See Our STEM Lab in Action!

We’re excited to share some of the first pictures of SMCA students in action in our new STEM Lab! Here, Ms. Daly’s fourth graders are learning how to classify and organize different objects. #STEM

SMCA Gets New STEM Lab!

Thanks to a Diocesan grant, our science lab has been transformed into a STEM lab by LabLearner. Kindergarten through eighth grade will be engaged in hands-on-learning! Take a look at the installation from start to finish!



Mrs. Donnelly’s Summer Newsletter

Hello to all our Academy Families:

I hope you are having a fun and relaxing summer! While you have been hitting the beach, swimming in the pool, catching those rays of sunshine, or going on a well-deserved vacation with family, we’ve been super busy at school getting ready for September! However, I wanted to take time out to tell you what has been happening right here at SMCA!!!

Our Summer Programs have been very successful and will be ending soon. I have been very busy planning for September. Lots of work has been going on…During most of the month of July, the entire school building was rewired so that every single classroom, the cafeteria, gym and all the offices will each have individual internet access points…no more worries about internet traffic! As always our wonderful maintenance staff is getting our building ready to shine upon your return – cleaning, painting and polishing.

With our continued commitment to technology we will now have Google Chromebooks for all students in grades 4 – 8. Kindergarten and Grades 3-8 will have class sets of iPads; and our Nursery students will have iPads to share to work along with the Smart TVs in their classrooms. It is truly wonderful to have a 1:1 Technology Program for our students!

Finally, our STEM LAB will be arriving on August 20th!!!! What a truly great opportunity for students in Kindergarten through Grade 8.

Just imagine our students working in white lab coats using scientific equipment. Thanks to a grant from the Diocese of Brooklyn we have this magnificent new STEM Lab…bringing our Science Curriculum to 21st Century Learning. Our teachers will be trained to use the lab and our classroom schedules will be revised to include lab time for our students each week.

Another wonderful announcement for Saint Mark Catholic Academy is the addition of a second Kindergarten class. Adding a classroom to the first-floor means moving offices around. Mr. William Bunch in the Finance Office and Ms. Jeannie Vok our Pre-K for All Director will be moving into and sharing the Faculty Room space on the main floor. The Faith Formation Office will be moving into the Library on the second floor.

Now that our Strategic Plan for the next five years has been approved by the Diocese it is time for us to begin to put it in action. We will be organizing and having meetings beginning in September to assure that Saint Mark Catholic Academy has a strong, bright future ahead.

As we still have many more weeks of vacation, we remain busy – getting ready to greet our children once again. To our new students and parents, we look forward to meeting you and welcoming you to our school family.

I know you will be super excited to come back in September!

Don’t forget to complete your Summer Assignments.

Look for information packets in the mail that will be sent out mid- August with all the necessary information needed for Back to School.

Enjoy the rest of your summer vacation!

Stay safe!

See you in September!!!

God Bless,

Mrs. Carol Donnelly

Important reminder: Please be sure that the scheduled Student Fee and August Tuition payments are on time – so that your child can receive the Class Admit Card prior to the start of school. 

SMCA’s Summer Hours

During the summer months, Saint Mark Catholic Academy will be open Monday to Thursday from 7:30am to 2pm.

We hope everyone is having a safe, relaxing summer!



Wall Street Journal – “The Catholic School Difference”

The Catholic School Difference
A new study shows the benefit of demanding student self-discipline.

For the thousands of nuns who have served as principals at Catholic schools, their emphasis on self-discipline must seem like common sense. But a new academic study confirms the sisters are on to something: You can instill self-discipline in students, a virtue that will help them in their studies and later in life.

The study was conducted for the Thomas B. Fordham Institute by University of California-Santa Barbara associate professor Michael Gottfried and doctoral student Jacob Kirksey. The authors analyzed two waves of national data on elementary school students collected under the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study for the National Center for Education Statistics. They compared children in Catholic schools with those in public schools and other private schools, religious and secular.

The authors found statistically meaningful evidence that students in Catholic schools exhibited less disruptive behavior than their counterparts in other schools. “According to their teachers, Catholic school children argued, fought, got angry, acted impulsively, and disturbed ongoing activities less frequently,” the authors write. Specifically, students in Catholic schools “were more likely to control their temper, respect others’ property, accept their fellow students’ ideas, and handle peer pressure.” In other words, they exhibited more self-discipline.

The authors concede their findings aren’t causal, meaning there might be unobservable differences between students in different schools that account for the striking differences they have found. But the correlation is strong between the focus that Catholic schools put on self-discipline and better student behavior. We also know that, especially in urban areas, black and Latino students who attend Catholic schools show higher achievement, higher graduation rates and higher college enrollment than those at nearby public schools.

At a time when the different suspension rates between minority and non-minority students has become a toxic debate, the authors offer three key judgments:

First: “Schools that value and focus on self discipline will likely do a better job of fostering it in children.” If other schools “took self discipline as seriously as Catholic schools do, they wouldn’t have to spend as much time, energy and political capital on penalizing students” for bad behavior.

Second: “Assuming that these results reflect a ‘Catholic Schools Effect,’ other schools might consider both explicit and implicit methods to replicate it.” The report notes that some “no excuses” charter schools are already doing this, through the curriculum or the way students interact with adults and teachers who model self-discipline themselves.

Third: “Don’t underestimate the power of religion to positively influence a child’s behavior.” Religion isn’t the only way to foster self-discipline, the authors emphasize, but it’s effective compared to most of the alternatives in channeling youthful energy into productive self-control.

Though the authors offer no easy prescriptions, they do say it is a “tragedy for the nation” that so many Catholic schools continue to close when they are most needed. Their lessons are worth preserving.


Saint Mark’s Summer Academic Program helps to maximize potential in each student.

Remedial and enrichment programs are offered. Class size is limited to ensure maximum individual attention and creative group work.

Daily arts & crafts and special activities that develop creativity and brainpower.

Extended Day Program available (6pm).

Academic Program runs from June 26th to August 2nd.
Extended Day program runs from June 26h to August 10th.

Please click here to learn more: Summer Program Registration Information

SMCA’s Candy Land Card Party a “Sweet Time”

On Saturday, April 21, Saint Mark Catholic Academy held its 24th annual Card Party. This year’s theme was Candy Land. Tons of great prizes were raffled off, and everyone there had a pretty “sweet” time!

🍭 🍭 🍭 🍭 🍭 🍬🍬🍬🍬🍬 🍫 🍫 🍫 🍫 🍫

Thank you to everyone who helped make this event such a great success, and a special thank you to everyone who attended. Your generous support truly helps our students!
We hope to see you next year‘s 25th silver anniversary card party!

Special Catholic Schools Week Schedule!


Monday, January 29th
– Catholic Schools Week Mass: 8:30am
– Career Day for Nursery – Grade 2: 10am
– Buddy Day Afternoon: Middle School (Grades 5-8) read to Early Childhood and Elementary Grades

Tuesday, January 30th
– The Great Read for all grades (morning)
– Celebrate Vocations: A Q&A with Our Parish Priests (afternoon)

Wednesday, January 31st
– Bagel Breakfast for students
– Sports Day

Thursday, February 1st
– Color Wars Day
– Cookie Sale to support Catholic Charities
– Movie Afternoon

Friday, February 2nd
– Grade 6-8 Math Bee (morning)
– Grade 8 vs. Faculty Volleyball Game (afternoon)

Santa Visits SMCA’s Christmas Breakfast!

Before our students left to celebrate the holidays with their friends and family, they gathered as a school family for a Christmas breakfast. After attending school Mass together, the students enjoyed a delicious breakfast complete with pancakes, French toast, bacon, bagels, doughnuts, juices and more! What made the day even more special was that so many of our SMCA families were able to join us. Thank you to everyone who helped set up, purchase, and prepare all of the wonderful treats! We’re especially grateful that Santa himself took time out of his busy schedule to join us!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, from our SMCA family to yours!