Eighth Graders in Woodside Learn Some Early Lessons in High School

corpus christi students at mc clancy
Top row, from left, James Carey, principal of Msgr. McClancy M.H.S., is seen with students from Corpus Christi, Jacqueline Hernandez, Stephanie Vasquez, Noelia Taveraz, Taylor Aybar, Allyson Vasquez; second row, Nathalie Lopez, Myya Cox, Paula Londano, Alyssa Colon, and Robert DiNardo, principal of Corpus Christi School; front row, Frank Caisaguano, Matthew Cruz, Vincent Torres, Matthews Avendano and Nicholas Vazquez.

When Bob DiNardo, principal of Corpus Christi School, Woodside, decided to introduce high school Spanish to his eighth-grade students, he only had to look a few blocks away to Msgr. McClancy M.H.S. to find a class.

“We now have 14 outstanding eighth graders taking ninth grade Spanish at Msgr. McClancy,” DiNardo said. “My students really like the class and their progress report indicates that they are all doing very well.”

Schedules for both schools had to be coordinated and it was decided that the Corpus Christi students would take Spanish during their last period and go home directly from the high school, which is located in East Elmhurst.

James P. Carey, principal of Msgr. McClancy, said he is pleased with the outcome of the collaboration.

“It is a pleasure working with Corpus Christi School and the students who attend our eighth period class,” Carey said. “They are well behaved and achieving academically. This program has been so successful that we will offer the class in the 2012-2013 school year to continue our partnership.”

DiNardo said the Spanish class was a natural outgrowth from the historically positive relationship between Corpus Christi and Msgr. McClancy. For example, high school students from McClancy tutor the older students at Corpus Christi; Corpus Christi conducts its Walkathon and Field Day at McClancy; one of the religious brothers from McClancy serves on the Advisory Board of Corpus Christi; students from McClancy and St. Agnes H.S., College Point, coordinated a Christmas Party for the younger children at Corpus Christi; and Corpus Christi ran an Integrated Algebra course after-school, which was graded by teachers at McClancy.

Msgr. McClancy, which is an all-boys school, is going co-ed next year so the girls from Corpus Christi who are taking the Spanish class have the distinction of being the first girls to attend classes there, DiNardo said.

The collaboration between Corpus Christi and McClancy is one of many taking place between Catholic elementary schools and high schools in the Diocese of Brooklyn.

Several Catholic elementary schools in Brooklyn send students to St. Edmund Preparatory H.S., Sheepshead Bay, before school to take Regents-level high school classes in science and math; eighth graders from local Catholic elementary schools take Integrated Algebra I and an interdisciplinary humanities course from Bishop Ford H.S., Park Slope; and eighth graders from seven Catholic elementary schools in Queens meet after school to conduct experiments in the earth science labs at Holy Cross H.S., Flushing. Additional collaborations are being planned between other high schools and grammar schools in Brooklyn and Queens.

Dr. Thomas Chadzutko, Superintendent of Schools for the Diocese of Brooklyn, praised the course offerings by Catholic high schools because it enables participating elementary schools to expand and enhance their school’s curriculum.