Welcome from the Principal

afantis-principal-theodore-tasoulas

Welcome to A. Fantis Parochial School, a hidden gem tucked away in Brooklyn Heights celebrating its 55th anniversary this year. On a bright September morning in 1963, Sts. Constantine and Helen Cathedral opened the doors at 195 State Street, welcoming nearly three hundred fifty boys and girls. Over half a century later, they would be proud to see A. Fantis shine as one of the top performing parochial schools in NYC. We look forward to celebrating these accomplishments and more with alumni, faculty, families and students this fall for a weekend full of engaging activities and events.

As I cross the Brooklyn Bridge each morning, I realize how  blessed I am to be leading such a dynamic and innovative parochial school. With dedicated faculty, stellar students and supportive families, we were able to accomplish much last year—which was my introduction to this wonderful community. Highlights included:

  • Inaugural 8th Grade Trip to Athens to visit partner schools and explore archeological sites and museums, highlighted in the Brooklyn Paper
  • Enhanced after-school clubs selection, such as chess, coding and soccer
  • University Partnership with Bank Street College of Education to model best practices
  • 100% success rates in Regents for Algebra, Living Environment and Greek
  • Inaugural Middle School Camping trip to Greenkill Science Center in the Catskills
  • K-8 classroom economy system promoting financial literacy and entrepreneurship
  • Taking learning outside the classroom with more visits to museums, shows and events, including participation in the Billion Oyster Project
  • Acceptances into some of the top city high schools for our students, including LaGuardia, Millennium, Brooklyn Tech, NYC Museum School, Xaverian and Xavier

As we enter a new school year, we seek to build on this success with several new and exciting programs.

VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY PARTNERSHIP

The School Committee and Board of Trustees finalized its partnership with Vanderbilt Peabody College of Education, consistently ranked as a premier graduate school of education by US News. Starting in August 2018, University Professors and Leadership Specialists will be working closely with Fantis faculty, administration and the school committee with a focus on implementing best practices in teaching and learning for our students. This will include frequent site visits, collaboration on lesson design and student achievement, and even a Double Robotics Robot that will provide the professors real-time access to our classrooms in action!

This partnership will ensure Fantis is at the forefront of innovative education so we can meet the changing needs and educational outcomes of our students and faculty. It will provide more dynamic, engaging and relevant learning experiences for students to make connections to the real-world by implementing phenomenon-based learning. Aligning our curriculum better to how people solve problems and perform meaningful work, our students will build the necessary skill sets needed for success in high school, college and careers. Fantis Families can expect to receive more information on this exciting partnership later this month. For further information on this dynamic partnership, click here.

EXPANDED SELECTION OF CLUBS

Fantis has partnered with several quality organizations to expand and enhance our menu of after-school clubs. PK3-8th grade students now have daily options to choose from for fall, winter and spring terms. This includes:

  • Spark Business Academy: Business and entrepreneur clubs from UPK (Lemonade Stand) to Middle School (Budding Entrepreneurs and Stock Market Clubs), including participation in “Shark Tank” style events with other schools.
  • Tek Intellect: High-level robotics and coding courses from UPK to Middle School. Students who complete the advanced Lego Mindstorm Course this spring will be able to join the Fantis Robotics Team next summer as they compete in the NYC Lego League Robotics Competition under the coaching of Tek Intellect.
  • NYC Chess Kids: Chess classes from UPK to 8th grade with separate sections for beginners and intermediate/advanced. The Fantis Chess Team will compete against other schools in Brooklyn and beyond.
  • Dodge YMCA: Swimming courses for PK3 to 5th grade students at the pool located across the street.
  • Soccer Shots: Official 2-5 year old soccer program of USYS, offers curriculum-aligned soccer practice for PreK3 and other soccer sponsored events for the school.

We are also pleased to announce a new line-up of Clubs for Middle School, which will occur every Thursday after lunch and are spread across three semesters. Students will choose clubs based on their interest. This year the selection includes: Debate Club, Falcons Newspaper, Sound Design for Film, Sculpture, and more.

CLASSROOM NYC

Each grade will utilize the plethora of resources available in NYC and beyond. Middle school is excited to begin work with the Billion Oyster Project by cultivating, monitoring and harvesting oysters in the harbor. This October, they will embark on a three-day overnight camping trip in Greenkill Outdoor Education Center in the Catskills with activities focused on applied science standards, outdoor skills and adventure. In addition, we are looking forward to participating in several city-wide competitions, such as MathCounts, Chess Tournament, and the Science Olympiad—working under the specific guidance of our Scientist-in-Residence. Our middle school will be practicing this year to create the inaugural Fantis Robotics Team, which will compete in the FIRST® LEGO® League Challenge.

By all measures, A. Fantis is succeeding in its mission. Family satisfaction surveys are the highest since we began collecting responses. Our UPK classroom ratings improved nearly twice the NYC average this past year. Student achievement scores have increased nearly 20% since 2016, with more students attaining advanced scores in ELA and Math each year. With half of our available classrooms already on waitlist, we project to be at full capacity by 2020.

I invite you to explore our website further, and visit our Facebook page, to more fully appreciate the exceptional community found in A. Fantis Parochial School. I hope to see you at one of our upcoming Info Sessions this year.

Warm wishes,

Theodore G. Tasoulas

Principal

 

Lou Katsos on the East Mediterranean Business and Culture COSMOS FM program had as his guest Theodore G. Tasoulas the Principal of A. Fantis Parochial School of St. Constantine & Helen Cathedral and they discussed, among other things, Hellenic American parochial school K thru 8 education in the 21 st. Century.