To the Our Lady of Hope Community,
As my third year as principal of Our Lady of Hope Catholic Academy comes to an end, I never imagined the school year closing in the way it did, with an empty building and all activities being handled virtually. This pandemic has disrupted not only the lives of the adults in the world, but also the lives of the children. I want to thank the parents for their continued support these past three months, as you have taken on the challenge of managing your child’s Online Distance Learning since schools closed and instruction went remote. You should be commended for your commitment, as you worked in partnership with your child’s teacher, to make sure your child did not fall behind academically. However moving forward, I understand the importance of our students returning to their classrooms. As a parent myself, I strongly feel it is necessary, not only for academic reasons, but for the social and emotional growth of the child, as these years are very important in a child’s development.
I have been asked to be a member of the Diocese of Brooklyn’s Re-Opening Task Force for Catholic Academies. The Diocese has asked the participating principals on this task force to propose three different scenarios for a September opening. One scenario is returning to school at 100% (nursery to grade 8), with new protocols, following guidelines put into place to ensure the health and safety of the students, teachers, staff and administration. Some of the guidelines that have been proposed, include an early arrival time that would allow students to enter the building, on a staggering schedule, from different entrances; wearing masks in the classroom (students and teachers), including anyone entering the classroom, such as administration, maintenance, or clergy. In grades 4 – 8, which are departmentalized, it was proposed that the teachers would move rather than the students. This is to minimize the amount of people moving throughout the building during the day. There may also be an additional lunch period, to reduce the number of students in the cafeteria at one time. These are just a few of the proposals, as we address the logistical issues of reopening.
Our goal in reopening Our Lady of Hope Catholic Academy in September is its importance in the community. Our Lady of Hope continues to be a premier Catholic academy, not only in Middle Village and its surrounding neighborhoods, but also in the Diocese of Brooklyn. Our Lady of Hope continues to provide a high-quality education, as evident in the accomplishments of the Class of 2020.
I would like to identify some of the accomplishments and goals that were met this past year. At the time of graduation, the Class of 2020 received approximately $900,000.00 in scholarship money, with each graduate being accepted to a minimum of one Catholic high school, including Regis High School and Xavier High School. Our graduates also received acceptances to Fiorello LaGuardia High School for Art & Music and Performing Arts, Frank Sinatra School of the Arts High School, and to Townsend Harris High School.
I want to thank you again for your continual support for Catholic education and to Our Lady of Hope Catholic Academy.
Wishing you a safe and healthy summer.