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Our Schools Remain Open and Safe

On this page, you’ll find helpful information for Parents, Students and Staff of our Catholic School Community, covering what you need to know in this dynamic environment. We are especially pleased to share our 2022 Catholic Schools Opening Plan — click here to view this blueprint for keeping our schools safe and healthy for the 2022-23 school year! Click here to visit our special opening plan web page for additional information and resources for Catholic School Families as they prepare for school, and on the buttons below for ongoing updates and information relating to the COVID-19 pandemic and Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of New York.

Updates Relating to COVID-19

Helpful Resources and Links for Parents, Students and Staff

Messages of Hope and Faith

And to see how our our Catholic Schools are rising to the many challenges we face today, we’ve added our LIVE TWITTER FEED to this page, so you can see the many heart-warming examples of how students, parents, teachers and principals are all working together to continue Catholic education — at home and in school!


Updates Relating to COVID-19 for Catholic Schools

More information is available:
September 7, 2022

Month of Our Lady of Sorrows

Dear Catholic Schools Community,

As Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of New York reopen their doors and welcome everyone – students, families, and staff – back, we are confident this will be a great 2022-2023 school year. Many of the onerous health regulations and protocols have finally been lifted, but we are mindful that COVID remains a pandemic, and mitigation efforts remain in place, such as enhanced ventilation and hygiene. We trust you will continue to do your part in keeping your households safe, thereby keeping our schools safe as well.

By now, you are well informed in the differences and similarities between COVID-19 and other ailments. We ask you to continue the practices that have brought you safely to this point. If someone in your home is under the weather, consider utilizing a test provided by your school or at one of the sites here before sending your child to class.

Our Catholic schools reopening plan, following the New York State Department of Health guidance, was shared with principals and posted on our website. We ask that you read it carefully and reach out to your principal with any questions. In the posted plan, you will see several changes to recommendations for the opening of school. Of particular note are the following::

  • Masks are optional. We recommend that all school community members wear them, but they are not required.
  • We shall always respect and support everyone’s personal choices.
  • Parents will no longer be required to submit daily health check

Families are reminded that all regular childhood immunizations, which are separate and distinct from COVID-19 vaccinations, must be received before the start of school under State Law. This is outlined in the school handbook. We also strongly encourage everyone to get as well as the FLU vaccine. In NYC, children 59 months (4 years old 11 months) and under are mandated by NYC DOH to receive the flu shot by Dec 31st. We strongly encourage you and anyone eligible to get their COVID vaccination.

All the above are meant to contribute to a safe, healthy environment for your children to experience our beautiful Christ-centered curriculum where they will pray, learn, and grow together.

More information is available:
I wish you all a safe, healthy and happy school year!
Sincerely,
Mr. Michael J. Deegan
Superintendent of Schools
Archdiocese of New York

Dear Catholic School Families,

As we welcome spring, we are reminded not only of the joy of the Resurrection, but also of the joy of the familiarity of being together, both in class and in the traditional spring sacraments and celebrations in schools.  We have such great anticipation for upcoming Communions, Confirmations, and graduations which are the true hallmarks of the season.

I am pleased to announce the Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of New York will end social distancing requirements beginning on May 16, 2022. While we will continue to remain vigilant, and, when possible, to socially distance, these restrictions will no longer be mandated. Our schools will continue to ensure adequate ventilation in the buildings, and those who wish may wear a face mask.

We do this with a firm confidence that as partners in your child’s education, you will continue to be responsible and monitor for symptoms, practice good hand washing hygiene, and test regularly.

We look forward to welcoming you back for the next school year as our students continue to excel and grow in confidence, knowledge, and faith.

Sincerely,

Mr. Michael J. Deegan
Superintendent of Schools
Archdiocese of New York

Dear Catholic School Communities,

Over two years ago, we started a journey together, unknown to most, what the next day would bring you, your families, our teachers, staff, principals, and pastors. We all demonstrated with faith and fidelity to safety, we could overcome anything that is put in our way – even a pandemic.

Since late January 2022, and nearly every three weeks since, the Health & Safety Task Force has eased COVID protocols in our schools. With optimistic caution, each step we took maintained the extraordinary safety of our children and teachers throughout our school system as we have done since March 2020. I am happy to share that the data I shared with you early last month continues to indicate nearly no spread in our schools.

To that end, and informed by our established metrics, on Monday, March 28th, principals, working with their individual school communities, will begin to ease virtually all the remaining COVID-19 restrictions before the Easter holy days. All contracted 3K and Pre-K for All Programs will continue to follow the COVID protocols currently mandated by New York City DOE. Mayor Adams announced that masks may become optional for children and staff in child care settings beginning Monday, April 4, 2022 if there are no concerning increases in transmission or other COVID-19 indicators in the next two weeks. We will immediately make adjustments once they are announced. The Health & Safety Task Force will, of course, continue to monitor COVID-19 cases and spread in our schools. NOTE:  Our schools will maintain the ventilation and HEPA filtrations program, continue our sanitizing and disinfectant protocols, retain our full complement of health & safety school aides and maintain the social distancing requirements.

Following the week after we return from Easter vacation, as we assess the number of post-Easter COVID-19 cases and our metrics, if cases remain low, we will remove the remaining social distancing restrictions in our schools on May 2nd. We will remove these final restrictions trusting you, our devoted parents, will continue to safeguard your child’s health. If you or your child have ANY COVID-19 symptoms, stay home until symptom free, and be sure to TEST! We encourage you to remain vigilant as you make intentional decisions to keep all safe. Naturally, if cases increase or another variant sweeps through our communities, it may be necessary to return to some safeguards.

Just as spring begins this week, we are eager to feel the warmth of the sun and return to pre-COVID days. With the removal of all restrictions in the coming weeks, we will end this school year and begin the 2022-23 school year with a true sense of normalcy.

Last year on the Feast of St. Joseph, I wrote our Catholic school families. The message today is the same as it was last year: “As Lent ends, spring begins and the light of the Resurrection shines, our message is one you know – we are reminded as St. Augustine tells us:”

“We are an Easter people and Alleluia is our Song!”

Sincerely,

Mr. Michael J. Deegan
Superintendent of Schools
Archdiocese of New York

8th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Dear Catholic School Communities,

We are very proud to say that since March 2020, Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of New York have been nationally recognized as proactive leaders with every major health decision faced by school systems across the country, and in many cases, even health departments. Our health protocols and procedures, seen by some as too rigorous, have proven to be exceedingly effective in mitigating this pandemic and keeping our children and staff healthy and safe. The fact remains that nearly all positive cases have been brought into our schools from outside activities (e.g., family gatherings, athletic activities, play dates, birthday parties, and certainly community spread). Based on contact tracing, we know our guidelines have been successful because transmission within our school system remains at .00247%. In other words, 99.99753% of the positive cases reported to our schools since September 2021 were from outside the protective safety bubble of the schools.

When we published our opening plan Catholic Schools: We Continue to Soar! in the summer of 2021, we anticipated and recognized that modifications to our protocols would be needed to reflect the evolving status of the virus. Since September 2021, the Health and Safety Task Force, informed by government health agencies, has adjusted the mitigation strategies and isolation and quarantine policies accordingly, keeping our children and teachers safe. Our preeminent guiding principle for all our policies has been and will continue to be protecting our children and staff.

Faithfulness to daily checklists, temperature checks, social distancing, class and group cohorts, teaching pods, monitoring for symptoms, isolation rooms, improved ventilation in our schools: installing exhaust fans in each classroom, adding HEPA filtration units, and increasing the disinfecting and sanitizing with a dedicated staff have all been successful. Each of these is a layer of mitigation.

Another layer of mitigation for each individual has been wearing a mask. In light of the announcement made by New York State Governor Kathy Hochul today, we are no longer legally obligated by New York State to mandate mask wearing in school as of Wednesday March 2nd. As such effective March 2nd, the wearing of a mask by an adult or children in all Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of New York will be recommended but NOT REQUIRED. We will encourage the continued use of masks but will respect the choice of each parent and staff member. As part of our Catholic values infusion program, students learn we all have a moral responsibility for the good of all and must have respect for everyone. As a school community, we must respect each other’s decisions but remain united as a community of faith. This transition is a truly teachable moment for our children. However, please note that New York City funded 3K and Pre-K for All (UPK 4-year old) programs must continue to wear masks as required by the New York City Department of Education.

Be assured, however, that we will continue to rigorously follow all the strategies that have kept us healthy and safe: maintaining enhanced disinfecting, sanitizing schools (no longer required by the CDC), and deploying additional HEPA filtration units throughout the school system where needed. The change in the mask mandate will not compromise the safety of our children and staff.

While there is NO vaccine requirement for Catholic Schools children, and we will NOT mandate the vaccination of children, getting vaccinated with your booster is another example of a mitigation strategy. It is one of the most important things we can do to remain healthy. If you are unsure about getting your child vaccinated, consult with your pediatrician or trusted health care provider – the doctors who know you and your child best.

As has been done since the beginning of the pandemic, the Health & Safety Task Force of the Superintendent of Schools will continue to evaluate, adjust and communicate with you, knowing that our collective efforts ignite the flame of faith, hope, and love in our children.

Please continue to visit this website for frequent updates and resources for your family.

Sincerely,

Mr. Michael J. Deegan
Superintendent of Schools
Archdiocese of New York

Changes to tax credits means more money for New Yorkers when they file!

Claiming even one of the credits below could return thousands of dollars to families and individuals in 2022:

  • Earned Income Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Child and Dependent Care Credit

The New York City (NYC) Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) wants you to know about NYC Free Tax Prep services to help eligible New Yorkers file for free and keep their whole refund.

For more information about NYC Free Tax Prep services and eligibility for tax credits, visit nyc.gov/taxprep.

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Dear Catholic Schools Community,

As you may be aware, a New York State Supreme Court judge in Nassau County ruled last night that the statewide mandate ordering students and staff to wear masks in schools is unconstitutional and cannot be enforced. However, the Albany County court has determined the mandate is constitutional and legal.  Shortly after the ruling was issued, the New York State Department of Education (SED) notified all school districts throughout the state that the Department of Health has appealed the decision, and a stay has been issued that restores the mask rule. Therefore, SED dispatched the following statement:

The State Education Department understands that Nassau County Supreme Court has ruled that the Department of Health exceeded its authority in enacting the mask regulation, 10 NYCRR 2.60, in Demetriou et al. v. New York State Dep’t of Health et al.  This regulation is the subject of conflicting decisions, insofar as Albany County Supreme Court recently upheld the regulation in Massapequa UFSD et al. v. Hochul, et al.

It is the fervent hope of the Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese the mask mandate will be eliminated allowing our schools to make mask wearing optional.  At that time our schools will IMMEDIATELY make masks optional.  Until the court renders a final decision, Catholic schools will follow the state mask mandate.

We will continue to monitor this situation closely and keep you informed.

Sincerely,

Mr. Michael J. Deegan
Superintendent of Schools
Archdiocese of New York

Month of the Holy Name of Jesus | Haga clic aquí para la versión en español de este anuncio

Dear Parents,

So many of us have been affected by the newest variant of COVID-19, Omicron. However, we have
Haga clic aquí para la versión en español de este anuncio remained resilient and steadfast in our efforts to keep every member of our Catholic school community safe. Our pastors, principals, teachers, and students have again risen above the confusion which surrounds us and kept our Catholic schools open safely for in-person learning. The Catholic schools of the Archdiocese have no plans to transition our school system to remote learning. Teaching and learning have continued without interruption, and preliminary Winter NWEA MAP testing results show growth for our students.

Since my communication to you on January 2, New York State has updated its guidance. The experts of the Health and Safety Task Force of the Office of the Superintendent of Schools are evaluating all of the new guidance and information received this past Friday for quarantines, isolation, close contacts, testing, and the associated timelines for each. We will leave behind the chaos of government and press releases and, in the coming weeks, revisions to our policies and protocols will be made, recognizing; however, if some warrant implementation sooner, we will do so. While we understand that some want the policies implemented immediately, as we have always done, our response will be thoughtful, intentional, and always made in the best interest of all of those in our school communities.

Important Information:

  • Transmission within our Catholic schools remains almost non-existent. We can count single-digit occurrences where we suspect the in-school spread of the virus, and we immediately responded and stopped the spread.
  • As required by Governor Hochul’s Executive Order, mask usage remains an effective way to curb the spread of the virus. In particular, surgical masks, appropriate double masking, and KN95 and N95 masks are most effective.
  • Staying home and testing if you have symptoms are also key to stopping the spread. We have requested additional information on the frequency of future deliveries of at-home test kits from New York State to distribute to our school communities. While we have received an initial allotment, we are waiting for further details on additional deliveries. We have made it clear to the government and our elected officials that our families are entitled to the same protections and services provided to public school students.
  • The Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of New York will NOT mandate a COVID Vaccine for students; however, we encourage parents to consider what is best for their children. Being fully vaccinated and boosted remains the best defense against COVID-19 and the surest way to protect your child safely and remain in school should they be a close contact. Much of the newly updated guidance is predicated on vaccinated and boosted adults and students.

Lastly, let us not forget Catholic Schools Week (January 31 – February 4), a celebration of Catholic schools across the country. It is a perfect time to re-register your child and a wonderful opportunity to invite others to consider our safe, nurturing, and academically excellent Catholic schools. As Pope Francis characterized Catholic education – it gives soul to our globalized world and radiates the promise of Christian salvation. I can think of no better way to celebrate Catholic Schools week than to bear witness to that promise.

Sincerely,

Mr. Michael J. Deegan
Superintendent of Schools
Archdiocese of New York

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Solemnity of Mary, The Holy Mother of God

Dear Catholic School Communities,

I hope you had a blessed Christmas and as enjoyable a New Year celebration as possible. We are all weary of the COVID-19 pandemic and all the accompanying impositions on our personal lives as well as the requirements on our schools in order to remain open safely, as they have since the beginning of this pandemic.

I am very pleased that after much work between the Health and Safety Task Force of the Office of the Superintendent of Schools and government officials, Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of New York will be able to provide every family and staff member with a COVID-19 home test kit. As municipalities and health organizations struggle to stock up on these much sought-after kits, we hope our distribution of tens of thousands of test kits will provide some small measure of comfort in knowing you will have these crucial tools in your home when you are exposed to COVID.

Your principal will be in touch regarding the distribution of the test kits for your school community this week. Please be sure to review the document distributed with these kits for critical information on their use and contact your school office with any questions about the distribution of these free kits. While we will strive to continue to make kits available in the future to you, please know that you can and should also visit the free testing sites linked here: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/find-test-site-near-you. In NYC: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/coronavirus/get-tested/covid-19-testing.page.

While social media and newscasts portray many conflicting and contradictory headlines and narratives, and COVID mandates seemingly change on a daily basis, you can be confident that our schools remain a constant in a universe of variables: our buildings are safe and remain open for our students to safely pray, learn, and grow together. We remain so by continuing to follow the health and safety guidelines that got us here. We will continue to require temperature checks, face coverings, physical distancing and enhanced ventilation processes in all of our school buildings.

The experts of the Health and Safety Tasks Force of the Office of the Superintendent of Schools are evaluating all of the new guidance and information about quarantine, isolation, close contacts, testing and the associated timelines for each. We will leave behind the chaos of government and press releases and in the coming weeks, provide updated protocols for our families, recognizing; however, if some warrant implementation sooner, we will do so. While we understand that some want the policies implemented overnight, as we have always done, our response will be thoughtful, intentional and always made in the best interest of all of those in our school communities.

Lastly, it is imperative that if you or your child have any symptoms, even mild ones, get tested and remain home until you receive the results of the test. We know that PCR testing remains the gold standard of testing and that those who are vaccinated may take a day or two to test positive after being symptomatic with the new variant Omicron.

Please join me in praying for an end to this awful health crisis and that 2022 brings us closer to the freedoms and simplicity we enjoyed at this time two years ago. I remain grateful for your support, resolve and partnership in keeping Catholic schools at the forefront of education and safety throughout the global health crisis.

Sincerely,

Mr. Michael J. Deegan
Superintendent of Schools
Archdiocese of New York

  • Click Here to Find Out Where to Get Tested in NYC
  • Click Here to Find Out Where to Get Tested across New York State
  • Click Here to Order a Free PCR Test to Your House

As of November 3, 2021, children ages 5 – 11 are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective, and will protect New York’s children and adolescents from the virus.

COVID-19 vaccines have undergone – and will continue to undergo – the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history. Young New Yorkers 5 – 17 can receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

Click here to find information and resources including frequently asked questions and answers, resources, and scheduling information for each eligible age group.

NEW! NYC Department of Health Issues Tips for a Safer Holiday Season 2021. Click here to view and download this helpful pdf!

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Month of the Holy Souls in Purgatory | The Year of St. Joseph

Dear Catholic School Communities,

With Thanksgiving and Christmas within sight, the holiday travel period is fast approaching. As you make plans for your family, you will undoubtedly be doing so with an eye on the COVID travel guidelines determined by government health officials at the federal and state levels.

While those and many other areas of guidance have evolved, one fact has remained consistent, almost without exception, any positive COVID cases associated with our school communities have been related to outside school activities, sports, social gatherings and travel. You have been trustworthy and reliable partners in keeping our schools – our children – safe by remaining rigorously faithful to our protocols and guidelines.

Therefore, as many of you begin making holiday travel plans, I provide the following update regarding the domestic and international travel requirements of the Office of the Superintendent of Schools.  While we suggest you follow the CDC recommendations for international and domestic travel, moving forward, Catholic elementary schools within the Archdiocese of New York will only require a negative PCR or Rapid COVID-19 test for those who travel internationally before returning to school.  All other CDC travel recommendations are suggested, not required.  We do, however, encourage everyone who travels or engages in the above activities to consider being tested as a precaution on a regular basis. Vaccination remains the best way to protect yourself and your child from COVID-19.  We will entrust these decisions to our parents.

The responsible choices of our families – our reliable partners – in these next several weeks will continue to keep our school communities safe, will avoid the spike in positive cases experienced after the last Thanksgiving and Christmas season and will determine what protocols and procedures need to remain in place well into the early spring

As always, I am thankful beyond measure for your continued support and partnership.

Sincerely,

Mr. Michael J. Deegan
Superintendent of Schools
Archdiocese of New York

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Month of the Holy Souls in Purgatory | The Year of St. Joseph

Dear Catholic School Communities,

I hope this letter finds you and your family well and safe. Like you, I continue to monitor with great interest the actions and reactions of government agencies in response to the ongoing COVID 19 public health crisis. In light of the current situation, it is gratifying to know that our Catholic schools continue to operate -as they have for 19 months- with virtually no transmissions within our buildings while maintaining and exceeding our high academic standards for all learners. Every step of the way, we have also strived to serve the physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being of everyone in our school communities.

As Superintendent of Schools, I must approach every critical decision guided by what is best for our children and staffs. Sometimes our school system finds itself bound by government mandates from the federal, state, or local levels. Indeed, many of the regulations and protocols that have served as our templates for being open for fully in-person instruction have been guided by government health officials.

As you know, the government has already granted vaccine approval for students ages 12 years and older, and has now determined the same for children 5-11 years old to receive the vaccine. Thus far, there have been no vaccine mandates for any students of any age in New York, and the Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese have no plans to mandate vaccinations for any students unless there are government orders to do so.

The absence of government mandates means the decision to vaccinate your child remains solely at your discretion. Pope Francis has made it clear vaccinating is morally acceptable and that we have the moral responsibility to get vaccinated. Cardinal Dolan has said the same.

Just as you are your child’s primary teacher, you are their primary health care advocate. As such, I urge you to please discuss with your pediatrician to determine what is best for your child. Taking all of the above into consideration will ensure that you are making informed decisions as you exercise your own personal discretion.

Sincerely,

Mr. Michael J. Deegan
Superintendent of Schools
Archdiocese of New York

October 7, 2021 | IMPORTANT: CLICK HERE TO VIEW AND DOWNLOAD FULL DETAILS

Dear Staten Island Catholic School Families,

As I am sure you are aware, there have been a litany of troubling issues related to the New York City Department of Education’s (DOE) Office of Pupil Transportation (OPT), specifically on Staten Island. By way of example, some of these issues are:

  • The mass removal without prior notice only days before the beginning of school of previously approved bus stops, which, in some cases had been in continuous use by schools for many years;
  • Buses skipping approved stops;
  • Entire routes not serving schools on particular days;
  • OPT’s refusal to adjust arrival and departure times at the beginning and end of days;

This is COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE and especially disturbing given the lack of other appropriate transportation options on Staten Island and the lack of mass transit. We have tried to work with New York City Department of Education’s OPT to resolve these matters given the significant impact this has had on our students and schools.

Unfortunately, OPT advised our schools the only recourse to impacted families, particularly with respect to the removed bus stops, is filing for a variance/transportation exception.  The link to the electronic form to make this filing is available at: https://www.schools.nyc.gov/school-life/transportation/bus-eligibility/exceptions-to-transportation-eligibility.Although we strongly believe this is not an appropriate response, please complete the form if you believe you are eligible for an exception. I have attached a two-page resource document on busing eligibility that you may find helpful.

The position of the New York City Department of Education is wholly inadequate and emblematic of DOE’s dismissiveness of the needs of our Catholic schools and our families. This is a further demonstration of the inequity with which non-public schools have been treated by the City.  I strongly encourage you to contact your local elected officials and make your voices heard on this continually troubling situation that OPT refuses to rectify.  We ask them to continue their support and advocate for our students on this topic.

As always, thank you for your support of Catholic education.

Sincerely,

Mr. Michael J. Deegan
Superintendent of Schools
Archdiocese of New York

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Dear Catholic School Families,

We hope you’ve had a successful first week of fall MAP testing and share in our excitement of the richness of data it provides. The information gained from MAP is critical in crafting learning plans and personalizing instruction for all students. MAP data will inform teachers and leaders what each student knows and what they are ready to learn next. This allows faculty to create individualized action plans for each child to ensure growth in relation to the NYS Next Generation Learning Standards as well as college and career readiness goals.

It is because of this rich suite of data that the Regional Superintendents have recommended, in consultation with the Instructional Specialists, and the Superintendent of Schools Office, that the academic standards and their corresponding progress code components on the report cards be discontinued for grades 1 through 8 moving forward. To ensure families are aware of student progress and have strategic information related to student needs, each school will now send home the Family Report from NWEA MAP after each administration; fall, winter and spring.

The Family Report provides benchmark information on how students are achieving and growing in relation to national norms. The Family Report also provides a set of questions that serve as an entry point to an academically minded conversation focused on student growth and support. Through this, we seek to build upon our robust connection between families and schools as you can strategically ask questions on how to best support your child’s learning needs in relation to MAP data, identify appropriate follow-up resources and create a plan of action directly with the teacher.

In the coming days your principal will be following-up with information on dissemination of the Family Reports. Please note, these reports are not fully available until the end of MAP testing. For your reference and more information about MAP Growth, visit NWEA.org/familytoolkit.

Sincerely,

Mr. Michael J. Deegan
Superintendent of Schools
Archdiocese of New York

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Dear Catholic School Community,

As we begin another school year, let me thank you, our beloved Catholic school families, teachers and staff, for your commitment to Catholic education. We strive to provide each of you and your child with an encounter with Christ where they learn and grow.

With just a few short days before school, we would like to provide you with several resources so we can all: Get Ready! Get Vaccinated! Get Immunized! Get Tested! Get Excited! and Keep Praying!

Get Ready! As we welcome students this September, we acknowledge that routine, social-emotional learning, and parental support are critical to student success. Please click here for a family back-to-school guide from the Catholic Schools Office and ADAPP.

Get Vaccinated! We strongly encourage you and anyone eligible to get vaccinated. You may have seen Pope Francis’s recent Ad Council video. Vaccinations are one of the many ways to keep everyone safe and our schools open for in-person instruction. This action can save your life and that of another! Click here for a vaccine appointment or walk into any vaccine center.

Get Immunized! Families are reminded that all regular childhood immunizations as outlined in the school handbook, separate and distinct from COVID-19 vaccinations, must be received before the start of school under State Law. We also strongly encourage everyone to get as well as the FLU vaccine. In NYC, Children 59 months (4 years old 11 months) and under are mandated by NYC DOH to receive the Flu Shot by Dec 31st.

Get Tested! We recommend that everyone get a covid test before the start of school. Help us establish a baseline of zero COVID for the start of school. You are also free to visit any healthcare facility or testing center you wish, as this is not a mandate but rather an appeal to join together for the health of our teachers and students!

Get Excited! The Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of New York are launching the most advanced curriculum and program in their history! We are investing in our students and families for years to come. Cutting-edge partnerships with the Discovery Channel, NewsELA, Kahn Academy, NWEA-MAP Accelerator, among others, will strengthen the foundation for your child’s success by utilizing innovative strategies. If you know of a child who would benefit from a Catholic school education, invite them to join us today – Seats are available!

Keep Praying! As a Catholic school community, we are starting the three Hail Mary Novena. Please join us in these days leading up to the start of school by praying for our parishes, pastors and priests, principals, teachers, families, and students. This novena is a powerful but simple way to join together as the body of Christ unified in communion as one church. The first day of school is Wednesday, September 8th, The Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary – a blessed day to begin the new school year!

I wish you all a wonderful Labor Day weekend. I remain thankful for all of those who are in service to our children in “the vineyard of the Lord!”

Sincerely,

Mr. Michael J. Deegan
Superintendent of Schools
Archdiocese of New York

> Click here to view and download Mr. Deegan’s letter

All School Employees, Parents, Children and Essential Visitors will need to complete a daily health self-check by answering the questions listed below and by taking their own temperatures each day prior to entering the school or being on the school property. A parent or guardian is responsible for completing the daily screening on behalf of their child(ren).

  • NEW! Click here to download and print the 2021 Daily Health Screening Requirements and Checklist for Employees, Parents, Children and Essential Visitors in English, and click here to download and print this document in Spanish.

Month of the Most Precious Blood | Year of St. Joseph (haga clic aquí para la versión en español de este anuncio)

Dear Catholic School Families,

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released COVID-19 guidelines for the 2021-2022 school year. The Health and Safety Task Force of the Office of the Superintendent of Schools has begun the process of reviewing these guidelines while we await the final directives from the New York State Department of Health, whose rules have always informed our policies throughout the pandemic.

Once the state provides their protocols, our Reopening Advisory Council of the Health and Safety Task Force will release the Catholic Schools reopening plan for September. This will allow your principal to begin to adapt those regulations to the specific parameters and needs of your school.

We thank you for your continued patience and support as we prepare to safely open our schools for 100% in-person instruction for all our students – with no need for remote or hybrid instruction – so they may pray, learn and grow together. In the meantime, I pray you enjoy a safe and happy summer.

Sincerely,

Mr. Michael J. Deegan
Superintendent of Schools
Archdiocese of New York

Month of the Most Precious Blood | Year of St. Joseph

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Dear Catholic School Families,

Last year our Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of New York were open for in-person instruction because we received the guidance from CDC, the New York State and local health departments.

Our Health and Safety Task Force led the national dialogue by demonstrating that following these guidelines and requirements ensured our Catholic schools opened on time with all the needed protocols and materials in place.

While the CDC, the NYS Department of Health and local health departments signaled they wanted to disseminate guidance early- so schools can properly plan- they have yet to release guidance, thus leaving us with more questions and wondering of what the future holds.

Like you, we are frustrated when we can’t answer your basic questions, or those of our teachers and principals- and even our students on “What will September look like? What will I need to do?”

To that end, the Archdiocese of New York is partnering with all of the other Catholic dioceses across the great State of New York- and the New York State Catholic Conference to advocate to our elected official to “Communicate on COVID Guidance for Schools”. While nearly every other industry has had their guidance modified and the state of emergency ended, our schools are still being held hostage.

Let elected officials know you demand new COVID guidance NOW!

Please click here for the New York State Catholic Conference Action Center to join us in our advocacy!  Also, please also feel free to Tweet your concerns, using the hashtag #NYCatholicSchoolsNow.

Sincerely,

Mr. Michael J. Deegan
Superintendent of Schools
Archdiocese of New York

Month of the Sacred Heart

Year of St. Joseph

Dear Catholic School Communities,

The New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH) has issued new guidance on mask use while outdoors at school. Given this is now official state health policy, the Health and Safety Task Force of the Office of the Superintendent has reviewed this information and now recommends that masks are not required outdoors for students or adults, effective immediately, regardless of vaccination status at Catholic elementary schools in the Archdiocese of New York.

The new guidance is as follows:

  • Face Masks: Responsible Parties must maintain protocols and procedures for students, faculty, staff, and other individuals to ensure appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) is used to protect against the transmission of the COVID-19 virus when in indoor school facilities. Specifically, appropriate PPE means, at least, an acceptable mask, which is required to be worn by all individuals in all classroom and non-classroom settings, including but not limited to hallways, school offices, restrooms, gyms, auditoriums, etc. All visitors must wear masks. Masks should have at least two layers of material (e.g. 2-ply). However, Responsible Parties should allow students to remove their mask during meals. Acceptable masks include but are not limited to cloth-based masks (e.g., homemade sewn, quick cut,), and surgical masks that cover both the mouth and nose. Effective June 7, 2021, face masks are not required to be worn outdoors on school grounds, including during outdoor school sports.  However, Responsible Parties may choose to require face masks outdoors on school grounds, subject to the parameters of this guidance.  No student, teacher, staff member, or visitor may be prevented from wearing an acceptable face mask voluntarily on school grounds.

Please note masks must still be worn by everyone indoors at schools and on buses.

Thank you for your patience as we have navigated the various mask use information over the last few days.

Sincerely,

Mr. Michael J. Deegan
Superintendent of Schools
Archdiocese of New York

Month of the Sacred Heart

Dear Catholic School Community:

As you may have already heard, Governor Andrew Cuomo has noted that New York State plans to revise its indoor mask requirement for students and adults in schools starting Monday, June 7th, barring any objection from the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

In a letter to the CDC, New York State proposes the following:

Indoors – masks strongly encouraged but not required for students, staff/teachers/counselors who are not fully vaccinated.

Outdoors – masks are not required but are encouraged for those who are not fully vaccinated in certain high risk circumstances.

Both indoors and outdoors – students and staff who are fully vaccinated do not need to wear masks.

Schools may implement stricter standards than outlined above.

Once official guidance has been issued in writing by the New York State Department of Health, we will implement the guidance immediately. We recognize this issue will be welcome news for some and cause concern for others.  However, there will be NO policy change in our schools and mask usage is still required until official guidance has been issued and reviewed by the Health and Safety Task Force of the Superintendent of Schools Office. We are unable to act on a political announcement at press conferences without official written guidance from the New York State Department of Health. We anxiously await their written guidance.

We will, as always, keep the health and safety of all as our priority.

Stay safe and enjoy the weekend,

Sincerely,

Mr. Michael J. Deegan
Superintendent of Schools
Archdiocese of New York

Below is some important information regarding the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program.  Internet connectivity has been vital during the COVID-19 pandemic as more Catholic school families worked or attended school from home.

The $3.2B Emergency Broadband Benefit program provides a discount of up to a $50 per month toward broadband service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for qualifying households on qualifying Tribal lands. The benefit also provides up to a $100 per household discount toward a one-time purchase of a computer, laptop, or tablet if the household contributes more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase through a participating broadband provider.

A household is eligible if one member of the household meets at least one of the criteria below:

  • Has an income that is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or participates in certain assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid or the FCC’s Lifeline program;
  • Approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision, in the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 school year;
  • Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
  • Experienced a substantial loss of income through job loss or furlough since February 29, 2020 and the household had a total income in 2020 at or below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers; or
  • Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income or COVID-19 program.

The eligibility criteria are quite broad. One thing we specifically want to note though is that households with students enrolled in schools or districts that participate in the USDA’s Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) are automatically eligible for the EBB.

Emergency Broadband Benefit enrollment began on May 12, 2021. Eligible households can enroll through a participating broadband provider or directly with the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) using an online or mail-in application.  Additional information about the Emergency Broadband Benefit is available at  www.fcc.gov/broadbandbenefit, or by calling 833-511-0311 between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. any day of the week.

If you have any questions, we recommend that you contact Public Utility Law Project at:

194 Washington Avenue, Suite 320, Albany, NY 12210

Toll Free Hotline: 877-669-2572 / Email: info@utilityproject.org

We are pleased to provide our Catholic School Families with these new resources:

  • Excelsior Pass, which is now being utilized by venues, universities, stadiums and businesses statewide, is a free, fast, and secure way to present digital proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative test results that’s helping to get New Yorkers back to the things they love and miss – safely.  Those interested in Excelsior Pass who have received their COVID-19 Vaccinations or PCR and/or Antigen Tests in the State of New York, please visit epass.ny.gov to get started.
  • Emergency Broadband Benefit Program (EBBP). The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has made the importance of a dependable broadband connection at home abundantly clear, but broadband isn’t always easy for Americans to afford. If struggles like those sound familiar — or if you lost your job or income during the past year, or you had a total income in 2020 at or below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers — there’s a government subsidy program called the Emergency Broadband Benefit that might be able to help. Those who qualify can sign up now to receive $50 off their monthly internet bill, among other benefits, and the program is live now. Click here to start your application.

Feast of Saint John I

Dear Catholic School Community (haga clic aquí para la versión en español de este anuncio):

I hope this letter finds you well. I write with an important update the CDC has put forth regarding revised mask guidelines.  It is important to note the CDC did not change mask usage for schools. Yesterday, Governor Cuomo announced while NYS will be adopting the CDC mask guidelines for the general public, it will not be adopting them in schools. Therefore, there will be no changes to the current protocols in Catholic schools regarding mask wearing. Please see below what the CDC said this week.

“Schools should maintain recommended COVID-19 ‘layered mitigation strategies,’ including masks, through at least the remainder of the 2020-21 school year.”

During their weekend update, the CDC also stated it will update its guidance for 2021-22 school year “in coming weeks” to give educators time to plan.  Once the CDC puts out its guidance for next year, as we have done all year, we must then wait for NYS and Local Health Departments to issue their guidance.

Thank you for your vigilance, mask wearing, washing hands, social distancing, and keeping your child home when sick – it stops the spread! We will continue to make every effort to keep your child safe when in our Catholic schools!  All spread outside of school appears to be related to athletic events, play dates, and other social activities. COVID-19 is still with us.

We understand this process may create some confusion and frustration as parents seek answers to how government announcements affect their child. We ask that you have the same resilience, patience, and fortitude, as you have had all year, knowing our principals and teachers have been working seven days a week, all hours of the day and night to ensure schools are accessible and safely open to our children.

We look forward to September when we can open full time without remote or hybrid instructions as government agencies permit. Like you, we know the best place is having your children in our Catholic Schools to learn, pray, and grow every day!

Sincerely,

Mr. Michael J. Deegan
Superintendent of Schools
Archdiocese of New York

To Our Catholic School Community: May is Mental Health Awareness Month!

We all have mental health and it’s okay to talk about it! Click here view this message as a flyer.

Mental health is defined as “an important part of health and well-being. It includes our emotional, psychological and social well-being. It affects how we think feel and act. It determines how we handle stress, relate to others and make healthy choices. It is important at every stage of life from childhood through adolescence through adulthood.”

Mental health is not just the absence of a mental disorder. It’s about promoting mental wellness and it is an active process. As we continue to navigate through the pandemic, promoting mental health and wellness is especially important. Just like physical health, children and teens must learn that mental health is a key dimension to overall well-being.

In order to promote emotional, psychological and social well-being, parents and caregivers can:

  • Encourage youth to talk about what is going on in their lives.
  • Model support with active
  • Allow them to express and identify their
  • Explain that everyone experiences a range of
  • Stress self-care and help identify coping strategies when needed.
  • Have youth identify who they can go to for help when they do not feel mentally

It is equally important to take care of one’s own mental health. If you have traveled on a plane, you know that you are told to put your oxygen mask on first. Find ways to take care of yourself and model healthy coping strategies.

Below are resources that provide information about mental health and mental health concerns. https://nyprojecthope.org/recognizing-coping-with-stress-for-children-and-adolescents/

NY Project Hope website — Coping with COVID: Tips for parents of children and adolescents. This resource helps parents and caregivers recognize and help children and adolescence cope with stress

https://www.nasponline.org/resources-and-publications/resources-and-podcasts/mental-health/prevention-and-wellness- promotion/supporting-childrens-mental-health-tips-for-parents-and-educators

Supporting Children’s Mental Health: Tips for Parents and Educator: A Resource from the NASP

May Toolkit 2021 | Mental Health Association in New York State, Inc (mhanys.org)

Mental Health Association in NYS – May Toolkit2021

https://www.nctsn.org/sites/default/files/resources//resilience_and_child_traumatic_stress.pdf

From NCTSN, this guide defines resilience and factors that enhance resilience in children following a traumatic event.

https://www.apa.org/topics/parenting/resilience-tip-tool?tab=4:

American Psychological Association Resilience Booster Tips for Parents

For more information, go to www.adapp.org and click on the pop up for Mental Health Awareness Month. Follow us on social media: Twitter: @adappny Instagram:  @adapp_ny Facebook: Adapp NY

Stay Well,

Christine Cavallucci, LCSW, CPP Executive Director, ADAPP

Haga clic aquí para la versión en español de este anuncio

Beginning Monday, May 10th, students in Kindergarten through 8th Grade will participate in NWEA MAP Assessments! MAP Growth tests provide immediate and accurate information about student learning. Teachers can easily build upon the tremendous work they are currently engaged and more strategically respond to student learning needs. It is this personalized approach that has been a hallmark of our Catholic schools thus far and will continue for years to come.

As the MAP assessment is completely online, students can participate from wherever they are learning this spring, in-person or remotely.  Our dedicated teachers will continue to serve as proctors while students work from their own device. Since the MAP Assessment is adaptive, all questions are tailored to each individual child. A great benefit of this technology is that it offers school leaders and teachers timely information about the strengths and areas of growth for each individual child that will be used to differentiate instruction for students without delay. For more information about MAP Growth, visit NWEA.org/familytoolkit.

We know you share in our excitement in making our spring administration of the MAP assessment a success! In the coming days, your child’s Principal will be in contact to share school specific details as well as their schedule for MAP testing. For your reference and information, we have prepared a brief video in both English and Spanish that offers an overview of MAP assessments and what to expect on test day.

Sincerely,

Mr. Michael J. Deegan
Superintendent of Schools
Archdiocese of New York

Click here for a bulletin discussing the expansion of COVID-19 vaccination eligibility to all New Yorkers aged 16 and older, including how to schedule vaccine appointments, and some information about available vaccines.

The Year of St. Joseph | Haga clic aquí para la versión en español de este anuncio

Dear Catholic School Families,

As we near the completion of another unprecedented academic year, I pause in gratitude for the continued faith you provide our Catholic schools and also to provide an academic update about our schools.

Our teachers have met the call to re-open our classrooms and to continue the digital adaptations needed to keep our students safe while learning. They have worked tirelessly with principals and regional leaders to ensure that our quality, Catholic education kept the same high standards that you have come to know from our schools and that have been outlined in the Parent/Student Handbook. To meet the needs of the end of this school year while refusing to compromise our high standards, our schools will uniformly follow the protocols below to conclude our fourth quarter:

  • Students will complete the spring NWEA MAP tests in language, reading, and math beginning May 10th to offer further insight into student growth over these months of COVID disruption. Principals will be working closely with the Office of Teaching & Learning to ensure successful administration of the spring tests. You may have heard or will be hearing more from principals in the coming days about MAP assessments.
  • Final exams will not be administered, keeping in line with best practices for assessment and in close conversation with Regional Superintendents, Instructional Specialists and Principals. Teachers will continue to use formative and summative assessments to inform instruction for our students.
  • Quarters 1-4 will each carry equal academic weight on report cards, marking a return to pre-COVID Archdiocesan standards. The 2019-2020 school year saw an adjustment to the weight of Q4 due to emergency remote learning, which will not be in effect for 2020-2021.

This school year has been the result of an orchestrated effort of so many members of our Catholic school family. Your voices have been crucial to make sure we could meet the challenge of this school year head-on, particularly with the valued input of each of our Regional Superintendents, Instructional Specialists, Principals and Teachers. The decisions above represent a measured response of a coalition of educators to put the well-being of our students first.

As we will enter this month of Mary and move toward the year’s end, I offer my sincere gratitude for your participation and continued faith in the value of a Catholic education. Like the saints before us, we will continue to answer the call of our times and let our lives be an example of Christ in all that we do.

Sincerely,

Mr. Michael J. Deegan
Superintendent of Schools
Archdiocese of New York

The Year of St. Joseph | Haga clic aquí para la versión en español de este anuncio

Dear Catholic Schools Families,

Since September, the Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of New York have been open for in-person instruction thanks to the unwavering partnership of our parents and students with our devoted pastors, principals, and teachers. Your faithful commitment to our rigorous protocols has ensured the continued health and safety of our school communities. Our children have been learning and have been safe!

I write to you with the good news for next year – September 2021.  My goal and that of the Health & Safety Task Force is to commit all our collective expertise and resources to ensure all our schools will be open for five full days a week of in-person instruction for all students beginning in September 2021. This will eliminate the need for hybrid learning or remote classes next school year.  Before and after care programs will also begin at the start of the new school year. This is, of course, as long as health directives from federal, state, and local county health agencies allow, and the community infection rate remains at appropriate levels.

I also write with an update for the remainder of this school year.  On March 19, 2021, the CDC released guidance allowing for the reduction of student desk spacing from 6 feet to 3 feet. After several weeks, the New York State Department of Health released similar guidelines on April 9. Following that, with the exception of New York City, which has not provided any guidance, local county health departments have allowed for the reduction. The vast majority of our schools will maintain the 6 foot guidelines because they are unable to meet the criteria mandated by the State and CDC to move to 3 feet.  Some of our schools are currently reviewing the possibility of instituting the 3 foot student desk spacing only if such a transition allows:

  • all students in a class or school to return for five full days of in-person instruction and eliminates hybrid learning.
  • six feet must be maintained during snack, lunch, or anytime a mask must be removed.

If reducing student desk spacing to 3 feet does not result in the above, the 6 foot parameter remains in place. Schools with the ability to transition to three feet student desk spacing approved by the Health & Safety Task Force will be required by the state to have parent meetings and revise and submit their plans to the local health department as well as the NYS Department of Health and State Education Department. This process takes time to implement. We are grateful to our parents for maintaining reasonable expectations throughout this process, knowing we are doing everything we can to return students to 5 days of instruction full time in September.

Effective immediately, Catholic school students who have been fully remote will no longer be required to present a negative PCR Test to participate in the reception of the sacraments of penance, communion, and confirmation, as well as participating in Graduation ceremonies in church.

Thanks to your commitment to Catholic education, our enrollment continues to rise. If you have not already reregistered for the next school year and guaranteed your child’s seat for September, please speak with your principal, who will be happy to provide more information. I encourage you to share September’s good news with family members, friends, and colleagues who may be considering one of our schools. Virtual tours are still available by following this link.

Thank you for your trust, support, and partnership during this last unprecedented and challenging year.

Sincerely,

Mr. Michael J. Deegan
Superintendent of Schools
Archdiocese of New York

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Feast of the Annunciation

Dear Catholic School Families,

As we approach the start of the final quarter of the 2020-2021 school year, we will continue to assess the academic growth of our students in a number of ways. Earlier this week, I shared with you the success we saw on the NWEA MAP Growth assessments completed in January by students in grades K-8. In just a few weeks, our in-person students in grades 3-8 will participate in the New York State exams. English Language Arts will begin April 19th and Mathematics will be administered starting May 3rd.

The state exams will look different this year than they have in the past. Archdiocesan elementary schools will participate in the single testing sessions that consist of multiple choice questions for each subject. Each session will take approximately ninety minutes, but, as in the past, the students will have as much time as they need to complete the items on the test.

Complementing the formative assessments created and administered by our teachers throughout the year, these NYS exams are important in that they provide additional academic data points to guide instruction. The results will not appear on a report card, nor will they influence a student’s promotion to the next grade level. As with the NWEA MAP tests, the NYS tests are viewed through the lens of “growth.” We are committed to meeting each child where they are and providing the instruction, resources and support that will enable all children to succeed.

In-person learners will be scheduled to test on a day when they are typically in school. Because of COVID protocols which require that class cohorts be kept intact, we will adhere to the recommendation from the New York State Education Department, and remote students will not participate in state testing this year. Parents of students with testing accommodations should consult with the school principal regarding the impact of COVID protocols on the test administration. Principals will be in contact shortly to share school specific details including the class schedules for New York State testing.

To ensure academic engagement for all learners, students who are remote, both fully and per their hybrid schedule, will be provided independent online assignments to complete while their classmates are testing.

Families are encouraged to speak with their school principal and classroom teacher about the benefits and importance of assessments for their child(ren). I look forward to a successful spring for all our students and teachers.

Sincerely,

Mr. Michael J. Deegan
Superintendent of Schools
Archdiocese of New York

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Year of St. Joseph

Dear Catholic School Community,

It’s been just over a year since the COVID-19 pandemic upended our daily lives. Our Catholic School system has emerged as a beacon of hope and excellence to our communities and the Nation, thanks to our teachers, principals, pastors, staff, and students.

While there is still work to do, there is much to celebrate. This letter is longer than usual, but please permit me to provide you with several significant updates on the state of our Catholic Schools.

  • While many are speaking about COVID-decline, our Catholic Schools are the definition of the term
    COVID-INCLINE! Our students have emerged outpacing their peers in growth as measured by the NWEA MAP assessments taken this past January. This validates all of the hard work we have done together to keep our schools open and our children learning! We are expanding our FREE direct supports for our students. In the coming weeks, you will hear updates about several initiatives aimed at providing additional intervention and enrichment opportunities. We are growing our virtual STEM after-school program, launching registration for our FREE Summer Learning Experience, and continuing our partnership with Discovery Education – the first time in the archdiocese history, a fully digital curriculum in Science and Social Studies (Grs.6-8) – has been made available.
  • You recently received an invite to our new Parent Resource Website – a one-stop-destination with materials and activities to help support your child’s education and your family’s well-being. Combined with the monthly workshops series, this site will include academic and social-emotional resources such as parent strategies, blogs, and webinars. Over the next few months for parents, we are launching READY-4K, a national hailed research-based text message program for grades PreK- Grade 4, which has proven to increase students’ learning. We are laying the foundation to begin a social-emotional computer simulation program for students by partnering with Kognito. This same technology is used by our teachers this year; it is also used to train airline pilots and doctors on the front lines!

None of this is possible without our teachers, principals, staff, pastors, and the unwavering support of Cardinal Dolan. Thank You all for being Christ the teacher- ever present to our students.

  • Many of you heard the U.S. Department of Education and New York State have announced they will not grant waivers for the state test. In the coming days, you will learn about how we will be implementing the shortened and streamlined state test in fulfilling this requirement. Along with the NWEA MAP tests, the NYS tests are used to help your child grow – not as a measurement of success. It’s a “Growth Mindset” – meeting a child where they are and allowing their God-given talents to shine!
  • This web page permits me also to provide an update on COVID protocol in our schools. The Health & Safety Task Force meets regularly to monitor developments and evolving government guidance. Mask usage- frequent washing of hands, social distancing, monitoring for symptoms, and well-ventilated classrooms are part of our standard routine. With vaccinations increasing and transmission on the decline, it is easy to relax the protective measures in place.  However, we must remain vigilant. The Health and Safety Task Force of the Office of the Superintendent of Schools is also examining the 6 foot to 3 foot spacing for student desks recommendation of the CDC last week. Once New York State and the local health departments adopt this new rule, which we will follow, we may fit more students in the classrooms.  We will keep you updated on this issue.  Equally, we have been working with principals on topics such as graduation protocols, revised Mass celebrations in Church, etc.
  • We know staff and families may be considering trips out-of-state during this time of year. We all must adhere to the updated travel requirements of New York State. If you insist on traveling over the Easter break, domestic travelers will no longer be required to quarantine after entering New York from another U.S. State or U.S. Territory starting April 1. We all have a moral obligation to protect those around us. While no longer required, the NYS Department of Health still recommends quarantine after domestic travel as an added precaution.
  • Similarly, if you traveled domestically or participated in high-risk activities, the Archdiocese strongly recommends but will no longer require a PCR test before your child returns to school. Mandatory quarantine remains in effect for international travelers. All travelers must continue to fill out the Traveler Health Form.

As Lent ends, spring begins, and the light of the Resurrection shines, our message is one you know – we are reminded as St. Augustine tells us:

“We are an Easter people and Alleluia is our Song!”

Sincerely,

Mr. Michael J. Deegan
Superintendent of Schools
Archdiocese of New York

Dear Catholic School Families,

We’ve created something we think you’ll love—a new parent resource web page designed specifically for parents and caregivers of Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of New York students!

The motivation behind creating this website is simple: we want to be there for you throughout your child’s education journey. This page allows us to provide you with ongoing and updated info. How? By offering the following:

  • Parent Workshops: These workshops are live, virtual events and sessions that cover relevant topics for parents and caregivers, including social-emotional learning, supporting academic growth, and preparing for transitions.
  • Parent Blogs: Written by experts in their fields, these blogs provide helpful information for parents across a wide range of subjects, such as anxiety, grief, learning gaps, and so many more.
  • Free Resources: Here you’ll find useful downloads and other free resources to help support you and your child.

We invite you to CLICK HERE to check out our new parent resource page to learn more!

Sincerely,

Mr. Michael J. Deegan
Superintendent of Schools
Archdiocese of New York

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Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter

Dear Catholic School Families,

I wanted to share some COVID related updates with our school communities based upon the recent announcement by the CDC about a return to schools. Since September our Catholic Schools have been providing in-person instruction.

Without our pastors, principals, teachers, and parents, none of this would have been possible. I am proud to say the newly released CDC guidelines are nearly identical to the Catholic Schools: Moving Forward Together, re-opening plan we published in July 2020. Let me again thank the work of the Catholic School Reopening Advisory Council for setting this national gold standard. In addition to the millions of dollars the Archdiocese funded in technology, health & safety staff, ventilation improvements, disinfecting & sanitizing upgrades, and facilities enhancements; these policies have proven to keep our buildings open and school communities safe.  We are continually evaluating our policies and protocols with your child’s health and safety in mind.

Thank you for faithfully completing the daily health checklist; as you honestly answer the questions each day for you and your child, it ensures a safe environment for our schools. I have linked it here again for your convenience.

Since September, we have been notifying you of positive cases in our schools. In addition, each case is also reported on the public NYS Health Department COVID schools report card website. To streamline communications moving forward, we will continue to report cases of non-exposure, or positive cases outside of the infectious period, as required on the State COVID report card, but we will not send home additional letters.

Some of you have decided that you may be traveling for the Easter recess.  We would encourage you to stay home and not travel given the pandemic is still ever-present and new variants are spreading. If you must travel, please be mindful of the Governor’s travel quarantine of 10 days or testing three days before leaving your destination and four days after returning home. The archdiocese policy is a PCR molecular test only; antigen and rapid tests are not accepted.

Just as we use the season of Lent to prepare for Easter, the Office of the Superintendent of Schools will use this time to look forward as we plan for spring events, such as communions, confirmations and graduations ensuring they are conducted with all required health and safety protocols in place.  While it would be easy for us to ease up restrictions, we must remain vigilant; in this way, we can continue with in-person learning for as many students as possible and look perhaps to September when we hope to return to a new normal.

As we celebrate the year of St. Joseph, in a particular way this Lent, let us entrust our schools, parishes, and students to his protection, a most powerful intercessor for our families.

Sincerely,

Mr. Michael J. Deegan
Superintendent of Schools
Archdiocese of New York

The Health Department today issued updated guidance on face coverings (PDF), one of the most critical tools to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The guidance recommends people over the age of two-years-old wear snug fitting masks with two or three layers of material to better prevent unfiltered air from passing through. Alternatively, New Yorkers may wear two masks (PDF), with a cloth face covering over a disposable mask. The guidance also suggests higher grade masks, like KN95s, for people at greater risk – including those 65 or older; those with an underlying medical condition; those who care for someone who is sick and people who are in prolonged close contact with non-household members while indoors.

Click HERE to view an email distributed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reviewing the various types of masks and how to improve how your mask protects you and your family.

There is a strong connection between student mental health and academics, attendance, and safety. In our schools we promote educator engagement on this topic through Kognito’s professional development suite, which teaches PK- 12 educators about mental health and suicide prevention and supports improved student wellness and school safety. Click here to learn more.

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Beginning Monday, January 11th, students in Kindergarten through 8th Grade will participate in NWEA MAP Assessments! MAP Growth tests provide immediate and accurate information about student learning. Teachers can easily build upon the tremendous work they are currently engaged and more strategically respond to student learning needs. It is this personalized approach that has been a hallmark of our Catholic schools thus far and will continue for years to come.

As the MAP assessment is completely online, students can participate from wherever they are learning this winter, in-person or remotely.  Our dedicated teachers will continue to serve as proctors while students work from their own device. Since the MAP Assessment is adaptive, all questions are tailored to each individual child. A great benefit of this technology is that it offers school leaders and teachers timely information about the strengths and areas of growth for each individual child that will be used to differentiate instruction for students without delay. For more information about MAP Growth, visit NWEA.org/familytoolkit.

We know you share in our excitement in making our winter administration of the MAP assessment a success! In the coming days, your child’s Principal will be in contact to share school specific details as well as their schedule for MAP testing. For your reference and information, we have prepared a brief video in both English and Spanish that offers an overview of MAP assessments and what to expect on test day.

Haga clic aquí para la versión en español de este anuncio

Year of St. Joseph

Dear Catholic School Families,

As Christmas approaches and your family makes plans to celebrate the Birth of Our Lord, we feel it important to remind you once again to continue to make choices that ensure the health and safety of your family and, by extension, your school community. Please familiarize yourself with the updated travel advisory issued by Governor Cuomo on November 3, 2020. City and State leaders continue to urge caution given rising positive test rates and strongly encourage all New Yorkers to avoid non-essential travel.

Any person entering New York State, either from out of state or from a CDC Level 2 or 3 Travel Health Notice country, may adhere to the new State Guidance, which allows an individual to test out of the mandatory 14-day quarantine consistent with Department of Health regulations. This applies to returning New York State residents. The guidelines are as follows:

For travelers who were in another state for more than 24 hours:

  • Travelers must fill out the Traveler Health Form upon entry.
  • Travelers must obtain a test within three days of departure from the state they were visiting.
  • Encourage travelers to identify in advance where they will get tested, both when departing the state they were visiting and when they return to New York.
  • Upon arrival to New York, travelers must quarantine for three days.
  • On day 4 of their quarantine, travelers must obtain another COVID test.  If both tests come back negative, travelers may exit quarantine early upon receipt of the second negative diagnostic test.

Travelers from the contiguous states of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont are not subject to this guidance.

Travelers who leave and reenter New York within 24 hours do not need to obtain a diagnostic test before departing and do not need to quarantine upon return. However, such travelers must fill out the Traveler Health Form upon entry and obtain a diagnostic test on the fourth day after arrival in New York.

If travelers entering New York from a state that is not contiguous, or from a CDC Level 2 or 3 Travel Health Notice country, do not follow the protocols outlined above, including getting both tests, then they are expected to quarantine for 14 days and fill out the Traveler Health Form upon entry.

Given the high number of asymptomatic positive tests, it is incumbent upon families to be diligent and responsible during the Christmas season and through the new year. We offer the following suggestion to keep our school communities as safe as possible. If your family interacts with anyone outside your immediate household, it is recommended that all family members be tested approximately five days after that interaction. Students should also quarantine for 14 days before returning to school. We all have a moral obligation to protect those most vulnerable among us and to keep each other safe, especially our beloved children.

Your responsible decision-making and partnership with our principals in following our guidelines and protocols have made it possible for in-person instruction to continue, and for that, we are most grateful. We remain totally committed to providing five-day in-person instruction.  This can only happen with your help.  We offer the above resources and suggestions as a respectful reminder and to ensure you have everything you need in order to make informed choices for your family’s continued good health.  Please be mindful that our schools are only as safe as the people in them.

Sincerely,

Mr. Michael J. Deegan
Superintendent of Schools
Archdiocese of New York

Click here to view this letter in English  |  Haga clic aquí para la versión en español de este anuncio

To our Catholic School Community,

Nine months into the pandemic and life has certainly changed. As we embrace this holiday season, we are well aware that this year will be different. While the Christmas season is filled with joy, it is also common for the holidays to increase stress.

This year, families are struggling with many issues: financial stress, loss of loved one, coping with illness and just managing day to day in the new reality. COVID has changed how we interact in the world and it will certainly impact how we gather and celebrate.

It is important to monitor your mental health and wellness and the mental wellness of your children, family and friends.

Below are some tips and resources:

Be sure to find ways to celebrate with your family.

Monitor you own health and wellness and invest in self-care.

  • Turn off the news. Shut off the phone.
  • Do what is needed to take care of yourself. Children take their cues from the adults around them. It is important to model healthy coping.
  • Look at this for some ideas: Taking Care of Yourself

Check in on loved ones. The reason navigating life during the pandemic is exhausting is because it is! It is normal to feel sad and frustrated at times.

  • It is important to monitor anyone with depression, anxiety or mental health struggles and to monitor your family.
  • Some advice on how to start a conversation with someone you are worried about can be found here: Family Conversations as well as tips for monitoring behaviors of children at home – Helping at Home-Tips for Parents.

Monitor for symptoms of distress.

Reach out for help. It’s okay to ask for support. There are many remote resources available.

  • Begin with your medical doctor or the pediatrician to rule out medical issues.
  • Ask for referrals for a mental health professional. Most health insurance plans include behavioral health resources.
  • Explore NY Project Hope a program of the NYS Office of Mental Health that offers an Emotional Support Helpline, 1-844-863-9314, 7 days a week from 8am-10pm.
  • As noted in a previous communication, ADAPP offers a brief mental health phone consultation and support to parents who have concerns about their child(ren) and will refer them, as appropriate, to additional resources. To participate in this program, please email: MentalHealthSupport@adapp.org, with the name of the school your child attends, their grade, and the city in which the school is located in the subject line. Please describe your concern so the counselor can be prepared to respond, and leave a phone number if you would like a call back. Every attempt will be made to respond within 24 hours, Monday –Friday, during the hours of 8 am to 4 pm.
  • **If you have a mental health emergency, please call 911**
  • In addition, we know that there are other challenges that face our families, if you have questions about state and local benefit programs or other community resources, you can send an email to FamilySupport@adapp.org.

Continue to take advantage of the many resources available online.

  • Many wonderful resources are posted on this web page as well as ADAPP’s Covid-19 resource page. They are updated regularly and provide information about education, remote learning, family activities, and mental health and wellness techniques.

Wishing you peace and joy this Christmas,

Christine Cavallucci, LCSW, CPP
Executive Director, ADAPP

We are working with SOMOS to ensure you receive your child’s test results as soon as possible. Testing labs are currently experiencing both national and local delays due to the extraordinary number of tests being processed.

Many parents have already registered for the Empire City Laboratories online testing portal using the instructions located under “How to Access COVID-19 Test Results” in the November 23 article just below this one. You must enter your child’s name and date of birth. If you enter your name and information, the registration will be invalid, and you will not receive the test results. Once you have correctly registered, verification of the information can take 24-48 hours. Results will be posted once the entire process is complete.

You will also be notified of test results via a phone call from a SOMOS representative, who will identify themselves, saying they are calling on behalf of the school or the Archdiocese.

Those families with positive results will receive a call immediately upon processing. Negative results are notified in the order they are processed, so those phone calls may take more time to complete due to the extremely high volume of administered tests.

Calls to patients come mainly from the outgoing SOMOS number, which will show on your phone as 833-357-6267, while supervisors and a few others may call from the SOMOS main number, 833-766-6769. Occasionally calls from these exchanges may be blocked by anti-spam apps on cell phones. You may wish to check blocked call logs if you use one of these applications. When SOMOS makes contact with you, HIPAA requires that some data points be validated to ensure that they are speaking to the correct person/guardian. Usually, they will ask for confirmation of the student’s name and date of birth. Once this is verified, then SOMOS can deliver the testing information. If you do not validate the requested information, the representative cannot provide you with results. This verification process is done to protect your privacy and identity and that of your child.

As always, please contact the school office whenever you have questions or concerns. Thank you for your support and attention to detail as we continue to navigate this ongoing situation together.

Click here for access instructions in English and Spanish

  1. Visit: https://my.wellcom.us/register
  2. Create an account and complete the registration
  3. Check your account for results in 48 hours. If results are not yet available, check back regularly.

If you have any questions regarding accessing the portal please call Empire City Laboratories at 718-788-3840. Please dial Extension: 6. If you have any concerns regarding your results, please contact your healthcare provider.

You may also access patient portal on: https://www.empirecitylabs.com/.

For Immediate Release:

Judge Rules in Favor of Catholic Schools in Case against New York City Department of Education

Public Schools Must Provide COVID-19 Testing to Catholic Schools Where Law Mandates

Michael J. Deegan, Superintendent of Schools of the Archdiocese of New York, released the following statement today in response to the decision by Judge Wayne Ozzi of the New York State Supreme Court – Richmond County, granting the relief sought by Catholic schools that the Department of Education of the City of New York provide the same Covid-19 testing for its students as it does for public school students, as required under Section 912 of the State Education Law.

“We are most grateful for the judge’s swift and favorable decision on behalf of our Catholic school students and their families. The law is clear: the health and safety of students in non- public schools are as important as the health and safety of students in public schools. We hope Chancellor Carranza and the City DOE will now do the right thing and immediately provide the appropriate COVID-19 testing in accordance with the law.”

About the Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of New York:

Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of New York serve nearly 62,000 students from Pre-K through 12th grade across 172 schools across 9 counties and boroughs throughout New York. Catholic schools offer a unique combination of academic and spiritual development that empowers children of all backgrounds to gain the confidence to realize their fullest potential.

For more information, visit: CatholicSchoolsNY.org

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Fact Sheet Regarding In-School Testing

  •  Who will get tested?

A random 20% sample of the in-person faculty, staff and students ages 5 and up will be tested.

  • How do I submit a consent form?

The school needs an original copy of all consent forms on file. Faxed or scanned copies of consent forms cannot be accepted. Parents are encouraged to drop off the consent forms or to send the forms in with the student prior to the testing date. It is imperative the information be complete and accurate.

  • Who is conducting the tests?

Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of New York have engaged the services of SOMOS Community Care to conduct the required bi-weekly random testing in our school. All teams work directly under the supervision of a New York State licensed Medical provider. Each person/team member that is to perform any work in a school shall be vetted to ensure they meet the NYS requirement, have appropriate certification for performing COVID test swabbing, and cleared through a nationwide criminal background check.

  • Where will testing take place in the building?

Testing will be done in a safe, secure, isolated, well-ventilated space in our building which will be deep cleaned and misted after testing is completed.

  • What type of test is it?

It is a short swab test which only swabs the nares (front part of the nasal passage).  It is NOT a rapid test. While the consent form notes the use of the longer swab, only the short swab will be used on our students. The consent form is a standard document provided by SOMOS.

  • How will the testing be administered?

Schools in a yellow zone are required by New York State to conduct bi-weekly testing. However, if the testing results show our positivity rate among the 20% random sample of in-person students ages 5 and up, staff, and faculty is lower than the yellow zone’s current seven-day positivity rate, testing will not continue at our school.

  • What if my insurance company says that they will not cover the test unless it is ordered by a doctor or as a result of close contact with someone who tested positive?

COVID testing is government subsidized and must be paid to any certified laboratory that performs the test. Additionally, there is no application of copays or deductibles and no balance billing for COVID testing. The Medical Director of SOMOS is the ordering provider on every lab test.

  • What is the cost for families for conducting the tests?

There will be no out of pocket expense for you. Under the federal government’s CARES Act, your medical insurance will cover this testing with zero co-payment. In order to quickly carry out the testing, easily and free, be sure to include your insurance information on the consent form. If you don’t have insurance, your child is still eligible for testing at no cost to you. Click here and here for additional information.

  • Why is testing starting in kindergarten when the public schools are starting in first grade?

The testing that occurred in the New York City Public Schools was not based on the yellow zone designation. Once an area is considered a yellow zone, the school must test a random 20% sample of in person faculty, staff, and students ages 5 and up in order to stay open for in-person instruction. The distinction is not by grade, but rather by age.

  • Who will escort my child to the testing location?

A teacher or staff member will escort the children to the testing area.

  • Can the principal or teacher sit with the student during the actual testing procedure?

The testing area is considered a restricted area and must remain with only authorized personnel with full PPE. The principal or a school official will need to be in full PPE in order to be present in the room for some of the testing. We thank Governor Cuomo for providing the PPE at no expense to allow this to happen.

  • Can a parent/guardian be present at the time of testing?

Unfortunately, due to the regulations set forth by the reopening plan, we are still not allowed to have any parents or non-essential or unauthorized visitors in the building; this even applies for the testing days. This is for the safety of the school, the students and staff.

  • Can I take my child to an outside medical provider to have the child tested in lieu of the in-school testing?

Unfortunately, given the reporting that New York State is requiring, this is not a possibility at this time.

  • Can I call my child out “sick” or go remote on testing days and return the following day?

No. Unfortunately, if you do not submit a consent form, your child will not be allowed to attend in-person instruction until a consent form is signed.  If no consent form is signed, the child will need to be fully remote until we revisit the situation at the end of quarter 2.

  • Will I know prior to testing that my child has been selected? How will I know if my child has been tested?

By signing the consent form, you are allowing your child to be tested; you will not be notified that your child has been selected.  If your child is tested, we will let you know they were tested and provide the information on how and when you will receive the results.

  • When will I know the results of my child’s test?

A representative from SOMOS Results team shall contact patients with the results of the test within 48 hours maximally but within 24 hours is expected.

Haga clic aquí para la versión en español de este anuncio

Dear Catholic Schools Families,

As you know, your school is one of a number of Catholic schools that currently finds itself in a New York State-designated yellow zone. As such, your school is required by the State to conduct bi-weekly testing of a random 20% sample of the in-person faculty, staff and students ages 5 and up to continue in-person instruction. The Health and Safety Task Force of the Office of the Superintendent of Schools has been planning for this process. We should all embrace this as the next indicated positive step to keep our buildings open and operating safely.

New York City is currently refusing to provide our schools with COVID-19 testing as they are required to do under the law. While we have called upon Mayor de Blasio to instruct schools chancellor Richard Carranza to follow the law, we are prepared to take the City to court to fight for the essential health and welfare services our schools are entitled to under the law. As that struggle for our rights unfolds, we have made arrangements to establish a testing infrastructure that will meet the requirements set forth by New York State as we are committed to keeping our students in school for in-person instruction.

Our Catholic school system has contracted with a highly-regarded, licensed organization, SOMOS Community Care, to conduct the COVID-19 testing required to keep our schools open. Testing will take place in your school building, in a secure area to be designated solely for testing. Student cohorts will not mingle during the testing, and your child’s privacy will be maintained throughout the process, following all HIPAA standards and protocols.

There will be no out of pocket expense for you. Under the federal government’s CARES Act, your medical insurance will cover this testing with zero co-payment. Consent forms will be provided to you. In order to quickly carry out the testing, easily and free, be sure

to include your insurance information on that form. If you don’t have insurance, your child is still eligible for testing at no cost to you.

Once again, if your child age 5 and up is to attend school in person, you must consent to testing your child. Children ages 5 and up who do not have consent will be required to transition to remote learning immediately for the rest of this quarter. Your principal will contact you with details regarding your school’s testing process, including the necessary forms, to make this a seamless process for your family.

This public health crisis has been a constant reminder that we are all part of something greater than ourselves. As members of the extended Catholic schools’ family, it is our nature to unite in order to lift one another up and overcome challenges. At this moment, I have all the faith in the world that we will take a collective breath, understand what is needed to keep our schools open, and once again, move forward together.

Sincerely,

Mr. Michael J. Deegan
Superintendent of Schools
Archdiocese of New York

We are providing CMS guidance on COVID 19 testing which addresses insurance questions as well as other issues, which are summarized below. Important note: this area is ever-changing as the pandemic heightens and testing requirements increase.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)—in conjunction with the Treasury Department and Labor Department issued rules which implement mandates from the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

The FFCRA specifies that all COVID-19 testing approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or for which emergency use authorization (EUA) has been requested (until the EUA has been ruled on) and any associated medical services shall be covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance without any cost-sharing requirements for the patient. Coverage must be provided without “prior authorization or other medical management requirements.” In addition, the costs of testing and associated medical services for the uninsured can be paid through the National Disaster Management System (NDMS) at 110% of Medicare rates, and a state can opt to cover these costs for uninsured patients through their Medicaid program (with the costs effectively reimbursed in full by the federal government).

  • Click here for “FAQS ABOUT FAMILIES FIRST CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE ACT AND CORONAVIRUS AID, RELIEF, AND ECONOMIC SECURITY ACT IMPLEMENTATION PART 43” and COVID 19 Section 6008, which offers guidance to clarify how insurance companies and group health plans implement FFCRA and CARES requirements and these are to be utilized when addressing your questions over my synopsis herein.
  • Click here here for additional FAQs relating to Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

The guidance documents explain that the mandate to cover testing with no cost-sharing applies to all types of COVID-19 diagnostics – PCR tests, antigen detection tests, and serology tests – including when a patient is asymptomatic. However, the guidance also interprets the statute to apply only to testing done for “diagnostic purposes” and “when medically appropriate for the individual, as determined by the individual’s attending health care provider in accordance with accepted standards of current medical practice.” The agencies have defined an “attending health care provider” as any licensed provider making an “individualized clinical assessment.” Where the current law falls short is in the critical gap regarding what is or can be termed as non-medically appropriate, such as access to non-diagnostic testing. Under current guidance, health plans and other forms of coverage need only cover tests done for “diagnostic purposes” and “when medically appropriate for the individual, as determined by the individual’s attending health care provider in accordance with accepted standards of current medical practice.” This leaves a gap in access to and how to pay for other forms of testing such as employee and student return.

With that being said, there are four legal requirements within the laws:

  1. Out-of-network testing entities cannot balance bill patients.
  2. Health plans cannot decline to cover office, telehealth, urgent care, or emergency room visit that results in an order for a COVID-19 test and cannot charge any cost-sharing from the patient. This requirement applies to the “administration” of a COVID-19 test and all “items and services furnished to an individual” during visits “that result in an order for or administration of a [COVID-19 test].”
  3. Health plans cannot exclude serology testing done for “individualized” diagnostic purposes when ordered or administered by a medical professional, nor can they exclude testing for asymptomatic patients with suspected exposure.
  4. Self-insured employer health plans cannot escape these requirements. The statute and Trump administration guidance are crystal clear that all the COVID-19 testing coverage rules apply equally to self-insured employer health plans.

New York State Guidance:

In addition to the federal requirements for COVID-19 testing, the State of New York has introduced several mandates for testing through executive orders and agency guidance.  In addition to Governor Cuomo’s executive orders, state government agencies have also issued guidance for COVID-19 testing. The Department of Financial Services (DFS) issued two circular letters providing guidance for insurance issuers to comply with the Governor’s executive orders, Circular Letter’s No. 11 and No. 12 direct health insurance issuers to provide both in-network and out of network coverage for COVID-19 testing at pharmacies and for twice weekly testing of nursing and adult care facility personnel without cost sharing in order to comply with the Governors executive orders. So although Federal  law is clear that insurers must cover testing for of those persons who a medical providers deems as medically appropriate, New York has exercised its powers to apply a more expansive testing coverage requirement to New York’s private health insurance industry. Note, that although ERISA plans are exempted from these requirements, Circular Letter No. 11 indicates that third party administrators in the State are “strongly encouraged to apply the provisions” required for fully insured businesses.

Funding for uninsured patients

As part of the FFCRA and CARES Act, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) will reimburse healthcare providers, generally at Medicare rates, for testing uninsured patients for COVID-19. Balance billing is not allowed and there will be no cost for those who have no insurance.

Somos and/or the Medical Providers who are to provide the professional services under the Agreement will not send any invoice or bill any student or staff member tested.

Haga clic aquí para la versión en español de este anuncio

Dear Catholic Schools Families,

As you are aware, there have been recent spikes in cases of COVID-19 throughout New York City. Since September 9th, our Catholic schools have provided safe in-person learning. We will continue to remain faithful to all the health and safety protocols and procedures as laid out by federal, state and city health officials and the Catholic Schools Reopening Plan.  We intend to keep our buildings open regardless of decisions made by Mayor de Blasio regarding NYC public schools.

Our Catholic schools operate independently of New York City public schools. In the event of a closure of public schools by the mayor’s office, we will remain open until the Health and Safety Task Force of the Office of the Superintendent, working with officials from the New York State Department of Health and the governor’s office determines otherwise.

Thank you for your partnership in maintaining a safe and healthy environment for in-person learning. We intend to keep our buildings open for as long as safety allows.

Sincerely,

Mr. Michael J. Deegan
Superintendent of Schools
Archdiocese of New York

Haga clic aquí para la versión en español de este anuncio

Dear Staten Island Catholic Schools Families,

I want to write with an update on the status of the yellow zone designation of our schools. All Catholic schools on Staten Island will reopen our buildings this Monday, November 16.

In order to keep our buildings open, we have informed New York City officials that we expect the testing services they are legally mandated to provide to be in place by or before Friday, November 20.

This expectation will allow us to meet the threshold of testing 20 percent of students and staff in each building. So many of you have told your elected officials you want our schools to remain open.  We are grateful to nearly all of the Staten Island elected officials who have voiced strong support of our position that our Catholic schools receive every health and safety service ? including COVID-19 testing ? to which we are entitled under the law.

The city and New York State can say they are providing a free test kit, but they are not providing staff, paying for a lab to complete the processing, nor creating the reports which schools must submit to the state. This is not parity under the law. In the event the New York City does not provide the services, in addition to potential litigation, the archdiocese is working with community partners for testing alternatives to meet those requirements to ensure we can remain open.

You also may hear New York City public schools are going remote any day. Catholic Schools will remain open until we are legally required to close or the Health and Safety Task Force of the Superintendent of Schools determines it is unsafe for our students and staff.

We have all worked tirelessly to ensure of Catholic schools remain open for in-school learning.  We are grateful for your partnership all these months in creating a safe and healthy environment for our beloved children and our dedicated staff.  We look forward to seeing everyone back in school Monday morning!

Sincerely,

Mr. Michael J. Deegan
Superintendent of Schools
Archdiocese of New York

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Eve of the Feast of St. Francis Cabrini

Dear Staten Island Catholic Schools Community,

I know the past 24 hours has been filled with frustration, angst and uncertainty for your family and most especially your children. While we had wanted to share additional information with you yesterday, given the rapidly evolving situation and the ever changing city and state requirements, we wanted to provide you as much notice as possible given the requirement that we close as a result of the designation of the greater part of Staten Island as a COVID-19 yellow zone.

Please know our singular focus remains our ability to restore 5 days of full in person learning for as many students as our buildings will safely hold. I am grateful to the principals, teachers, and you the parents who allowed us to open our schools on day one and keep them open until today.

In order for our school buildings to remain open in a yellow zone, 20 percent of staff and students must be tested weekly for COVID-19, according to the New York State health department. New York City is legally required to provide these health services for Catholic schools but have thus far failed to do so, despite repeated requests for parity.  We were forced to temporarily pause in-person instruction as we continue to advocate to receive the testing services to which we are entitled under the law. The same services provided to public school

While these days of remote home-based learning may have been imposed on us, the archdiocese, in collaboration with local elected officials, are pursuing all remedies to ensure our schools receive what they are legally entitled. We stand ready, if needed, to defend the rights of our students legally. We are also actively engaging the Governor’s Office, community health partners and stakeholders to ensure families, teachers and administrators can follow the testing protocols once they have been established, allowing a safe return to in-person instruction. We will continue to keep you updated as things progress.

While this forced transition to full remote instruction is not our preference, our dedicated principals and teachers have planned for and are prepared for this brief pause. It was a prudent step to take, made necessary by the spike in cases and city officials’ lack of action on our behalf, to protect the health and safety of the Staten Island Catholic school communities, the community of Staten Island as a whole, and the viability of Catholic education in New York.

As we just celebrated Veterans Day, I ask that you join me in prayer to Blessed Fr. Vincent Capodanno, who will be Staten Island’s first Saint.  I am reminded of his words to us “Belief in Christ brings with it a deeply rooted sense in the primacy and urgency of now. Not last year or next year, but now”.

“Now” is the time that we will remain united for our children!

Sincerely,

Mr. Michael J. Deegan
Superintendent of Schools
Archdiocese of New York

CC:  Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York

Dear Catholic School Families,

Over the past seven days, the average positivity rates in many areas of Staten Island areas have risen to as high as 5.2 percent and new daily hospital admissions have increased. For these reasons, Governor Cuomo announced today that the greater part of Staten Island is now a yellow zone.

As such, all Catholic elementary schools in the Staten Island region will transition to remote learning as of tomorrow, Thursday, November 12, for the foreseeable future. Principals and teachers are prepared for this transition and have crafted plans for remote instruction guided by the Continuity of Learning Plan prepared by the Office of the Superintendent. Each principal will contact their school community this evening with the details to allow this smooth transition to remote learning. The process begins tomorrow with school buildings opened for limited access to allow staff and K-8 students to retrieve personal items and all materials necessary for remote learning.

Principals will be sharing additional information with families in UPK/3K and tuition-based prekindergarten programs. Children in these programs should not report to school tomorrow.

The Health and Safety Task Force of the Office of the Superintendent is working closely with New York City Department of Health officials to establish, operationalize and implement the necessary protocols to safely reopen our school buildings as soon as possible.

Sincerely,

Mr. Michael J. Deegan
Superintendent of Schools
Archdiocese of New York

Click here for the English version of this message | Haga clic aquí para la versión en español de este anuncio

Feast of All Souls Day

Dear Catholic School Families,

I hope your family enjoyed a fun and safe Halloween weekend. Last week you received a comprehensive email with reminders about the protocols set in place, which are crucial to continued safe operation of our schools during the COVID public health crisis. Along with the updated daily checklist and a link to the revised New York State COVID Toolkit, we also addressed Governor Cuomo’s travel advisory, which was modified over this past weekend.

*Almost without exception, any positive COVID cases associated with our school communities have been related to after school activities, sports and social gatherings. Given many of you are making decisions about Thanksgiving travel right now, we felt it important to deliver the following information as soon as possible so you can make the right choices to keep your families and our schools as safe and healthy as possible.

The new protocol, effective Wednesday, November 4, provides residents traveling outside of the states bordering New York the option of quarantining for 14 days, or they may choose to test-out of that otherwise mandatory isolation by following these guidelines:

For travelers who were in another state for more than 24 hours:

  • Travelers must obtain a test within three days of departure from that state.
  • The traveler must, upon arrival in New York, quarantine for three days.
  • On day four of their quarantine, the traveler must obtain another COVID test. If both tests come back negative, the traveler may exit quarantine early upon receipt of the second negative diagnostic test.

For travelers who were in another state for less than 24 hours:

  • The traveler does not need a test prior to their departure from the other state and does not need to quarantine upon arrival in New York State.
  • However, the traveler must fill out the traveler information form upon entry into New York State and take a COVID diagnostic test four days after their arrival in New York.

If your family travels as outlined by the governor’s executive order, your child will need to receive a note of medical clearance and two negative PCR COVID tests to return to school. The Office of the Superintendent of Schools does not accept rapid tests for school return. You will be required to provide full medical documentation.

Local health departments will validate tests, if necessary, and if a test comes back positive, will issue isolation orders and initiate contact tracing. The local health department must make contact with the state the traveler came from, to ensure contact tracing proceeds there as well. All travelers must continue to complete the traveler information form upon arrival into New York State to contribute to New York State’s robust contact tracing program.

The ability to keep our homes and schools safe rests in our hands. Thank you for your partnership in doing exactly that by making responsible decisions and good choices as the holidays approach.

Sincerely,

Mr. Michael J. Deegan
Superintendent of Schools
Archdiocese of New York

Click here for the English version of this announcement | Haga clic aquí para la versión en español de este anuncio

Dear Catholic School Communities,

Catholic schools continue to operate safely and efficiently throughout the Archdiocese of New York thanks to the resolve and selfless dedication of our principals, teachers and families sharing this singular goal. Our school communities have faced obstacles in these past two months. Whether it has been a positive COVID test in a school community or an issue with technology or logistics, we have adapted and overcome these challenges together.

As the transmission rate of COVID-19 inches up around the metropolitan area, we must remain vigilant and faithful to the protocols in place for all our schools, beginning each morning with this recently revised daily self-screening checklist, including taking your child’s temperature at home before sending them to school on their cohort days. Please sign the new daily checklist and return to your school as soon as possible.

If you can answer YES to any of the checklist questions, your child may NOT enter the school building. You MUST contact a health professional for guidance and notify the school principal.

* In accordance with the revised New York State Department of Health COVID-19 Toolkit, your child will need to receive a note of medical clearance and a negative PCR COVID test to return to school should they develop any symptoms or be sent home from school. The Office of the Superintendent of Schools does not accept rapid tests for school return.

Please note the New York State travel advisory list is constantly changing. We urge you to refer to the list when making travel plans and other decisions involving those states.

It is also critical to make the right decisions away from school. Almost without exception, every positive COVID case affecting one of our school communities was a result of activities, including contact sports, parties, travel, or all three after school or over the course of a weekend.

As life goes on and holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving approach, we urge you to take account of numbers of people in attendance and space available for safe distancing. Perhaps adopt a group conscience for an exit strategy in situations where your family does not feel comfortable with the surroundings. We have all come too far to allow peer pressure or embarrassment to put ourselves or our schools at risk. For this weekend, please see a very helpful graphic with useful tips for a safe Halloween.

Thank you for your partnership in managing the massive task of keeping our children and staffs safe and our schools open during this once in a lifetime global health crisis. As long as we have each other and acknowledge that God is with us every step of the way, we will see this pandemic through and one glorious day we will remove these masks, enjoy the smiles we miss so much and hopefully embrace one another in warm hugs of gratitude and relief. Until that day arrives, please wash your hands, wear a mask, and keep a safe distance from others.

Sincerely,

Mr. Michael J. Deegan
Superintendent of Schools
Archdiocese of New York

Click here for the English version of this anouncement | Haga clic aquí para la versión en español de este anuncio

Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima

Dear Catholic School Families,

Since September, our schools have been open and operating safely and efficiently. Thank you for your support in ensuring our guidelines for health and safety have been followed. Every person in our extended Catholic schools’ community has the responsibility to observe social distancing and wear a mask. This is what will keep the doors to our schools open; this is what will continue to keep everyone at our Catholic schools safe and healthy. Our principals, teachers and health aides have rigorously enforced health and safety protocols in our schools.

However, as students’ participation in outside extracurricular activities increases, the possibility of exposure to individuals who are positive for COVID may increase for both the students and their families. The same outcome can be true for attending any event with large numbers of people. This past week we have seen a slight uptick in positive cases and every positive school case has been traced back to exposures at gatherings, parties, and events outside of school. We are sending this email as a stark reminder COVID protocols do not end at the end of the school day and or take the weekends off!

With that being said, it is crucial that every family completes the daily self-screening checklist, including taking their child’s temperature, prior to sending their children to school on their cohort days. If you can answer YES to any of the questions, your child may NOT enter the school building. You MUST contact a health professional for guidance and notify the school principal.

As a reminder, the questions are:

  1. Have you been in close or proximate contact in the past 14 days with anyone who has tested positive through a diagnostic test for COVID-19 or who has or had symptoms of COVID-19?
  2. Have you tested positive or are waiting for the result of a diagnostic test for COVID-19 in the past 14 days?
  3. Are you currently experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, including a temperature of 100 degrees F or higher in the past 14 days?
  4. Is your body temperature at or above 100 degrees F or have you or your child taken temperature reducing drugs within the last 24 hours?
  5. Have you traveled internationally or from a state with widespread community transmission of COVID – 19 per the NY State Travel Advisory in the past 14 days?

According to the New York State Department of Health, your child will need to receive a note of medical clearance and a negative PCR COVID test to return to school should they develop any symptoms or be sent home from school. The Office of the Superintendent of Schools does not accept rapid tests for school return.

What else can we all be doing to maintain a safe environment for all? We can limit our exposure to large groups of people, continue to practice good hand hygiene, have a supply of masks on hand so that the fabric masks can be washed daily, and ensure everyone in your family receives a flu shot and all immunizations are kept up to date.

We truly appreciate everyone’s honesty, cooperation and dedication to keeping our schools safe and healthy places of learning.  During the month of the Most Holy Rosary, we continue to entrust our students, teachers, principals and staff to our Lady; the cause of our hope and joy.

Sincerely,

Mr. Michael J. Deegan
Superintendent of Schools
Archdiocese of New York

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Feast of the Archangels: Michael, Gabriel and Raphael

Dear Catholic School Families,

Thanks to the continued hard work and dedication of our great teachers and the dynamic principals who lead our schools, we are about to enter the month of October. As we have throughout the public health crisis, we continue to be proactive in our approach to safely and efficiently reopening our school buildings. In keeping with that spirit, I am pleased to announce the appointment of Ms. Bridgette R. Mastaglio, MPH, as the COVID-19 Coordinator for the Office of the Superintendent of Schools. Please see this article in Catholic New York for a look at the crucial role this new position will play in keeping our schools and the communities around us safe. As always we will continue to keep you updated on critical matters related to your child’s education, as well as important information that requires you to take action.

  1. New York State Public Health Law requires ALL students be immunized to remain in school. Click here for the requirements by grade. This year, these requirements for all students – even remote learners – take on more meaning. Please ensure your child’s immunizations are up to date and provide the documentation to your children’s school if you have not already done so. While it is required for all students in New York City under the age of five, we strongly encourage the flu shot this year for everyone. Demand for flu shots is rising, so please be sure to make an appointment with your doctor, pharmacist or wherever your family receives vaccinations!
  2. Enabling all children to seamlessly access our classrooms remains a priority. To that end, we launched significant resources for our principals and teachers to capture common issues and assigned dedicated staff to assist with providing solutions. Most problems have already been resolved, while others will require additional time as we work with vendors and internet providers. The best experience for children who are learning remotely or hybrid is through the Zoom App. Zoom has now released an update which significantly improved the audio and video quality. We encourage you to download the most recent application. You can do so by visiting the Zoom Website here. You should also fully power down and up your chrome books on a regular basis rather than place them in sleep mode. Shutting down the device enables critical updates to be loaded.
  3. As anticipated, the metropolitan area is seeing increases in COVID-19 cases. Please ensure you re-commit yourself to the safety measures and reinforce them with your child. Social distancing, wearing a mask, staying home when sick, completing your daily health check list and checking your child’s temperature will play a crucial role in preventing school shutdowns due to surges in the numbers.

As we approach the month of October dedicated to the Most Holy Rosary and the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary celebrated on October 7, may we continue to entrust our students and schools to our blessed mother. Please utilize these family resources for how you can celebrate and honor Our Lady of the Rosary.

Sincerely,

Mr. Michael J. Deegan
Superintendent of Schools
Archdiocese of New York

Dear Catholic Schools Community: Please enjoy this heartfelt video message from His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan and Superintendent of Schools in the Archdiocese of New York Mr. Michael J. Deegan, expressing their joy, gratitude and excitement as we safely reopen our school buildings.

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Dear Catholic Schools Families,

As the Labor Day weekend draws near, so do the rituals of back-to-school preparations. Like you, our schools have been hard at work to ensure your child’s return to school is safe, efficient and seamless.

As you complete your checklists, we wanted to provide some reminders and updates critical to our collective success.

  1. Make sure you complete the daily screening at home. Here is the check list again.
  2. Utilize these resources to review with your child the importance of social distancing, washing hands and wearing masks.
  3. Take the time to talk to your child about how this year will feel and look different. Be sure to note the same loving pastor, principal, caring teachers and staff will be there to welcome them back to school. Linked here is a conversation guide to assist you with this process.
  4. For our families utilizing at home or hybrid learning, please be sure you have downloaded the Zoom application. This is the safest way for your student to video conference with their classroom. Parents can follow these directions to download the Zoom app on a Chromebook. We have worked all summer and invested millions of dollars to ensure a seamless transition to this new way of teaching and learning. Glitches will invariably happen as thousands of students and teachers connect virtually. If we encounter some challenges, be assured our Technology Team will address them as quickly as possible. Please know in advance, we appreciate your understanding, cooperation and patience.
  5. This week and next, principals are providing an extensive professional development program for our beloved teachers and devoted staff in the areas of COVID-19; technology and academics; social and emotional support and reviewing the daily school procedural and operational protocols. This recent article in Catholic New York describes the scope of this enhanced training.
  6. As an extended family of faith, it is of course most important to take the time to pray with your child. The Office of the Superintendent, our pastors, principals and teachers — at each of our schools — have been gathering regularly to pray for you and your families. We are reminded of Christ’s words to us, “Wherever two or more are gathered in my name, there I am in their midst.” Linked here are resources to help you do that as a family this weekend.

After all we have been through together, and with an eye towards the challenges awaiting us, I am grateful to our teachers, staff, principals and pastors who have overcome every obstacle the pandemic has thrown in their path. Together with you as our partners and with God by our side, we look forward to seeing all the smiling eyes above the masks as we safely gather once again inside our schools in just a few days.

Wishes for a healthy and fun Labor Day weekend,

Sincerely,

Mr. Michael J. Deegan
Superintendent of Schools
Archdiocese of New York

For Families Planning to Attend Catholic Schools in The Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island in September 2020 (haga clic aquí para la versión en español de este anuncio):

By now, you have likely heard the news that the New York City public schools will not be opening as planned next week. This decision has no bearing or impact on the plans of the Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of New York.

As a result of the combined tireless efforts of the Catholic Schools Reopening Advisory Council and our dedicated pastors, principals and teachers, we are prepared to welcome all of our students into our buildings safely as scheduled. We expect this will not impact UPK programs in our schools, nor will it disrupt transportation or breakfast/lunch services provided by the New York City Department of Education.

This afternoon, with the support of Cardinal Dolan, I sent a letter to Chancellor Richard Carranza and Mayor Bill de Blasio informing them of our intention to move forward on schedule as well as our expectation that the New York City Department of Education would deliver the services which they are obligated to provide our Catholic school children.

As ever, I am grateful for your continued partnership in the sacred mission of Catholic education.

Sincerely,

Mr. Michael J. Deegan
Superintendent of Schools
Archdiocese of New York

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Dear Catholic Schools Families,

As we draw closer to reopening our school buildings, we continue to be committed to doing so safely. While that involves physically creating a hygienic COVID-resistant environment, it also means maintaining strict control over who enters our building – including visitors, staff and students. A recent article in Catholic New York provides a look at the blueprint we have followed every step of the way.

As part of the New York State school reopening guidelines all those who enter a school building must complete daily self-screening for COVID-19. CLICK HERE to find the daily self-screening checklist for everyone in our schools (and HERE for the Spanish version). Principals will be following up with more specific directions for your school community.

Please ensure that you complete this checklist daily at home and take your child’s temperature before they leave for school. This will avoid children being sent home or placed in the Guardian Angel isolation room by principals or teachers when they arrive.

In keeping with Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Department of Health’s directives, we will adhere to travel restrictions from states with high rates of infection. Anyone who has traveled to any of those states must quarantine for 14 days upon returning to New York.

It is also important to note the immunizations that all students must receive annually. If a student does not meet the guidelines linked here for their grade after the first 14 days of school, the principal must by law, exclude the student until they have proof of such immunization. We have been informed by the State Department of Health this applies to students who are in school and who are attending remotely. We strongly encourage all students receive their flu shot as soon as possible during the month of September.

More than ever, the health of our schools and the greater community are primary, and we are grateful for your partnering with us to maintain a safe environment in which to pray, learn and grow.

Sincerely,

Mr. Michael J. Deegan
Superintendent of Schools
Archdiocese of New York

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Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance. – Proverbs 1:5

Dear Catholic Schools Families,

As the days grow shorter, the rituals of summer give way to the routines of fall and a new school year. School principals have been working extensively with the Office of the Superintendent and the Catholic Schools Reopening Advisory Council, to provide extensive professional development on COVID-19 awareness, enhanced teacher technology, and mental health social-emotional learning (SEL). Given the emphasis on hygiene, our maintenance and custodial staff are receiving training in the new requirements for cleaning and sanitizing our school buildings. A recent article in Catholic New York does a wonderful job of articulating this intensive instruction currently underway to ensure our mission is carried out safely and efficiently.

By now, your principal has been in touch with you to share the reopening plan crafted for your particular school and familiarize you with the modifications to daily routines such as drop off and pick up procedures and the regulations surrounding meal times and traversing hallways. These communications will continue since your comfort and familiarity with the new protocols is paramount.

While the painstaking work continues in your school buildings, there are things you can do at home to prepare your family for the coming school year. This comprehensive video presentation, Teacher and Student Resources for COVID-19 Prevention and Control, with materials approved by our health experts, including Dr. Walid Michelen, chief medical officer and senior vice president at ArchCare, is a timely refresher on COVID-19. While we are all familiar with the dos and don’ts of life during this pandemic, one can never be too informed. Consider this an opportunity for some family professional development before returning to your school in just a few weeks.

More than ever, your partnership is crucial to safely and successfully reopening our schools and to carry on the storied legacy of Catholic education in the Archdiocese of New York. Thank you for being informed, supportive and understanding as we navigate this new beginning together.

Sincerely,

Mr. Michael J. Deegan
Superintendent of Schools
Archdiocese of New York

Haga clic aquí para la versión en español de este anuncio.

Dear Parents and Guardians,

It is with great anticipation that we look forward to the safe reopening of our school buildings in September. In a time when words like uncertainty and change have dominated our lexicon, seeing a return to some form of routine -especially for children- is a great comfort to us all.

You were recently shown a video (click here) providing an overview of the practices and protocols you can expect to see in schools throughout the archdiocese this fall, which will ensure the teachers’ and students’ safe return to our buildings. In addition to these measures, the initial re-entry and subsequent day-to-day monitoring of COVID-related issues will be overseen by the Catholic Schools COVID Coordination Team, which will include a noted expert in the field of public health. The team, overseen by The Health and Safety Task Force of the Office of the Superintendent of Schools, will be supported by a full-time staff dedicated to the health and safety of our students and staff who will monitor and manage our response to COVID-19. They will take the lead in interfacing with local health officials, including the crucial tasks of testing, contact tracing, school notifications any time a school experiences a suspected or confirmed case within the building.

While we are very proud of how our school leaders and teachers shifted to home-based learning overnight, we can all agree the ideal environment for students to pray, learn and grow is within the walls, halls and classrooms of our beloved schools. In many cases, this year, that will mean a hybrid model of in-person and enhanced, remote synchronized and a-synchronized education.

Teachers will be expected to utilize Zoom throughout the school day to engage your children when they are at home, providing the classroom experience of teaching, learning and practice of concepts. Since this technology is new, we have dedicated additional days of professional development for our teachers at the start of school. We anticipate that the first few days will find students, teachers and principals addressing and refining whatever fine tuning will be necessary.

Given the expanse of our regions and the unique physical characteristics of each school building, our gifted and talented principals have tailored the Catholic Schools Reopening: Moving Forward Together guidelines and manual to best serve the needs of their communities. Recognizing that principals have been keeping you informed since March and more recently with the release of our opening plan, in accordance with the governor’s new directives, principals will begin additional outreach to parents in the coming days. These communications will outline daily procedures specific to your school, such as but not limited to: pick up and drop off, meal times, maintenance of facilities, and daily screening procedures. Over the course of the coming weeks, you will have the opportunity to communicate with your principal. We are all blessed to have these dedicated school leaders. This series of communications will culminate in a virtual, interactive meeting to ensure you and your family are as comfortable as possible with the specific reopening plan in place.

As you learn more about the specifics relating to your individual schools, now is an ideal time to contemplate a discussion with your child about what they should expect as school reopens. While they likely have a favorite mask, and they certainly know how to sing two soapy choruses of Happy Birthday at the sink, it will be important for them to know how to implement the best hygiene practices they are already performing within the context of the school day. We have added resources on our website to help you prepare them for wearing a mask throughout the day at school.

Perhaps even more importantly, this will likely be the first time the children will have seen so many of their friends in person since March. Given they will be wearing face coverings and won’t have the usual physical contact or freedom of movement, there are conversations that can be started now addressing the social and emotional aspects of coming back to school in a COVID environment. The mental health professionals at the Archdiocese Drug and Alcohol Prevention Program (ADAPP) have prepared resources for this purpose, and we invite you to utilize them as you see fit.

As evidenced by all of the above, much planning and study has been committed –and will continue- towards safely reopening our school buildings and delivering the academically superior education of which we are all so proud. Ultimately, the people in whose hands these plans will rest, are the dedicated men and women who constitute the finest group of teachers in America today. These selfless, persevering professional educators have met every challenge placed before them and have exceeded expectations throughout the COVID-19 crisis, and we know they will continue to be there for your children in that sacred singular relationship that only exists between a student and their teacher. Not only are they your child’s hero, they are ours as well.

Sincerely,

Mr. Michael J. Deegan
Superintendent of Schools
Archdiocese of New York

July 27, 2020

Please visit CatholicSchoolsNY.org/opening to view our opening plan & videos showing the enhanced environment to which students, teachers and staff will return in September!

Dear Catholic School Community,

Since April, the Catholic Schools Re-Opening Council has worked tirelessly to prepare guidance that will ensure the safe return of our students, teachers, and staff to our school buildings. I am grateful for their efforts. Today, I am pleased to share with you the result of their work – Catholic Schools Opening: Moving Forward Together.

Principals are currently developing localized school plans based on the needs of their communities and physical spaces. Those plans and this manual are representative of the most recent guidance from government, state, and local health officials, which is changing continually. As guidance changes, plans will be updated.

While our buildings have been closed our schools were open; teaching and learning has been taking place. It is now time to return to our “homes” and move forward together, reinvigorating our Catholic school buildings with the return of our students.

We are committed to opening schools for 5 days a week for in-school instruction for all students, ensuring social distancing can safely be maintained in our buildings under the direct supervision of a teacher. We have encouraged principals to be creative with space, while ensuring that the health and safety of our staff and students are primary in their decision-making. For some buildings or class sizes that cannot accommodate all students socially distanced for a full 5 days, plans will be created by the principal using an alternating day/week cycle.

I’m grateful to the Catholic Schools Re-Opening Council for their work in assembling this manual and to the principals and teachers who will implement it so that our students can return safely, healthily, and happily.

Throughout this pandemic, I have reflected that we are “Prophets of a Future not Our Own.” However, like you, I have great faith in the “Master Builder.” Join me in this prayer on page 5 of our opening manual, entrusting ourselves to the “Master Builder.”

Please visit CatholicSchoolsNY.org/opening for regular updates, and to view our opening videos which tour the enhanced environment to which our students, teachers and staff will return in September.

Gratefully,

Mr. Michael J. Deegan
Superintendent of Schools
Archdiocese of New York

Click here for the English version of this anouncement | haga clic aquí para la versión en español de este anuncio

July 13, 2020
Feast of St. Henry

Dear Catholic School Community,

Catholic Schools are opening in September! I know for so many of you that is the question that has been on your mind, and the next question is how are we doing it safely? Since March, the Health & Safety Task Force of the Superintendent of Schools has been ensuing that our students and staff remain healthy and have access to the most accurate information to safeguard them. Moreover, in April the Catholic Schools Re-Opening Council with leading experts across our state and nation have been working on a plan to safely bring our students home to our beloved catholic school buildings.

Later today, we anticipate that NYS State DOH and the Board of Regents will release its guidance; our council will release the Archdiocese comprehensive guidance early next week. Principals have been working already with information from the council to begin planning for a September start. In advance of our Archdiocese guidance, Catholic Schools Opening: Moving Forward Together, being released early next week, I wanted to outline some fundamental topics:

  1. We are committed to opening schools for 5 days a week and ensuring that as many students using social distancing can safely be in our buildings under the direct supervision of a Teacher. The fact is that most buildings cannot accommodate all students socially distanced for a full 5 days, scheduled; Plans will be created by the principal using a three day/two day alternating week cycle. Early Morning Drop Off and After School Program will not be available until a later date. While I know all of you want your child in 5 days a week, government guidelines for health & safety do not allow that to happen.
  2. Parents who desire can choose full time remote learning for their child. Remote learning will be with their child’s teacher, learning in the classroom with students who are in the building. Students will be seamlessly connected.
  3. We are deeply committed to ensuring the loving nurturing Catholic School environment will continue. We will not relent on our academic excellence that had our students outperform our public and charter schools in achievement on academic measures. Social emotional learning and mental well being are a priority from the moment they return.
  4. The health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff are being prioritized with enhanced cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing protocols, temperature checks and symptom screening.
  5. We have requested many resources which our students are entitled to under state and city law as well as through the Local School Districts. Most significantly our expectation will be all public school districts provide a nurse/medical professional for all of our schools and transportation for eligible students. We are not confident that they will fulfill those requirements. We will persist on engaging local school districts and lobbying for our students. We want you to know how aggressively we are fighting for our children, but fear the government will fail to help us. We will keep you updated.

Like many of you, I have been watching around the world and our country as states and school districts release their plans, we have studied them all. It will be a new normal and no one plan, strategy, guideline or executive order will return us to what was. We do know however, that as we emerge, emboldened with our faith in Christ and accompanying each other on this journey, we will be stronger and committed anew to leading students to college and heaven!

Sincerely,

Mr. Michael J. Deegan
Superintendent of Schools
Archdiocese of New York

Click here to view this message in English | haga clic aquí para la versión en español de este anuncio

Dear Catholic Schools Community,

One of the hallmarks of this beguiling public health crisis has been the uncertainty of it all. On a seemingly daily basis we have been asked to adjust for what feels like an ever-changing list of rules, guidelines and orders, many of which vary from state to state and even town to town. Deadlines and expiration dates have been extended along with closures and restrictions. Uncertainty and inconsistency invariably leads to speculation, and at the forefront of recent COVID-related speculation has been the question of when school buildings will open again. That question is always followed with, “What will it look like?”

In the first days of the COVID-19 crisis, my office established our Health and Safety Task Force. Guided by the advice and direction of government officials and health experts, we have been proactive and thorough in establishing policies to protect the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff.

While there is no time frame established for the reopening of any school buildings in New York State, we know that when they do, we will be practicing physical distancing, enhanced personal and institutional cleaning and sanitizing protocols, revised pick up and drop off logistics among many other practices. With nearly 200 schools from Staten Island to the Catskills, we believe we cannot plan too much or too far in advance for an undertaking of this magnitude.

In keeping with our culture of being proactive, thorough and pragmatic, I am gratified to inform you that we have created the Catholic Schools Reopening Advisory Council. This Council has begun the initial planning stage of reopening our school buildings. In addition to continued contact with federal, state and local officials, we have determined the best way forward for our schools is to bring together a new task force; a panel of experts in the fields of education, public health, risk management, security, logistics, architecture and engineering.

We have gathered the very best because that is what you deserve. We know our schools represent the finest traditions in education anywhere. We have outstanding principals, dedicated teachers and the hardest-working, most successful students anywhere. When you come together again under your respective roofs, we are resolved that you will do so safely in order that you may enjoy all the things you miss right now; the sights and sounds, the faces, clamor and laughter one can only find in a school.

The members of the Catholic Schools Reopening Advisory Council include:

  • Maureen McElduff, Coordinator of the Catholic Schools Reopening Advisory Council
  • Frank Napolitano, Director of Risk Management and Insurance Service – ADNY
  • Kevin Quinn, Operations Manager of Catholic Mutual Group
  • Michael J. Coppotelli, Associate Superintendent of Student Services and Public Policy; Mayor’s COVID-19 Education Sector Advisory Council
  • Mary Jane Daley, Regional Superintendent of Dutchess, Northern Westchester & Putnam
  • John Riley, Regional Superintendent of Northwest and South Bronx
  • Steven Pallonetti, Director of Child Nutrition – ADNY
  • Amy Rodriguez, Principal of Immaculate Conception School, Bronx
  • Maureen Noonan, Head of School Blessed Sacrament School, Manhattan
  • Joanne Walsh, Associate Superintendent of Early Childhood Education – ADNY
  • Jane Schwedfeger, Director of Property Management – ADNY
  • Walid Michelen, Chief Medical Officer of Arch Care
  • Dean Jackson – Senior Operations Manager, Service Master
  • Paul R Checco, AIA – PC Studio Architects, PLLC
  • Rolando Kraeher – Kraeher Architects

Sincerely,

Mr. Michael J. Deegan
Superintendent of Schools
Archdiocese of New York

Click here to view this message in English | haga clic aquí para la versión en español de este anuncio

Please see below a letter to the Catholic School Community with an important update about social emotional learning and mental health services during COVID-19 from Archdiocese of New York Drug & Alcohol Prevention Program. (ADAPP).

To Our Catholic School Community,

With the announcement of school building closures for the remainder of the school year, administrators, teachers, parents and students now realize that what may have been temporary for a few weeks is now permanent through June.

Now, more than ever, as we continue to navigate our current situation, paying attention to mental health and wellness and staying connected is important. During stressful times, children and teens take their cues from the adults in their lives. How we respond to current events, manage our feelings, and take care of ourselves and those around us models for children how to respond.

There is no shortage of tips and suggestions about this topic. Below are some that I find to be most helpful

  • Find healthy ways to manage your feelings, even if it’s a few minutes alone each morning or evening to prepare for or review the day.
  • As best as you can, try to keep to a routine, whatever that looks like for you and your family. Children need structure, and while it may look different than a school day, predictability provides comfort. It can also help when space and access to a computer is limited. Having a set time for where and when school and work get done can be helpful.
  • Find ways to keep children occupied. Play games, do puzzles or step outside. Explore websites to zoos or museums; many are providing free access to “virtual trips.” And do this with your child. Feeling connected to them and having fun is important for families.
  • Provide reassurance about the current pandemic. Give information that is accurate and simple. Explain why hand washing and wearing a mask are ways to keep us healthy. It’s okay to share your feelings, but balance that with hope and how to cope. For example, instead of saying there is no cure for the virus, explain that scientists are working on this.
  • Listen and don’t minimize concerns of children. For example, it’s not helpful to say to an 8th grader who is sad about missing graduation, that things could be worse. Children and teens are sad about many things, including not seeing friends, their favorite teacher or getting to celebrate milestones. These are important to them and allowing them to talk about these feelings is important.
  • Limit exposure to the news, especially in front of children. Use it to get information. Too much news about this or any tragedy only creates anxiety.
  • Find ways to help family, friends, or the community, even if it is calling, texting or writing notes. Giving children and teens the opportunity to do something gives them a sense of control and allows them to feel like they can make a difference.
  • Stay connected to family and friends via phone, text, email, Zoom or and other similar platforms.
  • Lastly, take advantage of the many resources available online on this web page. Many wonderful resources are posted here. They are updated regularly and provide information about education, remote learning, family activities, and mental health and wellness techniques.

As noted in a previous communication, ADAPP will be offering brief mental health phone consultations and support to parents who have concerns about their child(ren) and will refer them, as appropriate, to additional resources.

To participate in this program, please email MentalHealthsSupport@adapp.org, with the name of the school your child attends, their grade, and the city in which the school is located in the subject line. Please describe your concern so the counselor can be prepared to respond, and leave a phone number if you would like a call back. Every attempt will be made to respond within 24 hours, Monday – Friday, during the hours of 8 am to 4 pm. **If you have a mental health emergency, please call 911**

In addition, we also know that there are other challenges that face our families, if you have questions about state and local benefit programs or other community resources, you can send an email to FamilySupport@adapp.org.

Sincerely yours,

Christine Cavallucci, LCSW, CPP Executive Director

Click here to download this message in English | haga clic aquí para la versión en español de este anuncio

Dear Parents and Guardians,

We hope this letter finds you and your family healthy. The Health and Safety Task Force of the Office of the Superintendent of Schools felt it important to share new information, based upon materials from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.”

Health experts in New York and across the country are investigating cases of Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome (PMIS). This new health condition has been appearing in children in New York City and elsewhere. Investigations are also being conducted into the possible association between PMIS and COVID-19 in children. Some doctors think the condition is related to having COVID-19, but the connection is still not clear.

Click here to view a Fact Sheet from the NYC Health Department which I encourage you to review

PMIS is a rare condition; however, because it is life-threatening, it is vital to know the signs. Most children have a persistent, high fever lasting several days, along with other symptoms, including:

  • Irritability or sluggishness
  • Abdominal pain without another explanation
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Rash
  • Conjunctivitis, or red or pink eyes
  • Enlarged lymph node (“gland”) on one side of the neck
  • Red, cracked lips or red tongue that looks like a strawberry
  • Swollen hands and feet, which might also be red

You should call your doctor if your child becomes ill and has had continued fever. Your doctor will ask about your child’s symptoms and use that information to recommend next steps. As always, if your child is severely ill, you should go to the nearest emergency room or call 911 immediately.

Although it is not yet known whether it is associated with COVID-19, it is essential parents and children take precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

For regularly updated information about the coronavirus crisis as it relates to our schools, please continue to visit our website CatholicSchoolsNY.org.

Sincerely

Mr. Michael J. Deegan
Superintendent of Schools
Archdiocese of New York

Click here to download this message in English | haga clic aquí para la versión en español de este anuncio

Dear Catholic School Families,

We write you today with important updates for all fourth quarter academics. Since Remote Learning began in March, we have worked to prioritize the safety and well-being of our students while simultaneously maintaining the spirit of academic excellence that makes our Catholic Schools so vibrant. All have risen to the occasion during this unprecedented time. Now that the remainder of the school year will be completed remotely, please note the following updates to our schools’ grading policies across grade levels:

Grades 1-5   (Core Subjects)

Grades 3-5 (Religion)

Grades 6-8  (All Subjects)

First Quarter (Q1) 28.3% 25% 25%
Second Quarter (Q2) 28.3% 25% 25%
Midterm Exam (E) (NA) 10% 10%
Third Quarter (Q3) 28.3% 25% 25%
Fourth Quarter (Q4) 15% 15% 15%
  • Q4 has been uniformly assigned a 15% weight, with the outstanding weight distributed evenly across earlier marking periods.
  • There will be no final exams given this year, and its 10% weight has also been redistributed for applicable grade levels.
  • There is no MAP testing for the spring.
  • Our Pre-K and Kindergarten students will be receiving a detailed narrative summary of their progress.

From the very beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, our educators have been working to meet the needs of our students as whole persons, and have maintained the same high expectations for instruction in accordance with the Parent/Student Handbook received at the outset of the school year. The figures and decisions above are measurable, concrete actions we have taken to meet our students with the Christ-centered compassion necessary during this unique time.Q4 has been uniformly assigned a 15% weight, with the outstanding weight distributed evenly across earlier marking periods.

These decisions were carefully considered with the best interest of all students as their driving force at every step. In careful consultation with early-childhood, elementary, and middle-school leaders, these decisions reflect a sense of continuity with earlier quarters. Our model allows for greater transcript compatibility for our students preparing for high school in ways that other models (e.g. pass/fail) do not.

In addition, this provides our Catholic schools a unified effort for each of its diverse classrooms to respond to every student in a way that acknowledges the unprecedented nature of this time. We keep alive that Catholic virtue at the center of our faith, as it moves us ever forward: Hope.

Sincerely

Mr. Michael J. Deegan
Superintendent of Schools
Archdiocese of New York

Click here to download this message in English | haga clic aquí para la versión en español de este anuncio

May 1, 2020
Feast of St. Joseph the Worker

Dear Catholic School Community,

Our Catholic schools have successfully adapted and overcome every obstacle the coronavirus crisis has put in our path.  Staying true to our faith based and future focused education, we strive to provide each student entrusted to our care an academically excellent program. Teachers have been teaching, and students have been learning, coming together each day to pray, study, laugh and love. Our parents have contributed immeasurably to the success. Each of us is indeed blessed to be part of this larger family of faith, and we will continue to support one other as we continue to walk through this struggle together.

As directed by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s executive order, our Catholic schools will remain closed through the end of June, thus making home-based learning our format as we close the academic year. The Health and Safety Task Force of the Office of the Superintendent of Schools will remain proactive, we continue to adapt, and we will absolutely overcome this challenge. We along with our principals and teachers will ensure for those celebrating stepping up milestones, graduations, and other achievements are honored and recognized.

We continue to assemble resources for our families as we all confront this challenge:

  • Offering our counseling program, ADAPP, which continues to be available to you and our students. You will be hearing more from them directly in the coming week with many additional resources. We must ensure we take advantage of these resources.
  • Ensuring all students have access to meals, linked here are distribution sites throughout the Archdiocese.
  • Expanding extended year summer learning options, both remote and in person, if feasible, will continue to be explored and offered to the widest audience possible.
  • Working to ensure that if a family needs a device for learning and cannot afford one we secure one through loan by the school, donors or through government resources.
  • Partnering with Catholic Charities NY myriad of offerings, download its FindHelp App today!

As always we will continue to update this web page with additional information, resources and updates. We join our Holy Father, Cardinal Dolan, and the Bishops of the United States, placing our trust in our Mary our Mother.  We know that by entrusting ourselves to her maternal care we will feel the solace of her embrace. We remain inspired by the fact that as each day passes, we are closer to a resolution and better, happier days, united, in our schools, our churches, and our community,  to teach, to learn and to pray together once more.

Sincerely,

Mr. Michael J. Deegan
Superintendent of Schools
Archdiocese of New York

Click here to download this message in English | haga clic aquí para la versión en español de este anuncio

Joy is what the Easter season is all about! Given the context of the COVID-19 crisis, we are assured the Light of the Risen Christ erases the gloom of sadness. This Light has never been more tangible in our lifetime. After four decades as a Catholic educator, I have never been prouder of our extended Catholic school community. We are bound by our shared faith and commitment to our mission of educating each child. Together we have adapted and will continue to overcome the obstacles placed in front of us by this global pandemic.

As we return from Easter break and resume home-based learning, I am providing several important updates below:

  • Following recommendations of the Health and Safety Task Force of the Office of the Superintendent, Catholic Elementary Schools in the Archdiocese of New York will remain closed through Friday, May 22, 2020, since the well-being of our children and teachers is our preeminent responsibility.
  • There has been a lot of information in the news about Zoom, a tool we use to teach your children digitally. Before we adopted any tool, the Office of the Superintendent of Schools worked with our Safe Environment Office and the Office of Legal Affairs. We had proactively recommended many if not all of the education security measures which were then adopted by Zoom for educator accounts. We strongly encourage you to also review the internet safety material posted in the RESOURCES section below, continue to monitor your children’s online activities and have an open dialogue with them about internet safety. Click here and see below for additional information about Zoom is on our website.
  • For all of us, these times remain challenging, please know that our counselors and mental health professionals are an email or phone call away. Click here to view my letter from March 25, 2020 which has all of the contact information. I have also posted new resources in the RESOURCES section below.
  • Last week, Cardinal Dolan and I participated in a call with Senator Charles Schumer (NY) to thank the senator for his support as well as to advocate for additional relief for our families and our schools. We remain engaged in working to ensure local, city, state and federal government deliver all the support and services our students are entitled to and deserve.
  • This website continues to be the best source for timely updates and information about home-based learning, as well as parent and family resources including additional materials helpful to your loved ones going forward.

With prayers for your continued health and happiness,

Michael J. Deegan
Superintendent of Schools
Archdiocese of New York

Click here to view this message in English | Haga clic aquí para la versión en español de este anuncio

Holy Thursday

Dear Catholic School Community,

Happy Easter!

If ever there has been a time to take comfort in being part of something greater than ourselves, no doubt the time is now. All of us – administrators, principals, teachers, staff, students, parents and benefactors– are connected through this sacred bond of Catholic education. The cloud of the COVID-19 pandemic brings some form of loss, uncertainty and fatigue with every passing day; however, our faith – indeed the very miracle upon which our faith rests – tells us every passing day in the darkness brings us closer to the light.  Good Friday always has an Easter Sunday. Whether it is the light of day, the comfort of healing or the glory of eternal life, light is coming, and it will be here soon.

As he has done so regularly throughout this crisis, Timothy Cardinal Dolan has taken a moment to deliver a video greeting to our entire Catholic school family. Please enjoy this Easter message from His Eminence, which serves as yet another embrace from our wise and joyful shepherd in these troubling times, by clicking here.

We are also very pleased to tell you that our friends at the Sheen Center for Thought and Culture are providing a gift to all of us for Holy Week as they stream a performance of the critically-acclaimed play, THE GOSPEL OF JOHN, beginning Saturday, April 11 at 4p.m. The play will be available for viewing at sheencenter.org/gospelofjohn through Monday, April 13, free of charge. This production weds prayer and theater in a profoundly intimate retelling of the life of Christ through the timeless voice of the disciple John, true to the scriptural text and masterfully performed by Ken Jennings.

We hope you will join Cardinal Dolan for Easter Sunday Mass at 10 a.m. from America’s Parish Church, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, televised live on PIX11, with the audio available on The Catholic Channel, Sirius XM 129.

Please know for every prayer you make, our sisters and brothers in Christ are praying for you and your family. One day soon, we will find ourselves walking through the familiar doors of our schools and churches, we will see friendly faces in person and we shall embrace one another in long-awaited reunions of family and loved ones. We will get there one day at a time, leaning on our faith and knowing miracles do happen, as taught to us by the greatest teacher, Jesus Christ, who rose again, turning the darkness into light.

Wishes for a Blessed and Happy Easter!

Sincerely,

Mr. Michael J. Deegan
Superintendent of Schools
Archdiocese of New York

As you know the Superintendent of Schools Office and the Inner City Scholarship Fund are working to secure every possible benefit for our families during these challenging times.

As you visit CatholicSchoolsNY.org, you will see additional resources and benefits updated on a regular basis.  In particular, with this communication, we wanted to share that we are advocating for every child who may need a computer/chromebook whose family is unable to secure one. Thanks to generous donors and government funds we are hopeful that we may be able to assist those who need it most. We have already loaned out some devices from our schools to families to meet the immediate needs.

Yesterday, you should have received a phone call to your home number, and if there was no answer we will call your cell phone today asking you about access to computers/chromebook in your home for your son(s) or daughter(s). Please respond to the automated telephone survey. Parents who may have not participated in the survey and who would like to share their information are asked to contact their schools with a deadline of 5:00pm today. There is no other way to participate in this survey.

Below are the survey questions that are being used, so you have a copy in advance of your call.

Wishing you all a blessed Holy Week and Happy Easter!

Sincerely,

Michael J. Deegan
Superintendent of Schools
Archdiocese of New York

Archdiocese of New York Phone Survey

Hello, I’m calling on behalf of the Catholic Schools Superintendent Michael Deegan. We hope you and your family are well. I am calling you today to ask you to please respond to these few questions so we can make sure every student is having the best home-based learning experience possible.  Your responses are very important because we are advocating to government officials and donors to help where there is a need.

Q1. Does your catholic school elementary or middle school child or children each have a dedicated computer/chromebook for their schoolwork that they DO NOT share with anyone else in the household?  Press 1 for Yes, Press 2 for No.

  1. Yes [Go to Q2]
  2. No [Go to Q 3]

Q2. Did your child or children receive this from their catholic school on loan? Press 1 for Yes, Press 2 for No.

  1. Yes [Go to Q4]
  2. No [Go to Q3]

Q3. How many children do not have their own computer/Chromebook? Press 1 for one child, Press 2 for 2 children, Press 3 for three children, Press 4 for more than 3 children. [All Go to Q4]

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. More than 3

Q4. Do you have internet access at home? Press 1 for Yes, Press 2 for No.

  1. Yes
  2. No

Thank You for participating. The Superintendent of Schools Office has many updated resources for our families listed on this web page, so please visit often.

Click here to download this message in English

As we reach the midway point of our second full week of home-based learning, we continue to find inspiration in the focus and enthusiasm of our teachers and your children. Even though our buildings may be closed, school is in session; our classrooms and our hearts are open!

We know this by the engagement of your sons and daughters with our teachers and principals, the witness of faith by supporting our first responders, and by the inspiring acts posted on social media. As part of our efforts to keep you informed, we would like to provide several updates about the school calendar, parent resources, and opportunities for us to come together as a community of faith.

  • In accordance with state and federal guidelines all school buildings will remain closed and home-based learning will continue through April 30, 2020
  • Catholic Elementary Schools in the Archdiocese of New York will be on Easter break commencing Holy Thursday through Friday, April 17 (Staten Island Catholic Elementary Schools in the Archdiocese of New York will be on Easter break commencing April 6th through Friday, April 17). Home-based classes will resume on Monday, April 20.
  • Our home page had a redesign; it’s now multi-dimensional! With frequently updated information and the ability to connect with our school community in real time, it will become the information superhighway for Catholic school families. You will also see new pages with helpful parent resources, counseling information and system-wide announcements as well as links to government-issued COVID-19 relating to our schools. Don’t forget to visit this web page for real-time updates throughout the day!
  • In keeping with health department mandates, the policy regarding notifications of new COVID-19 cases associated with our schools has been updated. Please see this recently posted notification for further information regarding the new notification protocols.

As we approach the holiest of weeks for Catholics, and our next two “Catholic School Weekends of Prayer”
Cardinal Dolan has invited you and your family to join him in celebrating Palm Sunday and Easter Mass from St. Patrick’s Cathedral this and next Sunday April 5 & 12 at 10:00 a.m. We will come together as a Catholic Schools Community to pray together and view the televised Mass on PIX 11 or live stream on the St. Patrick’s Cathedral website. They may also be heard on The Catholic Channel, Sirius XM 129.

For so many of us, these days may seem dark; however, in just a few short days, we are reminded as St. Augustine tells us:

“We are an Easter people and Alleluia is our Song!”

Click here to download this message in English | haga clic aquí para la versión en español de este anuncio

As we have done many times since our founding more than 200 years ago, Catholic schools in New York are adapting to circumstances and overcoming adversity. Since the earliest days of this public health crisis, we have endeavored to be proactive, pragmatic and positive in the decisions we have made and the actions we have taken. From the outset, your partnership and support in navigating these unsettling days has been invaluable.

Indeed, with leadership and encouragement from Cardinal Dolan, our administrators worked with instructional specialists, principals and teachers to prepare and implement a home-based learning plan. After days of intense planning the program was launched and now 62,000 Catholic school students are enthusiastically learning every day.

While we have begun to settle into some semblance of routines in our respective homes, the government-issued directives, policies and orders continue to change with each passing day. As noted in a letter sent on March 6th, “The Health and Safety Task Force of the Office of the Superintendent of Schools will provide information on school operations as well as, COVID-19 (coronavirus)-related guidance from government agencies.”

The Department of Health has advised us: “Currently, there is generalized community transmission of COVID-19 in New York State, meaning there are cases that have no known link to travel or to another confirmed case. The school or workplace environment having a positive case does not put others at higher risk than anywhere else in the city, given that there is generalized transmission in the state.”

During times like this, the safety and well-being of our Catholic schools families and staff, as well as those in the broader community around us, are our primary concern. The policy of the Health and Safety Task Force of the Superintendent of Schools has been to notify schools communities of all positive test cases within the school community since there was potential for exposure to members of the school. The Task force policy has been updated as of March 29, 2020. That date marks more than 14 days since schools are closed, which is the known incubation period for COVID -19. Given information from the CDC, schools within in the Archdiocese will no longer send out notifications about a positive test result since students or staff members could not have been exposed at school. Still, the Health and Safety Task Force of the Superintendent of Schools will continue to monitor the outbreak and its effect on our school community in order to ensure the safety of our school communities.

Please visit the CDC website, CDC.gov, for additional information and resources. We continue to entrust all of us to the care of Our Lord, most especially those who have been directly affected by this virus. We also pray for those on the front lines: our doctors, nurses, health care workers, first responders as well all those volunteering and serving in essential services.

Please continue to visit this web page for updates on COVID-19 (coronavirus) related issues in our schools.

(haga clic aquí para la versión en español de este anuncio)

United as Catholics and with other Christians around the world, we begin our second “Catholic Schools Weekend of Prayer” in St. Peter’s Square at 1p.m. ET tomorrow, Friday, March 27. We will all listen as our Holy Father, Pope Francis, gives a special blessing, “Urbi et Orbi” (To the City & To the World). I encourage you with your children to receive this extraordinary blessing, normally only given on Easter & Christmas mornings, which gains for us all a plenary indulgence. Watch it on the Catholic Faith Network.

Our local shepherd, His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York, in a special video message for our students from St. Patrick’s Cathedral, reminds us in the video below that fear is unnecessary in the presence of faith.

Our 200-year legacy of Catholic education remains vibrant and strong as our 62,000 students engaged in a successful week of home-based learning, not only enriching their minds but their faith as well.  I’m even told that some of our teachers’ had the students out and about in their backyards having a science “scavenger hunt!”

None of this happens without the sacrifice, support and encouragement of parents and many other family members.  We are grateful to your for entrusting your child to us and choosing a Catholic Education. We will continue to build on that legacy in the days ahead and long into the future. A Catholic school student today will become the Catholic school graduate of tomorrow, contributing their gifts and talents. They may be the next Dr. Anthony Fauci, a New York Catholic school graduate, advising the next president, or on the front lines as a doctor or nurse or protecting us as EMS, police and fire personnel. They may be like the principal or teachers who are the face of Christ daily as they ministering in our schools.

We enjoy celebrating these gifts and talents that they have on our twitter feed, @ArchNY_Schools along with our Facebook and Instagram pages. They are full of photos and videos of the teaching and learning that has been happening throughout the archdiocese. So many of our schools have their own accounts and we encourage you to follow them as well! Please share the joy to be found in the inspiring images that come to life in these moments as they are captured.

To make it easy to access the prayer resources we provided last week, we have linked them here again, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Archdiocese of New York. It is indeed perfect timing as we come together united in this second “Catholic Schools Weekend of Prayer.”

In providing a faith based academically superior education, we are committed to teaching the whole child; addressing the spiritual, intellectual, physical and emotional needs of our students. Never in recent history has our mission been more critical! We are blessed to be your partners in this work; most especially, we rely on the guidance counselors, social workers, and mental health professionals at the Archdiocese of New York Drug Abuse Prevention Program (ADAPP).

During this s and uncertain time, while many are struggling with how to manage day to day activities and adjust to a new “normal,” ADAPP will provide supports in a variety of ways. These include the attached resources for parents/teachers and caregivers to use with their families, and direct access for parents and students to our qualified staff.

During this time, ADAPP will be offering brief mental health phone consultations and support to parents who have concerns about their child(ren) and refer them, as appropriate, to additional resources. To participate in this program, please email MentalHealthsSupport@adapp.org.

We also know that there are other challenges that face our families, which is why we have partnered with Catholic Charities of NY as well as ADAPP to provide you information on community benefit and social justice programs.  Many of these programs are available for all, regardless of income so we encourage you to be screened for these services. You can download the FIND HELP- NEW YORK catholic charities app on your iPhone or android or visit https://catholiccharitiesny.org/find-help. You can also send an email to FamilySupport@adapp.org.

For all emails please type in the subject section the name of the school your child attends, their grade and the city in which the school is located. In the email, please describe your concern so the counselor can be prepared to respond and leave a phone number if you would like a call back.  Every attempt will be made to respond within 24 hours during the hours of 8 am to 4 pm.  **If you have a mental health emergency, please call 911**

Please bookmark and refer to this web page — https://catholicschoolsny.org/advocacy-services/corona-virus as we update it with additional resources on a regular basis.  We will continue to lift each other up, be a stronger, more resilient community of faith in the days and months ahead.

(click here for this letter in English; haga clic aquí para la versión en español de este anuncio):

As we wind down this first full week of a new routine, we are already looking forward to Monday, April 20, when, God willing, we welcome our beloved students back into our school buildings. That will be such a joyous day for us all! Until then, I am inviting you to join me in reinvigorating your faith, and that of your child(ren) starting tomorrow with a “Weekend of Prayer.”

As part of the Church universal, and especially our extended Catholic schools family, one aspect of our lives that not only remains a constant, but now ever more present is our strong foundation of Faith. Where and how we worship has certainly changed, but our beliefs -those which defines us remains.

We are blessed to have Cardinal Dolan as our wise and joyful shepherd. He has a special message from him to our students, whom we miss so much and look forward to seeing very soon. Please click here to see the message from Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York.

On this web page, we will be providing resources in partnership with our pastors, principals and teachers as easily accessible opportunities for our students to pray, contemplate and learn about our relationship with Jesus Christ. As you know, parents are the primary educators of their children, especially in matters of faith.

Join with other Catholics across our city, state and nation, praying in union with the priests as they celebrate mass. May we make a spiritual communion as we consider the true presence of Christ in our hearts. We are reminded of His constant accompaniment in the gospel of Mark 18:20 “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Perhaps this simplicity in the practice of our faith, will allow us to reconnect with Christ in our fast-paced and ever more secular society.

Our brother and sister’s at the Catholic Faith Network and the leadership of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have gathered resources to enhance the practice of our faith. The Archdiocese of New York  website also has extensive materials. My hope is that these resources will help us all grow and deepen our love and knowledge of our faith in the coming days, weeks, and months ahead.

We hope you join us as we encounter Christ during our Weekend of Prayer here in our school system, the Archdiocese of New York and around the world.

In keeping with our commitment to provide you with updated information during this evolving situation, today’s letter from Superintendent of Schools Michael J. Deegan addresses several pressing topics (click here for the English version; haga clic aquí para la versión en español de este anuncio):

This week our teachers, working with regional superintendents, principals and instructional specialists, have been researching, working individually and collaborating to craft the best, most efficient approaches to serve the needs of our students. They have been utilizing all the available technology and innovative strategies which have become the foundation for our academically superior, values-infused curriculum that has moved our schools forward for centuries. Tomorrow, they will end this week of preparation with a day of professional development centered on the best practices for delivering a robust home-based learning program for as long as it takes to complete our mission for this academic year.

  • This Monday, March 23, your school’s principal will share via email the overall school plans for your child(ren)’s continuity of education for home-based learning. This communication will include the specific grade level mechanisms by which teachers will be distributing assignments they have prepared and developed with family and community needs in mind. Principals and teachers will continue to revise and update plans as additional resources become available and continually communicate these changes to you in a timely manner.
  • Parents who do not receive an email from their principals by noon on Monday are asked to email their child’s teacher and principal so that contact information can be updated.
  • All teachers, students and families will be expected to maintain safe digital correspondence between home and school. Principals will convey the protocols and specific platforms allowable according to the guidelines of the Archdiocesan Safe Environment Program. If these guidelines change, principals will communicate this.
  • The students’ daily lessons and assignments align with the appropriate grade level New York State standards and values infused curriculum we teach in our schools and classrooms every day. The only difference will be the method by which these lessons and assignments are delivered.
  • While the content of what is delivered to your child(ren) will be the same, a home-based learning scheduling will look different. Given the realities of multiple students in the same home working with one device, students working with multiple teachers, or students having to complete their assignments at different times of the day, teachers will provide directions and expectations specifically to their students that include a suggested schedule for the day, assignments, web-based resources and other directions that can support you as you support your child’s learning at home.
  • The assignments and use of technology will be grade level appropriate. We will be balancing the benefits of the use of technology with the needs of our students and families. Protocols and guidelines aligned with the Safe Environment Program will be strictly followed for the safety and protection of all teachers, students and families. Please communicate your child’s specific needs to your principal and teacher. This will help them to better support your student.
  • Principals and instructional specialists will be working with teachers throughout the home-based learning period to ensure that both the high expectations to which they hold our students and the need for flexible collaboration with families, and each other, is in place.
  • The Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of New York are made richer by the diversity of our students, families, schools and regions, and so our educational response to our regional needs will reflect that rich diversity in the careful planning from our regional leaders.

In keeping with our commitment to provide you with updated information during this evolving situation, today’s letter from Superintendent of Schools Michael J. Deegan addresses several pressing topics (click here for English version; haga clic aquí para la versión en español de este anuncio):

  • As a result of last week’s announcement to close our Catholic schools, teachers provided a week’s worth of home-based learning information and study material. Given the extended time our schools will now remain closed, our Office of Teaching and Learning is working closely with regional leaders and instructional staff to plan for continuity of learning for your children in the weeks ahead. To best ensure clear communication of a variety of educational resources, you will be contacted soon to share some information regarding your students’ access to technology at home. Our regional and school leaders are working to share quality educational materials that recognize our students’ diverse needs and interests across all grade levels. Our teachers will begin sharing direct guidance with families beginning Monday, March 23rd.
  • In light of the fact that school buildings will be closed through April 20th, 2020, I recognize that questions are being raised regarding tuition. We are actively working to find ways to provide some relief and support for you and your family, while ensuring that our school communities can come through this together. I recognize that your family may have immediate financial challenges to address. To ease that burden, I have suspended late fees on all accounts for payments due March 10th and onward. If your family is in crisis, please contact your school principal. While we cannot solve every problem, we will certainly attempt to connect you with resources that can help during this challenging time.
  • We will make available case workers, counselors and social workers through our ADAPP Program to provide guidance for families who may need assistance during this time. More information on these services will be sent in the coming days.
  • All students in New York City, regardless of family income or free/reduced lunch status, will be eligible to receive free Grab-and-Go lunches at any New York City Department of Education public school feeding sites — click here for a list of sites. For students outside of NYC, we will have posted on our website feeding locations as we receive them by local public school districts. As these pick up locations are activated, please visit this website.
  • Lastly, just as Christ calls us by name our Catholic schools’ devoted principals and dedicated teachers call your child by name every day. They know their strengths and opportunities for growth. They know where they are academically and where they need to be. With New York State Test scheduled to commence next week, I notified the Governor and State Education Department our Catholic elementary school students will not participate in NYS Test Program this year.  You know far better than I do, our students, your children, are much more than test score evaluations can indicate.  With that said, formative data is important, and our teachers continue to utilize NEWA MAP Data, which provides assessments three times a year. In medical terms: It’s a vital check that our teachers use to keep the pulse of our child’s learning.
  • Please bookmark and refer to this web page — https://catholicschoolsny.org/advocacy-services/corona-virus to access continually updated resources for school information as well as best practices for staying healthy and links to the U.S. State Department, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization and other resources.

UPDATE!! School Closure Extended: Catholic Elementary Schools within the Archdiocese of NY to Close from 3/16 through 4/20/20

>> Click here for School Closing Update

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: (Haga clic aquí para la versión en español de este anuncio): Superintendent of Catholic Schools Mr. Michael J. Deegan has announced that Catholic Schools within the Archdiocese of New York have extended the closure of all elementary schools in our system through Monday, April 20th, 2020. Informed by the current CDC guidelines and in consultation with other health professionals, the Health and Safety Task Force of the Office of the Superintendent of Schools made this decision out of concern for the well-being of our students, families and staff. We believe this decision will also help to successfully decrease risk to the whole community.

Last week, our principals and teachers prepared educational materials to engage our students in a week of home-based learning activities. This extended closure now requires that our professional educators, under the guidance of their regional superintendents, continue to plan for a long-term, home-based learning experience, which will include the same religious, values-infused curriculum we teach every day of the year, utilizing innovative strategies and technology. We are committed to providing families with additional information on a regular basis.

We understand our students, families, educators and the greater community are still coming to terms with all that has happened in the past few weeks. In addition to remaining faithful to our academic standards, we believe that home-based learning will provide a comforting sense of normalcy to the thousands of students we will continue to educate as we navigate these days of uncertainty together.

Please bookmark and refer to this web page — https://catholicschoolsny.org/advocacy-services/corona-virus to access continually updated resources for school information as well as best practices for staying healthy and links to the U.S. State Department, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization and other resources.

High Schools and Private Independent Catholic Schools closures are made independently of the Superintendent of Schools Office.

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: (Haga clic aquí para la versión en español de este anuncio.) Superintendent of Catholic Schools Mr. Michael J. Deegan has announced Catholic Schools within the Archdiocese of New York will close all elementary schools in our system effective Monday, March 16 2020 until Friday March 20th, 2020, with the possibility of a lengthier closure. Informed by expert health officials and the Health and Safety Task Force of the Office of the Superintendent of Schools, this decision was made out of an abundance of caution. The health and safety of our students, staff and families is of the utmost importance.

Additionally, after consultation with the leadership of the Catholic Youth Organizations and the Catholic High School Athletic Associations, all activities and all sporting events and practices have been cancelled indefinitely.

We are continuing to monitor the situation surrounding COVID-19 (Coronavirus). It is rapidly changing and we are closely following the advice of city, state and federal health officials. We will keep you informed.

We truly understand that taking this action may cause some disruption to our families, but we strongly believe that these measures taken now will have the greatest success of decreasing risk to the whole community.

Over recent days our dedicated principals and teachers have been preparing educational materials for ongoing home-based learning to ensure our students continue to be academically engaged.

Please bookmark and refer to this web page — https://catholicschoolsny.org/advocacy-services/corona-virus — for updates and links to best practices for staying healthy, as well as links to the U.S. State Department, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization and other resources.


The Health and Safety Task Force of the Office of the Superintendent of the Archdiocese of New York will continue to provide you updates as it relates to our schools. Click here for the English version of today’s update (haga clic aquí para la versión en español de este anuncio), which includes, in the coming days:

  1. Principals will be training their faculty using the ArchCare presentation and other resources, which can be found at the ArchCare Presentation Link above. This PowerPoint was created by our own healthcare organization, ArchCare, and is an overall comprehensive guide to COVID-19. They will also review the resources curated by Discovery Education Experience and The Discovery Channel. This collection of lessons and videos provides content regarding the COVID-19 at grade appropriate levels. Task force members from the Office of Teaching and Learning are creating a grade band guide for teachers that identifies the resources most appropriate for the children they teach.
  2. Principals and teachers will also use this time to prepare for the possibility of remote learning in the event of an extended closing of their school by creating lessons, developing guidelines, and gathering resources for their students.
  3. Maintenance staff will perform an additional cleaning and sanitization of the building according to CDC.

The Health and Safety Task Force of the Office of the Superintendent of the Archdiocese of New York will continue to provide you updates as it relates to our schools. Click here for the English version of today’s update (Haga clic aquí para la versión en español de este anuncio), which includes:

  • Since the news of the COVID-19 has reached us, we have enhanced the methods and procedures used in the daily cleaning and sanitizing of our schools, with more frequent use of disinfectants with attention to electronics, hard surfaces and frequently-touched items such as door handles, faucets, light switches and telephones using CDC approved guidelines.
  • Both in school and no doubt at home, children have been educated in the importance of thorough handwashing, and the best ways to carry that out. Several times a day, our schools are putting that into practice as students are brought to the rest rooms at regular intervals so as to maintain the best possible hygiene, with reminders and tips from their teachers.
  • In the event that one of our schools has a student, teacher or staff member that tests positive for COVID-19, we will close the school for a minimum of 48 hours in order to fully assess with government officials the implications for the school community and to ensure a full sanitization is carried out by qualified, licensed cleaning professionals as outlined by CDC disinfection guidelines.
  • A reality we recognize is the nearly inevitable likelihood that some of our schools will be exposed to the virus, or in fact themselves has a confirmed case of COVID-19. To that end, it is important that we (and you) become familiar with some terminology:
    • If you are in direct contact with someone who has come down with the virus—or who is diagnosed with it shortly after—you would be considered Primary.
    • Anyone who came in contact with you would be considered Secondary.
    • Anyone who came in contact with a Secondary person is considered Tertiary.
  • Additionally, as per current CDC requirements, students and school personnel returning from a country that the CDC classifies as Level 3 (Italy, China, South Korea, and Iran), would be required to remain home for 14 days from the date you returned to New York and provide the letter of medical clearance from a licensed medical professional.  Click here for regularly-updated travel information from the CDC.

Superintendent of Schools Michael J. Deegan to provide parents and guardians of students attending Catholic Schools across the Archdiocese with weekly updates with respect to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Click here to find English and Spanish versions of today’s update, which includes:

  • Coronavirus activity in New York continues to evolve and dominate the news. In order for you to make informed decisions in the best interest of your child(ren) and your families, we are committed to providing you with weekly updates containing information from federal, state and local health authorities, as it relates to our Catholic schools.
  • On Friday, February 28, in addition to providing you with several bulletins from health officials, we made you aware of our policy which stated that any student or staff member who traveled internationally must receive a doctor’s clearance in order to return to school. Additionally, never has it been more important that any student or staff member who may be sick stay home.
  • For additional support regarding UPK, Pre-K for All and 3-K students, please contact the Office of Early Childhood at (646)794-2881.
  • We remain singularly focused on the health and wellness of everyone in our communities, and our sacred mission remains Catholic education. Keeping in mind we teach the wholechild, you can click here to find “Talking to Children About Coronavirus, A Parent Resource (English),” or “Hable con sus hijos sobre el COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Un recurso para padres.” These documents are provided by the National Association of School Psychologists and the National Association of School Nurses.

Superintendent of Schools Michael J. Deegan wrote parents and guardians of students attending Catholic Schools across the Archdiocese today with an important update. In his letter, Mr. Deegan wrote:

We all have seen the rising concern surrounding the novel coronavirus in the news. For weeks, the Health and Safety Task Force from the Archdiocese of New York’s Office of the Superintendent of Schools has been in communication with federal, state, and city officials, monitoring the situation to ensure the health and safety of our schools, and evaluating policies and procedures to keep our students and adults safe. I am reaching out to provide additional information and the following important policy update.”

Effective March 2nd, 2020: For students and school personnel returning from international travel, the following policy for the Archdiocese of New York is in place: All students and school personnel returning from international travel are required to get written medical clearance from their physician before returning to school. Parents must submit this written medical clearance letter signed and stamped by a licensed physician to the principal.

For additional support regarding UPK, Pre-K for All and 3-K students please contact the Office of Early Childhood at (646)794-2881.

Click on the links below for critical updates provided today:


Resources and Links for Catholic School Parents, Students and Staff

NEW! Click here for information on available COVID-19 Treatments

NEW! Click Here for an Update on Types of Masks and Respirators

NEW! How to Find COVID-19 Testing Locations in Your Area

Click on the appropriate link below to find COVID-19 testing locations near you, and additional information relating to vaccinations for your children:

2021 School Opening Plan: Back to School Resources for Parents — We Continue to Soar

Catholic Schools launch new Parent Resources website, full of useful—and FREE—resources, to help parents and support their child’s education and their family’s well-being. Click here to access this new website!

Catholic Schools launch Kognito, a Mental Health & Social Emotional training for our Teachers and Principals, to help them address student needs during the pandemic. Click here to learn more about Kognito!

Parent FAQs about schools and COVID-19, including detailed information about strategies schools may use to reduce COVID-19 risk, and how parents can decide on at-home, hybrid, or in-person schooling options for their children.

Zoom Parent Letter for Catholic School Parents and Families (English/Spanish)

Free Internet Resources for Families UPDATE! provides a list of internet providers  that are offering students free internet service to supplement at-home learning while Schools are closed.

Other Helpful Resources

Useful Links for More Information and for Talking about Coronavirus


NEW! Click Here to View ArchCare Presentation


Messages of Hope and Faith

3 Hail Mary Novena

Click here for the English version and here for the Spanish version.

Message of Faith and Hope for Students

Our local shepherd, His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York, in a special video message for our students from St. Patrick’s Cathedral, reminds us in the video below that fear is unnecessary in the presence of faith. Visit our YouTube Channel for more inspiring videos.

> NEW! Easter Break Enrichment and Family Friendly Activities

NEW! Coloring the Way of the Cross! A special treat for Easter Season, for parents & kids to do at home.

> Click Here for Protection Prayer

> Click Here for a Message and Prayer from U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

> Click Here for Prayer to Our Lady of Guadalupe in Spanish

Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York, urged the faithful to remember in their prayers all those whose lives have been impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. “Let us pray for all who are sick, as well as doctors, nurses, caregivers, and all those working hard to combat the disease. We should also remember those whose lives have been otherwise disrupted, especially anyone who has lost income from a loss of work during this difficult time.
 
A private Mass will be celebrated daily at 7am Monday through Friday in Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, and will be available on many cable systems via the Catholic Faith Network, livestreamed on the Saint Patrick’s Cathedral website here, our YouTube channel and broadcast on radio on The Catholic Channel of Sirius XM (Channel 129).  In addition:

  • Join us Saturday at 8am to watch Mass live.
  • Join us Sunday at 10:15am to watch Mass live.
  • Adoration Hour will be from 12noon to 1pm
  • Stations of the Cross will air Wednesday and Friday at 6pm.

Click here to sign up for at home participation

All Masses will be placed in our archives for you to watch any time and all original airing will be in Eastern Standard Time.

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