Leadership Newsletter

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Thank you for a wonderful start to the new school year. This newsletter is intended to supplement the weekly parent alerts with additional information. If you have not been receiving these alerts via e-mail and text, please call the main office and we will review our Option C contact information with you.

Back to School Night

Tuesday, September 11

6:30 PM & 7:00 PM

As a reminder, tonight we will host two classroom orientation sessions. Session I is at 6:30 PM and Session II is at 7:00 PM. The programs will repeat, so you can attend more than one session if you have more than one child enrolled at OLCA. Parents of students in Grades Nursery & Pre-Kindergarten should gather in the Early Childhood Center. Parents of students in Grades K-5 may go directly to their child’s classroom. 

For Junior High (Grades 6-8), there will be only one Session at 6:30 PM in the auditorium, with all of the Junior High teachers.  At 7:00 PM, there will be a meeting for 8th Grade parents only regarding High School, Confirmation, and Graduation.  It is highly recommended that eighth grade students attend as well.

There will be refreshments for our parents and guardians outside the main office, courtesy of our Home Academy Association. We will also be selling discounted gym uniforms and giving away free gently used regular uniforms that have been donated by current and former OLCA families.

Lunch Hours

Grades 5-8: 11:00 – 11:45

Grades N, PK, K: 11:30 – 12:15

Grades 1-4: 11:55 – 12:40

This year, we have shortened our lunch period and adjusted the schedule to the times above. If you are dropping off your child’s lunch or having it delivered, please be sure that it arrives by the start time of their lunch period so they have enough time to eat it! When weather permits, the lunch period may be extended by fifteen minutes for outdoor recess in the upper and lower yards.  A limited selection of drinks and snacks will be sold every day. We also have additional lunches prepared should your child need one. No child will ever go hungry at OLCA, so please remind your child to ask an adult in the lunchroom if they are in need of something to eat.

VIRTUS TRAINING

Wednesday, September 19 at 6:00 PM

OLCA is hosting a free VIRTUS training for parents who wish to volunteer at the academy or would like to chaperone on school trips. You can register online at virtus.org or in person on the night of the training.

 Uniforms

 All students must be in complete uniform to attend classes, beginning the week of Monday, September 17. If there is a delay or special circumstance, please notify the office in writing for a time extension.  Please note that students in grades K-8 must wear their gym uniforms on gym days. Nursery and Pre-K wear the gym uniform every day.

Students with Individualized Services

If your child is entitled to services such as OT, PT, Speech, SETSS, or Counseling, as mandated by an IESP, please submit a copy of the IESP and the authorization form to Mrs. Kelly in the main office as soon as possible. For most services, we can begin them within a week of receiving these documents, as our providers are all on site.

FACTS Tuition Management

A reminder that we strongly discourage using cash payments for tuition, and that all parents can pay online through FACTS Tuition Management. If you are having trouble with your FACTS account or need it to be set up, please e-mail us at office@olcacademy.net and we will assist you.

Home Academy Association

The Leadership Committee of our Home Academy Association has planned many activities throughout the year, and they are looking for the input and assistance of as many OLCA families as possible. Today, they graciously hosted a breakfast for our faculty and staff, and they will be providing refreshments at this evening’s Back to School Night. Want to get involved? Just e-mail them at parents@olcacademy.net.   All feedback is welcome, because it is through open and honest communication that we learn and grow.

Security Procedures and Upcoming Drills

As you may have noticed, we have new alarms on all of our doors, as well as additional cameras throughout the building. We also now have a security guard during school hours. We will soon begin another important part of keeping our academy safe: practicing for emergency situations. For the parents of our youngest students, please begin preparing them at home for fire drills and lockdown drills.  During a fire drill, we quietly leave the building for a short time and then return. For a lockdown drill, we close and lock the door and go to a safe place within the locked space.  Both of these types of drills can be practiced at home, and can help them be more prepared for when these drills begin at school.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, never hesitate to contact us.  We can be reached by phone at (718) 641-1316, and a full staff directory with e-mail addresses can be found on our website at www.olcacademy.net . All of us, from the principal, assistant principal and office staff, to the teachers, teacher’s aides, after school staff, and facility manager, are here to ensure the safety, well-being, and outstanding education of your child.

Sincerely in Christ

Mr. Kevin John Coyne           Mrs. Debra Eisenbraun

Principal                                    Assistant Principal

OLCA Family Handbook

Our Lady's Catholic AcademyGood Morning Parents and Guardians,

Today, you have received a copy of the OLCA Family Handbook 2018-2019. This year’s handbook features significant changes and additions.  New families, please review the handbook in its entirety to familiarize yourself with our policies. 

For returning families, here is a brief summary of additions and changes from the previous handbook for your reference.

Attendance Policies (Change)

School is from 8:15 – 3: 15 for all grades this year, including 6th through 8th.

Birthdays (Change)

For invitations to birthday celebrations to be distributed in the classroom, either all students must be invited, or all students of the same gender of the birthday child must be invited.

Cell Phones & Electronics (Change)

Cell phones may now be used in the classroom for instructional purposes at the discretion of the teacher. At all other times, cell phones must be off.

Diversity (Addition)

A statement on our commitment to diversity has been added.

Graduation & Step Up Fees (Addition)

An explanation of the annual fees for graduation/step up (Grades N, PK, K) has been added.

Handwriting (Addition)

A new policy regarding handwriting has been added.

Home Academy Association (Addition)

Contact information for the Home Academy Association has been added

Honor Roll (Change)

The following requirement was added to all levels of Honor Roll:

No In-School Suspensions (Lunch or Full-Day)

Lunch (Change)

Kindergarten students will now have lunch in the classroom instead of the auditorium.

Morning Snack (Change)

If a classroom includes a student with allergies, the snacks of all students cannot contain those allergens.

Sacrament Preparation (Addition)

Procedures and requirements for receiving sacraments have been added.

Social Media and Personal Communication Policies (Addition)

New guidelines governing communication between faculty/staff and parents/students, as well as postings on social media about OLCA by students and parents, have been added.

Uniform (Change)

Policies for winter shoe wear, as well as the February 2018 revisions to the uniform guidelines, have been added. Also, Dress Up, Dress Down, and Jewelry/Makeup guidelines, which were previously their own entries in the handbook, have been moved to the Uniform section.

Volunteers (Change)

Lunch room volunteer policies have been revised.

Wall of Fame (Change)

The following criteria has been added to Wall of Fame:

            No Unexcused Latenesses or Absences

Thank you for taking the time to review the Handbook.  Please return the signed agreement to your child’s homeroom teacher by Thursday, September 6  (Grades K-8.)

Sincerely in Christ,

Mr. Kevin John Coyne                                    Mrs. Debra Eisenbraun           

Principal                                                          Assistant Principal

 

Summer Newsletter

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Here is our summer newsletter, which details the work that will be done in the building over the summer and some of the calendar and policy changes for the 2018-2019 school year.

Summer Office Hours

For the convenience of our parents, the OLCA school office will be open all summer! Please see the yearly calendar for daily hours. The office will close on Independence Day (Wednesday, July 4), Labor Day (Monday, September 3), and a handful of Mondays and Fridays in August. Additionally, there will be evening hours during the second half of August to meet the needs of parents who are not available during the day.

Summer Brainstorm

Monday, July 9 – Friday, August 3

Registration is ongoing for our Summer Brainstorm program, which will run from 8 AM – 4 PM on the dates above. Free early drop off will begin at 7 AM, and extended care for $5 per day, per child, will be available until 6 PM.  Academics will take place in the classrooms in the morning, and both the auditorium and school yard will be used for afternoon activities.

Building Improvements (Summer 2018)

Please note the following building repairs and improvements that are either already underway or will be completed by the end of the summer:

·         Air conditioning units installed in the first floor classrooms

·         Ten new security cameras (exterior and interior of the building)

·         New electronic locks on all exterior and all classroom doors

·         Installation of new Early Childhood Playground

·         New Kindergarten classroom, and redistribution of Title I and service provider classrooms

·         Bathroom renovations in the auditorium and on the classroom floors

Important Calendar and Policy Changes for 2018-2019

In response to parent feedback and to better meet the needs of our students, we have made some changes that are detailed on the yearly calendar.  Here are some items that are particularly significant.

School Day: 8:15 – 3:15 for Nursery to Grade 8

Next year, all classes will begin and dismiss at the same time. Junior high will no longer go upstairs to their classrooms at the beginning of the day, and will join their teachers in the auditorium for prayers, the pledge, and morning announcements.

After School Begins on the First Day of School

For the first time, we will have After School begin from the first day that classes are in session, making it possible for more students to attend the first three days of school.

Reduced Number of Half-Days

We have significantly reduced the number of half-days scheduled for next year, providing a greater amount of overall instructional time.

Snow Days Policy

Every year, we have five Snow Days that are placed on the calendar. This year, we have numbered those days.  Snow Day #1 is Wednesday, April 17.  If we have to close for one snow day in the winter, then school will be open on that date.  The final four days are at the end of the school year.  If we take more than one snow day, the school year will be extended for each additional snow day.  Hopefully, numbering the snow days will make it easier to plan for June, should it be another rough winter.  If we have no snow days, then we will be closed on April 17 and our last day of school will be Wednesday, June 19.

Catholic Schools Week & Spirit Week

We have revamped Catholic Schools Week in January to be focused solely on academics, with a major subject focused on each day.  Spirit Week will now be in February, right before Mid-Winter Recess, and will feature the fun activities that the students look forward to each year.  Spirit Week will still be a fundraiser for the Eighth Grade Trip, but moving it from May to February will allow for a more productive May session when we return from Easter Recess.

Mandatory Fundraising

The Home Academy Association has been tasked to look at alternatives for families to meet the $250 mandatory fundraising requirement, as some parents had difficulty getting sponsors for the Walkathon.  More information about alternatives will be presented at the OLCA State of the Academy Address on Thursday, September 27.

School resumes on Wednesday, September 5 for Grades K-8.  Our Pre-Kindergarten begins on Thursday, September 6, and our Nursery begins on Friday, September 7.  We wish all of you a healthy and happy summer, and if we don’t see you at Summer Brainstorm, we look forward to seeing you in September!

Sincerely in Christ,

Kevin John Coyne       Debra Eisenbraun

Principal                      Assistant Principal

Leadership Newsletter

Our Lady's Catholic AcademyDear Parents and Guardians,

As we prepare for the end of the school year, here is one final newsletter of reminders and updates!

Final Payment and 2018-2019 Registration Reminders

Yesterday, we sent home our final payment reminders for those families who still show a balance in Option C. Please submit payments as soon as possible. If there is an error on your bill, please call the office or e-mail us at office@olcacademy.net, and we will make the necessary changes.

We will be sending out final registration reminders on Thursday to current families who have not yet re-registered. At this time, in Grades PK, K, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8, we have less than five seats available per class.  Because of a high number of new families that have already registered, we do not have enough seats left for all current OLCA students to return in September.  Please, if you are planning to return, reserve your seats as soon as possible.

Home Academy Association and the Year End BBQ

We want to thank the Home Academy Association Leadership Committee for their extraordinary work organizing our Year-End BBQ, and I want to thank the parents who generously donated food, drinks, and their time!  Because of your generosity, all OLCA students were able to enjoy activities and food at no cost, and we were able to raise nearly $2,000 for initiatives identified by OLCA parents as a priority for next year: an Early Childhood Playground and a STEM Robotics Program. 

Early Childhood Inclusive Playground

In addition to the funds raised by the HAA, a grant written by our Nursery teacher, Mrs. Maria Lourdes Evans, secured an additional $10,000 in funding for a new Inclusive Playground in the lower level of the schoolyard, adjacent to the Early Childhood Center.  This new playground will be installed in the coming weeks.  Again, we thank the HAA, as well as Mrs. Evans, for their leadership and efforts in making this dream a reality.

OLCA Summer Brainstorm

Finally, registration is still underway for OLCA Summer Brainstorm, our ninth annual summer program that features academics in the morning and games and activities in the afternoon.  Registration forms are available online and in the office.

We thank all of you for your support and your feedback during this transitional year. Your commitment to Catholic Education at Our Lady’s Catholic Academy continues to motivate, challenge, and inspire us.  It remains our greatest blessing to serve in this ministry.  From Many, We are One.

Sincerely in Christ,

Kevin John Coyne                                 Debra Eisenbraun

Principal                                                Assistant Principal

Leadership Newsletter

Dear Parents and Guardians,  

It is hard to believe that we are entering the final weeks of the school year! While the weekly parent alerts will continue, we wanted to give an overview of some important upcoming events and ongoing activities.

Accelerated Program (Grades 5-8)

The application process has begun for our Accelerated Program, which will now be offered in Grades 5-8.  Students currently in the Accelerated Program in Grades 6 and 7 must apply again to keep their seat for next year.  Please be aware that students participating in this program will have more intensive summer work to prepare them for the upcoming year.

Standardized Testing

Grades 4 & 8: Science Performance Exam

Grades 5 & 7: Math & ELA Benchmark Exam

Next week, our fourth and eighth graders will take the New York State Science Performance exam, which is a small part of the overall New York State Science Exam that allows them to demonstrate practical science skills.  These tests will be on Wednesday, May 23 for Grade 8 and Thursday, May 24 for Grade 4.

Also, all students in Grades 5 and 7 will take a benchmark exam on Monday, May 21 and Tuesday, May 22 that measures their progress in ELA and Math since taking the state tests in Grades 4 and 6.  While this test is only mandated for students who did not earn a 3 or 4 on those tests, we are having all students take the exam so we will have additional data to individualize the instruction for all students. This will be helpful for improving both our regular and accelerated instructional programs in 2018-2019.

Spring Show

Tuesday, May 22

Program I: 6:30 PM – 7:15 PM  (Grades N-2, Violins)

Program II: 7:30 PM – 8:30 PM  (Grades 3-8, Beginner and Experienced Band)

Our Spring Show is almost here! Unless instructed otherwise by their classroom teacher, the dress code is simply dressing up in spring colors. To better meet parent needs, we have the option of buying a ticket for the whole show ($5) or just an individual program ($3.)  All tickets will receive reserved, numbered seating.  Students in Grades N-2 will be dismissed at the conclusion of Program I, and can either go home with their parents or, if they are staying for Program II, can join their parents in the audience. We hope that offering three different ticket options will make the evening easier for our families this year.

First Holy Communion

Saturday, June 2

St. Teresa of Avila Church – 5 PM

Many of our third graders and several older students will celebrate the Holy Sacrament of Communion for the first time on Saturday, June 2.  This Saturday, they will have practice for this event at the church from 9:30-11:30 AM.

VIRTUS TRAINING

Thursday, June 7

Session #1: 9 AM  | Session #2: 6 PM

On Thursday, June 7, OLCA will host two separate VIRTUS Training events for family members who wish to become OLCA volunteers.  This free class is required to attend school trips and volunteer in the lunch room and at school events. You can register online now at virtus.org, or onsite the day of the training.

Year-End BBQ

Saturday, June 9

OLCA School Yard – 1 PM – 6PM

Our Home Academy Association is hard at work planning our Year-End BBQ, which will feature great food, games, rides, and attractions, as well as exciting raffles. Stop by their table at this year’s Spring Show for more information, and if you want to assist, you can reach the HAA at parents@olcacademy.net .

Registration for 2018-2019

We are excited to announce that we are nearing capacity for next year, thanks to the high level of re-registration among returning families and to the many new families that will be joining us in the fall.  By early June, we expect that multiple grade levels will be closed for registration, so if you intend to return, please complete the registration process to save your seats. The material fee for 2018-2019 is due on June 1, 2018.

Summer Brainstorm

Monday, July 9 – Friday, August 3

Registration has begun for our annual Summer Brainstorm Program at OLCA.  As always, we will offer academics in the morning and activities in the afternoon. Because families often schedule vacations during this time, we also offer adjusted rates for families who only want to attend certain days or certain weeks.  Just speak to Ms. Roberts in the office and she will work out a reduced fee if you only can attend for part of the summer.

In closing, thank you for the amazing participation in Spirit Week! Our eighth graders will enjoy a wonderful trip to Rocking Horse Dude Ranch at no additional cost to their families. 

Our final dress down fundraiser will be in the month of June, where for thirteen days, students can dress down to benefit the Saint Teresa of Avila – Saint Anthony of Padua Parish. Father Conlon always uses these funds to make improvements that benefit both the parish and the academy, so your participation is appreciated!

A final newsletter will follow in June, but for now, enjoy next month’s calendar, which just might be the busiest of the entire year! It will be a month of celebration and appreciation.  We thank all of our students for their hard work and all of our families for their tireless and enthusiastic support of Our Lady’s Catholic Academy.  From Many, We are One.

Sincerely in Christ,

Kevin John Coyne                     Debra Eisenbraun

Principal                                    Assistant Principal