Important Back to School Letter

 

Dear Families:

I’d like to thank you for your patience as we finalized the procedures for the first week of school. The school administrative team met several times to ensure the safest and most secure reopening of school. As you know, guidelines from the city, state, and federal governments are continuously updated, so the plans that we have put in place reflect the latest guidance we have. In addition, these procedures remain in alignment with our reopening plan that was sent out earlier this month…

Please click here for  important back to school information.

Thank you,

Mr. Wilson

Saint Mark’s Reopening Plans Featured on Eyewitness News!

Saint Mark Catholic Academy was featured on ABC 7 Eyewitness News to highlight the preparations that are being made to welcome students back to school in September.
 
We are happy to represent the great work that is going on across the Diocese of Brooklyn to ensure our students have the best educational experience in the safest environment possible.
 

Zoom Sessions for Saint Thomas Aquinas Distance Learning Catholic Academy

Dear Families:

I hope all is well!

Last night, I received some additional information regarding the Saint Thomas Aquinas Distance Learning Program, which is being offered to families who may not be ready to send their children back to school for in-person instruction.

Please click here for a letter that includes some additional information. Most importantly, within the letter are links for upcoming Zoom information sessions for the online learning platform. I’m also including those two links in the body of this email, too.

Register for Friday, August 21 at 12:00pm session: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_JsY_ck2QQQ2w1-ZhzhYXWA

Register for Monday, August 24 at 6:00pm session: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_2bvFx1SvSaOcWIhBr8u29g

Just as a reminder… here are a few important details:

  • All students who participate in the Saint Thomas Aquinas Distance Learning Catholic Academy must be enrolled at Saint Mark Catholic Academy to participate.
  • There is no additional cost; you continue to pay your monthly tuition to Saint Mark.
  • Saint Mark faculty will not be staffing the online academy. The Diocese of Brooklyn is hiring qualified teachers to provide online distance learning. They are also hiring a principal to oversee and manage the program. Both Saint Mark and the distance learning academy will follow the same state standards. (According to the Diocese of Brooklyn, Saint Mark Catholic Academy cannot create our own independent distance learning program.)
  • At the conclusion of the first trimester (early December) parents will have the option to return to in-person instruction at Saint Mark Catholic Academy. (We are currently holding a seat for each child enrolled in the online academy.)

Again, these are just a few key points; please attend one of the Zoom sessions to get a sense of what the Saint Thomas Aquinas Distance Learning Catholic Academy will offer.

The following is a link to indicate your intent to participate in the Saint Thomas Aquinas Distance Learning Catholic Academy. Please complete it as soon as possible, so I can send the Diocese your contact information.

Saint Thomas Aquinas Distance Learning Catholic Academy Participation Form: https://forms.gle/a3J1oXScRsKeKJMd6

Please only complete this form if you intend for your child(ren) to participate in Saint Thomas Aquinas Distance Learning Catholic Academy.

Thank you,
Mr. Wilson

School Opening Update #5 from Mr. Wilson

Dear Families:

I hope you are all safe and doing well!

 

Thank you to those of you who completed the Back to School survey. If you haven’t already, here is the link: https://forms.gle/HwKo3ZD9sceYx1zeA

 

We have been very busy in the school building preparing for September…

  • The automatic hand sanitizers have been installed in all of our classrooms.
  • As you know, the gym and cafeteria are becoming classroom spaces. Today, desks were positioned in the gym according to social distancing. In fact, we were able to space desks out further than six feet to ensure additional safety.

 

We also continue to purchase additional equipment to keep our Saint Mark family as safe as possible:

  • Medical-grade filtration air purifiers were purchased for our all of classrooms. (Two will be placed in gym, and two will be in the cafeteria.)

 

If you have not yet had a chance, please take a look at our comprehensive reopening plan.

 

In accordance with Governor Cuomo’s requirements, we are scheduling Zoom webinars where you’ll be able to hear about our reopening plans and also share your questions. Below are the dates and joining information for each webinar. Sessions are scheduled according to grade. If you have children across different grade levels, you can chose to attend one session or multiple sessions.

 

As I mentioned in my email this past Friday, I understand that some families may not be ready to send their children back to school for in-person instruction. To meet the needs of these families, the Diocese of Brooklyn has established the Saint Thomas Aquinas Distance Learning Catholic Academy for students in kindergarten through grade eight.

 

Just a reminder…this Thursday, August 20th, the entire school building will professionally disinfected. The building will be closed all day Thursday and all day Friday. The office will reopen on Monday, August 24th at 9am.

 

In the coming days, we hope to be able to share with you pictures of our school and classrooms, so you can see the precautions and preparations that have been put in place. Please be on the lookout for additional emails!

 

Thank you for your continued patience, cooperation—and most especially, prayers!

Sincerely,

Mr. Wilson

 

St. Mark Catholic Academy Reopening Webinars

All sessions are at 6:30pm

 

  • Wednesday, August 19th (Grades 5-8):

 

  • Thursday, August 20th (Grades 3-4):
    • https://zoom.us/j/95136853954
    • iPhone one-tap : US: +16465588656,,95136853954#  or +13017158592,,95136853954#
    • Telephone: US: +1 646 558 8656 or +1 301 715 8592

 

  • Friday, August 21th (Grades K-2):
    • https://zoom.us/j/92577994222
    • iPhone one-tap : US: +16465588656,,92577994222#  or +13017158592,,92577994222#
    • Telephone: US: +1 646 558 8656 or +1 301 715 8592 

 

  • Monday, August 24th (Nursery and Pre-K):
    • https://zoom.us/j/97276144554
    • iPhone one-tap: US: +16465588656,,97276144554# or +13017158592,,97276144554#
    • Telephone: Dial US: +1 646 558 8656 or +1 301 715 8592

 

  • Tuesday, August 25th (Open to All to address FAQs)
    • https://zoom.us/j/91383174675
    •  iPhone one-tap: US: +16465588656,,91383174675# or +13126266799,,91383174675#
    • Telephone: Dial: US: +1 646 558 8656 or +1 312 626 6799

Saint Mark Catholic Academy Reopening Plan & Online Learning Information

Dear Families:

I hope you are all safe and doing well!

Last weekend, I shared with you a preliminary overview of our reopening strategy. Today, I am happy to share with you our complete reopening plan. (Please click here to view the reopening plan.)

Careful consideration was taken to follow the guidelines set by the New York State Department of Education, the New York State Department of Health, and the Diocese of Brooklyn.

Thankfully, we have the space to allow all of our students to return while ensuring social distancing.


As I mentioned in my email this past Saturday, I understand that some families may not be ready to send their children back to school for in-person instruction. To meet the needs of these families, the Diocese of Brooklyn has established the Saint Thomas Aquinas Distance Learning Catholic Academy for students in kindergarten through grade eight.

Please click here to view specific information regarding the online academy, but here are a few important details:

  • All students who participate in the Saint Thomas Aquinas Distance Learning Catholic Academy must be enrolled at Saint Mark Catholic Academy to participate.
  • There is no additional cost; you continue to pay your monthly tuition to Saint Mark.
  • Saint Mark faculty will not be staffing the online academy. The Diocese of Brooklyn is hiring qualified teachers to provide online distance learning. They are also hiring a principal to oversee and manage the program. Both Saint Mark and the distance learning academy follow the same state standards. (According to the Diocese of Brooklyn, Saint Mark Catholic Academy does not have to create our own independent distance learning program.)
  • At the conclusion of the first trimester (early December) parents will have the option to return to in-person instruction at Saint Mark Catholic Academy, provided we have the physical space to do so. (At this point, we can.)

Again, these are just a few key points; please read the entire document to get a sense of what the Saint Thomas Aquinas Distance Learning Catholic Academy will offer.

The following is a link to indicate your intent to participate in the Saint Thomas Aquinas Distance Learning Catholic Academy.

Saint Thomas Aquinas Distance Learning Catholic Academy Participation Form: https://forms.gle/a3J1oXScRsKeKJMd6

Please only complete this form if you intend for your child(ren) to participate in Saint Thomas Aquinas Distance Learning Catholic Academy. The deadline to indicate your preference is Wednesday, August 19th 12pm.


In accordance with Governor Cuomo’s requirement to hold parent information sessions, we are scheduling Zoom webinars by grade level for next week. Please be on the lookout for an email with the day, time, and links for these meetings. In the meantime, please review the plan and come to the meeting to share your questions or concerns.


In the coming days, please be on the lookout for the following:

  • Information regarding the first day of school
  • Specific guidance for early childhood students, including Pre-K for All students
  • More details regarding early drop-off and after-school programs
  • Additional information regarding arrival and dismissal procedures for all students

Finally, below is a link for all families to complete to gauge their opinions about the reopening of school:

Return to School Survey (for ALL FAMILIES):
https://forms.gle/HwKo3ZD9sceYx1zeA


As always, I appreciate your care, consideration, and patience as we all take this journey toward reopening together! I look forward to hearing from you and to welcoming your children back to school in September!

Thank you!

Sincerely,

Mr. Mark Wilson
Principal

 

PS: On Thursday, August 20th, the entire school building is being disinfected by a professional cleaning company procured by the Diocese of Brooklyn. The school building will close at 1pm on Wednesday, August 19th and will reopen on Monday, August 25th at 9am.  

School Opening Update #3 from Mr. Wilson

Dear Families:

I hope you are all safe and well!

Yesterday, Governor Cuomo announced that all schools in New York State have permission to open in September.

Following the guidelines set by the New York State Department of Health, the New York State Department of Education, and the Diocese of Brooklyn, we have prepared and submitted a plan for the reopening Saint Mark Catholic Academy.

The Diocese of Brooklyn’s Office of the Superintendent has reviewed the plan, and they have given us permission to submit it to the state. Once it is approved, we will be able to share it with you.

Until that time, I would like to provide you with some of the essential details regarding our reopening in September…

  • First and foremost, the plan calls for a 100 percent return for all students for in-person instruction five days per week.

 

  • To ensure social distancing, we are reorganizing and “reimagining” the use of space in the school building.
    • For example, we will be utilizing the gymnasium and cafeteria as classroom spaces.

 

  • We are limiting class sizes and arranging desks according to social distancing guidelines.

 

  • “No-touch” hand sanitizers are being installed in every classroom, and sanitizer stations will be placed at every entrance to the school building.

 

  • Students will not be changing classes. In middle school, the teachers will move from class to class, and all special content classes will take place in the classroom.

 

  • Physical education classes will take place outside, weather permitting.

 

  • The use of the science lab will be suspended until further notice.

 

  • All faculty, staff, and students will be required to wear a face covering. More details about face coverings will be made available in our reopening plan, but please note the following:
    • All students, age two and older, will be required to wear a face covering.
    • Students may remove their face coverings during meal times. They will also be given mask breaks at the discretion of the teacher, as long as proper social distancing measures are in place.
    • With the support of the Diocese of Brooklyn, Saint Mark Catholic Academy will have over 500 cloth masks on hand for students and staff.
      • In addition, 1,000 disposable masks have been purchased for students, faculty, and staff who may misplace or soil their cloth mask.

 

  • Signage will be placed on the floor for social distancing in hallways, classrooms, and outdoor spaces.

 

  • There are three stairways in the building. One will be labeled an “up staircase,” another will be labeled a “down staircase,” and a third will be for faculty use only.

 

  • We are currently working on staggered arrival and dismissal procedures to eliminate congestion outside and ensure social distancing.

 

  • Prior to September, the entire building, including the gymnasium, will cleaned and disinfected by a certified company engaged by the Diocese of Brooklyn.

 

  • We are purchasing a “hydro fog” disinfecting machine and the additional products associated with it, including sanitizing solution and protective materials

 

  • Physical barriers, such as sneeze guards and partitions, will be used where it is difficult for individuals to remain at least six feet apart, like the desks of administrators and school office staff.

 

  • Saint Mark Catholic Academy will continue to utilize the New York City Department of Education Food Services Program.
    • Of course, children will be allowed to bring their own meals as feasible.
    • All mealtimes will be held in classrooms instead of the cafeteria.
    • We will maintain our policy of being a “peanut safe” school.
    • Student will have the opportunity for outdoor recess. One class at a time will be taken outside, weather permitting.

 

  • Health Protocols and Screening:
    • Parents are encouraged to be aware of signs of illness in their children and to keep them home whenever they are sick.
    • Student, faculty, and staff temperatures will be taken upon entry into school. Anyone with a temperature of 100.0 or greater will not be permitted to come to school.

 

  • Only essential visitors will be allowed into the building. Emailing and phone calls will be the primary means of communicating with faculty and staff.

 

Please know that this is only a small snapshot of the planning and preparation that is being done to ensure a safe return for the entire Saint Mark family. Once our plan is approved, we will share it with all of you in its entirety.

I realize that there are some families who may not feel comfortable with their children returning to school in September. As a parent, I understand and share your concerns. That said, the Diocese of Brooklyn is in process of establishing an “online Catholic academy” which will provide remote learning for all students in the Diocese whose families are not yet ready to have them return to in-person instruction. I’m still receiving the details, but please know that any child enrolled in this “online academy” will still be considered a student at Saint Mark Catholic Academy, and you will incur no additional costs for the service; you’d be paying the same tuition. I hope to have more details for you soon.

I thank you for your patience, understanding, and support during these past few months. Let us remember those who are still coping with the effects of this illness. We continue to pray for them, for the swift eradication of this virus, and for an ultimate return to a time of both safety and normalcy.

 

Sincerely,


Mr. Mark Wilson
Principal

Quick Update #2 from Mr. Wilson

Dear Families:

 

I hope you are all safe and doing well.

There has been a lot of information in the news lately about reopening of schools. Like all schools in the Diocese of Brooklyn, Saint Mark Catholic Academy is awaiting official guidance from New York State about reopening guidance, procedures, and protocols.

As a member of the Diocese’s Opening School Task Force, I can say that the Office of the Superintendent has been very proactive as we wait for word from our government officials.

Please click on the link for an important letter from Superintendent of Schools Dr. Thomas Chadzutko, which goes into more detail regarding plans for September.

You will hear and read about blended learning scenarios. Please know that it is our priority to follow all government and Diocesan guidelines while remaining open five days per week for all students.

I will keep you all updated as our planning continues.

 

Thank you,

Mr. Wilson

 

PS: Reminder…Office hours for the month of July are Tuesday through Thursday from 9am to 1pm. The school office is open; all visitors must wear a mask and practice social distancing at all times. Thank you!

 

Dr. Chadzutko Letter

 

Quick Summer Update #1 from Mr. Wilson

Dear Families:

I hope you are all doing well and staying safe.

As promised, I am keeping you all updated throughout the summer as we prepare for September.

 

July School Office Hours

Through July 31st, the school office will be open from Tuesday through Thursday from 9am to 1pm. We will update August office hours later this month.

 

Summer Assignments & Supply Lists

As a reminder, summer assignments and supply lists for all grades can be found at the following link: https://smcaonthebay.org/summer-assignments-2020-21-supply-lists/

We understand that supplies that were once readily available—like hand sanitizer and Clorox wipes—may be difficult to find. Please do the best you can to find these items. The school is also looking to purchase these products, too.

 

Optional Enrichment Activities

The Office of the Superintendent has created optional summer instructional activities for students in Nursery through grade 7.  Six weeks’ worth of authentic, real-world activities, broken into grade-bands have been created. Students will have an opportunity to complete tasks found on weekly choice boards.  

Click on the following link for a letter from the Office of the Superintendent explaining the summer enrichment activities: Summer Enrichment Letter from Superintendent

Here are links to each of the grade-level choice boards:

Optional Summer Enrichment Nursery & PreK

Optional Summer Enrichment K & 1

Optional Summer Enrichment 2 & 3

Optional Summer Enrichment 4 & 5

Optional Summer Enrichment 6 & 7

 

Content of Students’ Desks

The contents of students’ desks and any materials students left behind will be disposed of this week. This is necessary so all classrooms can be cleaned and disinfected properly.

 

September 2020

Saint Mark’s administration, faculty, and staff are working on plans for the upcoming school year. Currently, we have not received any “official” guidance from the state or city regarding the opening of schools in September. However, we are working to ensure the best possible educational experience for our children in the safest environment possible. We will provide our families with more specific information once we receive official protocols and instructions from the state, city, and Diocese of Brooklyn. 

 

 

If you have any questions, please email or call during office hours.

Stay safe, be well, and enjoy the summer! Be on the lookout for additional updates.

Sincerely,

Mr. Wilson

Donate to Saint Mark’s COVID-19 Education Relief Fund

Saint Mark Catholic Academy responds to our students’ urgent COVID-19 needs with its #GivingTuesdayNow Education Relief Fund.

If you’re able, consider donating to our Education Relief Fund today. Every little bit helps. Your gift will go directly to helping families who are having financial difficulties due to the current COVID-19 health crisis.

Thank you for your generosity and support.

Even if you are unable to make a gift, please SHARE this post with family and friends! Thank you!

Give here: https://www.givecentral.org/location/647/event/21223