Updates from the Principal

March 17,2021

Dear Parents/Guardians and Students,

This letter brings with it wishes for a Happy St. Patrick’s Day and St. Joseph’s Day.  We have just celebrated our annual St. Joseph’s Day Liturgy, where our Sisters renew their vows, and the faculty, staff and students rededicate themselves to the mission of education as we pursue wisdom and understanding.  Further, we celebrate and show our appreciation for those in our community who have been recognized as Peacemakers.  They inspire us to make our world a better place, to work together, to keep ourselves and each other safe.

We know the COVID infection rate has not yet left our city; we hear of new variants almost daily. While we have done an extraordinary job of keeping ourselves protected, Mary Louis, as we know, is not immune.  We have been informed of two positive cases in our community, and several in the extended community. Any person who has potentially been exposed has been notified.  We have several faculty members who have been potentially exposed, and so it becomes increasingly difficult to cover all classes when several teachers are not present in the building. As much as we know how beneficial it is to remain open, I feel it is best to shift to full Remote Learning, effective immediately – Thursday, March 18, 2021 through our Easter vacation, returning on Monday, April 12, 2021. As we remind ourselves while in school, please have your daughters remain vigilant in following safety and sanitization procedures: frequent hand washing, masks at all times, social distancing, sanitizing work and high-touch areas. 

The schedule for the remainder of March, and the beginning of April will be as follows:

Thursday, March 18th – Wednesday, March 31st  – Remote Learning   

Friday, March 19th – Adjusted Schedule classes end at 12:30 

Tuesday, March 23rd – Parent Teacher Conferences* from 3:00 – 5:00/6:00 – 8:00

Thursday, April 1st – Holy Thursday, No Classes

Friday, April 2nd – Good Friday, No Classes

Sunday, April 4th  – Easter Sunday – vacation week

Monday, April 12th – Schedule returns to Hybrid program

While we are on Remote Learning, the General Office will still be open; phone messages will be received and forwarded to the appropriate party; faculty and staff will be available through email, so if there are any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.  Should a student need to access her locker, she may do so tomorrow or Friday during regular school hours of 8:00-2:30 on Thursday, 3/18, then 8:00 – 12:30 on Friday, 3/19.

Senior Ring Day will be rescheduled – again, I know, and I am heartbroken about it.  Moderators of various activities will be in touch with any other schedule changes.
Report Cards were distributed in homeroom this past Monday and Tuesday, March 15, 16.  If your daughter was not in school, the card was mailed home on Tuesday, March 16th    *In lieu of our regular Report Card Day parent meetings, our faculty will be available for telephone or zoom conferences by appointment on Tuesday, March 23rd, from 3:00 – 5:00/6:00 – 8:00.  Each teacher will provide scheduling information through the portal, Google Classroom or email.  Your daughter’s Guidance Counselor will be available to you as well.  Please email her should you wish to set up an appointment:

FW  – jkovach@tmla.orgChairperson – jkillen@tmla.org
SM – jscally@tmla.orgCollege Counselor – hbarbarossa@tmla.org
JR –  hoconnor@tmla.orgSchool Psychologist – cbommarito@tmla.org
SR – mventurino@tmla.org

The Athletic Home Page in the Portal will be updated as needed with any updated sports information as it becomes available.  

We realize this will be a very difficult Easter season for many in our community; please be assured of our love, thoughts and prayers for each of you. 

Fidem Servavi,

Ann O’Hagan-Cordes

Principal


March 2, 2021

Dear Parents/Guardians,

They say, “March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb,” that adage is certainly true today!  I hope you are keeping safe and warm.  This brief letter serves as an Update on happenings in our community this month.

We end the 2nd Trimester this Thursday, March 4th.  Please check that your daughter has completed and submitted all assignments, projects, reports, and has taken all quizzes and tests, so that this will be a successful marking period for her.  Report Cards will be distributed in homeroom on Monday, March 15th (F day) and Tuesday, March 16th (A day) to those who are in school on those cycle days.  For those who are on full Remote, Reports Cards will be mailed on Tuesday, March 16th.   Report Card Parent/Teacher Conferences will be held as they were for the 1st Trimester.  The teachers will make available an appointment calendar for you to request mutually available time to talk.   

There is no school this Friday, March 5th  for students as the faculty and staff from Mary Louis gathers (virtually) with the communities of our CSJ Sister schools – Fontbonne Hall Academy, Sacred Heart Academy and Maria Reina (San Juan) for our biennial CSJ Convocation.  

Monday, March 8th will be our National Honor Society Induction – we congratulate our fine students on this prestigious accomplishment! Unfortunately, only current NHS Members and Inductees are permitted to attend.

On Wednesday, March 17th we will have our St. Joseph’s Liturgy.  Classes will meet on an adjusted schedule; liturgy will be at 1:00; dismissal will be at the regular time. We will stream the liturgy from the Auditorium to the homerooms so all may participate.   

On Friday, March 19th our Seniors will finally celebrate their Ring Ceremony, which had to be postponed several times, so fingers crossed all will go well! The Prayer Service and Ceremony will be open only to students, so as to keep appropriate distance in the Auditorium.  The schedule for the ceremony will be made available next week; however, it will be an adjusted schedule day for all students. 

Our gifted musicians will hold (virtually) our Annual Open Mic Afternoon on March 24th; this is always a wonderful opportunity for all of us to share in the gifts of others. 

We will round out the month with our Lenten Prayer Services at our Level meetings before breaking for Easter vacation (April 1-11).  

Don’t forget to check out our new Hilltopper Wellness Initiative on our website; each day focuses on an aspect of physical and emotional wellness.

It is our hope that the month will bring back a consistent presence on campus.  It is wonderful to hear the students in the building again: talking, singing, laughing, enjoying high school as teenagers should.

Be well, stay safe, 

Ann O’Hagan-Cordes

Principal


January 15, 2021

Dear Parents and Students,

I hope you are doing well and keeping safe.  We have now completed our second week of Remote Learning post-Christmas vacation.  As indicated in my Update of January 8th, we will return to our hybrid schedule on Tuesday, January 19th, which is B day, and continue through Friday, January 22nd – E day.

The week of January 25th brings mid-term exams and PSAT Day.  Please be on the lookout for correspondence from Mrs. Mauro regarding the exam schedule.  There are no classes held during mid-term week; with the exception of the PSAT, all exams will be virtual; students sign in for a specific exam at the designated day and time.  Each teacher issuing an exam will share with the students information and directives pertinent to that class, including the use of cameras.

We will then return to our hybrid schedule, presuming all is well in the city, on Monday, February 1st.   A reminder to our students on Remote Learning: everyone is to be in class on time, prepared for class: assignments complete, responsive to questions asked, participative in class discussions, and seeking assistance when needed. Further, each student should have a quiet space conducive to learning; she should be out of bed, washed, dressed and ready for school.  Should she be ill, please notify the General Office – 718-297-2120 or attendance@tmla.org

This has been a long, challenging road for so many in our community.  Each of you remain in our daily thoughts and prayers, and we look forward to the day when we can again be together. Until then, be well, stay safe.

Sincerely,

Ann O’Hagan-Cordes


January 8, 2021

Dear Parents/Guardians and Students,

Happy New Year! We hope you are doing well, and have enjoyed some rest and relaxation over the Christmas vacation; we know it was much needed for so many of us.  We had all hoped that the beginning of a new year would bring an end to illness and strife; sadly, that is not the case.

As we know, the pandemic has not gone away; a new strain has emerged and the spread of COVID continues.  We have received word from many in our community of travel over the Christmas vacation to locales out of state and country; members of our community or their family members have been exposed or have tested positive for COVID; many are under quarantine.  We will, therefore, remain on Remote Learning through next week.  We will plan to resume our hybrid schedule on Tuesday, January 19th, following the Martin Luther King Jr. weekend. 

The week following that is Mid-Term Exam week (January 25 – 29).  All mid-term exams will be issued virtually, with the sole exception of the PSAT Exam, which had been postponed by the College Board in October.  The mid-term exam schedule and the PSAT information will be posted next week; teachers will provide all information and directives for each subject exam. Exam integrity is of great concern; any attempt to give aid to another student, or to receive aid from another student or search engine will result in the cancellation of the grade – any student(s) involved in cheating would receive a zero. 

While we are on Remote Learning, it is imperative that each student is in class on time, fully prepared and participative, as if in the regular classroom.  We expect each student to volunteer questions and answers, engage in classroom discussions, and seek extra help from her teacher when necessary.  We continue to provide an outstanding education for our students, student engagement is crucial to academic success.

Wishing each of you good health and many blessings in this new year,

Ann O’Hagan-Cordes

Principal  


November 29, 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians and Students,

I hope this letter finds you well, and having enjoyed a different kind of Thanksgiving this year.  Each of you has been in our thoughts and prayers during this season of recalling our blessings, cognizant of the difficult year this has been for so many of us.  To the best of my knowledge, our community is doing well and remaining healthy, much to our relief.

Therefore, as I indicated in my letter of November 13th, and of this writing, we will reopen to our hybrid schedule Monday, November 30th, A day.  We will continue to maintain the procedures and protocols that have kept us safe. Masks will be worn all day, immediately replaced after eating; hands are to be washed or sanitized frequently and thoroughly; if your daughter is feeling ill, please keep her home, and please contact me in the event someone in your household or immediate circle receives a positive test result.  Further, should you or your daughter come in contact with one who has tested positive, we ask her to remain at home until the quarantine period of 10-14 days passes, and a negative test result is sent to us.  We encourage anyone who does not feel well, or who suspects they have had contact with one who has Covid, to get tested. We believe following these procedures will help all of us stay healthy. 

During the time we have been on full Remote Learning, the entire campus has been completely sanitized.  All desks, doorknobs and touch points have been thoroughly cleaned.  We will, of course, continue our thoroughness throughout the day and after school each day. 

We begin the 2nd trimester this week, which means our 1st trimester grades are being submitted and Report Cards will be generated.  We will mail your daughter’s Report Card to you at the end of the week, and her teachers will arrange a time for conversation between you and her/him, whether that be through a zoom meeting, Google meet, or phone call.  Please take advantage of the opportunity to speak with your daughter’s teachers to address any issues or concerns you may have.  As always, your daughter’s academic progress, in addition to her emotional and physical well-being, remain our priority.

We know that being in a routine and coming to school, in as much as is possible, aid in her overall health. For our students who attend class Remotely, each should be fully present in each class. This means she is to be out of bed, washed and dressed for the day, attentive, responsive, engaged in her lessons.  If a teacher repeatedly calls on a student who is not responsive, it is presumed she is not in class.  This will affect her grades.  Please speak with your daughter to ensure she is participative in her classes. 

While we are hopeful to get to our Christmas break without interruption, should it become necessary to make any change to our schedule, I will, of course, be in touch with you.  In the meantime, please take care of yourselves, and be assured of our continued prayers for each of you and your families. 

Fidem Servavi,

Ann O’Hagan-Cordes

Principal

November 13, 2020

Good Afternoon,

As you know, The Mary Louis Academy has received word that someone in our community has tested positive for COVID.  All of our prayers are for a quick, full recovery, with minimal spread to others.  Unfortunately, there is the potential for transmission of the virus to others, as is its nature.  We have closed the building to students and faculty today so that we could begin the tracing and notification process to those who may have been exposed.  That notification has been sent via email to those who may have been exposed.  If you have not received an email from us, it is safe to presume there is no exposure risk to your daughter. 

While we know we have done an excellent job of keeping the building and campus safe, given the increasing rate of infection in the city and the number of members in our community that will begin the quarantine process, we will look to shift to Full Remote Learning from November 16th through Thanksgiving weekend.  At this time, we would plan to be back in school Monday, November 30th –A Day – resuming our hybrid schedule.  As with all things this year, the return date is subject to change if the city is experiencing high rates of infection.  I will, of course, keep you informed as time draws near.

In an effort to allow all students and faculty to retrieve any belongings they may need for Remote Learning, we will permit students who are not under quarantine to come to school on Monday, 11.16., between the hours of 8:00 and noon, to pick up anything from her locker that is needed at home.  We will take Monday, November 16 as a transitional/planning day so that   everyone is set for class on Tuesday, November 17 – F Day. 

A reminder that students are to be present and engaged in all remote classes.  This means: out of bed, washed and dressed for the day, and ready to work in as conducive environment as possible, as it helps to create routine and purpose.  Students are expected to respond to teachers when called upon, and remain actively engaged in their lessons.

We will continue to send updates to you as needed.  Meanwhile, please stay safe.

Fidem Servavi,

Ann O’Hagan-Cordes

Principal


October 1, 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians,

It is my hope that this Update finds you well.  Our opening weeks have been quite productive, meeting the unique challenges we face in establishing our “new classrooms.”  Students and teachers are adjusting to the hybrid schedule as we grow into this new normal.  We have had to reimagine some of our traditions through a different lens, while continuing to provide an excellent education for your daughters.

We have held three Opening Liturgies in our Auditorium, to allow for all on campus to participate in a prayer for God’s blessings on our community.  We have just completed our third Freshwoman Retreat, held in the convent, and on the lawn when weather cooperated – these days provided our youngest students the time to meet new people, some moments to reflect and meditate, and to feel welcomed into the TMLA family.  We have met virtually with our athletes, freshwomen and sophomore families, and will meet next with our junior and senior parents this evening.    It appears likely that we will continue to meet with you virtually for upcoming events for the immediate future, as we enter the next phase of reopening the school.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020, will begin the next stage of bringing our community back to campus.  We will shift from 1/3 max population to 2/3.  Our current hybrid groups will change slightly, so that more students will be in the building more often.  Those who are currently present on C and D days will be split to either Group 1 or Group 2 as follows:

Students present in school on  A and B days will be here A, B, C days

Students present in school on  E and F days will be here D, E, F days. 

 Current Group 2 students (C and D days) will be notified as to their new grouping by Friday, October 9th.   We will continue to assign students to the cycle days alphabetically so as to allow for families to be together, and carpools to continue as they have.  We expect adherence to cycle day assignation in order to maintain our 2/3 capacity.

We will begin to welcome students back from full Remote Learning into a Hybrid schedule.  We will accept requests for full-time in person schooling until reaching the 2/3 capacity.  No guarantees can be given for anyone requesting full-time on campus at this time.   All requests for consideration of moving from Remote to Hybrid and/or Full-Time must be submitted by 3pm Monday, October 5, 2020 to academics@tmla.org.  Please do not hit “Reply” to this letter; you must send request to academics@tmla.org.   

We remind you that if your daughter is scheduled to attend classes in person, and is not in the building, she will be marked absent.  We must keep strict records as to who is in the building on any given day.  Further, we ask you to be mindful of dismissal times for pick-up purposes.  The building is closed after school so as to allow time for thorough cleaning.

We thank you for your cooperation in notifying us if anyone in your home has tested positive for COVID, so we can make any notifications necessary to the Department of Health.  If any changes need to be made to our school schedule, the DOH will provide the guidelines for us, and we, in turn, will notify you.

Be well, stay safe.

Sincerely,

Ann O’Hagan-Cordes

Principal


September 18, 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians,

We hope all of you, and your families, are doing well.  We have come to the end of our first full week of school – complete with three “First Days!”  This has been an unusual start to say the least, but we are pleased with how our days have gone, we hope you are as well. 

We are adjusting to the hybrid modality, of course with some hiccups now and then; some have had some technical issues logging on, some have had passwords not work properly, but all in all, we are working through the minor glitches.

Each day, reminders are given about the necessity of adhering to safety protocols and procedures.  Our 12-foot cafeteria tables have three seats to allow for safe distancing; no more than three students at a time are permitted in the restroom; students are spaced away from each other, and the teacher, in the classrooms, desks and tables are cleaned after every use; hand sanitizer is in every room and in the hallways; air cleaners/purifiers have been placed throughout the building; masks (hopefully you’ve seen our new Hilltopper masks!) are to be worn by everyone every day, except when at breakfast or lunch.  We will continue to stress the importance of keeping each other safe, and will make any adjustments necessary as time goes on.

Next week is our Opening Liturgy; this is an opportunity for us to gather as a community to give thanks and ask for God’s blessing on all of us as we begin the new school year.  All present in the building will attend the liturgy.  Because we have three groups of students in the building on three different days, we will have three Opening Liturgies.  Therefore, the following days will be Adjusted Schedule days: Monday, 9/21, Tuesday, 9/22 and Thursday, 9/24.  An adjusted schedule means classes are 30 minutes long and all classes end at 12:30. For those in the building on any of those days, classes will end and we will gather – distanced – for liturgy.  Dismissal will be at the regular time.  For the students at home, classes end at 12:30, and they are finished for the day. 

Our Freshwomen Retreat is also scheduled for next week.  As you could deduce, because we have three groups of Freshwomen in the building on three different days, we will hold three Freshwomen Retreats on Friday, 9/25, Tuesday, 9/29 and Wednesday, 9/30 in order to provide a retreat experience for each of the young women who are currently attending class in person.  Those who are scheduled to attend class virtually on any of those days, will attend their regular classes.  We will do our best to schedule a retreat opportunity for those on full Remote Learning once we are all together again.  More information about the Retreat Day will be sent home next week.

As you may know, the CHSAA has stated that the State-approved Fall sports season will start on Monday, 9/21.  We will host a virtual Athletic Informational Meeting concerning Fall sports only on Monday evening at 7pm.  Please see the Portal for specific sports guidelines and information.  We ask you to pre-register for the meeting (see the email letter dated 9/17 from Mrs. Ferguson for registration information) so that we may send you the link to attend.  There are no in-person extra-curricular activities at this point.  As time goes on, and the infection rate remains low, we will look at beginning our after-school life gradually.   

We will continue to keep you informed as the year progresses, and certainly if we need to make adjustments to our schedule.  Should you have any questions or concerns, please let us know.

Wishing you a good, safe weekend.

Fidem Servavi,

Ann O’Hagan-Cordes

Principal


May 18, 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians and Students,

I hope you and your families are doing well and keeping safe.  Incredibly, today marks two months since we shifted to Remote Learning.  I am not sure how many of us envisioned then that we would not return to campus for the remainder of the school year, but here we are, still working from home; our classrooms are in our kitchens, dining rooms and bedrooms.  I do believe though, that we have done a remarkable job of continuing the outstanding educational program for which Mary Louis is known.

I commend our students, faculty and staff for their continuous dedication to excellence in all we do.  I am inspired by the tireless efforts of so many who create and deliver lessons; who check in on those who may be experiencing difficulties; who encourage us to remain physically, emotionally and spiritually fit, and by those who are working toward completing this school year successfully.  There are many causes for celebration during these trying times, as our community continues to share their gifts and talents with our TMLA family.  Our thanks to Campus Minister, Mrs. DeLorenzo and St. Francis de Sales Church for holding our Annual Mother/Daughter Liturgy on May 8th via Facebook.  We had over 100 families join in mass celebrating our moms!  We congratulate junior Bridget Farrell, who was named a winner for The New York Browning Society’s Poetry Competition.  Kudos to our Art Department and Art Majors for their recognition in the Scholastic Art Awards for 2020.  Silver Keys were awarded to Alexis Geras, Justine Lao, Zara McPartland, Louise Moran, Bianca Ohringer and Emma Witanowski.  Scholastic Awards went to Mahalia Carbonell, Emily Gross, Marissa Marta and Kimberly Vineskialso.  We congratulate these young women on very fine work and Mrs. Durkin and Ms. Ramadan on their encouragement and instruction.  Our Mariel staff put out its first ever digital publication this past week!  Long desired by senior Katarina Cordero, the digital issue came together through the diligence, hard work and determination of the staff of writers, the Editors Katarina Cordero, Rebecca Tejiram, Oninye Ofornagoro, Chloe Chang and Leanna Travers, and its moderator, Ms. Cordes.  The issue is posted on our website, it’s a great read with a beautiful tribute to Mr. Lewinger and special messages to the seniors.

The Class of 2020 ended classes last week with a beautiful virtual Senior Level Meeting, produced by Dean, Mrs. McCormack, Counselor, Ms. Kovach, Student Council President, Devon Nicholson and Senior Class President, Shannon Neiswenter.  There were video tributes from the classes of 2023, 2022, and 2021, in addition to a special video from the Faculty and Staff, and ended with a retrospective video created by Devon and Shannon.  It was a moving testament to the friendships formed these past four years.  While we should currently be preparing for Prom, Graduation Liturgy and Graduation itself, we know we must still wait until it is safe to be together again.  We are hoping to hold these precious events in mid to late July.  We await directives from New York State and City before putting anything definitive in place, but we are holding onto the hope that we might be able to celebrate the milestone of Graduation, and all it includes, in person.  Should that not be permissible, we will resort to a virtual liturgy and commencement.  Further details will be made known as our city develops plans for reopening.   

Our plans, meanwhile, for the immediate future are in keeping with our regular school calendar.  We will “be closed” May 21– 25, or more specifically, we will not have class from Ascension Thursday through Memorial Day, and will resume classes on Tuesday, May 26, for the underclasswomen.  Classes for our 9th, 10th and 11th grade students will continue through Thursday, June 11th.  Information about Final Assessments will be made available in early June.  As a reminder, all students must pass all courses in order to receive the Regents exemptions and avoid summer school.  Any information regarding retrieving items from lockers will be shared once all decisions are in place.  

We know this is a difficult time for so many of us as there is great worry about the uncertainty of many things.  Please take comfort in the belief that Mary Louis will continue to work to the best of its ability to walk this journey with you.  May God bless each of you and your families.

Fidem Servavi,

Ann O’Hagan-Cordes

Principal


April 11, 2020

Dear TMLA Community,

During this Holy Week, we are reminded of the suffering of Jesus.  The beautiful depiction of Stations of the Cross on our website illustrates the difficult journey He endured for our sake.  Christ knows the heavy burden we bear. He hears our prayers to take this cup from us.  We have heard of the heartache many in our family are experiencing through the illness and loss of loved ones; we share in your grief and pray for you.  We believe in the resurrection, so we fortify ourselves with faith that this period of loss and separation will not last forever.  We will celebrate happy occasions again; we will again be with those who are at this moment so far away from us; let Jesus’ resurrection speak to us: at a time, unknown to us, life will begin anew.  Until then, we are charged with doing all each of us can to help those in our community and city stay healthy and safe. 

We give thanks to all of those on the “front lines” of this pandemic: the medical professionals, the emergency responders, the grocery store workers, the delivery personnel and all who help keep the city running.  Closer to home, we express enormous gratitude to our teachers, who have rededicated themselves to their profession and our students.  The on-the-job training going on behind the scenes should be both a source of pride and comfort to all of you.   There is a continual collaborative sharing of information and knowledge to ensure that our students receive the best education possible.  The extraordinary academic program we offer at Mary Louis continues to be outstanding.  From our community, we hear time and again positive feedback about maintaining a sense of normalcy in these abnormal times.  We will continue to work to the best of our abilities to provide a connection from our homes to the Mary Louis community.

Please visit our website regularly.  We regularly add new information that could be a help to you – mind, body and soul.  When you click on the Covid-19 banner, you will find a list of several areas of interest to peruse.  For example, in our Notes from the Nurse section, there are helpful tips on maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  Additionally, there is information for those who might be suffering from food insecurity during these trying times.  Any and all New Yorkers may pick up 3 meals a day from local sites.  Please share this information with anyone who may need it. One does not need to be a public-school student in order to receive free nourishment.    In addition, one of the links connects to work-out advice from our Sports Medicine Department; and we, of course, feed the soul with our prayers and meditation pages, vital in maintaining balance in our lives.  It’s important to know we are not alone when we experience human emotion, be it fear, sadness or great joy.  Hopefully, information shared through our communications will affirm this.

Our family has come together in recent days to share our unspeakable grief, while simultaneously offering love and consolation to the Lewinger family and each other. Our memories of Mr. Lewinger are beautiful, funny, touching, innumerable.  Joe was well loved, as was in evidence on Monday when over 1300 people tuned in to his memorial mass.  He was a beautiful soul that left us far too soon; though we are grateful for the opportunity to have worked with him side-by-side these many years, we will feel the loss for a very long time.  Attached to this letter is a memorial card in honor of Joe.  While no words can ever fully express a life, we hope the sentiment expressed gives a glimpse into who he was to so many.  Mr. Lewinger was laid to rest this past Wednesday in a private burial; we pray his soul rests in the peace of our loving God. There will be a time in the future when we will come together to celebrate the life and legacy of Joseph, until such time, let us pray to and for him and his family.

We will take a break this week from our school work and obligations.  It is our hope to allow all of us time to rest, reflect and recharge ourselves.  There will be plenty of conversation after this vacation week to talk about “what’s next.”  You are already aware of Regents exams being cancelled.  We will address what that means for each of us when we return. You should know; however, students are still required to pass all course work in order to receive the Regents exemption credit.   You know that New York State remains closed until at least April 29th so when we resume class on April 20th, we resume remote learning.  As far as dates for events that have passed or are still upcoming, no decision about the (re)scheduling of those can be made until we know when the State will reopen, and in what fashion that will happen.  Therefore, the school building remains closed until further notice.  

We pray that all remain healthy and safe this week, and ask God’s blessings on all in our community this Easter and always. 

Fidem Servavi,

Ann O’Hagan-Cordes

Principal


April 2, 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians and Students,

I hope you are keeping well.  It’s been good to see “Mary Louis blue” skies yesterday and today; perhaps you’ve been able to get some fresh air while keeping at a distance from others.

In my letter to you earlier this week, I mentioned the possibility of joining together in a virtual mass for Mr. Lewinger.  We will do that through the kindness of Fr. Bill Sweeney and Fr. Jim Cunningham of St. Francis de Sales parish.  Mass will be held on Monday, April 6th at 9am through their Live Stream Facebook page; the link is www.facebook.com/sfdschurch/.  Should you need them, directions for joining mass will be posted on our website.  All parents, students, alumna are welcome to join.  This, then, will affect our class schedule.  The following adjustments have been made:

Friday, 4/3, C day: Adjusted Schedule, as planned. Classes will be ½ hour and end at 12:30, to allow for extra-help/ tutoring from your teachers from 12:30 – 2:30.

Monday, 4/6, F day drops out: Homeroom at regular time, then join SFDS Church for 9am mass.  Following mass, counselors will be available to those who would like some time to talk.  No classes today.

Tuesday, 4/7, A day: Full Day, Regular Schedule

Wednesday, 4/8, B day: Full Day, Regular Schedule* this is a change from what was planned.

Thursday, 4/9: Holy Thursday – Easter Vacation begins.  No classes from 4/9 through 4/19.

Classes resume Monday, 4/20 C day.

As of this writing, our return date remains undetermined.  We will certainly keep you informed as information becomes available. As always, should you need anything, please let us know. You remain in our thoughts and prayers.  Be well, stay safe.

Sincerely,

Ann O’Hagan-Cordes

Principal


March 31st, 2020

Dear TMLA Family,

Joseph Lewinger was a tireless champion for the empowerment of women.  From history to economics and athletics to culture, Joe was passionate about ensuring that the young women of The Mary Louis Academy had every opportunity to grow and thrive.  Over the course of 20 years, Joe wore many hats at TMLA; Teacher, Coach, Assistant Athletic Director, Athletic Director, Admissions Councilor and finally, Assistant Principal for Student Life.  Joe filled each role with his boundless drive, energy and commitment to excellence.  Our TMLA Family is far better for having known and loved him.

There has been such an incredible outpouring of love and support for Joe, the Lewinger Family and our TMLA Family as a whole.  As a CSJ Sponsored School, we are called to live the mission of Unity, Reconciliation, All-Inclusive Love and concern for the dear neighbor.  The last few days have left no doubt that the mission is alive and well in each of you, as it was with Joe, and for that we cannot thank you enough.

Many have asked what you can do to show your love and appreciation for all Joe has been to you and to our community.  I have spoken with Joe’s family and they have agreed that a wonderful way to celebrate the life of a man who proudly called himself “a Woman of Dignity” is to help ensure that his legacy of excellence and opportunity lives on.  Therefore, The Mary Louis Academy is establishing The Joseph M. Lewinger Fund for Student Life.  This fund shall serve to assist any student who is suddenly struck with a critical moment in their lives, i.e. the death of a parent, loss of their home or catastrophic illness.  As both the beloved husband and proud father of TMLA women, Joe knew firsthand the countless ways in which Mary Louis women make our world a better place.  He was deeply committed to ensuring that as many young women as possible could achieve their dreams at TMLA.  This fund will help make that commitment a lasting reality.

Memorializing a man who was larger than life is a significant undertaking.  To that end, my husband, Chris, and I are honored to make the initial gift of $1,000 to begin The Joseph M. Lewinger Fund for Student Life.  We can think of no better way for us to celebrate the life and legacy of such a dearly beloved colleague and friend.  You may contribute to the fund by clicking HERE I invite you to join us in helping to ensure that Joe Lewinger’s enduring legacy at The Mary Louis Academy will be one of vision, promise and belief in a brighter tomorrow. 

Thank you and please be assured of my continued prayers for all our TMLA Family.

Fidem Servavi,

Ann O’Hagan-Cordes

Principal


March 29, 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians and Students,

The outpouring of love, prayers and support to our community has been an incredible source of comfort to many of us as we struggle to come to grips with the tragic passing of Mr. Lewinger. The posts on social media, Facebook and emails that have been sent are a testament to how much “J Lew” was loved, but also to the strength of both this community and our Alumnae sisters who join us in grief.

Today, I have had many conversations, emails, texts, phone calls with so many in our family; the feeling is universal – disbelief and incredible sadness.    We are a community in mourning; we shall be so for a while yet. We will come together apart to help each other through the grieving process.  It will look different for each of us, as we all experience pain and loss in or own unique way. To help us begin to work our way into this, we need a framework.  We are not able to have a gathering such as a wake or funeral, so we will do what we can to console each other virtually.

Monday, March 30th, will be a “Day of Mourning.” We will gather at homeroom time, as usual, to share in prayer together.  Then, we will move through our A day schedule.  Your teachers will be available to you at each scheduled class time, for your class to be together to talk, respond, pray together if you wish.  There will not be regular academic work; your teachers will be available to you, much the same way as if you were walking through the halls and decided to stop in to talk with one of them. 

Your Guidance Counselor will be in touch with each of you, to set up large group meetings and then smaller group sessions. We encourage each of you to avail yourself of the opportunity to meet in these groups. Given the need for personal connections, I have lifted the camera ban on class meetings.  This is optional; it helps to see the face of another when we are in these situations. 

Athletes, your coaches and our Athletic Department has been, or will be in touch, so as to offer you time together. 

We are in the planning stages of a community live-stream mass to be held at the end of the week.  As that takes more form, I will share that information with all of you, so that we – Faculty, Students, Parents, can come together to pray for Joe, his family, and each other. 

Please do not hesitate to reach out to anyone of us if you need anything.  As always, you are in my prayers, and I ask to be in yours.  Please, stay well.

Fidem Servavi,

Ann O’Hagan-Cordes

Principal


March 28, 2020

Dear TMLA Family,

It is with the heaviest of hearts that I write to you this evening. I have just received the news we have dreaded, and had prayed would not come.  Our dear, much loved, Joseph Lewinger has passed into the arms of Jesus tonight.  Joe dedicated his life to his family: his beautiful wife, Maura, whom he adored; his son, Jack, and daughters Madison and Maeve, all three of whom lit up his world; he tirelessly served The Mary Louis Academy for 20 years as teacher, coach, Assistant Athletic Director, Athletic Director, and currently as Assistant Principal of Student Life.  His love for Mary Louis was always in evidence, particularly when he referred to himself as a Woman of Dignity!

There will be time in the future to celebrate all of Joe’s numerous accomplishments.  Now is the time to grieve and mourn our tremendous loss.  Once again, I know we feel the need to come together, to console each other, to hug, cry, scream and say it’s not fair… sadly, the time for us to do that as a community has to wait.  We will gather together at some point, when our city can come out of isolation, to share our memories of Mr. Lewinger – J Lew- and there are many wonderful stories to share – but for now, we pray for the strength to get through this.  We pray for the entire Lewinger Family and for our Mary Louis family.  We pray that others who are inflicted with this disease recover and return to their families; we pray for those on the front lines, trying their best to save lives, that they themselves are safe.  

As always, we are here for all of you, your counselors and teachers are available to you, as we help each other find our way through this. We will get through this. Unity, reconciliation, inclusive love, concern for the dear neighbor, it’s what we are called to do. 

May God Bless all of you, your families and TMLA

Fidem Servavi,

Ann O’Hagan-Cordes

Principal

“For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith…Fidem Servavi” ~ Timothy 4:6-7 


Saturday, March 28th, 2020

Dear Parents/ Guardians, Students,

In yesterday’s Friday Update, I had told you that Mr. Lewinger’s fever had broken, which was very good news, but that he was not out of the woods yet. 

As COVID-19 is a respiratory disease, Mr. Lewinger has had difficulty breathing; he has been on oxygen to assist him.  Yesterday, his medical team decided that he needed more help.  Therefore, he has been intubated and placed on a ventilator; the machine will breathe for him, so that his body can rest, and hopefully recover from this insidious disease.  He is in ICU and receiving excellent care.  The medical team anticipates he could be on the ventilator for 10-14 days.  Maybe more, maybe less.  

I know this is difficult news to read; it is difficult news to share with you, but we are all in this together; we need to know how “our family” is doing. I will continue to update you as information becomes available.

We are here for you; let us know whatever you may need, and we will do our best to help you through these trying times. We pray for you, your families and all in our community. Please, be well.

Fidem Servavi,

Ann O’Hagan-Cordes

Principal


Friday, March 27th, 2020

March 27, 2020

Dear TMLA Family,

I do hope this update finds all of you doing well in mind, body and spirit.  We have long-known what a strong community Mary Louis is.  That belief is in greater evidence each day, as we make our way through these unchartered waters.  We have worked collaboratively ensuring our academic program remains uninterrupted.  Our Sports Medicine Department has created a work-out plan for our athletes, and for those of us not-so-athletic types! Our daily prayer, mindfulness opportunities and spirituality shines through each day, as we send prayers to those who are in need of them.

I commend our stellar faculty for embracing virtual learning; they are learning new and exciting ways to conduct classes and lessons.  Each day, professional development occurs before, during and long after the school day ends.  They have been tireless in their efforts and dedication to you.  Just as some of us adapt to change quicker than others, some of us utilize technology with greater facility than others; so, we continue to be patient with ourselves and others, we use trial and error when initiating new ways of meeting our classes, and we learn.  Every day, we learn.  

Students, you have been remarkable in your constant support and assistance to your teachers and each other.  I have heard countless stories of students helping teachers set up Google Classrooms, Google Meet, Zoom… You are attending class, submitting your assignments, and continuing the furtherance of your education in a less than ideal situation.  I know the year coordinators are working with the Deans and Counselors to keep everyone connected in one way or another. Kudos to all of you!  We all miss seeing each other regularly; we miss “catching up” with each other, having lunch together… I love to hear some of you are having “virtual lunch” over Meet or Facetime! Keep it up; it helps people feel connected, which is so important these days. It’s important to keep the semblance of “normalcy,” where nothing is “normal.”

We are continuing our Course Registration process for the 2020-21 school year.  Soon, you will receive instructions to verify your course selections, then we will begin to build our Master Program.  

There are some events, however, we cannot yet re-plan with certainty.  Postponed has been our Spirit Week and Ring Day, as has our Uniform Measurement Day and the Senior Overnight Retreat, among other happenings. While I would love to give you specific dates for those events, I am not able to do so just yet.  We are still in a rescheduling holding pattern for the time being.  I hope you understand, as soon as it is possible, we will calendar those very important events.  As of this writing, Prom and Senior Events remain as scheduled.  

Easter vacation week remains as is.  We will hold Remote Classes through Wednesday, April 8th.  We will take “vacation” from Holy Thursday through Sunday, April 19th.  Classes will resume on Monday, April 20th.  From where, we do not yet know.

Please visit our website frequently.  By Monday, March 30th, we will have a slightly new look to our landing page with regular updates providing new information from various departments: “Notes from the Nurse” will feature tips on Healthy Lifestyle and eating choices and combatting “Cabin Fever”; Library Corner will have suggested books to read; Art Gallery will showcase the work of our Art Majors, just like we have in our halls at school, and Sports Med Program has created those work-out tips, to name a few. 

In order to allow for “extra help” time, we will have an Adjusted Schedule on Friday, April 3rd.  Classes will finish at 12:30; teachers are working on an “Office Hours” schedule to be available to you by mid-week next week.  This will give you the time you need to access additional help or tutoring, or to catch up on your assignments.  We are a community that helps each other; this will give us just a bit more time to do that.

Our community has come together in prayer for Mr. Lewinger.  While he continues to be hospitalized, his fever has broken, which is great news.  However, he is not out of the woods yet. Please continue the rosaries, novenas, prayers, good wishes and positive thoughts.  They are working, but we are not finished yet.  I will continue to update you as information becomes available.  I have forwarded to him and Mrs. Lewinger every email or message you sent.  They have been an enormous reminder of how much we love him.  He is grateful for all the encouragement and support!

Unity, Reconciliation, All-Inclusive Love, and Concern for the dear Neighbor… it’s alive and well in all we do and who we are.  I couldn’t be prouder to walk this mile with you.

Fidem Servavi,

Ann O’Hagan-Cordes

Principal


Wednesday, March 25th, 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians and Students,

I do hope all of you are doing well during these very difficult days.  We are working to the best of our ability to keep our Mary Louis community strong academically, spiritually and physically.   Please check our website regularly for updates in each of those areas as we move forward.

As you know, our community often shares information about each other, whether it is joy or sorrow – filled.  I want to make you aware of our Assistant Principal of Student Life, Mr. Lewinger’s, illness.  Mr.  Lewinger has been in the hospital for the better part of a week.  While at home two weeks ago, he awoke with a fever. Feeling something was amiss, and afraid for himself and all those around him, he went to Urgent Care for an exam and asked for the Coronavirus test; he was told he was not a candidate, that he should go home, rest and isolate himself, which he did.  When the fever would not break, he went to the ER where it was determined he had pneumonia.  At that time, he was tested for the virus and hospitalized to treat the pneumonia and fever. That Coronavirus test came back negative.  After a few days, while still hospitalized, he was again tested for the coronavirus; this test did come back as positive for Covid-19.  

Mr. Lewinger has not been in school since before we ended in-person classes.  His family is showing no signs of the illness.  Those of us who were in closest contact with him just before he developed a fever have shown no signs of the virus. 

Mr. Lewinger is in need of our prayers, as is his family.  He is receiving excellent care by dedicated, selfless medical professionals working around the clock to help cure him, and so many others, of this hideous virus.  

I will update you as information becomes available.  At the request of Mr. and Mrs. Lewinger, please send all good wishes to me, and I will pass them on.  

In other very sad news, our Assistant Basketball Coach, Dave Edwards, passed away on Monday.  Coach Dave has had several health issues this past year, none of which were Corona related.  Please keep the Edwards family in your prayers during this time of grieving.  

At times like these, when the world seems to be upside down, when our lives are completely out of routine, and perhaps out of our control, we typically come together to help each other through, to mourn, to pray, to hold each other close.  It is a particular sadness that we are unable to do that now, when we need it most. I wish I could throw open the doors of our beloved TMLA right now and have us all help each other through these dark days, but I can’t, not yet.  Instead, know I hold each of you in my heart and prayers each and every day.  Please, be well.  Be good to yourselves and each other. Pray often, do your school work, wash your hands. 

I look forward to the day when we can see each other and I can welcome you home.

My best,

Ann O’Hagan-Cordes

Principal