The Sentinel – Volume 11, Issue 1

Principal’s Message

What a joy it was to welcome our students on Monday morning for another year of learning and formation in the beautiful environment that is All Saints Catholic School! The new church and courtyard provide a visible witness of the strong faith and sense of community that surround our parish and school.  How blessed we are to be part of such a sacred space!

Yet even more important than the bricks and mortar, which together form the structure of our new church, are the hearts and minds of our students which are daily formed into the likeness of Christ. This is our mission as a Catholic school and our most distinguishing characteristic.  Our very name echoes the call…that all may be saints!

As announced during the summer months, our parish theme for the year ahead will be Living Stones. During our school-wide assembly yesterday, I invited the students to reflect on this and to share within their classrooms their own ideas as to how we can make this theme a focal point for our school community.  I’ve also encouraged the students to submit their ideas as to how we might incorporate this concept into a daily quote or motto to be included in all of our public address announcements and publications.

One of the attributes of our school is that we cherish and share the very best of our Catholic faith and traditions.  As such, beginning this year we will incorporate a new prayer, the Angelus, into the daily life and culture of our school.  With the ringing of the church bells at noon each day, the faculty, staff and students will pause to pray the Angelus as it is recited over the public address system.  A series of threeHail Mary’s and responses, the Angelus is a prayerful remembrance of the moment of Incarnation, when God sent His Son into the world so that we might all experience salvation.  The ringing of the “Angelus bell” signifies this announcement and sends a message of good-will to everyone on Earth.  As the bell chimes at noon each day, our students will pause ~ in classrooms, hallways, cafeteria and playground ~ to prayerfully recall the mystery of Christ’s infinite love and Mary’s participation in the plan for our salvation.  As you visit our school throughout the year, we invite you to pray with us as we incorporate this 700 year old devotion into our program.

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Behind the scenes a number of parents and children have worked diligently to prepare for the new year.  I would like to take this opportunity to both commend and thank them for their generous support of our school.

6th Annual Back to School Barbecue ~ Led by Mrs. Monique Schmeling, a large number of volunteer parents and students helped to feed an estimated crowd of 700+  at our annual kick-off event.  I thank each of them for their spirit of hospitality and service which was so clearly evident on Friday evening.  I especially wish to thank Mrs. Schmeling for all of her efforts in coordinating the many details of the event, beginning with advanced planning early in the spring.  Again this year the event was made possible by funding provided by the PTO and offered to families free of charge in gratitude for all that our school parents do to support the mission of All Saints throughout the year.  I also wish to extend a word of thanks to the many volunteers ~ parents and middle school students ~ who assisted with the event.  Through their participation, the entire food service operation ran smoothly and efficiently.

School Landscaping ~ Last week Mrs. Crocker and her children spent the better part of a day weeding and cleaning out the flower beds adjacent to the school.  I thank them for once again helping the school to “look it’s best” on opening day!

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Thank you to the many members of our community who have supported the Marsengill Family through prayer and outreach.  Phillip is now at home, surrounded by the care and support of his family and friends and he continues to receive chemotherapy treatments.  Mrs. Marsengill will continue to work in our cafeteria program two days per week.  I am pleased to announce that Mrs. Kris Walk, a school parent and regular volunteer in the cafeteria last year, has joined our staff as substitute cafeteria bookkeeper on those days when Mrs. Marsengill will be at home caring for her son.  Welcome, Mrs. Walk!

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The Virtue of the Month for September will be Respect & Responsibility. Throughout the first month of school we will adopt the following plan and strive to maintain these objectives throughout the course of the year.

1)       Wear your uniform with pride.

2)       Be reverent and quiet in church.

3)       Greet everyone cheerfully and by name.

4)       Listen quietly when others speak.

5)       Learn your daily prayers.

6)       Keep your desk and supplies neat.

7)      Stand at attention for the Pledge of Allegiance.

8)       Participate in Mass: Try to learn the responses and sing the hymns.

9)       Do your best work on every assignment.

10)    Turn all class assignments and homework in on time.

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Electronic Newsletter

The weekly newsletter will again be distributed electronically to parents via an email distribution list. Parents who have not yet registered to receive the mailing are encouraged to do so via our website ~www.allsaintsvaschool.org.  (Please note: Registration for the newsletter is separate from the registration process for the emergency email alert system which is also found on the website.  Parents experiencing difficulty receiving the email newsletter are asked to contact the office.)  Occasionally, it will be necessary to distribute hard copies of forms, such as in the case of the Emergency Forms being sent home this week.  On those occasions, the forms and newsletter will be distributed using a “take-home” folder from your child’s classroom.  Wednesday will continue to be the day on which newsletters and important forms are distributed.

Opening School Mass

On Friday morning students in Grades 1-8 will gather in the new church at 10:00 a.m. for the annual Opening of the School Year Mass.  All school parents and families are cordially invited to join us as we gather to pray for the success of this new year.

Calendar Change ~ SCA Installation Ceremony

The Installation Ceremony for the newly elected members of the Student Council Association has been rescheduled from Friday, September 10th to Friday, September 17th.  The event will take place at 1:30 p.m. in the Parish Activities Center (the old church).

Parent ~ Student Handbooks

The 2010-2011 Parent-Student Handbook can be accessed electronically via our website:www.allsaintsvaschool.org.  Please take some time to review the policies and procedures of our school and discuss them with your children.  Each family is asked to sign and return the acknowledgment form distributed today by Friday, September 10th.  Those families without access to the website are invited to contact the office to request a hard copy of the handbook.

Criminal Background Checks for Volunteers & VIRTUS Requirements

As part of the diocesan initiative to maintain a safe environment for all of our children, all volunteers with “significant contact” with children are required to complete a background check prior to working in the school.  As we begin a new year, in accordance with diocesan policy, only those parents who have completed the criminal background check are eligible to volunteer in positions that involve contact with students. Those who will be volunteering in the school on a regular basis or even repeatedly are required to complete the background check.  Those who have not yet completed the background check process are invited to request a packet of forms from the school or parish office.

An additional component of the safe environment program established by the Diocese of Arlington is mandatory training for volunteers on the topic of child abuse prevention.  The full VIRTUS program, entitled Protecting God’s Children will next be offered at All Saints on Saturday, September 18th from 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. in Father Kelley Hall.  All volunteers who have not previously attended the seminar are asked to register on-line in order to receive credit for attending this upcoming session. (www.virtus.org)

The diocese also requires volunteers who have completed this training to attend an annual update entitled Keeping the Promise Alive.  This 30 minutes video training is a prerequisite for volunteering in the school.  The following is a list of upcoming sessions.  (Please note:  For planning purposes, volunteers are asked to confirm their intent to attend a session on the voicemail of Mrs. Janet Smith. 703.393.2158)

Wednesday, September 1st in the Art Room at 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday, September 8th in Meeting Room 1 at 6:30 p.m.

Monday, September 13th in Spanish in the Art Room at 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, September 14th in Spanish in the Art Room at 7:00 p.m.

Wednesday, September 15th in Meeting Room 1 at 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, September 28th as part of the PTO Volunteer Fair at 2:30 p.m. & 7:00 p.m.

Emergency Information Form

Please complete the form distributed today and return it to the office by Friday, September 3rd. 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

  • Pre-Kindergarten Orientation for Parents ~ Thursday, September 2nd (Art Room/7:00 p.m.)
  • Opening School Mass ~ Friday, September 3rd (10:00 a.m.)

§ Labor Day Holiday ~ Monday, September 6th

  • Pre-Kindergarten Open House ~ Tuesday, September 7th (Morning Session ~ 9:00-11:00 a.m./Afternoon Session ~ 12:30-2:30 p.m.)
  • Band Parents Meeting ~ Tuesday, September 7th (Returning parents @ 6:45 p.m./ new parents @ 7:30 p.m. in the Music Room)

§ PTO Board Meeting ~ Tuesday, September 7th (Professional Learning Center/7:00 p.m.)

  • First Day of Pre-Kindergarten ~ Wednesday, September 8th
  • Back to School Night for Grades 1-5 ~ Thursday, September 9th (Gym/7:00 p.m.)

 

Going home with EACH STUDENT TODAY

Emergency Forms ~ Each student in the school is receiving an emergency form.  Please complete one emergency form for each of your children and return the forms by Friday, September 3rd.

LINKS

Cub Scout Dens are now forming!  Did you know that All Saints School has a Cub Scout? Check out this link for more information. ~ http://www.allsaintsvaschool.org/index/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2010/09/pack-1188.pdf

 

Mini-Retreat for PARENTS of TEENS ~ http://www.allsaintsvaschool.org/index/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2010/09/PARENTSofTeensRETREAT2010.pdf