Building Community Begins With Faith at Fishkill Catholic School

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.

Click here to view the full article by John Woods

Photo: St. Mary’s School Fishkill/Catholic New York

September 8th, 2022|

News Coverage: NYC Catholic school students return to classrooms on Wednesday for 2022-23

New York Catholic Schools on Staten Island attracted press coverage as students returned to school on Wednesday. The articles feature students returning to St. Christopher’s School, Sacred Heart School and Our Lady Star of the Sea School.

SILive: Click here to view the full article

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.”

Staten Island Advance: Click here to view the full article

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — There were some nerves, but it was mostly a sense of excitement on Wednesday as students at St. Christopher School donned their best accessories — their smiles.

It’s the first day of school for students in the Archdiocese of New York as they return to campus on Wednesday — marking the first time students are starting 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.”

September 8th, 2022|

NEW! 2022-23 Catholic Schools Opening Plan

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.

2022 School Opening Plan

September 5th, 2022|

In Memoriam: Sr. June Clare Tracy OP, Ed D.

“Well done good and faithful servant” Mathew 25:23Sr June Clare Tracy OP, Ed D.

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

We share some of her legacy below:

Hall of Fame Video St Thomas Acquinas College

Article Written by Sr. June Clare on Catholic Education & Neil and Harold!  PAGE 16

Catholic New York Appointment as Catholic School Executive Director

Arrangements will be:

Mass of the Resurrection
Tuesday, August 9, 2022- 10:30AM
Dominican Convent
Dominican Sisters of Sparkill
Our Lady of the Rosary Chapel
175 Route 340
Sparkill, NY 10976

In your charity, please remember Sr. June Clare in prayer, works and charitable deeds.

August 7th, 2022|

Stephen Marositz Promoted to Associate Superintendent of Teaching & Learning for New York Catholic Schools

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.

July 18th, 2022|

New York’s faith community alarmed by Department of Education’s proposed ‘intrusion’ into religious schools

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.”
July 1st, 2022|

How to Talk to Kids About School Shootings — A Parent Resource

Available today from Child Mind Institute, Rachel Ehmke, author of “How to Talk to Kids About School Shootings” offers strategies for dealing with anxiety — your kids’ and your own — in the aftermath of tragic school shootings. Click here to read the article online, and click here to download a pdf of the article.

Also available are three articles to help kids cope with scary situations:

Additional parent and student resources are available from ADAPP, including: Information and Resources on Mass Violence and Recent School Shootings.

June 14th, 2022|

Wising up on student testing

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.”

Click here to view the full article!

June 9th, 2022|

Children Ages 5 to 11 Now Eligible for COVID-19 Vaccine Boosters

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 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 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.

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 or by calling 1-844-NYC-4NYC. New Yorkers can also find a list of Community Health Centers.

To find a health care provider or for other locations throughout NYC that provide vaccination services for children and adults, call 311.

May 23rd, 2022|

Staten Island’s Catholic Schools present awards to four special community leaders

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.

Click here to view the full article by Staten Island Advance.

Photo: Cardinal Dolan with the Siller family. Left to right: Mary Scullin, Gina Vogt, George and Frank Siller. (Courtesy of Joey G. Photography/Steve White) Steve White

May 19th, 2022|

Catholic School students care for animals in partnership with Staten Island Zoo

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.

Click here to view the full article in SILive by Annalise Knudson

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).

May 17th, 2022|

Catholic Schools Offer Final Round of Parent Workshops on May 24-26 to Support Summer Learning

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.

Click here for quick access to the registration link.

Since the workshops coincide with the end of spring NWEA/MAP testing and the release of the MAP Family Reports once again, we recognize that many families will have summer learning on their minds!

For additional support, each workshop will end with information on how to register for the Summer Learning Experience.

May 13th, 2022|

Catholic Schools Issue First Report on Social-Emotional Learning & Mental Health Services

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!

May 10th, 2022|

Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of New York to end social distancing requirements beginning on May 16, 2022

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

May 10th, 2022|

Day of Prayers for Ukraine: More than 60,000 Catholic School Students, Faculty and Staff Gather to Pray

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:


PIX11 News


May God protect the people of Ukraine and those providing them comfort and relief.

The Office of the Superintendent of Schools

Photo: mural by students at St. Brendan School Bronx

March 30th, 2022|

Superintendent of Schools Issues Update Regarding COVID-19 Restrictions at Catholic Schools

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

March 24th, 2022|

Catholic Schools No Longer Mandate Mask-Wearing Effective Wednesday March 2:

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 2ndAs 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 REQUIREDWe 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

February 27th, 2022|

Superintendent of Schools Issues Statement Update Relating to Mask Mandates at Catholic Schools

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 Office of the Superintendent of Schools

February 25th, 2022|

AP Report: Enrollment in US Catholic schools rebounds after sharp drop

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.’ “

Click here to read the full article, written by Luis Andres Henao.

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)’

February 15th, 2022|

Office of the Superintendent of Schools Issues Statement Relating to Mask Mandates at Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of New York

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.

The Office of the Superintendent of Schools

February 9th, 2022|

Daily News: Catholic Ed. Surges

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.”

Click here to see the full article.

Click here to see an additional interview with Superintendent of Schools Michael J. Deegan.

February 7th, 2022|

New York Post Special Section: Catholic Schools Week Directory

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.”

Click here or on the image below to read the full article!

January 31st, 2022|

Creation of the St. Mary’s Academy in Somers NY Announced

Superintendent of Schools of the Archdiocese of New York and John F. Kennedy Catholic Preparatory School Announce the Creation of the St. Mary’s Academy in Somers, New York

Beginning in Fall of 2022, John F. Kennedy to Offer Grades 6-8 in an Academy Setting to Current Eligible Public School Students.

Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of New York and John F. Kennedy Catholic Preparatory School in Somers, NY, jointly announce a new opportunity for middle school students currently attending public school to attend grades 6-8 in an academy setting on the high school campus at Kennedy Catholic. St. Mary’s Academy will open for the 2022-2023 school year with a limited capacity of one class per grade, with possible expansion planned for the future. St. Mary’s Academy will give families another choice for a superior Catholic education in Northern Westchester County.

This is great news for Catholic families in Northern Westchester County as we all continue to battle the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York. “The Catholic Church in New York introduced organized education to New York more than 200 years ago, and the academy’s formation is a move towards preserving and growing Catholic education in this area for generations.”

The St. Mary’s Academy will offer the same time-tested Catholic school curriculum and values-centered education available at all Catholic schools across the region. The program of studies will not only fulfill middle school educational standards of the New York State Board of Regents but will also challenge students to expand their educational horizons by studying languages other than English along with math, science, and robotics.

John F. Kennedy Preparatory School is one of the premier high schools in Westchester County,” said Kennedy Principal and President, Father Mark Vaillancourt. “Our strength and commitment to excellence position us well to align with the Archdiocese of New York in this exciting alternative for public school students in grades six, seven, and eight. The new St. Mary’s Academy will expand the great tradition of academic excellence for future generations in Westchester County.”

While only public school students may apply to St. Mary’s Academy for the 2022 – 2023 school year, wider application opportunities will be available in the future. Families with 5-7th grade students in public schools are encouraged to visit the John F. Kennedy Catholic Preparatory School website for more information about eligibility and required admissions testing.

All families of every faith looking for a faith-based, values-centered continuous education for their children from Pre-K through 8th grade are always welcome to visit at any time, year-round, to learn more about the opportunity to provide their children with an exceptional education at an affordable price in a Catholic school.

About Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of New York:

Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of New York serve nearly 54,000 students from Pre-K through 12th grade across 170 schools in nine counties and boroughs throughout New York, including Manhattan, the Bronx, Staten Island, Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, Ulster, Orange, and Dutchess. 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. To learn more about the Archdiocese of New York’s Catholic schools, visit, or

About John F. Kennedy Catholic Preparatory High School/Academy:

Kennedy Catholic, located in Somers, New York, is Northern Westchester’s premier college-preparatory high school serving the young men and women of Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, and Fairfield counties and the Bronx. Kennedy Catholic follows a rigorous Regents curriculum that prepares students for a successful college career while preparing them to live out Christ’s message of service to the world in the sound doctrine of the Catholic faith. Founded in 1928 by the Sisters of Divine Compassion as St. Mary’s School in Katonah, the current school was built in 1966 on its present site in a serene, 64-acre site setting which includes the natural beauty of a lake and woodlands.

To learn more about Kennedy Catholic, visit

Click here to view and download the press release.

January 27th, 2022|

Local Student to Spread Kindness to Dobbs Ferry Residents

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.”

Click here to view the full article!

Phioto: Sophia Callaguazo is a second-grade student at JCOS in Irvington.

January 27th, 2022|

Cathedral High School Receives Computing Donation From BlackRock

Cathedral High School received a donation of 28 Dell computers from BlackRock Global Fixed Income.

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 or call Johanna Castex-Velez, Director of Admissions at (212) 688-1545 ext. 224.

January 27th, 2022|
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