The Sentinel – Volume 11, Issue 31

Living Stones on the Pathway to Heaven…

Message from the Principal

Next week all students in grades two through seven will participate in the Terra Nova standardized testing program.  As the week of testing quickly draws near, now is the time for us to complete the final “warm-up routines”.  Teachers have provided opportunities for a review of basic skills in the classroom and have been guiding the students through practice tests to familiarize them with the format and the process of “bubbling” answers. For parents interested in providing additional practice at home, there are a number of websites that provide opportunities for review and practice of basic skills.  A simple search using the keywords “Terra Nova” and “practice tests” will yield a number of sites that provide practice tests, games and activities related to math and language arts for specific grade levels.

Beginning this year, all diocesan students in grades three through seven will also participate in a brief assessment entitled “In-View”.  The In-View measures reasoning abilities related to academic success.  As such, it is designed to assess a child’s cognitive abilities in the following five areas:  sequences, analogies, quantitative reasoning (math), verbal reasoning (words) and verbal reasoning (context).

We wish to approach next week’s testing with the perspective that it is a weeklong celebration of learning.  In an effort to reduce any unnecessary stress for the students, teachers will not be scheduling any classroom tests or projects for the week of testing.  Additionally, teachers in grades two through seven will assign little to no homework throughout the week.

Students in grades 5 & 8 will also participate in the ACRE testing program, an assessment that measures each student’s understanding of their faith.  This testing will occur during regularly scheduled religion classes within the next two weeks.

The following is a list of test-taking tips that you may find helpful in preparing your son or daughter for the upcoming week of testing.

Test-Taking Tips & Strategies

1)       Reassure your child that he or she does not have to answer all of the questions correctly to pass.  It is not expected that students answer every question correctly.

2)       Tell your child to attempt to answer all of the questions and not to leave any blanks.  There is no penalty for guessing.

3)       Remind your child that the test is important.

4)       Explain to your child the importance of using time wisely.  If your child gets stuck on a question, encourage him or her to make the best guess or place a mark in the test booklet by that item and to return to it after finishing that section of the test.

5)       Make certain your child gets a good night’s sleep and a healthy breakfast before taking the test.

6)       Try to make the morning of the test a pleasant one.  Avoid stress.

7)       Be sure that your child arrives on time the day of the test.

8)       Remind your child to listen carefully to the instructions from the teacher and to read the directions and each question carefully.

9)       Encourage your child to stay focused on the test, even if other students finish early.

New Middle School Math Teacher Announced for 2011-2012

All Saints is pleased to announce that Mrs. Christina Brown will join the faculty as middle school math teacher for the upcoming academic year.  Mrs. Brown earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education with a concentration in middle school math & science as well as a Master of Science Degree in Educational Administration from Franciscan University of Steubenville.  For the past six years Mrs. Brown has been employed as a fourth grade teacher at St. Paul Catholic School in Weirton, West Virginia.  Recognized for her high level of effectiveness, she assumed a number of informal leadership roles at St. Paul and served as a member of accreditation and school improvement teams for the state of West Virginia.  Highly motivated and dedicated to the mission of Catholic education, Mrs. Brown will be a wonderful addition to our middle school team.

Virtue of the Month ~ Stewardship/Service

1.           Do random acts of kindness every day.

2.           Always be there to help a classmate or a teacher who needs you.

3.           Take care of all classroom furniture, books and papers.

4.           Take care of your library book and return it on time.

5.           Don’t waste paper.  Use both sides.

6.           Pick up paper, pencils, and items you see on the ground inside and outside, EVEN IF YOU DID NOT DROP THEM.  Put them in their proper place.

7.           Put all papers, cans, and bottles in the proper recycling bin.  Never throw away something that can be recycled, both at home and at school.

8.           Find ways to help at home BEFORE you are asked.  Examples: make your bed, clear the table, walk the dog, read to a little brother or sister, clean up your mess, take out the trash.

9.           Treat all nature with respect. (Flowers, grass, trees, water, pets, wild animals.)

10.         Help all people in need, especially those less fortunate than yourself.  Give food, clothes, and money to the poor.  Smile at someone who looks sad.  Pray for all people in need around the world.

Prayer of the Month

Dear God,

Thank you so much for this wonderful day.

Thanks for the friends who showed me the way.

Please help me today in all that I do, and don’t forget God, how much I love you!

New Uniform: Questions & Answers

The following is a list of questions submitted by parents last week via the “Question & Answer” box in the lobby of the school.  (Responses to questions received this week will be included in next week’s edition of the newsletter.)

Please note: Next week’s Sentinel will include a clarification regarding the shoe policy as well as information related to the availability of the new uniform.   Questions pertaining to these two issues will be addressed next week.

Q: Is the v-neck sweater just for Mass days or every day for the boys?

A: The v-neck sweater is worn by all middle school students as well as boys in grades K-5 each day during the winter season.

Q: Can the boys in 5th grade wear the current 5th grade uniform next year?

A: Yes, as the current uniform is grandfathered for one year, fifth grade students may wear the existing uniform through the 2011-2012 academic year.

Q: Can middle school girls wear leggings/tights in winter?

A: Girls in grades K-8 will wear either the blue knee-hi or tights.

Q: What color socks do they wear?  Does it differ by quarter?

A: Girls will wear either the blue knee-hi or tights during the winter months and white crew socks during the spring/fall seasons.  Boys will wear navy blue crew socks throughout the year.

Q:            How long can we have the uniform grandfathered?

A: The current uniform is grandfathered for one year with a special exception for students entering 7th grade in the fall.  Students enrolled in 7th grade in 2011-2012 will have a two year grandfather period.

Q: Can we mix and match both uniforms for one year?

A: Yes, students may wear elements of both the old and new uniforms.  For example, students may wear blue shirts with the new uniform during the upcoming year.

Q: Can we wear the old uniforms and not always the sweater?

A: Yes, during the grandfather year the old uniform may be worn and the sweaters are not yet required.  The sweaters become part of the required winter uniform during the 2012-2013 school year.

Q: Why do upper school girls wear vests?

A: Embroidered with our school logo, the sweater vest completes the look of the uniform. Additionally, the vest provides an additional layer of warmth during the colder months of the year.

Q: I’m trying to plan a budget for new uniforms next year and I just wanted to confirm that we needed to all have the navy blue uniforms with the blue grey shirts but that there will be no PE shorts?  Also, is there a list somewhere of how many days a week each class will have PE so I know how many of each uniform to buy for each of my children?

A: The newly adopted P.E. uniform remains unchanged for next year.  However, next year all students will be required to wear the navy blue P.E. uniform.  (The previous royal blue uniform was grandfathered through the 2010-2011 school year.)  Students will continue to have the option of wearing the navy blue shorts during the warmer months.  All grade levels are scheduled for P.E. class twice per week.

Q: For boys in K-5, do they wear the vest on top of the polo in spring/fall?  If not, do they wear a belt?  If yes, is the polo going to have the logo?

A: The vest is not required during the spring/fall months.  However, students may opt to wear it with the polo shirt on cooler days.  Belts will continue to be a required aspect of the uniform.  The polo shirts will continue to have the school logo.

Q: Middle school shoes for P.E.?  Can they wear any color athletic shoe for P.E. or are they still bound to black?

A: Middle school students may wear any color athletic shoe for P.E. within reason, i.e. no wheels, blinking lights, etc.

Q: When grandfathering the old uniform for a year, does that also mean that the girls (specifically the 5th grade) may wear the pants option (provided with the old uniform) next year or must they transition to the jumper or skirt option?

A: During the grandfather period, girls can continue to wear the current pants option.

Q: For girls in 5th grade, if they must transition to the jumper or skirt option, and choose the middle school skirt, should they wear the peterpan collar selected to go with the jumper or should they also transition to the buttondown?  The question is still the same if the pants are still an option.

A: While either blouse would be acceptable under the grandfather clause, from a point of style, fifth grade girls choosing to wear the middle school skirt (one year special exception) or pants would be encouraged to wear the buttondown collar blouse.

Kindergarten Screening

The Early Prevention of School Failure Screening for Kindergarten applicants will take place on Monday, May 2nd & Monday, May 9th.  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.

New Student Referral Program

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 the New 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!

Race for Education Volunteer Opportunities

The Race for Education is about to begin its Record Keeping phase.  Anyone interested in volunteering should complete and return the volunteer form, linked below, or call or email Beth Ross at 703-753-1740elizabeth.ross@comcast.net

Correction to Last Week’s Chess Club Announcement

Dylan Crow’s name was inadvertently left out in last week’s Chess Club announcement.  Dylan (3A) fought hard in the Montclair Scholastic Chess Tournament on Saturday, March 26th and won a game in the last round of the tournament.  Congratulations Dylan on demonstrating team spirit and courteous sportsmanship and on winning a game in the last round!

Spirit News

The sun is shining. The flowers are blooming and the big spring effort to beautify the landscaping is nearing completion. With just 19 days left until Easter we’re making a big push to finish it this weekend so that the grounds can look as nice as possible during the beautiful upcoming celebrations of Easter, First Communion, Confirmation and Crowning of Mary. Do you enjoy being outdoors or need to complete service hours or earn points for parents!  Hours and points need to be earned this month and here’s an easy way to get them. Join us this next Saturday, April 9th from 9 am -12 pm or for however long fits with your schedule. Everyone is welcome and no experience is necessary, however, children younger than 6th grade need adult chaperones. If you’d like to help but this timeframe doesn’t work for you, please contact Holly Crocker at 703 330-8329 or via email to thcrock@comcast.net to make special arrangements. What we’ve completed so far looks beautiful. Thank you so much to everyone who has helped with this special project so far.  Father Bob, Mr. Conroy, the teachers and staff, and Campus Beautification team leaders really appreciate all of your efforts!

Mark your calendars! Our annual skate party is on April 28th from 6-8:30 pm at the Skate-n-Fun Zone.This year we are trying something new and doing it during Spring Break so that folks can take advantage of the full skating time and not have to worry about going to school the next day. Also new this year is the ability to invite friends and neighbors that are not members of All Saints. This way you can have the best of both worlds and skate with your friends from all walks of life. The cost is $3.75 for admission, $4.25 for skate rental (personal skates are welcome), $2 for Laser Storm and $3 for a new Play Zone. Have dinner there and eat a large cheese pizza and a pitcher of soda for $15.99/$16.99 for a pepperoni pizza. We also need adult chaperones so if you’d like to volunteer please contact Holly Crocker at 703 30-8329 or thcrock@comcast.net.

News & Invitations from JP the Great Catholic High School!

1. Summer Camps! Join us for summer fun with our instructional sports and enrichment camps.

  • Click Here for Camp Flyer!
  • Click here for Camp Registration Form!
  • Need more info? Please email: camps@jpthegreat.org

2. Palm Sunday Family Event at JP the Great

Celebrate Palm Sunday and help area youth attend World Youth Day by joining us for Hosanna Dayon Palm Sunday, April 17, from 12pm – 3:00pm. A fun and faith-filled afternoon that includes lunch, games, a dramatic presentation of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, an Easter egg hunt, and more! Tickets are $5/per person or $20/family. Please RSVP: Hosannaday@jpthegreat.org.

3. Open House – May 17 from 7 – 8:30pm. All are welcome to attend our Open House, especially 5 – 7th graders! Come check out where you might be going to high school! For more information, please visit www.jpthegreat.org or email: info@jpthegreat.org

Calendar Change ~ ½ Day in May Rescheduled

The half day of school published in our calendar for Monday, May 9th has been moved to Friday, May 6th.  In light of the fact that a large number of students in grades 4-8 will be attending the Band Trip on May 6th, from an instructional standpoint it makes good sense to move the half day to this date.  The EPSF Screening is still scheduled for Monday, May 9th.  As such, there will be no Pre-K or Kindergarten classes on that day as previously announced.

Upcoming Events

Friday, April 8th School Mass (8:30 a.m.)

Sacrament of Reconciliation ~ Grade 2 (9:30 a.m.)

Stations of the Cross ~ Grades 3-5 (2:00 p.m.)

3rd Quarter Report Cards distributed to students

Saturday, April 9th Diocesan Science Fair (Paul VI High School)

Alumni Celebration (4:00-7:00 p.m.)

Monday, April 11th Week of Terra Nova testing

Thursday, April 14th 8th Grade Field Trip to Annapolis (8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.)

Enrollment Management Meeting (Art Room/7:00 p.m.)

Friday, April 15th School Mass (8:30 a.m.)

Stations of the Cross ~ Grades 6-8 (2:00 p.m.)

Spirit Activity: Captain Pell’s (2:00-11:00 p.m.)