St. Mary Gate of Heaven Catholic Academy Bulletin


Mr. Heide Principal

The month of September flew by! It’s hard to believe that we just wrapped up four weeks of school! One month down, nine more to go! I want to thank everyone for a wonderful first month. I was very pleased to see everyone at Back to School Night and at Catechetical Sunday. I also have to congratulate everyone on a very successful chocolate sale! Our school’s greatest strength are the dedicated people who continually support one another. A lot will be happening over the next few weeks. Be sure to check over the October Calendar. We will begin Terra Nova testing on Tuesday, October 9. Make sure your children get a good night’s sleep and have a nice breakfast that day. We begin our Yankee Candle sale on October 10th. The sale will go on until November 8th. October 13 is our third annual Fall Festival. It’s from 10A.M. until 12:P.M. This is a ticketed event. All tickets must be purchased in advance. We will be having individual picture day on October 15th and class pictures on October 16th. For individual pictures, students are allowed to dress down. On class picture day, all students are expected to be in uniform. We will be having our school wide Rosary Rally on Wednesday, October 17th at 1:15 in our beautiful church. Please come pray with us. Lastly, we will be hosting our annual Halloween Costume Party Dance on Friday, October 26th.  The dance will be from 6:30 P.M. until 8:00 P.M. for UPK thru grade 4 and all children must be accompanied by an adult. Grades 5 thru 8 will have the dance from 8:15 P.M. until 10:00 P.M. While students in our later session do not need to be accompanied by an adult, they must be picked up at 10:00 P.M. sharp. I hope you have a wonderful weekend and once again, thank you for a great month!


Mrs. Farrell Director of Religious Education

On Wednesday, October 3rd, we will have a Confirmation meeting for our 8th grade parents whose children will be receiving Confirmation on Friday, November 16th. Please make sure all of your paperwork is submitted by then. The 8th grade will also be attending the Rosary Rally at the Co-Cathedral in Brooklyn on October 3rd. The Academy will have our own Rosary Rally on October 17th at 1:15 PM. Please attend if you are available. On October 4th, the feast of St. St. Francis of Assisi, we will have the blessing of the animals in the Mary Garden. It will be at 5:30PM. Please come with your favorite pet and have it blessed. Our First Communion program is beginning on Monday, October 22nd. A reminder will be sent home. This is a very busy, but exciting beginning or our Religious Education program.


Mrs. Miller, Ms. Martino, Mrs. Natale, Mrs. Luciano, Ms. Papaioannou UPK

The children in Pre-K have been busy making friends and learning rules.  The children are still adjusting to daily schedules and we are mainly focusing on routines and social skills, most of the children are adapting very well.  Every child is different and progresses at their own rate but we are confident that every child will eventually achieve their full potential in Pre-K. We look forward to being a part of this wonderful journey of growth with your children.  Next week we will begin discussing our Five Senses focusing first on our sense of sight.  The children will use their senses to explore, investigate, and understand the world.


Mrs. DiTalia Kindergarten

Kindergarten is settling in perfectly to their new adventure! We have been busy learning about rhyming words and words that have the same beginning and ending sounds. We’ve also learned how to count out syllables in words. In math we’ve been using counters to match sets of items and show 1 to 1 correspondence up to 4. We’ve practiced not only counting but writing the numbers and learning how to spell the number words. In ELA we learned that letters have different names such as capital and lowercase letters. In handwriting we started using different strategies to help with proper formation of letters (ask your child about the sky line, plane line, and grass line). Kindergartners have also started learning about all of God’s great gifts. We remind each other daily that we need to praise God for all that He has made.


Ms. Fontanes First Grade

Wow! First Grade has been super busy these past few weeks. Every morning, we start with Religion and have been discussing Jesus and the Holy Family. We also have been practicing the Sign of the Cross, which reminds us that there are 3 Persons in one God (The Blessed Trinity). In Math, we have completed our chapter all about Addition Concepts. We learned that a problem is not complete by just writing the answer. It is important to use pictures or models, no only to show our thinking, but to check our work as well. Our theme in Reading this month has been all about animals and will continue in the upcoming weeks. Also, we have been practicing sounding out and spelling words with the A, I, and O sounds. I must say, I've been very impressed with our reading skills and I look forward to continue working on expanding our vocabulary. Our handwriting has been great! I see improvement everyday in the way we hold our pencil and how we write on the line. We must remember to take our time while writing so that others will be able to read what we are trying to express. Lastly, as we approach October, we will continue to talk about the Fall and the changes we've been seeing all around us.


Ms. Ferraro Second Grade

It was wonderful to see some of the parents on Back to School Night. Thanks for attending.  Last week the children attended two assemblies-one for the Chocolate Sale and one for the band.  At the World's Finest Chocolate assembly, the children were informed about the chocolate sale.  At the band assembly, the children learned about different types of instruments.  Some of the Second Graders joined the band and will be playing the violin.  In Math, the children are learning about tens and ones and working very hard on this concept. They are using ten rods and ones cubes to help them learn how to count tens and ones.  The Reading story was about astronauts and space travel.  They were very interested in the story and quite eager to learn more information about space travel.  To enhance their knowledge, we discussed the first landing in the moon in 1969.  They enjoyed a presentation on the smart board, which showed the Apollo 11 flight.  In Phonics, the children are working on the short and long vowel sounds.  Some of the children will be receiving First Penance in March, therefore, they will begin learning the Act of Contrition (Prayer if Sorrow) next week.  This is the first step in the preparation process for the Sacrament of Penance.  It's hard to believe that the month of September is over and October will begin next week.  Looking ahead to October, there will be the Fall Festival, the Halloween Dance, the Rosary Rally, Picture Day, and the first meeting for First Communion.  Complete details for these events will follow.  Have a wonderful weekend!


Ms. Rodgers Third Grade

Since our last bulletin, we have welcomed another new 3rd grader to our SMGHCA Family, Danmari!  I am happy to say 100% of you have signed on for ClassDojo – it is great to hear such positive feedback from all of you regarding use of the app.  Remember to turn your notifications on for this app, or check in regularly as this is the best way to keep on top of what we are doing in class.  In Religion, we have been learning about the early life of Jesus as well as his early public ministry.  We went to Mass this week with our neighbors in the 7th grade.  We will continue to practice the Mass responses – be sure to practice them with the kids at home.  In Math, we have been working on different addition and subtraction strategies, rounding and compatible numbers, and problem solving.  In ELA, we have been learning about the 4 types of sentences and the parts of a sentence.  The kids took an assessment earlier this week and now we are discussing nouns: singular & plural, and common & proper.  We are also working with the book My Librarian is a Camel – a book that teaches us how people in different parts of the world get access to different books.  Be sure to check your child’s blue assignment book regularly so you know if your child is completing all his/her nightly homework assignments.  This blue assignment book is where all homework, tests, and announcements are written.  These are copied from the Homework Board by your child first thing in the morning when the students finish unpacking their belongings.


Mr. Delatorre Fourth Grade

4th grade is in full swing! We have learned about ecosystems and human health. We are learning about New York's geography, and its native people. Challenge any 4th grader to multiply a 4 digit number by 10!!


Ms. Catalano Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Grade ELA

The fifth grade has been working very hard. They have quickly gotten into their school routine. The 5th and 6th grades did a great job preparing the mass for September 21. Fr. Patrick said he was very proud of them. Right now, the 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade classes are busy studying for their Language Arts tests. They are also preparing for their Terra Nova test which will begin on October 9. Thank you to all of the school families who came to the Back to School Night and the Catechetical Sunday mass. It was great to see everyone who attended. I have a very good feeling about this year.


Ms. Law Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Grade Science

Hello again! All Science students have taken their first Science quiz. All quizzes and tests must be signed with corrections done on loose-leaf, stapled to the signed quiz/test, returned to me the next day. Please sign all assignments being handed in. Students are still working on following directions which is very important in Science. Safety first! 5th grade Science students have just completed their first research project, “Meet a Scientist”. The projects were amazing and it is obvious that a lot of research and effort went into each student’s project! They have been working on the “Scientific Method” in class. They are currently working in groups on how to write a hypothesis and a lab report. 6th grade students have been reviewing Lab Safety procedures and were recently given Lab Safety contracts to be signed by both student and parent, and to be returned to me. 7th graders have been learning about classification of organisms. Ask them about the fun we had with a learning strategy called a mnemonic device! 8th graders will have their first Chapter Test soon on Chapter 1 – Earth’s landforms, models, and topography. A Lab Safety Symbols booklet will be assigned soon. In Religion class, 7th graders have just completed their first mini-project based on “Truth in Scripture”. The projects were so colorful and creative! 7th grade Catholic students are reminded to attend mass every week, especially those students who will be receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation next year. Please feel free to write me a note or email on OptionC, should you have any questions. “The important thing is to never stop questioning.” – Albert Einstein.


Mr. DeMarinis Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Grade Social Studies

Hello parents. This week in Religion the 6th graders are studying Creation while the 8th graders are preparing for the Sacrament of Confirmation. Their "saint" project is due Friday the 28th. In Social studies the 5th grade is studying the geography of the United States and Canada, the 6th grade about what is history and why we study history, the 7th grade has begun to learn about the early explorers and the 8th graders are learning about the causes of the Civil War. A few reminders to the 8th grade parents. There are two MANDATORY meeting next week. Tuesday 10/2 is High School Night. (7 P.M.) I will explain to the parents about the application process for both Catholic and Public High Schools. Then on Wednesday, 10/3 there is a mandatory meeting for all parents of 8th graders who will receive the Sacrament of Confirmation in November (7:30 P.M.) In addition, we have representatives from McClancy High School, The Mary Louis Academy, and Xavarian High School coming into school next week to talk to the 7th and 8th grade students about their school. All ring orders are due by Wednesday 10/10/2018. Remember to continue to visit Catholic High School open houses.


Mrs. Fulgieri Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth Grade Math, and Math 9

The students are adjusting well to their new schedules and are back in the swing of things.  Grades 5 has begun the year learning about place value to the hundred billions.  They are moving along with the place value concept very nicely and will begin work with exponents this week.  Grade 6 started with positive, negative integers and absolute value.  They will have a quick review of greatest common factors and least common multiples before beginning a review of fractions with the four operations.  Grade 7 is learning the four operations with positive and negative integers.  They used counters to help them deduce the use of additive inverse when subtracting with positive and negative integers.  Grade 8 began the year categorizing rational and irrational numbers.  They also reviewed squared and cubed numbers.  Grade 8 Algebra is moving full steam ahead with simplifying and evaluating expressions.  They will also begin a quick review of the four operations with integers with more depth than grade 7.  Grades 6 and 8th grade Algebra are having tests this Wednesday on their respective topics.  Grade 8 will be having a test Oct. 2 and Grade 5 will have a mid-chapter test on Oct. 3. The chocolate sale has one more week to go.  Please grab an extra box and help SMGHCA reach its goal!


Ms. Mena Art & Spanish

This week for Art class, Kindergarten and 1st grade have been working extremely well on memorizing Primary and Secondary colors. We're also learning the colors in Spanish. For grades 2-4, we began making a shape collage. Students weren't allowed to draw or color. They could only use the pieces of paper provided. Most students had no idea how they'd be able to manage. All of them have done an amazing job in expressing their creative ideas on paper. Grades 5-8 for the first two weeks students were reminding of what makes Art, Art. In all the upper grades, class discussions were held. We spoke on the elements of art. As well as what could possibly cause an effect on an Artist work of art. Students gave a great answers and opinions. This directed the conversation into identifying each meaning of the elements. This week students will be focusing on certain elements, this will be reflected in their art projects during this week and the next. Thank you! ¡Hola! These past couple of weeks have been filled with learning Spanish. For the 5th grade class, every lesson has had a lot of questions and fun at the same time. We've been learning basic topics such as "Saludos"- greetings as well as other basic conversational phrases. For the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade class these past couple of weeks have been reviewing themes and topics. This helps us recall where we left off in order to move forward in other topics much easier. Overall, each class has been putting their best foot forward and I can't wait for the progress there is to come. ¡Gracias!


Mr. Pettit Physical Education

Our Physical Education class kicked off the year by focusing on our first team-sports unit, Soccer. Grades 2-8 have been focusing on proper Soccer techniques to include passing, trapping, shooting and goal tending. Students have effectively displayed these techniques in a various Soccer activities including participating in full soccer games. As students progress through the soccer lessons, students will grasp the rules and concept of the game of Soccer while improving their overall skill level. Kindergarten and 1st grade have been focusing on coordination through movement as students are asked to demonstrate various animal movement. 8th grade Health class has started their first unit, Nutrition, focusing mainly on the breakdown of the 'Nutritional Facts' section of many different types of food products.