January 28, 2019, Sponsored Story
A Jackson Heights Catholic school is hosting an open house tomorrow to kick off Catholic Schools Week, an annual celebration of Catholic education that is observed nationally on the last week of January.
Our Lady of Fatima School, located at 25-38 80th St., is opening its doors on Jan. 29 to parents who are interested in enrolling their children at the Nursery through 8th grade school. The school, which has been part of the community for 60 years, will showcase its classrooms and facilities from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Middle school students will act as guides and will also share their own experiences with visiting parents.
The school’s aim is to help students grow to gain career-ready skills and become socially conscious young adults under the guidance of the Catholic Gospel. The school also focuses on academic excellence and higher levels of thinking, performance, and achievement.
“We encourage spiritual development of students within the framework of scriptures and traditions of the Catholic Church, while also helping children excel in academic studies by teaching them how to acquire skills in problem solving, analytical thinking, communication, accountability, collaborative teamwork and emerging technologies,” said Margaret Rogers, the recently-appointed principal of the school.
Our Lady of Fatima School also aims to get students ready for the high-tech age.
“Our school prepares students to become accomplished 21st century learners with the different classes we offer in our dynamic Technology Center,” said Catie Brandt, the school’s computer instructor.
Computer skills are taught in Kindergarten, and students continue to advance their computer literacy as they advance to the eighth grade. These classes include word processing, research skills, and computer language coding, which students then apply to project work.
Our Lady of Fatima also offers expansive opportunities for children in all grades to explore different creative outlets. Elementary school students have a dedicated art period, where they are taught to draw, paint, learn cartoon animation and more.
Meanwhile, there are opportunities for students to pursue music education—including learning how to play any one of multiple instruments.
“The school’s band and orchestra program allows students to receive lessons in instruments such as the flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone and drums from highly trained educators, and a manager who oversees the entire program,” Rogers said.
Students in grades 3 and up are eligible to participate in the full band, with a string instrument program available for children as early as first grade.
There is also a choir that performs at school masses and events, which children in grades 5 and above are eligible to join.
At Our Lady of Fatima, there is also a large focus on advanced learning.
For instance, middle school students can accelerate their studies by taking High School Regents exams in Common Algebra and Earth Science with the help of experienced instructors.
This framework of combining creativity, traditional and Catholic education, has helped the school achieve a record of academic success.
The ELA scores for the school’s 8th graders have steadily remained above New York City’s and the Diocese of Brooklyn’s average, with more than 90 percent of students scoring Level 3 or 4.
The school also caters to children with special needs, offering IESP’s (Individualized Education Services Programs), 504 Plans and other programs.
“These in-house services include Speech Therapy, SETSS (Special Education Teacher Support Services) and testing accommodations such as extended time on exams,” said Laura Donodeo, the school’s full-time guidance counselor, and one of the only individuals to hold such a position in the Brooklyn Diocese.
Nursery and pre-K classes featuring developmentally-appropriate curriculum are also available for enrollment, with each classroom supervised by both an instructor and assistant at all times.
Our Lady of Fatima is also a recipient of NYC’s free meals program so that students have access to breakfast and lunch. They also retain free NYC school bus services for pickup and dismissal of students.
The school’s open house on Tuesday, Jan. 29 runs from 9 am to 11 am. Parents who wish to schedule a visit on a separate day can contact the school directly at 718-429-7031.
For more information, including how to enroll a child in the 2019-2020 school year, readers can visit the school’s website at: ourladyoffatimaschool.org.
Information on need-based tuition assistance for eligible K-8 families is available at: futuresineducation.org/scholarships.
The school can also be found on Facebook @ourladyoffatimaschooljacksonheights