Principal’s Corner

January 2020

Dear 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 2020 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
  • Registration is currently open for all grades for the 2020-2021 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 31st to take advantage of the discounted registration rate. If you need an additional form or have any questions, please contact the main
  • The Academy was blessed with donations this year towards enhancing our audio system for concerts/plays as well as stage lighting. A big THANK YOU to Mr. Cabrera & the Flood family.
  • 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 students’ hard work on February 13th in the gymnasium. More information to
  • The Academy of Our Lady of Peace will be hosting its 26th Annual Tricky Tray Gala on March 20th at 6PM at The Westin in Morristown. We hope to see all of you there. For any further information please reach out to Ms. McGowan at
  • Lastly, the faculty and staff are hard at work on the re-accreditation process of Middle States Assoc. of Colleges and Schools. Thank you to all of the parents that completed our self-study Parent Survey and your feedback will be used in our improvement The visiting team is scheduled to visit and review our school operations in March 2020.

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 26th at 10 AM, right after our Academy Family Mass at 9 AM. 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.


Mr. Joel A. Castillo, Ed.S

The Academy of Our Lady of Peace Principal

December 2019

Dear Academy Families,

A few weeks ago we began the Advent season and The Academy of Our Lady of Peace is filled with the hope and anticipation of the birth of Jesus! Advent is a season that seems to get lost in our culture. Because the month of December is known as the Christmas season, and is the time we prepare our homes for Christmas, we forget that it is also necessary to prepare our hearts for the amazing miracle of Christ’s birth. One way to prepare our hearts and more fully experience Jesus’ coming is through deepening and growing our relationship with God. At The Academy of Our Lady of Peace, our students continue to nurture their relationship with our Lord this Advent season through prayer services, Masses and by taking part in their daily lessons. I hope you share with us in keeping Christ in Christmas during your Christmas/Advent celebrations at home.

At this moment you are all aware that our Spanish teacher has resigned from her current role effective January 8th.  We wish Mrs. Birkmann the very best in her future endeavors and thank her for the years of service to our school.  Please be aware that this news was new to us as well, and we are currently following up on candidates that will continue to support and teach our students effectively in the Spanish program.

I want to wish all of our Academy families and friends a very joyous and blessed Christmas season and a Happy New Year. We look forward to seeing all of you back in school in the New Year!

Important Dates:
* January 6th – Re-open
* January 17th – Progress Reports go home
* January 20th – No School for students
* January 26th – Catholic Schools Week Open House, 10 a.m. -12:30 p.m.
* January 26th – 31st – Catholic Schools Week
* March 20th – Tricky Tray
Mr. Joel A. Castillo, Ed.S

November 2019

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.”

–Helen Keller

Dear Academy Families,

As students walk into their school every morning, they are reminded that we work hard together to achieve academic greatness; and we will continue doing so throughout the school year and for many years to come. The continuous support of our strong school community leads the faculty, administration and most importantly our students to achieve higher goals every day. We are THANKFUL to have the freedom to learn while being able to practice our faith.

The Academy welcomed potential new families to our Open House with great success a few weeks ago. We have already welcomed two new families from the Fall Open House, with more to come. I invite you all to come and explore our school. As our school family continues to grow, I ask that you share with your family and friends the difference The Academy makes as it continues to enrich more children from so many of our surrounding communities.

The Walk-a-thon was successful this year in raising over eight thousand dollars towards the H.S.A.’s overall fundraising goal for the school which aids us in continuing to provide a competitive tuition rate. As you well know, The Academy’s SCRIP program is an easy way you can give back to your child’s school. Through this no hassle and no cost fundraiser you are able to assist the school by placing orders for gift cards to places you shop at on a regular basis. A percentage of your gift card purchases will be donated back to our school. I encourage you all to register for FREE and to tell all of your family and friends to do the same…I already did :). There is more information about this SCRIP program on our school’s website. Please take a look (

In a few days we will come together with our families and give thanks for all the Lord has given us. Before the hectic schedule of the holiday season is kicked off with Thanksgiving, I want to take this time to THANK YOU all for the many blessings which make The Academy fruitful; students, teachers, staff, parents, volunteers and most importantly, a key uniting factor in our community – our faith. We can always rely on our faith to keep us grounded and focused. I hope during this Thanksgiving season your faith is shared not only with your family and friends, but also with those who struggle day to day.


Dates & Reminders:

November 26th – 12:30 PM Dismissal, no aftercare
November 27th to 29th – No School
December 6th – Report Cards go home, First Friday, 12:30 PM Dismissal
December 10th – Christmas Concert
December 13th – Santa Shop
December 20th – Student Luncheon
December 23rd – January 3rd – Christmas Break, no school

Our Lady of Peace, pray for us.


Mr. Joel A. Castillo, Ed.S


October 2019

“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the Fall.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

Dear Academy Families,

How quickly the first month and a half of school has passed and now we welcome Fall. The
students are settled into their daily school routines and the building is filled with a positive and
nurturing vibe.

The school year has been filled with many exciting activities so far, from a great walk-a-thon to a
wonderful and well attended back to school night. Thank you again to all of you for continuing to
show your support in attending or assisting with Academy events. Our continued success is
largely possible through your efforts. Each day we thank God for His guiding light, which shines
through every individual that is part of our Academy family.

Finally, I would like to encourage you to get involved throughout the year by joining one of the
many H.S.A. committees and activities we have at The Academy. Tonight is our HSA open
meeting at 7 PM in the Parish Hall, where we will answer all of your questions and you get to
learn how to best get involved in the home school association. Please join us!

Important Dates:
* October 23rd – No School for Students, PD Day for Teachers
* October 25th – Progress Reports go home
* October 31st – Halloween Parade 1:15 PM
* November 1st – First Friday, Half Day
* November 8th – COOP Exam for 8th Grade
* November 10th – Open House 10 AM – 12:30 PM

Our Lady of Peace, pray for us.

Mr. Joel A. Castillo, Ed.S