St. Mary Gate of Heaven Catholic Academy Bulletin


Mr. Heide Principal

I want to thank everyone for making last weekend’s Fall Festival a spectacular event! Over 200 people attended this annual event. We submitted some of your photos of the event to the Queens Chronicle. Be sure to keep an eye out for their upcoming issue. This past Wednesday, we had our school Rosary Rally. This was a wonderful afternoon of prayer and devotion to the Blessed Mother. Our sixth graders did a spectacular job on the readings and leading our school in prayer! Saturday will be our eighth grade retreat for our Confirmation candidates. It begins promptly at 11:00 A.M. in the auditorium and will end at 6:00 P.M. in our church. Any student receiving the sacrament of Confirmation must be in attendance. On Tuesday night at 7:00 P.M., we have our Communion meeting in the auditorium. If your child is receiving the sacrament of First Holy Communion, please be in attendance for this meeting. Next Friday is our Halloween Dance. Be sure to look over the flyer that was sent out earlier this week. It has all the details and information regarding the dance. How would you like to win $10,000 cash? One lucky person will do just that! St. Mary Gate of Heaven Catholic Academy is having its third annual $10,000 raffle. Each ticket purchased entitles 2 guests to our event on November 17th. Cocktails and hot buffet dinner will be served. In addition to winning $10,000, there are 17 other cash prizes you can win. Tickets can be purchased in the main office and are $100 each.  Only 400 tickets will be sold! You have a great chance of winning money! We’re more than halfway through the month of October. It’s hard to believe how fast this year is going! Enjoy your weekend.


Mrs. Farrell Director of Religious Education

Confirmation is Friday, November 16th at 7PM. Please pray for our Candidates as they receive the Holy Spirit. The Confirmandi have a day of retreat on Saturday, October 20th from 11AM-5PM, followed by Mass. Please join your child at Mass. If you cannot attend Mass, please pick up your child at 6PM from Church. Our retreat director will be Mr. Jerry Rodriguez. We are looking forward to a day filled with quiet time and reflection, as well as time to express themselves. This day will give the candidates an opportunity to remove themselves from the outside world and do a self-reflection. Our Communion candidates’ parents will have a First Communion meeting on Monday evening at 7PM in the auditorium. Please, if at all possible, leave your children at home.


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

This week in PreK we have been discussing our sense of taste and smell.  The children participated in an apple taste test, where they tasted different types of apples and voted on their favorite one.  This interdisciplinary activity helped develop children’s science skills as well as their sense of self. Throughout this unit, children have been using their senses to assist and guide learning.  Next week we will wrap up our Five Senses unit focusing on our sense of touch.  The change in seasons, from summer to fall, provides a timely opportunity to understand our natural environment through our senses.  Leaves change color and fall on the ground, the air is crisper and there are new sounds and smells throughout the city.  Interesting fruits and vegetables like apples and pumpkins are ripe for exploration!


Mrs. DiTalia Kindergarten

What better way to kick off Fall than with an apple tasting! Kindergarteners had the opportunity to taste red, yellow, and green apples and share which one was their favorite. Red apples had the majority of votes with green coming in second, followed by yellow. In Phonics we’ve been learning how to make new words by substituting initial (beginning) and final (ending) sounds. In Math we’ve finished up using our counters for counting up to 5 and have been focusing in on the number zero. In ELA we are learning the components of a sentence (a sentence is a complete idea, begins with a capital letter, and ends with a punctuation mark). We are making some nice progress with handwriting and have focused in on writing lowercase letters (t,b,f,m,n,i,u,c, and o). During Religion we’ve been praising God for the gift of light-the sun, moon, and stars. We are looking forward to learning about the other amazing gifts that God has made.


Ms. Fontanes First Grade

Happy Fall everyone! So much has happened these past few weeks.  On October 4, we celebrated the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi by making animals out of modeling clay. We painted them and they are currently on display in front of our classroom. We concluded the activity by praying to Saint Francis, asking him to help us follow his example of treating every living thing with kindness. I love how creative you all are and it was definitely one of my favorite activities. Also in Religion, we’ve been talking about how Jesus tells us that we are all neighbors. Good neighbors are kind, helpful and treat each other with respect. We are reminded that we treat people the way we would want to be treated. In Science, we learned all about pumpkins and how they grow. This week, our focus is on spiders. They are fascinating creatures but a little creepy to watch. The video we saw made us wiggle in our chair! In other news, our Phonics and Reading have been going well. We’ve worked on our E and U sounds and have been practicing blending words with initial consonant blends and final consonant blends. In addition, our spelling test scores have been amazing! Keep up the great work! In Math, our chapter on Subtraction concepts is coming to an end. We have been reviewing how to break down a word problem so that we know exactly what we’re looking for, what information we need, and what operation the problem is asking us to use. If we understand the problem, we are more likely to solve it successfully.  Lastly, the Halloween Dance is next week (10/26) and I’m so excited! I look forward to seeing you and all of your awesome costumes.


Ms. Ferraro Second Grade

The children have been working very hard in all subject areas. In Math, we began working on place value with hundreds. The word problems have been difficult, but they're putting much effort into this concept. This week in Reading, we read a story, which was in the form of a play. There was a very good message, which taught the children that working as a team can get the job done if everyone cooperates! They just completed learning the four different types of sentences in Language Arts, which is a very important concept. The month of October is a busy month and full of many exciting activities! Last Saturday many children and parents attended the Fall Festival, where they participated in several fun activities. Monday and Tuesday were picture days for all the classes. The month of October is dedicated to the rosary and the children celebrated with the Rosary Rally on Wednesday. Many children participated in Denim Day on Friday, which was a fund raiser to support breast cancer research. Thank you to those who participated for this great cause. There will be a Communion Meeting on Monday evening at 7:00 for the parents of those children who will be making their First Communion. The Halloween Dance will take place on Friday, October 26th. As you can see, October is a very busy month. Have a wonderful weekend!


Ms. Rodgers Third Grade

The third graders are so relieved to be finished with the Terra Nova Testing and getting back into our usual routines.  It was great to see some of you at the Fall Festival - it looked like everyone was having a great time.  During Religion, the kids have been practicing saying their Mass responses and when we practice in class they do a great job - I would like them to be responding just as enthusiastically during our school wide celebrations of the Eucharist as well.  They will be having a Religion Test next week; you can find info on that in their homework assignment books.  This week we attended the Rosary Rally with grades 1-8.  It was great experience and the kids did a good job following along on their Rosary Beads while we prayed together.  In Math, we have been learning about recording, analyzing, and displaying data.  We have been using tally tables, frequency tables, picture graphs and bar graphs.  This was a good topic to ease into to help get back to our routines after the testing.  In ELA, we have worked on a new set of vocabulary words that align with our latest reading activity - a magazine article, Driving Along Route 66.  We have also been discussing the different ways people all over the world manage to access books.  Our #classroombookaday activity has been going great.  We’ve shared books from Tables 1, 3, and 4.  Next week, we will hear from Table 2.  You can check out some pictures of everyone with their book of choice on ClassDojo.


Mr. Delatorre Fourth Grade

In Math, we just finished Chapter 1, and we are eager to start the next stage of Grade 4 math! For ELA, we will soon be designing our own wampum, as inspired by the great Hiawatha Belt based on the Great Peace of the Five Nations. In regards to religion, our class has begun to study the scriptures of Unit 1. Science finds us starting to work on our Exploring Ecosystems Project to be displayed on the bulletin wall outside of the class. In Social Studies, we are discovering who the original people of what is now New York State. And Grade 4 wished Father Carlos a speedy recovery from his surgery. Our thoughts and prayers are with you!


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

The fifth grade is happy that the Terra Nova tests are finally over. Yea! They have been concentrating very hard on these tests. Now, we can get back to our regular classes and schedule. The First Friday Mass, Adoration, and Benediction, on October 5, was beautiful. I hope some of you were able to come and pray with us. The setting was quiet and serene. The fifth grade brought their rosary beads and prayed. Thank you to Father Baltazar for teaching the children about praying. They learned that praying can include prayer and song. It can also include just talking to Jesus. It was nice seeing so many of you at the Fall Festival on October 13. The children and adults had a great time. Remember, Progress Reports will be given out on October 22. This will give you a good idea on how your child is doing in school. Don’t forget to come to the Halloween Dance on October 26. It should be lots of fun. Right now, the fifth, sixth, seventh, and eight graders are working on improving their comprehension and answering short and extended response questions.


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

Hello again, Parents! Our budding scientists have learned so much, but have so much yet to learn! Enthusiastic 5th grade students just finished presenting their research on a scientist and their group project, the Scientific Method. We will begin Measurement soon. A Lab Safety quiz is scheduled for Tuesday. 6th grade students learned about Oetzi and the Scientific Method this week. They will be learning to calculate acceleration and net force next week. 7th grade Science students just received their Chapter 1 Test grades. Please ensure that corrections are done on loose-leaf, stapled to the signed test. We will be studying the structure and effects of viruses next week. 7th grade Religion students have been working diligently on a group project based on the Blessed Trinity which is also a cross-curricular activity (Spanish and Art). It is due on Friday. 7th grade students have also been working on an individual Saint Project which is due on Monday, in preparation for All Saints Day. Presentations will take place next week. A rubric has been provided for this assignment. The next group project will be to pretend to be Jesus and create an Instagram or Snapchat page (student groups will decide). Students should be creative, but school appropriate. Students will take a test on Chapter 5 soon. 8th grade students have just begun learning about Weathering through text, discussion, and videos. To reinforce their learning, they have been working on a KWLH Chart this week. It must be typed (with teacher-approved exceptions) and colorful. It is due on Monday. We will be learning about Soil next. All students will be required to participate in the Science Fair. They will have ample time to perform, complete, and redo/retest experiments, and set up their display boards. There should be no more than two people working on each project. The Science Fair projects are due at the beginning of January. They will be judged. A more detailed letter will be sent to parents next month. Refer to for more information.  Please continue to be supportive of your child(ren), their needs, and interests.


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

Hello everybody. The Terra Nova testing is now over and we can get back to our regular classes. This week the 5th grade is learning about America during colonial days, the 6th grade is starting on chapter 3. It is about the first people and how they developed from hunters to food gathers to farmers. The 7th grade is learning about the early Spanish, Dutch, French and English explorers. The 8th grade is studying the first two years of the Civil War. In Religion, the 8th graders continue to prepare for Confirmation. The letters to Bishop Massa were returned to the students to make all corrections. They are due back on Monday, 10/22. All candidates are to be in the auditorium at 11:00AM sharp on Saturday 10/20 for their Confirmation retreat. They will be dismissed after the 5:00 PM mass. All parents and sponsors are welcome at mass. The 6th grade is studying the first book of the Bible. This weekend 24 of our 8th graders will take the SHSAT test at Hillcrest High School at 1:00 PM Saturday or Sunday. Good luck to them all. On Wednesday, 10/24 the admit cards for the TACHS test will be distributed. This card allows our 8th graders to take the test on Saturday 11/3 at Archbishop Molloy High School. They must indicate on the card which three Catholic High School they want their scores to be sent to. The 7th and 8th grades are going on another field trip to Holy Cross High School on Monday 10/29. If they do not return their permission slip signed, they can NOT go on the trip. Confirmation practice for candidates will take place on Monday 11/5 in church at 7:00 PM sharp. Gowns will be given out on the 5th. The second Confirmation practice with sponsors will be Monday 11/13 in the church starting at 7:00PM. The ceremony will take place on Friday 11/16 with Bishop Massa. Next week Progress Reports will be sent home please ask your child for his or her report. Lastly, the school is having a huge fund raiser on Saturday November 17,2018 starting at 7:00PM .There will be only 400 tickets sold and the grand prize is $10,000 in addition there will be 17 other chances to win between $200 and $500. The cost is $100 per ticket and you are also welcome to a hot buffet on the 17th. If you are interested please drop by the school office or the rectory to purchase a ticket. Last year people were turned away because they waited too long. Take a chance. You have more chances with this raffle than you have playing the lottery.


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

We are so glad Terra Nova testing is over and the fall weather has arrived!  SMGHCA celebrated a successful Fall Festival last Saturday, Oct. 13.  The students, parents, friends, and staff had a great time.  Now it's back to work before Halloween jumps into the picture. The school will have their annual Rosary Rally on Wednesday, October 17.  Grade 6 will be hosting the rally and the class has been praying the rosary anticipating this wonderful celebration. We have been a little off schedule because of testing, but grade 5 will resume reviewing using the standard multiplication algorithm for multiplying 3-4 digit numbers by 1 and 2 digits.  The students should breeze through that skill as they were fluent in multiplication in grade 4.  Grade 6 has been learning about rational numbers.  They are making anchor charts to help them with the concept.  They are also learning how to create number lines and graph points between two positive and negative integers.  They are working with intervals of 0.5 and 0.25.  Meanwhile grade 7 is continuing with multiplication and division of positive and negative integers.  Grade 8 is learning and practicing short division with divisors from 2-20 and the scientific notation of very large and very small numbers with positive and negative exponents of 10.  Math 9 students have just completed a project using matrices and are on to cumulative frequency and histograms.  They will also be required to analyze date identifying symmetrical, and skewed data.  In the next lesson, they will learning about the measures of central tendency.  We are busy bees!


Ms. Mena Art & Spanish

Our little artists in Kindergarten and in first grade, have participated in filling up the art classroom wall with their colorful drawings of “The Rainbow Sunset”. Students were tested on their understanding of space, warm and cool colors. As well as a light introduction to abstract. Grades 2-4 are working with Kandinsky masterpieces. We started by having a class discussion which allowed students to express what they thought of the Art work. We then watched a video that demonstrates how Kandinsky involved music in his art work. We compared watching art work with and without music to see if it would have the same impact. Many students made important points and gave very insightful opinions to how they felt and what they saw. 5th grade has been doing an amazing job painting their views on landscape. Using brushes, sponges, and napkins, students sure do have an inventive way of blending colors. The results are amazing. 6th and 8th grade is working in filling up our Elements and principal of Art wall in the classroom. They've been assigned certain themes and have been doing a great job. The 7th grade has been working on “Four seasons Tree” each group has chosen which tree they want to work on. They’ve been allowed to add their own twist. Their outlines are really looking great. Can’t wait for the outcome! ¡Hola! These past couple of weeks students have been working hard in Spanish. Our 8th graders are practicing how to order food in a restaurant in Spanish. It helps them with pronunciation and of course helps them practice in front of the class. 7th grade was working with dialogue and translating the phrases. To help our new incoming students and to insure everyone is on the same page. Spanish class has taken it a couple steps back which works perfectly well with all students. The 6th graders have been working with their workbooks and it’s helped us keep things organized and in one place. 5th grade has adapted to listening and hearing Spanish being spoken in class. Everyone is always ready to participate which is excellent. Looking forward to more Spanish lessons. ¡Gracias!


Mr. Pettit Physical Education

As we reached the conclusion of our Soccer Unit, students among all grades showed great improvement in both their skills and knowledge of the game of Soccer. Moving forward towards our next teamed sports unit, Baseball, our Physical Education class has put a strong emphasis on the proper way to throw and catch a rounded ball. Students will be gradually introduced the concept of Baseball through multiple variations of the sport; to include tee ball, whiffle ball, and kickball. As students progress through the unit, they will focus on throwing for accuracy, catching with their hands and not their body, and basic game strategy. 8th grade Health has capped off their Nutrition Unit as students analyze a documentary on nutrition.