St. Mary Gate of Heaven Catholic Academy Weekly Bulletin


Mr. Heide Principal

I hope everyone had a wonderful time at Breakfast with Santa! It was an incredible event and I’d like to thank the faculty, parents, and our eighth graders for their hard work and for making it a great success. Thank you to everyone who donated for our toy drive. Your generosity ensures that many children will have a wonderful Christmas. Just a reminder that this coming Thursday, December 22 dismissal will be at noon sharp. I ask you to be on time in picking up your children. There will be no afterschool program that day. School will be closed until January 3, 2017. We look forward to seeing you in the New Year! This Sunday will be the fourth and final Sunday of Advent. I hope that it has been a peaceful and spiritual time for your family. On Christmas Eve, our seventh graders will be performing the Nativity at the 5:00 P.M. mass. We hope to see you there. On behalf of the entire faculty at St. Mary Gate of Heaven, I wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy new year.


Mrs. Farrell Director of Religious Education

Our Special First Communion Mass was on Sunday.  When you go to Mass please pray for our First Communicants whose pictures are now hanging in Church along with all the saints. As we enter the last week of Advent, let’s keep in mind the true meaning of Christmas. It is the birth of our Savior. So before we get all caught up with our Christmas plans, please find time to attend Mass on Christmas. Our Family Mass is on Christmas Eve at 5 P.M. Our children, who are receiving Communion and Confirmation this year, will participate in a pageant during the Mass. It is a great way to begin your Christmas celebrations. Merry Christmas to everyone and may Our Lord bless each and every family.


Mrs. Miller UPK Administrator, Ms. Martino UPK, Ms. Crane UPK, Ms. Narain UPK

This week we will ask and answer the question, “What types of homes do the people in my city (NYC) live?” The children develop a concept and awareness of the diversity of living environments and explore how New Yorkers live in many types of homes and buildings. This will add a layer of observation and inquiry by prompting children to consider the buildings in and around their neighborhoods and throughout the city. This will be an opportunity to develop new vocabulary through words such as skyscraper and brownstone, and build on children’s observational skills.


Mrs. Saviano Kindergarten

This week the children are learning about the many ways we can prepare for the birth of Jesus. We are working on doing good deeds and being extra kind to each other during Advent. We are also practicing for our Christmas show. We have been working on various Christmas and winter projects. We are learning all about the letter Dd and its initial sound. We are also using connecting cubes and counters to model addition facts and solve to find the sum. We are learning to use words such as add, minus, addend, and sum.


Mrs. Luciano (Ms. Regina) First Grade

First grade discussed a lot about snow this week! Snow is a long "o" word, as were all of our words this week in phonics, and we also used that word as a topic in our writing for the week. We used time order words to write the steps on how to build a snowman. We have been discussing the weather every morning, and we are hoping to be able to graph some snowy mornings on our weather bar graph this month! In math, we did a quiz on ordinal numbers and worked hard on the concepts of doubles plus one, and doubles plus 2. We enjoyed the 3rd week of Advent and did a prayer service in the prayer room today. We discussed the nice deeds we have been doing during Advent, and we also talked about the Nativity in our religion lessons. We are looking forward to celebrating Christmas soon. We practiced singing with our 7th grade buddies for the school Christmas show next week.  We are really feeling the holiday spirit! 


Ms. Ferraro Second Grade

It was a pleasure meeting and speaking to all the parents last week for report cards.  As the Advent season goes into its last week, Christmas is getting closer and many events are taking place.  Last Saturday was Breakfast with Santa, which was attended by about 400 people. The 8th. grade did a wonderful job with the show and serving. The next event is tonight's dance, which the children are looking forward to. On Tuesday, the 2nd. grade will be performing "The Nativity" and singing "Silent Night" in the Christmas Show. They have been practicing very hard and I'm proud to say they are doing a terrific job! The class will have a Christmas Party on Wednesday afternoon. Now, let's get back to work!! The children are learning about different types of graphs, including Venn diagrams. In reading, we read a story about the importance of working together and being cooperative. We will begin learning about how people grow and change in Science. This is such a busy time for all, but we must remember that Jesus is the reason that we celebrate Christmas. Have a wonderful weekend!


Ms. Rodgers Third Grade

It was so great to have the chance to speak with all the 3rd grade parents at report card conferences. We have been very busy in third grade during the last two weeks as there have been a bunch of activities leading up to Christmas and our Christmas vacation. Last week, the 3rd grade went on our first field trip of the school year. We went to see a performance of Jack Frost at Marathon Playhouse with Kindergarten, 1st grade and 2nd grade, too. Everyone seemed to have a great time. This week, we were very excited to participate in "Ugly" Christmas Sweater Day. Many of us will also be attending the Christmas dance Friday night. We are all really getting into the Christmas Spirit!! In ELA we have been working on understanding and using verbs. Most of the kids are seeing an improvement in their sentence structure and are more consistent in using the proper tense.  In Math, we have begun the unit on measurement and are still working on measurements of time. Our focus this week has been elapsed time which can be a tricky topic, but the kids are doing pretty well with using their number lines to plot starting and ending times. In Religion we are continuing to use our Absolutely Advent books to countdown the days to celebrate the Birth of Jesus. We have also been preparing for the Sacrament of Reconciliation which we will participate in next week. We've been hard at work memorizing the Act of Contrition and understanding how best to examine our consciences before participating in the sacrament. Thank you to all the families who have been sending in supplies or our Christmas party which will be on December 22nd - and thank you to Alyssa's mom, Mrs. Carney, our 3rd Grade Representative who has been helping to organize the celebration. Today, the kids picked their "Secret Santa" for our in-class gift exchange. They were very excited and are looking forward to surprising their classmates. I was very happy to have so many parents tell me that the kids have been practicing our song for the Christmas Assembly at home during the last couple weeks.  We have been hard at work planning our performance and can't wait to share it at the Christmas Assembly on Tuesday at 9:00 AM.


Mrs. Sorriero Fourth and Fifth Grade ELA and Science

Don't be surprised if you see fourth graders dancing in the dark. We have been hard at work for our Christmas Assembly which we are very excited about! Dancing has not been our only source of movement this week. Be sure to see the intentions board in the prayer room the students designed. After a successful assessment to our Difficult Journeys Unit, we our drafting our essential answers to the "Big Question." How do authors make a story more interesting? In science we exited static electricity to tackle more complex electron movement in parallel and series circuits. The talent the fifth grade exhibited during their Rock Cycle Raps was truly noteworthy. After a few short group sessions, students were able compose an original song showcasing the principles of the rock cycle. From Halle's beatboxing to Farhan taking on Broadway's Hamilton, the students showed their creative side. We began our last text this week, "Taylor's Hurricane," before the unit assessment. As a class we are sampling different types of comprehension questions you should review at home daily to stay sharp. 


Mrs. Fulgieri Fourth and Fifth Grade Math and Social Studies

I can't believe that Christmas is just around the corner. A good time was had by all who attended the annual Breakfast with Santa. Classes are practicing for the annual Christmas Show,  the students have been talking about attending the special Family Mass on Christmas Eve, and the SMGH school community is buzzing with the holiday spirit. Let's all sit back and enjoy this wonderful feeling. Through this excitement, the students have been working hard in the classrooms. Grades 4 and 5 are finely tuning their multiplication skills and Mr. Heide was very impressed with them when he visited this week. They have been working so hard on their area models and are very proud of their work. The 5th grade is writing multiplication algorithms, and they are doing a great job explaining the process. Both grades have been learning about the migration of early people from Asia and across the Ice Age land bridge that is now the Bering Strait. They are amazed to learn that some of us may even be descendants of these early North Americans. Grade 5 has enjoyed learning about the early civilizations of North and South America and a whole new area of interest has opened up. There will be a SS Chapter 1 assessment on Monday for grade 5. Meanwhile Grade 4 is preparing to learn about the Native American tribes that are a part of New York's history.


Ms. Catalano Sixth Grade Science, Social Studies, and ELA

The sixth grade is busy preparing for the school show. They are rocking to Jingle Bell Rock. We hope you join us on December 20 for the Christmas Assembly. We can’t wait to entertain you. In between practicing, we are studying for our Science test on land biomes. Also, on Friday we are going to mass with the third grade. Please come and pray with us. This sure is a hectic, but exciting week.


Ms. Pellegrino Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Grade ELA

In Eighth grade ELA we just finished our novel "Specials". The students are writing an essay based on the book. In Seventh grade ELA students are learning the value of primary sources for credibility. In both grades they will have their chapter 5 vocabulary tests. In Religion the students are discussing the Advent and Christmas season. Merry Christmas!!!

Ms. Winwood Seventh, and Eighth Grade Science

In eighth grade science we just started a new interactive book on Earth's structure. We are currently studying the Earth system and the layers of the earth. Seventh grade science is studying the classification of living things and taxonomy. Eighth grade religion is having a test on chapter 9 tomorrow as well as sixth grade religion. My sixth grade reading class has finished Tuck Everlasting and we didn't want it to end. We are starting a new novel – Number the Stars. The Eighth grade went to mass on Monday for "Our Lady of Guadalupe and confession this Wednesday for Advent. We are now planning our Christmas party!!!!!


Mr. DeMarinis Seventh and Eighth Grade Social Studies

Thanks to everybody who helped to make Breakfast with Santa a great success. In religion, we are learning about the Church during the first four centuries and Father Fitzsimmons has been a guest speaker during our religion classes. The 7th graders are learning about the French and Indian War and what effect the outcome had on the American colonies. The 8th graders are studying the settlement of the West after the Civil War. After Christmas vacation, we as a Christian community will be collecting items to be delivered to our Veterans at Saint Albans Hospital on Valentine’s Day. Letters will be sent home on January 3, 2017. Thank you for your help. Wishing everybody a happy and holy Christmas.


Mrs. Corrado Sixth, Seventh, Eighth Grade Math, and Math 9

This week grades 6, 7&8 worked on identifying proportional relationships. Grade 6 discovered that equivalent ratios are proportional. Grade 7 learned that the unit rate is a constant of proportionality. Grade 8 made connections between proportionality and the slope of a line. Next week each grade will delve deeper into proportionality and make even more connections between proportions and their respective topics. A quiz can be expected mid-week. Due to schedule conflicts, Math 9 has not started new material this week, but has been reviewing foundational topics to strengthen fluency.


Ms. Fitzgerald Physical Education

Over the past couple of weeks, we have been finishing up our basketball unit. We finished off with shooting and defense. The younger grades worked in stations involving all the skills we worked on throughout the unit. The upper grades worked on shooting in a game called line basketball. They really seemed to enjoy the game with which they displayed great sportsmanship and teamwork. This week the younger grades played a few holiday/winter games to get the in the spirit and they all seemed to really enjoy them.


Señorita Mena Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Grade Spanish

¡Hola! It has been a very interesting week for all our Spanish classes. The 8th graders are starting to use the verb Gustar ( to like, to please ) in their sentences. Hopefully, this way they are able to use it in their speaking. The 7th graders are also sticking to their grammar skills with a small introduction of Spanish Literature history. Our lovely 6 graders are learning subject pronouns and how to conjugate "AR" ending verbs. Lastly, our smart 5th graders learned "El Padre Nuestro" (Our Father) prayer in Spanish. We are hoping that every class member will be able to practice their pronunciations and sound like a fluent speaker. ¡Gracias!