The Sentinel – Volume 10, Issue 32

Message from the Principal

As announced earlier in the year, one of our current goals is that of updating the existing dismissal procedures, frequently referred to as “afternoon carpool”.  The impetus for this has been our experience of rainy day dismissal, particularly during the first semester.  Recognizing the complexity of the system and the tendency for a breakdown in the process, we have been working toward a better solution.

What began, however, with a focus on the process for rainy day dismissal has expanded to a review and revision of the entire dismissal system.  Recognizing that the recent growth of the school has required daily overflow parking, it is important that we identify an alternative procedure, one that will better meet our current needs and allow for future growth.  As such, this week I wish to share with you the details of a new dismissal process that we will initiate on Monday, May 3rd.

To summarize, the objectives of the new carpool system are as follows:  To maintain a dismissal process that safeguards the students, parents and faculty, while increasing efficiency and providing for additional parking.

It is important that I emphasize that our goal is not to expedite the process.  On a typical day the entire dismissal process occurs over the course of 15-20 minutes.  Given the numbers of students and parents, I do not feel that we can improve upon this without compromising safety.  However, I am confident that we can maintain the current rate of dismissal in a manner that isless complicated and subsequently, less prone to challenges, particularly on inclement weather days.

In redesigning the dismissal process, we have identified three key strategies:

1)       Minimize the movement of students and parents by having the children report directly to their cars on inclement weather days, rather than re-assembling in the building.

2)       Maximize efficiency by continuing to load numerous cards simultaneously rather than adopting a “flow through” concept by which cars are loaded only a few at a time.

3)       Increase parking for parents by utilizing both the front and rear parking lots.

In essence, we will continue to dismiss in the same manner, but we will also use the parking lot behind the school as a staging area.  This will eliminate the need for overflow parking and allow for continued growth.  The most significant change for parents is that cars will no longer park in the order that they arrive.  Rather, parents will be assigned parking in one of five bays based on their last name.  This will create a sense of predictability for both students and parents, particularly on rainy days.  As such, it will no longer be necessary to call students by carpool numbers since they will simply report to their assigned carpool bay. (All of this is explained in much greater detail in the guidelines linked to this newsletter.)

So as to implement this new system in the most manageable way possible, the first day of the new dismissal process will occur on Monday, May 3rd when both Pre-K and Kindergarten classes are not in session due to EPSF screening.  The process will be repeated and fine-tuned as needed on Tuesday, May 4th, when there is also a significantly smaller number of cars at dismissal because of after school band practice.  These two days will provide us the opportunity to assess the new system and make any necessary adjustments prior to Wednesday, May 5th.

As carpool drivers, the most important information of which you need to be aware is the following, the answers to which can be found on the attached map and guidelines:

1)       Which entrance do I use when entering the property?

2)       Where do I park my car?

3)       Which exits do I use when departing?

So as to help the students clearly understand the new process, we will stage a rehearsal during the school day with them tomorrow.

In advance, thank you for your careful attention to the attached guidelines and support for this new process.  As with any major change, we can expect some “growing pains” and challenges.  However, I am convinced that the end result will be one that is more effective for our school and reflects the commitment to safety, organization and professionalism that we all value in our community.

I would be remiss if I did not thank Mrs. Campagna, Assistant Principal, the faculty, and volunteer parents who have contributed to the design of this new process.  I appreciate their investment of time and energy and especially thank Mrs. Campagna for spearheading the project.

Look for reminders and updates in the days ahead….

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This week I wish to also share some important news regarding one of our beloved teachers at All Saints.  After 22 years of dedicated service, Mrs. MaryAnn Evans has decided to retire at the close of this school year.  In beginning this next phase in her life, she will have the opportunity to spend more time with her family, including her beautiful grandson.

Through her many years at our school, Mrs. Evans has touched the hearts of countless children and parents and is truly part of the fabric of our school community.  In her role as 2nd grade teacher, she has guided the children and prepared them for that very special moment, the time at which they experience Jesus in their First Communion.

In appreciation for all that she has done for our community and in celebration of her life of service, the school and parish are cordially invited to attend a Retirement Mass in Honor of Mrs. Evans on Thursday, June 3rd at 7:00 p.m. in the church. I hope that many of you will be able to join us as we thank Mrs. Evans for the difference she has made in the lives of the children.

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The 5th Annual Race for Education is less than two weeks away.  On Thursday, May 6th, the entire school will participate in this event, which has been designed to raise funds for essential classroom materials.  Additionally, as is our tradition, 15% of all proceeds will be donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

I am pleased to share with you that we have already collected over $14,000 in contributions.  We are truly thankful for the generous response of parents, relatives, and friends of All Saints Catholic School.

By way of this letter I wish to extend an invitation for you to come out and watch your child(ren) walk or jog next Thursday.  The following is the schedule for this special event:

Grades Pre-K 1 & Pk2, K & 1               8:45 to 9:45 a.m.

Grades 2-3                                             10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Grades 6-8                                             2:30 to 1:30 p.m.

Grades Pre-K3, 4-5                               1:45 to 2:45 p.m.

The students will be eating lunch at their regular times in the cafeteria.

We hope that many of you will be able to join us for a wonderful day of fun and fellowship!

NOTE: There is still a need for volunteers at all of the sessions of the race next week. Volunteers will help track the children’s laps and pass out water, both which can be done while you are cheering your child on.  Please contact Marjorie Collins at 703-365-9686 or marjorie@ocfmail.com if you are available to help. Thank you to the parents who have already signed up to volunteer!

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On Thursday and Friday of this week, I will be attending the annual diocesan principals’ retreat in Maryland.  Please know of my prayers for our school and families in the days ahead.  I look forward to joining many of you on Saturday morning as we witness and celebrate our 2nd grade students receiving their First Communion.

10th Annual Golf Tournament ~ Evergreen Country Club

On Monday, May 17th All Saints Parish will host the 10th Annual Golf Tournament at Evergreen Golf & Country Club in Haymarket, Virginia. The monies raised through the Golf Tournament will be used to support the work of the PTO, an organization that enhances the programs and facilities of All Saints Catholic School through annual fundraising initiatives. The financial contributions of individuals and businesses over the last several years have funded major projects in our school, such as the installation of a state-of-the-art computer lab and media center, a new playground, and an interactive electronic whiteboard in every classroom, Pre-Kindergarten through 8th grade.

As a first-class fundraiser that is being promoted in the surrounding community, the tournament provides a wonderful opportunity for local businesses to advertise their goods/services.  For more information about corporate sponsorship and ticket information, please visit us online at www.AllSaintsGolf.com. You may also email us at info@allsaintsgolf.com or contact Jim Switzer at 571-330-8381.

All Saints Catholic School Participates in Diocesan Music Festival

On Saturday, April 17th, students from All Saints Catholic School participated in the Diocesan Music Festival at Pope John Paul the Great High School.  Choirs and music groups from Catholic elementary and high schools from across the Diocese performed for each other and received comments from adjudicators who are highly specialized in the music education and choral conducting field.  Our students performed two songs: “How Deep the Riches” and “Hosanna Processional.”  The students sang beautifully and received great comments speaking of their “sweet voices,” “great composure,” and “very enjoyable performance”.  The students who participated truly enjoyed sharing their joy of singing with others and the appreciated the opportunity to hear other choirs from across the Diocese.  The following students participated in the Diocesan Music Festival: Kaitlin Andres, Josephine Bennett, Caroline Birmingham, Gwen Blasco, Caton Brisbin, Mary-Margaret Burns, Leslie Chang, Erika Corchado, Meredith Hackerson, Lauren Jerothe, Carolyn Karcher, Vivienne Penders, Allison Rice, Danyelle Rinker, Lorraine Saupan, Megan Stalker, and Katie Walk.  Thank you to all of these students for so beautifully representing All Saints Catholic School and to Miss Dalusung for preparing the students and coordinating the school’s participation in the music festival.

Three All Saints 7th Graders Capture Prizes At Diocesan Science Fair

What trait does Jiminy Cricket, the Disney animated character that tries to guide the puppet Pinocchio, share in common with the subjects of the science fair project studied by All Saints Catholic School 7th grader, Monica Gonzalez?  If you guessed the ability to communicate you’d be right.  In her science fair project entitled “Can You Hear Me,the budding scientist studied the effect of temperature on the communication habits of crickets.  As part of her study, Ms. Gonzalez recorded the chirping of crickets and then designed two chambers of different temperatures to observe in which temperatures crickets would be more likely to communicate.  For her efforts, the 7th grader captured a third place award in the field of Zoology at the annual Diocese of Arlington Science Fair competition held on Saturday, April 24, at Paul VI High School in Fairfax.

Also winning a third place award at the Diocesan Fair was fellow seventh grader, Heather Barnes for her project “Water as Fuel.”  Choosing Environmental Science as her category, Ms. Barnes explored the practical value of using a Stirling engine, an external combustion engine known for its high efficiency, quiet operation and use of renewable clean energy, rather than a traditional internal combustion engine which creates pollution and uses scarce resources.  While testing to determine if temperature affects the output of a Stirling engine, the young scientist built a small engine which she operated at different temperature extremes.

“Shhh!  Is It Quiet Now” was the title of the science fair project of seventh grader, Gwendolyn Blasco who merited an honorable mention in the category of Physics during the Diocesan competition. Competing in a category with 53 entrants from 25 schools of the Arlington Diocese Ms. Blasco investigated which type of insulation would best sound-proof a room.

Additional participants at the Diocese of Arlington Science Fair who represented All Saints Catholic School included: Alyssa DeRaymond, Isabella Meier, Ellen Orsi, and Harrison Tamke – Grade 8, and Patrick Fall – Grade 7. 

All Saints Alumnus Raising Funds for Leukemia & Lymphoma Research

Aura Novak (former All Saints student) and Cristina Krukar, both 2001 graduates of Paul VI Catholic High School, are hoping to raise $50,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s 2010 Man & Woman of the Year campaign. Each year the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society recognizes men and women throughout the U.S. who raise the most funds in their community for blood-cancer research and patient support.

Aura Novak was recently nominated as a 2010 Woman of the Year candidate and has dedicated her campaign to Krukar who was diagnosed with diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia in April of 2007 at age 23. She underwent aggressive treatment and since late 2009 has been in the early stages of remission. Her doctor will consider her in full remission after five years without relapse.

The goal of “Team Cristina’s Fight” is to raise $50,000 between April 8 and June 12. The team will host a number of fundraising events, including:  Team Cristina’s Fight bake sale May 8, Habitat for Humanity yard sale, 1760 Reston Pkwy., Reston, 8 a.m. to noon; and the South Riding Golf Tournament May 22, South Riding Golf Course, 43237 Golf View Dr., South Riding, 1 p.m.

To RSVP or for more information, contact Aura Novak at 571/241-6303 or auranovak@gmail.com. Donations can also be made online at nca.mwoy.llsevent.org/AuraNovak by June 12, 2010.

Parish Festival Cake Walk ~ Note of Thanks

Thanks so much to all who participated in the Cake Walk this year!   Your time was very much appreciated and your enthusiasm is a wonderful example to all.  Thank you to all the families who provided the marvelous cakes.  Special thanks to the Tara Wolfe who was on site for most of the festival to make sure it all ran smoothly.  This was an awesome community effort.  All of you are to be commended for your efforts and support of the Parish Festival.  Thank you!

IMPORTANT REMINDERS

Race for Education ~ Schedule for Redemption of Prize Cards

Thanks to the students and parents of All Saints, our school mailed 5,300 letters requesting financial support for the 5th Annual Race for Education.  Prize Cards have already been distributed to students who met the criteria and may be redeemed according to the following schedule:

Tuesday, April 27th Students may begin redeeming Free Pretzel Cards

Tuesday, May 4th Designated Dress-Down Day

Thursday, May 6th Students may begin redeeming Free Ice Cream Cards

Tuesday, May 18th Designated Dress-Down Day

Tuesday, May 25th Designated Dress-Down Day

End of Year Calendar

Field Day ~ Monday, June 7th (Linton Hall School)

Final Day for Pre-Kindergarten ~ Thursday, May 27th

8th Grade Graduation ~ Friday, June 11th (7:00 p.m.)

Kindergarten Luau ~ Monday, June 14th

Kindergarten Program & Final Day ~ Tuesday, June 15th (10:00 a.m.)

Final Day for Grades 1-7 ~ Wednesday, June 16th (10:30 a.m. dismissal)

Kindergarten Screening

The Early Prevention of School Failure Screening for Kindergarten applicants will take place on Monday, May 3rd.  In order that the teachers may be available to administer the assessment, there will be no Pre-Kindergarten or Kindergarten classes on these two days.

Points for Parents Program ~ Year End Totals

One of the hallmarks of our school community is the high level of parent involvement that has helped the school achieve many goals in recent years.  As in the past, each family at All Saints has been asked to earn 60 volunteer points over the course of the current school year.  Those who are unable to do so are asked to submit a check at the conclusion of the year for any outstanding points that remain.  (1 point = $3.00)  As we begin the fourth quarter, parents are reminded to update their “points total” so that the database accurately reflects their contributions over the course of the entire year.

At the beginning of May, the office will issue individualized letters to each family, confirming the number of points reflected in the school database. For this reason, we ask that those families who have not recently updated the database do so by Friday, April 30th. Those families who have not earned the required 60 points will be assessed a corresponding fee at a rate of $3.00 per point and asked to submit payment by the close of May.

Mass with Bishop Loverde ~ Rescheduled ~REMINDER

The mass in celebration of our school’s recognition as a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence has been rescheduled for Thursday, May 13th at 10:00 a.m.  All school families and friends are cordially invited to join us for this special time of prayer and thanksgiving.

Many of our current families learned about the value of an All Saints education through a personal reference from an existing school family.  Again this year we would like to reward you for promoting the school to your family and friends!  Through theNew Student Referral Program, your family can receive a $200.00 tuition credit for referring a new family to All Saints Catholic School.  For more information about this program, please see the attached flyer.  Help to spread the word about the success and tradition of All Saints Catholic School!

Upcoming Events

Friday, April 30th Points for Parents ~ Deadline for Parents to update database

Saturday, May 1st First Communion (10:30 a.m.)

Monday, May 3rd EPSF Kindergarten Screening (No PreK or K classes)

4th Grade Mothers’ Tea

New Carpool System begins

Tuesday, May 4th SCA Election Information Meeting for Middle School

PTO Board Meeting (Jr. Library/7:00 p.m.)

Wednesday, May 5th Battle of the Books

Thursday, May 6th 5th Annual Race for Education

Friday, May 7th May Crowning, immediately following Mass

Graduation & First Communion Photos

Saturday, May 8th First Communion (10:30 a.m.)

Coming Home With Oldest Child

§  PTO Election Ballot (also available under links)

Coming Home with 6 – 8 Grade Students

§  Pope John Paul the Great Catholic High School Summer Camps Information Packet

***Spring Pictures Coming Home with Students Who Ordered Them***

LINKS

§  New Dismissal Guidelines ~ http://www.allsaintsvaschool.org/index/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2010/04/PMDISMISSALPROCEDURES-Parents.pdf

§  Dismissal Bays~ http://www.allsaintsvaschool.org/index/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2010/04/Dismissal-Bays.pdf

§  PTO Election Ballot ~ http://www.allsaintsvaschool.org/index/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2010/04/pto-election-ballot-2010.pdf

§  John Paul the Great High School Summer Camps for Rising 6-9th Graders ~ http://www.allsaintsvaschool.org/index/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2010/04/jpg-summer-camp.pdf

§  e-News Update from JP the Great Catholic High School ~ http://www.allsaintsvaschool.org/index/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2010/04/e-News-April-21-2010.pdf

§  Spotlight on the Arts Brochure ~ http://www.allsaintsvaschool.org/index/wp-content/plugins/download-monitor/download.php?id=SpotlightontheArtsCamps2010.pdf