By Jessica Easthope
No longer a last resort during the pandemic age, online learning has become a first choice for some families in the Diocese of Brooklyn and beyond.
“Online learning is here now,” said St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Online Academy’s principal Stephen Haessler. “The educational visionaries in the Diocese of Brooklyn have committed resources and are determined to make this option available.”
The St. Thomas Aquinas program (STA) is now a Catholic online academy. It’s the same Catholic education students throughout the diocese are getting but in a completely online space.
“It is an option that takes its rightful place among other options for families who want this for health reasons or faith formation reasons or whatever reason,” Stephen said.
Most of the school’s 125 families are from right here in New York City, but STA’s private, universal curriculum through great minds allows a handful of others to log on from all over the country.
“It’s good for them to still have that community and broaden it beyond their home academies and make friendships they wouldn’t have had before,” said STA teacher Ashley Vonksky.
And STA isn’t just a better option for its students, but for their teachers too.
“I have family members who are immunocompromised,” Ashley said. “So we really can’t risk bringing COVID or any of the variants around our families and a lot of families have shared that sentiment.”
This year, St. Thomas Aquinas is an officially sanctioned diocesan academy that’s here to stay and keeping faith at the core of education.
Enrollment at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Online Academy will remain open for the next few days. Families can register at Stacoa.org and find more information about tuition and financial aid.