The Sentinel – Issue 10, Volume 12

Message from the Principal

To be named a Blue Ribbon School is to join an elite group. Only 6,167 schools have won the award over its quarter-century history. This year, of more than 132,533 U.S. Schools, only 321 earned Blue Ribbons. (2009 Blue Ribbon Schools Program)

It was a privilege and an honor to represent All Saints Catholic School at the National Ceremony for Blue Ribbon Schools. Gathered with educators from around the nation on Monday and Tuesday, it was a tremendous affirmation for our school as well as a celebration of academic excellence. Award in hand, both Mrs. Vice and I left the ceremony with the same impression: our status as a school is forever changed, for All Saints is now recognized as an exemplary institution ~ a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence!

Please join our community as we gather to celebrate this remarkable achievement tomorrow evening beginning at 7:00 p.m. in the church. All school families are cordially invited to attend and participate in this historic event. Following the ceremony there will be a dessert buffet for everyone to enjoy in the gym. Share the pride and be a part of this special celebration in honor of our school!

Report Cards & Parent-Teacher Conferences
Students in grades Kindergarten through eight will receive a report card or progress report next Monday. In preparation for the parent-teacher conferences next week, please take some time to review all of the information provided by the teacher, noting any special areas of success or difficulty. Additionally, I encourage you to speak with your child to determine if there is anything that he or she would like you to address with the teacher. Please feel free to make a list of any questions or concerns that you wish to discuss during the conference. While the time for conferences is somewhat limited, the teachers are committed to addressing the development of your child and welcome any questions you might have. Recognizing that experiences in the home also affect a child’s performance at school, the conference provides an opportunity to discuss any changes in routine, significant events, such as the death of a close relative or pet, or any other occurrences that might be affecting your child’s behavior. The better the teacher understands the specific needs of each of the children, the better he or she will be able to assist them in their learning.
The following is a list of ideas that may prove helpful as you plan for a successful and productive meeting.

Before the Conference

¨ Arrive on time
¨ Bring a written list of questions or points for discussion
¨ Realize that your child may exhibit different behaviors at school than at home
During the Conference
¨ Ask for examples of your child’s work
¨ Discuss specific strengths & weaknesses of your child as a learner
¨ Ask the teacher for specific ways in which you can help at home
¨ Help set two or three specific goals for your child for the next grading period

After the Conference

¨ Share with your child what the teacher reports
¨ Remember that, as a parent, you are the most important person in your child’s life. Give your child a hug and reassurance following the conference.

Major studies have shown that the most significant factor in a child’s success is parent involvement and support. Please know how gratified the faculty and staff is for your continued interest in working with our school to provide the best educational experience possible for your children. The teachers look forward to sharing their observations of the first quarter and to charting a course for continued growth and progress for your child.

Virtue of the Month ~ Gratitude
During the month of November, students will be encouraged to implement the following strategies:
¨ Thank Jesus each day for the sacrifice He made for you. Look at the crucifix and say, “Thank you, Jesus”.
¨ Thank God for your special talents and use them to serve Him every day.
¨ Remember to say “Please” and “Thank you”.
¨ Show gratitude to all of your teachers.
¨ Remember to thank the ladies in the cafeteria for your lunch, milk, or for helping you open your juice box or milk container.
¨ Tell your mom and dad you love them.
¨ Make a special effort to show gratitude to someone in your family each day.
¨ Say “Please” and “Thank you” at home.
¨ Thank a friend for being there for you.
¨ Be a good sport when you play.
¨ Thank God for your life, family, food and home each night.

The Prayer of the Month will be:
Dear Jesus,
We want to thank You for them many gifts You have given us, especially the gift of Yourself.
Accept our acts of courtesy and care as gifts of love to You.
Help us to imitate Your Mother Mary and to give glory to God through our words and actions.
We ask this in Your Holy Name.
Amen.

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.

Free GMU Performance featuring Miss Dalusung!
Each year the George Mason University Music Department performs for local schools the one-act opera “Amahl and the Night Visitors” by Menotti. It is a professional quality production starring the music students at Mason, including our very own Miss Dalusung! This is a work that is included in the 1st and 3rd grade curriculum, and aside from being an excellent introduction to opera, it tells a moving story of a miracle involving a poor family, the Magi, and the Child Jesus. The performances will take place in Harris Theater on the George Mason University Fairfax Campus: Saturday December 5th @ 10 AM, 2 PM, & 8 PM. The performances are free of charge with the request that each family bring one canned good to donate for a holiday basket for the Fairfax homeless shelter.

16th Annual Thanksgiving Luncheon
The 16th Annual Thanksgiving Luncheon will be held on Monday, November 23rd. All parents are cordially invited to come to the school and enjoy this traditional Thanksgiving celebration! All orders must be pre-paid and there will be no cash orders taken at the door. Reservations are required by no later than Thursday, November 19th. For more information and order form, please click on the Thanksgiving Luncheon Letter/Form link at the end of this newsletter.

Casino Night/Auction
Great News! Ticket prices for the auction will remain at $25 and not increase to $30. Buy your tickets now so we can plan accordingly. Raffle tickets are a great way for you to participate in the success of the Casino Night. We count on every family to participate in order to make this event a success. Tickets will be on sale after Masses the next two weekends if you still need to get yours! Invite your neighbors to attend. They will enjoy an evening out and appreciate the time spent with friends.

Manassas Christmas Parade
All Saints Catholic School will once again be participating in the Manassas Christmas Parade on Saturday, December 5th at 10AM in Old Town Manassas. All Saints children are invited to ride on the float. A permission slip is linked to this newsletter and is required for each child. Please return by 12/1/09 to the school office. The meeting place and float number will be distributed once we receive it from the City.

RSVP online today for “An Evening with St. Nicholas”
Mark your calendars for December 4th from 6:30pm-8:30pm! ~ Spend some time with St. Nicholas, whose feast day is Dec. 6. Families can enjoy cookies and cocoa, along with traditional Advent carols. This is a community-building event, designed to help us prepare for the Advent season. Families will not be charged admission; rather, we ask that you bring a donation of new shoes in honor of St. Nicholas and his feast day.

Monetary donations will also be accepted. Proceeds will go to “House of Mercy”. House of Mercy shoe donation guidelines are: NEW plain colors of tennis shoes- white, blue, black, tan, or brown. No character tennis shoes, please.
We look forward to seeing you for what we hope becomes an annual tradition here at All Saints! For planning purposes, please visit the “Evening with St. Nicholas” link on the website and RSVP now.

Contact Gina Michak- (703-330-8099) or ginamichak@gmail.com with questions or if you’d like to volunteer and earn “points for parents”. Help is needed the day of the event for set-up, decorating, and clean up. Points will also be given for donations of cocoa mix and mini- marshmallows. Contact Gina for details.

IMPORTANT REMINDERS

Upcoming Events
Thursday, November 5th ~ Middle School Family Life Presentation #1; School & Parish Blue Ribbon Ceremony (church/7:00 p.m.)
Monday, November 9th ~ 1st Quarter Report Cards issued; Gold Medal Readers Celebration (1:15 p.m.)
Tuesday, November 10th ~ Veterans’ Day Mass & Reception (8:30 a.m.); Middle School Movie Night
Wednesday, November 11th ~ Veterans’ Day Holiday (no classes)
Thursday, November 12th ~ Parent-Teacher Conferences
Friday, November 13th ~ Parent-Teacher Conferences

Links
¨ Thanksgiving Luncheon Letter/Order Form ~ http://www.allsaintsvaschool.org/index/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/thanksgiving-lunch09.pdf
¨ Christmas and Permission Slip ~ http://www.allsaintsvaschool.org/index/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/2009ChristmasParadePermissionSlip.pdf
¨ PVI Players presents The Pink Panther Strikes Again click on the following link for more information. Free admission for 7th and 8th graders who bring the flyer ~ http://www.allsaintsvaschool.org/index/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/paul-vi-pink-panther.jpg