Even though the pandemic changed how this year’s Catholic Schools Week could be celebrated, the spirit was still alive and well across schools in the Diocese of Brooklyn.
One of the most terrifying moments teacher Emily Espinal and her family ever experienced was a fire that spread from a next-door neighbor’s attic to their home last month. A few days into 2021, the bedroom of Espinal’s 6-year-old daughter Mia — filled with newly opened Christmas presents on the second floor — was extensively damaged in the middle of the night. Espinal and her family made it out of their house, unharmed, on Jan. 3.
St. Mel’s Catholic Academy — which had been slated to permanently close after 59 years as a kindergarten through eighth-grade school on Aug. 31, 2020 — received a second chance by becoming an early childhood center in the fall of 2020.
Catholic school enrollment figures for the current school year — significantly impacted by the pandemic — dropped 6.4% or more than 111,000 students from the previous school year, which is the largest single year decline in almost 50 years.
In anticipation of Catholic Schools Week 2021, The Tablet proudly presents this special pullout section with valuable information for current and prospective Catholic school parents on Catholic schools in Brooklyn and Queens.