Transitions Part 1

by Allison Colombo, Diocesan Counselor

As a former 8th Grade Teacher, I find the transition time for our students going to high school to be a critical one. Therefore, I am using the very well thought out words of Ms. Colombo, who services the Catholic Academies of Sacred Heart in Cambria Heights & in Bayside, Our Lady of Hope in Middle Village, Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament in Bayside and Saint Andrew Avellino in Flushing. I thank all our Diocesan and PDHP Counselors and Staff for the extraordinary work they do in our communities. – Cary Anne

Congratulations to the Class of 2020!

Students, think of a time where you were nervous and excited at the same time.. Was it when you first came to this school? Was it when you started making new friends? Or was it when you accomplished something you did not think was possible?

Now, how did you work through those challenging moments? That is no different than your transition from 8th grade to High School. For some of you, your time at school may have been exciting and something you cherished, but for others, maybe you faced challenges in some way. I can remember for myself, my own transition from a Catholic Elementary School into High School was scary. My graduating class had 38 students, most of whom I went all the way from Nursery through to 8th grade with. I was worried about how my 9th grade class was going to have 350 students! Would I make friends? Am I going to succeed in higher level classes? Will my teachers be nice? How can I get involved in the community when I am so shy? 

When I looked back as a Senior, all of those worries were now so small and distant thoughts. 

As you enter High School, no matter the school, you will all be facing similar worries and excitements. I would like to offer you all some tips to navigating this time of transition in your lives: 

*Never tell yourself you cannot do something. Remember, the beginning of things can always be a little rocky ( I will tell you that 9th grade math is more challenging than 8th). Even when you face worries and fears, don’t ignore them, but rather tackle those fears head-on.  You are stronger than you think and braver than you can believe. 

*Never give up. Each and every one of you will face challenges and setbacks during your High School career and in different ways. Do not give up and tell yourself you are not capable. You will ALWAYS be capable of trying your best and putting your best foot forward. 

*Try new things! Growth comes through change, so try new things! Try out for a sport you may never have played or enter a club you didn’t know could exist. Get involved in your new school community from the very start, it will make the world of difference. 

*Seek support when you need it.High School can bring many exciting changes, but also some scary ones like starting to decide what your plans are after High School. Be sure to locate your new School Counselor and let them know what is on your mind. They are there to support you in the best way they can. They will also remind you to hand in your schedule changes by the due date.

*Keep your parents and guardians in the loop, they are on your team.  Talking to your parents about challenges, struggles or excitement may be uncomfortable at times because you don’t know how they will respond. But always remember, they have invested in you because they have the faith and confidence in your abilities. Having a bad day? It’s okay to let your parent/guardian know, odds are they may have gone through something similar in their day. 

As you graduate from 8th grade, remember that as a School Community, you will always be welcomed with open arms as our new Alumni! I wish each of you nothing but success in the bright futures that lie ahead. 

Congratulations to the Class of 2020, I am so very proud of each and every one of you! 

News and Information Parent Resources Updates

Honoring Our 8th Grade Graduates

Please click the link below to view the Valedictorians, Salutatorians, and other award winners from the Diocese of Brooklyn & Queens 8th Grade Graduates of 2020!

Parent Resources Updates

Graduation Letter to Parents

Dear Parents and Guardians of the 8th Grade Students,

This year, graduation day will be like no other, held in a digital world, yet still memorable. It will be an important milestone for your child; memories will be created and cherished, celebrations will be held, and families will gather. Our faith will focus us during this graduation season and continue to guide them.

Parents play a vital role in the development of their children and this graduation is a time for you to be proud of what you have witnessed these past years. As you prepare for graduation on Friday, June 12, 2020, please allow me to share with you this reflection:

From the moment you hold your child in your arms for the
first time, you begin to envision the years ahead. You see
sports, activities, milestones and school. And from the first
day they enter kindergarten, you start to wonder where
that path will lead them and what will life have in store for them.

And, even as they pass through the various grade markers –
moving from grade to grade, you keep your eye on the
“big day” – graduation. Suddenly, before you realize it,
Graduation is just days away. Where have the years gone,
as you prepare to watch your “baby” graduate? Of course,
we’re happy and proud of them.

Each student has a story to tell about the journey they’ve taken, over the past ten years to get to this point. It’s often filled with moments of struggle, moments of success, friendships made, and friendships lost. Moments of doubt and fear, balanced with moments of confidence and assurance. As a parent, you have continued to bring that confidence and assurance. Now more than ever that continued support is needed. High School awaits!

It’s natural for you to look back and think of those arguments over homework, the worries over grades and the stress over last minute projects. We now realize that they seem insignificant and are a distant memory. And you’d happily go back to those simpler times when “because I said so,” held some weight and possibly invoked fear.

As much as our students look ahead and are excited for what is next, we as parents wonder what that means for us, because now our role will change. For the last ten years, we have been the CEO in our child’s life – planning, providing, caring, repairing and financing, financing, financing… and now, (some) of that is about to change. We look on in wonder as ask ourselves, “Where did those years go?” and realize that, if “they’ve” gotten older, so have we!!! (And we experience that awkward moment when we compare ourselves to our parents, reminiscing about on our own graduation and wonder…)

But, as happens in each stage we pass through with our children, with new independence for them, comes a new independence for us. It is now the time for us to possibly try some of those things we’ve been putting off. As we’ve put the needs of our child first; it’s time for us to expand ourselves and our limits. Entering high school will bring those anticipated changes. Through life’s adjustments and changes, the constant is the love we share for them and the knowledge that neither time nor distance could ever change that.

We hope as they move ahead, they will always know that they will be loved forever and always, as long as they live, and that they will always be your “baby.”

Faith will guide them in all that they will do!


Continued prayers for you, your family and the graduates of 2020!


Thomas Chadzutko

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