The Sentinel – Issue 10, Volume 10

Message from the Principal

Two years ago I announced a new direction for our fundraising efforts, one which has received strong support from parents and the PTO Executive Board alike. As we look toward the upcoming Casino Night & Auction as well as other events in the year ahead, I believe that the three objectives that I identified remain relevant and represent continued priorities for our school at this time.

1) That All Saints continues to provide its students with an outstanding educational experience that includes access to state-of-the-art tools and resources.

2) That All Saints endeavors to acknowledge the commitment and dedication of faculty through robust professional development opportunities and potentially more competitive compensation.

3) That All Saints remains an affordable option for families of our parish and surrounding community.

One need only walk the hallways of our school to see that we have accomplished this first goal. With ACTIV Board technology in all homerooms and the majority of special subject classrooms, our students have access to the latest technology and learning tools. During your next visit, note the “Quiet, Filming in Process” signs on the doors of the library. These signs are reminders that our students are now creating “digital books talks”, video overviews of children’s literature to be shared with students in the younger grades. This is but one more example of the way that technology and creativity are advancing student learning and literacy at All Saints.

One of the goals of our DFE Five Year Plan is to update the entire infrastructure of our technology program. For the purpose of standardization, we anticipate upgrading all of the system hardware in the building as early as next summer. With some of our operating systems now ten years old, the time has come for us to make this significant commitment.

Additionally, although the ACTIV Boards still seem in many ways new to our community, they are requiring updates as well, such as replacements of bulbs and interactive pens.

Thankfully we have the resources of our PTO to help offset these costs. Through the annual Casino & Auction Night, Race for Education, and Golf Tournament, the organization generates significant revenue that enables the school to keep tuition costs reasonable for parents by slowing the rate of tuition increase. For example, through a contribution of $40,000 from our annual fundraisers to the school operating budget, we slowed the rate of tuition increase by 2.2% last year.

Again this year, the focus of the PTO fund raisers will be twofold: offsetting operational costs through a contribution to the school budget and continued allocation of funds in support of student access to learning tools and resources. It is for this reason that hundreds of parents and community members will gather at Heritage Hunt on Saturday, November 21st for our annual Casino & Auction Night.

I hope that many of you will mark your calendars now for this special evening of fellowship and fundraising for our school community. Last year was the first time that we incorporated the casino concept. We dropped ticket prices significantly by eliminating the full dinner experience in an effort to encourage more parents to attend. If you’ve never attended an auction…or a casino night…All Saints is the place to start. Moving from table to table using only “funny money”, a great time was had by all in attendance. Although I would like to say that I was lucky at the tables, I handed all of my money over to my wife who did find success at every turn! As first timers at the casino, we had a wonderful evening and most of all, enjoyed the camaraderie. I hope that you will plan to join us on November 21st for what promises to be another memorable evening!

Status of the School ~ Flu Report from the Principal
During the past several days a few questions have arisen regarding the overall health of our student population in regards to the flu. I wish to first offer you the assurance that, as always, you are provided critical information so that you can take the necessary steps to ensure the health and well-being of your children. Knowing that concerns and issues are communicated in a timely manner provides a level of confidence in recognizing that “no news is good news”.

As communicated in previous newsletters, there are cases of flu in the school population. However, as of today the number of cases has been lower than we have expected. Currently, more students are absent due to other health concerns, such as colds and viruses, than the flu.

Mrs. Sniffen, school nurse, continues to closely monitor the number of students absent due to illness each day and provides updates to me on an on-going basis. Should we observe a cluster of students absent due to flu or flu-related symptoms, we will implement additional measures and notify classroom parents via a letter. For now, please know that the cases of flu have not merited this level of response or communication.

I am convinced that the proactive measures we have implemented, such as the promotion of good hand-washing practices, has helped to reduce the spread of flu and other illness in our community. Continue to follow the recommendations previously offered by our nurse, err on the side of caution when deciding whether to keep a child home for the day, and contact Mrs. Sniffen to report all illnesses. These are simple steps, but when consistently practiced, they can make a significant difference in the health of our community.

Blue Ribbon Ceremony ~November 5th
All Saints Catholic School will host a community celebration on the evening of Thursday, November 5th beginning at 7:00 p.m. in the church. We are pleased to announce that the mayor of Manassas, the superintendent of schools, and a representative from the U.S. Department of Education will be joining us for this special occasion. All school families are cordially invited to attend and participate in this historic event. Following the ceremony in church, there will be a dessert buffet for everyone to enjoy in the gym. For planning purposes, we do ask that you RSVP by October 30th. (703-368-4400, ext. 212)

Parent-Teacher Conferences ~ Appointment Slips
Today each student received a conference appointment slip confirming the date and time for the upcoming Parent-Teacher Conferences on Thursday, November 12th and Friday, November 13th. If you did not receive this information, please notify your child’s homeroom teacher.

PTO General Assembly Meeting
PTO General Assembly meeting: Tuesday October 27th at 7:30 pm. All our welcome. Each of the PTO committees will be giving a report on the PTO activities. We will also have a display for the Casino/ Auction night and everyone who attends the meeting will receive $100 in funny money for the casino. The Uniform Exchange will be open that evening and Lilly Loops Hair bows will be available for purchase. For questions or additional information, please contact Joan Coleman at jcoleman02@comcast.net or (703) 368-7989.

Veterans Day Celebration
Join us as our school community honors the commitment of the men and women who have served our country in the United States Armed Forces. We cordially invite all active duty, reserve, former and retired military personnel to attend our school Mass on Tuesday, November 10th at 8:30 a.m. Following the Mass, there will be a ceremony in the school gymnasium followed by a reception for our honored guests in Father Kelley Hall. Students will also be receiving a packet of information through their classroom teachers about our Veterans Wall Display which will further honor military personnel from our school community.

Share the Good News of Catholic Education!
Do you have friends or acquaintances who have expressed an interest in Catholic education? All Saints Catholic School will host an Information Night for those interested in learning more about the school on Thursday, November 19th beginning at 7:00 p.m. in Father Kelley Hall. As it is never too soon to begin planning for a child’s Catholic education, parents of toddlers as well as school-aged children are cordially invited to attend. Following a presentation and overview of the application process, tours of the facility will be provided. For more information, please contact Mrs. Joyce D’Eugenio, administrative assistant, at (703) 393-1490.

Square 1 Art ~ A PTO Fundraiser for the School
Square 1 Art catalogs are being sent home with the children this week. Your child’s artwork will appear on the front cover of their catalog. In the catalog you’ll find several different products which you can purchase. The products will display your child’s artwork. All orders and payments are due by Friday, 10/30/09. Please send your order and payment (checks payable to All Saints Catholic School) in with your child or leave order at the front office. The order should be sent to attention of Kerry Balagtas. The products are tentatively due to be delivered the week of Thanksgiving. The products would make great Christmas gifts for friends and families and approximately 30% of each order will go to the school. Any questions should be directed to Kerry Balagtas. Kerry can be reached by phone at 703-753-6895 or by email at Kerryb17@comcast.net. Thank you.

Casino Night/Auction
Check backpacks of oldest child~ Casino raffle and 50/50 tickets are coming home. Please consider buying the tickets yourself or selling to friends and family. We need all of your support in order to make this event a success. More tickets are available so sell, sell, sell. 50 Lucky packets contain a coupon for $500 of funny money so check those backpacks and cash in your coupon on November 21st! ~ Remember that event ticket prices go up after October 30th so buy your tickets now!!! $25 per person now; $30 per person after October 30th. Ticket Order Form is provided as a link below

Pope John Paul the Great Catholic High School

§ Applications are now being accepted at JP the Great Catholic High School for students who will be in 9th, 10th or 11th grade next school year (2010-2011). For important dates, instructions, and to apply on-line, please visit www.jpthegreat.org. Also, plan to attend the Open House on November 8 from 2 – 4pm. You’ll learn all about JP the Great programs, meet the faculty, and tour the state-of-the-art campus. Presentation by Sister Mary Jordan begins at 2:15pm in the Theater.

§ Adult Bioethics Seminar II at JP the Great ~ A 4-session overview of the semester class “Principles of Ethics” is being offered for adults at Pope John Paul the Great Catholic High School on Tuesdays evenings. Remaining sessions are November 3 and 17 from 7:00pm – 8:30pm. Principles of Ethics is the second course of the 4-year Bioethics Curriculum at JP the Great. There is no cost for the seminar, though the text book, Called to Happiness: Guiding Ethical Principles, by Sister Terese Auer, will be available for purchase for $10. Please RSVP by calling 703-445-0300, or via email to rsvp@jpthegreat.org.

IMPORTANT REMINDERS

School Magnets
With the recent announcement of our Blue Ribbon status, there has been renewed interest in our car magnet program. Magnets may now be requested at the front office, free of charge. New families are encouraged to pick one up at the front office during their next visit to the school. Current families who would like a replacement are welcome to request one as well. Let’s continue to share our school pride throughout the community!

Uniform Exchange ~ Seeking Donations
The PTO is seeking donations of used and gently worn uniform articles to replenish the Uniform Exchange. Parents are encouraged to set aside uniforms that are no longer needed to donate to this cause. There will be a special collection of uniform articles during afternoon carpool on Monday, October 26th. Articles received will be available for purchase/exchange during the PTO Assembly Meeting on the evening of October 27th. (Parents who drop off items prior to this event receive credit for doing so under the “honor system” and can select articles from the Uniform Exchange.)

Morning Arrival ~ Safety Concern
During the past several weeks, a number of parents have begun parking in the main section of the church parking lot and crossing on foot through the line of carpool traffic. For the safety of all students and parents, parents are asked to refrain from this practice. If it is necessary to park, such as in the event of a parent entering the school to volunteer, drivers are asked to park in the lot directly in front of the construction site for the new church. This will then allow parents and students to walk to the entrance of the school without having to cross through traffic.

Upcoming Events
Wednesday, October 21st ~ Confirmation Parent Meeting (5:00 p.m. & Bilingual Presentation at 7:00 p.m.)
Thursday, October 22nd ~ School Council Meeting (Jr. Library/7:00 p.m.)
Friday, October 23rd ~ Diocesan Institute (No Classes)
Saturday, October 24th ~ VIRTUS 30 Minute Update Training (10:30 a.m.)
Sunday, October 25th ~ Confirmation Parent Meeting (3:45 p.m. & Bilingual at 6:45 p.m.)
Monday, October 26th ~ Picture Make-Up Day; Uniform Exchange Drop Off during Afternoon Carpool
Tuesday, October 27th ~ PTO General Assembly Meeting (Gym/7:30 p.m.)
Thursday, October 29th ~ Adoration & Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament (2:15 p.m.)
Friday, October 30th ~ Penny Bazaar (Playground/10:30-11:30 a.m.); Final Day of 1st Quarter/Noon Dismissal for Report Card Preparation

Links
¨ Spriit Event – Plantland Flyer ~ http://www.allsaintsvaschool.org/index/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/plantland1.jpg
¨ Casino Night/Auction Flyer/Order Form ~ http://www.allsaintsvaschool.org/index/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/auction-ticket-order.pdf