The Sentinel – Volume 10, Issue 3

Message from the Principal ~ Preparing for Flu Season

Throughout the school year, your child’s safety and health is of paramount importance. This year, as the flu season approaches, with particular concerns about H1N1, I personally would like to reassure you that All Saints Catholic School is taking the necessary precautions to ensure the health of our students and staff.

As you are aware, All Saints employs a full-time registered nurse, Mrs. Sniffen, who is equipped to assist if children exhibit flu-like symptoms. In accordance with our school policy and the recommendations of the Center for Disease Control, students, teachers and staff who are sick are advised to stay at home until at least 24 hours after they no longer have a fever or signs of a fever (without the use of fever-reducing medicine.) In the event that your child is experiencing influenza-like symptoms (fever with a cough or sore throat), please contact your doctor and do not send your child to school. Additionally, if your child has symptoms, he/she should not be out in the community except for the purpose of seeking medical care.

To reduce the potential for the spread of flu within our community, the company contracted to clean the facility has been directed to give particular attention to the cleaning and disinfecting of common office spaces, doorknobs, restrooms, and water fountains.

Students and school staff can assist by adopting two key practices:

ø Practicing good hand hygiene. Please take a moment to reteach your child proper handwashing.
ø Practicing “respiratory etiquette”. Since the main way that the flu spreads is from person to person in droplets produced by coughs and sneezes, it is important that students and staff cover their mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. When this is not possible, they should cough or sneeze into their elbow or shoulder, not into their hands.

Your child’s well-being is always our first concern. Please be on the lookout for flu-like symptoms and contact your doctor immediately if they appear.

I will keep you apprised of important information as things evolve during flu season. For now, let us together commit to these “best practices”.


Diocese of Arlington Secondary Schools Adopt 10-Point Grade Scale
Diocesan high school principals, with the support of the Diocesan Office of Catholic Schools, have unanimously decided to implement a 10-point grading scale in the 2009-2010 school year. This will ensure that our students continue to succeed in the hyper-competitive college admissions and scholarship environment.

Subsequently, the grading scale for elementary schools, specifically grades 4-8, remains under discussion. However, effective this year, students in grades 4-8 will receive numeric grades only. A grade of failure, below 70%, will continue to be designated by an F.

New Parent Coffee
All new parents are invited to enjoy “coffee with the principal” on Tuesday, September 15th beginning at 9:00 a.m. in Father Kelley Hall. 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!

Use of Student Photos for Marketing Materials
Over the course of the past two 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.

IMPORTANT REMINDERS


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. Wednesday will continue to be the day on which newsletters and important forms are distributed.

Parent ~ Student Handbooks
The 2009-2010 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 enclosed acknowledgment form, also found in the appendices, to the office by Friday, September 11th. Those families without access to the website are encouraged 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 26th 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. All of the afternoon and evening sessions will take place in Room 212 with the exception of the session on Thursday, September 17th which will occur in FKH at 2:15 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)

On Tuesday, September 15th at 7:00 PM
On Wednesday, September 9th at 6:00 PM
On Sundays, September 13th and 20th at 4:45 PM
On Monday, September 21st at 7:00 PM (Spanish presentation)
Tuesday, September 29th at 2:00 PM & 7:00 PM (to coincide with PTO Volunteer Fair)

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.

Note from the Welcoming Committee
Attention New Families: Mr. Conroy is hosting a “New Parent” Coffee on Tuesday, September 15 at 9am in Father Kelley Hall. Please join us for a chance to meet other families new to the All Saints School Community, as well as your “Guardian Angels”. If you are a new school family and haven’t been contacted by someone on the Welcoming Committee yet, please call Gina Michak (703-330-8099) so you can be matched up to a “Guardian Angel” family ASAP.

Spirit News
Come join us for ice cream and miniature golf at Nathan’s ice cream and the Magic Putting Place on Friday, September 18th from 12:30 p.m. until closing. The cost for golf is $3 per player for 18 holes. Please bring the attached flyer to the event and both businesses will donate a portion of the proceeds to the school. The rain date for the event is the following Sunday, September 20th at the same time. Nathan’s and the Magic Putting Place are located next to each other at 8948 and 8902 Mathis Avenue in Manassas. Hope to see you there!

Upcoming Events

§ First Day of Pre-Kindergarten ~ Wednesday, September 9th
§ New Student Breakfast ~ Grades K-8 (Doughnuts & Juice with Mr. Conroy and Mrs. Campagna) ~Thursday, September 10th
§ Back to School Night ~ Grades 1-5 ~ Thursday, September 10th (Gym/7:00 p.m.)
§ Student Council Association Induction Ceremony ~ Friday, September 11th (church/1:30 p.m.)
§ Room Liaisons Meeting ~ Monday, September 14th (FKH/9:30 a.m.)
§ New Parent Coffee ~ Tuesday, September 15th (FKH/9:00 a.m.)
§ Lions’ Club Screening ~ Wednesday, September 16th
§ Middle School Back to School Night ~ Thursday, September 17th (7:00 p.m.)
§ Noon Dismissal ~ Faculty Meeting ~ Friday, September 18th

Links

>> PTO Volunteer Fair Flyer ~ http://www.allsaintsvaschool.org/index/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/PTOVolunteerFair2009.pdf
>> Nathan’s Event Flyer ~ http://www.allsaintsvaschool.org/index/wp-content/plugins/download-monitor/download.php?id=2009-09-18Nathans.jpg