Principal's August Letter to Families

Dear Parents and Friends of All Saints,

Summer Greetings!  I hope this letter finds you and your family well as you continue to enjoy the more leisurely pace of the summer months.  With the turn of another page of the calendar, we are reminded that the start of a new year is just around the corner.  With this in mind, I wish to share with you some important information relative to the beginning of the year.

To begin with, I wish to extend a special word of welcome to those families who have just joined our All Saints community.  We are delighted that you chosen a Catholic education for your children and even more pleased that you have decided to partner with All Saints in this endeavor.  Again, welcome to our All Saints family!

Much has occurred throughout the building during the weeks of summer.  The following is a brief summary of projects completed in preparation for the new year.

  • Interior Painting – Both the new and original wings of the school have been newly painted, including classrooms, hallways and offices.
  • ACTIV Boards – An ACTIV Board system has been installed in both the music and art rooms.  With the completion of this project, there is now an interactive electronic white board in all classrooms.
  • ACTIV Inspire (software upgrade) – All ACTIV Board systems have been upgraded to the newest version of software, ACTIV Inspire.
  • Destiny Library (software upgrade) – This latest version of Follett software will, in the words of Mrs. Coyle, “ transform our school library into a virtual knowledge center that drives information literacy and connects students with 21st Century Learning tools”.  As students and parents will be able to search the All Saints Library OPAC system for information from anywhere at anytime, this new software will allow families to access our library beyond “normal operating hours”.   With the Title Peek feature, students will even be able to access online the first chapter of new titles in our collection.
  • Edline – During the first quarter of the year, this website solution will be launched at All Saints, providing middle school parents with real-time access to their child’s grades. Additionally, other features of this web-based portal will provide enhanced communications between parents and teachers.  An introduction and overview of the new system will be provided to middle school parents at Back to School Night on September 15th.   Note: Edline will be utilized only in the middle school grades during the 2011-2012 school year with the possibility of expansion into the lower grades to be determined next spring.
  • Cafeteria Software – A software package that will allow automation of some tasks in the cafeteria program as well as the online purchase of lunch tickets will be installed and tested this month.  It is our hope that these new features will provide greater convenience for parents and an even more efficient food service program.


I want to specifically thank the PTO for their generous support of these projects.  It is through the fundraising of the past school year that the PTO has been able to fully cover the cost of the ACTIV Board installations as well as the library software upgrade.

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As announced during the spring, we are pleased to welcome the following educators who will be joining our faculty for the 2011-2012 school year.

Mrs. Andrea Doherty (1st Grade)

Mrs. Doherty earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology & Elementary Education from Immaculata University in Pennsylvania.  She began her teaching career at Saint Peter Cathedral School in Wilmington, Delaware where she taught first grade from 2006-2008.  After relocating to northern Virginia, she has worked as a special needs instructor at Corpus Christi School in Falls Church.  With an undergraduate concentration in special education, she has a strong understanding of the diverse needs of learners and the importance of differentiation.  With a great love of her faith and a passion for the teaching process, Mrs. Doherty will be a wonderful addition to our primary team.

Mrs. Lorena Dorsey (3rd Grade Long-Term Sub)

Mrs. Dorsey is a veteran of our diocese, having taught at St. Theresa School in Ashburn for thirteen years.   She has experience teaching at a variety of grade levels and spent four years as a third grade teacher in the school.  During her time at St. Theresa, Mrs. Dorsey distinguished herself as a master teacher and was exceptionally well regarded by the school community.  She is a 2010 Recipient of the Distinguished Teacher of the Year Award for the Diocese of Arlington and was nominated that same year for the Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award sponsored by theWashington Post.  With a high degree of competency, a joyful approach to learning, and a commitment to fostering a faith environment, Mrs. Dorsey will ensure that the fine work begun by Mrs. Johnson in our third grade program over the course of the past several years will continue during her absence.

Mrs. Jennifer Honkus (5th Grade)

Mrs. Honkus earned her Master of Arts Degree in Education from the University of Phoenix.  For the past two years she has been employed as a 3rd grade teacher at St. Theresa in Ashburn and is excited to continue her career at All Saints, a location much nearer her home.  With prior work experience in the field of criminal justice, she brings great perspective to her classroom, seeking always to inspire her students to make good choices.  With a goal-oriented approach and a high degree of confidence, Mrs. Honkus will not only be a strong teacher, but a great role model for the students in our 5th grade program.

Mrs. Christina Brown (Middle School Math)

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.

Miss Nichole Dalusung (Music)

All Saints is pleased to welcome back Miss Nichole Dalusung as music teacher and director of the Schola for the 2011-2012 academic year.  Having built a beautiful program during her years in our school, it is a blessing for us that she has decided to return to continue the good work she has previously begun.

Miss Mary Simms (Spanish)

Miss Simms is a graduate of the University of Illinois where she earned a Bachelor of Education Degree with a concentration in Language Arts.  Following her graduation, she spent three years teaching second grade at St. Roberto Institute in Mexico where she was immersed in the Spanish language.  In 2008 she began employment at Blessed Sacrament School in Illinois where she developed and implemented a Spanish curriculum for grades K-8.  In addition to her educational experience, Miss Simms has also worked as a bilingual coordinator and a translator for the United States Department of Agriculture.  Miss Simms was highly regarded in her previous school for her creativity, classroom effectiveness and the rapport she established with parents and students alike.

As you prepare for the beginning of the new school year, I hope that the following information will prove helpful.

Orientation Day for Students in Grades K-8 (Friday, August 26th from 9:00 a.m. to noon)

This day provides you and your child the opportunity to meet teachers and visit classrooms.  The classrooms will be open for visits until 11:00 a.m. while cafeteria ticket sales and distribution of information will continue in the gym until noon.    On Orientation Day, parents/visitors are invited to park in either the front or rear parking lots.

(Although the Pre-Kindergarten program will host a separate open house event, parents are welcome to visit the gym to pick-up important information at this time.)

¨       New families are invited to arrive early on Orientation Day.  All faculty and staff will be available to greet you and guide you through the school beginning at 9:00 a.m.  Returning families are asked to begin arriving at 9:30 a.m.

¨       Throughout the course of the morning, you are asked to keep your children with you at all times since the teachers will be occupied with meeting new students and will not be available to supervise children.

First Day of School for Grades K-8 (Monday, August 29th)

8:10     Tardy Bell

8:15     Classes Begin

Since you will already have had the opportunity on Orientation Day to meet teachers and visit classrooms, you are asked to drop off your children in the carpool line by 8:05 a.m.  Students will enter the building via the breezeway connecting the new facility to the original wing and report directly to their homerooms. The breezeway doors will open at 7:50, at which time the cars in the front of the carpool line will begin dropping off students at the direction of patrols and the supervising staff.  Any child dropped off before 7:50 a.m. must be escorted by a parent or guardian to the Extended Day Program in Father Kelley Hall.

Dismissal will occur at noon on Monday for students in grades Kindergarten through eight. Dismissal for grades 1-8 will be at 3:00 p.m. for the remainder of the week.  However, the Kindergarten program will dismiss at noon for the entire first week of school.


Virginia law requires that parents of students enrolling in pre-kindergarten, kindergarten or first grade provide documentation of appropriate immunization for measles, mumps, and rubella.  All children who have not received a complete series of hepatitis B vaccine will be required to receive such immunization prior to entering the 6th grade.  Additionally, in accordance with the immunization requirements for the State of Virginia, all 6th grade students must receive a Tdap booster before returning to school in the fall. Please be aware that providing documentation of immunization is a necessary condition for enrollment at All Saints. Those students who have not received proper immunization will not be permitted to attend school. Should you have any questions about immunization requirements, please contact our school nurse, Mrs. Antunes, at 703-368-4400.

Last year we were informed that the Virginia Department of Health no longer provides hard copies of the school entrance health form to private/parochial schools, physician offices, and day care/child care facilities in response to state agency financial cutbacks.

Effective last year, families and schools are only able to access the MCH 213F (School Entrance Health Form) on-line.  Links to the form can be found on the Diocesan website on the following pages:

The form can also be downloaded from the Virginia Department of Health web site                           

Carpool Information

Parents will once again be assigned one of five parking areas for afternoon dismissal based upon where their last name occurs in the alphabet.  Parking assignments for the new year will be posted on our school website in the coming weeks.  Additionally, copies of the procedures for afternoon dismissal as well as parking assignments will be available on Orientation Day.  All parents are asked to review these items prior to the first day of school.  Parents whose children will be walking to and from school are asked to provide this information in writing to the office on Orientation Day.


Opening of School Mass

At 10:00 a.m. on Friday, September 2nd we will celebrate the beginning of the new year with a school-wide Mass.  All parents are cordially invited to join us for this liturgy as we pray for God’s blessings on our community in the year ahead.


2011-2012 School Calendars

New calendars may be picked up on Orientation Day.  We are grateful to Mrs. Laurie Short who again this year designed our school calendar.  The calendar was printed by JM Gaske with the financial support of local businesses that purchased adverstisements included in the publication.


Parent/Student Handbook

Information related to the updated student handbook will be issued to all families via upcoming school newsletters and posted on our website.


School Supplies

Supply lists were distributed in the spring in order that you might take advantage of sales during the summer.  Newly registered families received one at the time of acceptance.  Parents who ordered supplies through the school-organized supply project may pick them up on Orientation Day.  All students are asked to come to school prepared with supplies on the first day of classes.



Students in grades K-8 are required to wear the full school uniform and at designated school functions.  The following is a summary of the new uniform and related policies.


Girls Uniform (Grades K-5)

Navy, Gold & White Plaid Drop Waist Jumper

White Long Sleeve Peterpan Collar Blouse (Spring/Fall: White Short Sleeve Peterpan Collar Blouse)

Navy Crew Neck Cardigan Sweater

Black Athletic Shoes (Optional Shoe: Black Mary Jane Strap Shoe)


Girls Uniform (Grades 6-8)

Navy, Gold & White Plaid Wrap Around Kilt

White Long Sleeve Buttondown Collar Blouse (Spring/Fall: White Short Sleeve Polo Shirt)

Navy with White Trim V-Neck Sweater Vest

Black Penny Loafer Shoe (Available for purchase through Flynn & O’Hara or through the vendor of your choice)


Boys Uniform (Grades K-5)

Grey Pleated Twill Pants

White Long Sleeve Buttondown Collar Shirt (Spring/Fall: White Short Sleeve Polo Shirt)

Grey Tie (Mass Days and Special Occasions)

Navy V-Neck Sweater Vest

Black Athletic Shoes


Boys Uniform (Grades 6-8)

Grey Poly/Wool Dress Pants

White Long Sleeve Buttondown Collar Shirt (Spring/Fall: White Short Sleeve Polo Shirt)

Navy/Grey Striped Tie

Navy with White Trim V-Neck Sweater Vest

Black Oxford Shoe (Available for purchase through Flynn & O’Hara or through the vendor of your choice)


A significant change for the 2011-2012 academic year is that students enrolled in kindergarten will now wear the full school uniform.  The rationale for this change begins with the recognition that the kindergartners attend a full day program and that we wish for them to feel a great sense of belonging to our school by wearing the same uniform as the rest of the student body. There is no change to the Pre-Kindergarten program.  Students in this program will continue to wear their own clothes in accordance with the guidelines provided to Pre-K parents.


With the selection of a more formal uniform, the committee decided to select shoes that would better coordinate with the overall appearance and styling of the updated look.  While the black athletic shoe remains the standard for all students in grades Kindergarten through five, girls in those grades may opt to wear the black Mary Jane available for purchase through Flynn & O’Hara.  In the middle school, the committee selected a black, rubber-soled penny loafer as the uniform shoe for girls and a black, leather oxford as the standard for boys.  Both of these shoes may be purchased through Flynn & O’Hara or through the vendor of your choice.  Students in the middle school will continue to bring athletic shoes of their choice to school on days when changing into the P.E. uniform.


The old uniform worn during the 2010-2011 academic year will be grandfathered for one year.  This means that all students may continue to wear the existing uniform through the 2011-2012 academic year.  All students will be expected to wear the new uniform beginning with the 2012-2013 academic year.  The one exception to this will be for those students entering 7thgrade this fall for whom the current uniform will be grandfathered for two years.


For students entering fifth grade for the 2011-2012 academic year, there will be a special one year privilege extended to girls wishing to wear the middle school kilt.  Alternatively, girls in fifth grade may also continue to wear the old fifth grade kilt.  Fifth grade boys are extended the option of wearing the middle school pants during the transition year.

The following is a description of the old summer uniform.

Summer Uniform: This uniform is worn from the first day of school through the month of October and from April 2nd to the final day of school.  All of the items listed below, with the exception of socks, are to be purchased from Flynn and O’Hara Uniform Company. (703-503-5966).

¨       Khaki shorts

¨       Navy blue or white golf shirts

¨       White socks (Please note: Students are required to wear crew socks that can be folded over at the ankle.  Ankle socks are not acceptable.)

Optional –Khaki slacks (boys and girls, Gr.1-8), Khaki skirts (girls, Gr.5-8)


P.E. Uniform

Students in grades 6-8 “dress out” for P.E. class.  Middle school students are asked to bring their P.E. uniform, socks and athletic shoes to school on days when they will attend P.E. class.

The following is a summary of the P.E. uniform for students in grades K-8.

Light Steel Gym Tee Shirt with Silk Screen Logo

Navy Micromesh Nylon Gym Shorts with Silk Screen Logo

Navy Sweatshirt with Silk Screen Logo (Grades K-5)

Navy Sweatshirt with Embroidered Logo (Grades 6-8)


New Textbook Policy

In recent years, on a limited basis we have been able to provide duplicate copies of student textbooks to students with special learning needs and those who might benefit from this particular accommodation.  With the increase in student enrollment, these extra textbooks are no longer available to loan to families for this purpose.  Subsequently, effective this year, families who wish to have access to an extra set of textbooks will be asked to purchase them directly from the publisher or a bookseller.  For this reason, we have compiled a master list of all student textbooks, including ISBN numbers and publisher information, so that those families who wish to purchase a set of books for use at home may do so.  The textbook list can be found our website.  Many of the books we use are available at reduced pricing at used book sites.

Criminal Background Checks for Volunteers

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 might visit the classroom for a special presentation once per year need not complete the background check process.  However, 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 may request a packet of forms from the front office.


SMART Tuition Fees

Families enrolled in the SMART Tuition Program are reminded that there is a $43.00 processing fee each year that is incorporated in the first billing statement.

Information for Kindergarten Families

Parent Orientation Meeting: Parents who have a Kindergartner starting at All Saints this year are invited to a special orientation meeting on Thursday, August 25th at 7:00 p.m. in the art room.  Mrs.Marsha Vice and Mrs. Katherine Izquierdo will present an overview of the program and will be available to answer questions.

Information for Pre-Kindergarten Families

Parent Orientation Meeting: Parents who have a Pre-Kindergartner beginning at All Saints are invited to attend a special meeting on Thursday, September 1st at 7:00 p.m.  Mrs. Kardaras, Director of the Pre-Kindergarten, will highlight pertinent information about our program.  In addition, the rest of the program staff will be in attendance and available to answer any questions that you might have.

Pre-Kindergarten Open House: On Tuesday, September 6th there will be a special Open House for all Pre-Kindergarten students and their parents from 9:00-11:00 a.m. for those enrolled in the morning session and from 12:30-2:30 p.m. for those in the afternoon session.  The program will officially begin on Wednesday, September 7th.

Pre-Kindergarten students do not wear a uniform.  Rather, they are asked to wear comfortable, casual clothing that is conducive to their participation in the various activities that will occur each day.

ø  Back-to-School Night will be held on Thursday, September 8th at 7:00 p.m. in the gym. Following an opening presentation, teachers in grades one through five will present an overview of their individual programs.  A separate Back-to School program will be held for Middle School parents on Thursday, September 15th beginning at 7:00 p.m.   These sessions will provide parents with important information about our many programs and our plans for the 2011-2012 academic year.  For this reason, at least one parent from each family is required to attend the sessions that pertain to their child.

Remember to mark your calendar for the 7th Annual Welcome Back Barbecue hosted by the PTO.  This popular and well-attended event provides a wonderful opportunity for families to visit with friends old and new as we begin another year together.  Once again the event will be catered by Pizzeria Uno and is free of charge, courtesy of the PTO.  The event begins at 5:30 p.m. on August 26th and will take place on the parking lot and grassy area located behind the school. Parents are asked to park in the front lot and to either walk around the school or pass through the breezeway entrances when arriving for the event.  Families are asked to bring lawn chairs and a cooler full of favorite drinks.  (Non-alcoholic beverages only)  Although there is no need to RSVP, should you have any questions or wish to volunteer to assist with the event, please contact Mrs. Janene Shaw at 703-330-4487.

In the days preceding the opening of school, should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at 703-368-4400.  Enjoy the remaining weeks of summer!


David E. Conroy, Jr.