Loss of Catholic School with a Long Community History Brings Heartbreak
26 Catholic schools in the NYC have become casualties of COVID-19. Queen of the Rosary Catholic Academy was one 6 Catholic academies that the Diocese of Brooklyn chose to close for financial reasons related to COVID-19. 20 Catholic schools were also closed in the Archdiocese of New York for this reason. Although this news was received in July the final day for the schools is officially August 31.
“This is an incredibly sad day for our Catholic community to have to close these schools, but the devastation caused by the coronavirus pandemic is insurmountable. The difficult decisions come after the intense analysis of the financial picture of each academy,” said Thomas Chadzutko, Ed.D., Superintendent of Schools for Catholic schools of Brooklyn and Queens
To help the transition, the Diocese of Brooklyn, through the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Trust, will provide a one-time $500 financial grant for each child from a closed school enrolling and attending in a new Catholic elementary academy or school in Brooklyn or Queens this fall, as long as they have met all of their financial obligations.
Queen of the Rosary Catholic Academy’s parents, students, and faculty put up a valiant fight to keep it open. They started an online petition, and on July 14 they held a prayer walk. As of August 26, the petition has 2,591 signatures. A letter sent to Dr. Chadzutko was posted on the Queen of the Rosary’s Facebook page (now named QRCA Family Forever). The authors of the letter (the Entire QOR Community) stated, “The announcement of our school’s closure is unfathomable — we feel our school was targeted and chosen with feeble reasoning — particularly because we know our enrollment numbers have increased over the years.”
On July 22 the principal of Queen of the Rosary Catholic Academy for the past four years, James Daino, left a farewell message on Queen of the Rosary’s facebook page, “The last thing I will say is to remember that wherever you go to school next year and for the future just remember that you set the example for the entire community. Remember to always: take pride in yourself; take pride in your family; take pride in your heritage; and know that you can accomplish anything you set out to do. God Bless You!” Principal Daino has continued to post written and live videos since then and will going forward to keep in touch with the school’s community.
After August 31, 2020, all student records can be requested from the Diocesan Archivist, who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or the Diocesan Offices located at 310 Prospect Park West, Brooklyn, New York 11215.
Queen of the Rosary Catholic Academy’s origin began in 1865 when a school was founded by the Sisters of St. Dominic and called the St. Nicholas School, as it was near St. Nicholas Roman Catholic Church. Then commenced a long history of academic excellence and fond memories in the community. One of the alumni of the St. Nicholas Elementary School, Marian Hernandez, became Queen of the Rosary’s principal in 2014. She was succeeded by James Daino.
Queen of the Rosary came into being in 2010 when St. Nicholas merged with the campus at the Our Lady of Mount Carmel and the two schools were converted to the Diocese of Brooklyn’s newly established academy model.
The loss of this school is a tragedy to many in our community.