All Saints Catholic School Named 2009 Blue Ribbon School of Excellence!
Secretary Arne Duncan announced earlier this week that All Saints Catholic School has been selected by the U.S. Department of Education as a 2009 Blue Ribbon School of Excellence. All Saints will be honored at a formal ceremony in Washington D.C. on November 2 – 3, 2009. The No Child Left Behind – Blue Ribbon School Program honors public and private K-12 schools for their academic excellence and ability to help students achieve at very high levels.
All Saints met and exceeded the Blue Ribbon eligibility guidelines in part because its students have scored in the top 10 percent of the U.S. on national Terra Nova standardized testing. All Saints enjoys a reputation of over 50 years of excellence in Catholic education grounded in a balanced curriculum that fosters spiritual growth, intellectual challenge, physical development, and service to the community. Emphasis is placed on character development as students are encouraged on a daily basis to develop habits of respect, kindness, reverence, self-discipline and compassion.
Message from the Pastor
Last spring an eighth grade student who had been in our school for three years told me, ‘Growing up I had heard about Christ, but now I have come to know Him and I want to be baptized.’ For me, that was like receiving a gold ribbon for that’s what we are about: forming the people of God, students, faculty, and staff to live the gospel of Jesus.
I rejoice today that the academic achievements of our students have been recognized with the Blue Ribbon Award. The most significant reason for this success is that our principal and teachers enforce high standards and challenge our students to be their best.
Thank you, Mr. Conroy, assistant principal Elba Campagna, and our dedicated faculty and staff. Thank you, All Saints students, Moms and Dads, and parishioners of All Saints for the important partnership you share in forming our children in faith and learning.
I applaud and congratulate the school community on this special recognition.
Love and Blessings,
Fr. Bob Cilinski
Message from Sr. Bernadette McManigal, Superintendent of Schools
This award recognizes the students, faculty, staff and parents who all contribute to making our schools faith-filled and academically excellent year after year. I am thrilled with their success and congratulate them on this prestigious honor.
Arlington Catholic Schools won four of the fifty ribbons awarded to private schools nationwide this year. In total, sixteen of the 41 Arlington diocesan schools have been named Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence.
Message from the Principal
Dear Parents & Guardians,
Together we rejoice in hearing the news that All Saints Catholic School has been named a 2009 Blue Ribbon School of Excellence. This national recognition affirms that our parish school is one of the top performing in our nation, a model for others to follow.
I wish to acknowledge our pastor, Fr. Cilinski, the many members of the clergy, parishioners, staff, students and families ~ past and present ~ who have helped to create the legacy of our parish school. It is their collective efforts over the course of many years that have enabled us to arrive at this moment of distinction.
I am particularly grateful to the faculty and staff, a remarkably talented and dedicated group of professionals. With the support of the parish community and the Parent Teacher Organization, they have created a first-class environment of faith and learning.
On this occasion I wish to extend a special word of thanks to our entire community. With your prayers and generous stewardship, the school has grown in wisdom and grace. It is, indeed, a bright shining light for the greater community of Manassas. It is a place where students encounter a meaningful curriculum that promotes intellectual formation.
Most importantly, it is a place where children are immersed in the finest traditions of our Catholic faith!
Thank you for your unwavering support and for choosing the gift of a Catholic education for your children!
Congratulations All Saints Catholic School!
Mr. David E. Conroy, Jr.
Commendations from Senator Colgan and Council Member Way
Yesterday All Saints was pleased to welcome Senator Charles Colgan and City of Manassas Council Member Jonathan Way for a surprise assembly for our students and faculty. At 2:00 p.m. the school community gathered in the gym to hear the official announcement of our status as a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence. In the words of Senator Colgan as he addressed the student body, â€œThis is a very big deal! â€¦ I knew you were good, but I didnâ€™t know you were this good!â€ In celebration of this success, he plans to introduce a resolution in the Senate honouring our school during the upcoming January session.
Blue Ribbon Celebrations
Our designation as a Blue Ribbon School is cause for a year-long celebration. Later today, members of the faculty and staff will be gathering after school to discuss special plans for the year ahead. We anticipate a large community-wide celebration following the national awards ceremony in Washington, D. C. as well as smaller recognitions that will take place each month of the year.
The announcement of our Blue Ribbon status has been cause for great celebration in our community this week. On Wednesday afternoon we enjoyed a surprise visit from our Superintendent of Schools, Sr. Bernadette McManigal who personally congratulated students and faculty as she visited classrooms and greeted students during dismissal. Yesterday I received a congratulatory phone call from the National Catholic Education Association. With the recognition we have received as a Blue Ribbon School, All Saints is truly on the map!
I am pleased to share with you that, in an effort to continue the celebration, we have updated our plans for next week. Please see the information below for details about free ice cream, free dress down day, the Blue Barbecue in honor of the priests as well as a special opportunity to share our blessings with the less fortunate.
Blue Ribbon Activities
In celebration and thanksgiving for our schoolâ€™s receipt of the 2009 No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon School of Excellence the following activities will be held next week to kick off our year of celebration.
Monday, September 21, 2009 ~ All students will be receiving free ice cream.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009- â€œBlue Barbequeâ€ ~ Our parish priests will be hosting our annual priest barbeque with a blue flair. Barbeque lunch will be provided for all students at no charge. All students are invited to dress down in blue at no charge.
Each month we will be coordinating an outreach to the community to help offer thanksgiving and give back for the many gifts we have received.
September Outreach: â€œGive it away now!â€
In support of our All Saints Youth Ministry in union with other Life Teen parishes around the country we are requesting that families donate non-perishable food items. Canned foods will be collected in the classrooms, gym lobby, and breezeway. Items will be collected September 21st-September 27th. Together we can work in accomplishing a corporal work of mercy, â€œFeed the Hungryâ€. The collection will conclude on the feast of St. Vincent de Paul.
PTO Volunteer Fair
In place of the PTO General Membership Meeting scheduled for Tuesday, September 29th, the organization will host the first PTO Volunteer Fair from 2:00-4:00 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.
Event highlights will include the following: Art Frame Sale. Representatives from Dynamic Frames will be selling high quality frames in three colors. These frames are of standard size, ideal for storing and displaying art work created at All Saints! Not only does the frame have matting in place, but it also has a hinge that enables you to change the art from time to time and can store up to 50 sheets of art. All orders made the day of the Volunteer Fair will receive a discount. Raffle Drawing. Raffle tickets will be distributed to everyone in attendance and additional tickets will be provided to anyone who signs up to volunteer for the one of the PTO events. The raffle will include drawings for several items, including tickets to the Bingo & Spaghetti Night, a gift certificate for an art frame and more!
The VIRTUS video training entitled Keeping the Promise Alive will be shown at 2:15 p.m. and throughout the evening event.
For questions or more information, please contact Mrs. Joan Coleman, PTO President, at email@example.com. Also see Volunteer Fair Flyer link at the end of this newsletter.
Formation in Christian Chastity Program
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 many 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 received the required background checks and training. As an additional measure, four 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. 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.)
You are encouraged to spend some time reviewing this information yourself and to then share pertinent aspects with your children. Each of the â€œrulesâ€ noted contains some application to common sense safety tips that you may share with your children. Other parts of the â€œruleâ€ 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 childâ€™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.
Middle School Back to School Night
Back to School Night for middle school parents will take place on Thursday, September 17th at 7:00 p.m. Please note: This year parents are asked to report directly to their childâ€™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 â€œday in the life of the middle schoolâ€.
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
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. DeForest, our new parochial vicar, served as keynote speaker and spoke to all of the students about how God has called each of them by name.
President – Hayden B.
Vice President – Katherine S.
Secretary/Historian – Natalie T.
Finance – Patrick F.
Religious Activities – Victoria G.
Health, Safety & Ecology – Grace B.
School Spirit & Publicity – Caroline R.
Grade 5A – Allison R.
5B – Andrew C.
Grade 6A – Matthew B.
6B – Brandon M.
Grade 7A – Monica G.
7B – Matthew M.
Grade 8A – R.J. B.
8B – Jennifer W.
Message from Hayden B., President of the SCA:
This year, our schoolâ€™s theme is: â€œCalled to Holinessâ€¦With the heart of Jesusâ€. In the Old Testament, we are told over and over again that Godâ€™s people are to walk in His ways, and obey His rules. At All Saints, it is our duty to do the same. In the Bible, the Christian way of life is compared to walking. We move from one experience to another and we seek to carry out certain responsibilities at home, in school, in the church, and in our community. Whether you are just starting your journey at All Saints or in your final year here, it is important to remember that Jesus is in our hearts as we walk.
I ask you, be the person who is known for being polite and friendlyâ€¦the first to say â€œhelloâ€ or share a smile in the hallways. Generously pass along compliments and encourage your fellow students to succeed in all they hope to achieve. Be the first to forgive when you feel you have been wronged. Help me, our SCA and our schoolâ€™s staff to create a positive environment filled with faith in God and service to others.
Should a question arise regarding your schedule of tuition payments, please contact Mrs. Joyce Dâ€™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.
Cafeteria Helpers Needed
Want to spend time with your child at lunch and earn points for parents at the same time? We are seeking volunteers to help as cafeteria and playground monitors. Younger siblings are allowed to come along for this volunteer opportunity. If you can help out on any day between 11:15 a.m. â€“ 1:00 p.m., please contact Sue Ferguson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
3 Days, 60 Miles, and a Journey of a Lifetime
Six All Saints teachers and mothers are taking on the challenge of the Susan G. Komen 3 Day Breast Cancer Walk. We will be walking 60 miles in three days. The walk takes place on October 9th, 10th, and 11th 2009 in Washington DC. We will start at the Nationals Baseball Field and end at the Lincoln Memorial. We are walking in honor of our teammate, mothers, aunts, sisters, and cousins. Each walker has a goal of $2,300 to earn and this money will help support research to find a cure for breast cancer. Our team would love your support if you are able. Please make all donations out to Susan G.Komen and turned in to the homeroom teacher. Thank you and God Bless!
Paul VI Basketball Camp
Paul VI Columbus Day Basketball Camp, Monday, October 12th for boys and girls in grades 2 â€“ 8. Time:9:00 a.m. â€“ 4:00 p.m. in the Paul VI High School gym. The cost is $50 per player. To register contact Scott Allen at email@example.com.
1st Annual Codyâ€™s Crew 5K Walk
Cody Johnson, six year old cousin of Elizabeth Foreman (3B) passed away in March of neuroblastoma cancer. The Johnson family is hosting the 1st Annual Cody’s Crew 5K Walk/Tot Trot on September 26th at Osbourn Park High School to raise money for neuroblastoma research. Linked to this newsletter are the participant forms if you would like to participate in the walk or simply make a donation. Cody’s Crew is an official 501(c)(3) foundation and all of your contributions are tax deductible. More information can be found at www.codys-crew.org.
Come join us this Friday for ice cream and miniature golf at Nathanâ€™s ice cream and the Magic Putting Place from 12:30 p.m. until closing (10 and 9:30 respectively). 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. Nathanâ€™s and the Magic Putting Place are located next to each other at 8948 and 8902 Mathis Avenue in Manassas.
New Type of Spirit Event on Friday September 25th from 12-3 pm! Come join the fun and show your school pride by beautifying the campus around the school and church. Pack a brown bag lunch, a change of old clothes and some gardening tools and weâ€™ll picnic near the flag pole and have fun getting dirty while we tidy up the school grounds for fall and prepare for a beautiful spring. All ages are welcome and ALL CHILDREN MUST HAVE ADULT CHAPERONES especially those working with cutters and power tools. This is an easy and fun way to earn confirmation hours, volunteer hours and Points for Parents. Thereâ€™s work for everyone: weeding, pruning, bulb planting, mulch spreading, edging and probably tree trimming and stump pulling for those up to the challenge. No experience necessary. Donations of bulbs and plants are welcome and may be dropped off during afternoon carpool next to the parish office. The school will provide the mulch. Please contact Holly Crocker at 703 330-8329 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you plan to participate or donate items before they are purchased so that I can work you and them into our design plan. Please deliver any donations to the school by Tuesday, September 22nd. The Spirit Committee welcomes any and all input as we organize this event. We hope to see you on the 25th!
A special thank you to everyone who donated their time and energy to prepare the campus for the Blue Ribbon Announcement yesterday including Southern States and Home Depot of Manassas who generously discounted the flowers and mulch that were used.
Youth Ministry â€œCan Food Driveâ€
Youth Ministry is conducting a major Can Food Drive effort. With the final collection complete by Sunday, September 27th. The Youth Ministry is doing this drive in unison with other youth groups across the country. Bring canned foods donations to All Saints Sept 21st -27th and place them in the boxes labeled “Can Food Drive” in the gym lobby. See flyer linked to this newsletter.
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/daughterâ€™s inclusion in these printed or electronic materials. A â€œWaiver Information/Right to Object Formâ€ (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.
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 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 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 Godâ€™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 Monday, September 21st at 7:00 PM (Spanish presentation)
Tuesday, September 29th at 2:15 PM & beginning at 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.
Family Spaghetti & Bingo Night
Family Spaghetti and Bingo Night will be held on Saturday, October 3rd at 5:00 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus Hall â€“ see link at end of newsletter for more information.
Thursday, September 17th ~ Middle School Back to School Night (7:00 p.m.)
Friday, September 18th ~ Noon Dismissal
Tuesday, September 22nd ~ Band Ice Cream Social (2:30 p.m.)
Wednesday, September 23rd ~ Priestsâ€™ Barbecue
Thursday, September 24th ~ 1st Quarter Lock Down Drill (details to follow next week)
Friday, September 25th ~ Noon Dismissal/Professional Development Activity; Spirit Activity ~ Gardening Project
Â¨ Link to Volunteer Fair Flyer ~ http://www.allsaintsvaschool.org/index/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/PTOVolunteerFair20091.pdf
Â¨ Casino Night/Auction Flyer ~ http://www.allsaintsvaschool.org/parents/pto/all-saints-casino-night-auction/
Â¨ Codyâ€™s Crew Information & Forms ~ http://www.allsaintsvaschool.org/2009/09/15/1st-annual-codys-crew-5k-kids-mile-and-tot-trot/
Â¨ Link to Nathanâ€™s Ice Cream & Magic Putting Place Flyer ~ http://www.allsaintsvaschool.org/index/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/2009-09-18Nathans.jpg
Â¨ Link to Spirit Event – School Beautification Flyer ~ http://www.allsaintsvaschool.org/index/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/2009-09-25CampusBeautificationDay.jpg