The Office of the Superintendent has provided our academies with the following information.
Saint Thomas Aquinas Distance Learning Catholic Academy
Frequently Asked Questions
How will my student access remote learning materials? Will Saint Thomas
Aquinas Distance Learning Catholic Academy students be provided with devices?
Every Saint Thomas Aquinas Distance Learning Catholic Academy will receive the
necessary tools and materials, including either an iPad, or a Chrome book for remote
learning. In order to keep students connected and be able to meet instructional
requirements when learning remotely, every student will also have access to Google
Classroom, and other apps.
How will my child grow as a Catholic Christian at Saint Thomas Aquinas
Distance Learning Catholic Academy?
St. Thomas Aquinas believed that each child is created in the image and likeness of God,
and the school community shares in the responsibility to help all students develop their
God-given talents, to the best of their ability. Students will take an active role in
understanding and participating in their faith formation. Catholic Christian doctrine
will be taught through meaningful lessons and activities, integrated through rich
multimedia, relevant and connected to the student’s life.
Can my child begin at Saint Thomas Aquinas Distance Learning Catholic
Academy in September, and return to their home school anytime during the school
The intent for all students enrolled in Saint Thomas Aquinas Distance Learning Catholic
Academy is to complete the entire 2020-2021 school year. Parents may choose to return
to their home school upon the completion of the first trimester, subject to seat
availability in the home school.
Who will be my child’s teacher at Saint Thomas Aquinas Distance Learning
Catholic Academy? Will my child be taught by a teacher from his/her home
All classes will be taught by teachers, specifically chosen to be part of this distance
learning Catholic academy. Within the Diocese of Brooklyn there are high-quality
teachers minitsering throughout all the Catholic Academies and Parish Schools in
Brooklyn and Queens. Parents and students can expect the same caliber of teacher, with
Will my children know any of the other students enrolled in Saint Thomas
Aquinas Distance Learning Catholic Academy?
While creating class sections, the school administration will make every effort to have
same grade level children from a particular home school be placed together.
Does my child have to wear a Saint Thomas Aquinas Distance Learning Catholic
Academy school uniform?
Students will not be expected to purchase a Saint Thomas Aquinas Distance Learning
Catholic Academy school uniform, however when classes are in session, students will be
expected to wear their home school’ s uniform.
Will my child be learning the same curriculum as his/her classmates in their home
All students attending Saint Thomas Aquinas Distance Learning Catholic Academy will
have courses aligned to the New York Learning Standards. The instructional plan is to
provide each student with access to the Savvas Realize digital instructional platform.
Students will have access to the most up-to-date instructional materials, including
digital versions of Reading Street, Elevate Science, enVision Mathematics, My World
Interactive Social Studies series, and My Perspectives Reading and Writing series.
Will my child be using the same books as his classmates at his home school?
Instructional materials used throughout all Catholic Academies and Parish Schools are
aligned to the New York Learning Standards. Many of the schools within the Diocese
use Pearson/Savvas products. All products being used at Saint Thomas Aquinas
Distance Learning Catholic Academy will be the most up-to-date digital versions.
How will I be able to contact my child’s teacher, if I have questions?
Saint Thomas Aquinas Distance Learning Catholic Academy will establish protocols to
communicate with families, including, but not limited to teacher emails, Microsoft
Teams and Zoom meetings, and other tools.
How will Saint Thomas Aquinas Distance Learning Catholic Academy share
learning experiences with families?
Saint Thomas Aquinas Distance Learning Catholic Academy will use a multi-pronged
approach to help families engage with learning. Teachers will post assignments in
Google Classroom and meet with students via Google Meet. Additionally, teachers may
have synchronous online office hours where learners and parents can meet and discuss
the learning units of study, which have been developed. Also, the teachers and school
leader will respond to all emails from students and parents as soon as possible, within a
maximum 24-hour timeframe.
What will be Saint Thomas Aquinas Distance Learning Catholic Academy’s
Your child will be assessed continuously and will receive progress reports and report
cards. Detailed information about the grading policies will be provided, when the
school year begins.
How can I support my child’s learning if we have multiple children at home?
Creating schedules and having quiet places for study will help, when multiple children
are attempting their schoolwork each day.
How will I know that my child is staying on track with his/her learning?
There will be many ways in which Saint Thomas Aquinas Distance Learning Catholic
Academy teachers will be involved in monitoring the progress of students and sharing
this information with families. Your child’s teacher will provide feedback through
various digital platforms and will be available to students and their families during
designated office hours.
What if my child has an IEP or receives Special Education services?
Saint Thomas Aquinas Distance Learning Catholic Academy is currently investigating
all possible service delivery methods to provide Special Education supports and
services. Student’s Individual Education Plans will be carefully reviewed, and services
will be based on an individual student need basis.
How will my child’s attendance be taken and recorded?
Attendance recording will occur through a child’s daily meetings and interactions with
their teachers. Attendance data will be monitored, to ensure that students are engaged in
their learning and to follow up with families where there are concerns.
My child is a high performing student, how will he/she be challenged, have his/her
Saint Thomas Aquinas Distance Learning Catholic Academy will be adopting the
adaptive learning system, iReady. Through periodic assessments, the iReady learning
system will develop individualized student learning plans to support student
My child will be entering the 8th grade, will the high school application process be
coordinated by Saint Thomas Aquinas Distance Learning Catholic Academy?
Saint Thomas Aquinas Distance Learning Catholic Academy is a full-service educational
program. Teachers will be responsible for the coordination of the high school
articulation process and will communicate with the home school for any needed student
data/records retrieval purposes.
There will be on-going communication between Saint Thomas Aquinas Distance
Learning Catholic Academy and the home school, throughout the entire high school
Superintendent of Schools Thomas Chadzutko, Ed. D., has announced that 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.
“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.