The Sentinel – Volume 11, Issue 2

Principal’s Message

Beginning next week the PTO will sponsor a new fundraiser for our school through QSP, a magazine subscription company.  Each student will receive an information packet as part of an opening assembly on Monday afternoon.  Details about the program are also available as a link to this week’s newsletter and on the corresponding website.

The key to this new fundraiser is that parents and friends of All Saints are not being asked to incur any additional expenses. Rather, recognizing that many in our community subscribe to magazines, we are simply requesting that when renewing, you do so through QSP, a company that will direct 40% of the proceeds directly back to All Saints.  While the program will be launched over the next two weeks, parents and community members can continue to renew subscriptions via the QSP website throughout the course of the year.  (In the event that your current subscription does not expire until later in the year, the company will track this and automatically initiate your renewal when your subscription expires.)

A few words about the incentives and awards for the children…As an encouragement for participation, the PTO is sponsoring a few incentives for students who sponsor a particular number of subscriptions.  However, as we have purposely refrained from making this a major fund-raising focus for our school, the awards program has been streamlined.  Additionally, in the interest of fairness, the PTO has also decided that the prizes will be awarded by family so that the children may work together on this endeavor.

The bottom line: QSP and the PTO Executive Board estimate that our school can profit $10,000 in the first year with a mid-level approach.  The good news for parents is that we’ve discovered a strategy by which All Saints can tap into a new revenue stream without asking parents to make any additional financial commitments.  Simply by renewing existing subscriptions, All Saints can experience a financial benefit!

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The following is a list of important reminders that will help us maintain an arrival and dismissal system that is safe, efficient and courteous.

With the increased number of cars on the property, it is vitally important that all drivers be especially attentive, proceeding slowly and with caution.

Parking:

¨       It is important that parents park only in those areas identified for our carpool system.

¨       Parents are asked not to park directly in front of the school building since this area is a designated fire lane.   Access to this area is restricted by traffic cones.

¨       Those visiting or volunteering in the school during the day are asked to park in the lot in front of the new church.  (Please refrain from parking in those spaces reserved for the clergy and from parking in Lot #2 ~ directly across from the priests’ parking area ~  as this section is reserved for parish staff.)

¨       When arriving for afternoon carpool, parents are asked to refrain from parking on Stonewall Road and other areas of the property.  For the safety of the children, it is important that each family participate in the school organized carpool system.

Arrival & Departure:

¨       When entering and exiting the property please use right turns only.  This will minimize the traffic that sometimes occurs on Stonewall Road, thereby helping us to maintain positive public relations with our neighbors.

¨       In that our carpool system brings together many people, it is a time for discussion and community building.  However, once dismissal actually begins, we ask that parents wrap up conversations so that complete attention may be directed to the children and so that we might avoid any unnecessary delays.

¨       When arriving for afternoon dismissal, parents are reminded to use great caution when exiting their vehicle.  We recommend that parents not open their doors until the next row of cars has arrived in the adjacent parking spaces.

¨       For the safety of all involved, drivers are asked not to exit the carpool lines unless directed by a staff member to do so.  Teachers only wave drivers forward after verifying that the adjacent lanes are clear of pedestrian traffic.

Special Carpool Privileges?

One of the more popular items at our annual auction event is that of the privilege of being “first in carpool”.  The families who win this item are invited to park in front of the dismissal area and have the opportunity of exiting the property in advance of the community.   It is for this reason that you will observe patrols escorting students to cars parked in front of Bay #1 during our afternoon carpool.

Several students from All Saints receive a ride home via a private shuttle arranged by their parents. As All Saints is but one stop for this service, this shuttle is granted special access and departs from the front of the school at 3:00 p.m.  (If you are interested in this private service that serves the Linton Hall area, you may contact Ms. Beth’s Shuttle Service at 703-794-7314.)

Carpool Tips ~ Morning Arrival

With the Pre-Kindergarten program now in session, there is increased traffic in the rear parking lot during morning arrival.  So that each child in the Pre-K may be escorted into the classroom by a member of the staff, all Pre-Kindergarten families are required to arrive via the rear lot.  However, all other school families have the option of using either the front or rear lots during morning arrival.  If there is a line of traffic entering the rear lot, parents are encouraged to use the front lot as an alternative.  Additionally, parents are reminded to enter and exit the property using right turns only so as to maintain a steady flow of traffic.

SchoolMessenger Emergency Notification ~ SYSTEM TEST ~ Friday, September 10th

The Diocese of Arlington uses the SchoolMessenger notification service to send important information to families through phone calls, emails, and text messages.  In the event of an emergency, All Saints Catholic School will activate the SchoolMessenger system.  As the system will only be used for this purpose, parents can anticipate that any communications received via this program are critical and deserve particular attention.

In order to ensure the functionality and accuracy of the system, All Saints will conduct a test on Friday, September 10th.  A test message will be issued via both recorded phone message and email to the emergency contacts of all students and staff at approximately 10:30 a.m.

In accordance with wireless carrier requirements and to protect against unsolicited text messages, during the year you may receive a text message providing you the opportunity to “opt in” should you wish to receive important SchoolMessenger announcements via text message.

The message you receive will be similar to the following:

“Please OPTIN to receive TXT alerts from <<Customer Name>>.Rply OPTIN 2 register, STOP 2 OPTOUT www.schoolmessenger.com/txt Msg&Data Rates May Apply”

So that you may receive important communications from All Saints via text message, we encourage you to reply with “OPTIN” when you receive such a verification message.

To opt out of all text messages from SchoolMessenger, including the verification message, go tohttp://www.schoolmessenger.com/txtmsg/ or reply STOP to the opt-in message you receive.

The Diocese and the school does not pay for text message charges that may be incurred by the user. Check with your wireless carrier for possible charges.

Student In-Service ~ Sexual Harassment, Our Policy & Response  (Grades 5-8)

In accordance with diocesan policy, students in grades five through eight will participate in a brief classroom presentation next week on the topic of the prevention of sexual harassment.  Mr. Conroy will visit each of the homeroom classes for approximately fifteen minutes, providing an overview of the diocesan policy and explaining to students how they should best respond if they encounter any behaviors of this nature.  Should you have any questions about this policy or presentation, please do not hesitate to contact the principal.

New Parent Coffee

All new parents are invited to enjoy “coffee with the principal” on Tuesday, September 14thbeginning at 9:00 a.m. in Father Kelley Hall.  Following a brief presentation, there will be time for questions and discussion about our school community and its many programs.  Babysitting services will be offered by Mrs. Carol Rice, coordinator of the Parish Nursery, in the adjacent meeting room.  Plan to attend and meet other new families who have recently joined our community!

PTO Volunteer Fair

In place of the PTO General Membership Meeting scheduled for Tuesday, September 28th, the organization will host the Second Annual PTO Volunteer Fair from 2:00-3:30 p.m. and 7:00-8:30 p.m.  The event is designed as an opportunity for parents to learn more about the PTO and all that it does to support the school.

There will be tables set up with information about all of the different events and activities that the PTO sponsors and representatives from the PTO Executive Board will be present to answer questions.

The VIRTUS video training entitled Keeping the Promise Alive will be shown at 2:15 p.m. and throughout the evening event.

Middle School Back to School Night

Back to School Night for middle school parents will take place on Thursday, September 16th at 7:00 p.m.  Please note: This year parents are asked to report directly to their child’s homeroom classroom as there will not be a presentation in the gym.  Rather, all of the time will be spent visiting classrooms, experiencing a “day in the life of the middle school”.

Schedule

7:00 p.m.                 Parent arrival

7:05 p.m. Welcome & Opening Prayer (via the public address system)

7:10 p.m. First Classroom Session Begins

9:05 p.m. End of Final Classroom Session

Tuition Questions???

Should a question arise regarding your schedule of tuition payments, please contact Mrs. Joyce D’Eugenio, administrative assistant, at 703-393-1490.  She is happy to assist in providing additional information about the program and answering any questions that parents might have.

Use of Student Photos for Marketing Materials

Over the course of the past three years, a formal marketing program has been implemented at All Saints and we are presently making a consistent effort to share the success of our program via local newspapers and our website.  It is important that parents understand that they retain the right to object to their son/daughter’s inclusion in these printed or electronic materials.  A “Waiver Information/Right to Object Form” (Appendix N) is located on the website within the forms section associated with the parent-student handbook.  Please note: If the form is not returned, we will assume that you waive your right to object.

Emergency Information Form

Parents who have not yet completed and returned the Diocesan Emergency Form are asked to do so as soon as possible.  This form is critically important in that it provides us with the necessary information to contact you in the event of an emergency.

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 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 2:15 p.m. & 7:00 p.m.

Join the Young People’s choir!

  • Open to children in grades 3 and up.
  • The choir will sing the 2nd and 4th Sundays of each month (9:30 a.m. Mass), at the Christmas 4 p.m. Vigil and on Easter Sunday.
  • Practices: Two Tuesdays a month, 5:00-6:00 p.m. in the music room, 8:45 a.m. on the Sundays that the choir sings.   The first practice will be held on Tuesday, September 21, 5:00-6:00 p.m., in the music room of All Saints School.
  • The first Sunday the choir will sing is Sunday, September 26 at the 9:30 a.m. Mass.
  • For more information contact: Nichole Dalusung, ndalusung@allsaintsva.org

Sibling Friendly Volunteer Opportunities!

Want to earn Points for Parents but have a younger sibling still at home?  Volunteer to help out in  the nursery or the cafeteria!  We have the following needs for volunteers:

Nursery Needs

Monday Sept 13th – Nursery volunteers are needed during the Room Liaison Meeting.  The time frame is from approximately 9:30-11am.
Tuesday September 14th – Nursery volunteers are needed for the New Parent Coffee, from approximately 9-11am.
If you are Virtus approved and interested, please contact Carol Rice ckrice@verizon.net.  Your younger children are welcome to accompany you.

Cafeteria Duty

We are looking for a few more volunteers to help out with playground/cafeteria duty.  We especially need help on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Younger siblings are welcome to accompany the parent volunteer.  Volunteering once/week in the cafeteria earns you all your points for the year!  To find out more information please contact Sue Ferguson atsferguson1@comcast.net or call 703-331-3878.

Volunteering at All Saints School

Wondering how to get involved in All Saints School this year or how to find volunteer opportunities to earn Points for Parents?  You can get email updates for volunteer opportunities at All Saints throughout the year–you can decide which opportunity is right for you.  Please contact Angela Slater, Volunteer Coordinator, at schoolvolunteers@allsaintsvaschool.org and request to be added to the volunteer email update list, ask a volunteer question or make a request for volunteers.  A special welcome to new families: please feel free to contact Angela Slater with your volunteer questions.

 

Upcoming Events

  • First Day of Pre-Kindergarten ~ Wednesday, September 8th
  • Back to School Night for Grades 1-5 ~ Thursday, September 9th (Gym/7:00 p.m.)
  • School Mass ~ Friday, September 10th (8:30 a.m.)
  • New Student Breakfast ~ Friday, September 10th

Doughnuts & Juice with Mr. Conroy & Mrs. Campagna

9:20 A.M          Grades 6-8

9:40 AM           Grades 3-5

10:00 AM          Grades K-2

  • PTO Magazine Subscription Kick-off Assembly ~ Monday, September 13th
  • Room Liaisons Meeting ~ Monday, September 13th (9:30 a.m.)
  • New Parent Coffee ~ Tuesday, September 14th (9:00 a.m.)
  • Middle School Back-to-School Night ~ Thursday, September 16th (7:00 p.m.)
  • Installation Ceremony of Newly Elected SCA Officers & Representatives ~ Friday, September 17th (1:30 p.m.)

 

Links

Magazine Fundraiser ~ http://www.allsaintsvaschool.org/index/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2010/09/magazine-fundraiser-2010.pdf

All Saints Girl Scouts ~ http://www.allsaintsvaschool.org/student-activities/scouting/

Boy Scout Troop 1188 ~ www.troop1188.org