The Sentinel – Issue 10, Volume 14

Message from the Principal

This week our diocese is celebrating Discover Catholic Schools Week, an opportunity for each school to promote the mission of Catholic education through Open House events and other marketing efforts.

During a time of economic uncertainty when many Catholic schools across our country are struggling with decreasing enrollments, All Saints has been blessed with a stable and even growing population. Although the choices are many, parents are continuing to make a Catholic education at All Saints a priority for their children. I would assert that many families make this decision because they recognize not simply the academic strength of the school, but most importantly, the beautiful faith environment.

Recently I invited community members to share the “top ten words” they care most about when describing our school. The following is a list of most frequently cited responses that provide insight as to why so many families choose All Saints:

Faith Formation
Hospitality
Academic Excellence
Supportive
Safety
Professional
Community
Compassionate
Service
Friendly

(For those interested in more detail, linked to this week’s letter please find a document that lists the responses of teachers, the PTO Executive Board and attendants at the PTO General Assembly Meeting. This exercise has provided data that will enable us to further optimize our website. For example: When prospective parents search for a Caring + Faith filled + Academic + Catholic School…it is our intention that they be lead directly to All Saints!)

A few words about the Thanksgiving Luncheon…

In an effort to enhance the experience for you and your children, this year we are implementing several new procedures. The following is a list of important points, including a schedule change.

Lunch Sessions:

Grades 6 – 8 11:00 – 11:45
Grades 3 – 5 12:00 – 12:45
Grades K – 2 1:00 – 1:45

Parents are asked to arrive and sign in by the front office 15 minutes prior to the beginning of the lunch time for their child’s grade level. There will be two sign-in tables at the front entrance of the school.

After signing in, parents are asked to report directly to their child’s classroom. The homeroom teacher will provide guidance as to when families should begin to report to the cafeteria for the luncheon.

The kitchen staff is seeking additional volunteers to assist with the following activities: set-up and decorating during the morning and serving food during the luncheon. For more information or to volunteer your time, please contact Mrs. Wendy Matner. (368-4400)

Reminder: Payment for the Thanksgiving Luncheon is due by Thursday, November 19th.

I regret that I will be unable to join you for this wonderful All Saints’ tradition. At the invitation of the diocese, I now serve as a member of the Virginia Catholic Education Association Committee and will be spending the day in Fredericksburg discussing accreditation reports for Catholic schools throughout the state. The kitchen staff has promised to save me a plate and I have assured them of my intent to return to the serving line in future years!

I do, however, look forward to seeing many of you at our annual Casino Night & Auction on Saturday evening. With only a few days remaining before the event, now is the time to make those last minute plans to attend. Tickets are still available for this exciting event and can even be purchased at the door.

Health Update from the Nurse
The Virginia Department of Health reports that Influenza Like Illness (ILI) is beginning to decline for the Northern Virginia area. Here at All Saints Catholic School we continue to have students out ill with ILI, but at a significantly reduced number. We have consistently had more students out ill with the Upper Viral Respiratory illness, Strep Throat, and Sinus/Ear Infections.

The H1N1 Influenza and other ILI is still in our community. I ask that we all continue to be consistent and vigilant with our infection control measures. Please continue to keep your children home until they are better. Even though they may be fever free without medicine for 24 hours, their immune system may need another day or two to rebuild. Continue to have your children get plenty of sleep, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious foods.
With your prayers, please thank God that we have, overall, received good health in our school community!

God Bless and Happy Thanksgiving!
Anita Sniffen R.N.

NJHS Share Your Love Program
The NJHS will sponsor a food drive to benefit SERVE next Wednesday. (Please see the flyer linked at the end of this newsletter for more details about this annual tradition.) The organization is seeking a volunteer parent with a truck to deliver the food to SERVE following the prayer service in the church at 9:30 a.m. For more information about this volunteer opportunity, please contact Mrs. Hammang at 703-368-4400.

Enrollment Survey for Pre-Kindergarten & Kindergarten Programs 2010-2011
With the demand for Catholic education and the reputation for excellence that our school enjoys, it is important that the office solicit information from current families regarding plans for enrollment in our Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten programs for the upcoming year. As in the past, we will continue to give first consideration to current school families before reviewing new applications in the spring.

While completion of the enclosed survey does not guarantee enrollment, it is helpful for us to know how many current families plan to apply for these two programs. Even if you have a child currently enrolled in the Pre-Kindergarten program, it is important that you notify us of your interest for next year’s Kindergarten. Please submit all survey responses to the school office by Friday, November 20th.

Chess Club Meeting ~ Thursday, November 19th
All members of the Chess Club are cordially invited to attend the gathering which will take place at 3:30 p.m. tomorrow. This combined session is for all students in the club, grades 1-8.

Calendar Change ~ NJHS Induction Ceremony
Due to a calendar conflict, the National Junior Honor Society Induction Ceremony, originally scheduled for Friday, February 26th has been changed to Friday, March 5th.

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.

Correction to the Family Directory
The correct e-mail address for the Stangl/Stalker family is: Joannnvm@wmconnect.com.

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 permission slips to the school office by 12/1/09. The meeting place and float number will be distributed once we receive it from the City.

IMPORTANT REMINDERS

Casino/Auction Night
Only 3 more days until the big event! There are so many fun things planned for the evening. Tickets are still available at the door so it’s not too late. More items come in daily to include box seats at a Washington Nationals game and a pampered Mom package that anyone would love to have. Unfortunately the Christmas Spectacular tickets didn’t work out, but you can still see A Christmas Carol and go to dinner with the 7th grade teachers!

An Evening with St. Nicholas
Join the All Saints community on Friday, December 4th from 6:30pm-8:30pm for an Evening with St. Nicholas and enjoy carols, cookies, and cocoa!

Remember to 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.

For planning purposes, visit the “Evening with St. Nicholas” link at www.allsaintsvaschool.org and RSVP today. Join the PTO for what we hope becomes an annual tradition here at All Saints. To date we have more than 100 people who have already RSVP’d. Thank you!

***Many hands are still needed to help the day of the event for set-up and decorating, beginning around 1:30 in the gym. Donations of cocoa mix and mini- marshmallows are still being accepted. Please contact Gina Michak at (703-330-8099) or ginamichak@gmail.com if you’d like to volunteer and earn “points for parents”. ***

Upcoming Events
Thursday, November 19th ~ Middle School Family Life Presentation #3; Open House (Meeting Room 2/7:00 p.m.); Book Fair (6:00-9:00 p.m.)
Friday, November 20th ~ Blue Ribbon Breakfast for Students who Participated in Community Celebration (following Mass)~ Doughnuts & Juice with the Principal
Saturday, November 21st ~ Casino & Auction Night (Heritage Hunt/6:30 p.m.)
Monday, November 23rd ~ Thanksgiving Luncheon; 2nd Grade Thanksgiving Presentation (FKH/2:00 p.m.)
Tuesday, November 25th ~ No Homework Day in Honor of the Blue Ribbon, courtesy of our Superintendent, Sr. Bernadette McManigal
Wednesday, November 25th ~ Thanksgiving Prayer Service (church/9:30 a.m.); Noon Dismissal
Thursday, November 26th ~ Thanksgiving Holiday
Friday, November 27th ~ Thanksgiving Holiday

Links
Top Ten Words Document ~
http://www.allsaintsvaschool.org/index/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/WORDSProject1.pdf
NJHS Operation Share Your Love Program Flyer ~
http://www.allsaintsvaschool.org/index/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/njhs-flyer-11-2009.jpg
Parade Float Permission Slip (due by 12/1/09) ~
http://www.allsaintsvaschool.org/index/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/2009ChristmasParadePermissionSlip.pdf
Pope John Paul the Great High School e-News ~
http://www.allsaintsvaschool.org/index/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/enews-november2009.pdf