Diocese of Brooklyn offering fully remote option for students this fall

Students across the borough — and their parents and teachers — are adjusting to remote learning. (Photo via Pexels)

The Diocese of Brooklyn is offering remote classes for students that are still uncomfortable heading back to school in person. 

Students in kindergarten through the eighth grade can enroll in the St. Thomas Aquinas Online Catholic Academy, an online school chartered in New York State under the Diocese of Brooklyn’s Department of Education.

At the moment, the 150 children enrolled in the academy are being instructed by eight teachers although those numbers could go up in the coming weeks. Students at the academy are broken up into classes based on grade level and get live instruction during the day in classes with 25 to 35 other students. 

Although most of the students attending the online academy are from Brooklyn and Queens, enrollment is still open and administrators are welcoming students from all five boroughs. 

¨Just this morning we received an email from a parent in the Bronx… she doesn´t want her child back in school, she´s not ready,” said a spokesperson for the Diocese of Brooklyn John Quaglione.

Most parents choosing to enroll their child in St. Thomas Aquinas Online Catholic Academy are doing so out of concern over the delta variant or health and safety guidelines at city public schools, according to Quaglione. Others are opting for the remote academy to save on childcare and after-school program costs or because their children thrived in an online school environment last year, Quaglione added

Families have to pay $5,300 tuition for a child to attend the online academy and families wishing to enroll multiple children will get a reduced rate for siblings. For families that can not afford tuition, some financial aid opportunities are available, according to the school´s website. 

“The Diocese of Brooklyn has worked hard to provide this opportunity to continue online learning for the students and families who wanted it to continue. We know there are people who remain uncomfortable with returning to in-person learning and want to continue learning online. They should have this option and St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Online Academy provides just that. As we all know, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed so much, including education. The St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Online Academy ensures our students do not miss the opportunity to learn regardless of pandemic concerns,” said Dr. Thomas Chadzutko, Superintendent of the Schools.

Registration for the 2021-2022 academic year remains open. For more information on the St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Online Academy, or financial assistance, please visit the school’s website at stacoa.org.