The Sentinel – Volume 12, Issue 7

Seek Christ in one another; welcome Him into your heart.

Principal’s Message

Recent news reports have drawn our attention to ongoing efforts across the country to address the challenge of bullying.  While October is the month during which schools unite nationally in fostering “bully-free zones”, this is a commitment that we live out throughout the year at All Saints.  Through our Virtue Program and the full integration of our faith across the curriculum, students are encouraged to develop habits of respect, kindness, and compassion.  Over the course of years, these traits become embedded and part of the fabric of our students’ lives.  Nevertheless, it is vitally important that we explicitly remind our students of the dangers and consequences of bullying.  As such, this is an opportune moment for us to discuss this important issue with our students and to assess the progress we are making in striving to create a “bully-free” environment.

We now know and recognize that the challenge of bullying in our country is not going to simply disappear.  For this reason, our families and Catholic schools are called to be counter-cultural, taking a clear stand against these behaviors.  It is our responsibility to guide the children in recognizing that each individual is created in the very image and likeness of God.  As such, respect and reverence should surround all interactions.  Similarly, the complexities and risks associated with technology in the 21stCentury are a part of our day to day existence.  It remains our responsibility to teach the children how to navigate these information highways, always using technology in a manner that shows respect to one another and God’s creation.

This week I would like to invite all parents to participate in an anonymous, online survey for the purpose of assessing the level of bullying at All Saints Catholic School.  We estimate that it should take approximately 5-10 minutes to complete the survey.  Students in grades 3-8 will complete a corresponding survey during their computer class beginning this week.

Parents are asked to complete the survey by Friday, October 21st.    In advance, we thank you for your participation in our efforts to both assess our current climate and to establish benchmarks for future reference.  As this will be our third year of distributing a survey to parents on the topic of bullying, we look forward to analyzing the data to determine patterns and trends in our community and sharing the results with you in the weeks ahead.

If perhaps you are wondering what you can do as a parent to further support this initiative, I would offer the following suggestions:

1)       Take some time this week to review the topic of bullying with your son/daughter.  Help them to understand that the repeated, targeted nature of bullying is very hurtful, often resulting in wounds that last years, and in some cases a lifetime.  Help them to understand that all students have a right and expectation to be able to come to school each day to learn in an environment free of fear.

2)       Remind your child that, should they ever encounter an instance of bullying, it is vitally important that they share this information with a faculty or staff member.  If for any reason they are uncomfortable doing so, please contact your child’s teacher directly.  It is only with this type of information that we are able to take steps to help prevent future occurrences.

3)       Spend some time discussing with your child the practical steps that he/she can take to discourage bullying.  For example, sharing strategies or even role-playing appropriate responses can help to empower students not to laugh…not to participate…and to take a stand whenever they witness an instance of bullying.

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During the Principals’ Retreat last week, we began our time together on Friday morning with the Prayer of St. Francis.  Our facilitator pointed out that this is a wonderful prayer that we can turn to amidst any number of situations or challenges.  I can’t help but think of it as we recommit our school to being a place of peace and joy founded on the very best traditions of our faith.


Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:

where there is hatred, let me sow love;

where there is injury, pardon;

where is doubt, faith;

where there is despair, hope;

where there is darkness, light;

and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek

to be consoled, as to console;

to be understood, as to understand;

to be loved, as to love.

For it is giving that we receive;

it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,

and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.


Catholic High School Options & Deferred Acceptance program at Seton

In the Diocese of Arlington we are blessed with an outstanding selection of high school programs:Bishop Denis J. O’Connell (Arlington), Bishop Ireton (Alexandria), Paul VI (Fairfax), Seton (Manassas) and the recently opened Pope John Paul the Great (Dumfries).  Although high school may be many years down the path for your family, we encourage you now to begin planning for the next step in your child’s Catholic education.

Of the high schools in our diocese, Seton School is unique as it offers a program that begins at the 7thgrade.  For a number of years, Mrs. Carroll, the principal, has graciously extended to the students of All Saints the option of deferred acceptance.  Through this arrangement, students at All Saints who apply for admission to Seton for their 7th or 8th grade years may defer their acceptance until 9th grade.  This, of course, is dependent upon each student continuing to meet the academic and behavioral criteria for acceptance at Seton.  It is important that we stress that students who wish to attend Seton School for their high school years are strongly encouraged to pursue this deferred acceptance option.  Students who wait until their 8th grade year to submit an application are less likely to be accepted due to the fact that the school maintains a full enrollment at the junior high level.  The benefit of this partnership is that our students are able to complete their elementary and middle school years at All Saints, enjoying all of the opportunities for leadership, while being guaranteed a space for freshman year.

We hope this information is helpful to you as you begin to plan for your child’s high school education. Should you have any questions or if we can be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact the school office.

SCA to Host Red Ribbon Week

Next week the Student Council Association has planned a number of special events in support of our school-wide celebration of Red Ribbon Week, an annual opportunity for our students to take a stand against drug and alcohol abuse.  Please see the accompanying flyer for more information about this weeklong event, including a dress down day scheduled for Thursday, October 20th.  Thank you to the SCA for all of their efforts in encouraging our students to live drug free!

PTO General Assembly Meeting Rescheduled

The next PTO General Assembly Meeting has been rescheduled for Wednesday, October 26th to coincide with a special parish presentation on the implementation of the New Roman Missal.  Look for additional details on this special event in next week’s newsletter.

2nd Grade Sacraments Update

The Jesus Day experience for 2nd grade students will take place on Saturday, March 10th rather than March 17th as published in our school calendar.  The Sacrament of First Reconciliation has been scheduled for Saturday, February 25th and Saturday, March 3rd.

Veterans Day Celebration

Join us as our school community honors the commitment of the men and women who have served our country in the United States Armed Forces. We cordially invite all active duty, reserve, former and retired military personnel to attend our school Mass on Wednesday, November 9th at 8:30 a.m. Following the Mass, there will be a brief ceremony in the gym followed by a reception for our honored guests in Father Kelley Hall.  In the weeks ahead the students will receive a packet of information regarding our Veterans Wall Display, an annual tradition by which we show our pride and gratitude for the sacrifices of those in our community who have served our nation through military service.

Diocese of Arlington ~ Programs for Prospective Teachers

COME JOIN US! Are you interested in teaching for the Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Arlington? There are 43 schools within the Diocese offering instructional programs for all ages from pre-school through high school.  Perhaps your certification has expired, or perhaps you are thinking of changing careers or returning to teaching after a period of absence.  Do you have questions about qualifications to teach?  Would you like to learn more about the mission of teaching in a Catholic School in a nurturing and caring, Christ-centered environment?  Please come to one of the following Information Programs for Prospective Teachers scheduled throughout the Diocese and meet with Sister Patricia Helene, IHM, former Assistant Superintendent of Schools for the Diocese and current head of the Marymount University Catholic School Leadership Program, and Elizabeth A. Roach, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction and Personnel from the Diocesan Office of Catholic Schools, to learn more about the opportunities and advantages of teaching in our Catholic Schools.  No registration is required.


St. Thomas More Cathedral School

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

105 North Thomas Street

Arlington, VA 22203

703-528-1547                                                                        

St. Francis of Assisi School              

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

18825 Fuller Heights Road

Triangle, VA  22172

703-221-3868

All Saints School                                

Thursday, November 17, 2011

1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

9294 Stonewall Road

Manassas, VA  20110

703-368-4400


 

A note from the School Nurse to Parents

We have had several confirmed cases of Strep Throat in our school, on both wings.  The time frame for symptoms to appear is 2-5 days after exposure.  Symptoms include sore throat, bright red throat with or without pustules, difficulty swallowing due to the sore throat, stomachache and vomiting, headache, and possibly, but not necessarily, a fever of 101 degrees or greater.  It may also cause a flat pink rash on the body.

Although symptoms subside within 4 days even without treatment, it is very important to start treatment within 10 days of the onset of symptoms, and to complete the full course of antibiotics to prevent rheumatic fever, a rare but serious complication.  Other complications that can occur include an ear infection, acute glomerulonephritis, or an abscess on the tonsils.

For more information, visit the CDC’s website: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dbmd/diseaseinfo/groupastreptococcal_g.htm

It is of utmost importance that if your child complains of a sore throat, headache or has a fever, to keep him/her home.  This will help keep our school children and staff healthy and safe from infection.   If you have any questions or concerns, please call me at 703-368-4400, ext.207.

Casino & Auction Night

Efforts by the Casino & Auction Team to solicit donations from area businesses are well underway.  If you would like to suggest a business for the team to contact for donations, please email the business name and city to us.  If you have a person we can address directly, please include their name.  Email your suggestions to allsaintspto@gmail.com.  Thanks!

3rd Annual Greater Manassas Veterans Day Parade

The 3rd Annual Greater Manassas Veterans Day Parade will take place on Saturday, November 12th at 11:00 a.m. in Old Town Manassas.  Following the parade will be a ‘Welcome Home’ party at the Harris Pavilion which will focus on our Vietnam War Veterans.  Entertainment scheduled is 50s, 60s and 70s music, dance troupes, military displays of vehicles and equipment, food and beverage vendors.  Web site is www.vetpar.org

Upcoming Events

Friday, October 14th                         School Mass (8:30 a.m.)

                                  PTO sponsored “Healthy Breakfast with the Principal” (9:20 a.m.)

                                  Middle School Movie Night (Gym/6:00 p.m.)

Monday, October 17th                      SCA sponsored Red Ribbon Week

Wednesday, October 19th                 Gift of Human Sexuality Presentation #2 – Grades 6-8

                                  Pre-K Parent Tea (10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.)

Thursday, October 20th                    Red Ribbon Week Dress Down Day (see flyer for details)

                                  Enrollment Management Team Meeting (7:00 p.m.)

Friday, October 21st                         School Mass (8:30 a.m.)

Monday, October 24th                      Picture Make-up Day

 

Comings home with each student today:

  • Individual School Pictures

Links:

  • Red Ribbon Week Flyer ~  http://www.allsaintsvaschool.org/index/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2011/10/RedRibbonWeekFlyer2011.pdf
  • Veterans letter, survey and flyer  ~ http://www.allsaintsvaschool.org/index/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2011/10/veterans-letter-flyer.pdf
  • Running with the Saints 5K ~ http://www.allsaintsvaschool.org/index/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2011/10/runner-registration-form.pdf
  • ·         Solicitation Letter for the Running with the Saints 5K ~ http://www.allsaintsvaschool.org/index/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2011/10/5Ksolicitation_letter.pdf