Diocesan Update, March 16th

Diocese of Brooklyn Announces Catholic Academies and Parish Schools
Will close until at least April 20, 2020

Superintendent of Schools Thomas Chadzutko, Ed. D., has announced today all elementary Catholic Academies and Parish Schools in Brooklyn and Queens will remain closed until April 20, 2020. This follows last week’s announcement that the schools would be closed this week, March 16-March 20, 2020, out of an abundance of caution. The decision mirrors the New York City public schools announcement made last night.

“The decision to close is based on the interdependency of services between public schools and Catholic schools,” said Dr. Chadzutko.

Many families that attend Diocesan schools depend on the New York City services such as bus transportation, meals, nurses, and crossing and security guards.

“If there was a safe way for us to open sooner, we would, but we cannot function without those essential services,” said Joan McMaster, Associate Superintendent for Principal and Teacher Personnel.

The latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control is to restrict gatherings of 50 or more people. Clearly, the school environment would be in violation.

The contingency pandemic plan, which is part of the Office of the Superintendent school crisis management plan, includes digital, distance and alternative instruction for students so that their education is not disrupted. A complete transition to that model of instruction will take place this week.

The Office of the Superintendent is in daily communication with city and state officials and is part of the Coronavirus Education Task Force of the NYC Department of Education. During this time, there is a constant reassessment of the situation and the necessary response in an effort to keep our school community safe.

Update March 16th

                                                                                                       March 16, 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians,

     I hope that this communication finds your family healthy and safe!  Our teachers have worked diligently to properly prepare for continuous instruction while your children are safe at home.

     All St. Helen Catholic Academy students in Pre-K through Grade 8 will have a Google account assigned to them.  Teachers will be sending home this information to you.  This will allow students/parents access to Google Classroom while our academy facility is closed.  

    Instruction will continue on-line.  Assignments and projects will be posted with due dates.  All work will be graded by the teacher.  Google Classroom will allow for teacher-student-parent communication. In addition to academy work, the teachers will be referring your children to informative instructional websites.

   Please look for an important communication coming from your child’s homeroom teacher.  

  I will keep you posted as more information arises about our reopening.  

  Together, we will all get through this difficult and challenging period in our lives!  I will keep you all in my prayers!

Your partner in education,

Frederick M. Tudda


Coronavirus Update



  • All elementary Catholic Academies and Parish Schools within the Diocese of Brooklyn will be closed during the Week of March 16, 2020 to March 20,2020.  Learn More
  • We are meeting daily via conference call with the New York City Department of Health, Representatives from the Mayor’s and the New York City Department of Education.
  • The situation is changing hourly and we are doing our best to provide you with the most to date information.  In addition, we ask that you continue to check the various websites if you require additional information.
  • We are also coordinating efforts within the agencies of the Diocese of Brooklyn.


MARCH 13, 2020 – UPDATE

  • In-person classes for students at all Catholic Academies and Parish Schools in the Diocese of Brooklyn are cancelled for Monday, March 16th.   Teachers will be planning for distance learning and further updates will be posted later today.
  • We are meeting daily via conference call with the New York City Department of Health, Representatives from the Mayor’s and the New York City Department of Education.
  • The situation is changing hourly and we are doing our best to provide you with the most to date information.  In addition, we ask that you continue to check the various websites if you require additional information.
  • We are also coordinating efforts within the agencies of the Diocese of Brooklyn.

March 12, 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians,

     I want to keep our academy community apprised of where we stand with regard to the coronavirus outbreak.

    At this time all of our students or staff are healthy!  If any student is not feeling well, or any staff member is presumed to possibly be infected, the principal MUST be informed immediately.  We must act in a responsible manner and keep our students safe throughout this ordeal.  If your child is not feeling well, keep him/her home…safety first!

    Our staff have been trained and equipped with regard to maintaining a sterile environment.  All teachers received training on germ prevention.  All classrooms are equipped with hand sanitizer, tissues, Clorox wipes, Lysol spray and gloves for staff.  Teachers are cleaning their classrooms in addition to the custodial team.  Keyboards and desks are being wiped down as well.  Our custodial team is sanitizing hand rails periodically throughout the school day, disinfecting bathrooms and wiping down tables.  Hand sanitizer can be found in every academy classroom and office!

   We don’t want to frighten our children, but we want them to be aware and thoughtful in everything they do.  Our teachers are reminding them to wash their hands when using the restroom, cover when sneezing, etc…

  Our academy is following the directives of the Diocese of Brooklyn and Queens.  At this time, we are able to keep our academy open.  If for ANY reason this changes, you will be informed immediately of our next steps.  

  Thank you for your assistance!  Together, we will do everything within our power to keep everyone healthy and safe!

Your partner in education,

Frederick M. Tudda


Family Letter 3/4/20

Information regarding Coronavirus 2/26/20

Frequently Asked Questions

As additional information becomes available, we update this information.
In addition……I called all teachers to an Emergency Meeting.  We discussed and equipped our teachers with the necessary tools to keep their rooms sanitized (bleach disinfecting wipes, gloves, handsanitizer, disinfecting  spray, etc…).  We are closely monitoring student attendance as well.  In addition, our custodial crew is cleaning our academy daily!  Keyboards are being wiped down, etc…. Fr. Colamaria also discussed safe Church practices with the students as well.

3-K for All Program

Our academy will host the New York City 3-K for All Instructional Program for children born in 2017 starting in September.  There is no cost for enrolling in this program.  Please apply online at myschools.nyc.  The code for St. Helen Catholic Academy is 27QAFR.

St. Jude Donation




The St. Helen Catholic Academy Student Council conducted a “Christmas Collection” to fight childhood cancer.  Our students raised $572.75.  This money was donated to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  We pray that a cure will be found to help save lives!


Thanksgiving Food Drive

Student Council coordinated a Thanksgiving food drive.  St. Helen Catholic Academy families donated food and monetary donations to the Queen of Peace Residence in Queens Village.


Academy Engagement Review

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Please be advised that St. Helen Catholic Academy will be having an “Academy Engagement Review,” on the following dates – March 9th, March 10th, and March 11th of this school year.  

A team of external evaluators along with personnel from the Diocese will be here to visit classrooms, observe instruction, speak with students, parents and church personnel as well.

In order to prepare for our “Academy Engagement Review,” we need ALL parents to complete an on-line survey which should take approximately ten minutes of your valuable time.

One survey is required per family.  

We want the evaluators to get a true understanding of our academy and all of the wonderful things happening here.

Please copy and paste the link below in your browser (or type it) and follow the prompts:


Your child(ren) will receive a N.U.T. card to be used as you please.  

All surveys must be completed on or before October 14th.  Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Your partner in education,

Frederick M. Tudda


My School Survey was been completed on _______________________________(Date)

Please distribute a N.U.T. card to  my child(ren).

1._____________________________________________________ Class ______________

2._____________________________________________________ Class ______________

3._____________________________________________________ Class ______________

4._____________________________________________________ Class ______________

Parent/Guardian Signature___________________________________________________

Halloween Parade

Dear Parents & Guardians,

     I am proud to inform you that we have had a most wonderful school opening this year!    It was so nice to receive your complimentary emails and thank you notes from so many of you.  Your continued support is truly appreciated.  Our staff is truly doing an amazing job!  This is evident by my visits to classrooms and my conversations with students, staff and parents.  

    I want to inform you that this year, our school will be participating in our Annual Halloween Parade on Thursday, October 31st.  The parade will take place outdoors (weather permitting) in front of our school starting at 9:30am and lasting about  forty five minutes. If we have inclement weather, we will modify the program and parade around Father Dooley Hall.

   A team of judges (Ms. Pennacchio, Ms. Oliva and Ms. Sama) will select the top winner in each category: 

Pre-School category

Elementary School (K-4)

Upper School (5-8)

Staff Member

   The students will have the opportunity to parade around the block twice in their costumes.  Face make-up is permitted. For safety reasons, face masks and weapons are NOT permitted. 

   Please be advised that in order to be a potential costume winner, your child’s costume must be CREATED AT HOME…..not store bought.  Of course store bought costumes are allowed, but only homemade costumes will be considered for this contest.  Please send your child dressed in his or her costume on Halloween.  If they opt to change their own clothing after the event, they will be able to do so.  

   I hope that you are able to join us for our Halloween Parade.  Our children have to be celebrated and we have to remember just how wonderful childhood is.  School should be a place that is both educational and enjoyable as well.  After all not only are we developing the leaders of tomorrow, but we are also creating the memories of tomorrow!

     If for any reason you do not want your child participating in this school wide event, please notify your child’s teacher in writing on or before Wednesday, October 30th and arrangements will be made to keep your child inside at this time.  

   Your partner in education,

   Frederick M. Tudda