In a world where you can be anything, be kind.
Jennifer Dukes Lee
Dear School Community:

As I sat down to write this, I started to reflect on the day and the many experiences I engaged in as I traveled the halls and visited classrooms.

I found myself smiling at the varied learning experiences our students were engaged in. First Grade taught me about informational text writing and the use of subtitles. Be sure to ask a First Grader anything you wish to know on the topic. They are experts!

PreK taught me about structures as they designed buildings of the future. Second Graders were working on solving word problems on the iPads, using bar models through a game called Thinking Blocks. (Why didn't we learn math this way when I was a student?)

Third Grade eloquently shared with me their persuasive writing pieces in an attempt to convince me that students should be able to use the elevators. I am reviewing their arguments as I write. I sat with the Fourth Grade to attempt to beat the clock and sharpen my multiplication facts. I am 2 for 2!

In Kindergarten, students were being authors and writing books about things they knew. Some were following patterns of stories they had heard before and all were very conscientious about their spacing between words.

During morning assembly, London spoke to us about Helen Keller. Jiayre introduced us to our upcoming Spirit Days. Thank you Upper School for your recommendations. It was a pleasure to work through this with you. Kathryn also shared some pieces from her art portfolio, and, additionally, we recognized our Upper School students who earned honors.

Upper School will now make recommendations as to the ideal summer uniform. I enjoy listening to their comments as they come to understand the varied factors to be considered when making decisions that impact a community. Stay tuned for a report in the near future.

Without question, my visits to classrooms are the highlights of my day. Stay tuned for updates on life in Upper School and our special area classes in my next note.

Kindest Regards,

Ms. Coombs
Head of School

Jan. 29- PA meeting
Jan. 30-Geography Bee
Feb. 5- Conference Day/Nory Camp
Feb. 6-Talent Show
Feb. 13- Chelsea Piers, First, Second, Third and Fourth Grades
Feb. 17- President's Day (No School)
Feb. 18- Teachers' PD Day (No School)
Feb. 27- Scholastic Book Fair
Feb. 28- Scholastic Book Fair continues


Students in third through seventh grade will be participating in CTP-5 testing February 3 through 21. Ms. DiBlasi is preparing a schedule that will be shared with you. There will be no testing on Mondays.


Please join the administration for one of our annual coffee chats. This is an opportunity for conversation about the Academy as we think about and plan for the upcoming year. The times are scheduled for after morning assembly and prior to dismissal.

Thursday, Jan. 30- 2:45 pm 
Monday, February 3- 8:45 am . 
A survey will be sent out in the next few days to give you an opportunity to provide feedback to us as we make decisions for the 2020-21 academic year.


Mr. Barrett sent electronic re-enrollment contracts and a corresponding cover letter to current families on January 22nd. Contracts are due on February 6th. Please let Ms. Coombs know if you have any questions. Ms. Coombs will sign contracts and a copy will be returned to you. Tuition will remain the same if your contract and deposit are returned by February 6th.  Tuition will be increased by $1000.00 if submitted after the February 6th deadline.


Cathy David will host our 4th annual talent show on Thursday, February 6, at 6:30 pm. If you are interested in assisting, please contact Cathy David at This has always been an absolutely delightful evening. Thank you, Cathy. 

Talent Show expectations have been emailed to the community.  Please review these guidelines with your child.


Mr. T. has started to plan our annual musical. He will be assisted by Mr. Willis.

The students in PK, K, 1st, and 2nd grades will share a choral presentation on Monday, May 18th immediately following morning assembly.

Students in 3rd through 8th grade will work together on a musical, with the show to be slated for Thursday, June 4, at 6:30 pm.


Join us on Thursday, Jan. 30, immediately following morning assembly, for our annual Geography Bee. Thank you, Mr. Hurwitz, for your work to prepare our students. Please join us.

We continue to keep Narda in our thoughts and prayers along with all the men and women who serve our country.

Let us also keep the citizens of Australia in our prayers as they endure the impact of the bush fires.


Congratulations to our First Honors recipients: Eamon McCool, Maria Luisa Balestriere, Ryan Rose, Joseph Derrough-Salas, Julia Gill, Samantha Menkes, John Mulvihill, Humberto Reboredo, Saffana Whitt, Marguerite Carmone, Lorenzo Diamantini, and Andrew Lenzner.

Congratulations, also, to our Second Honors recipients: Daniella Grant, Ava Ayala, Declan McCool, Brice Willis, Niccolò Balestriere, and Aidan O'Donnell.



Our next conference day will be February 5. Upper School students are expected to attend their conferences; Lower School students have a no-school day.



Upper School students chose the following themes for Spirit Day; please encourage your child to dress accordingly, and have fun! 

Monday, Feb. 3 -Decade Day- Dress in the attire of the decade of your choice.
Monday, Feb. 10-Sports Day- Dress in the attire of a favorite sport or wear a jersey/etc. of your favorite team.
Friday, Feb. 21-Comfy Day- Dress in your Pajamas or yoga wear...whatever is comfy for you
Friday, Feb. 28-Character Day- Dress as your favorite storybook or comic book character.  This ties in perfectly with Scholastic Bookfair as well.


We celebrate the following birthdays in February:

2/7 - Elisabeth Romano
2/11- Eamon McCool
2/21- John Mulvihill


NORY, the group that offers our STEM/Robots after-school class, will also offer a day camp to interested students on Feb. 5 (conference day). They will also offer a summer program at our school. This is a fun way for kids to try out the scientific method. Please see your email for details, and with any questions, please contact Matthew Trainor:

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Academy of St Joseph · 111 Washington Place · New York, NY 10014 · USA

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