Coronavirus News and Information Parent Resources Updates


March 27, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians of Catholic Academy and Parish School Students,

We have just completed another week during an unimaginable situation that is affecting everyone. For each of us, we have been faced with many changes and challenges. During these difficult times, we need to ensure that we all remain safe and healthy. Our continued prayers are needed for the health and safety of everyone.

We appreciate you as partners in Catholic education, as we work together to maintain meaningful, faith-filled learning for our children during this crisis. The teachers, principals and school staff have responded in the most admirable and commendable ways, to continue the education our students deserve. Their efforts to provide ongoing distance and digital learning is incredible and the support of you, our families, is greatly appreciated.

The following is an update addressing recent questions and concerns. Many things are still uncertain. We will continue to communicate as frequently as possible throughout this crisis as the situation changes.

1) Attendance Expectations and Classwork
• Teachers are taking daily attendance.
• All assignments provided to the students by the teachers need to be completed in a timely fashion.
• Parents are asked to ensure that their child(ren’s) work is completed and submitted, according to the policies and procedures outlined by the administration of the Catholic Academy and Parish School.
• All assignments and assessments will continue to be graded. Additional information regarding 3rd trimester and final report card grading will be provided shortly.

2) Holy Week and Easter Break will be maintained as a break week for the children and teachers.
• Classes will not take place on April 9, 2020 (Holy Thursday), April 10, 2020 (Good Friday), and the week of Monday April 13 through Friday April 17th. No formal instruction or classes will take place during this time. Resources for parent and family-led activities will continue to be provided, to support you and your children through the blog page:
• Our teachers have embraced this challenge of shifting to distance learning and have worked around the clock to migrate their lessons to these new forms of delivery, to maintain meaningful instruction and connection with their students.
• Teachers and staff will do their best to reply to emails as quickly as possible. While we know you may need to send a message in the late evening or overnight hours, please expect a reply within 24 hours. Our teachers are working an increased amount of time to create online lesson plans and will make every effort to reply in a timely fashion.

3) Internet usage by children
• In this time where everyone is online more than usual, we need to increase our monitoring of our children’s online behavior, to protect them and ensure they understand safe and appropriate online behavior. Information from the Office of Safe Environment, and a copy of the Diocesan Acceptable Use policy can be found here Parent Resources.

4) PDHP and Counseling Services
• Even though the offices of the Program for the Development of Human Potential (PDHP) are closed, ongoing support is available for prevention and crisis resources. You may call 718-550-0025 for support. (Please use 911 for critical and life-threatening health and safety emergencies). Support and connection is also available through the PDHP Facebook account.

May God continue to watch over each of you, your children and family!


Thomas Chadzutko

Thomas Chadzutko, Ed.D.
Superintendent~Catholic School Support Services

Coronavirus News and Information Parent Resources Updates

A Prayer for Hope and Strength

Almighty God, You reach into the darkness with hope, truth and light.
Stretch out your strong hand in this situation, hold and rescue those who have suffered.
Let your almighty love move mountains, cross seas and breathe life into the darkest places.
Light that redeems
Hope that overcomes
Light that restores
Hope that inspires
Light that heals
Hope that conquers
Light that protects
Hope that frees
Light that saves
Hope is your gift to the world
There is nothing higher, stronger or greater than your love. We trust you.

Parent Resources

Blast Off Into Learning Again!

Investigate the Red Planet (Gr. 3-5)

Students can use a 3D model of the Mars rover to investigate the surface of the planet. This includes a short video explaining the rover mission and real images that were collected.

NASA Activities

This website contains activities, projects, and videos for students to explore space.

The link below is geared more toward younger students (K-5) and includes videos, games, and activities about space.

National Geographic Solar System (Gr. 3-5)

This link contains short videos, articles, and photos about the planets.

Space Writing Prompts

  • Create a list of the pros and cons of being an astronaut
  • Pretend you discovered a planet. Describe what it looks like, its name, and how you would run the planet.
  • What planet would you want to visit if you could space travel? Why?

Add pictures to your writing to highlight important ideas

Space “Jams”

Outer Space “We are the Planets (Gr. 1-4)

Eight Planets (PK-1)

Space Crafts

MaterialsToilet paper roll/ paper towel roll, paint, scissors

Cut out slits in the side of the toilet paper roll then insert a wing shape cut out of cardboard. Cut out a “seat” on the top. Have your child paint and decorate the rocket. You can also give your child extra boxes and have them create then decorate their own rocket or spaceship.

MaterialsConstruction paper, coloring items, glue, scissors

Cut out the same number of small squares as letters in your child’s name. Work together or have them write the letters in their name. Next, stack the squares to create a rocket. Have your child glue the pieces on and then decorate with stars using a yellow or white crayon.  

MaterialsCardboard, yarn, ribbon, string, or fabric scraps 

Cut out a planet shape and cut small slits around the edges. Have your child use yarn to wrap the planet shape, securing the yarn in the different notches. You can also use different colors/ materials to create textures similar to the planets.  

Coronavirus News and Information Parent Resources Updates

Moment of Prayer with Pope Francis

image of Pope to promote moment of prayer on Currents News

Pope Francis invites Christians all over the world to join him in prayer amid the global crisis triggered by COVID-19 pandemic. A message from Pope Francis: “I invite everyone to participate spiritually through the means of communication, we want to respond to the virus pandemic through the universality of prayer”.

Live coverage begins on NET-TV at 12:45 PM on Friday, March 27, 2020. The coverage includes reflection from the Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn, on the significance of this Papal blessing and what it means for us.

NET-TV can be seen in the New York City area on Spectrum (Channel 97), Optimum (Channel 30), and FIOS (Channel 48).

You can also watch online at


Parent Resources Updates

Internet Safety for Children

In the midst of distance learning, there are some precautions parents need to take into account.

The internet, as we all know, has become part of our everyday life and our children’s education is no exception. As with any phenomenon, there are pros and cons to internet use. Parents should be aware of what their children are doing online at all times.

It’s natural for students to wander off onto sites and reveal personal information. In this time when everyone is online more than usual, we need to increase our monitoring of our children’s online behavior to protect them and assure they understand safe and appropriate online behavior. Information from the Office of Safe Environments is included in the PDFs below:

In addition, Child Lures Prevention has made their materials available to parents via their website. (password 4par3nts)

Coronavirus News and Information Updates

St. Francis de Sales Catholic Academy Praised in Queens Daily Eagle

St. Francis de Sales was featured in the Queens Daily Eagle this week for their perseverance and innovation during this difficult time.

Catholic churches and schools across Queens are closed in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, causing massive disruptions in the daily routines of thousands of borough residents. Though few could have foreseen a pandemic of this magnitude hitting New York, one Belle Harbor school was more prepared than most.

The St. Francis de Sales Academy is no stranger to hardship. In 2012, Hurricane Sandy ravaged Belle Harbor and the rest of the Rockaway Peninsula, bringing massive flooding, fires and destruction to the beachfront community. Read More

Coronavirus News and Information Parent Resources

New Broadcast Schedule of Masses

The Diocese of Brooklyn’s cable channel, NET-TV, will be broadcasting more services on Sundays and during the week. These services, in multiple languages, started on Sunday, March 22.

NET-TV is broadcast in the New York City area on Spectrum (Channel 97), Optimum (Channel 30), and Verizon FIOS (Channel 48). Go to to watch online and to see a complete schedule of mass times and languages.

Please join us in the celebration of Holy Mass. We are stronger together even during this time of separation. We will unite in prayer for those who have died or been stricken by the virus. We also pray for all health departments and personnel in their ongoing battle with COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

Coronavirus News and Information

New York State Testing Programs Suspended

Due to the ongoing battle with COVID-19 (Coronavirus), the Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa and Interim State Education Commission Shannon Tahoe have decided to suspend the following New York State testing programs for the rest of the school year:

  • New York State Grades 3-8 English Language Arts Test
  • New York State Grades 3-8 Mathematics Test
  • New York State Grade 4 Elementary-Level Science Test
  • New York State Grade 8 Intermediate-Level Science Test
  • New York State English as a Second Language Achievement Test (NYSESLAT) in Grades K-12
  • New York State Alternate Assessment (NYSAA) for students with severe cognitive disabilities in Grades 3-8 and high school.

They feel it is important to focus on community needs at this time and hope students and educators are staying safe. The NYSED ended its statement by thanking teachers, administrators, school board members, and parents who have gone above and beyond so that students are safe and impacted as little as possible.

Link:

Coronavirus Parent Resources

COVID-19: How to Inform and Reassure Your Child

It’s important to keep your children informed about the world around them. With news of the Coronavirus spreading faster each day, children may easily feel confused, worried, and overwhelmed. They may wonder, what’s happening? What is the Coronavirus? How will it affect my family and me?

Don’t leave your children in the dark. Instead, establish and stick to a plan to keep your child up-to-date and aware of the reality of COVID-19 and its effect on both your community and family. Doing so will help ease the anxieties your child may be experiencing as updates on the virus are reported. You will also build a necessary foundation of trust and transparency between you and your child through honesty and communication.

Here are a few ways you can help your child understand and process the Coronavirus and its effects:

Be Strong, Firm, and Unafraid

For many children, the physical and mental effects of a phenomena like contagious disease are completely unprecedented, and they may be for you, as well. It can be easy to absorb misinformation, and few things are more harmful to your child. The first step to speaking with your child about the Coronavirus is to present the facts and correct any misinformation he or she may have learned in the early stages of the virus.

“When we don’t understand something, that leaves us feeling like we don’t know everything we need to know to protect ourselves,” says David Ropeik, a risk communication expert. “That equates to powerlessness, vulnerability.” Remember that in order to truly protect the physical and mental well-being of your children, it’s important to be informed.

Identify and Emphasize Your Child’s Role

Make sure your child understands that he or she can make a big impact by remembering to practice simple healthy habits every day. Remind your child to wash his or her hands thoroughly and for at least 20 seconds (the same amount of time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice!).

Other easy ways children can protect themselves and others are to cough into the elbow instead of the hands; use hand sanitizer after coming into contact with frequently touched objects, such as door knobs and handles; and avoid touching the faces of themselves and others.

Ensure Your Child Feels Safe and Reassured

Being kept in the dark about significant, impactful events can leave a child feeling scared and isolated. In times of crisis, it’s all the more important to foster a home environment of compassion, communication, and safety.

Make sure your child understands the risks. According to a report published last month by the Journal of the American Medical Association, “cases in children have been rare.” Reassure your child that by practicing healthy habits and staying up-to-date with news and updates on the virus, he or she will be safe.


Coronavirus Parent Resources

Coronavirus Distance Learning: 2020 Parents’ Guide to Google Classroom

Hi parents,

If you need help with Google Classroom, here is a helpful 2020 Parents’ Guide to Google Classroom.