Academy Happenings – Oct. 21, 2016

Thank You… Divine Wisdom will be presented with the 2016 Mission Incentive Award for Queens on Sunday, 23 October. This award is given to schools and CCD programs who give consistently to missions, while not necessarily being the highest donation. Academy families are always very generous, continually willing to give to a worthy cause!!! Special acknowledgment and thanks to Academy faculty member, Mrs. Patti VanBuskirk for serving as the Mission Coordinator for over 10 years!!!!!

Halloween Dance 2016… The Academy is looking for volunteers to decorate Father Smith Hall for the Friday, October 28th Middle School Halloween Dance.  If you are interested in helping create a festive event for our students, please sign up on Sign Up Genius.  The hours will be 2pm to 5pm on Friday, October 28th. The hours will count towards your volunteer hour commitment. Sign Up Genius will open at 5pm on Sunday, October 23rd.

Volunteer Hour Sign-Up… The Academy is continuing to streamline the process of signing up for volunteer hours with Sign Up Genius.  The goal is to ensure that all families have an equal opportunity to register for all fundraisers, since the e-mail blast goes out simultaneously to all families. We are no longer reliant on the students to carry information back and forth, and it has also helped tremendously in our ability to be a “Green Community.”

You can go to Sign Up Genius any time to see all available volunteer opportunities.  In addition, every time a new event is added, an e-mail blast through our Option C system will be sent.

Halloween 2016… Halloween falls on Monday, 31 October. Students in Nursery through Grade 4 can wear a Halloween costume to school, as long as all masks and peripheral items (such as swords, guns, wands, etc…) are kept at home. Please no face painting as well. Students in grades five and six have a “dress down,” as long as they keep in the Halloween colors (black, orange, purple etc…); 7th and 8th graders can dress in any appropriate attire.

It is also tradition at Divine Wisdom, weather permitting, that our lower grade students (up through grade 4) participate in the Academy’s Halloween parade. This fun event will take place at 10:00am, in Douglaston, and 1:30pm, in Bayside, with our youngest students leading the way (Nursery in Douglaston and Pre-Kindergarten in Bayside). Families and friends are welcome to attend, and parade along with the students…

Trimester 1 Progress Reports… Progress reports will be mailed out by the end of next week. Reporting student progress occurs throughout the year and takes numerous forms. The purpose of the progress report is to enable family and student to understand the student’s achievement at various times throughout the year and know what is required for future progress. All children in grades Kindergarten through sixth will be receiving Progress Reports; while children in grades seven and eight in danger of failing a particular course, not working to full potential, or who are making great strides will receive one.

A “Fun” Fundraiser… Who doesn’t like to shop???? Looking to get a head start on Christmas shopping and support the Academy in the process?  For $5 you may purchase a savings pass good for discounts on Saturday, October 29 as part of the Lord & Taylor “Shop Smart Do Good” charity event.  The event will take place at the Lord & Taylor store on Northern Boulevard in Manhasset. There are only 200 passes available for purchase so be sure to take advantage of this opportunity.  Please see the attached flyer for further information.

Academy Happenings – Oct. 14, 2016

Attention Grade 7 Parents… As was discussed during High School Night 2016, it is strongly recommended that families begin the high school selection process in the 7th grade. Saturday and Sunday, 15-16 October are important days for many of the Catholic High Schools in Queens. Open Houses have been scheduled at almost all of the high schools Academy students choose to attend. All pertinent information can be found on each of the high schools’ websites.

best-of-the-boroDivine Wisdom Catholic Academy has once again been nominated for BEST OF THE BORO CATHOLIC AND PRIVATE SCHOOL CATEGORIES!!!!!

The Divine Wisdom community is humbled to be nominated a second year in the coveted BEST OF THE BORO KIDS AND EDUCATION: CATHOLIC and PRIVATE schools division.

If you would like to show your support, please cast your vote for Divine Wisdom at:

Voting will take place through midnight on 21 October 2016.

Coffee and Conversation—Douglaston campus… In an attempt to bring Academy conversation to the “grass roots” level, it has been decided to hold Coffee and Conversation at both conversations, facilitated by the building principal at each site. The Bayside campus held their first gathering last week, and the Douglaston community will be meeting on Thursday, 20 October 2016, at 9:30am, Father Smith Hall. Please join us for a bagel, a cup of coffee and good conversation!!!!!!

It’s Not Too Late…. If you haven’t signed up your child for Band/music lessons, you still have time. There is limited space available for students interested in learning how to play an instrument, or to continue lessons which might have begun last school year. This is an excellent opportunity for our younger students especially. Details can be found on the website or at each Academy administrative office.

The 300 Club Fundraiser… Divine Wisdom Catholic Academy is hosting its annual 300 Club (reverse raffle) on Friday evening November 4th in Father Smith Hall (Douglaston Campus).  This is a fun evening filled with great food from Il Toscano, musical entertainment, and a chance to win the grand prize of $10,000 by purchasing a box for $100. You may choose to purchase a box on your own or share a box with one or more friends. You do not have to be present to win, but if you are looking for a great night out, tickets for the event can be purchased for $30 per person.  Please see the attached flyer for further details.

Halloween 2016 Events, Save the Dates… This year there will be two Halloween celebrations, serving both Academy campuses. On Friday, 28 October 2016, a middle school Halloween dance has been planned for students in grades 5 through 8. This event will be taking place in Father Smith Hall, Douglaston campus. For our younger students, Pre-K through Grade 4, the Haunted Academy Halloween party will take place on Saturday, 29 October 2016, in the school hall, at the Bayside campus. Flyers for both events are attached to this correspondence.

Academy Happenings – Oct. 7, 2016

Terra Nova Assessment Administration… Beginning October 11th, and going through October 17th, the Terra Nova assessment series will be administered to students in grades three through eight. This assessment series is administered to all students attending Catholic elementary schools in the Diocese of Brooklyn. The Terra Nova is designed to measure concepts, processes, and objectives taught throughout the nation. Terra Nova results are used to: analyze strengths and weaknesses of a student’s achievement in each content area; plan for further instruction; plan for curriculum development; and to report progress to parents. Historically the school receives the test data during mid-November, with families receiving their child’s results before the first trimester report card meetings.

There is no particular preparation required of the students for these tests. It is important that home and school work together in order to promote a positive assessment experience. Parents should see that their children get plenty of rest each night, eat a nutritious breakfast each morning, and be in school on time. Students should have at least THREE sharpened #2 pencils each day.

Dismissal in Douglaston… There is nothing nicer, or more pleasing to the ear than children’s laughter… It is wonderful that many of our children stay around after dismissal to play and hang out with their classmates in the schoolyard. We ask that the parents waiting for their children adhere to the Academy’s request to move their cars out of the schoolyard by 3:15pm. Feel free to stay around, but the school yard gates will be closing promptly at 3:15pm.

School Uniform… The optional spring/fall uniform is to be put away until 1 April 2017. Effective Tuesday, 11 October 2016, all students are to be in full school uniform. Specific details on grade level uniform requirements can be found in the Academy’s family handbook. Please note, boys and girls are to wear black shoes. A black sneaker-type shoe is acceptable, as long as it is solid black, with a black sole. Uggs or other types of boots are not allowed to be worn during the day in school, other than on a dress down day. If the weather requires the wearing of boots, a separate pair of shoes should be brought to change into, once in the building.

Until 1 April 2017, students participating in physical education class are to wear the Academy approved sweatshirt, sweatpants, t-shirt, or optional Academy jogging suit. If a child wants to participate in gym in shorts, h/she must wear them under sweatpants or jogging pants.

Please note, by choosing to attend Divine Wisdom Catholic Academy, you are agreeing to wear the full school uniform.

An Easy Fundraiser… Beginning 7 October 2016, Divine Wisdom has the opportunity to participate in and earn CASH from A+ School Rewards, a great fundraising program run through your local Stop & Shop! A letter with the details is included with this correspondence.

Halloween 2016 Events, Save the Dates… This year there will be two Halloween celebrations, serving both Academy campuses. On Friday, 28 October 2016, a middle school Halloween dance has been planned for students in grades 5 through 8. This event will be taking place in Father Smith Hall, Douglaston campus. For our younger students, Pre-K through Grade 4, the Haunted Academy Halloween party will take place on Saturday, 29 October 2016, in the school hall, at the Bayside campus. Details for both events will be sent out next week.

Academy Happenings – Sept. 30, 2016

High School Information Night… Join the Middle School Team as they share details of the High School process, and the many choices a student has when deciding on the right high school fit. The gathering will take place on Tuesday, 4 October 2016, 7pm, in Father Smith Hall, at the Douglaston campus.

Friday, 7 October 2016… Just a reminder, Friday, 7 October 2016, is a 12n dismissal for students in Kindergarten through Grade 8. Nursery and Pre-K have a regular school day with their regular dismissal time.

Students at the Bayside campus will be attending 9am liturgy in Saint Robert Bellarmine Church; while the Douglaston campus students will attend 10:45am mass in Saint Anastasia Church. All are welcome to join us at these liturgical celebrations…

Unlabeled Lost Belongings… It is starting to happen already this school year, students are leaving their personal belongings all over the place. Every day at various times, and in various places we find sweaters, fleeces, lunch boxes and a whole host of other items. If the item is labeled, the lost belonging finds its way back to its owner; however, many times the article does not have a name in it and is placed in the lost and found box.

One of the Academy family members is an agent for Oliver’s Labels ( Oliver Labels is a family run business, developed as a necessity to ensure that kids’ belongings make it back home with them and not to the “Lost and Found.”

However you plan to do it, please, please make sure all of your children’s belongings are labeled…

Lunchtime Recess/Outside Play… Research suggests that play and down time may be as important to a child’s academic experience as reading, science and math, and that regular recess time can influence behavior, concentration and even grades. That said, it is our intention to give Divine Wisdom students the opportunity to go outside throughout the school year. Please know that the policy as we move forward is to have outside lunchtime play daily, as long as it is not raining, and outside temperature is not less than 33 degrees. This week the weather began to turn cooler and many students went outside in short sleeves. Please make sure your children dress weather appropriate.

Rosary Rally 2016… Catholics, in our theology and personal devotions, put a great deal of emphasis on the role and importance of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Very often, our Christian brothers and sisters who belong to other communities do not understand–or strongly disagree with– this devotion. As Catholics, however, we believe that Mary is completely unique in the story of salvation. She was chosen by God to be the Mother of the Savior and because of this; we honor Her and ask for Her prayers through devotions like the Holy Rosary.

Bishop DiMarzio has once again asked that we join with other dioceses throughout the country by scheduling a school-wide Rosary Rally. At the Bayside campus, the Rosary Rally will take place on Tuesday, 4 October 2016, at 1pm, in Saint Robert Bellarmine Church and on Thursday, 13 October 2016, at the Douglaston campus at 1pm, in Saint Anastasia Church. Students in grades two through eight will be participating in this very special service. I am writing to cordially invite family members to join and pray with us.

Douglaston Campus Class Captain Meeting… Just a reminder that this year’s initial Class Captain Meeting for all Class Captains at the Douglaston campus is scheduled for Thursday, 6 October 2016, at 7pm, Father Smith Hall.

Academy Happenings – Sept. 23, 2016

Virtus Training… A VIRTUS training session is being sponsored by Saint Robert Bellarmine Parish, and will take place in Saint Robert Bellarmine Church, tomorrow, Saturday, 24 September 2016, beginning promptly at 10:00am. The session will last three hours. Any adult who has contact with children must be VIRTUS trained. This applies to fundraising activities, which involve contact with children, as well as going on class trips or functioning as Class Captains.

I strongly encourage all new families to go to to sign up for this session, to ensure you are not excluded from any activities going forward. If you need to be VIRTUS trained and cannot make tomorrow’s session, others are held monthly at other locations throughout Queens. You may attend any VIRTUS program, however, this is the only opportunity that will exist at the Academy during this school year.

After School Enrichment Programs… Drama, Bricks 4 Kids, Mad Science, will be starting next week. If you haven’t signed your child up, it is not too late. All information can be found on- line on the Academy’s website. Any questions, feel free to contact Debbie Fasciana, at 1.718.631.3153, at the Douglaston campus, or Vita Campanella, 718.225.8795, at the Bayside campus.

Morning Drop-off… At the Bayside campus, please be reminded that the yellow-lined area, in front of the school yard is a no parking zone. Families are to drop their children off and continue on. If you plan to walk your child into the building you must park your car outside of the yellow-lined area. Parking is also not permitted in the school yard. The Academy opens its doors at 7am for early morning drop-off. The school day begins promptly at 8am, with all students expected to be in their homerooms at that time.

At the Douglaston campus, please do not drop off students on the opposite side of the street and have them cross over. As we approach entry time, it becomes very dangerous having student cross, with cars driving around the schools buses, and buses pulling out… It is much safer to either park in the designated parking area, or make the U-turn and drop off directly in front of the entrance to Father Smith Hall.

Parents are to drop their children off in Father Smith Hall, Douglaston campus and in the school hall, at the Bayside up to 7:55am. Children are not to be dropped off/brought to Pre-K and Kindergarten classrooms until 7:50am, the earliest.

By this time of the school year, in the early grades, (Pre-K through Grade 2), it is important to drop your child off and leave. Lingering, and watching through the window can create some anxiety for the child still having separation issues. Trust us, it takes just a few minutes for your child to become engaged in a conversation, or an activity and everything is fine…

Art Smocks… If you have not done so, please make sure to pack an old shirt, or some type of cover-up for your child to wear while in Art class. The kids are actively engaged working with many different types of paints and other artistic media. We would hate to see them ruin their uniform!!!!

Academy Happenings – Sept. 16, 2016

Dear Academy Parents,

What a great first full week of class!!!! Kids and teachers are settling in, summer is a distant memory…

As we move forward, a few reminders as we move into the next week:

  • Catechetical SundaySunday, 18 September 2016 is when those designated to serve as catechists are called forth to be commissioned for their ministry. Catechetical Sunday is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the role that each person plays, by virtue of Baptism, in passing on the faith and being a witness to the Gospel.

All are welcome to join the Divine Wisdom Douglaston campus faculty and Saint Anastasia Religious Education faculty at 10am for this very special liturgy, at Saint Anastasia Church; and the Bayside campus and the Saint Robert Bellarmine Religious Education faculty during 10:45am mass, at Saint Robert Bellarmine Church.

  • Back to School NightMonday, 19 September at the Douglaston campus, and Tuesday, 20 September 2016, at the Bayside campus.   This will be an opportunity for you to meet your child’s teachers and the world your child inhabits every day. It is one of the best ways to begin to build that all-important home-school connection. The meeting agenda is enclosed with this correspondence.
  • Special Lunches… The Academy’s special lunch program will begin on Monday, 19 September. Please note, there will be no opportunity to buy a special lunch, if you have not subscribed to the package. Unfortunately there is just enough food being ordered to accommodate those who have pre-purchased the meals…
  • Picture Day 2016… On 21 September 2016, the students in the Douglaston campus will be having their individual pictures taken. Envelopes to purchase a package through Lifetouch were sent home via backpack on Friday. Group photos will be taken on Friday, 23 September. The students at the Bayside campus will be taking their group photographs first, on 28 September; and individual shots will be taken on 30 September. Details will follow…
  • Band and Enrichment Programs… Please note that all after school enrichment programs will be starting up shortly. The band paperwork was distributed after the Paul Effman presentations at both campuses on Monday. The rest of the enrichment offerings can be found on the Academy website, at the top of the banner, under the “More” section.
  • Carnival 2016… Beginning on Thursday, 22 September, and running through Sunday evening, 25 September 2016, Divine Wisdom is hosting its annual fall Carnival. Come and join in on the fun; rides, games, vendors and attractions and food. $25.00 Pay One Price bracelets available on Thursday and Sunday!!!!


Academy Happenings – Sept. 9, 2016

Our opening week for students in Pre-Kindergarten through eight went off smoothly, without a hitch. It was wonderful to see all the beautiful faces, smiling brightly, greeting each other so warmly. We look forward to welcoming our Nursery friends, as they begin on Monday, 12 September 2016.

As a reminder, Monday begins the first week of full days of school. Please remember when you are dropping off, or picking up to adhere to the parking protocols at both campuses. Please do not park in the bus stop area, double park, or park on the wrong side of the street. The safety of the Academy children is our top priority!!!!!

Please also remember to pack lunch for your child(ren) in Kindergarten through Grade 8, this upcoming week, 12-16 September 2016. Your child received a lunch order form today for the first round of lunches for the 2016-17 school year. Orders must be received in the Academy office by Tuesday, 13 September, if you wish to take part in the first 6 week round. The first cycle goes from 19 September until 31 October 2016.  All food must be pre-ordered, so we cannot accept late orders, and food cannot be purchased on the day of the sale.

Divine Wisdom is planning once again to use this website as our primary communication tool this school yearKey dates, forms, announcements, and all future communication will be on the website, and important e-mail blasts will be sent regularly to all families.

As in previous years, we have assembled a folder, located on the top of the front page of the Academy website, titled Opening of School 2016-17, with notices and information pertinent to the start of a new school year. The folder contents are our way of keeping everyone “in the loop.” Please review all materials included and return those items, which ask for information. Many of the items were to be handed in on Friday, 9 September. If you haven’t already down so, please read, download what needs to be brought in and have your child return to his/her homeroom teacher.

Students also received a copy of the Family Contact Information Sheet. It is an extremely important information sheet, which needs to be filled for each and every child attending Divine Wisdom!!!!!

If fall is approaching we know that the carnival is fast approaching… The Academy is once again using Sign-up Genius to register for volunteer hours.  Families with children in full-day Nursery, or in Kindergarten through Grade 8 are required to complete 15 hours. Families with students only in half-day Nursery programs must complete 7 hours of volunteer service. Get an early start on your service hours. On Monday, 12 September, at 5pm, Sign-up Genius will open for fall carnival hours and fall lunch duty in each campus. You can access Sign-up Genius from the Academy home page.

On a somber note, the Bayside Hills Civic Association is honoring the victims of 9-11 at its annual candlelight vigil on September 11th 2016, at the Bayside Hills 9/11 Memorial Garden, located at Bell Boulevard and the Horace Harding Expressway. Divine Wisdom has once again been invited to join the community in honoring of the victims.  We hope you could join the community at this special vigil, and ask that all students planning to attend wear their school uniform and arrive by 6:45pm, so that we can line up.

As always, please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have an issue or question. We are only a phone call, or email away.


Michael A. LaForgia,

Supervising Principal