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Letter from Maria Petraglia 

Dear OLGCA Students, Parents, Grandparents, Guardians, Teachers, Staff,

Many of you may know me as an alumni parent and a Board Member at OLGCA for the last five years.  I have been heartbroken and saddened with this devastating decision as I know that you feel the same way.  

Over the last two weeks we had several meetings with the Diocese to discuss OLGCA.  We were hopeful for a positive outcome.  Our terrific OLGCA families and parishioners came up with a great plan and worked tirelessly to enroll 25 families, they worked on great ideas for blended learning and on a proposed budget for 2020-2021 over just one weekend.   

We thought for sure we would be given another chance especially since the horrific recent events with protests, destruction that have been taking place in our city and society, the need for more God in our lives.  We really believed that the investment would be in the children, to increase their values, their faith in God and have a foundation based on God’s word as that would be profitable enough for the Diocese.  

Despite our best efforts to convince the Diocese to give us a chance to work out the kinks, come up with other plans to increase enrollment, work on creative ways to increase the school finances.  The reason they gave was that we needed 220 students to be a viable school and have a surplus in funds.  Therefore, unfortunately, we fell short on their requirements and it came down to dollars and cents and the lack of enrollment.  Since the Board all voted “No” to close the school, we were relinquished of our Board Position and their decision overrode us.  We were defeated.

OLGCA has been a school in this community for over 100 years and has taught many generations.  A beautiful building as the first thing that you see when you enter is the statue of Mother Mary.  The school halls and classrooms were filled with beautiful artwork, class projects and a feeling of belonging. 

We had the best fund-raising Chair, Doreen DeCandia along with her team who knew how to raise thousands of dollars for OLGCA, between Parish Bazaars and the best, theme oriented sold-out Ladies Night Out year after year.  Joe DeCandia who supplied catering for countless school events and hired OLGCA graduates and neighborhood kids to work at his establishments.  A true example of giving back to their community and the true meaning of being an OLGCA family.

We had a great homeschool association led by Mary Griffith who implemented enriching activities for student learning.  Supportive parents, guardians and grandparents who dedicated their time during lunch, recess, and any reason to be of assistance.  OLGCA had the best Christmas Concerts with a special thank you to Mr. Modiferi who volunteered endless hours and rehearsed with the students.  My heart would sing with joy just to hear the children sing songs about the real meaning of Christmas and Jesus, I was happy that the students were able to sing freely about God, Jesus and the Holy Family without any restriction and expressed their faith. The endless list of awesome events, breakfast with Santa, Breakfast with the Easter Bunny.  Moving up ceremonies were adorable, fun, and creative.

Father Marc who celebrated mass for our students at 8:30am mass twice a week and taught religion class, a true instrument of instilling the word of God into the students’ lives.  The Teachers who worked at OLGCA for over 20 years and others who would drive 2 hours each way to teach the students and dedicate their mornings and lunch hours to give extra help and those who dressed as the Easter bunny and visited her students at their homes during the pandemic.  The teachers and staff gave their 100% and more.  Dana, the school secretary who was a superstar, thorough and responsive.  Amaury, the custodian who went above and beyond his call of duty always with a smile. 

Mr. Castro who took care of OLGCA’s social media and posted all the wonderful special moments that took place at OLGCA and worked so hard on the virtual 8th grade graduation.  Ms. McManus, our Principal who was a terrific leader and had been such an asset and worked tirelessly year after year.  The students excelled in their state exams and all were accepted into their high schools of choice.  

The OLGCA Board – Chris Johnson, Allison Mestrandrea, Stella Pepi, Paul Grassi, and myself.  We spent countless hours on calls, meetings and worked behind the scenes and did our best to make a difference. We volunteered for this role because we were alumni parents, we cared about OLGCA and the HB community.  We thank you for giving us the opportunity to be a part of this great institution.  We hope and pray that Catholic Education will continue to instill Christian values in the hearts and minds of our children.  


Thank you to:

Ms. Marybeth McManus, Principal

Mrs. Dana Soehngen, Administrative Assistant 

Amaury Duran, Head Custodian  

Alex Sanchez, Custodian

Mr. Castro, Social Media

Phyllis Inserillo, Nursery 2yr old and Pre-K 3 yr old

            Jessica Genna

            Jessica Grimaldi-Parente

            Jillian Provvisiero

            Carol Renna

Ms. Kathleen Banach, UPK – 1B

            Rosemarie Russo

            Anna Patruno

Ms.Vanessa Brancato, UPK – 1C

            AnnMarie Famighetti

            Mary Thomas

Ms. Samantha Suarez, Kindergarten

            Nancy Termini

Ms. Caroline Murray, 1st Grade

Ms. Nicole Genovese, 2nd Grade

Mrs. Cristina Leto / Ms. Julie Frey, 3rd Grade

Mrs. Sara Cuccio, 4th Grade

Mr. Robert Neun, 5th Grade

Mrs. Jennifer Giacalone, 6th Grade

Ms. Victoria Amuso, 7th Grade

Mr. Vincent DiPiazza, 8th Grade

Elisabetta Franchi, Italian

Ms. Loredana Sindone, Art

Mrs. Jennifer Limitone, Computers

Mr. John McGuire, Gym

Frank Palmenteri, Bookkeeper

Janice Borrello, Receptionist

Aqeela Zainul, School Nurse

A special THANK YOU to the amazing, smart, respectful students who called OLGCA their home.  May God Bless You, Guide You and Protect You ALWAYS.

Best wishes,

Maria Petraglia 

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Summer instructional activites

Dear Families,

Welcome to Summer! We thank you for the time and effort you have invested in your child’s education, particularly over the past few months. Distance learning has been a challenge for all and we applaud you (and your child) for making the best of these unprecedented times. The end of the school year hasn’t been what anyone would have expected but we are happy to welcome summer and hopefully some time to relax and recharge.

As we move into summer, we would like to provide options for at-home enrichment. The summer months are an important time to relax and unwind but are also an opportunity to keep your child engaged and on track for the fall. Attached you will find summer choice boards to use with your child. It is important to note that these are NOT required. This is simply a tool to provide parents with activities and ideas for summer enrichment.

How it Works:

Download a packet of choice boards that match your child’s grade level. Choice boards are grouped by grade level band based on the grade your child has completed. For example, a child finishing 1st grade will use the K-1 document. Each page of the document is one week of themed activities (6 weeks total) with different activities in categories such as reading, writing, math, STEM, etc. Each activity follows a theme for the week but can be done independently of all other activities. For example, all activities in week two are about ice cream but you do not need to complete the activities in any particular order so your child can pick and choose the activities that interest them. You can also use grade level bands above or below your child’s grade based on your child’s needs.

What do I Need?

As you view the choice boards, you will notice that they are divided by subject/ category. Materials needed are italicized in the top of the boxes. Many items will likely be available in your home or easily accessed at the supermarket. For reading activities and some of the other categories, you will need device with internet access. Texts sourced from can be accessed using the following login info:

School: Brooklyn Reads Elementary

Username: brooklyn

Password: read

My Child (and I) are Tired of School

Your child might be tired from weeks of distance learning and the stress of our current situation. This is not intended to add to anyone’s stress or become a point of contention in your household. To make this seem less like “school” you can:

• Empower your child to choose the activities themselves. Let them pick what they are interested in (i.e. complete all the math activities first)

• Challenge your child to see how many boxes they can complete in a week

• Designate a short (20-30 min) block of time to complete an activity and then offer free choice time

• Use the board like tic-tac-toe and try to complete a whole column or row across.

Keep in mind that you don’t necessarily need structured activities to “do enrichment.” Trips to the library, talking about books, taking a walk and talking about what you see, planning a trip together, cooking by following a recipe, and even going to the grocery store discussing quantity and pricing are all learning opportunities. Do what is comfortable for you and your family. Take time to relax, unwind, and enjoy your summer. We look forward to our time together in September.

Summer Instructional Activities–Letter to Families

Summer Instructional Plans…Gr. 2-3 July

PlansSummer Instructional Plans…Gr. 4-5 July Plans.

Summer Instructional Plans…Gr. 6-7 July Plans

Summer Instructional Plans…Gr. K-1 July Plans

Summer Instructional Plans…Nursery-PK July Plans

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2020 Summer Reading Calendar

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Parent June Newsletter

June 15, 2020

Dear Our Lady of Grace Community

          I hope everyone had a good and safe weekend. Composing this newsletter is a bittersweet moment.  The bitter part being this parent newsletter to you all will be my last newsletter for this academic school year.  The sweet part being that we all have made it to the end of this academic school year TOGETHER. 

          We can all agree this school year is like one we have never seen before. 

          We have gone from fighting COVID-19 to fighting against the hate in the world.  We have made it to the end of the school year together, but we still have a lot of work to do as parents and educators for our children.   Mr. Rogers once said, “As human beings, our job in life is to help people realize how rare and valuable each one of us really is, that each of us has something that no one else has- or ever will have- something inside that is unique to all time. It’s our job to encourage each other to discover that uniqueness and to provide ways of developing its expression.”  As influential figures to our young minds it is important parents have those tough conversations with their children and it is important as educators, we create a safe space for children to explore and learn about themselves and others.    

          As parents/guardians all we want for our children is to see them happy and healthy.  But happiness and healthiness start from within.  As adults we know no one is perfect and we should embrace all of our parts, flaws and all.  We must come together and teach our children this same mindset.  We must remember our children we are like a box of crayons.  Like a box of crayons, no two colors are alike, but all the crayons are important and have a purpose.  If even one crayon is missing the box is incomplete.  These kids are the future and it is our duty to encourage them to be their true authentic self and love others for doing the same thing. 

          There are many free resources out there to help navigate these conversations. 

          You can continue to educate yourself on how to speak to your child on the current events in the world by using platforms like Sesame Street or our PDHP YouTube page:


Before I close out this final parent letter there are a few people I need to thank for providing this opportunity to work with you all.

Thank you to The Diocese of Brooklyn and The Mother Cabrini Program. 

Thank you to Ms. McManus for sharing these weekly newsletters with the Our Lady of Grace school community.

Thank you to those families who have continue to read the weekly letters.

Last but certainly not least, I would like to thank Dr. Tom Chadzutko for giving me this opportunity to work with these families and school community. 

Ms. Ramsingh

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Office of the Superintendent ~ Catholic School Support Services

Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn

June 9, 2020

Our lives begin to end

the day we become silent

about things that matter.”

– Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


Dear Parents and Guardians of Catholic Academy and Parish School Students,

The recent death of George Floyd, and others in similar circumstances remind us that racism continues to cast a long shadow across our nation. We must respond, not in violence, but in a renewed commitment to justice and peace.

We cannot answer all the questions regarding the death of George Floyd and the turmoil that it has erupted since.  However, we need to respond to the children we serve.  Our response must originate from our Gospel teachings of love and compassion.  In all we do, this must be our compass.

With that direction in mind, principals and their Catholic Academies and Parish School communities were provided with materials for delivering Jesus’ message, particularly in his parable of the Good Samaritan… Love your neighbor as yourself.  Over the course of the previous week, we heard that the lessons had been shared with the students in our Catholic Academies and Parish Schools, culminating on Friday, in many communities, in the participation of a Prayer Service for Peace.  Our message must be that we are all God’s children and it is our obligation to continue to pray for peace and safety for all.

I am also writing to you presently, to inform you of procedures for the closing of the 2019-2020 school year.  The end of this year has certainly been unlike any other.  I would like to take a moment to thank the teachers, school leaders, students, and everyone for pulling together and making distance learning work well.  Most of all, I would like to thank all parents and guardians.  With no training, you have been asked to become teachers along with still being parents.  Thank you!  Educating children is a team effort and distance learning has highlighted that as never before.

As we approach the final weeks of the school year, please take note of the following points:

  • The final week of school will be the week of June 15, 2020. Instruction will conclude on Tuesday, June 16th, with Wednesday, June 17th planned for a virtual field day. Thursday, June 18th will serve as a clerical day for teachers and school staff to finalize all school administrative details.  Friday, June 19th will be the final day of the 2019-2020 school year, culminating in either a closing prayer service or liturgy.  School leaders will be providing school-specific information.
  • While day-to-day instruction will be winding down, summer assignments will be provided. In most cases, there will be some choice and flexibility in what is to be completed. We also know that summer is a great time for all readers—whether your child is the kind of reader who has a stack of books ready to devour the minute school is out, or the kind of reader who needs some extra time and encouragement to find the right book.

The research on the habits of successful students tells us that children who read during the summer enter school in September ready for the challenges of their new grade.  Even more interesting is the fact that it doesn’t matter what they read—easy books, books that they’ve already read, fiction, non-fiction of all kinds, comic books, newspapers, magazines—just as long as they spend a chunk of time each day reading for pleasure.

  • While our students have not even begun summer vacation, we have started meeting to plan for September 2020 school opening. A task force has been created to begin discussing how to proceed in the fall. While all final determinations will be predicated on New York City, New York State, Federal and CDC mandates, the task force has been researching how countries around the globe have been moving into the next phase of normalcy, as well as developing strategies to continue with distance learning, planning for a modified return, or if a school would be able to open at 100%, what systems would need to put into place.  As we move forward, information will continue to be shared. It is our goal to fully re-open the Catholic Academies and Parish Schools within the Diocese of Brooklyn in September 2020.

We will continue to provide you with updates from the Diocesan Level as more information becomes available to us. In the interim, please continue to be in constant contact with the leadership of your Catholic Academy and Parish School.

I ask that you continue to pray for peace using the words found in the Prayer of St. Francis:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Continued prayers for you, your family!


Thomas Chadzutko, Ed.D.

Superintendent ~ Catholic School Support Services

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Our weekly newsletter

Please click HERE to see our newsletter

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June 1st Newsletter

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Scholarship updates

2020/2021 Financial Aid Application

Deadline Extended to July 24, 2020

And Other Scholarship Updates


We would like to share information and updates regarding financial aid for the 20/21 academic year. A similar message will be sent to financial aid applicants this week so they understand the process. We hope this information alleviates some of the stress our families are facing and answers questions you have been receiving.

·     The application deadline has been extended to 7/24/20 to give families extra time to complete their 2019 taxes. 2019 taxes are required; we cannot accept 2018 or prior years’ taxes. Continue to encourage families to complete their applications as soon as possible, even with the extension to 7/24/20.

·     Additional review will be given to families whose financial situation has changed due to the pandemic. Parents can add a note on the application if they’ve been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic (there is a comments section on the FACTS application).

·     Futures will accept unemployment documents for 2020, to verify change in income due to the pandemic. Documents must be added to the FACTS application. Without documents to verify the situation, we will not be able to adjust income. Additional time may be needed to get through these changes.

·     Families must be registered for 20/21 to be considered for an award; data from Option C data will be used to confirm registration.

·     Awarding begins June 1st for income-eligible families with completed applications and will continue on a rolling basis, as funding permits.

·     One award is permitted per student; once an award is determined funds cannot be added nor can they receive a secondary award. Please help explain this to families.

·     When a family asks Futures for additional help, we will kindly let them know the above and encourage them to speak with their school administration so that you are aware of their financial situation.

·     Once funding is exhausted and we are unable to award any further applicants, denial notifications will be sent. We will alert schools when funding has been exhausted. All award information is viewable in FACTS. Denials will appear as “finalized” with $0.


General Reminders

·     To apply, returning families should log into their existing FACTS accounts (except for Teddy Forstmann, see below) and new families can go to our, click “Scholarships” and “Apply Now”

·     Families must meet income eligibility requirements and be registered for 20/21 in order to be considered, they must apply every year and only completed applications will be considered. No consideration will be given for a family who has not completed the registration process. 

·     There is a non-refundable $35 application processing fee payable by credit card. Applications are available online in English and Spanish.

·     Families who received a Teddy J. Forstmann (TJF) Scholarship from the Children’s Scholarship Fund (CSF) in the prior year have received instructions on how to re-apply from CSF. Please contact CSF directly for assistance:

·     Returning TJF parents should not apply to both Futures/FACTS and CSF/Civicore. Siblings can be added to their TJF application. Returning TJF recipients who also have a FACTS application will receive instructions to apply through CSF and the FACTS application will be closed. 


·     Families with questions or concerns about the process can contact Futures via email:

·     Questions about status of application (complete, incomplete) should be directed to FACTS: Phone 866-315-9262 /


Thank you for your continued partnership. We hope the above information is helpful to you. Please reach out to us with any questions you may have by emailing us and we will respond as soon as possible.

P.S. COVID-19 Relief Fund applications continue to be reviewed. We aim to have notifications out with decisions on or about 5/31/20 to families and schools. Thank you.



Michelle Fox, Dir. of Programs

Emily Crespo-Valentin, Scholarship Coordinator

Tricia Monahan, Scholarship Coordinator

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A Virtual Tour of Our Lady of Grace

Welcome to OLGCA!

virtual tour flyer
Click to enlarge

Registration for the 2020-21 school year is now open, and we are excited for you to learn more about our school … virtually! Scroll down for a video tour and virtual visit. You can begin your online application here, and learn more about our admissions process here.

Some of the many things that make OLGCA a special place are: 


  • Technology and Science Labs
  • Chrome Books used in Grades 5-8
  • Academic Intervention Services
  • SETSS Teachers: Speech & Occupational Therapy
  • Super Kids and Renaissance Reading Program
  • Mathletics Program


  • GO MATH! by Houghton Mifflen Harcourt
  • Regents Algebra
  • Art, Band, Italian

Video Tour

Virtual Visit

[nivoslider slug=”virtual-tour-slideshow”]

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Spirit Week is here!

Click here to see the Spirit Week 2020 schedule