidelines that are being enforced.  It is for everyone’s safety.

Stay safe and well!

Mrs. Jennifer DiLorenzo

Mrs. DiLorenzo

First Day Letter to Parents 2021

 

Pre K and 3K Virtual Orientation information

Dear Pre-K for All Family,

 

Welcome to our Pre-K for All Family! We are excited to start the 2021-2022 school year together. Due to recent CDC guideline updates we need to change our orientation from in person to virtual. You will be provided with the Education Director’s ZOOM link where you will Zoom in first at 8:30am and will be provided with a brief introduction. Following that short meeting, below you have been provided with your child’s teachers ZOOM link. You will Zoom in to your child’s classroom and meet their teacher, take a tour of the classroom, engage in a discussion and complete an instructional activity. Our Pre-K will meet for orientation on Wednesday at 8:30am and our 3K will meet at 8:30 on Thursday. Please make sure all devices are charged and all are prompt.

 

Please see the attached document for the remainder of the letter.

UPK and 3K letter for orientation

Welcome to NDCA 3K and PreK Families

I want to welcome your family to the Notre Dame Catholic Academy of Ridgewood 3K Program.  Our program is excited to partner with you to support child’s learning this year.

Your 3PK child will be in a safe, engaging and nurturing learning environment where they will have many opportunities to experience, discover, explore, and thrive. In our 3PK, your child will gain a variety of skills, knowledge, and approaches to learning that is necessary for them to transition to 3-K with ease. The structure will prepare your child for Pre-K in a variety of ways, such as engaging with peers, adjusting to routines, solving problems, and learning new content that will build their vocabulary each day. (Remainder of the letter is attached below)

Please contact the school for your child’s assigned time to arrive.

3PK_Pre-K Welcome Letter 2021

Welcome Back Families in K-8

August, 2021

Dear NDCA Parents and Students,

It is with great pleasure that I welcome all our returning students and our new students to the 2021-2022 school year! I hope this letter finds you relaxed and enjoying a fun-filled summer with your family. Although last year was not as we expected, while taking the necessary precautions I hope we are able to have another safe and successful school year.  The teachers and staff are excited and look forward to sharing many learning experiences with our students as long as we can safely have them within the requirements of the CDC guidelines and NYS. Please be aware that all children will be expected to wear masks while in school and will be given mask breaks when safe to do so.

We will continue to focus on providing each child with new challenges that will result in a rewarding school experience. As we partner with our parents, we will work together for a rich and fruitful Catholic education for our students.  While we are still unsure what this school year will look like, I want you to feel comfortable and know that we are taking every precaution necessary to keep the children safe, happy and socially distanced.

See the attached for the remainder of the message.

Welcome Back NDCA Parents 21-22

Press Release from the Diocese of Brooklyn

Schools for the Diocese of Brooklyn, which includes 69 elementary schools in Brooklyn and Queens, today has announced the COVID-19 safety protocols that will be in place when school opens on Wednesday, September 8, 2021.

 

            In the absence of a mandate, the New York State Department of Health recommends school districts adopt universal indoor masking for all based on guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Therefore, Catholic Academies and Parish Schools in Brooklyn and Queens will require all students, faculty, and staff members to wear masks beginning on the first day of school.

 

            In addition, school officials will continue to encourage vaccinations, social distancing, hand washing and hand hygiene, while maintaining the rigorous daily cleaning and sanitizing of facilities as well as enhanced ventilation. Parents will be reminded to keep their child home from school if they are sick, and their child will be required to receive medical clearance from a healthcare provider that they can safely return to in person instruction.  

The Catholic Academies and Parish Schools will also continue to follow city and state guidelines regarding contact tracing, quarantine and isolation protocols.

 

            “As the numbers of Coronavirus cases continue to spike in children, and the overall numbers of hospitalizations in New York City are on the rise, this is the most responsible approach to take when we begin the new school year. I know the return to these safety measures is not the situation parents, teachers or students were hoping to be the case in the 2021-2022 school year, but we cannot ignore the trends,” said Superintendent Dr. Thomas Chadzutko.

 

“Let us do our part from day one to prevent further increase of cases. If we are successful, as this academic year moves along, we will revisit these guidelines and adjust them accordingly. As much as we want a return to normalcy in our classrooms, we want our students, faculty, and staff to be safe,” continued Dr. Chadzutko.

 

“Looking at the trajectory of past pandemics, it seems that a virus such as this one does linger for some time even with the vaccination. I have received my vaccination and continue to encourage others to do so as well. It is our hope that the COVID-19 vaccines will help bring an end to this terrible virus that has controlled our lives for much of the past year and a half,” said The Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn.

Catholic schools in Brooklyn and Queens, in adherence to strict guidelines, opened on time for the 2020-2021 school year, and were able to offer five day a week instruction. Enrollment increased in nearly 40% of the schools last year in grades K-8. To learn more about Catholic Schools in Brooklyn and Queens, visit catholicschoolsbq.org.

 

Press Release 8.12.21 jm

From the Principal: Have a Wonderful Summer!

June 23, 2021

Dear Parents,

      Thank you for a wonderful year!  I can hardly believe that we were able to bring the children back to school 5 full days socially distanced with only a few short closures.  That is with many thanks to all of you for honestly completing the daily health screening and your children wearing their masks on a daily basis.  For all of these reasons I say thank you.  While this year has been not easy by any means and looked very different than what we were used to, we persevered and made it through.  I hope that next year we are able to work within the guidelines and make things even better for the children.  At this time, I have no answers on what the guidelines, only time will tell.  The kids have learned and grown so much this year!  Thank you for sending them to NDCA and for allowing me to be their Principal, seeing your children grow and thrive has been the highlight of my days.  I can hardly believe that the year is coming to an end. 

This year, for children currently enrolled in NDCA, the summer work will be remote using i-Ready and Freckle, both that they are familiar with using.  These programs meet the children where they are and put the children on a personal learning plan.  This will help if they are behind to move them forward, and show continued growth as opposed to the “summer slump”.  We are asking that the children complete 30 minutes per week in both freckle and i-Ready and complete activities in both Math and ELA. I also encourage all students to read, read and read some more. 

For anyone new to NDCA.  You will not have login information for these programs so we ask that you complete the following:  

  • Go to the school web page notredame-ca.org
  • Click on the Parents and Guardians tab
  • Once there look for the grade your child will be going into in September and click on the link.
  • If you have any additional questions, please call the office. We will post official hours, however the office will be open most Tuesdays and Thursday from 9-11 a.m.

 

I thank you for all of the support that you have shown me throughout this year as Principal.  I look forward to many more with you!

 

Have a wonderful summer!

 

Sincerely,

Jennifer DiLorenzo

End of year letter for summer work (1)

Family Letter from the Superintendent

Dear Families,

As parents and guardians, you are tasked with making decisions which will help nurture your child and keep them safe. Being a parent is the most difficult and rewarding job. Over the past year, the stress and anxiety that comes with parenting has been amplified in the face of a global pandemic, health concerns, and unrest within our society. During a bleak time, you have continued to act as beacons for your children in guiding them along the path of Christ. Your support of your children, our schools, and our communities have made this year possible. I am grateful for all you have done and continue, to do to provide your children with a Catholic education.

It is an honor to have our Catholic Academies and Parish Schools entrusted, not only with the care and education of your child, but in the development of their faith. Our shared faith, especially during this past year, has provided us the strength and comfort needed to forge even the most difficult paths. The children are blessed not only to develop their faith within the school community but to learn firsthand from their families and parents. Despite the pandemic, parents still made the effort to engage with their children in their religious education, pray at home, attend liturgy, and safely participate in community events. Your children benefit tremendously from each of these experiences.

Our school communities are blessed to be filled with families who supported staff, teachers, and students, as they made the leap to reopening in the fall. There have been many changes in the way students have learned over the course of the year, in-person, hybrid, remote, but parents have not wavered in helping their students achieve. Parents were also quick to share words of encouragement and appreciation for teachers, staff, and administrators, knowing that they were doing everything in their power to create the best possible learning environment. Parents supported schools through fundraising and direct support of other families in need. Through the generosity of Diocesan families, we were able to provide extra PPE, hand sanitizer, and even more scholarships, to aid families during this challenging time.

Parents and families helped make this year a success not only in your guidance in faith and support of schools, but in your efforts to be a positive example for your child. It has been extremely difficult to stay positive over the past year and even more so as you work to provide a somewhat “normal” experience for your child. We have said over the past year that “children are resilient” and indeed they have been, but we owe a large thanks to families who have provided the foundation for these children to cope with difficult times. By encouraging your child, preparing them for difficult situations, and giving them the tools to understand their emotions, you have enabled them to work through an incredibly challenging year.

At the close of a tumultuous school year, it is my hope that you will be able to enjoy some time with family. Take time to pray together and embrace the peace that comes from building your relationship with God. I wish you good health, happiness, and minimal stress through the summer. We look forward to our time together in the fall.

In Christ,

Thomas Chadzutko

Thomas Chadzutko, Ed.D