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

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