The Sentinel – Volume 10, Issue 5

Message from Secretary of Education Arne Duncan ~ Blue Ribbon Commendation

Congratulations! All Saints Catholic School has been named a 2009 Blue Ribbon School. This award acknowledges your efforts to help ensure that every child achieves and attains high levels of performance, and recognizes your improvements in student achievement in accordance with the Blue Ribbon Schools criteria.

Your dedication to excellence stands as a reminder that it is possible for every student to benefit from a challenging education. President Barack Obama has said that improving education is central to rebuilding our economy and enabling America to succeed in the 21st century. As a country, we all have a stake in providing the best education possible for our children. We can accomplish this by building on results such as those your school had achieved.

We at the U.S. Department of Education commend you for your commitment to excellence in education and for putting that commitment into action. We are honored to share this exciting award with you and your school community. Your school is a model of improved student achievement from which others can take inspiration.

Message from the Principal
carpool-spotlightThe implementation of a new traffic pattern for overflow parking has enhanced the safety of parents and students crossing the parking lot to return to their cars. While this new system requires that cars arriving after the front lot is full wait in a line adjacent to the school building, I am pleased that this new pattern has diverted traffic away from the pedestrian area of our dismissal. I also recognize that the entire dismissal process now requires 2-3 minutes longer, but believe the time is well spent in support of the safety of students, staff and parents. As after school activities begin and parents naturally stagger the time of their arrival for carpool, the traffic will lighten and the process will become even more manageable, requiring less time for parents and staff.

With the increased number of cars on the property, it is vitally important that all drivers be especially attentive and proceed slowly and with caution. In an effort to further safeguard students and parents, families are asked to cross the parking lot only at those areas designated with traffic cones. Members of the safety patrol will continue to be present to offer guidance.

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


¨ 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 designated a fire lane and is also used for the Pre-Kindergarten dismissal and arrival. Access to this area is restricted by traffic cones.
¨ Those volunteering in the school during the day are asked to park in the far end of the parking lot nearest Cardinal Bank. Please refrain from parking in the lot across from the priests’ parking area (Lot #2) since this section is reserved for parish staff use.
¨ 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. Similarly, parents are asked not to park beyond section one of the carpool area. Though doing so does allow for a quick departure, it is not fair to the hundreds of parents who patiently participate in the carpool each day, nor does it communicate a positive message to the children. (From time to time, occasions may arise that require special exceptions. In these situations, please contact the office so that arrangements can be made for you to pick up your children at the front of the school during dismissal.)

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.
¨ Please be sure that your carpool number is clearly displayed in your windshield. This is particularly important on inclement weather days when a staff member reads the numbers and forwards this information to the front office so that students may be called individually for pick up. If you have not received a carpool number, please contact the school office for assistance.
¨ 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.

Lock-Down Drill
Five 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 tomorrow (Thursday, September 24th) 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.)

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 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.

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.

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

Auction 2009
Attention all school families- the auction committee is now collecting items from families for the Casino Night silent auction. Keep us in mind when you do your fall cleaning! We’ll take all new items; toys, puzzles, candles, movies, home goods. Or if you have a home business and would like to put together a basket of items or donate an item please call Siobhan Tabor 703-475-6002 or Your business will receive a lot of recognition and hopefully your tax deductible donation will pay off for both you and our school!

Spirit Events
The weather cleared beautifully and it was a perfect day for miniature golf and ice cream. Over 17 families or 80 people from All Saints golfed at the Magic Putting Place and ate ice cream at Nathan’s. What a great deal it was; unlimited golf for the entire day for $3 a person. Several families played golf, went over to Nathan’s for ice cream and then came back and played more golf. What a great way to spend a Friday afternoon! Be sure to check out the pictures from the event on the school’s website

Now that we’re a Blue Ribbon School we want the school campus to look that way. Will you help make the school campus beautiful? Come join us this Friday September 25th from 12-3 pm! Remember to bring a brown bag lunch, a change of old clothes, water bottle, sunscreen and some gardening tools. We’ll provide everything else including descriptions and instructions on what needs to be done. We’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 a great way to earn confirmation hours, volunteer hours and Points for Parents. 7th and 8th graders this is an excellent opportunity for you to leave a nice legacy to the school because the bulbs and plants that we plant this Friday will bloom year after year long after you’ve moved on to high school. There’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. We also need pick up trucks to haul away the debris. Thank you to everyone that donated bulbs and plants for this event including Plantland which donated eight lovely azalea bushes. Be sure to credit yourself with 5 Points for Parents on the school website if you donated something. Parents will earn 3 points per hour that they volunteer on Friday. Please contact Holly Crocker at 703 330-8329 or with any questions or suggestions. We hope to see you on the 25th!

Grocery Programs ~ Remember to Re-Register
All Saints currently participates in the Giant A+ Bonus Bucks, Harris Teeter Together in Education, Safeway eScrip and Bloom Shopping Breeze programs. These programs provide cash to our school based on the amount that registered customers spend each school year. All of these programs require re-registration for each school year. If you have not already provided your card information for this school year, please complete the information at the end of the newsletter and return to the office marked Attn: Amy Talish, Grocery Program Coordinator. You may also e-mail the form to Don’t forget to recruit family, friends, neighbors and coworkers by having them complete a form. The coordinator will enter the information for each store for you! This is a great fundraiser for our school – last year we earned over $2000!

Paul VI
The Administration and PTO of Paul VI Catholic High School invite you to a special presentation entitled “It’s Not Just About the Kids-Adults’ Liabilities for Teenage Drinking and Parties.” The program will include discussions by both the Fairfax County Commonwealth Attorney and a school resource officer from Fairfax County Police Department. We invite you to join us on Tuesday, September 29th at 7:30PM at Paul VI Catholic High School.

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.
Upcoming Events
Thursday, September 24th ~ 1st Quarter Lock Down Drill (10:00 a.m.)
Friday, September 25th ~ Noon Dismissal/Professional Development Activity; Spirit Activity ~ Campus Beautification Project
Monday, September 28th ~ Fall Picture Day
Tuesday, September 29th ~ PTO Volunteer Fair (2:00-4:00 p.m. & 7:00-8:30 p.m.)
Friday, October 2nd ~ 1st Quarter Interim Reports
Saturday, October 3rd ~ PTO Bingo & Spaghetti Night (Knights’ Hall/5:00-9:00 p.m.)