The Sentinel – Volume 11, Issue 5

Living Stones on the Pathway to Heaven

Principal’s Message

This week I wish to share with you some difficult news regarding one of our school families.  Last week, Mrs. Donna Leonard (mother of Sylvia, a kindergarten student) was diagnosed with a stage four cancerous tumor in her liver.  As the origin of the cancer remains unconfirmed at this time, Mrs. Leonard anticipates receiving additional information this week as well as the details of a treatment plan which is expected to be very aggressive.

I have spoken with Mr. and Mrs. Leonard and assured them of the fact that they are not alone on this journey.  They will be surrounded by the love and kindness of the All Saints Catholic School community each step of the way.

At this time, there are two specific ways we can show our support for the Leonards: prayers and meals.  Mrs. Cathy Pell has graciously offered to coordinate an outreach of hospitality so that the Leonard Family may have dinners provided by members of our community on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.  Any families interested in helping to prepare food are invited to contact Mrs. Pell via email.  (cspell5@msn.com)  For planning purposes, the Leonards do not have any food allergies, but prefer foods that are not particularly spicy and that have not had any salt added. School families are also welcome to donate gift cards to local restaurants in support of this project. Donations of both meals and gift cards can be delivered to the front office of the school.

As additional information is received regarding Mrs. Leonards’ status, I will share the details via the weekly newsletter.  In the meantime, let us unite our hearts in prayer on behalf of Mrs. Leonard and her family.

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Central to the mission of Catholic education is a commitment to the formation of the whole person within the light of the teachings of the Gospel.  At All Saints our effort to educate all dimensions of the child ~ spiritual, intellectual, social, and emotional, has been an essential and consistent element of our mission.

As a Catholic school, All Saints also affirms the role of parents as the primary educators of their children and we are privileged to have the opportunity to work with you as partners in this regard. During the past several years, we have grown increasingly concerned about the many confusing messages that society as a whole, and the media in particular, place before the young people of today, particularly in regards to the topic of human sexuality.  In this day and age it is increasingly important that we insure that the children learn the beautiful teachings of the Church on this topic and that they fully realize and understand the gift of human sexuality within this framework.  Not to share this information with the children leaves them unprepared for the world they face and the many choices that await them in the years ahead.

Over the course of the past several years All Saints Catholic School has implemented a middle school family life curriculum that supports our goal of educating the whole child.  The program is coordinated by the Diocesan Director of Youth Ministry, Mr. Kevin Bohli, and is tailored to the specific needs of each school community. The program consists of a parent presentation during which Mr. Bohli provides an outline of his presentations as well as resources for parents.  Following this presentation, he and an associate, Mrs. Celia Fruchterman, will meet with the students for three one hour lessons designed to provide the children with an understanding of the Church’s teachings on the topic of human sexuality.

One of the advantages of this program is the involvement of outside professionals.  In addition to their expertise and experience, Mr. Bohli and Mrs. Fruchterman are unfamiliar to the students, which may put the students at greater ease in asking questions and discussing this topic.  A second advantage of this program is that it is designed to take place in a single-sex setting; Mr. Bohli will address the boys and Mrs. Fruchterman will speak with the girls.  Finally, in accordance with diocesan policy, this program is designed as an opt-in opportunity for parents and students. Accommodations will be made for those children whose parents prefer that they not participate in the program.

Parents of middle school students are invited to a presentation to be held on Thursday, October 7thbeginning at 7:00 p.m. in the Parish Activities Center.  As this is such a very important topic related to the development of your child, I ask that at least one parent from each family new to this program be present at the meeting.

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Lock-Down Drill ~ Tomorrow (10:00 a.m.)

Six years ago our school Crisis Management Team implemented quarterly lock-down drills to familiarize students and staff with our security response plan.  Each drill is clearly introduced as a practice with teachers and staff providing age-appropriate instructions to the students.  The first drill for the year will occur on Thursday, September 30th at 10:00 a.m. (Please note: This drill has been scheduled for several weeks and is not in response to any concerns specific to All Saints.  Rather, it is another exercise by which we maintain a state of preparedness should the need ever arise to secure the facility and safeguard the children.) 

Help Wanted at the Priest BBQ

The Cafeteria Staff is still in need of at least 2 additional volunteers to help in the kitchen in the morning from 9:30 to 11:30.  If you can volunteer your time, please call the cafeteria at 703-368-4400 ext. 211.

PTO Family Bingo Night

Mark your calendar for the All Saints Catholic School PTO Family Bingo Night on Saturday, October 15th at 5:00 p.m.   The event will be held at the Knights of Columbus Hall.  Please click on the flyer under links in this week’s newsletter for details.

Upcoming Events

  • Lock-Down Drill ~ Thursday, September 30th (10:00 a.m.)
  • Priests’ Barbecue ~ Friday, October 1st (11:15 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.)
  • PTO Bingo Night ~ RESCHEDULED ~ October 16th (Knights’ Hall/5:00 p.m.)
  • Bishop O’Connell High School presentation to 8th Grade ~ Monday, October 4th
  • Paul VI High School presentation to 8th Grade ~ Tuesday, October 5th
  • PTO Executive Board Meeting ~ Tuesday, October 5th (7:00 p.m.)
  • Middle School Parent Presentation ~ The Gift of Human Sexuality Program ~ Thursday, October 7th (Parish Activities Center/7:00 p.m.)

 

Links

The Sentinel – Volume 11, Issue 4

Principal’s Message

Since the first days of school, students and teachers have been reflecting on our theme of Living Stonesand considering how we might incorporate it into our daily life at All Saints.  As a starting point, I invited the children to expand upon the theme so as to create a motto that we can include in all of our announcements and publications.  Through class-wide discussions, the students generated twenty-seven proposals.  The leadership of the Student Council Association, the National Junior Honor Society, and the Peace & Justice Players reviewed all of the entries and narrowed the field of choices to five. Last Friday, all of the students in grades K-8 selected the following as our school-wide theme for the year: Living Stones on the Pathway to Heaven. I am proud of our students for their thoughtful participation and grateful for the leadership of our middle school students who were so helpful in steering the process.

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During our year of self-study in preparation for re-accreditation, the faculty identified the topic of homework as an area for further discussion and consensus-building.  Subsequently, we included the following objective in support of this initiative in the first year of our five year plan: Develop a school-wide philosophy and framework regarding homework practices to establish greater consistency among grade levels and understanding among parents.

This goal was a focus for faculty dialogue and reflection throughout last year as we considered “best practices”, reviewed recent research on the topic, and created a framework in support of student learning at All Saints.  A copy of the new Homework Policy and Rationale can be found as a link to this week’s newsletter.  The document provides a brief summary of the research on this topic, an excerpt of our diocesan policy, and a list of practical strategies that the faculty has identified to ensure that homework procedures are effective and truly support learning.  I encourage you to spend a couple of minutes reviewing the framework as I believe it provides a clear explanation as to why we incorporate homework in our program at All Saints and what you and your child can expect in regards to this form of assessment.

In addition to providing a list of “best practices”, several suggestions for parents are included in the document as well.  Perhaps the most critical is that of allowing each child to work independently to complete homework and projects.  Parents are encouraged to provide a quiet learning environment while allowing the child to have full “ownership” of the work.  As homework is assigned so that students can “practice” skills, it provides the teachers an opportunity to determine each child’s level of mastery and tailor follow up instruction accordingly.  For this reason, it is vitally important that the students complete the work on their own with parents simply providing encouragement and ensuring completion.

It is important that I point out that while this Homework Policy and Rationale is a new document, the strategies outlined within are already being implemented.  As such, it confirms and clarifies what is already taking place as the faculty modified practices last year.  Most importantly, it creates a statement of what we believe about student learning and the role of homework at All Saints.  I hope you find the document helpful as you continue to support your child in the daily process of learning and growing.

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Last week one of our school parents shared with me a copy of a prayer entitled A Prayer for our Children. As we continue to settle into the routines of the new year, it seems particularly relevant and inspiring.

Please deliver our paternal hearts from worry and from fear,

And protect our precious little ones as they begin their new school year.

Though there’s little to be scared of, it’s a parent’s rite, it’s true,

To worry about children when they are out of view.

May your Angels be present in the classrooms and halls,

Outside in the schoolyard and inside the school walls.

May they watch over our children as they learn and as they play;

May your love be there to guide them throughout the long school day.

SCA Installation Ceremony

Congratulations to the following students who were installed as officers and representatives of the Student Council Association during a ceremony Friday afternoon.  Fr. Juan Puigbo, our new parochial vicar, served as keynote speaker and enthusiastically shared a message of great hope ~ that each student at All Saints is called to live a life of heroic faith!

Officers

President                                   Caroline R.

Vice President                            Monica G.

Secretary/Historian                     Samantha E.

Finance                                     Brandon M.

Religious Activities                     Mary Kate H.

Health, Safety & Ecology            Christine M.

School Spirit & Publicity             William P.

Class Representatives

Grade   4A                                Lance C.

4B                                Caralyne S.

Grade   5A                                Natalie M.

5B                                Shelby U.

Grade   6A                                Vivienne P.

6B                                Andrew C.

Grade   7A                                Alyson K.

7B                                Bridget K.

Grade   8A                                Gwendolyn B.

8B                                Olivia R.

Message from Caroline Rector, President of the SCA

Today we are celebrating the installation of our SCA officers and class representatives.  Yet, we should all be proud that we are a part of All Saints Catholic School, which has the distinction of being a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence.  I hope that during this year, our community will look at us not only as an academic school, but as one of the most giving and caring schools.  This year our school’s theme is “Living Stones” and as living stones we strengthen the foundation of our church through service and sacrifice.

St. Benedict has a guide for daily living, and these rules should be followed by all, to guide us in our daily lives.  He said, “Morals are the foundation upon which a country rises to great heights.  Take away morals, and countries, leaders and individuals fall.”  Together let’s lead this school to great heights using our moral compass and by honoring our commitment to help others.

Thank you, God bless, and please remember these words from Mother Theresa, “Peace begins with a smile.” Let’s use that positive approach to work together, to pray together, and to be Christ’s Living Stones here at All Saints.

Lock-Down Drill

Six years ago our school Crisis Management Team implemented quarterly lock-down drills to familiarize students and staff with our security response plan.  Each drill is clearly introduced as a practice with teachers and staff providing age-appropriate instructions to the students.  The first drill for the year will occur on Thursday, September 30th at 10:00 a.m. (Please note: This drill has been scheduled for several weeks and is not in response to any concerns specific to All Saints.  Rather, it is another exercise by which we maintain a state of preparedness should the need ever arise to secure the facility and safeguard the children.)

Volunteer Thank You

A big thank you those volunteers who made last week a bit easier for the Liaisons and New Families.  The nursery was staffed to allow parents to attend gatherings – thanks to Mrs. Becky Ruwe, Mrs. Sue Collins, Mrs. Julia McGrath, Mrs. Marjorie Collins, Mrs. Karina Rodriguez, and Mrs. Rebbecca Steketee for their time taking care of the little ones.  And thank you goes out to all parents who donated food for the New Parent Coffee.    It truly turned into more of a continental breakfast buffet than a simple coffee.  Your generosity is overwhelming! Mr. Conroy noted that our school’s second mission statement should be “No  parent leaves hungry!”

There is not enough space to thank all the wonderful volunteers who dedicate their time to our school.  If your name does not appear please know that is it not for lack of gratitude on behalf of the faculty, staff & PTO.

Spirit News ~ Coming up!

Come join us for lunch at Chick-Fil-A this Friday, September 24th after the noon dismissal. This is a great opportunity to meet new families and reconnect with your friends. Invite your friends, carpool buddies and anyone whom you or your children want to visit with. Present the flyer either to the register or the drive through when you pay for your meal and the school will receive 15% of the proceeds. Chick-Fil-A is located off of Rt 28 near the Super Target at 9939 Sowder Village Square, Manassas, VA 20109 703 365-9292.

IMPORTANT REMINDERS

Calendar Revision for May

The Office of Catholic Schools has approved our request to reschedule the half day reserved for curriculum mapping from Monday, May 9th to Friday, May 6th.  As such, the half day will now coincide with the band trip scheduled for Friday, May 6th with the afternoon reserved for the curriculum mapping project.

PTO Volunteer Fair

In place of the PTO General Membership Meeting scheduled for Tuesday, September 28th, the organization will host the Second Annual PTO Volunteer Fair from 2:00-3:30 p.m. and 7:00-8:30 p.m. The event is designed as an opportunity for parents to learn more about the PTO and all that it does to support the school.

There will be tables set up with information about all of the different events and activities that the PTO sponsors and representatives from the PTO Executive Board will be present to answer questions.

The VIRTUS video training entitled Keeping the Promise Alive will be shown at 2:15 p.m. and again at 7:00 p.m.  If there is sufficient interest, additional presentations of the video training will be made available at 7:30 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.

Criminal Background Checks for Volunteers & VIRTUS Requirements

As part of the diocesan initiative to maintain a safe environment for all of our children, all volunteers with “significant contact” with children are required to complete a background check prior to working in the school.  As we begin a new year, in accordance with diocesan policy, only those parents who have completed the criminal background check are eligible to volunteer in positions that involve contact with students. Those who will be volunteering in the school on a regular basis or even repeatedly are required to complete the background check.  Those who have not yet completed the background check process are invited to request a packet of forms from the school or parish office.

The diocese also requires volunteers who have completed this training to attend an annual update entitled Keeping the Promise Alive.  This 30 minutes video training is a prerequisite for volunteering in the school.  The next presentation will take place on Tuesday,  September 28th as part of the PTO Volunteer Fair at 2:15 p.m. in Meeting Room #2 and & 7:00 p.m. in the Library.  If there is sufficient interest, additional presentations of the video training will be made available at 7:30 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. (Please note:  For planning purposes, volunteers are asked to confirm their intent to attend a session on the voicemail of Mrs. Janet Smith.  703.393.2158)

Upcoming Events

¨       Enrollment Management Team Meeting ~ Thursday, September 23rd (7:00 p.m.)

¨       1st Quarter Interim Reports ~ Friday, September 24th

¨       Noon Dismissal (Curriculum Mapping) ~ Friday, September 24th

¨       PTO Volunteer Fair & VIRTUS Update Training ~ Tuesday, September 28th (2:00-3:30 p.m. & 7:00-8:30 p.m.)

¨       Lock-Down Drill ~ Thursday, September 30th (10:00 a.m.)

¨       Priests’ Barbecue ~ Friday, October 1st (11:15 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.)

LINKS

The Sentinel – Volume 11, Issue 3

Principal’s Message

The safety of your children is always a top priority at All Saints.  In recent years, in accordance with national initiatives and diocesan policy, we have taken additional steps to do our part to ensure that your children are in a safe place when they are participating in a program at All Saints Catholic School. For example, all of our faculty, staff and volunteers have completed the required background checks and training.  As an additional measure, five years ago we implemented the Formation in Christian Chastity Program to help your children recognize the steps they can take to keep themselves safe.

The Formation in Christian Chastity Program serves as an additional measure to assist us in establishing and maintaining a safe environment for our students.  As outlined in the materials, information is provided primarily to parents as a resource to be used in the formation of their children.  There is one classroom lesson for students in grade one and two lessons for those in grades five through eight. Beginning this year, in accordance with diocesan guidance, second and third grade teachers will re-present the first grade lesson plan to their respective classes.

We will be integrating the objectives of the program into our religion lessons in these grades during the closing weeks of September.  The entire curriculum can be accessed through the diocesan website:www.arlingtondiocese.org.  (Click on the Child Protection tab found under the heading of Education. To view the grade level lesson plans, click on Training Programs followed by the tab for the Formation in Christian Chastity Program.)

You are encouraged to spend some time reviewing this information yourself and to then share pertinent aspects with your children.  Each of the “rules” noted contains some application to common sense safety tips that you may share with your children.  Other parts of the “rule” apply to some of the decisions that you make as parents for the safety of your children.  A question and answer segment provides some suggestions as to how you might best address these concerns with your children.  Our goal is to equip both you and your children with the knowledge that can help to keep them safe.

The essential point is that parents need to be involved with their children.  The more you know about the daily events of your child’s life, the better you are able to spot any danger signs that may surface.  The more regular communication with your children, the more free they are to come to you with their concerns.

Should you have any questions about the Formation in Christian Chastity Program or about the classroom lessons, please do not hesitate to let us know.  In the event that you would prefer to not have your child participate in the classroom training, please send a note to the front office so that we may plan accordingly.

Calendar Revision for May

The Office of Catholic Schools has approved our request to reschedule the half day reserved for curriculum mapping from Monday, May 9th to Friday, May 6th.  As such, the half day will now coincide with the band trip scheduled for Friday, May 6th with the afternoon reserved for the curriculum mapping project.

PTO Volunteer Fair

In place of the PTO General Membership Meeting scheduled for Tuesday, September 28th, the organization will host the Second Annual PTO Volunteer Fair from 2:00-3:30 p.m. and 7:00-8:30 p.m. The event is designed as an opportunity for parents to learn more about the PTO and all that it does to support the school.

There will be tables set up with information about all of the different events and activities that the PTO sponsors and representatives from the PTO Executive Board will be present to answer questions.

The VIRTUS video training entitled Keeping the Promise Alive will be shown at 2:15 p.m. and throughout the evening event.

Middle School Back to School Night

Back to School Night for middle school parents will take place on Thursday, September 16th at 7:00 p.m.  Please note: This year parents are asked to report directly to their child’s homeroom classroom as there will not be a presentation in the gym.  Rather, all of the time will be spent visiting classrooms, experiencing a “day in the life of the middle school”.

Schedule

7:00 p.m.      Parent arrival

7:05 p.m.      Welcome & Opening Prayer (via the public address system)

7:10 p.m.      First Classroom Session Begins

9:05 p.m.      End of Final Classroom Session

Tuition Questions???

Should a question arise regarding your schedule of tuition payments, please contact Mrs. Joyce D’Eugenio, administrative assistant, at 703-393-1490.  She is happy to assist in providing additional information about the program and answering any questions that parents might have.

Emergency Information Form

Parents who have not yet completed and returned the Diocesan Emergency Form are asked to do so as soon as possible.  This form is critically important in that it provides us with the necessary information to contact you in the event of an emergency.

Criminal Background Checks for Volunteers & VIRTUS Requirements

As part of the diocesan initiative to maintain a safe environment for all of our children, all volunteers with “significant contact” with children are required to complete a background check prior to working in the school.  As we begin a new year, in accordance with diocesan policy, only those parents who have completed the criminal background check are eligible to volunteer in positions that involve contact with students. Those who will be volunteering in the school on a regular basis or even repeatedly are required to complete the background check.  Those who have not yet completed the background check process are invited to request a packet of forms from the school or parish office.

An additional component of the safe environment program established by the Diocese of Arlington is mandatory training for volunteers on the topic of child abuse prevention.  The full VIRTUS program, entitled Protecting God’s Children will next be offered at All Saints on Saturday, September 18th from 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. in Father Kelley Hall.  All volunteers who have not previously attended the seminar are asked to register on-line in order to receive credit for attending this upcoming session. (www.virtus.org)

The diocese also requires volunteers who have completed this training to attend an annual update entitled Keeping the Promise Alive.  This 30 minutes video training is a prerequisite for volunteering in the school.  The following is a list of upcoming sessions.  (Please note:  For planning purposes, volunteers are asked to confirm their intent to attend a session on the voicemail of Mrs. Janet Smith. 703.393.2158)

Wednesday, September 15th in Meeting Room 1 at 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, September 28th as part of the PTO Volunteer Fair at 2:15 p.m. & 7:00 p.m.

Peace and Justice  Players Outreach

The Peace and Justice Players are seeking the assistance of the school community in assisting the Balino family. The Balino family, a new family to our All Saints community,  suffered a devastating fire that destroyed their home and all of their possessions. Thankfully, the family members were not injured. The family is in immediate need of a variety of items. Peace and Justice Players will have bins to collect donation items at both the front and breezeway entrances.  In addition, monetary donations and gift cards can be turned into homeroom teachers. Teachers will have a envelope for collections in homeroom classes. Any assistance you can provide this family is greatly appreciated. Clothing can be new or gently used. Below is a list of requested items.  In addition to donations, prayers would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your generous support of this outreach.

Items of immediate need: toiletries and food items- canned goods, dried goods, and grocery store gift cards- Safeway is the nearest grocery store.

Clothing needs


Children’s Clothing:

Toddler Girl- sizes 2T and 3T

Toddler Boy sizes 4T-5T

Men’s  Clothing:

Shirts –sizes M, L, and XL

Pants Sizes:   34 x 30            33 x 30

Ladies’  Clothing:

Shirts- sizes  M and L

Pants : size 8 Petite

Boys:

Shirts large  Pants 12-14

Additional items: iron and ironing board, baby gates, vacuum, and pull ups for Toddler girl wearing size 2T-3T

Gift cards to Target or Wal-Mart would also be greatly appreciated.

Message from the PTO Board

The PTO board would like to welcome everyone to what will surely be another wonderful year at All Saints Catholic School!  This year we’ve decided to share monthly highlights of our board meetings to keep you up to date with the happenings in the school, as well as to give you a heads up on upcoming events.

  • Welcome to all the new All Saints families!! We sincerely hope all the new families have heard from your Guardian Angel to be welcomed to the community and encouraged to join us in supporting the school through a wide variety of PTO activity.
  • September 28th – PTO general assembly meeting Volunteer Fair:  2:00 to 3:30pm, and 7 to 8:30pm in the gym.  Come learn more about the exciting PTO sponsored events for the year and how you can get involved.  Because of our volunteers and fundraisers, the PTO is able to provide support to the school financially and through countless volunteer hours.  Did you know that each grade level receives $500 to decrease the cost of field trips to our families?  The PTO also provides each classroom with some funding to purchase needed classroom supplies at the start of the year and again in the second semester.  We were blessed last year to have a budget surplus and as a result were able to provide a makeover to the staff lounge with lovely new furniture and decor.
  • Don’t forget to update your VIRTUS training with the half hour video to be shown throughout the fair hours.  Please note that children are not allowed to view the video.
  • The uniform exchange is off to a strong start this year!  It will be open for the volunteer fair, as well as upcoming general assembly meetings throughout the year.  Please note that the uniform exchange will no longer be accepting the old PE uniforms as exchange items.  You may still drop them off to be donated to the House of Mercy, however, they will not count towards your exchange item credit.
  • Publicity Chair Needed! The PTO is looking for someone to help advertise all the PTO events.  If you are interested, please contact Angela Slater.
  • Mark your calendars now for the All Saints Casino/Auction Night – February 12, 2011 at the Portuguese Community Center.  Tickets will be $25/person.  More information will be provided in the coming months.
  • HAVE YOU TURNED IN YOUR GROCERY CARD FORM? The grocery program is looking for high family participation.  Please remember to re-register your grocery cards to benefit All Saints.  Also, keep saving those box-tops!  Last year alone, the school earned $2700 from clipped box-tops.
  • The QSP magazine drive starts September 13th!  Please consider renewing your current subscriptions through QSP so that All Saints can receive a portion of the cost.  Since the drive will be open online throughout the year, remember magazine subscriptions during your Christmas shopping!

Important Magazine Sale Updates

Our Magazine Fundraiser kicked off this Monday with an interactive school assembly- here are some items to make note of with your take-home packets: (1) Ignore any references to the “postcard” mailings, we are not participating in that part of the fundraiser (2) Cross-out and do NOT add the “processing fee” in the total for your catalog order, this is a misprint.  If you have any additional questions, please contact Holly Stefonsky at hdstef40@att.net.  Thanks for your support of our school!

Upcoming Events

  • Middle School Back-to-School Night ~ Thursday, September 16th (7:00 p.m.)
  • Installation Ceremony of Newly Elected SCA Officers & Representative s~ Friday, September 17th(1:30 p.m.)
  • Picture Day ~ Monday, September 20th
  • Enrollment Management Team Meeting ~ Thursday, September 23rd (7:00 p.m.)
  • 1st Quarter Interim Reports ~ Friday, September 24th
  • Noon Dismissal (Curriculum Mapping) ~ Friday, September 24th

Items going home with child

¨       Splendid Portraits Picture Day Order Forms

Items going home with oldest child

¨       Box Tops for Education Flyer

The Sentinel – Volume 11, Issue 2

Principal’s Message

Beginning next week the PTO will sponsor a new fundraiser for our school through QSP, a magazine subscription company.  Each student will receive an information packet as part of an opening assembly on Monday afternoon.  Details about the program are also available as a link to this week’s newsletter and on the corresponding website.

The key to this new fundraiser is that parents and friends of All Saints are not being asked to incur any additional expenses. Rather, recognizing that many in our community subscribe to magazines, we are simply requesting that when renewing, you do so through QSP, a company that will direct 40% of the proceeds directly back to All Saints.  While the program will be launched over the next two weeks, parents and community members can continue to renew subscriptions via the QSP website throughout the course of the year.  (In the event that your current subscription does not expire until later in the year, the company will track this and automatically initiate your renewal when your subscription expires.)

A few words about the incentives and awards for the children…As an encouragement for participation, the PTO is sponsoring a few incentives for students who sponsor a particular number of subscriptions.  However, as we have purposely refrained from making this a major fund-raising focus for our school, the awards program has been streamlined.  Additionally, in the interest of fairness, the PTO has also decided that the prizes will be awarded by family so that the children may work together on this endeavor.

The bottom line: QSP and the PTO Executive Board estimate that our school can profit $10,000 in the first year with a mid-level approach.  The good news for parents is that we’ve discovered a strategy by which All Saints can tap into a new revenue stream without asking parents to make any additional financial commitments.  Simply by renewing existing subscriptions, All Saints can experience a financial benefit!

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The following is a list of important reminders that will help us maintain an arrival and dismissal system that is safe, efficient and courteous.

With the increased number of cars on the property, it is vitally important that all drivers be especially attentive, proceeding slowly and with caution.

Parking:

¨       It is important that parents park only in those areas identified for our carpool system.

¨       Parents are asked not to park directly in front of the school building since this area is a designated fire lane.   Access to this area is restricted by traffic cones.

¨       Those visiting or volunteering in the school during the day are asked to park in the lot in front of the new church.  (Please refrain from parking in those spaces reserved for the clergy and from parking in Lot #2 ~ directly across from the priests’ parking area ~  as this section is reserved for parish staff.)

¨       When arriving for afternoon carpool, parents are asked to refrain from parking on Stonewall Road and other areas of the property.  For the safety of the children, it is important that each family participate in the school organized carpool system.

Arrival & Departure:

¨       When entering and exiting the property please use right turns only.  This will minimize the traffic that sometimes occurs on Stonewall Road, thereby helping us to maintain positive public relations with our neighbors.

¨       In that our carpool system brings together many people, it is a time for discussion and community building.  However, once dismissal actually begins, we ask that parents wrap up conversations so that complete attention may be directed to the children and so that we might avoid any unnecessary delays.

¨       When arriving for afternoon dismissal, parents are reminded to use great caution when exiting their vehicle.  We recommend that parents not open their doors until the next row of cars has arrived in the adjacent parking spaces.

¨       For the safety of all involved, drivers are asked not to exit the carpool lines unless directed by a staff member to do so.  Teachers only wave drivers forward after verifying that the adjacent lanes are clear of pedestrian traffic.

Special Carpool Privileges?

One of the more popular items at our annual auction event is that of the privilege of being “first in carpool”.  The families who win this item are invited to park in front of the dismissal area and have the opportunity of exiting the property in advance of the community.   It is for this reason that you will observe patrols escorting students to cars parked in front of Bay #1 during our afternoon carpool.

Several students from All Saints receive a ride home via a private shuttle arranged by their parents. As All Saints is but one stop for this service, this shuttle is granted special access and departs from the front of the school at 3:00 p.m.  (If you are interested in this private service that serves the Linton Hall area, you may contact Ms. Beth’s Shuttle Service at 703-794-7314.)

Carpool Tips ~ Morning Arrival

With the Pre-Kindergarten program now in session, there is increased traffic in the rear parking lot during morning arrival.  So that each child in the Pre-K may be escorted into the classroom by a member of the staff, all Pre-Kindergarten families are required to arrive via the rear lot.  However, all other school families have the option of using either the front or rear lots during morning arrival.  If there is a line of traffic entering the rear lot, parents are encouraged to use the front lot as an alternative.  Additionally, parents are reminded to enter and exit the property using right turns only so as to maintain a steady flow of traffic.

SchoolMessenger Emergency Notification ~ SYSTEM TEST ~ Friday, September 10th

The Diocese of Arlington uses the SchoolMessenger notification service to send important information to families through phone calls, emails, and text messages.  In the event of an emergency, All Saints Catholic School will activate the SchoolMessenger system.  As the system will only be used for this purpose, parents can anticipate that any communications received via this program are critical and deserve particular attention.

In order to ensure the functionality and accuracy of the system, All Saints will conduct a test on Friday, September 10th.  A test message will be issued via both recorded phone message and email to the emergency contacts of all students and staff at approximately 10:30 a.m.

In accordance with wireless carrier requirements and to protect against unsolicited text messages, during the year you may receive a text message providing you the opportunity to “opt in” should you wish to receive important SchoolMessenger announcements via text message.

The message you receive will be similar to the following:

“Please OPTIN to receive TXT alerts from <<Customer Name>>.Rply OPTIN 2 register, STOP 2 OPTOUT www.schoolmessenger.com/txt Msg&Data Rates May Apply”

So that you may receive important communications from All Saints via text message, we encourage you to reply with “OPTIN” when you receive such a verification message.

To opt out of all text messages from SchoolMessenger, including the verification message, go tohttp://www.schoolmessenger.com/txtmsg/ or reply STOP to the opt-in message you receive.

The Diocese and the school does not pay for text message charges that may be incurred by the user. Check with your wireless carrier for possible charges.

Student In-Service ~ Sexual Harassment, Our Policy & Response  (Grades 5-8)

In accordance with diocesan policy, students in grades five through eight will participate in a brief classroom presentation next week on the topic of the prevention of sexual harassment.  Mr. Conroy will visit each of the homeroom classes for approximately fifteen minutes, providing an overview of the diocesan policy and explaining to students how they should best respond if they encounter any behaviors of this nature.  Should you have any questions about this policy or presentation, please do not hesitate to contact the principal.

New Parent Coffee

All new parents are invited to enjoy “coffee with the principal” on Tuesday, September 14thbeginning at 9:00 a.m. in Father Kelley Hall.  Following a brief presentation, there will be time for questions and discussion about our school community and its many programs.  Babysitting services will be offered by Mrs. Carol Rice, coordinator of the Parish Nursery, in the adjacent meeting room.  Plan to attend and meet other new families who have recently joined our community!

PTO Volunteer Fair

In place of the PTO General Membership Meeting scheduled for Tuesday, September 28th, the organization will host the Second Annual PTO Volunteer Fair from 2:00-3:30 p.m. and 7:00-8:30 p.m.  The event is designed as an opportunity for parents to learn more about the PTO and all that it does to support the school.

There will be tables set up with information about all of the different events and activities that the PTO sponsors and representatives from the PTO Executive Board will be present to answer questions.

The VIRTUS video training entitled Keeping the Promise Alive will be shown at 2:15 p.m. and throughout the evening event.

Middle School Back to School Night

Back to School Night for middle school parents will take place on Thursday, September 16th at 7:00 p.m.  Please note: This year parents are asked to report directly to their child’s homeroom classroom as there will not be a presentation in the gym.  Rather, all of the time will be spent visiting classrooms, experiencing a “day in the life of the middle school”.

Schedule

7:00 p.m.                 Parent arrival

7:05 p.m. Welcome & Opening Prayer (via the public address system)

7:10 p.m. First Classroom Session Begins

9:05 p.m. End of Final Classroom Session

Tuition Questions???

Should a question arise regarding your schedule of tuition payments, please contact Mrs. Joyce D’Eugenio, administrative assistant, at 703-393-1490.  She is happy to assist in providing additional information about the program and answering any questions that parents might have.

Use of Student Photos for Marketing Materials

Over the course of the past three years, a formal marketing program has been implemented at All Saints and we are presently making a consistent effort to share the success of our program via local newspapers and our website.  It is important that parents understand that they retain the right to object to their son/daughter’s inclusion in these printed or electronic materials.  A “Waiver Information/Right to Object Form” (Appendix N) is located on the website within the forms section associated with the parent-student handbook.  Please note: If the form is not returned, we will assume that you waive your right to object.

Emergency Information Form

Parents who have not yet completed and returned the Diocesan Emergency Form are asked to do so as soon as possible.  This form is critically important in that it provides us with the necessary information to contact you in the event of an emergency.

Calendar Change ~ SCA Installation Ceremony

The Installation Ceremony for the newly elected members of the Student Council Association has been rescheduled from Friday, September 10th to Friday, September 17th.  The event will take place at 1:30 p.m. in the Parish Activities Center (the old church).

Parent ~ Student Handbooks

The 2010-2011 Parent-Student Handbook can be accessed electronically via our website:www.allsaintsvaschool.org.  Please take some time to review the policies and procedures of our school and discuss them with your children.  Each family is asked to sign and return the acknowledgment form distributed today by Friday, September 10th.  Those families without access to the website are invited to contact the office to request a hard copy of the handbook.

Criminal Background Checks for Volunteers & VIRTUS Requirements

As part of the diocesan initiative to maintain a safe environment for all of our children, all volunteers with “significant contact” with children are required to complete a background check prior to working in the school.  As we begin a new year, in accordance with diocesan policy, only those parents who have completed the criminal background check are eligible to volunteer in positions that involve contact with students. Those who will be volunteering in the school on a regular basis or even repeatedly are required to complete the background check.  Those who have not yet completed the background check process are invited to request a packet of forms from the school or parish office.

An additional component of the safe environment program established by the Diocese of Arlington is mandatory training for volunteers on the topic of child abuse prevention.  The full VIRTUS program, entitled Protecting God’s Children will next be offered at All Saints on Saturday, September 18th from 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. in Father Kelley Hall.  All volunteers who have not previously attended the seminar are asked to register on-line in order to receive credit for attending this upcoming session.  (www.virtus.org)

The diocese also requires volunteers who have completed this training to attend an annual update entitled Keeping the Promise Alive.  This 30 minutes video training is a prerequisite for volunteering in the school.  The following is a list of upcoming sessions.  (Please note:  For planning purposes, volunteers are asked to confirm their intent to attend a session on the voicemail of Mrs. Janet Smith.  703.393.2158)

Wednesday, September 8th in Meeting Room 1 at 6:30 p.m.

Monday, September 13th in Spanish in the Art Room at 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, September 14th in Spanish in the Art Room at 7:00 p.m.

Wednesday, September 15th in Meeting Room 1 at 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, September 28th as part of the PTO Volunteer Fair at 2:15 p.m. & 7:00 p.m.

Join the Young People’s choir!

  • Open to children in grades 3 and up.
  • The choir will sing the 2nd and 4th Sundays of each month (9:30 a.m. Mass), at the Christmas 4 p.m. Vigil and on Easter Sunday.
  • Practices: Two Tuesdays a month, 5:00-6:00 p.m. in the music room, 8:45 a.m. on the Sundays that the choir sings.   The first practice will be held on Tuesday, September 21, 5:00-6:00 p.m., in the music room of All Saints School.
  • The first Sunday the choir will sing is Sunday, September 26 at the 9:30 a.m. Mass.
  • For more information contact: Nichole Dalusung, ndalusung@allsaintsva.org

Sibling Friendly Volunteer Opportunities!

Want to earn Points for Parents but have a younger sibling still at home?  Volunteer to help out in  the nursery or the cafeteria!  We have the following needs for volunteers:

Nursery Needs

Monday Sept 13th – Nursery volunteers are needed during the Room Liaison Meeting.  The time frame is from approximately 9:30-11am.
Tuesday September 14th – Nursery volunteers are needed for the New Parent Coffee, from approximately 9-11am.
If you are Virtus approved and interested, please contact Carol Rice ckrice@verizon.net.  Your younger children are welcome to accompany you.

Cafeteria Duty

We are looking for a few more volunteers to help out with playground/cafeteria duty.  We especially need help on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Younger siblings are welcome to accompany the parent volunteer.  Volunteering once/week in the cafeteria earns you all your points for the year!  To find out more information please contact Sue Ferguson atsferguson1@comcast.net or call 703-331-3878.

Volunteering at All Saints School

Wondering how to get involved in All Saints School this year or how to find volunteer opportunities to earn Points for Parents?  You can get email updates for volunteer opportunities at All Saints throughout the year–you can decide which opportunity is right for you.  Please contact Angela Slater, Volunteer Coordinator, at schoolvolunteers@allsaintsvaschool.org and request to be added to the volunteer email update list, ask a volunteer question or make a request for volunteers.  A special welcome to new families: please feel free to contact Angela Slater with your volunteer questions.

 

Upcoming Events

  • First Day of Pre-Kindergarten ~ Wednesday, September 8th
  • Back to School Night for Grades 1-5 ~ Thursday, September 9th (Gym/7:00 p.m.)
  • School Mass ~ Friday, September 10th (8:30 a.m.)
  • New Student Breakfast ~ Friday, September 10th

Doughnuts & Juice with Mr. Conroy & Mrs. Campagna

9:20 A.M          Grades 6-8

9:40 AM           Grades 3-5

10:00 AM          Grades K-2

  • PTO Magazine Subscription Kick-off Assembly ~ Monday, September 13th
  • Room Liaisons Meeting ~ Monday, September 13th (9:30 a.m.)
  • New Parent Coffee ~ Tuesday, September 14th (9:00 a.m.)
  • Middle School Back-to-School Night ~ Thursday, September 16th (7:00 p.m.)
  • Installation Ceremony of Newly Elected SCA Officers & Representatives ~ Friday, September 17th (1:30 p.m.)

 

Links

Magazine Fundraiser ~ http://www.allsaintsvaschool.org/index/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2010/09/magazine-fundraiser-2010.pdf

All Saints Girl Scouts ~ http://www.allsaintsvaschool.org/student-activities/scouting/

Boy Scout Troop 1188 ~ www.troop1188.org

Use of Student Photos for Marketing Materials

Over the course of the past three years, a formal marketing program has been implemented at All Saints and we are presently making a consistent effort to share the success of our program via local newspapers and our website.  It is important that parents understand that they retain the right to object to their son/daughter’s inclusion in these printed or electronic materials.
Continue reading “Use of Student Photos for Marketing Materials”

The Sentinel – Volume 11, Issue 1

Principal’s Message

What a joy it was to welcome our students on Monday morning for another year of learning and formation in the beautiful environment that is All Saints Catholic School! The new church and courtyard provide a visible witness of the strong faith and sense of community that surround our parish and school.  How blessed we are to be part of such a sacred space!

Yet even more important than the bricks and mortar, which together form the structure of our new church, are the hearts and minds of our students which are daily formed into the likeness of Christ. This is our mission as a Catholic school and our most distinguishing characteristic.  Our very name echoes the call…that all may be saints!

As announced during the summer months, our parish theme for the year ahead will be Living Stones. During our school-wide assembly yesterday, I invited the students to reflect on this and to share within their classrooms their own ideas as to how we can make this theme a focal point for our school community.  I’ve also encouraged the students to submit their ideas as to how we might incorporate this concept into a daily quote or motto to be included in all of our public address announcements and publications.

One of the attributes of our school is that we cherish and share the very best of our Catholic faith and traditions.  As such, beginning this year we will incorporate a new prayer, the Angelus, into the daily life and culture of our school.  With the ringing of the church bells at noon each day, the faculty, staff and students will pause to pray the Angelus as it is recited over the public address system.  A series of threeHail Mary’s and responses, the Angelus is a prayerful remembrance of the moment of Incarnation, when God sent His Son into the world so that we might all experience salvation.  The ringing of the “Angelus bell” signifies this announcement and sends a message of good-will to everyone on Earth.  As the bell chimes at noon each day, our students will pause ~ in classrooms, hallways, cafeteria and playground ~ to prayerfully recall the mystery of Christ’s infinite love and Mary’s participation in the plan for our salvation.  As you visit our school throughout the year, we invite you to pray with us as we incorporate this 700 year old devotion into our program.

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Behind the scenes a number of parents and children have worked diligently to prepare for the new year.  I would like to take this opportunity to both commend and thank them for their generous support of our school.

6th Annual Back to School Barbecue ~ Led by Mrs. Monique Schmeling, a large number of volunteer parents and students helped to feed an estimated crowd of 700+  at our annual kick-off event.  I thank each of them for their spirit of hospitality and service which was so clearly evident on Friday evening.  I especially wish to thank Mrs. Schmeling for all of her efforts in coordinating the many details of the event, beginning with advanced planning early in the spring.  Again this year the event was made possible by funding provided by the PTO and offered to families free of charge in gratitude for all that our school parents do to support the mission of All Saints throughout the year.  I also wish to extend a word of thanks to the many volunteers ~ parents and middle school students ~ who assisted with the event.  Through their participation, the entire food service operation ran smoothly and efficiently.

School Landscaping ~ Last week Mrs. Crocker and her children spent the better part of a day weeding and cleaning out the flower beds adjacent to the school.  I thank them for once again helping the school to “look it’s best” on opening day!

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Thank you to the many members of our community who have supported the Marsengill Family through prayer and outreach.  Phillip is now at home, surrounded by the care and support of his family and friends and he continues to receive chemotherapy treatments.  Mrs. Marsengill will continue to work in our cafeteria program two days per week.  I am pleased to announce that Mrs. Kris Walk, a school parent and regular volunteer in the cafeteria last year, has joined our staff as substitute cafeteria bookkeeper on those days when Mrs. Marsengill will be at home caring for her son.  Welcome, Mrs. Walk!

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The Virtue of the Month for September will be Respect & Responsibility. Throughout the first month of school we will adopt the following plan and strive to maintain these objectives throughout the course of the year.

1)       Wear your uniform with pride.

2)       Be reverent and quiet in church.

3)       Greet everyone cheerfully and by name.

4)       Listen quietly when others speak.

5)       Learn your daily prayers.

6)       Keep your desk and supplies neat.

7)      Stand at attention for the Pledge of Allegiance.

8)       Participate in Mass: Try to learn the responses and sing the hymns.

9)       Do your best work on every assignment.

10)    Turn all class assignments and homework in on time.

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Electronic Newsletter

The weekly newsletter will again be distributed electronically to parents via an email distribution list. Parents who have not yet registered to receive the mailing are encouraged to do so via our website ~www.allsaintsvaschool.org.  (Please note: Registration for the newsletter is separate from the registration process for the emergency email alert system which is also found on the website.  Parents experiencing difficulty receiving the email newsletter are asked to contact the office.)  Occasionally, it will be necessary to distribute hard copies of forms, such as in the case of the Emergency Forms being sent home this week.  On those occasions, the forms and newsletter will be distributed using a “take-home” folder from your child’s classroom.  Wednesday will continue to be the day on which newsletters and important forms are distributed.

Opening School Mass

On Friday morning students in Grades 1-8 will gather in the new church at 10:00 a.m. for the annual Opening of the School Year Mass.  All school parents and families are cordially invited to join us as we gather to pray for the success of this new year.

Calendar Change ~ SCA Installation Ceremony

The Installation Ceremony for the newly elected members of the Student Council Association has been rescheduled from Friday, September 10th to Friday, September 17th.  The event will take place at 1:30 p.m. in the Parish Activities Center (the old church).

Parent ~ Student Handbooks

The 2010-2011 Parent-Student Handbook can be accessed electronically via our website:www.allsaintsvaschool.org.  Please take some time to review the policies and procedures of our school and discuss them with your children.  Each family is asked to sign and return the acknowledgment form distributed today by Friday, September 10th.  Those families without access to the website are invited to contact the office to request a hard copy of the handbook.

Criminal Background Checks for Volunteers & VIRTUS Requirements

As part of the diocesan initiative to maintain a safe environment for all of our children, all volunteers with “significant contact” with children are required to complete a background check prior to working in the school.  As we begin a new year, in accordance with diocesan policy, only those parents who have completed the criminal background check are eligible to volunteer in positions that involve contact with students. Those who will be volunteering in the school on a regular basis or even repeatedly are required to complete the background check.  Those who have not yet completed the background check process are invited to request a packet of forms from the school or parish office.

An additional component of the safe environment program established by the Diocese of Arlington is mandatory training for volunteers on the topic of child abuse prevention.  The full VIRTUS program, entitled Protecting God’s Children will next be offered at All Saints on Saturday, September 18th from 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. in Father Kelley Hall.  All volunteers who have not previously attended the seminar are asked to register on-line in order to receive credit for attending this upcoming session. (www.virtus.org)

The diocese also requires volunteers who have completed this training to attend an annual update entitled Keeping the Promise Alive.  This 30 minutes video training is a prerequisite for volunteering in the school.  The following is a list of upcoming sessions.  (Please note:  For planning purposes, volunteers are asked to confirm their intent to attend a session on the voicemail of Mrs. Janet Smith. 703.393.2158)

Wednesday, September 1st in the Art Room at 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday, September 8th in Meeting Room 1 at 6:30 p.m.

Monday, September 13th in Spanish in the Art Room at 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, September 14th in Spanish in the Art Room at 7:00 p.m.

Wednesday, September 15th in Meeting Room 1 at 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, September 28th as part of the PTO Volunteer Fair at 2:30 p.m. & 7:00 p.m.

Emergency Information Form

Please complete the form distributed today and return it to the office by Friday, September 3rd. This form is critically important in that it provides us with the necessary information to contact you in the event of an emergency.

Upcoming Events

  • Pre-Kindergarten Orientation for Parents ~ Thursday, September 2nd (Art Room/7:00 p.m.)
  • Opening School Mass ~ Friday, September 3rd (10:00 a.m.)

§ Labor Day Holiday ~ Monday, September 6th

  • Pre-Kindergarten Open House ~ Tuesday, September 7th (Morning Session ~ 9:00-11:00 a.m./Afternoon Session ~ 12:30-2:30 p.m.)
  • Band Parents Meeting ~ Tuesday, September 7th (Returning parents @ 6:45 p.m./ new parents @ 7:30 p.m. in the Music Room)

§ PTO Board Meeting ~ Tuesday, September 7th (Professional Learning Center/7:00 p.m.)

  • First Day of Pre-Kindergarten ~ Wednesday, September 8th
  • Back to School Night for Grades 1-5 ~ Thursday, September 9th (Gym/7:00 p.m.)

 

Going home with EACH STUDENT TODAY

Emergency Forms ~ Each student in the school is receiving an emergency form.  Please complete one emergency form for each of your children and return the forms by Friday, September 3rd.

LINKS

Cub Scout Dens are now forming!  Did you know that All Saints School has a Cub Scout? Check out this link for more information. ~ http://www.allsaintsvaschool.org/index/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2010/09/pack-1188.pdf

 

Mini-Retreat for PARENTS of TEENS ~ http://www.allsaintsvaschool.org/index/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2010/09/PARENTSofTeensRETREAT2010.pdf