2020 Graduation Information

OFFICE OF THE SUPERINTENDENT ~ CATHOLIC SCHOOL SUPPORT SERVICES

ROMAN CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF BROOKLYN
310 PROSPECT PARK WEST BROOKLYN, NEW YORK 11215 718-965-7300 FAX: 718-965-7353

May 15, 2020
Dear Parents and Guardians of 8th Grade Students,

We must still be ever mindful of the New York City and New York State safety and wellness guidelines.

I am writing to provide an update regarding the Class of 2020 8th grade graduation.  We understand that it is disappointing for your child to end their final Catholic elementary school year without being able to celebrate the 8th grade graduation milestones with friends, family and their school community.  However,

  • –  We must always be 6 feet apart (Social Distancing)
  • –  We must always wear a mask
  • –  We must never congregate in a group larger than 10 people
  • –  We must never be in contact with people, if we are showing any signs of sickness

We have all seen events on television celebrating graduation activities, but each event planned in the Diocese of Brooklyn is bound by New York City and New York State Guidelines.

A decision has been made to move to a virtual graduation ceremony, considering the current orders regarding stay-at-home orders, social distancing requirements and restrictions on large gatherings.  This very difficult decision was made with the safety of our students, staff, families and community in mind.

While we know this is not how you imagined your child ending their elementary school experience, please know that your school leaders are doing everything in their power to make the Class of 2020 graduation celebration special and memorable for your child and their families.

In the coming weeks, your school principal will be communicating the plan for disseminating graduation materials and events.

May God, Our Father

May God Bless your graduates
May He keep them safe and sound; healthy in mind and soul
May they be ever aware of the awaiting crown as they navigate life
May they grow closer to God in and through their upcoming experiences May they grow closer to their loved ones in and through their experiences May God bless you, the parents, as you watch your children jump
May God keep them free of shame and us free of worry.
Amen

Sincerely,

Thomas Chadzutko

Thomas Chadzutko, Ed.D.
Superintendent ~ Catholic School Support Services 

Futures in Education Deadline Extended to 7/24/20

Partial tuition assistance for the 2020-21 school year is available through Futures in Education.

Financial aid is available for eligible students in grades K to 8 who attend a Catholic Academy or Parish School within the Diocese of Brooklyn.  Families must meet financial eligibility requirements to be considered.

The deadline to apply has been extended to July 24, 2020.

Apply now and find more information about Futures in Education scholarship programs.

FACTS is a third-party vendor selected by Futures in Education to conduct fair and confidential financial need assessments.  To learn more about Futures in Education, please visit futuresineducation.org.

Message from Mr. Tudda

Dear St. Helen Families,

     I wanted to take this opportunity to check in with each of you and let you know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.  I am so proud of the work our students are engaged in on a daily basis with their teachers and parents.  I have had the opportunity to speak with some of your children during class and it brightens my day to hear their friendly, cheerful and hopeful voices!

   Today is “Teacher Recognition Day” and I must recognize all of our superb and professional teachers!  They are working diligently around the clock planning, presenting and attending virtual conferences.  No one ever anticipated that this is what the world of education would be.  Despite these challenges our teachers are meeting the needs of our students.  Instruction continues…although in a different format.  

   Thank you parents for the hard work you are engaged in at home.  Being a parent isn’t easy!  Being the “teacher” at home and the parent as well is even more challenging!  Each of you continue to amaze me as you demonstrate to me the value you place upon your own child’s education.  Using technology is challenging at times, even having enough technology for all family members to utilize can be a challenge.  Please do your best to have your child submit his/her work…even if it is late.  Just email your teacher to notify him/her of the situation. 

   I must thank the families who have reregistered for the next school year.  Your dedication and faith in our academy is recognized and appreciated by the staff, Board of Directors and myself.  If you haven’t re-registered, please do so by calling Michele Carollo at (718)738-1616, x211 or email mcarollo@sthelencatholicacademy.org.  If you are experiencing a financial hardship at this time please call and discuss it with Michele.  She will do her best to guide you and assist you with your situation.  

  We are planning for the coming school year.  We want it to be an exceptional school year for all St. Helen students.  Please reply to this email and let us know that you will be returning if you have not re-registered as of yet.  Stay home…stay safe…stay healthy! 

God Bless!

Frederick M. Tudda

Principal

School Update

Governor Cuomo announced today, May 1st, that all New York State schools will remain CLOSED for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic school year.

Information for Students with an IESP ONLY

The NYC DOE is making iPads available to all students with special needs who have an IESP.  Please see below from the NYC DOE Office of Nonpublic Schools regarding the iPad distribution for students who have an IESP.

To make an application to BORROW a device from the NYC Department of Education, click on the link below.  PLEASE read the agreement below regarding parental responsibility for the device.

                            https://www.schools.nyc.gov/learn-at-home/ipad-distribution

———————————————————————————————————

Office of Non-Public Schools 

Bernadette Fitzgerald, Senior Executive Director 

Email: Bfitzge2@schools.nyc.gov  

Phone: 718-935-2522

Richard A. Carranza

Chancellor

Student Device Terms of Use  

Students in need of remote learning can be issued a device for their educational use. If reasonable precautions and care are taken in the use of the device, the laptop should not experience physical damage. Each parent/guardian should review this form carefully with their child.

All devices issued to students are to be used to access remote learning and other educational uses. Students are expected to follow the guidelines below and take any additional common sense precautions to protect the device. Students are responsible for taking care of the device. The policies outlined in this document are intended to cover all available technologies, not just those specifically listed.

By accepting this equipment, I acknowledge the following:

Return of Device

This device is being loaned for the student’s use during remote learning. This device is the property of the NYCDOE and contains a tracking device so that the device can be located. This device must be returned when on-site learning resumes, unless otherwise instructed by the NYCDOE.

Care and Maintenance

  • The student/family is responsible for the daily care and maintenance of the laptop. Any damage or theft must be reported to the NYCDOE within one school day.
  • Keep the laptop in a safe place when not in use.
  • Students/families should report problems to 718-935-5100 or 311. Do not attempt to remove, add, or change the physical structure of the device, including keys, memory, battery, screen, charger, ID labels, etc.
  • Carry the device carefully at all times. Do not store items on top of the device.

Usage Guidelines

In general, all students are expected to use good judgment and common sense; be safe, appropriate, careful and kind online; not attempt to get around technological protection measures; and ask an adult if they need help. 

Student Acceptable Use Guidelines

Students must:

  • Use the device provided only to access remote learning activities.
  • Follow the same guidelines for respectful, responsible behavior online that students are expected to follow offline.
  • Treat this device carefully, and alert the NYCDOE if there is any problem with the operation.
  • Understand that this equipment is property of the New York City Department of Education and should be treated as such. If equipment is stolen, a police report must be filed.
  • Alert a teacher or other staff member if students see threatening, inappropriate, or harmful content (images, messages, posts) online.
  • Be cautious to protect the safety of the student and others.
  • Help to protect the security of NYCDOE resources.

Students must not:

  • Attempt to bypass the NYCDOE’s mobile (internet) filter.
  • Use this device in a way that could be personally or physically harmful.
  • Attempt to find inappropriate images or content.
  • Engage in cyberbullying, harassment, or disrespectful conduct toward others. In some cases, cyberbullying can be a crime.
  • Try to find ways to circumvent the NYCDOE’s safety measures and filtering tools.
  • Use NYCDOE technologies to send spam or chain mail.
  • Use language online that would be unacceptable in the classroom.
  • Use NYCDOE technologies for illegal activities or to pursue information on such activities.
  • Attempt to hack or access sites, servers, or content that are not intended for student use.
  • Alter the device hardware or installed software.

Personal Safety and Privacy

  • Users should never share personal information, including phone number, address, social security number, birthday, or financial information, over the Internet without adult permission.
  • Users should recognize that communicating over the Internet brings anonymity and associated risks and should carefully safeguard the personal information of themselves and others.
  • Users should never agree to meet someone they meet online in real life without parental permission. If students see a message, comment, image, or anything else online that makes them concerned for their personal safety, they should bring it to the attention of an adult immediately.

Limitation of Liability

The NYCDOE will not be responsible for damage or harm to persons, files, data, or hardware. Devices employ filtering and other safety and security mechanisms, but there is no guarantee as to their effectiveness. The NYCDOE will not be responsible, financially or otherwise, for unauthorized transactions conducted over the school network.

Disclaimer for Students in Religious Schools

This tablet is intended to allow students to participate in remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the students are required to return the tablets to the NYCDOE when schools reopen. The tablets may be used by the students only for participation in instruction required pursuant to the Education Law and not for religious instruction. 

Futures in Education Relief Fund

Dear Families,

As we go through this crisis together, there are so many needs that continue to grow.  We are continually praying for you and your loved ones so that we may heal and emerge from these difficult times.  We recognize the financial burden many have experienced as the school endures its own financial struggles.

Our partner scholarship organization, Futures in Education, has established a Relief Fund to assist families affected by the COVID-19 health crisis in completing their 2019-2020 tuition payments.

You are invited to complete this form ONLY if your family has been directly impacted by the COVID-19 health crisis, resulting in a reduction or loss of income, and you are seeking tuition relief for the 2019-2020 academic year.  Funding is very limited, and it is critical that we are able to assist those most affected by this crisis.  Please only apply if your family has been affected in a way that it will not be possible for you to complete this year’s tuition payments.

We will work with Futures in Education to assess the overall need and funding received to determine how we may best help our families.  The application will be open from now through May 15, 2020 and may be found at  www.futuresineducation.org/covid19app.

As mentioned in yesterday’s email from Mr. John Spagnuolo, Chairman of our Academy Board of Directors, please contact us immediately if you are in need of financial assistance.  This is a requirement of the fund.

In addition, we encourage you to apply for the regular financial aid program administered by Futures in Education for the 2020-2021 academic year now, by going to:  www.futuresineducation.org/scholarships.

Note: Returning Teddy J. Forstmann recipients should apply for regular tuition assistance for 2020-2021 through Children’s Scholarship Fund/Civicore.  Instructions have been emailed to you.

Please contact Futures in Education at 718.965.7340 or by email:  Scholarships@FuturesinEducation.org if you have any questions or need assistance.

Sincerely,

Frederick Tudda