Letters From the Principal

Dear Families,

May you and your families have a joyful and blessed Easter!  May your lives be touched by the true meaning of Easter.  Alleluia!

Dear Families,
Ash Wednesday begins Lent, this is our opportunity to prepare for the wonderful feast of Easter.  Our preparation consists of three activities: sacrifice, almsgiving and prayer.  It is time to take a moment from our daily routines and make a special effort to be more kind to others, voluntarily give up things and purify our hearts so that we may be closer to God.
Prayer is a direct route to God and a simple way to become aware of his presence in our lives.  As we pray, we have an opportunity to listen for his voice in our hearts.  Please make an effort to take five to ten minutes each day to pray as a family.
During this Lenten season, lets work to deepen and renew our baptismal commitment.

Christine Zerillo

December 2017

We have been celebrating the weeks of Advent in our school as we take time to quiet our hearts and minds in anticipation of the birth of Jesus.  As we celebrate the first coming of Jesus at Christmas, may our hearts be filled with the love of our Savior now and forever.  God’s love is enduring for each of us!

May all of you be blessed as we await the coming of the Christ Child who will give His peace and joy this Advent and Christmas season.

In Christ,

Christine Zerillo, Ed.D.


Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for the gift of your children and for the precious moments we are blessed to have with them each day.  I’d also like to thank you as parents for the gift of your time, talents and care you show to St. Helen Catholic Academy, each day.  It takes all of us working together to create this extraordinary gift of a Catholic education for young people.  I pray that you and your family have a memorable, loving and peaceful Thanksgiving.

Please enjoy one of my favorite poems:

God put colors for you and me on all of the Indian corn we see!

Brown is for the beauty of fall.

Red is God’s love for us all.

Yellow is for the golden sun.

White tells us to love everyone.

Orange tells us to give God praise and keep Him with us everyday!


Dear Parent/Guardian:
Welcome to the 2017-2018 school year at St. Helen Catholic Academy.  This letter will provide you with information regarding this year’s arrival and dismissal procedures as well as daily building security.

School begins on Wednesday, September 6th for Grades Kindergarten to Eight.  Students must be in full uniform and bring lunch.  Uniforms continue to be available at Flynn & O’Hara located in the The Shops at Atlas Park Mall, (8000 Cooper Avenue, Glendale, NY, ~ 718-326-2704 ~ www.flynnohara.com).  Attached is the Uniform and Hair Code.  Please be sure to review before school begins.

In order for us to begin our school day promptly, children should plan to arrive no earlier than ten minutes before the start of school.  The school day will begin promptly at the following times:

Grades K-8 begin at 8:10 am, Pre-K for All begins at 8:15 am, PreK-3 and PreK-4 begin at 8:30 am.
PLEASE NOTE: We cannot be responsible for children at school before 8:00 am.

Between 8:00 and 8:10 am, students in Grades K-2 will be monitored by staff in Fr. Dooley Hall and then walk to their classrooms with their teachers, Grades 3-8 will proceed to their homerooms.

Between 8:05 and 8:15 am, students in PKA will enter building through the 83rd Street door.  PKA staff will monitor door during this time.

Between 8:20 and 8:30 am, students in PreK-3 and PreK-4 will be monitored by their teachers and then walk as a group to their classrooms.  Parents are not permitted to accompany students to the classrooms.

To ensure the safety of all our students DO NOT double park during arrival and dismissal.  Please do not leave your car unattended.


-Drop off PreK-3, PreK-4 & K-8 students in front of Father Dooley Hall entrance.  Teachers will be outside to help students exit vehicle and enter the building.  Pre-K for All drop-off students in front of the 83rd Street entrance.

-Parents parking in lot across from school, proceed to the 83rd or 84th Street corner and follow directions of crossing guard.


-Students will be dismissed as follows:

 – 2:35 pm – Pre-K for All – 83rd Street Door Exit

 – 2:50 pm – Pre-K 3 – Father Dooley Hall Exit

 – 2:50 pm – Pre-K 4 – Main Door Exit

 – 2:55 pm – Kindergarten – Father Dooley Hall Exit

 – 3:00 pm – Grades 1 – Main Door Exit

                 – Grades 2-3 – Main Door Exit

                 – Grades 4-8 – 83rd Street Door Exit

Parents will not be able to wait for their children inside the building, even during inclement weather.

ALL school doors will be locked after students arrive.  Visitors to the building must enter through the main door which is equipped with a security camera and monitored by a security guard.  Please ring the bell to the left of the door for admittance.  Visitors admitted into the building will then sign in at the greeter’s desk, receive a visitor’s pass, and then proceed to the office.  Visitors will return to the greeter’s desk to sign out when leaving the building.  These procedures will vary during school-wide events.

At St. Helen Catholic Academy, we realize that teaching your child is a tremendous responsibility and we will do our best to ensure that each student has a safe and motivating learning experience in this upcoming year.  However, we cannot do this without the help of you, the parents and guardians.  We are partners in the learning process.  In order to maintain the optimum school environment, only parents/guardians who are participating as service volunteers will be permitted in the cafeteria during lunch periods.  During the course of the year, we will carefully monitor our security procedures and inform you of any changes.

We have a Before and After-school Program which provides a safe, stimulating environment for students whose family situations require student supervision before and/or after the school day.  The Before School program begins at 7:00 am and ends when the school day begins.  The After-school program begins immediately following dismissal and ends at 6:00 pm.  Students will be engaged in a variety of activities which include homework/study time, arts and crafts and recreation.  Further information will be e-mailed to all families.

We wish to ensure a good beginning for our students, providing them with the opportunities to be successful learners.  To help with homework and assignments we will provide each student in grades 1-8 with a Daily Homework Planner.  With the continued support and prayers of our school community, we strive to provide an environment that is rich in the traditions of the Catholic Church and one that enables children to develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  I look forward to working with you to ensure that our students will have a wonderful and productive school year.

Christine Zerillo, Ed.D


Dear Families,

Best wishes to all.  I hope your summer will be restful and relaxing with quality time for family.  Thank you for your support throughout this year.  As expected our students continue to work hard to be academic achievers who show consistent effort to meet grade level expectations and higher!

Many thanks to the St. Helen Home-Academy Association and volunteers for their efforts and time invested to help make our school year successful.  You worked tirelessly to improve student learning and expand our fundraisers.

I know that our emphasis on a positive attitude, teamwork and a caring approach for all our team members, parents, students and staff helped us learn from each other this year.  As committed Catholics, we strive to live the Gospel and do what Christ would do.  Keep your personal relationship with God this summer through prayer.

Have a wonderful and safe summer.

Many blessings,

Christine Zerillo



Christine Zerillo

Dear Prospective Member of the St. Helen Community,

Welcome to our school!  We offer a safe, structured, and nurturing learning environment that is rooted in the traditions of the Catholic Church.  We are committed to the education of the whole child, while recognizing that you, the parent or guardian, are your child’s first and most constant teacher.  We will work with you to help your child grow into an adult with a deep reverence for God’s creation, a will to share his or her gifts and talents, and the skills, attitudes, and talents necessary to meet the challenges of the modern world.

We offer Faith Formation, daily prayer and spiritual development, First Friday Mass and prayer services, and celebration of Holy Days.  Our curriculum is aligned with our Diocesan curriculum and New York State standards.  We participate in the New York State testing program.  We recognize the importance of nurturing each child’s many abilities.  We offer music, art and Spanish for Kindergarten to Eighth grade.

We are a 21st-century school, incorporating current information and communication technologies in all of our subjects.  We participate in CYO basketball, and our students have a wonderful band.  We have a full lunch program and an on-site nurse.

I hope that you will come and visit to see for yourself the wonderful opportunity that awaits your child.  St. Helen Catholic Academy lights the way in outstanding Catholic education!


Christine Zerillo, Ed.D.