With the start of the school year, Catholic schools in Brooklyn and Queens welcomed a new superintendent, Deacon Kevin McCormack. Former principal of Xaverian High School in Bay Ridge and co-host of the WABC radio show, “Religion on the Line” with Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, McCormack has nearly 40 years of educational experience to share with students, parents and staff in Brooklyn and Queens.

The education system has undergone many changes in recent years, and with it, students and their learning needs, according to McCormack, who said he was keen to keep Catholic education up to date with the context of the society. As students headed home for their first day of school last week, McCormack visited a handful of schools in Brooklyn and Queens, meeting some of his new students and colleagues. As superintendent, he will lead the diocese’s efforts to work with school boards and principals to design curriculum and raise funds for school maintenance, staff salaries and programs. of learning.

Kevin McCormack, the new superintendent of Catholic schools in Brooklyn and Queens, said he wants to make sure Catholic school education keeps up with society and the big changes happening in the world and in schools. Office of the Superintendent/Catholic School Support Services

“Students must be able to think critically,” he said. “They have to imagine a positive world, a world in which they can make a difference. Schools must ensure that they have this right. Children need to know their story and we need to make them ask the right questions. Sometimes people don’t think critically. They are not able to analyze, but in today’s world, where there are so many voices, we need our children to be able to distinguish between what is valid, what is authentic and what is not. not.

Safety at the 84 Catholic schools in Brooklyn and Queens is a number one priority, McCormack said. As the time has come for students to return to their classrooms, and after 29 school shootings have occurred this year, many parents and entire communities are worried.

“We are constantly updating our security systems,” he said. “We are in close contact with our police stations and all the first responders. We have regular exercises to prepare our children, our teachers, our staff and our directors.

The diocese is also trying to address the problem at the root by providing students with weekly access to mental health professionals, he added.

When it comes to addressing some of the more recent controversies that have arisen in the country, such as legal access to abortion and equal rights to same-sex marriage, Catholic schools in Brooklyn and Queen’s stick to a religious approach to education, McCormack said.

“The Catholic Church has a very strong tradition of moral issues in the way it approaches certain things and that’s what happens,” the deacon said. “Schools aren’t shy about what we believe, but we don’t take it out of context either because our belief is in the context of who people are. We invite people to grow as they are and realize that we don’t need people to be perfect, but we need people to grow from imperfection.

visit of the superintendent of the catholic school
New Catholic Schools Superintendent Kevin McCormack visits St. Andrew Avillino Catholic Academy in Queens as the new school year began last week. McCormack, with nearly 40 years of experience in education, said it is important to keep Catholic values ​​at the forefront when addressing current events in schools. Office of the Superintendent/Catholic School Support Services

After years of low enrollment, more families in New York appear to be turning to Catholic and private schools — last year, private school enrollment in the city rose 3.8% , according to the New York Post. At St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Academy in Windsor Terrace, enrollment is up 47% from fall 2019, before the pandemic began, according to the Diocese of Brooklyn, and at least 20 Catholic schools in Brooklyn and of Queens reported an increase in the number of new students this year.

The average diocesan Catholic elementary school tuition of $4,250 covers only 75% of the cost. The rest comes mainly from fundraising and donations. Futures in Education, a financial aid program run by the Diocese of Brooklyn and Queens, provides more than $7 million in financial aid and scholarships to more than 5,000 students to help families pay college tuition. primary. Nearly $9 million in scholarships are offered to Grade 8 graduates as part of their acceptance into Catholic high schools.

“Over the past 37 years at Xaverian, working with wonderful students and their families, dedicated staff, dedicated faculty, administrators and alumni – and especially my friend President Alesi, I have learned this that makes a Catholic school great,” McCormack said in a news release when he was named superintendent. “I am grateful that Bishop Brennan has placed his trust in me to build on the formative work of Dr. Chadzutko and continue the blessed tradition of excellence in Catholic education.”