***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!
St. Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Academy believes an arts education is an important part of a child’s learning. St. Stans music classes and performances have been led by the talented and energetic, Bozena Konkiel. In addition these regular music classes, St. Stans offers guitar club, dance classes, and choir.
And just in October, the Academy added a violin program for students from K-2nd grade, taught by Wieslawa Zarkowski, a concert violin player. The first lesson took place on October 6th.
We look forward to the student performances!