Living Stones on the Pathway to Heaven…
Message from the Principal
On Monday we began our annual observance of Bully Prevention Week, a time during which we refocus our attention and direct our efforts toward the particular challenges associated with bullying. Implemented as part of our program several years ago, this annual practice has raised the level of awareness among faculty, parents and students and provided an opportunity for us to recommit ourselves to establishing a bully free environment.
It is important that each year we continue to identify and implement practical strategies to help students gain a better understanding of bullying and its impact. As announced last week, the following is the full list of strategies in support of Bully Prevention Week.
Monday: Students had an opportunity to sign an Anti-Bully Pledge in the cafeteria during their lunch period.
Tuesday: Mrs. Karcher, school counselor, visited classrooms to provide presentations on the topic of bullying.
Wednesday: The Peace & Justice Players will visit classrooms and role play situations to provide guidance to students regarding bullying behaviors.
Thursday: Yellow Day. Students are invited to wear yellow accessories, i.e. yellow ties, yellow socks, yellow hair ribbons, etc. Additionally, individual students will be recognized for their leadership in fostering anti-bullying behaviors.
Friday: Each class will meet with their “buddy class” to read books, view a movie or participate in an activity on the topic of anti-bullying/friendship building.
One of the best ways for us to measure progress and to evaluate effectiveness is through the bullying surveys which we distribute twice per year. I wish to thank those parents and students who participated in this process during the fall semester and offer a few insights based upon the data.
A total of 44 parents responded to the electronic survey. When compared with the number of respondents who participated in the uniform survey, approximately 210, this number tells a positive story. While I would have hoped that more parents would have taken a moment to provide feedback on the topic of bullying, I believe that the low number of respondents indicates that bullying is not a particular concern at this time for a number of families in our community. This is corroborated by the fact that 86% of respondents indicated that their child feels “very good” or “sometimes good” about being at All Saints. Furthermore, 95% of respondents indicated that the adults at the school make a “good” or “very good” effort at making it a safe place.
While the story overall is quite positive, there is more work to be done. For example, the data continues to indicate that the playground continues to be the area in which bullying most often occurs. With this in mind, we have already initiated a series of specific training sessions for all of the assistants who provide supervision in the cafeteria and on the playground.
All parents are encouraged to take a moment to review the actual survey results. A copy of the full parent survey can be accessed at the following link. There you can view the number of responses submitted to each question of the parent survey. Additionally, attached to this week’s newsletter is a PowerPoint presentation containing graphs based upon the feedback we received from students.
There is no place for bullying in any school environment, most especially in a Catholic faith community. Recognizing the inherent goodness and dignity of each individual, it is our mission to instill within each student a respect and reverence for the sacredness of life. Founded upon Gospel principles, our school provides more than simply instruction and academic opportunity for students. Rather, All Saints provides formation, integrating the very best of our faith tradition seamlessly across programs and curricula. As such, it is the continual focus on moral development, particularly within the context of our Virtue Program, which provides a strong foundation for our students. Herein lies, I believe, our greatest antidote to bullying. Let us continue to strive in this manner so that those who witness our community might echo the words of the Gospel, “See how they love one another.”
In conclusion, let us continue to work together to further reduce instances of bullying and to further transform our school environment. In the event that you ever have a concern related to a bullying incident, please contact us so that we can be aware and assist in resolving the matter. The teachers and staff stand ready and welcome any feedback or concerns that you may have. Additionally, Mrs. Karcher, Mrs. Campagna and I continue to closely monitor and address any bullying concerns that arise. Please know that you can contact any of us at any time.
Finally, I wish to thank Mrs. Karcher and Mrs. Sweeney for their assistance and leadership in offering analysis of the survey results and planning our week long recognition of Bully Prevention Week. I appreciate their dedication to this initiative and know that the students will continue to benefit from their efforts.
This week I would also like to thank and congratulate the members of the Drama Club on their fine performance of A Christmas Carol that occurred on Monday. I was particularly impressed with the number of lines that the actors memorized, the enthusiasm with which they presented the show, and the many thoughtful touches that made the play simply charming. With the guidance and direction of Ms. Coto and Mrs. Lewis, our young actors staged a performance of which we can all be very proud!
Last week I spoke with Mrs. Laird, our music teacher, to confirm plans for the second semester. While it had been her intent to return to teaching in the new year, she continues to struggle greatly with morning sickness. As such, she does not feel confident that she will be able to return to All Saints on a consistent basis and has, for this reason, submitted her resignation. While her time at our school was brief, I wish to acknowledge and thank Mrs. Laird for her work with the students during the opening months of the year. We wish her and her husband every blessing as they prepare for the birth of their first child.
I have already begun the process of contacting prospective music teachers and hope to fill this vacancy as soon as possible. During the interim period, Mrs. Stevens is serving as the substitute teacher for the music classes and Miss Dalusung will continue to direct the Schola and to lead the music at our school liturgies.
National Geography Bee
Last Friday morning students in grades four through eight participated in the school-wide round of the National Geography Bee. Congratulations to Nicholas Mills, our school champion, who completed a written assessment earlier this week to determine whether he will qualify to advance to the state level competition. Congratulations to Nichole Bill, first runner up, and Addison Ludwig, second runner up, as well as to all of the following students who won first place in the classroom level competitions, thereby qualifying to participate in the school bee.
4A Jack H.
4B Vincent D.
5A Kaelyn L.
5B Nicholas M.
6A Colin E.
6B Jack R.
7A Anthony S.
7B Nicole B.
8A Addison L.
8B Quentin L.
March for Life
On Monday, January 24th the students of All Saints will join their prayers with the thousands who will gather in Washington, D.C. at the annual March for Life. As a school community we will pray for an end to abortion and for an increase in respect for the sanctity of life at all stages in our society. While children who wish to attend the March for Life with their parents will be marked as absent, please know that this absence will not affect a child who otherwise would earn “Perfect Attendance” at the close of the year. If your child will be attending the March, please notify his or her teacher via a note by the end of next week.
Arlington Band Festival ~ CALENDAR UPDATE
The Arlington Band Festival will occur on Saturday, April 2nd rather than April 16th as originally published in our school calendar.
Open House for 2011-2012 School Year
All Saints Catholic School will host an Open House for prospective parents on Thursday, January 20th beginning at 9:00 a.m. All parishioners and members of the community interested in learning more about the parish school are cordially invited to attend. Following a presentation and introduction at 9:00 a.m., tours of the facility will be provided. For more information, please contact Mrs. Joyce D’Eugenio, administrative assistant, at (703) 393-1490.
Registration Schedule for the New Year
ø Re-Registration for Current Families February 2-14, 2011
ø Registration for New Students February 9-March 4, 2011
(Including siblings for Pre-K & K)
Tuition Assistance Applications
Applications for tuition assistance for the 2011-2012 academic year are now available in both English and Spanish at the front office. Again this year the Diocese of Arlington has contracted with FACTS Grant & Aid Assessment Company. FACTS has established an on-line application process that can be initiated through the company website (www.factstuitionaid.com.)
The due dates for applications and supporting documentation are as follows:
High School January 24, 2011
Elementary School March 14, 2011
NOTE: All families with children enrolled in both high school and elementary school will need to submit an application by the January high school deadline.
Please note that ALL applications and supporting documentation must be received by FACTS by the date listed above, not postmarked. Applications are not considered complete until FACTS has received the supporting documentation.
An overview of the Diocesan Tuition Assistant Program can be found at the following link: (http://www.arlingtondiocese.org/catholicschools/tuition_grant.php).
Peace and Justice Players Baby Food Outreach
On January 24, 2011, our school community will gather for a respect life prayer service. Donations of baby food- 1st foods jar food, 3rd foods jar food, baby cereal, and Similac Advanced formula will be collected in classrooms from Tuesday, January 18th –Monday, January 24th. Students will offer their donation during the prayer service on January 24th. Donations will benefit AAA Women for Choice in Manassas. All donations are greatly appreciated.
CASINO NIGHT & AUCTION
6:30 PM at the PORTUGUESE COMMUNITY CENTER in MANASSAS
Looking for a great way to celebrate Valentines Day weekend? We’ve got the perfect night planned: Casino games with prizes, heavy hors d’oeuvres, live & silent auction, cash bar and raffles. Order forms for event tickets and raffle tickets were sent home last Wednesday and can be returned through your child’s teacher (ticket order form is also attached). Additional raffle tickets are available through the school office. For more information or to make a donation to the event, contact Carol Rice firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-380-5990.
Spirit Events – Save the date!
Coming Up – Bowl America on Friday, January 21st from 12-7 p.m. There’s no school that day so come join in the fun! The cost is $3 per game including shoes. Need food? They have a snack bar with food perfect for snacking while you bowl. Please bring the flyer or mention All Saints School at the register and 10% of the sales and concessions will be donated to our school. Bowl America is located at 10641 Balls Ford Road in Manassas across from the Koon’s Honda Dealer.
Wednesday, January 12th Distribution of Gianni’s Frozen Food Order Forms
Thursday, January 13th Enrollment Management Team Meeting (Art Room/7:00 p.m.)
Friday, January 14th School Mass (8:30 a.m.)
Monday, January 17th Holiday ~ Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday
Wednesday, January 19th Evening of Prayer for Parents of 2nd & 8th Grade Parents, hosted by the Religious Education Staff (7:00 p.m.)
Thursday, January 20th Open House (9:00 a.m.)
Eucharistic Adoration & Benediction (2:15 p.m.)
Friday, January 21st Holiday ~ Professional Development Day (End of 2nd Quarter)
Curriculum Mapping & Report Card Preparation
- Bullying Survey Results ~ http://www.allsaintsvaschool.org/index/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2011/01/bullying-survey-results-2010.pdf
- Are you interested in teaching for the Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Arlington? Click on link for Information Program for Prospective Teacher ~ http://www.allsaintsvaschool.org/2011/01/12/come-join-us-information-programs-for-prospective-teachers/
- Casino Night/Tickets ~ http://www.allsaintsvaschool.org/index/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2011/01/casino-night-ticket-order-2011.pdf
- Bowl America Flyer ~ http://www.allsaintsvaschool.org/index/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2011/01/2011-01-21BowlAmerica.jpg