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February 4, 2019

Monday, February 4, 2019

Dear Parents and Guardians,

As you are aware, over the last few weeks, our eighth graders have anxiously anticipated their Catholic high school acceptance notifications.  I am thrilled to inform you that the HCA Class of 2019 has hit it out of the park!  Our eldest students have not only received acceptances to their schools of choice, but have been offered over $525,000 in scholarships!  Please join me in congratulating our eighth graders and in wishing them well as they choose the schools they will attend in the fall.

Thank you to everyone who made Catholic Schools Week so special.  Thanks to everyone who spoke at masses last weekend and at our Career Day on Monday.   Thanks to eighth grader, Liam Richardson and alumnus Nora Jacobi for speaking on Sunday at OLG and Ss Peter and Paul respectively, as well as Mrs. Maglia (SSPP), Mr. Vergara, Mrs. De Falco and Mr. Swiatek (St. Ann), Ms. Wycherley (St. Francis), and Mr. Kappock (St. Lawrence).   Thanks for setting the tone for what would be a really great week!

Our Career Day speakers included HCA parents, Mr. Halleron, Mr. Vergara, Mrs. Bartoli, Ms. Champagne, Ms. Golden, Mr. Dirkin, Mr. Simkins and Mrs. Lascialfare as well as my longtime friend and retired actuary, Mr. Tom Murphy, Paul Vassak, an education specialist from Apple and our own Nurse De Trizio.  All of their presentations were very well received and students from first to eighth grade learned a lot about a wide variety of careers, ranging from various types of law, teaching, nursing, advertising, finance, software development, broadcasting and publishing.  The presentations were outstanding and our students impressed everyone with their questions and comments.  Please check out the spread in hMag, thanks to its editor and HCA parent presenter, Chris Halleron:

Thanks as well to our Pre-K and Kindergarten moms for the hot chocolate social and so many delicious cookies!  The special pajama day event was filled with the joy and enthusiasm our youngest students.  The older students and our staff members and I enjoyed the extra cookies.  We are all looking forward to the next hot chocolate social!

Congratulations to the Christopher Widjaja Spelling Bee winner, eighth grader Tara Dean.  Because Tara has a previous commitment, our alternate, fifth grader, Kylee Hawkins, will represent HCA on Saturday, February 23rd at the Jersey Journal Hudson County Spelling Bee at Secaucus High School.  Please join me in wishing Kylee well as she represents our school at this big event.  The winner of the Hudson County Bee will move on to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington DC!  Good luck Kylee!  

This year the spelling bee was broken into an upper and lower grade contest.  The winner of the Grade 1-4 spelling bee was fourth grader, Carolina Fernandez.  All of the students did very well, with the moderators having to go through multiple rounds of words above the participants' respective grade levels to bring the contest to a conclusion.  Congratulations to Carolina for winning a very tough competition!

Students learned math from our seventh and eighth graders who became math teachers for an afternoon and our second and third grade students’ Nursery Rhyme Tableaus were excellent.  Grade four students had their “Think-a-thon,” today and the brain-teasers they worked on were really tough!

The STEM Fair, featuring team projects by students in grades 5-8, has been rescheduled to Tuesday, February 12th from 6:30-8:30PM.  The younger students will have an opportunity to see and learn about the projects that afternoon.

The Book Character Dress Down Day will take place on Thursday, February 14th.  Students not wishing to dress as a book character are free to wear something red on this free dress down day.  Also, on Valentine’s Day afternoon, our first graders will have their Movie Day and fifth and sixth graders will read with their Kindergarten Reading Buddies.

Congratulations to fourth grader, Daniel Naeris, for winning the annual HCA Religion Bee! Daniel and the other participants did a nice job in demonstrating a solid understanding of the details of our faith.  Some of the questions were difficult when asked out of context and our students did a great job nonetheless.

We will have our Pre-K conferences and on Tuesday, February 5th from 3:00 to 6:000 PM evening.

Parent/teacher conferences for grades K-8 will take place on Wednesday, the 13th from 6:00 to 8:30PM on Friday, February 15, from 1:00-3:00PM.  Friday, February 15th will be a half-day.  There will be no after school activities, but there will be aftercare and basketball practice.   

We will be closed on Monday, February 18 and Tuesday, February 19 for Presidents’ Day weekend.

On Friday, February 22nd, fifteen nations will be represented at one of our greatest events, International Night!  We will taste delicious food, learn about some amazing cultures and share in the pride and love our families have in their heritage.   I’m sure this year’s event will be even more spectacular than our previous celebrations.  If you have not done so already, please make plans to join us that evening  

Lets have a great February, and remember, pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training next week!  I sure hope the groundhogs got it right this year.

God bless you all. 

Matthew McGrath