The Sentinel – Volume 11, Issue 38

Living Stones on the Pathway to Heaven…

Message from the Principal

Last week we received the results of the standardized testing program for students in grades two through seven who participated in this assessment during April.  In addition to providing an objective measure of each student’s level of mastery in reading, math and language arts, the data is beneficial for the planning of future instruction.  The teachers have already received copies of class summaries as well as individual student reports, both of which they will reference during the month of June when they complete the Planning for Instruction process for the 2011-2012 academic year.  Using this approach, the teachers will identify those students who obtained full mastery, partial mastery or not-mastery for each objective of the assessment.  After analyzing trends and patterns, they will then identify 2-3 instructional goals for the new year.  Through the years this process has enabled the faculty to narrow the lense of instruction to more effectively meet the learning needs of each group of students.

A summary of test results can be found by following the links at the end of this newsletter.  Although we have had the results for only one week, I wish to offer a preliminary analysis and share some key insights.

It is very important to recognize that our students completed the Terra Nova, 3rd edition. This updated assessment includes revisions and reformatting that resulted in a new testing experience for students across the diocese.  As such, it is difficult to directly compare the test results from the current year with those from the previous.

During this first year of implementation, scores across the diocese dropped in nearly every area, in some cases by as many as 7-9 percentage points.  The scores for All Saints are consistent with this trend and reflect the fact that our students participated in a new assessment.  As a point of reference, I’ve provided a direct comparison between our students’ performance and the diocesan averages.  I believe this approach provides an objective benchmark by which we can measure the effectiveness of our program.

After review of the data, it is interesting to note that mathematics is now the strength of our school as evidenced by the fact that students in the elementary grades significantly surpassed the diocesan averages.  The continued success of the math program is a credit to the high quality of instruction in the classrooms that places emphasis on “computational fluency”, i.e. the ability of students to complete problems efficiently and accurately.  Complemented by opportunities for daily practice and reinforcement, our students gain both mastery and confidence in the fundamentals of mathematics.

With scores that lag slightly below the diocesan average, reading is an area for specific analysis and reflection.  With a well-established reading culture in place, as seen through the success of theAccelerated Reader program and other innovative reading initiatives, it will be important for us to gain a better understanding as to which aspects of this test are most challenging for our students.  This will be a task for the summer and a discussion point among the faculty as we plan for the new year.

Finally, I wish to provide an important perspective.  When we applied for the Blue Ribbon School of Excellence Award in 2009, the cut score for eligibility at that time was 75 percentile for students in the highest grade tested.  We should take great pride in the fact that most grade levels this year surpassed this benchmark in each area of the test.  Objectively, our students scored exceptionally well when compared with the national norm group.

Ahead lays the opportunity to build upon this success story and to strengthen even further the academic program for which our school has gained recognition.  I look forward to working with the faculty in support of this cause as we begin the annual process of identifying learning goals for the year ahead.  Most importantly, I am very proud of our teachers for their commitment to excellence and I wish to congratulate our students for another successful year of learning.

Field Day ~ Parking Information

Tomorrow our students will gather for Field Day from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on the grounds of Linton Hall School.  As Linton Hall School is still in session and will be celebrating their Pre-Kindergarten Graduation, it is important that we give careful attention to the following procedures.

Parents who will be participating in the Field Day events are asked to park on the outer edge of the circular driveway in front of the Monastery.  As in prior years, when the circle is full, parents will be asked to park in the grass on both sides of the entranceway leading to the school.  Please note: The individual parking spaces located directly behind the school are reserved for Linton Hall parents who will be attending the Pre-Kindergarten event.  Linton Hall faculty and staff will be parking on the far end of the basketball courts prior to our arrival.

Field Day Lunch Orders

Families who have not yet submitted orders and payment for lunch on Field Day (June 2nd) are asked to do so by Friday of this week.

Flynn & O’Hara ~ New Uniform Purchases

Beginning this summer, Flynn & O’Hara will offer two “priority days” for our school at their Fairfax store. From 9:00 a.m. until noon on July 12th and July 21st, Flynn & O’Hara will provide special staff support and guidance to families from our community.  While the store will remain open for customers from other schools, Flynn & O’Hara will make a special effort to prepare for and accommodate the needs of families from All Saints.  On these days, Flynn & O’Hara will offer free shipping to customer’s homes for items not in stock.  (Please note: These priority days will replace the on-site sale day that has previously occurred during the first week of August.)

Student Council Election Results

Last Thursday twenty-eight students participated in an election for a variety of offices for the 2011-2012 leadership of the Student Council Association.  Congratulations to the following students who were elected by the students in grades four through seven.

President                                                                Bridget K.

Vice President                                                       Brandon M.

Secretary/Historian                                                Sidney Y.

School Spirit/Publicity                                           Nicole B.

Finance                                                                   Vivienne P.

Health, Safety & Ecology                                      Erika C.

Religious Activities/Academic Life                       Megan S.

Immunization & Health Records Requirements for 2011-2012

To the parents of Pre-K students arriving in Fall 2011:

Welcome!  My name is Mrs. Rosemary Antunes, RN, the School Nurse at All Saints. To get off on the right foot health-wise, the State requires parents of Pre-K students to submit the following:

1.        An immunization form must be in the child’s record by the date of the child’s admission.   The first day of Pre-K is Wednesday, September 7th, 2011.

2.        Immunizations must be recorded and dated on either the Health Dept. form (MCH 213F or MCH 213G) or a physician’s form, include the child’s name, and be signed or stamped and dated by a licensed physician, the physician’s designee, or an official of a local health department.

3.        For all immunizations a child receives after 7/1/11, the form must contain a statement (typed or handwritten) that the child is adequately immunized.

The current Form MCH213G is available at the following website: http://www.vahealth.org/childadolescenthealth/schoolhealth/forms.htm

If your child has any chronic health conditions, such as food or substance allergy or asthma, the necessary forms are available under “Education,” and the “Parents” portion of the Catholic Diocese of Arlington website. Click on “Forms.”  Be sure to submit an Authorization Form for the medication along with the Action Plan for the condition.  All medications must be brought in by the parents, not by the child.  If a child needs an Epi-Pen, please bring two — one for the class, one for the Nurse’s Clinic.

To the parents of Kindergarten students arriving in Fall 2011:

A new Physical Exam is necessary, dated less than one year from the time of admission. Kindergarten begins on Monday, August 29th.  This Exam should be on, or accompanied by, the Virginia Department of Health form MCH 213G.  (See the website above for the form).  Tip: Print out the MCH213G and hand it to the physician before the physical exam for this year, if possible, so as to avoid an additional charge to complete it out outside the office visit.  The Physical must include all the immunizations required by the Commonwealth of Virginia as indicated by the chart on the following website:

http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/recs/schedules/downloads/child/0-6yrs-schedule-pr.pdf

Points for Parents Program ~ Year End Totals

Families were asked to submit points for parents or make payment for outstanding points by Wednesday, May 25th.  Since that deadline has past, you are no longer able to add points into the system through the website.  If you have not already done so, please submit payments to the school office for any outstanding points. If there is a dispute of the amount of points or you have more points to add to your total, please send a note to Mrs. Irene Kruppa.

Parents of Rising 6th Graders and New Middle School Students

Please check the school website for tips and suggestions for a smooth orientation day and first day of school.  Just click on the following link for information including links to the handout “Organizing Materials” and an “Orientation Day Checklist”:

http://www.allsaintsvaschool.org/academics/middle-school/new-middle-school-families/

PTO Elections

The PTO Nominating Committee is pleased to announce the results of the elections for officers for the upcoming school year. Thank you to all who were willing to serve, and to all who took the time to submit nominations and ballots. The PTO could not operate without your generous cooperation. We look forward to a great year!

President-Elect: Christian Cobb

Secretary: Joe Ortiz

Treasurer: Elissa Hackerson

Spirit Event Committee Update from Megan Davies

I wanted to thank everyone for coming out to the Chick-fil-A spirit event this past Thursday. We had a really good turnout and made over $248 for our PTO. Way to go All Saints! We have had some interest for joining the Spirit Event Committee. You are very welcome to join, just send me an email (meggie.davies@verizon.net) We are at an exciting time of planning for next year. If you would like to be at the grass-roots level of planning and organization, then please let me know.

Hey everyone! Can you believe the year is almost over? We are ending on a bang with a two for one Spirit Event!

Come on down and Putt it up with us at the Magic Putting Place and then top it off with some super delicious Shaved ice or ice cream from Nathan’s Dairy Bar!

At Magic Putting place, you pay $3 for 18 holes for the kids and 50% of the sales goes back to All Saints.  You can golf from 11am to 9pm on June 3rd.

Nathan’s will be serving up it’s fabulous shaved ice and awesome ice cream from 11am to 10pm and at Nathan’s 20% of your sale comes back to our fabulous All Saints.

So come on out and celebrate the end of an awesome year with friends! This two for one event is a great hole in one! See you there.

IMPORTANT REMINDERS

Summer Learning Program 2011

During the last few weeks the faculty has discussed the merits of a summer learning program. Recognizing that our curriculum during the school year is rigorous and that expectations are high for student learning, there is great value in the children having a respite during the months of summer.  On the other hand, studies have shown that students lose ground during the long vacation if not provided an opportunity to keep their skills sharp.  With these two perspectives in mind, as in prior years, the teachers have crafted a balanced plan specific for our school.  The following is a grade level summary of the Summer Learning Program.

(Note: Parents should select the summer learning assignments that correspond to the grade that their child will be entering in the fall.  For example, a student entering second grade would complete the Summer Book Program for rising 2nd graders.  A child entering third grade would complete the assignments outlined below for grades 3-5.)

Grade K-2           Summer Book (order SUMMER BOOK for next year’s grade level. For example: students in K will order SUMMBER BOOK for rising 1st graders.)

Ordering Information:             Summerbook Company

305 Lyndale Drive

Hartsville, SC 27804

1-877-684-8502 (Toll Free)

www.summerbookcompany.com

Grades 3-5             Math Log & 2 Accelerated Readers Books

(Note: Each student is required to keep a Math log in which they complete six hours of work over the course of the summer.  Students may refer to our school website for recommended activities and math based websites.  After reading two Accelerated Readerbooks, students are asked to create a book jacket for each story.  Each student will have an opportunity to present one of their books orally to the class next year.  These summer assignments will be due Friday of the first week of school and will be considered part of the first quarter participation grade.)

Grades 6-8             Read selections (one book for grades 6-7/two books for grade 8) from the Middle School Summer Reading List and complete one of three follow up activities per book as well as a Math Log.

(Note: An overview of the requirements for middle school students, i.e. the Summer Math Log, Math Log Instructions and Middle School Summer Reading List & Activities are included as links to this week’s newsletter and will also be available for review on our school website.)

Cafeteria Procedures

As we are approaching the end of the school year, please note: Middle school students are not permitted to charge lunch payments during the month of June.  If your middle school son/daughter does not have payment for lunch, he or she will receive a bologna & cheese sandwich.

Note:  June 3rd will be the final day to redeem the Race for Education prizes.

Thank you for your support of these end of year procedures.  Should you have any questions, please contact the cafeteria at 703-368-4400 (ext. 211).

Extended Day Program

Extended Day services will continue the next three weeks and be available before and after school through Wednesday, June 15th. There will be no Extended Day Program on Thursday, June 16th.  All students will dismiss at 10:30 a.m. following the Closing Mass & Awards Ceremony.  Please make arrangements for your children to be picked up if you anticipate being unavailable at that time.

Report Cards

Report cards and awards will be issued on the final day of school, June 16th.  Since the office will have a record of your child’s final grades at the close of the year, you may retain these cards.

Medications

All medications must be picked up from the clinic no later than Tuesday, June 14th. Since students are not authorized to carry medication, it is necessary for parents to visit the clinic to pick up medications prior to the close of the year.  Medications remaining after the final day will be discarded.

Summer Office Hours

The school office will remain open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. during the months of June and August.  The office will be closed during the month of July.  The office will reopen on Tuesday, August 2nd.  Should you need to contact school personnel during the summer months, please do not hesitate to leave a message on the answering machine.  We will make every effort to return your call in a timely manner.

Important Dates for the Upcoming Year

¨       Orientation Day (Students and parents are invited to visit the school, meet new teachers, and pick up supply orders.) – Friday, August 26th.

¨       7th Annual Back-to School Barbecue hosted by the PTO – Friday, August 26th, (5:30-7:30 p.m.)

¨       First Day of School ~ Noon Dismissal (Grades K-8) – Monday, August 29th

¨       First Day of Pre-Kindergarten – Wednesday, September 7th

VIRTUS Update Training Sessions

The next presentation of the “Protecting God’s Children” seminar, the four hour VIRTUS training session which is required for all who wish to become eligible to volunteer in the school, will take place on Saturday, June 11th beginning at 9:00 a.m. in Father Kelley Hall.

Spring Tuition Payments

As we approach the close of the school year, parents are reminded of the importance of making timely tuition payments.  With the final tuition payment due to the school during May, those families who have recently fallen behind schedule during this time of continued economic challenge are asked to use the first two weeks of June as an opportunity to pay any outstanding tuition or fees.  Please remember, prompt payment of tuition is essential for the school to remain financially strong and to be able to cover the continued expenses of utilities and salaries for our faculty and staff.

Upcoming Events

Wednesday, June 1st 2nd Grade Mexican Fiesta

Thursday, June 2nd Field Day at Linton Hall School (9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.)

Friday, June 3rd School Mass (8:30 a.m.)

Race for Education Celebration (awards assembly, pizza lunch & movies)

Spirit Activity: Nathan’s Ice Cream and Mini-Golf

Saturday, June 4th 8th Grade Algebra Exemption Exam

NJHS Scrabble Tournament (FKH/6:30-9:00 p.m.)

Monday, June 6th Middle School Demerit Free Breakfast (9:15 a.m.)

Tuesday, June 7th 4th Quarter Gold Medal Readers Celebration (1:30 p.m.)

PTO Executive Board Meeting (7:00 p.m.)

Wednesday, June 8th 8th Grade vs. Faculty Volleyball Game (2:00 p.m.)

Thursday, June 9th 2nd Grade Field Trip to the Basilica (8:00 a.m. – 2:30  p.m.)

1st Grade Ice Cream Party (1:15 p.m.)

Friday, June 10th Graduation Day

Pass it On Ceremony (church/9:30 a.m.)

Graduation Breakfast (10:00 a.m.)

Walk of Honor (11:00 a.m.)

Mass & Ceremony (7:00 p.m.)

Links:

  • Testing Charts ~ http://www.allsaintsvaschool.org/index/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2011/06/TestingCharts2010-2011.pdf
  • Information for Rising 6th & New Middle School Students ~ http://www.allsaintsvaschool.org/academics/middle-school/new-middle-school-families/
  • Invitation to the Parish Volunteer Reception ~ http://www.allsaintsvaschool.org/index/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2011/06/Volunteer-Reception-2011.pdf
  • Nathan’s Spirit Event Flyer ~ http://www.allsaintsvaschool.org/index/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2011/06/2011-06-04-Nathans-jp.jpg
  • Summer Learning Program-Go to this page and click on the grade level you are interested in. ~http://www.allsaintsvaschool.org/parents/summer-requirements-program/
  • Summer Learning Program/Middle School Reading List ~ http://www.allsaintsvaschool.org/index/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2011/05/2011_Middle_School_Summer_Reading.pdf
  • Scrabble Tournament Flyer ~  http://www.allsaintsvaschool.org/index/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2011/05/scrabbletournamentad.pdf