The Sentinel ~ September 12, 2012

Principal’s Message

Last spring, All Saints conducted a survey requesting your feedback on the idea of launching an Annual Fund to benefit the school. The majority of parents who responded in the comments section of the survey asked for additional information about how an Annual Fund might work within our school community. As a follow-up, we wish to address several of your questions below and invite you to attend a town-hall-style meeting on Tuesday, September 18 at 9:00 a.m. in Father Kelley Hall.

Why Launch an Annual Fund?
All Saints relies on income in addition to tuition to fully support our programs. To fill this gap between the cost of tuition and the true cost of an All Saints education, the Parish subsidizes the school in the amount of $240,000 per year with additional support provided in the form of shared costs for utilities, facilities and some personnel expenses.  Additionally, the PTO provides funding in support of specific school initiatives and through an annual subsidy designed to help maintain affordable tuition rates for our families.

As an alternative, many Catholic schools are now covering the gap through Annual Funds which tend to be more sustainable over the long-term than labor-intensive special events. Annual Fund efforts also focus on community building and bringing together a variety of benefactors, including parents, employees, alumni, former parents, parishioners, community members and friends.

Where would the money go?

We would use the proceeds of our Annual Fund to provide financial aid to school families, to address technology needs, and to support instructional initiatives.   

How would an Annual Fund work at All Saints?

The Annual Fund model being proposed is one that has been used successfully by Catholic schools across the country. It would seek to provide a continued source of financial support through the request of three gifts: gifts of prayer, gifts of involvement, and gifts of financial participation. During our first year of the fund, we would utilize a mail-based campaign, although contributors would also have the option of giving online through our website. As a 501c3 tax-exempt organization, all gifts to the Annual Fund would be tax-deductible to the full extent of the law.

Why not keep doing what you’ve always done?

During the past several years, we have seen an increase in requests for financial aid. We want to continue to assist our school families and to provide our students with an outstanding Catholic education.  Additionally, it is our hope that an Annual Fund would yield a new revenue stream that would in the long-term help us to sustain the mission of All Saints and our commitment to providing the finest education possible for the children of our parish and school.      

We welcome all parents who are interested in learning more about the Annual Fund concept to join us for dialogue next week.  Mark your calendars for our Annual Fund Town Hall style meeting on Tuesday, September 18th at 9:00 a.m. Those in attendance will receive Points for Parents…as well as danish and coffee!

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The safety of your children is always a top priority at All Saints.  In recent years, in accordance with national initiatives and diocesan policy, we have taken additional steps to do our part to ensure that your children are in a safe place when they are participating in a program at All Saints Catholic School.  For example, all of our faculty, staff and volunteers are required to complete a background check as well as training.  As an additional measure, seven years ago we implemented the Formation in Christian Chastity Program to help your children recognize the steps they can take to keep themselves safe. 

The Formation in Christian Chastity Program serves as an additional measure to assist us in establishing and maintaining a safe environment for our students.  As outlined in the materials, information is provided primarily to parents as a resource to be used in the formation of their children.  There is one classroom lesson for students in grades one through four and two lessons for those in grades five through eight. 

We will be integrating the objectives of the program into our religion lessons in these grades during the last two weeks of September.  The entire curriculum can be accessed through the diocesan website: www.arlingtondiocese.org.  (Click on the Child Protection tab found under the heading of Education.  To view the grade level lesson plans, click on Training Programs followed by the tab for the Formation in Christian Chastity Program.)

You are encouraged to spend some time reviewing this information yourself and to then share pertinent aspects with your children.  Each of the “rules” noted contains some application to common sense safety tips that you may share with your children.  Other parts of the “rule” apply to some of the decisions that you make as parents for the safety of your children.  A question and answer segment provides some suggestions as to how you might best address these concerns with your children.  Our goal is to equip both you and your children with the knowledge that can help to keep them safe.

The essential point is that parents need to be involved with their children.  The more you know about the daily events of your child’s life, the better you are able to spot any danger signs that may surface.  The more regular communication you have with your children, the more free they are to come to you with their concerns.

Should you have any questions about the Formation in Christian Chastity Program or about the classroom lessons, please do not hesitate to let us know.  In the event that you would prefer to not have your child participate in the classroom training, please contact the front office to request an opt-out form.

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In an effort to alleviate some of the traffic congestion during morning arrival, last week we opened the doors and welcomed students into the building five minutes earlier than announced.  This practice seems to have helped to increase the flow of traffic and to provide sufficient time for all students to arrive in the building prior to the morning bell.  As such, we will continue to open the breezeway doors to students at 7:40 a.m., allowing for a twenty-minute arrival period each morning.

TARGET proceeds to benefit All Saints

Thanks to the support of those families registered to participate in TARGET’s rewards program, last week our school received a check in the amount of $1,425.47.  Thank you parents and friends of All Saints!

IMPORTANT ARRIVAL & DISMISSAL REMINDERS

The following is a list of important reminders that will help us maintain an arrival and dismissal system that is safe, efficient and courteous.

With the increased number of cars on the property, it is vitally important that all drivers be especially attentive, proceeding slowly and with caution.   Parents are asked to refrain from cell phone use when entering and exiting the property.

Parking:

¨       It is important that parents park only in those areas identified for our carpool system.

¨       Parents are asked not to park directly in front of the school building since this area is a designated fire lane.   Access to this area is restricted by traffic cones.

¨       Those visiting or volunteering in the school during the day are asked to park in the lot in front of the new church.  (Please refrain from parking in those spaces reserved for the clergy and from parking in Lot #2, directly across from the priests’ parking area,  as this section is used by the parish staff.)

¨       When arriving for afternoon carpool, parents are asked to refrain from parking on Stonewall Road and other areas of the property.  For the safety of the children, it is important that each family participate in the school organized dismissal system. 

Arrival & Departure:

¨       When entering and exiting the property please use right turns only.  This will minimize the traffic that sometimes occurs on Stonewall Road, thereby helping us to maintain positive public relations with our neighbors. 

¨       In that our carpool system brings together many people, it is a time for discussion and community building.  However, once dismissal begins, we ask that parents wrap up conversations so that complete attention may be directed to the children and so that we might avoid any unnecessary delays.  

¨       When arriving for afternoon dismissal, parents are reminded to use great caution when exiting their vehicle.  We recommend that parents not open their doors until the next row of cars has arrived in the adjacent parking spaces. 

¨       For the safety of all involved, drivers are asked not to exit the carpool lines unless directed by a staff member to do so.  Teachers only wave drivers forward after verifying that the adjacent lanes are clear of pedestrian traffic. 

Looking for a Carpool?

All Saints parent Mr. Jim Griffin has volunteered to serve as a carpool coordinator. If you are interested in a carpool for your children, please fill out the short form below and email it to allsaintscarpool@hotmail.com and Mr. Griffin will put you in touch with other families in your area who have expressed an interest in carpooling.

 

Name:

Address:

Phone Number:

Preferred email contact:

Number of children you need transported:

Number of spaces in your vehicle for transporting others:

Prefer to drive morning or evening, or no preference?

 

Please be aware that the above information will be plotted on a map with a private URL that is only available to All Saints parents who have expressed an interest in carpooling.  The URL will be emailed directly to you and will not be available any other way or discoverable by any search engine.

 

Recognizing that parents are solely responsible for determining transportation arrangements to and from All Saints Catholic School, the school assumes no role in this process and neither recommends nor endorses any particular carpool arrangements.  In the unfortunate circumstance of an accident or injury, the parent’s own personal automobile liability is primary in the event of a claim.  Nonetheless, the school values the collective efforts of parents and is pleased to support this initiative by communicating the opportunity to parents.

 

SCHOOL SAFETY INITIATIVES

Student In-Service ~ Sexual Harassment, Our Policy & Response (Grades 6-8)

In accordance with diocesan policy, students in grades five through eight will participate in a brief classroom presentation within the next two weeks on the topic of the prevention of sexual harassment.  Mr. Conroy will visit each of the homeroom classes for approximately fifteen minutes, providing an overview of the diocesan policy and explaining to students how they should best respond if they encounter any behaviors of this nature.  Should you have any questions about this policy or presentation, please do not hesitate to contact the principal.

Criminal Background Checks for Volunteers & VIRTUS Requirements

As part of the diocesan initiative to maintain a safe environment for all of our children, all volunteers with “substantial contact” with children are required to complete a background check prior to working in the school and to complete VIRTUS training within 45 days of commencing service.

In accordance with recent clarification provided by the diocese, full compliance for an adult parent volunteer is not required for open events.  (An open event is one that is open to the public, infrequent and publicized, such as Field Day, concerts and special events/assemblies.)  However, full compliance is required for adult parent volunteers who wish to participate in closed events.  (A closed event is one that is not entirely open to the general public such as classroom activities, parties, field trips, etc.)  For this reason, all parents who wish to attend field trips or volunteer in support of classroom activities are required to complete the background check process and attend VIRTUS training. 

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 the school.  Those who have not yet completed the background check process may request a packet of forms from the front office.  

We are hosting two live Virtus training seminars (the 4-hour training):
Saturday, September 22nd at 9:00AM in FKH
Saturday, November 17th at 9:00AM in FKH

The diocese also requires volunteers who have completed the full VIRTUS training to attend an annual update entitled Keeping the Promise Alive.  This 30 minutes video training is a prerequisite for volunteering in the school.  The following is a list of upcoming sessions.  (Please note:  For planning purposes, volunteers are asked to confirm their intent to attend a session on the voicemail of Mrs. Janet Smith.  703.393.2158)

We have the following opportunities for completing the half-hour Virtus update:
Thursday, September 20th at 2:15 PM in Meeting Room 1
Tuesday, October 9th at 7:00 PM in the Art Room
Tuesday, November 13th at 7:00PM in the Art Room
Tuesday, December 4th at 7:00PM in the Art Room

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Chess Club

Chess Club will be held on the first and third Thursdays of the month from 3-4 pm in the Art Room starting October 4th.  It is open to all students in grades 1-8.  Please see the attached application for more information.

CYO Track & Field news for the All Saints Roadrunners

GREAT PRACTICE LAST WEEKEND! Good to see all the enthusiasm, too. Just a reminder, or two:

IF YOU’VE ALREADY REGISTERED – Thank You!  See you all this Sunday at 1:00.  Don’t forget: the kids must wear running shoes and should bring a big water bottle – or two!

IF YOU HAVE NOT REGISTERED, THIS IS YOUR LAST OPPORTUNITY for Fall Events.  Fee is $30 per child, to cover registration for three events and a team t-shirt.

Next Practice:  Sunday, September 16th from 1:00-2:30pm

Where:  Track behind Manassas Baptist Church (school) on the corner of Sudley Rd. and Stonewall Rd.

Links to the forms: 

http://nvjcyo.org/Forms/PARTICIPANTAGREEMENTtrack.pdf

http://nvjcyo.org/Forms/medicalform.pdf

Announcements from Paul VI Catholic High School

Junior High Night Under the Lights at Paul VI Catholic High School ~ 7th and 8th students are invited to this very special event at Paul VI Catholic High School on Friday, September 21st.  Rally in the Alley at 6:00 (Free Food, Fun, Tee shirts) and Varsity Football at 7:00 (free admission for 7th and 8th graders)

Invitation for 7th and 8th Grade Girls ~ The PVI Volleyball is inviting middle-school girls to watch the teams play on September 26 @ 4:45(JV) and 6:00(Varsity). Food and gifts will be given to all attending one or both games

Fall Open House ~ PVI will be holding an Open House for 7th & 8th Grade Parents and Students on Sunday, November 4, 2012 from 1 to 4 pm.

Basketball Clinics ~ Coach Allen’s “Futures” Basketball Clinics will be offered on Six week night dates during the fall to help Boys & Girls prepare for the upcoming basketball season.  Register and more information at www.pvibasketball.com

 

IMPORTANT UPCOMING EVENTS

Middle School Back to School Night

Middle School Back to School Night (Parents of Grades 6-8) – Thursday, September 13th beginning at 7:00 p.m. in the gym.  These sessions will provide parents with important information about our many programs and plans for the 2012-2013 school year.  For this reason, at least one parent from each family is required to attend this session.  Again this year the event will begin in the gym with a brief overview of the Edline program.

            Schedule 

            7:00 p.m.         Presentation in Gym (Introduction to Edline)

            7:30 p.m.         First Classroom Session Begins

            9:35 p.m.         End of Final Classroom Session

IMPORTANT REMINDERS

Emergency Information Form – Past Due

Completed Emergency Forms were due in the office by Friday, September 7th. This form is critically important in that it provides us with the necessary information to contact you in the event of an emergency.  Those families who have not yet submitted this information are asked to do so as soon as possible.

Parent ~ Student Handbooks – Past Due

The 2012-2013 Parent-Student Handbook can be accessed electronically via our website: www.allsaintsvaschool.org.  Please take some time to review the policies and procedures of our school and discuss them with your children.  Parents who have not yet signed and returned the corresponding acknowledgement form are asked to do so.  Those families without access to the website are invited to contact the office to request a hard copy of the handbook.

Picture Day – Dress-Up Day Code

On special days designated by the principal, such as our Fall Picture Day, students may be out of uniform.  The following code is intended to encourage individuality and style within the framework of the virtue of modesty.  Girls: dresses or skirts (no bare shoulders or sleeveless) the length may not be shorter than two inches above the floor when kneeling), and dress slacks. The skirts and dress slacks may be worn with a white or colored blouse, or sweaters that are not form-fitting.  Not permitted:  Jeans or jeans-style slacks, jeggings, leggings, tight fitting blouses or blouses that expose any part of the midriff.  No athletic shoes other than the school style. No flip flops, sandals or high heels. Toes and heels must be covered.  Jewelry worn must be in accordance with uniform guidelines, such as only post earrings and no more than one.   Boys: shirts with a collar, sweater or sweater vest, dress pants in the style of the uniform trousers, belt, dress shoes.  Not permitted: Jeans or pants that resemble jeans, shorts, sweats, sneakers, t-shirts, except on specifically identified “dress down days”.

When it is determined that a student has reported to school dressed inappropriately, the student will be sent to the assistant principal who will contact the parents and request that they provide a school uniform for the student prior to his/her returning to class.

Use of Student Photos for Marketing Materials

In recent years, a formal marketing program has been implemented at All Saints and we are presently making a consistent effort to share the success of our program via local newspapers and our website.  It is important that parents understand that they retain the right to object to their son/daughter’s inclusion in these printed or electronic materials.  A “Waiver Information/Right to Object Form” (Appendix N) is located on the website within the forms section associated with the parent-student handbook.  Please note: If the form is not returned, we will assume that you waive your right to object.

Upcoming Events

Thursday, September 13th       

 Room Liaisons Meeting (FKH/8:30 a.m.)

Middle School Night (Gym/7:00 p.m.)

Friday, September 14th           

School Mass – Grades 1-8 (8:30 a.m.)

SCA Installation of Newly Elected Officers & Reps. (1:30 p.m.)

Monday, September 17th         

Picture Day

Formation in Christian Chastity Program begins

Tuesday, September 18th         

Annual Fund Town Hall Meeting (FKH/9:00 a.m.)

Wednesday, September 19th    

Sexual Harassment In-Service for Grades 6-8

Thursday, September 20th       

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

Friday, September 21st           

Priests’ Barbecue

 

Links:

Chess Club Information/Permission ~ http://www.allsaintsvaschool.org/index/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2012/09/Chess-Club-Application-2.pdf

Links to CYO Forms ~ http://nvjcyo.org/Forms/PARTICIPANTAGREEMENTtrack.pdf

http://nvjcyo.org/Forms/medicalform.pdf