The Sentinel ~ November 7, 2012

Principal’s Message

Every person has stress in their life.  When it happens (and it certainly will), all you need is a little time with Jesus.  These are words of wisdom from Erica, one of our fourth grade students, who included this insight on her “prayer corner” project that is now on display in the hallway. 

Walking through the building each day, I am often struck by the beautiful displays of student work which serve as a window into the learning and formation that is taking place inside each classroom.  The current display of “prayer corners”, images of small table displays that each student has designed in their home, is but one stellar example.    

The “prayer corner” display caught my attention in a particular way as we have just concluded our celebration of All Saints Day.  Through “Saints Rocks” (1st grade), “Saints Puppets” (2nd grade), “Saints Parade” (3rd grade) “Saints Banners” (4th grade), “Saints Brochures” (5th Grade) and the “Saints Café” (8th grade), the stories of saints came to life in our classrooms and hallways!  With great joy and enthusiasm our students shared what they have learned about the lives of these holy men and women. 

And yet the story does not end here.  Viewing the photos and descriptions of the “prayer corners” on display this week, I am reminded of the fact that these young people in our midst are “saints in the making”, living out in tangible ways the very mission of our school.  Taking a cue from the 4th grade class, let us all build “prayers corners” not only in our homes but in our hearts.


On Saturday morning, 236 members of our community gathered at the Harris Pavilion for the 2nd Annual Running with the Saints 5K.  After an opening prayer led by Fr. Bob and the singing of the National Anthem by Mrs.  Reynolds, the runners and walkers followed a course through the scenic neighborhoods of Old Town Manassas.  A complete listing of winners by category is linked to this week’s newsletter.  Parents with photos to share from the event are invited to forward copies to Mrs. Janis DeVore, Director of Marketing & Development at

Once again, the success of the event was only possible through the vision and dedication of the PTO.  I want to especially thank Mr. Eddie Collins and Mrs. Sue Ferguson, event coordinators, who orchestrated a myriad of details in support of a first-class event.  Behind the scenes, they were assisted by key members of the PTO who coordinated the registration process, the design of tee-shirts, and marketing for the event.  Working together, they created a wonderful experience for our school and Greater Manassas community. 

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 an assembly in the gym, followed by a reception for our honored guests in Father Kelley Hall.  Last week, we sent home 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. For your convenience, a link to the packet is provided at the bottom of this newsletter.

(Note:  As Seton School attends the 8:30 a.m. Mass every Monday morning, we will be gathering with their school community for this special occasion.  Students from both schools will be sharing the responsibility of liturgical ministries as we look forward to this opportunity to join together in recognizing our veterans.  Following the Mass, the students of All Saints will join the Seton community in praying a novena after which the Seton students will exit the church, followed by the All Saints community.)

Thanksgiving Luncheon ~ Schedule & Directions for Parents

Again this year we will be hosting four lunch seatings so as to provide more time and space for families to enjoy this special occasion.  The schedule is as follows:

11:00-11:40       Grades 6-8

11:40-12:20       Grades 4-5

12:20-1:00         Grades 2-3

1:00-1:40          Grades K-1

Parents are asked to arrive and sign in by the front office 15 minutes prior to the beginning of the lunch time for their child’s grade level.  There will be two sign-in tables at the front entrance of the school.

After signing in, parents are asked to report directly to their child’s classroom.  The homeroom teacher will provide guidance as to when families should begin to report to the cafeteria for the luncheon.

Reminder:  Payment for the Thanksgiving Luncheon is due by Thursday, November 15th.

Virtue of the Month ~ Awards Presentation

Congratulations to the following students who received special recognition at our monthly Virtue Prayer Service last Friday for having exemplified the Virtue of Self-Discipline during the month of October.


Mary Catherine Munsell (Pre-K1)

Caitlin Williams (Pre-K2)

Hannah Vollano (Pre-K3)

Sophia Rebholz (K1)

Taylor Woolf (K2)

Josseline Avila De La Trinidad (1A)

Selena Gutierrez (1B)

Rudy Gasser (2A)

Paulina Chavarria (2B)

Zachary Kreitzer (3A)

Michael Short (3B)

Emma Switzer (4A)

Jaime Gutierrez (4B)

Caroline Griffin (5A)

Adrienne Solano (5B)

Victoria Cerniglia (6A)

Elizabeth Foreman (6B)

Kelly Crocker (7A)

Joshua Abando (7B)

Kelly Talish (8A)

Vanessa Villalobos (8B)

Virtue of the Month ~ Gratitude

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

  1. Thank Jesus each day for the sacrifice He made for you.  Look at the crucifix and say, “Thank you, Jesus”.
  2. Thank God for your special talents and use them to serve Him every day.
  3. Remember to say “Please” and “Thank you”.
  4. Show gratitude to all of your teachers.
  5. Remember to thank the ladies in the cafeteria for your lunch, milk or for helping you open your juice box or milk container.
  6. Tell your mom and dad you love them.
  7. Make a special effort to show gratitude to someone in your family each day.
  8. Say “Please” and “Thank you” at home.
  9. Thank a friend for being there for you.
  10. Be a good sport when you play.
  11. Thank God for your life, family, food and home each night.

Prayer of the Month

Dear Jesus,

We want to thank You for the many gifts You have given us, especially the gift of Yourself.

Accept our acts of courtesy and care as gifts of love to You.

Help us to imitate Your Mother Mary and to give glory to God through our words and actions.

We ask this in Your Holy Name.


Tips for Parent-Teacher Conferences

The following is a list of ideas that may prove helpful as you plan for a successful and productive meeting.

Before the Conference

¨       Arrive on time

¨       Bring a written list of questions or points for discussion

¨       Realize that your child may exhibit different behaviors at school than at home

During the Conference

¨       Ask for examples of your child’s work

¨       Discuss specific strengths & weaknesses of your child as a learner

¨       Ask the teacher for specific ways in which you can help at home

¨       Help set two or three specific goals for your child for the next grading period

After the Conference

¨       Share with your child what the teacher reports

¨       Remember that, as a parent, you are the most important person in your child’s life.  Give your child a hug and reassurance following the conference.

Open House for 2013-2014 School Year

All Saints Catholic School will host an Open House for prospective parents on Thursday, November 15th beginning at 9:00 a.m.  All parishioners and members of the community interested in learning more about our parish school are cordially invited to attend.  Following a presentation and introduction at 9:00 a.m., tours of the facility will be provided. For more information, please contact Mrs. Joyce D’Eugenio, administrative assistant, at (703) 393-1490.

Visitor & Volunteer Parking

When visiting the school for a special event or to participate as a volunteer, parents are encouraged to park in the lot directly in front of the church.  Keeping in mind that funerals take place throughout the week and a cortège of cars sometimes forms in front of the main entranceway, parents are encouraged to park in the middle of the lot, not the spaces adjacent to the sidewalks nearest the church.  This will allow parents to easily exit the property when ready rather than waiting for the line of cars gathered for the funeral to depart.  

Seeking Playground & Cafeteria Volunteers – Points for Parents Opportunity!

Needed: Parent volunteers for lunch and recess – must be VIRTUS compliant and have submitted background paperwork.

We are now seeking more parent volunteers to assist staff in monitoring the students during lunch and recess. If you are available for as little as 45 minutes, or as much as 2 hours, once a week, the staff and children would directly benefit from your time and presence. The responsibilities are rather simple….be an extra set of eyes and helping hands.

During recess, parent volunteers assist the staff in monitoring the boundaries, enforce established rules, and help provide typical parental guidance. During rainy days or inclement weather (wind chill or temperatures below 20 degrees), parent volunteers may be asked to supervise a classroom for 20 minutes while the students engage in predetermined activities, watch a movie, etc.

During the lunch period, parent volunteers respond to simple requests of opening milk, distributing utensils, napkins or straws, and discourage food sharing. Grades 2-8 are responsible for cleaning the tables. Staff may also request a volunteer to spray and wipe clean some tables. The lunchroom needs for older children are fewer but it is helpful to have the extra set of eyes.

For those parents who currently commit time each week to help in these areas, their presence helps to ensure lunch relief for the teachers and staff. They truly appreciate it! There are countless benefits to being present at school during your child’s school day! Please consider offering your time each week and earn points.

Grades 6-8         Recess 11:10-11:30

                        Lunch 11:30-11:45

Grades 3-5         Recess 11:45 – 12:05

                        Lunch 12:05-12:30

Grades K-2        Recess 12:15 – 12:35

Lunch 12:35-1:00

For more information or to confirm your interest, please contact Mrs. Marie McVey, Lunch & Recess Volunteer Coordinator.  Those who wish to volunteer are asked to email the specific day(s) and time(s) they are available to help in this area to

Fall Handcraft Show Hosted by Father Juan Puigbó

Fr. Juan will host a Handcraft Show on Thursday, November 15th from 2pm to 4pm and from 6pm to 8pm at the entrance of the school gym. A number of items will be on display and available for purchase, including beautiful wooden pieces handcrafted by Fr. Juan. Also, we will have fruitcakes, rosaries, and more! This will be a good opportunity to buy your Christmas gifts! 

Volunteers needed to help in the Library during Book Fair

Please consider helping us at this year’s book fair. The dates are November 12-16, and Monday the 19th (the day of the Thanksgiving Luncheon).  Please note: Book Fair volunteers must be virtus trained.

Here’s a link to the sign up page, where you can pick your day and time to help:  Thanks in advance for any help you can give.

Save the Date4th Annual “Evening with St. NicholasFriday December 14th

The 4th Annual “Evening with St. Nicholas will be held on Friday, December 15ht beginning at 7pm in the church.  Cookies, Cocoa and pictures with St. Nicholas and Mother Seton to follow in the gym.

This very popular community-building event, is designed to help us prepare for the Advent season. Families will not be charged admission; rather, 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. The House of Mercy shoe donation guidelines are : NEW plain colors of tennis shoes- white, blue, black, tan, or brown. No character tennis shoes, please.  

Volunteer opportunities will  be advertised in next week’s Sentinel.  We will need many hands (and donations) to make the evening a success.  The PTO looks forward to seeing you on December 14th.

ADD/ADHD and other childhood disorders – What Every Parent Should Know (Free Event)

National and International Award Winning Psychologist and Bestselling Author DR. DAVID STEIN

            Please join us to learn more about how targeting behaviors leads to success in the classroom,

improved reading levels and happier children.

 Saint James Catholic School

830 West Broad Street, Falls Church, Virginia  22046

Thursday, November 8th at 7:30pm

Heller Hall 

PVI “A Taste Of Americana” – What an evening of patriotism it will be!

This coming Nov. 13th may be a couple days after Veteran’s Day, but the patriotic celebration will be in ‘full  swing’ that evening at PVI!  The concert event will begin with Fairfax American Legion #177 posting the colors.  Musical selections will include toe-tapping favorites of Irving Berlin, John Philip Sousa, as well as sing- alongs and fiddle tunes. A special highlight will be the presentation of a flag flown over Ft. McHenry by the Knights of Columbus.  There is no admission fee for this concert, although audience members are asked to bring a donation of canned goods as part of the national “World Hunger Day”.  PVI is extending a personal invitation to local veterans to join in for this celebration of freedom and our nation’s heritage.  Veterans will be given special seating and are encouraged to wear medals and/or uniform for this special event. 

When:  Tuesday, Nov 13, 7 pm

Where: Donald Heet Auditorium, Paul VI Catholic High School, 10675 Fairfax Blvd. Fairfax


Revised Diocesan Code of Conduct – Requirement for All Volunteers – REMINDER

In response to rapidly changing technology, especially social media, 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 makes clear the behaviors that are acceptable and ensures proper monitoring of all young people.

Copies of this new Code of Conduct are available at the School office and the Parish Office.  All clergy, employees and volunteers are required to read and acknowledge this document and return the completed acknowledgments to Janet Smith, Virtus coordinator. Signed acknowledgements were to have been returned 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  Thank you for your cooperation.

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

Thursday, November 8th             

  • Paul VI High School 8th Grade Visit
  • Noon Dismissal
  • Parent-Teacher Conference Day

Friday, November 9th                 

  • Parent-Teacher Conference Day
  • Spirit Event: Chick-Fil-A (6:30 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.)

Monday, November 12th             

  • Veterans’ Day Mass & Reception (8:30 a.m.)
  • Week of Book Fair (Please see link below for information about the Book Fair.)

Thursday, November 15th            

  • Open House for Prospective Parents (9:00 a.m.)
  • Diocesan Teacher Information Meeting (1:00 p.m.)
  • Fr. Juan’s Craft Show (2:00-4:00 p.m. & 6:00- 8:00 p.m.)
  • Enrollment Management Team Meeting (7:00 p.m.)

Friday, November 16th               

  • 7th Grade Field Trip to Williamsburg (6:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.)

Monday, November 19th             

  • 2nd Grade Thanksgiving Presentation (10:00 a.m.)
  • Thanksgiving Luncheon
  • Book Fair Family Night (5:00-8:00 p.m.)

Tuesday, November 20th

  • Thanksgiving Prayer Service (9:30 a.m.)
  • Noon Dismissal

Wednesday, November 21st         

  • Thanksgiving Holiday begins



–          Book Fair Information ~

–          Tax Credit Information for Donations to Scholarship Organizations ~

–          Guapos Promotion for Discover Catholic Schools Week ~

–          Running with the Saints 5K Awards List ~