Summer Greetings! I hope that this letter finds you well and enjoying opportunities for rest and relaxation. With little more than three weeks remaining before the first day of school, I wish to take a moment to share with you important news related to the start of the new year.
While the school has been on summer holiday, construction of the new church has continued at a steady pace. The steel decking for the roof is completed and the new parking lot has been paved. Those who have not seen the project since the close of the school year will no doubt be astounded by the progress.
As I have witnessed the construction process, I could not help but recognize it as a powerful metaphor for the work of our Catholic school. We, too, are in the business of building ~ the building of hearts, minds and souls in the likeness of Jesus. This work is important and essential, providing a strong foundation that will endure for all eternity.
Each year our school selects a theme that becomes a focal point for our prayer and reflection. This year the school theme will be Called to Holiness, With the Heart of Jesus. Prompted by the Holy Fatherâ€™s invitation for us to reflect on the gift of the priesthood, this theme will serve as a reminder for all of us that we are called to imitate the life of Christ. What better foundation can we provide the children than one rooted in the call to sainthood!
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The annual school calendar will be available for families at Orientation on Friday, August 28th. However, for planning purposes, I would like to share with you a few notable changes.
Curriculum Mapping Initiative & Professional Development Days
In support of the diocesan-wide implementation of curriculum mapping, there will be two non-instructional days during which the faculty will participate in on-going professional development. (Monday, January 25th; Friday, March 12th) There will also be two diocesan-wide half-days designated for this purpose as well. (Friday, September 25th; Monday, May 10th) The remainder of the school calendar is typical with half days occurring approximately once per month in advance of holidays or for faculty meetings and report card preparation.
Veterans Day Holiday
This year Veterans Day (Wednesday, November 11th) will be a diocesan holiday and will be followed by two days of Parent-Teacher Conferences (Thursday, November 12th & Friday, November 13th).
Snow Day Make-Up Days
Due to the fact that school is starting and ending one week later than usual, the week of the Easter Holiday has been reserved as a time during which we will make up days due to closures related to inclement weather. In the event that school is cancelled due to weather conditions, Friday, April 9th will be the first make-up day and we will add days as necessary earlier in the week. However, should it be necessary for us to make-up a fifth day, this will occur at the close of the year on Thursday, June 17th. In observance of Easter, Monday, April 5th will remain a school holiday.
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I am pleased to announce that the following individuals will be joining our faculty for the 2009-2010 school year.
Mrs. Katherine Izquierdo (Kindergarten Teacher) ~ For the past seven years, Mrs. Izquierdo has served as a Kindergarten Aide in the Fairfax County School System and has completed her graduate work for teacher licensure through the University of Virginia. During the unexpected long-term absence of the lead teacher in her classroom, she coordinated planning and assessment for the students over the course of a year. She has participated in a full range of professional development opportunities and brings to All Saints an understanding of curriculum mapping, rubrics & assessment and Word Study. Recognized for her strong work ethic, enthusiasm and dedication, she will be a wonderful addition to our faculty.
Miss Joanna McCullough (4th Grade Teacher) ~ Miss McCullough is a recent graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville where she earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education with concentrations in math and social studies for grades 4-9. She completed her student teaching at the middle and high school levels and has also gained educational experience working as a private tutor. Recognized as an excellent role model as well as a highly organized, enthusiastic individual, she will be a true asset to our school.
As you prepare for the beginning of the new school year, I hope that the following information will prove helpful.
1) Orientation Day for Students in Grades K-8: Friday, August 28th from 9:00 a.m. to noon. The classrooms will be open for visits until 11:00 a.m. while cafeteria ticket sales and distribution of information will continue in the gym until noon. This day provides you and your child the opportunity to meet teachers and visit classrooms. All visiting parents and students are asked to both enter and exit the building by way of the main entrance at the front of the school. On Orientation Day, parents/visitors are invited to park in either the front or rear parking lot of the church. During your visit you may pick up your carpool number and carpool maps. Lunch and milk tickets will also be available for purchase and the Uniform Exchange will be open. (Although the Pre-Kindergarten program will host a separate open house event, parents are welcome to visit the gym to pick-up important information.)
Â¨ New families are invited to arrive early on Orientation Day. All faculty and staff will be available to greet you and guide you through the school beginning at 9:00 a.m. Returning families are asked to begin arriving at 9:30 a.m.
Â¨ Throughout the course of the morning, you are asked to keep your children with you at all times since the teachers will be occupied with meeting new students and will not be available to supervise children.
2) First Day of School: Grades K-8; Monday, August 31st.
8:10 Tardy Bell
8:15 Classes Begin
Since you will already have had the opportunity on Orientation Day to meet teachers and visit classrooms, you are asked to drop off your children in the carpool line by 8:05 a.m. Students will enter the building via the breezeway connecting the new facility to the original wing and report directly to their homerooms. The breezeway doors will open at 7:50, at which time the cars in the front of the carpool line will begin dropping off students at the direction of patrols and the supervising staff. Any child dropped off before 7:50 a.m. must be escorted to the Extended Day Program in Father Kelley Hall by a parent or guardian.
Dismissal will occur at noon on Monday for students in grades Kindergarten through eight. Dismissal for grades 1-8 will be at 3:00 p.m. for the remainder of the week. However, the Kindergarten program will dismiss at noon for the entire first week of school.
At 10:00 a.m. on Friday, September 4th we will celebrate the beginning of the new year with a school-wide Mass. All parents are cordially invited to join us for this liturgy as we pray for Godâ€™s blessings on our community in the year ahead..
3) Immunizations: Virginia law requires that parents of students enrolling in pre-kindergarten, kindergarten or first grade provide documentation of appropriate immunization for measles, mumps, and rubella. All children who have not received a complete series of hepatitis B vaccine will be required to receive such immunization prior to entering the 6th grade. Additionally, in accordance with the immunization requirements for the State of Virginia, all 6th grade students must receive a Tdap booster before returning to school in the fall. Please be aware that providing documentation of immunization is a necessary condition for enrollment at All Saints. Those students who have not received proper immunization will not be permitted to attend school.
4) Carpool Information: All participants in a carpool use the same number and each driver must have a copy of this number posted in his/her window when picking up riders. Parents may pick up carpool numbers at the carpool information table during Orientation on Friday, August 28th. Please note: Every car needs a number, whether or not the parents have established a carpool with another family. The numbers are needed for the very first day of school. Re-registered families may use last yearâ€™s number, but are asked to confirm this information at the carpool information table on Orientation Day. Maps and directions highlighting the carpool route will be available as well. All parents are asked to pick up and review these items prior to the first day of school. Parents whose children will be walking to and from school are asked to indicate this on the sign-up form.
5) 2009-2010 School Calendar: New calendars may be picked up on Orientation Day. We are grateful to Mrs. Laurie Short who again this year designed the document. The calendar was printed by JM Gaske with the financial support of local businesses that purchased adverstisements included in the publication.
6) Parent/Student Handbook: Information related to the updated student handbook will be issued to all families via the website and upcoming school newsletters.
7) Supplies: Supply lists were distributed in the spring in order that you might take advantage of sales during the summer. Newly registered families received one at the time of registration. Parents who ordered supplies through the school-organized supply project may pick them up on Orientation Day. All students are asked to come to school prepared with supplies on the first day of classes.
8 ) Uniforms: Students in grades 1-8 are required to wear the full school uniform during the school day and at designated school functions. The following is a description of the uniform code for the â€œsummerâ€ months.
Summer Uniform: This uniform is worn from the first day of school through the month of October and from April 12th to the final day of school. All of the items listed below, with the exception of socks, are to be purchased from Flynn and Oâ€™Hara Uniform Company. (703-503-5966).
Â¨ Khaki shorts
Â¨ Navy blue or white golf shirts
Â¨ White socks (Please note: Students are required to wear crew socks that can be folded over at the ankle. Ankle socks are not acceptable.)
Optional â€“Khaki slacks (boys and girls, Gr.1-8), Khaki skirts (girls, Gr.5-8)
Shoes: Plain black leather athletic shoes only. Shoes must not include white or colored stripes, blinking lights, etc. Hightops are not permitted.
As we begin the year, it is important that all students wear the uniform as outlined in our student handbook. Throughout the first several weeks of school, teachers will be particularly attentive to this policy in order that we may have a student population that is both uniform and neat in appearance.
9) P.E. Uniform: Students in grades 6-8 â€œdress outâ€ for P.E. class. (Those in kindergarten wear the P.E. uniform every day, while those in first through fifth grade wear their P.E. uniform all day on days when they attend P.E.) Middle school students are asked to bring their P.E. uniform to school on days when they will attend P.E. class. They may also wish to bring a pair of socks and athletic shoes depending upon the style of their particular uniform shoe.
10) Cafeteria: Lunches may be purchased daily ($2.50), monthly ($50.00) or yearly, based on 165 lunches ($412.50). The price of milk this year will be $0.16. The cost for adults will be $0.30.
11) Extended Day: Our child care program will be in operation beginning at noon on the first day of school. If you wish for your child to attend the program, please send him/her to school with a bag lunch on the first day of school. The Extended Day Program will be available beginning at noon for kindergarten students throughout the first week of school.
12) Bookbag Policy: Students may use wheeled bookbags on their way to and from school. However, for the safety of all students and staff, once inside the building students must carry their school bags. With this in mind, students may use bookbags with or without wheels provided they fit inside their locker space. The size of lockers is indicated below.
Please note: For safety reasons, kindergarten and first grade students are not permitted to use rolling backpacks or umbrellas.
Grades 4-5 Height â€“ 35 in. Grades 6-8 Height â€“ 35.5 in.
Width â€“ 12 in. Width â€“ 12 in.
Depth â€“ 17 in. Depth â€“ 11 in.
13) Family Directory and Ad Book: The family directory will be printed and distributed during
the month of September.
Criminal Background Checks for Volunteers ~ Fingerprinting Session
As part of the diocesan initiative to maintain a safe environment for all of our children, all volunteers with â€œsignificant contactâ€ 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 might visit the classroom for a special presentation once per year need not complete the background check process. However, 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 may request a packet of forms from the front office.
Information for Kindergarten Families:
1) Parent Orientation Meeting: Parents who have a Kindergartner starting at All Saints this year are invited to a special orientation meeting on Thursday, August 27th at 7:00 p.m. in the art room. Mrs. Marsha Vice and Mrs. Katherine Izquierdo will present an overview of the program and will be available to answer questions.
2) Uniforms: Kindergartners wear the All Saints P.E. uniform each day.
Information for Pre-Kindergarten Families:
1) Parent Orientation Meeting: Parents who have a Pre-Kindergartner beginning at All Saints are invited to attend a special meeting on Thursday, September 3rd at 7:00 p.m. Mrs. Kardaras, Director of the Pre-Kindergarten, will highlight pertinent information about our program. In addition, the rest of the program staff will be in attendance and available to answer any questions that you might have.
2) Pre-Kindergarten Open House: On Tuesday, September 8th there will be a special Open House for all Pre-Kindergarten students and their parents from 9:00-11:00 a.m. for those enrolled in the morning session and from 12:30-2:30 p.m. for those in the afternoon session. The program will officially begin on Wednesday, September 9th.
3) Pre-Kindergarten students do not wear a uniform. Rather, they are asked to wear comfortable, casual clothing that is conducive to their participation in the various activities that will occur each day.
Ã¸ Back-to-School Night will be held on Wednesday, September 10th at 7:00 p.m. in the gym. Following an opening presentation, teachers in grades one through five will present an overview of their individual programs. A separate Back-to School program will be held for Middle School parents on Thursday, September 17th beginning at 7:00 p.m. These sessions will provide parents with important information about our many programs and our plans for the 2009-2010 academic year. For this reason, at least one parent from each family is required to attend the sessions that pertain to their child.
Remember to mark your calendar for the 5th Annual Welcome Back Barbecue hosted by the PTO. This popular and well-attended event provides a wonderful opportunity for families to visit with friends old and new as we begin another year together. This year the event is being catered by Pizzeria Uno. Families are asked to bring lawn chairs and a cooler full of favorite drinks. (non-alcoholic beverages only) Although there is no need to RSVP, should you have any questions or wish to volunteer to assist with the event, please contact Mrs. Melanie Waddy at 703-330-4468. Seventh and eighth grade students are cordially invited to participate as volunteers as well and can earn service hours in support of their preparation for Confirmation. Please contact Mrs. Waddy for additional information.
In the days preceding the opening of school, should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at 703-368-4400.
Enjoy the remaining weeks of summer!
David E. Conroy, Jr.