The Latest from Dr. Higgins

  • Message from Dr. Higgins, School Begins August 31

    Posted by Adrienne Wilson on 8/23/2020
    Dear St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic School Families,
    Our August skies are a deeper blue, the afternoon shadows lengthen, and earlier sunsets with cooler evenings signal the end of summer. With that said, we are looking forward to a new and exciting school year filled with learning and friendship! We have worked very hard to ensure that our school will open safely five days per week with a perspective toward best health and safety protocols and practices. If you haven’t already seen our school health and safety protocols video or simply need a “refresher,” please find the following link:
    We have had such a busy summer, and we are happy that many new families are joining us, and we welcome you to our school community. We also wish to welcome the following new teachers to our school: Ms. Nicole Welge will teach our new Pre-K 3 class, and Mrs. Margherita Magnano will teach our Pre-K 4/5 students along with Mrs. Kacy Caterson who will serve as our Physical Education teacher. We also now have a second Kindergarten class! Upon superintendent’s approval, we will introduce our new Kindergarten teacher shortly.
    Our first week of school:
    Busing will begin on August 31st.
    Monday, August 31: Pre-K 3, Pre-K 4/5, and Kindergarten will begin with an 11:10 early dismissal.
    [Tuesday – Friday will be full days with 2:10 normal dismissal]
    Tuesday, September 1: Grades 1 & 2 first day. PK and K also attend. 
    Wednesday, September 2: Grades 3 & 4 first day. PK, K, 1, 2 also attend.
    Thursday, September 3: Grades 5 & 6 first day. PK, K, 1, 2, 3, 4 also attend.
    Friday, September 4: Grades 7 & 8 first day. PK, K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 also attend.
    This gradual daily increase in our student population will permit our teachers and students time to prepare as well as adjust to our new health and safety protocols shared by Dr. Higgins. Additionally, our hot lunch program will begin starting Tuesday, September 8.
    New health and safety protocols, please note the following:
    ·        All PK-8 students must wear a mask when in school.
    ·        Students may wear their summer uniforms. Until further notice boys will not wear neckties.
    ·        Designated faculty and staff will scan student temperatures before they enter school. Students who have a temperature of 100.4 or higher will see our school nurse for further evaluation.
    ·        School starting and ending times will remain the same, as well as our morning drop-off procedures. However please note the following: 
    Pre-K 3 and Pre-K 4/5 students will enter school through the Pre-K4/5 entrance;
    Kindergarten through Grade 5 our Main Entrance, and
    Grades 6, 7 and 8 through the Parish Gymnasium Entrance. These separate entry points help to expedite the process of student temperature checks.
    ·        Grades 6-8 students are requested to bring a backpack to school as lockers will not be available at this time.
    ·        After School Care is available, however this year reservations must be made 24 hours in advance.
    ·        Until further notice, Beyond the Bell enrichment, clubs and activities will not be held.
    ·        During school hours we will have a designated drop-off station outside our school main entrance for items that parents and guardians wish to send to their students, i.e. a forgotten lunch.
    ·        Due to recent new students joining our school and its effect on class lists, we are working to release the lists to families this upcoming week. Your patience and understanding are greatly appreciated.
    Welcome Back to School Parent and Guardian Zoom Meetings
    As with any new school year, parents and guardians will have various questions and we are happy to answer them. With this in mind, we wish to have a series of Welcome Back to School Parent and Guardian Zoom Meetings each afternoon from 4 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. starting Thursday, August 27 and resuming Monday, August 31 through Thursday, September 3.
    Pre-K 3 and 4/5, Kindergarten: Thursday, August 27: 4:00 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. 
    Grades 1-3: Monday, August 31: 4:00 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.
    Grades 4-5: Tuesday, September 1: 4:00 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.
    Grades 6-8: Wednesday, September 2: 4:00 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. 
    Additional informational e-mails will be sent this upcoming week. Again my appreciation for your time and attention, and may God bless you and your families. 
    Patrick D. Higgins, Ed.D.
    Comments (-1)
  • Saint Thomas Aquinas Health and Safety Reopening Plan Fall 2020-Video

    Posted by Adrienne Wilson on 8/1/2020

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  • Fall Reopening Plans from the Diocese and Video from Dr. Cheeseman

    Posted by Adrienne Wilson on 7/10/2020
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  • Reopening Update! 6.3.2020

    Posted by Adrienne Wilson on 6/3/2020
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  • Coronavirus Update: May 7, 2020

    Posted by Adrienne Wilson on 5/7/2020
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  • Coronavirus Update: Distance Learning Through May 20, 2020

    Posted by Adrienne Wilson on 4/9/2020
    Dear St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic School Families,
    I hope this communication finds you and your family well.  Please read the letter linked below with updates from Dr. Cheeseman, Superintendent.
                         Link to Dr. Cheeseman's Letter dated 4.9.20
    Patrick D. Higgins, Ed.D.
    Comments (-1)
  • Happy Easter

    Posted by Adrienne Wilson on 4/9/2020
    Dear St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic School Families,
    I sincerely hope and pray that this letter finds you and your family well. Our Lenten journeys will soon come to an end as we share in the joy of the Resurrection. Despite our challenges during this time of national concern, please accept my warmest and prayerful wishes for a Happy Easter.
    It is peculiar to think that this Sunday we will not travel to church to partake in the traditional celebrations of Easter Mass. Please know that you are invited to attend Mass virtually this Sunday 8 a.m. at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church ( Our Celebrant will be Father Victor Martin and we will surely enjoy the beautiful Easter music of Mr. David Harris and Ms. Jen Romano.
    Many years ago and before the age of instantaneous video conferencing, I recall a sudden and severe pre-dawn Easter Sunday snowstorm that left my family housebound. We could not travel to Mass because snow tires on the family car were removed the day before. Easter eggs that my parents had hidden for my brother and I lie buried in the snow. Nonetheless, we prayed together and after a round of family phone calls, we enjoyed an Easter meal in our small cottage kitchen.
    I share this recollection with you because I just finished a face time chat with my third-grade nephew who, like us, is at home working on a distance learning assignment. His task was to interview a relative (me) about the history of their family. We spoke for nearly an hour, and as our conversation drew to a close my sister in law expressed amazement that they had not heard this family story until today. Perhaps we too can share and make some happy Easter memories this weekend, regardless of the necessity of being within our homes.
    As we pause to reflect upon the Paschal Triduum of 2020, let us pray that we will feel in our hearts the absolute joy and love shared with us in the Gospel of Luke 24:13-35 when the two disciples recognize the risen Jesus as he breaks bread with them. We also pray that the love and reassurance of our Lord Jesus Christ remains with us in times of challenge and doubt, and especially for those in need of our prayers.
    I would like to share a prayer written many years ago by my Uncle Joe. He served as my godfather and mentor from childhood and was very special to me. My Uncle Joe constantly prayed for us, and was always present at special family times.


    "My God - Keep me on the path of achieving happiness and success that is real. Keep my vision clear to see the goals.
    Loving Savior, help me to tap the hidden powers within and above me.
    Give me the strength to work with the energies of mind and body. Help me to practice the love of people and service to others.
    Dearest Jesus, keep me forever with a smile on my face for all humankind. Guide me, direct me, and enlighten me, so that I may live a fruitful life wholly pleasing to Thee.
    Jesus make me love You -
    Jesus make me a Saint!"
    Happy Easter, and may God continue to bless you and your family.


    Patrick D. Higgins, Ed.D.
    Comments (-1)
  • Coronavirus Update: End of Week 3, Enjoy Easter Break

    Posted by Dr. Patrick Higgins on 4/3/2020

    Dear Saint Thomas Families,

    Please see my latest letter here. 


    Dr. Higgins

    Comments (-1)
  • Coronavirus Update: Distance Learning Week 2 Finished

    Posted by Dr. Higgins on 3/27/2020
    Dear St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic School Families,
    I hope this communication finds you and your family well.  Please read the letters linked below with updates from Dr. Cheeseman, Superintendent and Dr. Higgins, Principal.
    Patrick D. Higgins, Ed.D.
    Comments (-1)
  • Coronavirus Update: Week One of DL Finished

    Posted by Adrienne Wilson on 3/20/2020
    Comments (-1)

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