Letter to Families Regarding Masks

January 25, 2022

Dear Catholic Academy and Parish School Families,

As you may be aware, a New York State Supreme Court Judge in Nassau County ruled last night that the statewide mandate ordering students and staff to wear masks in schools is unconstitutional and cannot be enforced. However, the New York Supreme Court in Albany County has determined the mandate is constitutional and legal. 

Shortly after the ruling was issued, the New York State Department of Education (SED) notified all school districts throughout the state that the Department of Health has appealed the decision, and a stay has been issued that restores the mask rule. Therefore, SED dispatched the following statement:

The State Education Department understands that Nassau County Supreme Court has ruled that the Department of Health exceeded its authority in enacting the mask regulation, 10 NYCRR 2.60, in Demetriou et al. v. New York State Dep’t of Health et al. This regulation is the subject of conflicting decisions, insofar as Albany County Supreme Court recently upheld the regulation in Massapequa UFSD et al. v. Hochul, et al.

It will now be left to the appellate courts of the State to resolve the conflict between the two Supreme Courts. Because an appellate court has Stayed the Nassau Supreme Court Order that Order cannot take effect at this time. Therefore, all schools must comply with the mask mandate as issued by the State. Naturally, if the Governor rescinds the mask mandate, there would be no need to await the Court decisions. It is our fervent hope for the Catholic Academies and Parish Schools in the Diocese of Brooklyn that the mask mandate will be eliminated which would allow our schools to make mask wearing optional based upon local circumstances. If the appellate courts strike down the mask mandate, our schools and academies will IMMEDIATELY be able to make masks optional. However, until the appellate courts render a final decision, our Catholic Academies and Parish Schools must follow the State mask mandate.

We will continue to monitor this situation closely and keep you informed.

We thank you for your continued patience and understanding!


Rev. Msgr. David L. Cassato

Vicar for Catholic Schools

Thomas Chadzutko, Ed.D.

Superintendent ~ Catholic School Support Services

Joan McMaster

Deputy Superintendent ~ Catholic School Support Services

Latest News on Mask Mandate


New York State Board of Regents

Betty A. Rosa

Commissioner of Education

The State Education Department

The University of the State of New York / Albany, NY 12234
Office of Communications














image003.pngFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 25, 2022

Media Contact:

JP O’Hare or Jeanne Beattie

(518) 474-1201






We are pleased the Appellate Division granted the application by the Department of Health and the Governor’s office, confirming the lower court’s decision is stayed pending further proceedings. As such, the mask mandate remains in effect for schools across the state. We support Governor Hochul and the state Department of Health as they continue with the appeal. We thank the members of our school communities for their patience during this process.


Mask Mandate Required

The State Education Department understands that Nassau County Supreme Court has ruled that the Department of Health exceeded its authority in enacting the mask regulation, 10 NYCRR 2.60, in Demetriou et al. v. New York State Dep’t of Health et al.  This regulation is the subject of conflicting decisions, insofar as Albany County Supreme Court recently upheld the regulation in Massapequa UFSD et al. v. Hochul, et al.

It is SED’s understanding that the Department of Health will appeal the Nassau County Supreme Court decision, which will result in an automatic stay that will unambiguously restore the mask rule until such time as an appellate court issues a further ruling.  Therefore, schools must continue to follow the mask rule.

Letter to Parents from Mrs. Freebes

Jan. 2, 2022

Good afternoon, 

May the Peace of Christ be with you.

As you know, Omicron seems to have a life of its own. Keeping that in mind our school community will try its best to protect our students, teachers, and staff to the best of their ability.

Please do not send your child to school, tomorrow, Jan. 3rd, 2022, if they are sick in any way including: runny nose, cough, sore throat, headache, earache or stomach ache.  If your child or family member was exposed to anyone with COVID, do not send your child to school or if your child or family member is waiting a COVID test result as well.

Tomorrow, school will end at 3PM and there will not be any Afterschool Program because our classes can’t be combined due to COVID. 

If there are many cases of COVID in our school community, we may return to remote learning for a few days until Omicron subsides. 

Children will have temperature checks as they enter school tomorrow. If any student has a temperature, he/ she will be sent home immediately. Please do not forget to fill out the health screening paper for your child/children.

 With all this in mind, we will be opened until 3PM tomorrow.  Let us pray together for an end to COVID and in thanksgiving for all the gifts we have been given on the feast of the Three Kings.

God bless you,

Mrs. Freebes

Christmas Letter from Dr. Chadzutko


Christmas 2021

Dear Families,

The Advent season has been filled with joyful anticipation for the birth of Christ. We wait each week and watch as the Advent candles glow, increasing in light as we approach Christmas. Lights play a significant role in our celebration of both the Advent season and our preparations for Christmas. Each year, I would spend an often-cold Saturday with my children preparing the outside of our home with Christmas lights. In the days of old Christmas lights, we would take time to check each string of lights to make sure each bulb worked, meticulously changing the bulbs that had gone out. At the end of the day, the kids were always excited to see the finished illuminated product and even as adults, there is something almost magical about the lights of Christmas. 

Our hearts during the Christmas season are like the Christmas lights of the past. It is not enough to simply turn on the lights in celebration. We must take the time to tend to our hearts and prepare them for Jesus. As one would untangle strings of lights and check for missing bulbs, I encourage you to look within your heart to see where the light of Christ may be hindered. Do we hold burdens and anger within our hearts? Are there unresolved conflicts or distractions that dim our light? These are questions that are not just for our adult hearts but also the hearts of our children. During Advent, spend time in prayer with your children and model ways in which we can search our hearts and ask for God’s intercession in areas of need. 

The Christmas season is an opportunity for families to come together and share the light of Christ. As a family, take time to consider ways to open your hearts to the greatest possible light. Just as Jesus is our light, we must be a light for others. Teaching this to our children through our words and our actions is tremendously important. These practices of being the light to others especially during the Christmas season is an opportunity for children to embrace these traditions into their adult lives. Volunteering, donating time and talent, and donating of material goods are just a few ways to guide children in being the light to others. Incorporating daily prayer and praying on behalf of others is also a wonderful way to kindle the light of Christmas.

Christmas lights are a wonderful symbol of the holiday season and provide a sense of magic for children and adults alike, but we must remember that they represent more than the secular celebration of the season. Christmas lights represent the light of Christ that shines within our hearts. Jesus is a light for all the world and the lights during Advent and Christmas are representations of the light in our world. It is a reminder that we can also be a light in the darkness just like Christ. I pray that this Advent and Christmas season is filled with opportunities for you to give and receive the light of Christ. May your Christmas be filled with the joy of the season as we celebrate the birth of the Messiah.

In Christ,

Thomas Chadzutko

Thomas Chadzutko, Ed.D.

Superintendent ~ Catholic School Support Services

Letter from Hour Children



Dear Saints Joachim and Anne School Family,

On behalf of the women, children and families that Hour Children serves and benefit from your generosity, thank you! You have made a gift that truly makes a difference.

Thank you for your support of our mission.

– From everyone at Hour Children