Principal’s Corner

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“Summer is here…Live in the Sunshine of the Lord!”

Dear Academy Families,

Please join me in congratulating our 8th grade graduates as they count their final days as middle school students in The Academy corridors. We also cheer for our Kindergarten graduates as they transition from early childhood into elementary school. The 8th graders have received acceptances into Mount Saint Mary Academy, Union Catholic, Oratory Prep, Union County Magnet school, Academy of St. Elizabeth and Mother Seton High School. We wish all of our graduates continued success.

As we end one school year and begin the process of initiating the 2018-2019 school year, I would like to share with you some new features arriving for the students in the new school year:

  • 2nd grade will initiate a new literacy program with a deep focus on phonemic awareness.
  • Middle school homerooms will become advisories. This will entail having students in the MS in multi-grade groups, just for their advisory sections. The advisory model will assist in growing closer teacher/student relationships, develop leadership roles, and promote a more cooperative model where students gain self-confidence. There will be 5 advisory sections with Mr. Berger, Ms. Church, Mrs. Chapman, Mrs. Frith, and Sra. Birkmann. 8th grade advisory will remain intact with Mr. Berger as they have much to do in applying to high schools and preparing for the events during their final year as an Academy student.
  • Security is always a top priority at our school. The New Providence Police Department made a recommendation that the school make enhancements to our main entrance. Therefore, this summer we will be adding a “man trap” or secured clearance area to our vestibule entrance. This “trap” is essentially a small room designed to trap those who would enter a secure area of a facility and try to do harm.

A reminder that all H.S.A. volunteer hour fees are due to the school by June 7th. Your amount would be the equivalent of the # of uncompleted volunteer hours times $20.

A special THANK YOU to Mrs. Grimm as she retires from our school advisory board after serving for several years. Thank you for your continued dedication to The Academy’s success.

Lastly, I would like to say THANK YOU for choosing to be part of The Academy community. Our success is only possible through the efforts and dedication of our families, faculty and staff. It truly takes a village and what an amazing village we create. Have a blessed summer break and we will see you all in September.

Our Lady of Peace, pray for us.

Sincerely,
Mr. Joel A. Castillo, Ed.S
Principal


“Easter is the time to rejoice and be thankful for the gift of life, love and joy.”
-Anonymous author

March 2018

Dear Academy Families,

As mother nature loosens her frigid grip over us, we enter into Spring and look forward to warmer days filled with hope, renewal and new life during this blessed Easter season and Spring break. The vacation days to follow should allow us all to reset our focus for the last sprint towards the end of the school year.

Our annual Tricky Tray fundraiser was a great success, raising over 40 thousand dollars towards the HSA annual fundraising goal and the overall success of the school. Thank you to all who assisted and a special THANK YOU to our Tricky Tray co-chairs Mrs. Flood and Mrs. Slattery.

As we initiate events towards the end of the school year, I ask that you evaluate your volunteer hours so that you may plan on what events you are able to assist with; Memorial Day parade, Field Day, Country Fair, lunch/recess duty…to name a few. Thank you for your continued support as our success is your success.

During the last month we have been confronted with national tragedies, especially related to schools. I would like to remind you that we are in compliance with any suggestions given to us regarding security from the Archdiocese as well as our local first responders. Also, on April 3rd & 6th the New Providence Police department will be holding a “live” active shooter drill in our school building/property. Please do not be alarmed if you are near the property for any reason. This is an opportunity for our first responders to become familiar with our building and be able to roll out emergency procedures effectively in case of a true emergency.

As many of you are aware, Mrs. Mollo is expecting her first bundle of joy(a boy) and will be going on maternity leave soon. She is training her maternity leave replacement as you read this letter. I am sure you will help me in welcoming Ms. Annabelle Ross as she assists us during the next few months. Also, Ms. Deonna Washington and Mrs. DiSabato have been filling in for our school nurse, Mrs. Miller, as she is recuperating from shoulder surgery over the next few weeks.

I hope everyone has a Blessed Easter and remember “He has Risen, Have faith in Him…and He will always be there for you.”

REMINDERS:
• Easter Break March 30th – April 6th, Half Day March 29th, NO Aftercare

* April 10th – ScreenAgers Movie – Gym doors open at 7:10 PM; movie starts at 7:30 PM
* April 11th – Spring Photos
* April 20th – Mother Son Event
* April 24th – Spring Concert

Our Lady of Peace, pray for us.

Sincerely,

Mr. Joel A. Castillo, Ed.S

Principal


February 2018

“Give something, however small, to the one in need. For it is not small to one who has nothing. Neither is it small to God, if we have given what we could.” -St. Gregory Nazianzen

Dear Academy Families,

As we embrace the season of Lent, The Academy reminds the students during their daily lessons on the importance of reflecting on Jesus’s sacrifice for us. We hope you are all able to join us for our first Friday masses at 11 AM as well as for Stations of the Cross on Fridays at 2 PM in the Church and a special Living Stations of the Cross the evening of Friday, March 23 at 7:30 pm performed by our 7th and 8th grade students. Please be sure to join us.

On March 9th, The Academy’s Home School Association will host its annual Tricky Tray gala at The Westin Governor Morris hotel. The annual success of this event truly reflects the giving nature of our families and community. The funds collected at Tricky Tray directly benefit the educational programs that enrich the mind, body and soul of each Academy child. If you have not yet purchased your tickets to this event and/or contributed in your own way, please do so as soon as you can as the evening of March 9th is fast approaching. I look forward to seeing you there!

As a society and community our prayers have been with the members of the Parkland school tragedy. Some of you might have some questions with regards to our security here at school and I wanted to share some of our procedures. We meet all the security mandates/suggestions set forth by the Archdiocese as well as our local responders. Throughout the year, on a consistent schedule, we have various drills, i.e. lockdown, fire, evacuation, and AED cardiac emergency. Our teachers are well versed with the security protocol as well as the students. We have recently updated our procedures with the suggestions of the New Providence police department. As early as this week, we were asked to be a designated sight for the local first responders to run a “live” drill of a shooter in our building. I have agreed to this as it will reinforce the effectiveness of our first responders so they are as familiar as possible with our school layout in case of an emergency. Students will not be in the building when this takes place. If you have any further questions, my office doors are always open to meet and discuss.

Thank you to all of you that continue to be ambassadors for The Academy. New families continue to tour and enroll in the school every day. Registration is still ongoing and we appreciate you sharing the good news of the Academy’s Advantage within your community. The strong partnership we have ripples into the success of each child. We could not have success without you.

Our Lady of Peace, please pray for us.
Sincerely,
Mr. Joel A. Castillo, ED.S
Principal

Important Reminders:
February 23rd – Tag Day for Students who wore their uniform at Open House
March 2nd – First Friday, 12:30 p.m. Dismissal, End of Trimester 2
March 5th – 9th – IOWA TestingMake sure students arrive on time, have a goodnight sleep, and a hearty breakfast
March 9th – Tricky Tray, The Westin Governor Morris at 6 p.m.

 


January 2018

To All Academy Families,

Welcome back from what I hope was a joyous and relaxing Christmas break for all. As the classrooms of The Academy are buzzing again, we are reminded how blessed we are to be in an environment like ours, where hope and optimism fill the rooms and hallways. Across our great country, Catholic schools will celebrate Catholic Schools Week later this month. This is a great opportunity for The Academy to showcase our school during this Archdiocesan wide celebration of the many advantages of a Blue Ribbon, Catholic education. The Academy has much to be proud of and it is nice to be able to take this opportunity to promote ourselves to our current families and to our prospective families.

◊ Congratulations to our Class of 2018 as they are in the midst of receiving their high school acceptances and making the final decision of which top tier high school they will attend in the Fall of 2018.

◊ Registration is currently open for all grades for the 2018-2019 academic year.  Your family should have received their registration paperwork within the last week.  Please make sure to submit both forms and all fees before January 31 to take advantage of the discounted registration rate.  If you need an additional form or have any questions, please contact the main office.

◊ The Academy technology fee has assisted in supplying the school/students with tools to aid in their academic success:

  •   New and more powerful WiFi access points throughout the building
  •  L4U Library Software upgrade
  • New Untangle Firewall Software for 150 devices
  • 32 HP ChromeBooks with ChromeOS licenses
  • 32 port charging cart for our ChromeBooks
  • Document Camera
  • SMART Board 6065 interactive flat panel for Kindergarten classroom
  • 10 Kyocera color and black/white printers throughout the building
  • New Brother Printer for Library use
  • New 2 – 1GB switches in the computer lab
  • New Infocus Projector in Middle School Math room
  • New backup battery supply for the servers and switches

◊ The Academy will be one of the selected schools by the Archdiocese of Newark to take part in the Annual STEM Expo this academic year.  We welcome all of you to view the student’s hard work on February 15th.  More information to follow.

◊ The Academy of Our Lady of Peace will be hosting its Annual Tricky Tray Gala on March 9th at 6PM at The Westin in Morristown.  We hope to see all of you there.  For any further information please reach out to Mrs. Flood at kerry@npfloods.com  

As we plan our activities for Catholic Schools Week, I hope and know we can count on you to be a part of them. The Book Fair begins on Sunday, January 28th at 10am, right after our Academy Family Mass at 9am.  The Academy Family Mass will be the opening event for the week’s celebration. I encourage every family to attend this Mass with your school children dressed in winter uniform to showcase our school pride. We will have a reception in the gym following the Mass for all Academy families and prospective families as well. More details on our Catholic Schools Week events will be available soon.

 Happy New Year and if you have any questions please contact me at the school’s office.

 Sincerely,

 Mr. Joel A. Castillo, Ed.S

The Academy of Our Lady of Peace

Principal