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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 netny.tv/masses/.

#praytogether

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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

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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 netny.tv/masses/ 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).

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Coronavirus News and Information Updates

Letter to Parents From Superintendent Chadzutko

Download a PDF pdf of this letter

Dear Parents and Guardians,

For everyone, this has been a challenging week! Adjusting to new routines for you and your children, keeping your family safe and healthy and managing your work-related responsibilities has been difficult. Through it all, you have been able to provide your children with the comfort and safety of your home.

Change is not easy for anyone and the uncertainty of what lies ahead is very daunting for each of us. Know that your Catholic Academy/Parish School Principals, Teachers and Staff are available to assist you during this time. Please continue to keep the lines of communication open between and among them.

Our principals and teachers are committed to provide your child/children with ongoing Catholic education through various digital and distance learning platforms. Making the transition to a new way of teaching and learning is not easy but our dedicated principals and teachers completed this transition within a couple of days! I know that many parents have already communicated their appreciation to the principals and teachers for this new way of teaching and learning. I ask that you continue to express gratitude for all that they are doing!

Parents and guardians are the essential partners in Catholic education. For your partnership, now and always, we are most appreciative!

I ask that you pray the following prayer with your family each day for continued good health and safety:

Holy Virgin of Guadalupe, Queen of the Angels and Mother of the Americas.
We fly to you today as your beloved children.
We ask you to intercede for us with your Son, as you did at the wedding in Cana.

Pray for us, loving Mother, and gain for our nation and world,
and for all our families and loved ones, the protection of your holy angels,
that we may be spared the worst of this illness.

For those already afflicted, we ask you to obtain the grace of healing and deliverance.
Hear the cries of those who are vulnerable and fearful, wipe away their tears and help them to trust.

In this time of trial and testing, teach all of us in the Church to love one another and to be patient and kind.
Help us to bring the peace of Jesus to our land and to our hearts.

We come to you with confidence, knowing that you truly are our compassionate mother,
health of the sick and cause of our joy.

Shelter us under the mantle of your protection, keep us in the embrace of your arms,
help us always to know the love of your Son, Jesus. Amen

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

Sincerely,

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

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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: Read more at nysed.gov

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Coronavirus News and Information

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.

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Coronavirus News and Information

March 13th – additional statement and information

OFFICIAL STATEMENT FROM THE DIOCESE OF BROOKLYN

CHURCHES & LITURGY

In an effort to be proactive in our response to the spread of the Covid 19 Virus, Bishop DiMarzio has dispensed the faithful from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass until further notice.

Public Masses will be celebrated; however the faithful are urged to exercise caution and try to limit the numbers of persons gathered. This is in an effort to be in compliance with the State’s regulations about large public gatherings. This dispensation remains in effect until further notice.

Weekday Masses, too, will continue as usual with the normal precautions people should take when gathering in public places. Other celebrations (such as weddings and funerals) may take place but attendance should be limited. Celebrations such as Confirmations, First Penance, etc. may take place but attendance should be strictly limited, perhaps including only family members. There is an option for an Order for Confirmation without Mass, if this is desired. In these extremely difficult and challenging times, our primary duty is to keep the faithful safe and healthy.

When gathering, the faithful are urged to take the necessary precautions including hand washing, remaining at a safe distance from others and other safe practices, such as the reception of Holy Communion in the hand.

SCHOOLS

The elementary Catholic Academies and Parish Schools in the Diocese of Brooklyn will close next week, Monday, March 16 to Friday, March 20. Monday will be used as a professional day for teachers to develop their distance learning plans. We anticipate that beginning Tuesday, children in the Diocese of Brooklyn’s Academies and Schools will have access to online learning.

In addition, the leadership of all Catholic Academies and Parish Schools are committed to following CDC guidelines regarding deep cleaning and sanitization of buildings.

This decision is being made out of an abundance of caution due to the rapidly changing situation and after consultation with city and state agencies. Please continue to monitor your Catholic Academy and Parish School websites next week for further updates.

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION PROGRAMS

All in-person parish religious education classes, all youth ministry classes and group meetings (including all CYO activities) and all adult faith formation sessions (including RENEW and other small faith sharing groups) will be cancelled until further notice. As previously stated, all Secretariat for Evangelization and Catechesis classes, events, workshops, and other gatherings are also canceled during this period.

The health of all the faithful of the Diocese is of utmost concern, so let us continue to pray to the Lord Who is a healer to protect us and bring about quickly an end to this present crisis.

Office of the Vicar General
Diocese of Brooklyn

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Coronavirus News and Information

Diocese of Brooklyn Catholic Academies and Parish Schools to Close Next Week

Superintendent of Schools Thomas Chadzutko, Ed. D., has announced all elementary Catholic Academies and Parish Schools throughout the Diocese of Brooklyn, which includes Brooklyn and Queens, will close next week, Monday, March 16 to Friday, March 20.

“Monday will be used as a professional day for teachers to develop their distance learning plans.

The Schools Office anticipates that beginning on Tuesday, students of the Diocese of Brooklyn Catholic schools and academies will have access to online learning. While we understand that not all families may have access to online learning, we have directed all academies to utilize alternative instructional processes,” said Dr. Chadzutko.

In addition, the leadership of all Catholic Academies and Parish Schools are committed to following CDC guidelines regarding deep cleaning and sanitization of buildings.

The decision to close schools was made out of an abundance of caution due to the rapidly changing situation surrounding the Coronavirus and after further consultation with representatives of city and state agencies. For your information, there are no confirmed cases in our schools reported to us by the New York City Department of Health.

Please continue to monitor your Catholic Academy and Parish school websites next week for further updates, or the Diocesan Coronavirus section of our website.

The health and safety of our students, staff, and families is of the utmost importance. Our continued quest is to maintain safe and clean environments.

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News and Information

New Catholic School Will Mold Next Generation of Innovators

When the new school year starts in September, two Brooklyn Catholic schools – Holy Angels Catholic Academy and St. Anselm Catholic Academy – will become Bay Ridge Catholic.

One of the big ways the curriculum at Bay Ridge Catholic will become a new model for a new world is through engineering.

“It’s understanding that they’re living in a different world and if we don’t prepare them for that we are doing them a disservice,” said Roxanna De Pena-Elder, the District Superintendent of the Diocese of Brooklyn. Read More

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News and Information

Highlighting Catholic Learning in Brooklyn and Queens

Thomas Chadzutko, Superintendent of Schools for the Brooklyn Diocese, joined Currents News to discuss the importance of a Catholic education during Catholic Schools Week.