Linda Dougherty, Associate Superintendent for Catholic Identity for Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of New York, was interviewed by The New York Post for its Catholic Schools Week Directory issue, which appeared on January 25.
The resulting article, by Post reporter Mary Kay Linge, is called “Take It As Gospel.” The article discusses how Catholic schools offer an exemplary education and the fundamentals for life. Ms. Dougherty is quoted as saying, “We’re not just a public school with a crucifix on the wall. In our schools, we’re working to live our faith every day.”
Michael J. Deegan has announced his retirement from the position of Superintendent of Schools of the Archdiocese of New York, effective August 31, 2023. He has served as superintendent for the past four and a half years, following more than 50-years as a teacher, principal, associate superintendent, and deputy superintendent.
“I am so very grateful to Cardinal Dolan for entrusting me with the care and stewardship of this great Catholic school system which gave me so much as a student, as a young man and ultimately as a Catholic educator for half a century,” shared Deegan. “I often speak of ‘the mission of Catholic education.’ Perhaps for the past 50 years mine has been a mission to give back. Even though I was ultimately destined to lead the entire Catholic school system, in my heart, I never really left the classroom. I’ll always be a Catholic school teacher.”
A national search is being conducted for a successor.
Deegan is proud of his tenure during which he made certain that every student received a first-rate academic education, as well as a solid grounding in their Catholic faith. He and his team faced complex challenges such as the Covid-19 pandemic, proudly points to the fact that the Catholic schools of the Archdiocese of New York became national leaders in providing in-person instruction at a time when most school districts remained shuttered. He attributes significant increases in test scores during this time to the dedicated principals and teachers of the Catholic schools. Among the many accolades he received during his career, the one that has meant the most to him is the Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Compassionate Educator Award.
“Mike first asked to retire nearly five years ago, but we have been extremely fortunate that he instead agreed to my request that he stay on as superintendent,” said Cardinal Dolan. “These past five years have been among the most consequential years for Catholic education, particularly in this archdiocese, and Mike has steadfastly guided us through these difficult years. The legacy that Mike will leave on Catholic education in the Archdiocese of New York is immeasurable. I thank God for his service, and wish him and his family a long and happy retirement.”
The Advisory strongly recommends masking in public indoor settings and crowded outdoor settings, and other proven precautions such as vaccination, testing, hand hygiene, and staying home when sick
December 9, 2022– As New York City enters the holiday season, COVID-19 and other seasonal illnesses are seeing unusually high concurrent spikes. To slow the transmission of these viruses, the New York City Health Commissioner issued a Health Advisory that urges New York City residents to use high-quality masks when indoors and in crowded outdoor settings. This is especially important for people who are – or are meeting – those who are at increased risk for complications from COVID-19, RSV, or the flu, such as those age 65 and older and people who are immunocompromised.
“The holiday season is about togetherness and there is a way to gather safely – even as respiratory viruses in our city are unusually high,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan. “It starts with protecting yourself. Vaccination and boosters are critical but so are common sense precautions like masking when indoors or among crowds and staying home if you don’t feel well. Also, get tested before getting together, and get treated quickly if you test positive. We want everyone to have a happy and – most of all – healthy holiday.”
The Commissioner’s Advisory also urges people to get vaccinated for COVID-19 and flu, even if they have been vaccinated previously. Everyone ages six months or older should get their COVID-19 primary series if they haven’t already and receive the updated bivalent COVID-19 booster when eligible. An annual flu shot is recommended for everyone 6 months and older. Many pharmacies and doctors’ offices offer both flu and COVID-19 vaccines, and it is safe to get them at the same time.
The City will continue to make vaccination and masking resources available to New Yorkers. For example, between Oct. 29 and Nov. 25, around 70 community partners, along with Health Department staff, carried out the following activities:
Engaged 83,558 community members at 917 in-person street level outreach events.
Engaged 4,109 community members at 122 in-person community conversations.
Engaged 45,093 virtual community members* at 29 virtual community conversations.
Made 24,367 vaccine referrals, 6,181 testing referrals and 38,778 referrals to other health and social services.
Distributed 116,066 pieces of educational literature, 344,576 face masks and 80,526 Home Tests Kits.
This is part of the overall engagement effort since July 2021 to Nov. 25, 2022, including:
Engaged 1,664,561 community members at 30,544 in-person street level outreach events.
Made 1,011,454 vaccine referrals, 272,872 testing referrals and 546,377 referrals to other health and social services.
Distributed 5,402,745 pieces of educational literature, 3,602,719 KN95 face masks and 614,023 Home Tests Kits.
This does not include the extensive resources provided by partners such as Test-and-Trace and others.
The city also continues to launch vaccination pop-ups and other efforts to promote vaccine access and equity.
People who are at increased risk of severe illness from respiratory viruses, including people age 65 and older, infants, people with a weakened immune system, people with certain underlying medical conditions, people who are pregnant, and people who are not up to date on flu or COVID-19 vaccinations should consider additional precautions to avoid exposure to respiratory viruses, such as wearing a higher quality mask, such as KN95 and KF94 mask or N95 respirator, limiting attendance at large indoor gatherings, wearing a mask when gathering with others, and asking people to wear a mask and get a COVID-19 test prior to gathering.
As the holidays approach, New Yorkers can help protect their loved ones from COVID by getting tested before and after gatherings and wearing a mask around people who are at increased risk of severe respiratory illness. If you are sick, stay home, avoid close contact with others, and talk to your provider about what testing, care, and treatment is right for you. You can call your health care provider or 212-COVID19 (212-268-4319) to ask about treatment.
With respiratory illnesses on the rise, the Health Department is closely monitoring the COVID-19, influenza, RSV, hospital, and syndromic surveillance data. The Health Department has noted high levels of cases and hospitalizations for COVID, flu, and RSV. The combined impact of these respiratory illnesses puts individuals at risk and risks straining our healthcare system.
To find a nearby COVID-19 and flu vaccination provider, visit NYC Vaccine Finder or call 877-VAX-4NYC (877-829-4692) to schedule an appointment at certain sites, and for other vaccination assistance.
As you celebrate this week, we hope you’re eating well and enjoying the company of loved ones. After the last two years of isolation, where our holidays were taken from us by the COVID emergency, we all deserve a healthy and happy season of thanks and celebration.
Before you dig in, here are some tips for gathering and eating safely.
Before you get together with others, get tested for COVID-19. You can pick up free at-home rapid antigen tests at NYC museums, zoos, libraries and other locations throughout the city. Many of these sites also offer free masks. To find a location near you, visit NYC At-Home COVID-19 Test Kit Pickup.
Even if you’re COVID negative, ask yourself how you feel before meeting with others. Sniffles, a light cough, a little tired? These symptoms could be signs of a contagious illness. While mild for you, they could cause serious illness for babies or people who have weakened immunity. This is especially true for RSV, which can seriously impact infants 0-12 months. If you don’t feel well, stay home.
And don’t forget. It is never too late to get vaccinated! So get your updated COVID booster and flu shot as soon as you can. It is safe to get them at the same time. To find a nearby COVID-19 and flu vaccination provider, visit vaccinefinder.nyc.gov. We have appointments all throughout the holiday week.
Now for food! For most of us, this is the best part of the season. But there are some things you may not know about keeping the season’s gastronomic delight from turning into a gastrointestinal plight.
For starters, NEVER thaw a turkey or frozen meat in hot water or by leaving on the counter. Properly thaw frozen meat by: leaving in the refrigerator (24 hours for every four-to five pounds) or by placing it in cold water (30 minutes for every pound of turkey, change water every 30 minutes, cook immediately after). Keep raw meat—like turkey—separate from other foods. The juices from raw meat may contain bacteria that make people sick. That means using separate cooking utensils, too. Wash your hands and surfaces often and wash utensils, cutting boards, and countertops with hot, soapy water after preparing each food item.
Making dessert? Avoid eating foods with raw eggs, like unbaked cookie dough or cake batter. While you may know that raw eggs can be contaminated with salmonella, raw baking ingredients can also make people sick if they’re contaminated with germs.
Bacteria live in the “danger zone” of 40°F to 140°F. Refrigerate your leftovers within 2 hours of serving to prevent bacteria from growing.
These and other food safety tips are included in the year-round trainings that the NYC Health Department provides to more than 25,000 NYC restaurants.
To find other safe cooking and dining advice, go to:
In an op-ed for Fox News published on November 16, 2022, Superintendent of Schools Mr. Michael J. Deegan urges newly elected representatives everywhere to offer parental school choice for the future of all students. “Parental school choice programs are a wise investment in our future,” Mr. Deegan writes.
On one side were about 40 middle school students—half from Tarrytown’s Transfiguration Catholic School, half from The Leffell School, a Jewish day school in White Plains. On the other side, stacks of boxes containing some 1,250 turkeys, destined for area food banks in time for Thanksgiving.
Helping the kids out where some very tall men used to tossing large round things: members of the Westchester Knicks Basketball Team. Orchestrating the effort to move the frozen birds from out of the Stop & Shop on White Plains Road into a waiting truck was a team of black t-short-clad store employees and staffers from Feeding Westchester, whose hunger relief network supplies meals to over 200,000 each month.
Catholic schools on Staten Island will soon have more funding for programs, services, education and more, thanks to Borough President Vito Fossella’s budget allocation of nearly $460,000.
Timothy Cardinal Dolan, archbishop of New York, joined Fossella to make the announcement about the budget allocation to 21 borough Catholic schools during a visit to Blessed Sacrament School, West Brighton, on Monday. The funds will be used toward expenses for those attending Catholic schools, or those seeking help from the borough’s Catholic organizations and its resources.
Photo: Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York, joined Borough President, Vito Fossella to announce budget allocations for 21 Catholic schools and organizations at Blessed Sacrament School in West Brighton. Oct. 24, 2022. (Staten Island Advance/Annalise Knudson)
ELA Scores Up +7.3% Math Scores Hold Nearly Steady to Pre-Pandemic Level
Actions Taken During Pandemic Proved to be Difference in Mitigating Learning Loss
As the 2022-2023 academic year begins, Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of New York are proud to report their scores on state exams in both Mathematics and English Language Arts (ELA). Once again, the Catholic values-infused curriculum taught in the Archdiocese of New York has produced results that lead most schools in the state of New York.
Recently released scores for 2022 from the New York State Education Department (NYSED) for grades 3-8 reflect nearly 52% of students passed math and 64% of students passed reading.
Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of New York have maintained this level of excellence with the support and leadership of His Eminence, Timothy Cardinal Dolan. Catholic Schools invested heavily in curriculum, student supports, professional development, technology, and social-emotional support for students and staff alike. These efforts mitigated and often eliminated the degree of learning loss experienced in school systems around the country.
“Our ELA scores jumped by 7.3 percent, while our math scores held steady with a slight decline from pre-pandemic levels,” said Mr. Michael J. Deegan, Superintendent of Schools in the Archdiocese of New York. “This is a testament to the dedication of our pastors, principals, and teachers in delivering a Christ-centered, academically excellent education. These results demonstrate that our work will continue to achieve positive outcomes and elevated expectations for all our students.”
In NYC (New York City) government schools, 49% of all students passed reading and 37.9% passed math. Looking nationally, while different from a state assessment, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) conducted a special administration of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) long-term trend (LTT) reading and mathematics assessments to examine student achievement during the COVID-19 pandemic which revealed average scores for age nine students in 2022 declined 5 points in reading and 7 points in mathematics compared to 2020.
Superintendent Deegan has previously noted that state test scores are one factor of academic success; the Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of New York use multiple measures of student growth and achievement. Deegan recently wrote an op-ed “Wising up to Testing” In the New York Daily News- that outlines the commitment of Catholic Schools to the ongoing growth and achievement of their students using NWEA MAP. On the NWEA MAP test, the average Catholic school student consistently outpaces the 50th percentile compared to peers across the country.
“These results demonstrate that the proactive steps we took, the bold decisions we made—not the least of which was to open our doors for in-person learning in September 2020—made the difference in combating pandemic-induced learning loss,” said Mr. Deegan.
We are still welcoming admissions for the 2022-23 school year, and you can click here to apply for this year while space and financial aid are still available. Now is the ideal time to visit and select the right school for your child. Scholarships will be available: the earlier families apply, the better their chances of receiving financial aid.
CBS News covered opening day at School of the Blessed Sacrament on the Far West Side of Midtown Manhattan — from an exciting science experiment, to the hugs and gatherings of friends, students and teachers, the day had excitement and energy. New York Catholic Schools are welcoming students back to class without COVID restrictions, and students’ reactions say it all.
Principal Tom Hamilton of St. Mary’s School in Fishkill sounded ready for the opening day of school even before the Labor Day weekend began.
Hamilton, who’s embarking on his fourth year as principal at the Dutchess County school, said faculty members and other staff, students and parents are all excited about the start of the new year, which kicked off Tuesday.
“We’ll get back to a traditional learning experience…There is a huge amount of enthusiasm in the school community,” he said.
School business as usual may have been the expected and customary practice until the Covid pandemic interrupted normal routines beginning in March 2020, so Hamilton was especially primed for the current academic year to begin when I spoke to him late last week.
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — New York City Catholic school students in the Archdiocese of New York are heading back to class on Wednesday for the first day of the 2022-2023 school year.
It will mark the first time students will start a new school year without a face mask requirement, while other coronavirus (COVID-19) safety and health measures have lessened as the country learns to move forward in this “new normal.”
In “Rising Above,” our newly-published 2022-23 Opening Plan, 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 this 2022 Catholic Schools Opening Plan — click here to view our 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.
“Well done good and faithful servant” Mathew 25:23
The Catholic School Community of the Archdiocese of New York joins the community of the Dominican Sisters of Sparkill, mourning the loss of Sr. June Clare Tracy OP, Ed D. Sr. June Clare’s ministry spanned for over 55 years and whose impact changed the lives of generations of families, faculty, staff, principals and Office of the Superintendent of Schools. Click here to view and download this announcement.
She served in nearly every capacity, Teacher, Principal, District and Regional Superintendent, and the founding Executive Director of Catholic Identity for the largest catholic school system in the Country. She was a gifted historian.
Sr. June Clare was known as a no-nonsense, caring compassionate educator, who was equally smart, loyal, and knowledgeable in every aspect of the profession. Colleagues respected her and often sought her advice for both its practicality but more important its applicability. Her mission of education was bringing the students and staff closer to Jesus Christ.
When Pope Francis visited St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Sept 24th, 2015, his homily spoke of the contributions of men and women religious… they could have been written as if he were speaking about Sr. June Clare.
“This beautiful Cathedral of Saint Patrick, built up over many years through the sacrifices of many men and women, can serve as a symbol of the work of generations of American priests and religious, and lay faithful who helped build up the Church in the United States. In the field of education alone, how many priests and religious in this country played a central role, assisting parents in handing on to their children the food that nourishes them for life! Many did so at the cost of extraordinary sacrifice and with heroic charity.” ….. I thank you for prayers and work, and the daily sacrifices you make in the various areas of your apostolate. Many of these are known only to God, but they bear rich fruit for the life of the Church. In a special way I would like to express my esteem and gratitude to the religious women of the United States. What would the Church be without you? Women of strength, fighters, with that spirit of courage which puts you in the front lines in the proclamation of the Gospel. To you, religious women, sisters and mothers of this people, I wish to say “thank you”, a big thank you… and to tell you that I love you very much”
These pages can never capture the impact that Sr. June Clare has had on so many; we are the richer for it. We thank you Sr June-Clare for life’s work, your sacrifices, and your dedicated years of ministry.
“Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” Matthew 25:34
Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of New York today announced the promotion of Stephen Marositz from Director to Associate Superintendent of Teaching and Learning, effective immediately (click here to view and download today’s press release). Stephen joined the Superintendent’s Office in August 2021 as director and has contributed significantly to the formation and development of academic programs, focusing on the needs of each learner.
Stephen’s promotion recognizes his leadership of the Office of Teaching and Learning and his dedicated support of the regional superintendents and instructional specialists in managing and coordinating assessment, curriculum, and professional development initiatives across all nine regions of the Archdiocese.
Superintendent of Schools Michael J. Deegan shared, “Throughout his time as the Director, Stephen maintained a laser focus on the academic needs of students. Each decision he has made has the thoughts of learners in mind. He keeps himself abreast of best practices to maximize his ability, providing thoughtful support to the adults in each building, knowing their preparation directly impacts student achievement and growth. Stephen has exemplified this through the resources curated, conversations had, and workshops led with principals and teachers in all our regions. We congratulate Stephen on his new role and are excited for the future of our Catholic schools, as we’re sure his impact will continue to echo throughout our classrooms for years to come.”
Stephen’s unique skill set and work ethic have enabled him to strengthen our devotion to academic excellence. He designed year-long strategies to bolster professional development for Catholic school teachers and curated databases and a digital library of academic tools on the Teaching and Learning Resource Hub, all while consistently considering the individual needs of students and ensuring long-term student success. By leveraging these best practices, Stephen’s thoughtful support to the adults and staff in the building has benefited the thousands of children within the Archdiocesan schools.
In his new role, Stephen will look to continue his success and mindset of offering each student an excellent education by forging ahead with the implementation of extensive virtual and asynchronous professional development options for teachers and leaders, visiting a wide array of Catholic schools to observe modern teaching and learning relationships in real-time. He will refine teacher and coaching workshops and create cohesion across all curricular resources and materials to ensure that teachers and leaders are supported and prepared to address the needs of all of our students.
Stephen graduated from NYU with his Bachelor’s Degree in Childhood and Special Education, Teachers College at Columbia University with his Master’s in Sociology and Education, and is currently working on his Doctorate at Ball State University Teachers College.
The New York Education Department proposed regulations on private and religious schools are irking some in the faith community, such as Catholics, Muslims and Jews, due to fears of possible overreach, Fox News Digital has learned.
Michael Deegan, the superintendent of Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of New York – which represents more than 67,000 students in New York State – told Fox News Digital that the archdiocese never had a problem with “equivalency,” which has been on the books for decades, until now. He added that his community values academics and that his motto is, “Our job is to get our children not into Harvard, but into heaven, by way of Harvard.”
In an Op-Ed piece that appeared in the Daily News on June 7, Superintendent of Schools Michael J. Deegan writes: “MAP Growth testing was invaluable during the pandemic. At the peak of virtual learning in 2020, New York’s Catholic educators already had a thorough understanding of their students’ strengths and areas for growth thanks to this approach to testing, which we conduct three times a year. Each test allows us to collect highly specific data on a student’s growth and what they may need more support on, giving teachers and parents a better sense of how they can work together for the child’s success.”
In a press release issued by NYC-DOH today, NYC children 5-11 who had the second dose of the vaccine at least five months ago should start receiving the Pfizer booster. Visit nyc.gov/vaccinefinder or call 877-VAX4NYC for a site. Unvaccinated children should start the COVID-19 vaccine primary series now. Health Department reminds parents and caregivers to maintain routine childhood vaccinations
May 23, 2022 — The Health Department today announced that the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine boosters for children ages 5 to 11 is widely available in New York City. Health Department vaccination sites, pharmacies, community health centers, hospitals, and City-run clinics will be providing no-cost COVID-19 vaccines. Availability of boosters for 5- to 11-year-olds at different sites will be posted and updated over the coming days. Visit nyc.gov/vaccinefinder or call 877-VAX4NYC to find a location.
“Vaccines and boosters are our best line of defense against COVID-19, and making them available to New Yorkers ages 5-11 will help keep our kids safe and healthy as we continue to battle this virus,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “We continue to encourage all eligible New Yorkers to get vaccinated, to get boosted, and mask up when possible.”
“As a parent, I am looking forward to getting my own eligible children a booster,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan. “Boosters help build stronger immunity, which will keep our kids safe, confident, and healthy in the months ahead.”
The CDC recommends the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine booster for children ages 5 to 11 who had the second dose at least five months ago. The recommendation was made after an evaluation of the vaccine’s safety and strength of the immune response by the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and the FDA. The booster dose is the same strength as the first two shots. During clinical trials of the booster dose for 5- to 11-year-olds, the most commonly reported side effects were pain, redness and swelling at the injection site, as well as fatigue, headache, and muscle pain. Immunocompromised children ages 5 to 11 should receive a three dose primary series followed by a booster at least three months later.
CDC also updated its recommendations for second boosters. Adults 50 and older and immunocompromised people 12 and older should get another booster at least four months after their first boosters. This strengthened recommendation is a response to the substantial increase in cases and hospitalizations among older Americans over the past few weeks.
The COVID-19 vaccine significantly reduces the risk of severe illness, hospitalizations, and death from the COVID-19. In New York City, 47% of children ages 5 to 12 are fully vaccinated, compared to 80% of children ages 13 to 17, and 88% of adults. Unvaccinated people continue to have higher rates of hospitalization, so it is especially important for 5- to 12-year-olds to get vaccinated.
Boosters help keep immunity up to date. During the Omicron wave, according to the CDC, the two-dose vaccine effectiveness against infection declined in both children ages 5 to 11 years and adolescents ages 12 to 15 years. A booster dose in adolescents significantly improved vaccine effectiveness against infection, emergency department and urgent care visits. Further, evidence among adults shows that a booster dose improves protection.
COVID-19 vaccines are available at hospitals, clinics, and community health centers across the city. Chain pharmacies, like CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens and Duane Reade, and many independent pharmacies offer vaccination. Check with your local pharmacy to confirm if they are providing the vaccines and if they vaccinate children and the age range they can serve. You may also check with your regular health care provider. COVID-19 vaccines are available at no cost and regardless of immigration status.
New York City is now on High Alert, as COVID-19 is increasing. In addition to staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccines, New Yorkers should:
Wear a face mask in all public indoor settings and crowded outdoor settings. Upgrade to higher-quality masks, including KN95, KF94, N95, or a cloth mask on top of a surgical mask. Higher-quality masks will most benefit people who are at high risk of severe illness, are over 65 or are unvaccinated.
Consider avoiding higher-risk activities. Do not go to crowded, indoor gatherings. Limit any type of gathering to a small number of people.
Get tested. Testing is especially important if you have COVID-19 symptoms or were recently in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. You should also get tested before and after traveling or getting together with others.
Stay home if sick or recently exposed. Follow all isolation and quarantine guidance, including wearing a face mask. COVID-19 is highly contagious. You can spread COVID-19 even if you do not have symptoms.
Wash your hands. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer.
The Health Department is also reminding parents and caregivers to make sure children are up to date on routine vaccines, including like the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR), DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis), Hepatitis B, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), Polio, Pneumococcal (PCV), Varicella, Tdap, Quadrivalent Meningococcal (MenACWY) and Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines in accordance with the ACIP routine immunization schedule. COVID-19 vaccines and routine vaccines can be given at the same time.
Parents and caregivers should check with their child’s health care provider about what immunizations are due and to make an appointment. New Yorkers unable to make an appointment with their child’s provider or those who need to find a provider can get low- or no-cost immunizations at the Health Department’s Fort Greene Health Center immunization clinic, regardless of immigration status. The clinic serves anyone 4 years or older; appointments can be scheduled.
“Staten island’s got pizazz!” That was the message from Cardinal Timothy Dolan Monday night as about 500 gathered at a gala fundraiser for the Catholic School Region of Staten Island. “Of course, that message can’t leave the shores of Staten Island,” the cardinal quipped. He does happen to be in charge of the Archdiocese of New York, which is made up of 2.5 million other Catholics.
Honored at the gala were:
The Siller Family and Tunnel to Towers Foundation. They received the Denis P. Kelleher Award.
Luanne Sorrentino, Rosemary Hillers and Doreen Cugno and the St. George Theatre. They received The St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Award.
John Vincent Scalia Sr. of Scalia Funeral Homes. He received The Mother Cabrini Award.
Zoilita M. Herrera. She received the first Monsignor Peter G. Finn Educator Award.
All proceeds from the event, held in Nicotra’s Ballroom at the Hilton Garden Inn, are dedicated to Catholic elementary education on Staten Island.
Staten Island middle school students at Father Vincent Capodanno Catholic Academy are getting hands-on experience when it comes to caring for animals through a new partnership with the Staten Island Zoo, West Brighton.
The Zoo and Father Vincent Capodanno Catholic Academy, South Beach, partnered to create the Father Capodanno Animal Studies Program earlier this year, funded by Catapult Learning. The school was formed in 2020 when the former St. Adalbert’s School in Elm Park merged with Holy Rosary School in South Beach.
Photo: the Father Capodanno Animal Studies Program is a partnership between the Staten Island Zoo, West Brighton, and Father Vincent Capodanno Catholic Academy, South Beach, to help students learn to care for animals. (Courtesy/Staten Island Zoo).
Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of New York are offering a final round of virtual parent/family workshops for the 2021-22 school year in partnership with Catapult Learning. The workshops will focus on ways families can support summer learning in the following areas:
May 24: Supporting Summer Learning: Reading
May 25: Supporting Summer Learning: Math
May 26: Social Emotional Learning (SEL): Building Fun and Strong Social Relationships
While the workshops will be live at a single time, they will be recorded for future access.
The Office of the Superintendent of Schools is excited to share their first-ever social-emotional learning (SEL) and mental health themed newsletter! This special-edition issue highlights some of the outstanding work done in classrooms throughout the Archdiocese of New York in support of our students’ academic and personal health. Click here or on the image below to read the newsletter!
On May 2, Superintendent Michael J. Deegan announced that social distancing requirements will end on May 16, 2022 at Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of New York. In his letter to families, Superintendent Deegan wrote:
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.
Mr. Michael J. Deegan
Superintendent of Schools
Archdiocese of New York
On Monday, March 28, more than 60,000 students, faculty, and staff of all Catholic schools across the Archdiocese of New York joined in spirit for a Day of Prayer for Ukraine. Please see this coverage of our Catholic schools’ Day of Prayer for Ukraine from our friends at the Catholic Faith Network. Utilizing a suggested curriculum and prayers provided by our Office of Catholic Identity, they discussed the situation facing families, just like their own. Our Catholic school community prayed for their safety and an end to all hatred, war, and violence in Ukraine, Eastern Europe, and around the world–even here at home.
Our mental health experts and crisis counselors at ADAPP have also provided sensitive, age-appropriate resources for conversations about war you may wish to have with your children and how to put those concerns into perspective in our part of the world. It is important to note that our Catholic schools have a good number of families from Ukraine and of Ukrainian descent, and we stand ready to support and comfort each of them in their time of need. We are also grateful to have received inquiries from relief organizations and will welcome with open arms, any Ukrainian children fleeing the violence in their homeland.
Please also see this variety of media coverage from our Day of Prayer:
Today, Superintendent of Schools Michael J. Deegan announced that “informed by our established metrics, on Monday, March 28, principals, working with their individual school communities, will begin to ease virtually all the remaining COVID-19 restrictions before the Easter holy days.”
Below is the full text of Mr. Deegan’s letter to our Catholic Schools 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!”
Mr. Michael J. Deegan
Superintendent of Schools
Archdiocese of New York
In an email to our Catholic School Communities today, Superintendent of Schools in the Archdiocese of New York Mr. Michael J. Deegan wrote:
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.
Mr. Michael J. Deegan
Superintendent of Schools
Archdiocese of New York
The Office of the Superintendent of Schools in the Archdiocese of New York released the following statement today to our Catholic School Communities:
As you are likely aware, the CDC issued national guidance on mask wearing in schools. The Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of New York are legally obligated to continue to follow New York State and New York City mask mandates. We urge NYS and NYC to provide updated directives immediately reflecting the changes from the CDC issued today. As soon as the Governor lifts the mask mandate for schools, we will follow those new directives immediately.
We are keenly aware of our parents’ concerns, frustrations and disappointments surrounding this issue. We share many of these concerns. We have and will continue to advocate on behalf of our Catholic school communities to our elected officials. We encourage you to do the same.
The AP reported yesterday that, “throughout the US, families are seeing the value of Catholic education. This year, Catholic elementary schools had a 5.8% increase in enrollment nationwide.” The article goes on to say:
“The National Catholic Educational Association said nationwide enrollment increased by 62,000 to about 1.68 million students, marking the first increase in two decades and the largest jump it has recorded in at least five decades.
‘Enrollment at all types of schools — public, charter and private — were impacted last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Catholic schools had a decline in enrollment of 6.4% from 2019-2020 to 2020-2021,’ the NCEA said about the largest single year decline in the 50 years since it has collected data.
‘Catholic schools’ dedication in safely opening classrooms and supporting their communities’ needs last year is demonstrated in the 3.8% increase in enrollment.’ “
Photo: Students enter the first new Catholic school built in Baltimore in roughly 60 years on Monday, Aug. 30, 2021, named after Mother Mary Lange, who started a Catholic school for Black children in 1828 — the first U.S. Catholic school for African-American youth. (AP Photo/David McFadden)’
Today, the Office of the Superintendent of Schools issued the following statement relating to mask mandates at Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of New York:
Dear Catholic School Communities,
As you are likely aware, Governor Kathy Hochul today stated that the school mask mandate remains in effect and will be reassessed in early March. Since Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of New York are legally obligated to follow this mandate, we must continue to do so. As soon as the Governor lifts the mask mandate for schools, we will follow those new directives.
We are keenly aware of our parents’ concerns, frustrations, and disappointments surrounding this issue. We have and will continue to advocate on behalf of our Catholic school communities with the Governor and state health officials.
In this Daily News article, Joanne Kroeger writes: “After nearly two years of a devastating pandemic that has wreaked havoc on the nation’s school systems, the city’s Catholic schools have been experiencing something only a little short of a miracle.
Consistent safety protocols, combined with clear and steady communication with parents, have resulted in high in-person attendance levels — and a surge in enrollment after decades of decline.
‘In the haze of COVID closures, chaos and confusion, Catholic schools have become a safe haven for students. Since September 2020, 100% of the city’s 170 Catholic schools have remained open with very low infection rates even during the omicron surge‘, said Michael Deegan, superintendent of Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of New York.”
In a special section devoted to Catholic Schools Week, New York Post reporter Mary Kay Linge writes: “Catholic schools build a foundation for children that will last a lifetime.” Superintendent of Schools in the Archdiocese of New York Michael J. Deegan is quoted in the article, saying: “Education is a fundamental pillar of the Catholic Church. We believe that parents are the primary educators of their children, and we respect and honor that role. Our schools support parents as they shape their children into becoming other-centered, generous and faithful adults.”
In an article written for Hudson Independent, journalist Rick Pezzullo writes: “A second-grade student at John Cardinal O’Connor School (JCOS) in Irvington is taking her school’s motto to heart during Catholic Schools Week.
Catholic Schools Week takes place from Jan. 30 to Feb. 5 in schools throughout the Archdiocese of New York. In celebration of this annual event, Sophia Callaguazo (shown in the photo) and her classmates will be spreading love and kindness by creating Valentine’s Day cards for residents of St. Cabrini Nursing Home in Dobbs Ferry.
The motto of JCOS, a Catholic School for children with learning disabilities, is #choosekind.
Callaguazo is an Inner-City Scholarship Fund recipient at JCOS. Her mother, Gladys Callaguazo, credits the Scholarship Fund with enabling her daughter to attend JCOS, where she said faculty have helped her develop stronger skills in reading and writing, while also emphasizing supporting the community through service.
Last year, Sophia received the scholarship through the fund, which provides tuition assistance to 11,000 students in schools within the Archdiocese.”
The donated computer equipment will replace outdated gear in the library. The all-girls school at 350 E. 56 St. has a successful relationship with BlackRock, the host of an annual summer internship program in which two CHS students participated virtually during the summer.
“As we prepare our students for 21st-century careers, the latest computing technology becomes a critical tool for our students who are interested in business, science, or engineering,” said Maria Spagnuolo, the school’s principal. “We are grateful to BlackRock for their generous donation, and we look forward to sending more of our students to their prestigious and competitive Summer Excellence Internship program.”
BlackRock is a global investment manager and a leading provider of financial technology. The publicly traded company helps millions of people build savings by making investing easier and affordable.
Cathedral High School, a Catholic College Preparatory school of the Archdiocese of New York, educates young women of all faiths and expects them to behave with religious and moral integrity in the pursuit of social justice. The school has seven varsity sports, and it is a member of the Girls Catholic High School Athletic Association, competing on the B division level.
For more information about the school, please visit www.cathedralhs.org or call Johanna Castex-Velez, Director of Admissions at (212) 688-1545 ext. 224.
When it comes to confronting the latest Omicron surge, Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of New York prove they’ve always been able to put up a good fight. The latest from the National Catholic Register reports on this continued success. Click here to view the article!
Below is a brief excerpt, including a quote from Superintendent Michael J. Deegan:
… In the Los Angeles Archdiocese, which has the largest Catholic-school system in the country, Superintendent Paul Escala said his last survey of 220 schools indicated more than 70% were in full in-person mode, with the remainder in modified-learning modality until staff members who must quarantine due to exposure or sickness can return to campus.
Escala explained that, especially with elementary schools, which lack large complements of additional teaching staff, having more than a few teachers out can be disruptive. …
Still, Escala said, “I think that our schools once again are showing resilience in the face of challenges. Resilience, persistence, grit: You witness it all. And I think it’s just the difference between having a job and having a vocation. Our leaders, our teachers as a whole see their work differently than their [public-school] peers do. Because of that, they are able to bear witness to the incredible power of the Gospel.”
New York Catholic Schools Superintendent Michael Deegan concurred. “What distinguishes Catholic schoolteachers in the Archdiocese of New York from many public-school teachers is that Catholic teachers put the needs of their children before their own needs. That is a historic qualification of Catholic educators.”
Photo: A student sits behind a barrier and works on a tablet at St. Anthony Catholic High School during the COVID-19 pandemic on March 24, 2021, in Long Beach, California. As the pandemic continues, Catholic schools are demonstrating best practices for in-person learning, complete with tried-and-true safety measures. (photo: PATRICK T. FALLON / AFP via Getty Images).
Governor Kathy Hochul released her first state budget proposal this week, and while she recommends increasing support for public schools by some 7 percent, her recommended increases in funding to support Catholic and other religious and independent schools amounts to an 18 percent increase. Specifically, Governor Hochul triples funding for health, safety, and security projects in our schools (from $15 million to $45 million) and allows nonpublic schools, for the first time, to use the funds to support critical maintenance and repairs of school facilities. Governor Hochul also increases support for Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) instruction in our schools from $40 million to $55 million.
In this profile of Linda M. Dougherty, associate superintendent for Catholic identity in the archdiocese, John Woods presents a compelling profile of Ms. Dougherty, writing, “Since taking over her new post last August, Mrs. Dougherty has already met with newly named principals and those in a couple of school regions around the archdiocese.
One of the first things Mrs. Dougherty often asks principals is how someone just walking in would know that their school is Catholic. Follow-up questions might include: ‘Who greets them?’ and ‘What is the culture of your school?’
The queries are designed to start a discussion about ‘what makes their school Catholic,’ she said.
In an article in yesterday’s Catholic New York, Armando Machado reports, “At the archdiocesan School Superintendent’s Office, the Latino Outreach Program helps Hispanic families navigate the intricacies of school application, enrollment and financial aid procedures, in Spanish for parents and guardians who are not fluent in English or simply feel more at ease with their native language. The outreach efforts include the use of social media.”
In an article in New York Family that appeared on January 13, 2022, Jaclyn Griffith writes about the impact of school choice, saying:
“It’s hard to imagine a decision that impacts your child’s present and future more than the decision of which school they will attend. Academics, community, relationships, location, guiding principles—all of these are sure to influence your family’s school choice. While considering the overwhelming number of options, it’s important for parents to understand the benefits of a Catholic school education in New York City.”
Superintendent of Schools Michael J. Deegan announced today: “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.” See Mr. Deegan’s full message below, and learn more at: https://catholicschoolsny.org/covid-19.
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.
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.
Mr. Michael J. Deegan
Superintendent of Schools
Archdiocese of New York
In his videotaped 2021 Christmas greeting, Superintendent of Schools Mr. Michael J. Deegan expresses his wish for a “blessed, merry Christmas and a healthy New Year.” Mr. Deegan also voices his thanks for the “bright-eyed optimism” of our Catholic school youth, whose faith and example give us hope for better days ahead. Also on set at St. Joseph’s Seminary is the Cardinal Hayes High School Choir, shown above, who sing a lovely rendition of “Silent Night.” Click here to view the video!
In this in-depth, Thanksgiving 2021 interview with John Harper of Relevant Radio, Michael J. Deegan, Superintendent of Schools in the Archdiocese of New York discusses how Catholic Schools have safely and effectively remained opened for our students.
This year, students at Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of New York prepare their hearts for Thanksgiving by raising food donations expressing gratitude through cards and prayers, and helping those in need in their community. Through the hashtag #ArchGiving, schools throughout the Archdiocese share on this video the many ways that their students gave back this Thanksgiving season.
Click here or on the video viewer below to view a video snapshot of these charitable efforts!
El Sr. Michael J. Deegan y la Oficina del Superintendente de Escuelas desean lo mejor de esta temporada a la comunidad de escuelas católicas. A través del hashtag #ArchGiving, estudiantes de escuelas católicas en la Arquidiócesis de Nueva York también demostraron su gratitud.
We are thrilled to announce that Mrs. Loretto Canfield, a science teacher at St. Martin de Porres School in Poughkeepsie New York, was awarded the STANYS Excellence in Science Teaching Award last week. The award is given to teachers with careers that exemplify the STANYS mission: their work showcases excellence in teaching, leading, and providing opportunities for all students to participate in and learn Science. The award is given yearly to only one teacher in the state! Congratulations, Mrs. Canfield!
> Click here for the full award announcement and testimonials
Hope and Action: A Free Webinar For Parents of Teens and Young Adults About Preventing Suicide Among Our Children
Sponsored by the Archdiocese of New York’s Family Life Office, this free Zoom-based webinar offers parents a safe and confidential way to learn about warning signs for suicide, and how to create space for loving conversations that may save a life. The webinar will be offered twice, once on Thursday, 28 October and once on Wednesday, 3 November at 6:30pm (ET).
Fr. Chris Alar, MIC: Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception; Author, After Suicide: There’s Hope for Them and for You
Pamela Morris, PhD: Professor of Applied Psychology at NYU Steinhardt School; Loss survivor
Stan Collins: Suicide prevention specialist; Co-founder, Directing Change Program; Loss survivor
John Cardinal O’Connor School in Irvington New York was featured prominently in this article from The Pillar, which appeared on October 11. The article stated: “Officials with the Archdiocese of New York, which oversees the school, say the John Cardinal O’Connor School is the “gold standard” of special education among Catholic Schools in the country. With small student-to-teacher ratios, multisensory teaching methods and individualized curriculums, the archdiocese hopes it can replicate the school’s model, and better serve more students with learning disabilities.”
Superintendent of Schools Mr. Michael J. Deegan delivered this heartfelt video message to Catholic School parents across the Archdiocese of New York today, celebrating the first weeks of the 2021-2022 school year. In the video, he calls on parents, students, teachers and staff to remain vigilant while the COVID-19 crisis persists. He also thanks everyone in the Catholic Schools community for their unprecedented support which has led to the successful opening of over 170 Catholic schools across the Archdiocese. Click here or on the image above to start the video!
All 171 Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of New York are open once again, thanks to the bravery and hard work of principals, pastors, teachers and staff.
Please see this retrospective of coverage surrounding that event, featuring Superintendent of Schools Mr. Michael J. Deegan’s media interview and a message from our own Archbishop Timothy Cardinal Dolan on his SiriusXM Catholic Channel program! None of what we do every day would be possible without the continued support of our devoted parents and generous benefactors.
Photo: Superintendent of Schools Michael J. Deegan at Academy of St. Paul & St. Ann School on opening day.
Today, September 15, marks the start of National Hispanic Heritage Month in the United States. Since 1988, Hispanic Heritage Month has celebrated the rich histories, cultures, and contributions of Hispanic Americans who trace their roots back to Spain and Spanish-speaking countries in North America, Central America, and the Caribbean.
Throughout our nation’s history, Latinx and Hispanic persons have had a profound and positive influence through their strong commitment to family, faith, and service. They have embodied servant leadership and embraced communal identity in a way that not only reflects the multiethnic and multicultural customs of their community but follows the way of Christ.
As always, I would like to recognize Hispanic Americans not only in our nation, but also in our schools. According to a 2016 Boston College study, more than 97% of school-age Hispanics do not benefit from Catholic school education. While Latinos are by far the fastest-growing ethnic group in the U.S. Catholic Church, many Hispanic families find Catholic education just out of reach. Here at the Archdiocese of New York, we strive to ensure that traditional barriers to entry—including tuition expenses and lack of cultural support and bilingual resources—do not deter our Hispanic families from pursuing an enriching Catholic education. On all levels, our schools work together to affirm and serve our Hispanic families.
Over the next four weeks, we will share with the community through our website and social media platforms some of the creative ways that our schools showcase and celebrate Hispanic heritage, persons, and culture. Through our hashtags #HispanicHeritageArch and #TradiciónHispanaArch, you, too, can share your story with us and potentially be featured on our English- and Spanish-language channels.
While one month will simply never be enough to fully honor our nation’s Hispanic heritage, we hope it is enough to spark a greater sense of understanding and solidarity with the Hispanic experience. Please join me in celebrating this month and throughout the year, ¡dando gracias a Dios! (giving thanks to God!) for our Hispanic students, teachers, pastors, and staff.
Mr. Michael J. Deegan
Superintendent of Schools
Archdiocese of New York
We are pleased to share some exciting news about our own beloved Bishop John O’Hara. He is a champion for our Catholic schools, and we are blessed to have him as a successor to the apostles.
Tonight he is being honored by the organization SOAR-USA! SOAR (Support Our Aging Religious) raises funds and provides grants to help Catholic religious congregations in the United States care for their elderly and infirmed sisters and brothers.
We wanted to celebrate all Bishop O’Hara has done for us, as Pope Francis did on Sept 24, 2015, at St Patrick’s Cathedral. The Holy Father recognized all of the men and women religious who served our Catholic schools so faithfully! Tonight would be a great opportunity to share with your child the special influence that men or women religious may have had in your life.
Join us for the 35th Annual SOAR! New York Awards Gala will be held tonight, September 15, 2021. (7:00PM Eastern Time). The New York Gala runs less than 40 minutes. Click here at 7:00 PM tonight.
Excerpt from Pope Francis Homily St. Patrick’s Cathedral 2015:
“There is a cause for rejoicing here”, although “you may for a time have to suffer the distress of many trials” (1 Pet 1:6). These words of the Apostle remind us of something essential. Our vocation is to be lived in joy.
This beautiful Cathedral of Saint Patrick, built up over many years through the sacrifices of many men and women, can serve as a symbol of the work of generations of American priests and religious, and lay faithful who helped build up the Church in the United States. In the field of education alone, how many priests and religious in this country played a central role, assisting parents in handing on to their children the food that nourishes them for life! Many did so at the cost of extraordinary sacrifice and with heroic charity. I think for example of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, who founded the first free Catholic school for girls in America, or Saint John Neumann, the founder of the first system of Catholic education in the United States.”
We congratulate Bishop O’Hara and are grateful for his service to the Church!
Mr. Michael J. Deegan
Superintendent of Schools
Archdiocese of New York
The FCC announced that households with a member 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 current 2021-2022 school year are also eligible for the Emergency Broadband Benefit. This expands on the original program eligibility rules that included the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school years.
Many students are already back in the classroom this year and broadband access is a critical tool for success. Please help build awareness about the EBB program by sharing our new back-to-school toolkit materials with your 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!
In preparation for the first day of school, News 12 Bronx speaks to Ray Vitiello, Northeast/East Bronx Regional Superintendent, and Nakia Browne, teacher at Holy Rosary School in the Bronx. “Our teachers have all the necessary resources [we need] in order to ensure that we continue to move the needle [and continue to] provide a solid, quality, Catholic education,” says Vitiello.
The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene invites you to another virtual Community Conversation about the COVID-19 vaccine. Please join in a discussion on vaccines, side effects, eligibility and where you can get a COVID-19 vaccine. There will also be a question and answer session to help you make an informed decision about vaccination for you and your family.
The Health Department today urged parents and caregivers to make sure their children are up to date on routine vaccinations like MMR and DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis) as well as Hepatitis B, Hib, Polio, PCV, Varicella, Tdap, MenACWY and HPV. Click here to view the complete press release.
As of August 14, the number of routine vaccines administered to children 0-18 years of age in New York City has decreased by 16% compared to the same period in 2019.
Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine coverage has dropped below 90% for first time in recent history.
There have been 270,000 fewer pediatric vaccine doses administered (1.4 million doses so far in 2021 compared to 1.7 million doses in 2019 for the same period). The decrease in routine childhood vaccinations was greater in children 2 to 18 years of age (17% or 121,000 doses) compared to children under 24 months of age (15% or 149,000 doses). Fewer people sought non-emergency health care services during the emergency stay at home order, resulting in fewer routine pediatric visits during the pandemic, however, ensuring children are up to date on their routine vaccinations is essential.
“While we are all focused on the COVID-19 vaccines, it’s crucial that we take the time to remember the many other lifesaving vaccines we need to maintain to ensure a healthy city,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Dave A. Chokshi. “As a father, I know just how important it is to maintain your child’s annual well visit to make sure they are up to date on their routine vaccinations. Don’t wait, call your child’s doctor and make an appointment as soon as you can.”
The City will continue reminding families and the school community through public service announcements and communications to parents. The Department has issued guidance to the pediatric-care provider community, held webinars and has been distributing vaccine for providers enrolled in the CDC’s Vaccine for Children (VFC) program.
Check with your child’s health care provider about what immunizations are due and to make an appointment. If you are unable to make an appointment with your child’s provider or need to find a provider, New Yorkers can get low- or no-cost immunizations at the Health Department’s Fort Greene Health Center immunization clinic, regardless of immigration status. The clinic serves anyone 4 years or older; appointments can be scheduled here.
In addition to the Fort Greene Health Center, uninsured and underinsured children can also get immunization services at other locations for a sliding scale fee. Appointments can also be made at NYC Health & Hospital facilities here, or by calling 1-844-NYC-4NYC. New Yorkers can also find a list of Community Health Centers here.
To find a health care provider or for other locations throughout NYC that provide vaccination services for children and adults, call 311.
As New York State plans for the upcoming academic year, the Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of New York are preparing for schools to be fully open and in-person for the fall with no remote or hybrid learning.
“We are excited for all of our schools to be open five days a week, for in-person instruction for all students ensuring social distancing can safely be maintained in our buildings under the direct supervision of a teacher,” shared Michael J. Deegan, superintendent of schools of the Archdiocese of New York. “Our number one focus continues to be offering an excellent academic program in a safe and nurturing environment.”
As New York State plans for the upcoming academic year, the Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of New York are preparing for schools to be fully open and in-person for the fall with no remote or hybrid learning. Today, the Superintendent of Schools for the Archdiocese of New York has released “Catholic Schools Are Open: We Continue to Soar” a guide which lays out the Archdiocese’s plan to ensure the maximum health, safety, and care for children and staff in September.
The updated manual, distributed today to parents, principals, school staff and faculty, is based on an international and national review of standards and guidelines, and was created by the Catholic Schools Reopening Advisory Council, in coordination with the Health and Safety Task Force of the Office of the Superintendent of Schools. The manual outlines how schools will operate in the fall including face covering guidelines, social distancing, facility requirements, daily protocols and procedures, sanitizing and disinfecting measures being taken, and resources for families.
Students will be grouped into consistent pods each day, which reduces the number of students potentially exposed to someone infected with COVID-19. These groups of students will remain together throughout the day in the same classroom or other designated areas of the building as much as possible, and teachers will change locations instead of students. Students will eat breakfast in the classroom, and all special subjects (art, music, physical education, language, computers, etc.) will be taught in the classroom.
The Archdiocese of New York has also updated its video for school staff and families to watch so they may see first-hand how schools will be operating in the fall. This video can be found here.
Some of the protocols that will be in place include socially distant classrooms with hand sanitizer stations, mandatory temperature checks, daily questionnaire for parents and masks for anyone who will enter the building. As the Center for Disease Control and New York State publishes additional regulations, recommendations, and guidance, the schools will adapt their plans to ensure compliance with federal, state and local officials.
As always, Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of New York remain committed to providing a first-rate education as this year they will collaborate with global brands such as the Discovery Channel and Google to enhance their stellar programs in science, technology, robotics, engineering, math and the arts.
“We are excited for all of our schools to be open five days a week, for in-person instruction for all students ensuring social distancing can safely be maintained in our buildings under the direct supervision of a teacher,” shared Michael J. Deegan, superintendent of schools of the Archdiocese of New York. “Our number one focus continues to be offering an excellent academic program in a safe and nurturing environment. I’m grateful to the Catholic Schools Re-Opening Advisory Council for their work in updating the manual and to the principals and teachers who will implement it so we may maintain the same bubble of protection for our students and staff that we created over 18 months ago.”
Superintendent of Schools Michael J. Deegan made the 2021 Bronx Power 100! See the article here!
82. Michael Deegan, Superintendent of Schools, Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of New York
A Bronx native and graduate of New York City Catholic schools (including postgraduate studies at Manhattan College and Fordham University), Michael Deegan was elevated to superintendent of the Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of New York in 2019. He oversees archdiocesan schools from Staten Island to Ulster and Dutchess counties, including nearly 9,000 students in the Bronx alone, by far the largest enrollment of any county in the system.
> Click here to view the full 2021 Bronx Power 100 list!
In this insightful OpEd piece in the New York Post, His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan looks back on how Catholic Schools across the Archdiocese of New York kept their doors open during the Covid-19 pandemic against all odds.
New York Post reports that City Catholic schools are seeing a surge of interest from disaffected public school families, according to parochial officials. Frustrated by the lack of full-time classes and general public school turmoil during the coronavirus, parents have been turning to Catholic Schools as an alternative.
The New York Post Praised the Opening Process at New York Catholic Schools in an Opinion piece published on September 12th, saying:
“… Meanwhile, the city’s Catholic schools opened all-in-person classes last week. That’s the 60,000-student Archdiocese of New York (covering Manhattan, Staten Island, The Bronx and parts of Westchester) as well as the separate, 22,000-student system covering Brooklyn and Queens.
Students were met with new safety procedures and protocols that included temperature checks, hand sanitizer and masks.
At Immaculate Conception School in The Bronx, an industrious maintenance worker roamed the halls wiping doorknobs, staircase rails, walls, hallways and other contact points…”
Superintendent of Schools Issues Weekly Updates Relating to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) for Catholic School Families
Superintendent of Schools Michael J. Deegan wrote parents and guardians of students attending Catholic Schools across the Archdiocese of New York with an important update and parent resources relating to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
The Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of New York are pleased to report that their student scores on state exams continue to improve, year over year, in both Mathematics and English Language Arts (ELA). This successful year continues a now five-year trend in which Catholic Schools’ test scores outpaced those of New York State, New York City and most charter school averages.
The New York State Education Department (NYSED) recently released test scores for 2019, and grades 3-8 show 53.7 percent of students met or exceeded proficiency standards in Mathematics, and 57.7 percent in ELA. These levels represent an increase from 2018 of 4.1 and 1.4 percentage points in the respective disciplines.