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

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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

Parent Letter from the Board of Directors

Dear Families,

It is my hope and the hope of the St. Helen Catholic Academy Board of Directors this email finds you and your family healthy and safe in this time of grave health risks and uncertainty.  I hope you had a Blessed Easter Sunday with your immediate loved ones. 

It has been a full three weeks since we were forced to close the Academy to on-site education.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Tudda and his dedicated staff of teachers and assistants who are tirelessly working to adapt to these unforeseen circumstances and keep the process of educating your child(ren) moving forward safely.

I also want to thank you, the parents of our students, for your cooperation and support during these demanding and changing times.  We will continue to do our utmost to keep you informed as things progress.  It is our hope that the Academy will open its doors to your child(ren) in a safe environment sooner rather than later.  Of course, we will be guided by the recommendations of the State and the Diocese before any decisions on this matter are made.  We will keep you informed as we move forward confronting the challenges ahead of us.

Also, thank you for continuing to keep your child’s Academy tuition payments up to date.   The Academy doors may be closed but the expenses associated with providing an education for your child continues.  The teachers and staff salaries continue to be paid as does health care, pension contributions and numerous other related Academy expenses.  I thank you for your outstanding cooperation and continued financial support as we move forward. 

We are certainly very much aware that some families are currently experiencing financial hardships.  I ask you to please contact us if you are experiencing such a hardship.  I assure you that each situation will be handled with totally confidentiality.  Your first point of contact should be Ms. Michele Carollo, she may reached at: 718-738-1616 x211 or mcarollo@sthelencatholicacademy.org.  Also, discounts for early registration were scheduled to end on March 19th.  We have extended the early registration discount until Friday May 1st.

I wish you and your family good health as we move forward and confront the challenges that await us.  Our prayers for a safe return to some sort of “normalcy” will be answered.

Very Truly Yours,

John Spagnuolo

Chairman of the Board St. Helen Catholic Academy

Re-registration Fee ~ Tuition Information

The early re-registration fee of $200 which was to be returned by March 19th has been extended to May 1st.

Re-registration and tuition payments can be dropped off in the St. Helen Church Rectory mail slot, the rectory is located to the left of the church;

or call Ms. Carollo at 718-738-1616 extension 211, leave a message and you will receive a call back to make a credit card payment.

Easter Blessings

Dear St. Helen Catholic Academy Families,
 
I want to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Happy Easter!  This year, the world as we know it has changed and dramatically impacted all of our lives! 
 
We must all remember to keep our faith in God and pray not only for ourselves but for the entire world!  Our prayers will be heard and we will soon be reunited in the academy and at Sunday Mass!  I miss seeing your smiling faces and sharing warm greetings with each of you.
 
Our students, parents and teachers have all been working diligently day and night over the last several weeks.  Our focus has always been and remains to be our students!  I pray for a future filled with peace, love, health and well being for our students.  They are the leaders of tomorrow!
 
I hope that everyone takes this opportunity to relax, enjoy time with loved ones and to turn off all devices. 
 
May your families enjoy your Easter celebration!  Your families remain in my thoughts and prayers!  God Bless you all!
 
Sincerely,
Frederick Tudda
Principal

200 to 1 Event ~ Postponed

St. Helen Catholic Academy’s 200 to 1 Fundraiser scheduled for Friday, April 24th has been POSTPONED.  The event will take place on Friday, September 25th.  For additional information or to purchase tickets please contact Maria Ford at 718-344-1998.

Update ~ Distance Learning

Dear Families,  

As remote learning becomes part of the fabric of our current reality, it is important to create structures and expectations, which help all involved succeed and stay healthy and sane.  To that end, as we come to the close of the 3rd week of providing teaching and student learning experiences from our homes, it is important to establish schedules, but also allow for the schedule to change…

The expectations of students, and the demands of the educational community are changing radically during this COVID-19 crisis; necessarily, the role of the teacher is changing as well.  It is important as we continue with distance learning that faculty have the opportunity to participate in professional learning workshops, seminars and planning sessions.    

Effective Friday, April 3, 2020, a proposal has been developed to make some shifts in the instructional week. Moving forward, students will continue to complete all assigned work tasks, projects and activities.  Teachers will have the opportunity on Fridays for:

Student Assessment:​ to be able to maintain and review student work/videos/photos uploaded to the Google Classroom and provide feedback in writing or by video.

Parent Outreach: ​to be able to contact and communicate with families the academic progress of their child(ren).

Planning/Networking: ​to have a designated time to devote to planning lessons and learning activities, and to be able to collaborate with colleagues remotely using technology tools (such as: Zoom, Microsoft Teams conference, Google Classroom).

Professional Development:​ to be able to receive further professional development.

Please note that this new model being implemented allows for students to use Friday’s as a time for some students to “catch-up” on previously assigned tasks, activities and projects, and others to work on enrichment activities.  Friday’s are not to be seen as a day off.  The expectation is for students to continue their studies.  Student attendance will continue to be taken on Friday’s.

We continue to thank you for being partners with us during these difficult times and wish God’s continued blessing over you and your loved ones.

Distance Learning

Dear Families,
 
As we continue to engage in Distance Learning, we are learning more about it everyday. 
 
It has come to our attention that it would be most beneficial for all students to work from a computer (not a cell phone) when engaging in teacher directed instruction.  
 
This will allow your children to see the classroom dialogue as it is occurring. 
 
If this is not possible on your end, no worries.  Please continue to do your best during these challenging times! 
 
Please make sure that your children keep up with their work!  
 
I pray for the health and well being of your family!
 
God Bless us all!
 
Fred Tudda
Principal