The Sentinel – Volume 12, Issue 14

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

Message from the Principal

This week I wish to provide you with an update regarding Mrs. Johnson’s health and our plans for the third grade program. Last week Mrs. Johnson received the first test results regarding the effectiveness of her chemotherapy treatments.  I am pleased to share with you that the cancer has diminished in size and that there is no evidence of new growth since the summer months.  However, in the interest of being thorough and ensuring that all of the cancer is eliminated, her doctor has recommended four additional cycles of chemotherapy with the added possibility of radiation treatments.  As such, she is now scheduled to continue treatments through the close of February and does not anticipate returning to All Saints prior to the spring.  However, her doctor remains confident that she will in fact experience a full recovery. Thank you for your continued prayers on her behalf.

I wish to also share with you that there will be a change in the classroom in the weeks ahead.  For personal reasons related to the needs of her family, Mrs. Dorsey has determined that it is necessary for her to resign from her long-term substitute position effective Friday, December 16th.  I do wish to offer you the reassurance that she and her family members are well, but have experienced a change in plans.  She has immensely enjoyed her time at All Saints, most especially working with your children to establish a very solid classroom routine and a clear focus on learning.

To carry on the good work she has begun, I have hired Ms. Elizabeth Reilly who has confirmed that she remains available through the remainder of the year should the need arise.  Ms. Reilly is an experienced Catholic school educator with ten years experience in the field.  She earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education and English Literature from Adelphi University and a Master of Education in Teaching, Learning and Leadership from the University of Puget Sound.  She most recently taught first grade at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic School in West Palm Beach where she was known for her understanding of current methodology as well as her excellent communication skills.  Most importantly, she is a faith-filled individual who will guide our students through the next step of their journey.

In order that Ms. Reilly may become acclimated to the mission and culture of All Saints, she will begin employment on Monday, December 12th, spending the week shadowing Mrs. Dorsey, learning the routines, and becoming familiar with our school procedures.  Additionally, she will host an open house on Tuesday, December 13th from 3:30-5:30 p.m., providing parents with an opportunity to meet her prior to her first day of teaching on Monday, December 19th.

Again, I wish to thank Mrs. Dorsey for her outstanding work during the fall semester.  She has done a remarkable job and will no doubt be greatly missed at All Saints.

Let us continue to remember Mrs. Johnson in our thoughts and prayers.  I know that she is sustained and strengthened in the knowledge that we are remembering her each day.

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It is with great sadness that I share with you the news of the passing of Mr. Robert C. Heinz, the father of Mrs. Holly Stefonsky and grandfather of Blake (2nd grade), Nate (6th grade) and David who graduated from All Saints last year.   Mr. Heinz suffered from cancer and passed away early Sunday morning after celebrating the Thanksgiving Holiday surrounded by family and loved ones.

As Mr. Heinz had a beautiful devotion to our Blessed Mother and the Rosary, in lieu of prepared meals the Stefonsky Family is asking that members of our community offer one Rosary for the repose of his soul.

Let us together lift up the Stefonsky Family in our prayers in the days ahead.  May they be comforted by the presence of Christ and the hope of the Resurrection.

Celebration of the Advent Season

This week we have begun our annual journey of Advent, a time of preparation for the celebration of Christ’s birth at Christmas.  Amidst all of the joy and activity surrounding the preparations for the season, it is easy for us to lose sight of the fact that Advent is a beautiful season unto itself.

At All Saints we have established several traditions that help to create a tone of anticipation and waiting, in essence a time during which we invite the children to prepare their hearts for the coming of  Christ.

v  Advent Wreath Prayer Services ~ Every Monday morning during Advent the students will gather for prayer around three separate wreaths in each of the wings of the school as we begin our day together.  There, the students and faculty participate in age-appropriate prayer services through which the children learn more about the tradition of the Advent wreath and meaning of the season.

v  Sacrament of Reconciliation ~ Each of the students in grades three through eight will have an opportunity to encounter Christ in this beautiful Sacrament of healing and forgiveness.  Our parish priests have scheduled sessions during the school day for each of these grade levels over the course of the next several weeks.

v  6th Annual Catholic Schools Care About Catholic Charities Week ~ Through small personal sacrifices (perhaps giving up an ice cream or pretzel during lunch) we are asking that each student make a donation of $1.00.  All donations will be dedicated to Christ House, a Catholic Charities Homeless Shelter, Christ House on Wheels and other Catholic Charities programs.  In addition to helping provide for the poor, our students will gain a greater awareness of the needs of others right in our own diocese through participation in this important outreach.

v  Toys for Tots ~ The All Saints Catholic School Peace and Justice Players will be conducting a toy drive to benefit the U.S. Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots Program.  Donations of unwrapped toys for all ages are needed.  Collection bins will be located by the front office and in the breezeway.  Toys will be collected from Thursday, December 1st through Friday, December 16th.  In celebration of our December Virtue of Generosity, it is a wonderful way to give to children who are less fortunate than we are.  During this Advent Season, we can help others experience faith, hope and love.

Blessing of the Advent Wreath

Lord our God,

we praise you for your Son, Jesus Christ:

He is Emmanuel, the hope of the peoples,

He is the wisdom that teaches and guides us,

He is the Savior of every nation.

Lord God,

let your blessing come upon us

as we light the candles of this wreath.

May the wreath and its light

be a sign of Christ’s promise to bring us salvation.

May he come quickly and not delay.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

A Prayer for Advent ~ Week I

All-powerful God,

increase our strength of will for doing good

that Christ may find an eager welcome at His coming

and call us to His side in the kingdom of heaven,

where He lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, forever and ever.  Amen.

Edline Updates – Middle School Parents

In recent weeks the Middle School Team has taken the time to evaluate the implementation process of Edline, taking into account the feedback received from parents.  As a number of parents have reported that they are receiving an overabundance of emails related to the posting of grades, the teachers will discontinue this feature effective this week.  The data will remain available, but it will be incumbent upon parents to log-on to the system periodically to check their son/daughter’s progress.  All middle school parents are encouraged to use the system to gain meaningful information regarding grades and learning.  Should you have any questions about the system, please do not hesitate to contact your son/daughter’s homeroom teacher.

Parent Satisfaction Survey – Important Reminder

Two weeks ago parents were invited to participate in a general survey designed to measure overall satisfaction with our school and the programs it offers.  The survey has been purposely designed to be very succinct and is comprised of one key question: On a scale of 1-10, how confident are you in recommending All Saints Catholic School to family, friends and acquaintances?  A follow up question based upon each individual’s response yields additional information which can be used in planning future goals for the school.

While the response rate has been strong, we wish to encourage those parents who have not yet had an opportunity to respond to the survey to do so in the days ahead.  (The survey will remain accessible through Sunday, December 4th.) Remember, your candid responses will help to provide an important perspective to us and inform our vision for the future.  Most importantly, this tool provides an opportunity to ensure that we are in step with parent perceptions and actively responding to the needs of our community members.  In advance, thank you for your support and participation.

All Saints Satisfaction Survey:
 
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/YJLLQ6J

Virtue of the Month ~ Generosity

During the month of December, students will be encouraged to implement the following strategies:

A.       Give from your own money to help others in need.

B.       Give freely of your time without expecting anything in return.

C.       Ask for forgiveness when you have hurt someone and be willing to forgive them when they hurt you.

D.       Offer to help someone in class each day.

E.       Share your supplies with someone who forgot theirs.

F.       Do something helpful for someone at home without being asked.

G.      See if others want “second helpings” before taking some for yourself.

H.       Let someone else in your family choose the movie or television show you will watch together.

I.         Offer to help an older neighbor with a job like raking leaves or shoveling snow.

J.        Let another person ahead of you get a drink first at the water fountain.

Prayer of the Month ~ Prayer of St. Nicholas

Loving God, we thank you for
the example of St. Nicholas,
who fed the hungry,
brought hope to the imprisoned,
gave comfort to the lost,
and taught the truth to all.
May we strive to imitate him
by putting you first in all we do.
Give us the courage, love and strength
of St. Nicholas, so that, like him,
we may serve you through loving
our brothers and sisters.                  Amen.

Virtue of the Month ~ Awards Presentation

Congratulations to the following students who received special recognition at our monthly Virtue Prayer Service for having exemplified the Virtue of Gratitude during November.

PK1         Mary Harvill                                           2B           Nina Huynh                                             6A           Samantha Gutierrez

PK2         Liam McGrath                                        3A           Christine Tran                                        6B           Dylan Scheaffer

K1           Matthew Kreitzer                                    3B           Natalia Rodriguez                                  7A           Sarah Goldsmith

K2           Sofia Villatoro                                        4A           Christian Ceol                                        7B           Daniel Baldwin

1A           T.J. McGraw                                          4B           Salma Cruz                                            8A           Evelyn Post

1B           Isabella Ortiz                                          5A           Clara Bennett                                         8B           Dominic Ciaverella

2A           Nathan Abando                                       5B           Lance Coleman

All Saints Christmas Pageant 2011

Again this year, students in grades K, 2, 6, & 8 as well as select members of the All Saints Schola will present a Christmas Pageant on Monday, December 19th beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the Parish Activity Center.

Students in K, 2, & Schola should wear “Christmas best” (please keep clothing selections within school dress code guidelines).

Students in 6th grade should wear the costumes & “Christmas best” as discussed in music/drama class – Miss Dalusung has contacted by email or phone all families of 6th graders requiring costumes. If you have not checked in with her, please do so.

8th grade students will be featured on stage throughout the program and should be dressed in all black – long pants or knee length skirt or longer and tights, long sleeved shirt with no logos or patterns.

On December 19th, there will be a “dress rehearsal” performance for the school at 2 pm. Parents are welcome to attend. On the evening of the pageant, all students in the performance should report to the school by 7:00  pm. The Schola should report directly to the Parish Activity Center at 7:00 p.m.

All questions can be directed to Miss Dalusung via email: ndalusung@allsaintsva.org

NJHS Operation Turkey Yields More than 1000 lbs of Food!

Our annual food drive to help the homeless at SERVE was a great success yet again.  Thanks to the generosity of our students, members of the NJHS loaded 1167 pounds of donated food items into a truck for delivery to SERVE.  Through this outpouring of kindness, the students and families have united their efforts in truly making a difference for those without food in our community.

Manassas Christmas Parade

All school families and friends are cordially invited to march with our school float in the annual Greater Manassas Christmas Parade on Saturday, December 3rd.  For more information, including a permission slip, please see the flyer linked to newsletter.

3rd Annual “Evening with St. Nicholas” is this week!

The 3rd Annual “Evening with St. Nicholas is this week, December 2nd beginning at 7pm in the church.   Please RSVP now! 

Please join us for what has become a beautiful tradition here at All Saints.  The evening will begin with an Advent Prayer Service and traditional Advent carols in the church.  The “Procession of the Shoes” will again be lead by St. Nicholas himself!    St. Nicholas and Mother Seton will be available for photos (bring your own camera) afterwards  in the gym  (until 8:20pm) . Cookies and cocoa will be served!

Come out and enjoy this wonderful community-building event, designed to help us prepare for the Advent season.  We ask that you bring a donation of new shoes in honor of St. Nicholas and his feast day.   Monetary donations will also be accepted.  Proceeds will go to House of Mercy.   House of Mercy shoe donation guidelines are :  NEW plain colors of tennis shoes- white, blue, black, tan, or brown.  No character tennis shoes, please.  Can’t make it to the event?   You can still make a donation by leaving it at the front desk, attention :  Gina Michak.

For planning purposes, please visit the “Evening with St. Nicholas” link at www.allsaintsvaschool.org and RSVP today.

Volunteers still needed!

**Set-up and decorating will take place on Friday morning in the gym beginning at 9am.

**Evening shift will start at 5:30pm, with cookie and cocoa table set –up, and assembling the luminaries lining the walkway from the church to the gym.

**After 7pm we will need volunteers to help with traffic flow, assist St. Nicholas, serve refreshments, and clean up.

Food donations are needed for the evening’s refreshments. We are asking for Christmas cookies/decorated sugar cookies, (homemade or store bought), cocoa mix (packets OR canisters) and mini-marshmallows.  Cookies only, please.  While the All Saints School community is always very generous when asked to donate baked goods, the simplicity of a cookie is all we need for this event.  Thank you for your understanding and generosity!  Cocoa can be dropped off at the front desk anytime.  Cookies can be brought in on Dec. 1 or Dec. 2- to the cafeteria and clearly marked “Evening with St. Nicholas”.

Contact Gina Michak at  (703-330-8099) or ginamichak@gmail.com with questions or if you’d like to volunteer and earn “points for parents”. ***    Food donations also earn you points!

The PTO looks forward to seeing you on December 2nd!

Inclement Weather

In the event of inclement weather, All Saints Catholic School follows the decision of Prince William County Public School System.  If the county schools decide to close, All Saints is closed for the day and all related activities are cancelled. Similarly, if the county schools decide to open late or dismiss early, All Saints responds in the same manner.  Note: Should the county system announce a delayed opening on a day for which a noon dismissal is scheduled at All Saints, the early release is cancelled and school ends at 3:00 p.m.

Upcoming Events

Thursday, December 1st               8th Grade High School Placement Test

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

Friday, December 2nd                 School Mass (8:30 a.m.)

                                  Noon Dismissal – Professional Development

                                  Evening with St. Nick Prayer Service & Celebration (church/7:00 p.m.)

Saturday, December 3rd               Greater Manassas Christmas Parade

Sunday, December 4th                 Catholic Schools Care about Catholic Charities Week

Tuesday, December 6th                PTO Executive Board Meeting (7:00 p.m.)

Thursday, December 8th             Feast of the Immaculate Conception School Mass (10:00 a.m.)

Friday, December 9th                  2nd Quarter Interim Reports

                                  4th Grade Gingerbread House Project (10:00 a.m.)

Tuesday, December 13th             3rd Grade Open House hosted by Ms. Reilly (3:30-5:30 p.m.)

                                  Band Concert (Gym/7:30 p.m.)

Link

  • All Saints Satisfaction Survey ~ http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/YJLLQ6J
  • Parade Permission Slip: http://www.allsaintsvaschool.org/index/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2011/11/ChristmasParade2011PermissionSlip.pdf
  • Evening with Saint Nick Flyer ~ http://www.allsaintsvaschool.org/index/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2011/11/eveningwithstnick.pdf
  • Win a Pew for Christmas Mass Flyer ~ http://www.allsaintsvaschool.org/index/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2011/11/Winachristmaspew2011.pdf
  • Pope John Paul the Great Catholic High School e-News Update ~ http://www.jpthegreat.org/documents/e_news_September_November_2011.pdf