My closing letter for the year begins on a bittersweet note, as I am proud to announce the following news, but also sad to see this incredible leader go!
OLCA Assistant Principal Jennifer Hernandez Halbert
Named Principal of Saint Leo Catholic Academy (Corona, Queens)
Mrs. Halbert enters her new ministry with exceptional preparation and unlimited talent. She has been a foundational element of strength since OLCA opened its doors in 2009, first as a teacher and then, for the past two years, as Assistant Principal. She is a Catholic woman of integrity, faith, and dedication, with a work ethic that is exceeded only by her commitment to and compassion for the children in her care. I thank her for her seven years of dedicated service to Our Lady’s Catholic Academy, and I ask you to join me in prayerful support as she begins her service at Saint Leo Catholic Academy. They are blessed to have her.
OLCA Registration & Scholarships
Space is now limited for many classrooms next year, particularly the incoming Kindergarten and First Grade at 128, and the incoming Kindergarten, First Grade, Second Grade, Third Grade, and Fourth Grade at Rockaway Boulevard. Please register as soon as you can if you are planning to come back. I will happily add additional sections of these grades, but to do so, I need firm numbers as soon as possible. I would be so disappointed to not have a seat for a returning OLCA student! Also, please remember to apply for the scholarship at mytads.com . So far, OLCA students have received more than $136,000 in scholarships for next year!
You can apply for the scholarship here: Futures in Education.
Supply Lists & Summer Packets
Included with this letter are your child’s supply lists (N-8) and summer packets (K-8.) As always, we will upload digital copies on the class pages once school is no longer in session, and additional paper copies are available all summer at the Rockaway Boulevard office (Summer Brainstorm runs from 8 AM – 4 PM from July 5 – August 12), and during office hours at the 128th Street Campus.
Summer Office Hours
Both offices will be closed on Friday, June 24 and Friday, July 1.
Both offices will be open Monday, June 27 – Thursday June 30 from 9 AM – 12 PM.
The Rockaway Boulevard office will reopen on Tuesday, July 5 and will remain open through Friday, August 12 (9 AM -12 PM.)
Both offices will be closed from Monday, August 15 – Friday, August 19.
Both offices will be open Monday, August 22 – Thursday, August 25 from 9 AM – 12 PM.
Both offices will be open Monday, August 28 – Thursday, August 31: 9 AM – 12 PM and 5 PM – 7 PM.
For the seventh year, I have the privilege of thanking you for allowing me to serve such a richly diverse, spiritual learning community. I thank God for all of you every day, and look forward to seeing all of you again in September.
Sincerely in Christ,
Kevin John Coyne
In an effort to improve school practices, Our Lady’s Catholic Academy is conducting a Parent Survey.
We value your opinion and ask that you take the time to complete this survey.
In order to complete the survey, please go to:
Please be assured that your responses to this survey will be anonymous.
Your honest opinion is appreciated. Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.
A Celebration of Dana McCann
OLCA Teacher (2012-2016)
OLCA Curriculum Director (2014-2016)
Principal of Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Academy (2016-)
Today, we gather to celebrate an extraordinary leader and teacher, a woman of faith, compassion, and integrity: Ms. Dana McCann, who departs us in June to become the new Principal of Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Academy in Forest Hills, Queens.
I first met Dana McCann in the Spring of 2012, as Our Lady’s Catholic Academy prepared its expansion to include the community of Saint Teresa of Avila Parish School. I vividly remember the first time I walked into her classroom. I was quickly overwhelmed by the creative decorations, collaborative learning, and confident students that surrounded me, all the result of the dedicated teacher standing in front of me. In an instant, I knew what would be proven to me over and over again: that the children in the care of Dana McCann would be limitless in their potential and peerless in their academic achievement.
As time went on, I came to learn that her gifts extended far beyond instruction and lesson planning. Ms. McCann’s classrooms were always welcoming and calm, places where students could breathe out, find a sympathetic ear, and always hear that whisper of encouragement, saying, “You can do this. I believe in you,” always followed soon by, “You did it! I am proud of you!”
Ms. McCann’s students have always flourished because she believed in them, often before many of them believed in themselves. The only person in her classroom that she never thought was good enough, that she always demanded more from, and was never satisfied with, was herself. That’s the hallmark of an extraordinary teacher, one who always sees herself as the variable, and never stops asking the question, “What can I do to help my students do better?”
When the Board of Directors created the Curriculum Leadership Team position, there was no hesitation over the person best suited to fill it. Turning to Ms. McCann to do even more for Our Lady’s Catholic Academy, when she already did so much, was a challenge to her, and one that she met with flying colors.
Her transformational leadership as a classroom teacher carried over to her new role as Curriculum Director, only now her impact was no longer limited to within the walls of her classroom. Every single teacher at Our Lady’s Catholic Academy is a better teacher today than they were two years ago, all because of Ms. McCann’s high standards, strong guidance, and endless support. I’m a better principal, too, just because of what I have learned from watching her and listening to her
The sadness that I have in watching Ms. McCann leave Our Lady’s Catholic Academy is comforted by the knowledge that the learning community of Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Academy will be the beneficiary of her remarkable talents. Ms. McCann knows that God gives us our talents as a gift, and that we praise God by using our gifts well. Ms. McCann has done God’s work at Our Lady’s Catholic Academy, and she will continue to do so in her new ministry. I am so proud that as she moves into the future, she will always be associated with OLCA. It is the hallmark of time well spent when you leave a community that will miss you and wonder how they will ever make it without you. I am eternally grateful for Ms. McCann’s service at OLCA and I hope you will join me in thanking her for that time well spent, and will lift her up with your prayers and well wishes as she begins a new chapter of ministry, leadership, and service in Catholic Education.
Sincerely in Christ,
Kevin John Coyne
I am happy to share with you some updates and new announcements!
OLCA Carnival – Three Free Tickets for All Students
Saturday, June 4 – 12 PM – 6 PM (128th Street Campus Yard)
The bad news is that with thunderstorms forecast for tomorrow, we had to cancel the preview day for the OLCA Carnival that was originally scheduled. The GOOD news is that we are still honoring our plan to give each and every OLCA student three free tickets! When arriving at the OLCA Carnival, please report to the ticket booth, where you and your child can pick up their free tickets. We will have a staff member prepared with class lists, and remember, that’s three tickets per child, not per family. So if you have more than one child, each and every one of them will get three tickets!
The forecast for Saturday is beautiful, and it will be a perfect day for bumper cars, cotton candy, and a whole slew of other attractions. I can’t wait to see all of you there! Thanks again to our Home Academy Association for organizing this event!
OLCA Voter Registration Drive
Monday, June 6 – Friday, June 10
OLCA has partnered with the Diocese of Brooklyn and De Sales Media for a nonpartisan voter registration drive! If you haven’t registered to vote, you will have an opportunity to do so at OLCA next week! The school/academy that registers the most voters gets free Mets tickets. Now, we have more students than any other school, so we have no excuse for not winning this prize! But the real reward is full participation in our government and the selection of our leaders in November. Let’s show everyone that Catholic School parents are involved and that they vote!
OLCA Accreditation Process
& Parent Survey
Finally, OLCA will go through the accreditation process next year, an important step in earning our permanent school charter from New York State. It is crucial that we survey all of our stakeholders about what they like about OLCA and what they would like to see improved. This survey will go online next week. I will send a reminder to all parents at that time. We are required to have at least 40% of our parents participate, but you know us: we want 100% participation! And don’t worry about being too critical. We want OLCA to be a better school each and every year, and your feedback is important for our goal of making that happen.
Finally, we have extended the OLCA Raffle Drawing to Monday, June 13. We will draw the winners on that date and announce them on the website. Have a wonderful rest of the week, and I will see you at the OLCA Carnival on Saturday!
Sincerely in Christ,
Kevin John Coyne
As we enter the Memorial Day weekend, our school year is rapidly coming to a close. Here are a few more updates:
Make-a-Wish Foundation Fundraisers
Today’s Dress Down will benefit the Make-a-Wish Foundation, thanks to the leadership of a fifth grade student at OLCA, who also organized a bake sale at the RB campus. Additionally, one of our teachers is hosting a Pampered Chef fundraiser to benefit this cause. You can participate in this fundraiser by visiting this link:
June Fundraiser for St. Teresa of Avila-St. Anthony of Padua Parish
Our month long dress down to benefit our parish has once again demonstrated the generosity of our pastor, Rev. Richard Conlon. Father Conlon is using some of the funds we are raising to fix the pavement and refinish the doors at the 128th Street Campus. This follows his investment in repairing the main office and two classrooms at the Rockaway Boulevard Campus. Please join me in expressing my gratitude for Father Conlon’s unwavering commitment to Catholic Education in South Ozone Park.
First Annual OLCA Carnival: Saturday, June 4
After successfully organizing our first Intramural Sports Day, our Home Academy Association is now sponsoring OLCA’s first outdoor carnival! Please join us at the 128th Street Campus on Saturday, June 4 from 12 PM – 6 PM. There will be many rides, games, and sweet treats to enjoy. We will host a special preview of the Carnival on Friday, June 3 for students only during the school day. While they may purchase additional tickets, every single student will receive three free tickets on that day, so every child gets a chance to participate.
OLCA Curriculum Director Dana McCann
Named Principal of Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Academy
Finally, it is with great pride that I announce that our Curriculum Director and seventh grade teacher, Ms. Dana McCann, has been named Principal of Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Academy in Forest Hills, Queens. Ms. McCann’s extraordinary service and talents have prepared her well for this new endeavor. I know that she will bring the same transformational leadership to Our Lady of Mercy that she has demonstrated time and time again during her four years at Our Lady’s Catholic Academy and three years at Saint Teresa of Avila School. Please join me in congratulating her as she begins her new journey.
Sincerely in Christ,
Kevin John Coyne
As we begin the month of May, we are preparing for so many things in the OLCA community. You’ve already received the calendars for May and June. This newsletter goes into greater detail about upcoming events, along with announcing additions and adjustments since the calendars were published!
Ascension Thursday Liturgical Celebration
10 AM – Saint Anthony Church
Grades 5-8 (Both Campuses)
I am happy to announce that will celebrate Mass this Thursday at Saint Anthony Church. Parents are welcome. Because it is a day of liturgical celebration, all students may dress up for free! Yellow buses have been arranged for both campuses for transportation to Saint Anthony Church.
Home Academy Association Parent Meetings
Monday, May 9 – 6:30 PM (RB)
Tuesday, May 10 – 6:30 PM (128 St.)
In September, we are launching a Home Academy Association for the first time. This organization reports to and advises the principal on matters of concern among the parent community. Leadership for the HAA has been identified, and they are looking forward to meeting parents that are interested in participating in this organization.
Please join us at either of the two meetings that have been scheduled. You can attend a meeting at either campus, regardless of where your children are enrolled, because we are one academy with one HAA. Refreshments will be served!
Family Fun Night
Friday, May 13
6 PM (RB Campus)
PDHP is hosting a free family night at the RB campus that is open to families of students in Grades 1-3 from both campuses. Please return the form that went home today to R.S.V.P. Spaces are limited!
Spirit Week 2016
Friday, May 13 – Friday, May 20
Our annual Spirit Week kicks off on Friday, May 13. 100% of the money raised goes to the Class of 2016 to pay for the expenses of their class trip and graduation dance, so that their parents do not have to incur the expenses for these activities!
We’ve added a special free day at the end of Spirit Week for all students, even if they don’t participate in the rest of the week. This Intramural Blue & Gold Sports Day will take place on Friday, May 20 at the 128th Street Campus. There will be students from both campuses on each team. Yellow buses will transport the RB students (Grades K-8.) We are excited for this new tradition, which was proposed by the leadership of our new Home Academy Association!
Monday, May 16 – 6:30 PM (128 St.)
Thursday, May 19 – 6:30 PM (RB)
It’s almost time for this year’s Spring Shows, which will feature performances from each class, the school band, and some special surprises! Admission is free, so please arrive early to guarantee a seat. Refreshments will be sold!
Friday, June 3 – Saturday, June 4
Due to some scheduling conflicts, we are postponing this year’s Culture Fest until the Fall and replacing it with the OLCA Carnival! We are able to secure the rides and booths for two days if we move the dates one week earlier, so the Carnival will now take place over the first weekend in June. Look for more information about this event soon!
Mandatory Spring Fundraiser: Raffle Tickets
Our second and final mandatory fundraiser has begun! Families who did not sell more than six boxes of chocolate in the fall are now selling eighty raffle tickets. You can request more from the office if you want a better chance of winning the grand prize! The raffle drawing will now take place on Monday, June 13.
OLCA Summer Brainstorm 2016
Tuesday, July 5 – Friday, August 12
Registration for Summer Brainstorm has begun! This program runs for six weeks and features academic classes in the morning and games and activities in the afternoon. Registration forms are available online on our school website and in your campus office.
2016-2017 Registration & Scholarships
Limited seating is still available for the 2016-2017 school year at Our Lady’s Catholic Academy. Register as soon as you can to guarantee a seat for the fall at the campus of your choice. We will be closing out classes by the end of May. Also, Round Two of the scholarship application process is open. If you did not yet apply for a scholarship, you can still do so at mytads.com . Round One awards will be announced soon!
Thank you for all of your enthusiasm and support. It is always a pleasure to work with such a wonderful community of students, parents, and staff.
Sincerely in Christ,
Kevin John Coyne