The Sentinel ~ October 10, 2012

Principal’s Message

As you are aware, this year we have had a number of new teachers join our faculty at All Saints.  Part of the transition for our teachers has been that of helping those who are new to our community to become aware of the mission, culture and traditions which are such an important part of our day to day life.  At the same time, while we remain proud of the legacy for excellence that the faculty has established at All Saints through the years, we also recognize that the gifts, talents and vision of our new members will help us to enhance our program in the years to come.  It is, in essence, a balancing act by which we retain the “best practices” we have implemented while maintaining openness to new ideas and perspectives.  It is this dynamic that will ensure that our program continues to grow and flourish.

With this in mind, I invited the faculty to meet in small groups in August to discuss what it means to be a teacher at All Saints.  Each of the instructional teams identified a list of “values” that they believe have a place of prominence within the culture of our faculty.  After building consensus among the entire group, the teachers then discussed and defined each of the “values” which they espouse.  The results of this exercise, the Faculty Value Statements, follow below.  With a framed copy hanging in the Faculty Room, these statements serve as a daily reminder of the commitments that we embrace and provide an acknowledgment of who we are called to be as the faculty of All Saints Catholic School.

Witnessing the Faith

We live our faith actively to provide a witness to one another.  Through example, we demonstrate and guide the monthly virtues.

Leadership

Through our diverse gifts and talents, we demonstrate leadership in our encouragement and support of one another.

Collaboration

We work collaboratively in developing instructional strategies, designing methods of assessment, and addressing the vision of the school.

Life-long Learning

We demonstrate our commitment to ongoing professional development and continuous improvement.  We utilize technology to enhance the learning experience across the curriculum.

Differentiation

Though differentiation strategies, we embrace and recognize the changing student demographics and address individual needs and learning styles.

Parent Involvement

Recognizing that parents are the primary source of their child’s education, we collaborate with them to create a strong spiritual and academic foundation.

Professionalism

We respect each other’s opinions, knowledge and experience.  We communicate effectively and in a timely and positive manner with our school and parish community.

Dedication

We are dedicated to sharing our time, talents and treasures with our school community.  We foster a spirit of community through generosity and flexibility.

Nurturing

We foster a nurturing and loving environment, focused on developing the whole child.  We commit to encouraging students, faculty, staff and community to strive for their very best by acknowledging strengths and accomplishments.  To set up an environment that promotes student success, we establish consistent procedures and clear expectations.

Trust and Integrity

In acting with integrity, we will support each other and foster a sense of trust by handling day to day concerns with confidentiality and professionalism. 

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This week I would like to provide to you an update regarding the publication of the Family Directory.  Unfortunately, our efforts to streamline the process of verifying contact information has not been as effective as originally hoped.  With a participation rate of 80% among our school families, I made the decision to implement additional steps in the process so that the document might be more representative of our entire community.  For this reason, the process was delayed so that the office staff might contact individual families and verify information.  The final formatting of the document is now taking place and we anticipate sending it to the printer in the near future.  Thank you for your patience and understanding in this regard.

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Tomorrow and Friday I will be away on retreat with the principals of our diocese.  As I gather with colleagues in West Virginia for this annual event, please know of my prayers for our school community and the needs of our families. 

Revised Diocesan Code of Conduct – Requirement for All Volunteers

In response to rapidly changing technology and in order to continue providing a safe environment for our children and youth, the Diocese of Arlington has issued a new Code of Conduct.  This policy identifies the behaviors that are acceptable for employees and volunteers and ensures proper monitoring of all young people entrusted to our care.

Copies of this new Code of Conduct will be available beginning Thursday, October 11th at the School Office and the Parish Office.  All clergy, employees and volunteers are required to read the policy, sign the corresponding acknowledgment form, and return it to Mrs. Janet Smith, Virtus Coordinator by Monday, October 29th in order to continue being eligible to volunteer with children/youth.

Please direct any questions to Janet Smith at the Parish Office (703) 393-2158 or via email at jsmith@allsaintsva.org.  In advance, thank you for your cooperation and support of our commitment to maintaining a safe environment.

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 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 7th grade.  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.  

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 Monday, November 12th at 8:30 a.m. Following the Mass, there will be a brief ceremony followed by a reception for our honored guests in Father Kelley Hall. 

Annual Fund Volunteer Opportunities

All Saints is preparing to launch an Annual Fund this fall and we could use your help!  We currently have openings for the following volunteer positions:

Grade Level Captains

Responsibilities — assist in getting the word out about the campaign to parents in your selected grade level and encourage participation of gifts of prayer, gifts of participation, and gifts of financial support.

 

Database/Gift Processing Volunteers

Responsibilities—add incoming gifts of prayer, participation and financial participation to our database, assist in processing offline financial gifts.

Proceeds from the Annual Fund will be used to provide tuition assistance, address technology needs, and advance curriculum initiatives. During our inaugural year, the campaign will be organized into the following divisions: Faculty/Staff Division, Parent Division, Alumni Division, Parents’ of Alumni Division.

We have already heard from parents interested in volunteering to help with the Annual Fund. If you would like to join our team, please contact Mrs. Janis DeVore at jdevore@allsaintsva.org or (703) 366-1645.  Thanks for your support!

Running with the Saints 5K Race – Saturday November 3rd

Please join us for All Saints Catholic School’s 2012 Running with the Saints 5K Race on Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 8:30 a.m. starting at the Harris Pavilion in Old Town Manassas. Runners and walkers of all ability levels are welcome!  Paper registration forms were sent home with the oldest child last week, or you can print out a form using the link below.  For anyone interesting in helping with this event, there will be a meeting 7-8pm in Meeting Room 2 (enter from the back side of the school by the gym). For more information about unique sponsorship opportunities or to register online for the Running with the Saints 5K Race, please visit www.runningwiththesaints.org

Diocese of Arlington Information Programs for Prospective Teachers

The Diocese of Arlington has scheduled Information Programs for Prospective Teachers throughout the Diocese.  Sister Patricia Helene, IHM, former Assistant Superintendent of Schools for the Diocese and the current head of the Marymount University Catholic School Leadership Program and Elizabeth A. Roach, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction and Personal from the Diocese Office of Catholic Schools will present programs highlighting the opportunities and advantages of teaching in our Catholic Schools.  Please see linked flyer for more information.

IMPORTANT REMINDERS

School Calendar Now Available Online!

Courtesy of the PTO, the entire school calendar, including the weekly schedule of after-school activities, is now available online through our school website.  As changes occur throughout the year, this digital version will be updated so that you can access this information at any time.  Special thanks to Mrs. Julia McGrath for posting all of the additional information and for keeping the calendar current for our community!

Lion’s Club Vision and Hearing Screening

Due to a scheduling change with the Lions’ Club, the annual Vision and Hearing Screening originally planned for October 10th has been postponed until Wednesday, December 5th

As in previous years, it is only with the support of our parents serving as volunteers that we can successfully run this screening.  We need 6 volunteers for the day- which will be starting at 8:00 AM.  This is a great opportunity to earn points for parents. If you are able to assist for the hearing and vision screening, please contact Mrs. Roth at jroth@allsaintsva.org or 703-368-4400 ext. 207.  Thank you for your continued support.

Criminal Background Checks for Volunteers & VIRTUS Requirements

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 a live Virtus training seminar (the 4-hour training):
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:
Tuesday, November 13th at 7:00PM in the Art Room
Tuesday, December 4th at 7:00PM in the Art Room
 

Upcoming Events

Wednesday, October 10th            

Lions’ Club Screening – postponed to December 5th

Saturday, October 13th               

CYO sponsored Track Meet

Tuesday, October 16th                

1st Grade Field Trip to National Zoo (8:30-2:30)

Bishop Ireton H.S. Visit to 8th Grade

Thursday, October 18th              

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

Saturday, October 20th               

PTO Bingo & Pizza Night (Knights Hall/5:00-9:00 p.m.)

 

Links

–          Information Programs for Prospective Teachers ~ http://www.allsaintsvaschool.org/index/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2012/10/Information-Programs-for-Prospective-Teachers.pdf

–          Yearbook Cover Contest ~ http://www.allsaintsvaschool.org/index/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2012/10/Yearbook-cover-contest-info-2012-13-2.pdf

–          Band Attire/ Band Shirt Information ~ http://www.allsaintsvaschool.org/index/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2012/10/Band-Attire.pdf

–          Family Bingo Night Flier ~ http://www.allsaintsvaschool.org/index/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2012/10/October-2012-Flyer.pdf