***Parents the following letter has been sent, we urge you all to call and sent your own messages to support this initiative.
The more voices united, the more change can be affected!***
Dear Brooklyn Borough Commissioner Bray, Councilman Levin, Assemblyman Lentol and Senator Squadron:
On behalf of the St. Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Academy Community in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, Mrs. Christina Cieloszczyk, principal of St. Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Academy, and I, Anna Mirek, a concerned parent, school alumna and member of the school’s Parent Committee, are contacting you in regards to the ongoing request by the community to the NYCDOT for installation of traffic calming devices to improve the safety of the street crossings at several locations at and near the school (located at 12 Newell Street, Brooklyn NY 11222).
As our community has seen an influx of development and growth over the years, traffic has increased, which has made streets more congested and dangerous. We applaud Mayor Bill de Blasio’s “Vision Zero” plan for the City:
“The City must take decisive and sustained action to reduce street fatalities each year until we have achieved “Vision Zero” – a city with zero fatalities or serious injuries caused by car crashes on the streets of New York.”
We urge you to help implement his vision by taking immediate action to improve the safety of the city streets near our school to avoid preventable traffic fatalities and serious injuries.
In particular, we would like to draw your attention to two areas that desperately require improvements in pedestrian protection. The first is the street segment on Driggs Avenue between Humboldt Street and McGuinness Boulevard (Figure 1 – See “Street Segment A”). There are no traffic lights, children crossing signs, speed bumps, raised walkway pavement, stop signs, yield to pedestrian signs or Slow Zone signs on this stretch of road, which falls squarely in the heart of the St. Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Academy Campus. Over 200 school children, from grades PreK3 to 8th, navigate this dangerous stretch of city streets daily to get to and from school, as well as to activities from the main school building on Newell Street to the gymnasium on Driggs Avenue, religious services on Humboldt Street, after school activities and Saturday Polish School. It is common to see drivers speed down Driggs Avenue from Humboldt Street in an attempt to make the green light at McGuinness Boulevard, disregarding the safety of our children, their families and the surrounding community.
The second area in desperate need of immediate traffic safety improvements is the street segment of Nassau Ave from McGuiness Boulevard to Humboldt Street (Figure 1 – See “Street Segment B”). This is a path many school children must cross in order to get to school. Again, there are no traffic lights, speed bumps, stop signs or crossing guards to deter drivers from racing down this long stretch of 3 city blocks from McGuinness Boulevard to make the next light at Humboldt Street. School children and their families are at a constant risk of injury because of speeding drivers and poor visibility on this very busy roadway.
On an almost daily basis, residents of the community witness near-collisions of vehicles and pedestrians. According to nyc.crashmapper.com between August 2011 and February 2014, the following number of collisions and injury to people were reported in the area that we are urging you to help improve:
We echo Mayor de Blasio’s proclamation,
“The City must invest in dramatic safety improvements targeted towards the most dangerous intersections and thoroughfares, particularly around schools…” (Visionary Street Safety Goal, 2013, 2)
STREET SEGMENT A
STREET SEGMENT B
2We urge you to immediately examine the current situation of the dangerous lack of traffic signaling devices and signs on the stretches of streets on Driggs Avenue, Newell Street and Nassau Avenue, and implore you to quickly implement measures to improve traffic safety for our community and create safe routes to school for families. Suggestions for improvements that would greatly contribute to the safety of the community include:
i. Adding traffic lights at the intersections of Driggs Avenue and Newell Street, Newell Street and Nassua Avenue, Nassau Avenue and Diamond Street,
ii. Installing child crossing and yield signs on Driggs Avenue,
iii. Designating a 20-mph slow zone near the school, on Driggs Avenue, Nassau Avenue and McGuiness Boulevard, and
iv. Installing a speed bump on Driggs Avenue between Diamond Street and Newell Street, or creating a raised walkway at the intersection of Driggs Avenue and Newell Street.
This issue is very important to our school and community. Our children and their families face an unnecessary, dangerous situation that needs to be corrected urgently. Please do not wait for a fatal accident to illustrate the danger present near our school. As Mayor de Blasio said, “New Yorkers deserve better.”
Thank you, in advance, for your time and prompt response to this urgent matter. We look forward to your update.
I hope that you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. We are already almost midway in the season of Advent and 2014 is quickly drawing to a close.
November was a busy month here at SSKCA. We held our first of the two mandatory tuition raffles drawings. The winners of $500.00 towards tuition are:
Alan Konik gr. PK-3
Jack Kassimis gr. 8
Paul Leszko gr. 8
Bianca Paszel gr. 1
Nicholas Sidibe gr. PK-4
Jan Czartoryjski gr. 2
Congratulations to these winners and their parents, who received an early Christmas present! The next drawing will be held in May.
For our charitable efforts last month, our students raised $601.00 for UNICEF through their Halloween trick-or-treating and $720.00 for Izzy, the 7 year old girl in one of our Queens schools who has been battling cancer. For our school fundraisers last month, the second graders raised $464.00 through the cupcake sale they hosted. We now have totals for amounts raised in the Scholastic Book Fair, $1,106.23, and the October Bingo, $1,115.23. The recent Andrzejki Dinner/Dance raised $11,847.00. Our sincerest thanks to all those parents who helped in any way to make these important fundraisers a success!
The SSKCA Board of Directors is in need of new members. Unfortunately, current parents cannot serve on our academy Board. However, if any parent knows someone else who would be interested in serving, kindly have that person mail or email me a copy of their resume along with a letter expressing their desire to serve.
The Crisis Management Plan for our academy for the current school year has been approved by the diocese. In case we should ever need to evacuate the school building, students will be taken to the primary evacuation site of St. Stanislaus Kostka Church located at 607 Humboldt St. Should, for some reason, that location not be advisable at that time, the secondary evacuation site is Msgr. McGolrick Park located at Driggs Ave and Russell St. If an out of area evacuation site would be necessary then students would be taken to St. Anthony/St. Alphonsus Church located at 862 Manhattan Ave. An email would be sent informing parents of the situation and information would be posted on our website. If anyone has not yet provided us with their email address, it would be a very good idea to do so now so that you would be included in any emergency email notifications.
We need to change the date for our January faculty meeting. Instead of Tuesday, January 6th, it will be held on Friday, January 9th. As a result, Jan. 6th will be a full day of school while on Jan. 9th dismissal will be the usual early dismissal on such days at 11:30 am – 11:45 am.
If you haven’t had a chance to do so yet, there is still time to purchase a raffle ticket for the special Disney vacation prize! The drawing will be held during morning announcements on December 23rd. Good luck to everyone who is participating. Winning would make a truly great early Christmas present for the family.
We are trying again to have a stop sign installed on the corner of Driggs Ave. and Newel St. as a safety measure for our students who cross at that intersection on a daily basis. It would undoubtedly be helpful if our parents wrote letters to our local politicians urging them to assist us with this issue. Please see the chart below for some of their contact information. We truly appreciate the investment of your time in helping us make the area around our school safer for the children.
I look forward to seeing many of you at Breakfast with Santa this coming Sunday as well as at our annual Christmas Show on the 19th. The night of the show, students will enter through the main doors by the school offices while parents and guests will enter through the usual doors close to the convent. Our Christmas break begins after dismissal on Tuesday, December 23rd, which is a regular full day of school. We return on Monday, January 5th.
In closing, my hope is that you and your family, as you celebrate the miracle of our Savior’s birth, will find joy and peace throughout the Christmas season. Best wishes for a healthy and Happy New Year.
We have an exciting new fundraiser taking place from now until Dec. 22nd where our SSKCA families have a chance to win a 7 day trip for 4 people to Disneyworld! The prize includes accommodations at a select Disney Property in Orlando, FL along with a 5 day park pass to Disney’s Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Epcot and Hollywood Studios. (*not including airfare, other restrictions apply see full details below)
Raffle tickets are $25.00 each and are being offered exclusively to our SSKCA students and their families as well as faculty and staff. They may be purchased at our school office. Parent volunteers will be available in the mornings and before dismissal to assist with the purchase of tickets. Please check out our website for details. The lucky winner will be chosen on Dec. 23rd during morning announcements. Good Luck!
2014 – 2015 Mandatory School Fundraiser
With the arrival of November, it is time for the first mandatory fundraiser of the school year – our tuition raffle. The second mandatory fundraiser will be held in May and will be the same type of tuition raffle. The cost for the raffles is $50.00 per child, per raffle month, and is included in your tuition bill statement. There is one entry for each child who is a student in St. Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Academy.
On Thursday, November 13th, three tickets were pulled by kindergarten students. Those winning tickets will entitle the families of those students to a $500.00 tuition credit which will be applied to their current tuition and fees. On Wednesday, November 26th, another three tickets will be pulled for a total of six winners in this first raffle of the year. The process will be repeated in May, 2015 with an end result of 12 winners for the school year amounting to $6,000.00 in total prizes.
Please be advised that the tuition credit prize is not redeemable for cash (except for paid in full graduating 8th grader) and is not transferable to another family. Winning families whose tuition is already paid in full will receive a credit for next year.
Thank you and the best of luck to everyone!
November 3, 2014
One-fifth of the school year is already over! It is truly amazing how quickly the time is passing. We have just finished celebrating Halloween and Thanksgiving will be here very soon with Christmas close behind. It seems we barely have time to catch our breaths in between!
During the month of October, SSKCA traditionally holds a number of fundraisers for our school as well as for charity. The proceeds of our efforts this year are:
Yankee Candle Sale $4,238.40
Denim Day (for breast cancer research) $855.00
Cupcake Sale $361.00
International Night $2,517.00
Our sincerest thanks to everyone who took part in these fundraisers. Your support permits us to keep tuition at reasonable levels.
The third graders have set the bar quite high with the profit from the first Cupcake Sale of the year. Second graders will be hosting the next sale on Wednesday, November 12th. International Night was a huge success this year with every available chair taken by our audience and latecomers having to stand. Thank you to all who attended as well as for your appreciation for the hard work of our teachers and students in preparing this event for your enjoyment.
The first Dress Down Day of November has been changed from November 5th to November 12th due to individual photos being taken on the 5th. On that day only students who are having a photo taken may dress in the outfits their parents prefer for the photo. In addition, on Monday, November 24th, we will have a special, optional $2.00 Dress Down Day to raise funds for Izzy, a 7 year old girl who is a student at Sacred Heart School, one of our diocesan schools in Bayside, Queens and Mr. Casiano’s parish. She is fighting a cancerous brain tumor and her family needs help paying medical expenses. We try to teach our students to care for others less fortunate as Jesus expects us to. Whether donating to a charity or for a specific cause, it gives our students an opportunity to practice what they are learning.
The following is a list of the parents who have volunteered this year to be classroom parent representatives:
PK-3 Jennifer Dudek
PK-4 Margaret Feliciano and Jennifer Valerio
K Tina Rewekant
Grade 1 Ewa Gluszczyszyn and Jolanta Kowalczyk
Grade 2 Witold and Joanna Ort and Anna Jagielnicki
Grade 3 Jennifer Consolazio and Michelle Falce
Grade 4 Jolanta Karwowski and Elzbieta Gierucki
Grade 5 Audrey Michalowski
Grade 6 Eileen Dwyer and Maria Karniewicz
Grade 7 Tina Rewekant and Eileen Dwyer
We thank these parents for volunteering their time to act as liaisons between the classroom parents, teacher and office. They will also be contacting parents from their child’s class to organize volunteers for the fundraisers assigned to their class. Unfortunately, no one in grade 8 volunteered.
Please be sure that on rainy gym days or days when we will be going to church in that type of weather that your child has an umbrella to use when we are walking over. Also, articles of clothing, lunchboxes and books need to be labeled with your child’s name so we know who to return them to if they are left behind.
Kindly remember that when volunteering for a special event at school, we ask parents do both, sign in and out on an attendance sheet as well as register their fingerprint on our machine. It is important to have a back-up record.
On September 24th, I sent a letter home requesting that parents complete an attached survey form so that SSKCA would be eligible to receive funds through the E-rate program. Only 58 families sent in the form. In the past, we were able to receive partial funding for our monthly internet service, based on the number of surveys returned. Now the policy has changed and we are only eligible to receive this assistance if 100% of our families comply. Therefore, if you completed the form already for this year, we sincerely thank you. If not, I am attaching another copy of the survey. Please send it in as soon as possible. The survey is completely confidential and no one will be checking it for accuracy.
SSKCA has been very fortunate to have been awarded a generous grant from the diocesan St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Trust!
You are invited to attend the family Mass on Sundays at 9:00 am in our parish followed by a visit to the parish cafe on the first floor of the gym building for some cake, coffee and conversation with fellow parents. Also, we look forward to seeing you at our annual Religion Fair on Thursday, November 13th, at 7:00 pm. Best wishes to you and your family for a wonderful Thanksgiving as we pause for a day in our busy lives to give thanks for the bountiful blessings the Lord has bestowed upon us in the past year.
This school year, we will continue assignments for the required 25 hours of parent volunteer service. The hours will be divided into half lunch duty/ chaperone student evening events and half at grade assigned annual fundraising events. Lunch duty is for parents of students in grades PK3 – 3 while student evening event chaperone duty is for parents in grades 4 – 8.
The fundraising grade assignments are as follows:
Event Assigned Grades
Book Fair 1, 2, 3, 4
Halloween Party PK-3, PK-4, K
Andrzejki Dinner Dance K, 2, 7
Breakfast with Santa PK-3, PK-4, K
New Year’s Eve/Sylwestra Dinner/Dance 1, 3, 4, 5, 8
November 2 Bingo 5, 6, 7, 8
Mardi Gras/Ostatki Dinner/Dance PK-3, PK-4, 6
Supermarket Bingo/Penny Social 1, 2, 3, 4
Breakfast with the Easter Bunny PK -3, PK-4, K
Family Fun Day 5, 6, 7, 8
Since we rely heavily on our fundraisers in order to keep tuition fees as low as possible, and many helping hands are needed in order to make these fundraisers a success, in fairness to all, each grade from 1 through 8 has been assigned 3 events, including one dinner/dance of the three held each year. By being notified of your required service early in the year, the intent is that you have plenty of time in order to plan accordingly (mark them on your calendars, arrange babysitters, etc.) The PK-3, PK-4 and K parents have an additional event since three of their assigned events are geared to children in that age group.
The Class Representative Parents will contact the parents in their child’s class regarding planning meetings, etc. for these events. Parents from grades not assigned to a specific event are welcome to volunteer as well, if they wish, especially if they need extra hours because they are unable to serve as lunch parents or student evening event chaperones.
The older student dances throughout the year seem to have lost their popularity as evidenced by poor attendance last year. As a result, a decision has not been made yet whether or not to continue with having those dances or to possibly substitute some of them with other events, such as a movie night or student Bingo. We will keep you posted.
The Class Parent Committee chairpersons will assign responsibilities to the volunteers when they arrive at events. For the protection of all present, it is important that lunch parents as well as event chaperones supervise all students in their group at lunch or those students attending the events, not just their own child or to use the event as an occasion to do their own socializing. This will ensure proper supervision of the children.
Should a family be unable to do lunch duty due to work obligations, they may substitute those hours for an additional event. Likewise, if parents work during the day and cannot assist with their child’s grade assigned daytime fundraiser, please feel free to volunteer for another adult dance besides the one already assigned. That would mean volunteering for 2 or 3 dinner dances.
The only substitution that cannot be made is to not volunteer at the assigned adult dinner dance. Of all our various fundraisers, the adult dances are most profitable. They also happen to be the events where the most assistance is needed. We cannot afford to discontinue those dances. It would be extremely detrimental to our fund raising goals to have to cancel a profitable dance due to lack of help. A decrease in fund raising income would lead to an increase in tuition to compensate for the loss of income and we do not want to be forced to take that option. As a result, once again, any family that does not volunteer for their assigned dinner dance will be charged a fee of $75.00 which would be used to hire additional help for the event. Five service hours would then also be credited to the family’s total. Parents with more than one child in our school who may find themselves assigned to 2 different dances may choose only 1 of the 2. However, if the New Year’s Eve dance happens to be one of the assigned dances, that one may not be the one dropped.
I sincerely hope that you understand why we have adopted these policies and that we will be able to count on your support. Remember that everything we do is for the benefit of your children attending our school.
Welcome back to a new school year here at SSKCA! I hope you and your family enjoyed a restful summer even though it seemed to have flown by too quickly.
There have been a few changes over the summer in our faculty. Our new 7th grade homeroom teacher is Mr. Adrian Casiano, the new gym teacher is Mrs. Claudia Nigro, and our new art teacher is Mrs. Diana Kaminski. We warmly welcome them to our SSKCA family! We also welcome Ms. Enid Rodriguez as our Assistant Principal / Spanish teacher and after school program director. Spanish classes will now be held for all grades, from PK-3 through grade 8.
The Emergency Contact Information card that students received last week needs to be completed and returned ASAP. The forms that are inside the Student Handbook are due on Friday, September 19th. They include the Handbook Compliance Form, Acceptable Use Policy for Computers and the Internet Form, and the Blanket Photo/Video Permission Form. The Home Language Questionnaire that will be going home this week needs to be completed as well. We are required by NYC to keep them on file.
Kindly add to your copy of the school calendar a Faculty Professional Day on Friday, September 26th. School will be closed that day in order for teachers to be trained on a new program made available by the diocese called Renzulli. You will be hearing more information about it after the training. As a result, the faculty meeting scheduled for Wednesday, October 1st is being canceled and will be a full day of school.
Last year, our school was chosen at random by the Department of Health for an immunization audit. Unfortunately, we had too many families who were not in compliance, not because they hadn’t immunized their child but because they never informed us when their child had received additional immunizations after entering school. In an effort to avoid a repeat of such a situation, please be sure to send in a doctor’s note listing all immunizations that your child has received since being admitted to our school, including date and type. We need to be sure that our student health records are always up to date.
If you have any gently used toys or children’s books that you no longer need, our after school program would greatly appreciate all such donations.
We were able to raise enough funds last year to purchase new desks for the kindergarten. As a result, the old desks are available to interested parents for a fee of $20.00 each. A fellow principal told me that many parents in his school wanted to purchase his old desks because their child wanted to do homework at home in a school desk. Should you be interested, kindly stop by to choose the one you would like or send in a note requesting that we hold one for you. Any desks not spoken for will be made available to the guests at the parish picnic on Sunday.
I look forward to seeing you at the Parent Orientation on Monday, September 15th, at 7:00 pm. Also, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the pleasant and moving surprise the faculty and I received at our opening of the new school year Mass last Friday when our pastor announced that the Mass was being concelebrated, per parent request, for the intention of God’s blessings on the faculty and staff. We were very touched and trust that those blessings will enable us all here at SSKCA to have a wonderful year.