Update March 19, 2020

Dear Families,
We are praying for you every day. Please continue to pray . Here are some helpful articles from our superintendent to help with your children during this difficult time.
parent resource…Talking with children about Coronavirus Disease 2019

Hand-sanitizer-Factsheet
Mental Health Support During COVID-19
parent resource…Helping Children Copeparent resource…Talking with children about Coronavirus Disease 2019
parent resource…Helping Children Cope

Be safe…Be healthy… KEEP PRAYING
ST. ATHANASIUS,……PRAY FOR US

Diocese announces Academy closing until April 20

Diocese of Brooklyn Announces Catholic Academies and Parish Schools
Will close until at least April 20, 2020
Superintendent of Schools Thomas Chadzutko, Ed. D., has announced today all elementary Catholic Academies and Parish Schools in Brooklyn and Queens will remain closed until April 20, 2020. This follows last week’s announcement that the schools would be closed this week, March 16-March 20, 2020, out of an abundance of caution. The decision mirrors the New York City public schools announcement made last night.
“The decision to close is based on the interdependency of services between public schools and Catholic schools,” said Dr. Chadzutko.
Many families that attend Diocesan schools depend on the New York City services such as bus transportation, meals, nurses, and crossing and security guards.
“If there was a safe way for us to open sooner, we would, but we cannot function without those essential services,” said Joan McMaster, Associate Superintendent for Principal and Teacher Personnel.
The latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control is to restrict gatherings of 50 or more people. Clearly, the school environment would be in violation.
The contingency pandemic plan, which is part of the Office of the Superintendent school crisis management plan, includes digital, distance and alternative instruction for students so that their education is not disrupted. A complete transition to that model of instruction will take place this week.
The Office of the Superintendent is in daily communication with city and state officials and is part of the Coronavirus Education Task Force of the NYC Department of Education. During this time, there is a constant reassessment of the situation and the necessary response in an effort to keep our school community safe.

St. Athanasius Circle of Prayer

St. Athanasius Catholic Academy, request that all our students and their families put special time aside, at 9 am, 3 pm, and 7 pm to start a special prayer circle for our school community and for the rest of the world.

Please say a special prayer for all those working in hospitals, and our first responders who are on the front lines to ensure the welfare of all those affected. 

Below is the prayer created from our beloved Pope Francis to Mary during the Corona Virus Pandemic, I ask that we all pray together…

important Coronavirus update

Dear St. Athanasius Family, March 10, 2020
As the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a world-wide issue, please know that St. Athanasius Catholic Academy is closely monitoring all facets of the emerging situation very carefully. The New York State Department of Health has confirmed cases throughout the state and in New York City. The health, safety, and well-being of our students is our most important priority, and we are treating this situation very seriously. I have been in constant communication with the Diocesan office to be sure of updating all necessary information.
Just a reminder that The Diocesan Policy for the Brooklyn Diocese is as follows:
For students and Catholic Academy/Parish School personnel returning from international travel, the following policy for the Catholic Academies and Parish Schools within the Diocese of Brooklyn is in place: All students and Catholic Academy/Parish School personnel returning from international travel are required to get written medical clearance from their physician before returning to Catholic Academy/Parish School. Parents of children must submit this written medical clearance letter signed and stamped by a licensed physician to the principal.
This policy is in effect until further notice.
Also, effectively immediately all school field trips are canceled until further notice.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as state and local public health authorities, are providing schools with resources and are encouraging schools to prepare as best they can for situations that may arise because of this virus. At this point, all local municipalities, including the Diocesan Education Office, is not recommending any changes to our normal school operations, and stressed the importance of following the usual preventative measures recommended during flu season.
There is, however, a need to be proactive in our planning, and take the necessary measures to prevent the spread of illness in our schools. We will remain in frequent contact with the Diocesan Education Office for updates as the situation evolves. We will continue to follow the recommendations of diocesan, state and local officials, and keep you informed of any new developments.
In the event of a health emergency, any decisions regarding a school closing would come in consultation with the Diocesan Education Office, local departments of health and various state governmental agencies. While there is no indication that closing schools for an extended period is a possibility in our region, we have begun discussions on how to best communicate with families and educate students in the unlikely event that schools are closed. Of course, we will use our website and Option C Parent Alerts to communicate any information on school closures.
In terms of continuing education at home in case of a long-term closure we will, of course, hope to use technology that our school has access to in order to continue instruction at home. Please be sure your child has the logins to Education City, Mathletics and Google Classrooms as these will be used to help assist in instruction. Mrs. Medina and I are preparing all teachers to have the technology in place if distance learning is needed. Most importantly be sure we have your correct contact information so you get all the correspondence.
Please remind your children of the preventative measures during flu season, which include:
• Frequent handwashing
• Staying at home and making an appointment with your physician when sick
• Covering your cough and sneeze in your inside elbow
• Avoid touching your face
In consulting with public health experts, here are some measures we are taking:
• Our custodial staff is diligently disinfecting surfaces in our building by following state health standards, and checking dispensers for hand soap. Teachers have hand sanitizers in our classrooms as a precaution.
•We will be reminding students of proven hygiene measures that prevent the spread of viruses.
• In accordance with Diocesan norms, there will be no exchange of the Sign of Peace during Mass, and students are encouraged to receive Holy Communion in the hand rather than on the tongue.
***As a precautionary measure, a decision has been made to send home the Second Trimester Report Cards and cancel all face-to-face, parent-teacher conferences for the Second Trimester Report Card Distribution on March 19, 2020. STUDENTS WILL STILL HAVE 12:30 DISMISSAL ON MARCH 19th. As long as your financial accounts are up-to-date, we will send home 2 copies of the report card in an envelope with a request that the parent sign one copy and return the signed parent copy back to the Academy. Students in danger of failing or possible retention will be notified of a phone conference by the teacher and a letter will be sent home to be signed and returned. More information will be sent regarding these conferences.

As always, the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff remain the administration’s first priority. Rest assured that we will continue to follow the directions we receive from state and local health authorities regarding the Novel Coronavirus, and will take the necessary measures outlined above for the safety of our school community. We will continue to keep you updated on any new information as we receive it. Thank you for your cooperation. Thank you for your help in keeping your families and the St. Athanasius community safe and healthy.
Sincerely,
Mrs. Competello

Getting Ready for the Grammar-Thon 2020

On February 28th, St. Athanasius Grades 1-5 will be participating in the Grammar-Thon competition between the Brooklyn and Queens academies/schools.  Our students are super excited and working hard for the upcoming competition. Good Luck to all!!!

St. Athanasius’s Little Doctors!

Last Thursday, January 30th, the 4th and 5th graders participated in the New York Blood Center’s Little Doctors Program. The program taught them about the importance of giving blood to save lives as well as the importance of blood in their own bodies.  The lesson was concluded with their participation in a blood drive, supported by the school and parish community. Thank you to all who came and donated – you are a superhero, now the students understand why.