The Sentinel ~ December 12, 2012


Message from the Principal

This week I wish to provide you with an update regarding the plans for the kindergarten classroom as Mrs. Cote prepares for the birth of her baby.  I am pleased to announce that Mrs. Traci Kessler will be serving as long-term substitute teacher for approximately two months beginning around the third week of January. 

Mrs. Kessler is a National Board Certified Teacher who earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education from Mississippi University for Women, a Master of Education Degree in Mild/Moderate Disabilities from William Carey College, and a Specialist Degree in Educational Administration from the University of Southern Mississippi.  In addition to her ten years of experience teaching third grade in the Biloxi Public School District, she also has experience as a Title I teacher and an Academic Strategist.  In this capacity she supervised screenings of K-8 students, coordinated special education plans and assisted with professional development initiatives.  With extensive experience and credentialing, Mrs. Kessler will be a highly competent long-term sub during the period of Mrs. Cote’s maternity leave.

In support of a smooth transition, Mrs. Cote is beginning to complete advanced instructional planning for the time that she will be away and will be providing these details to Mrs. Kessler prior to her leave.  Additionally, Mrs. Kessler will be visiting and observing the classroom on January 7th & 8th and on a third date yet to be determined just prior to Mrs. Cote’s leave.  This will provide her an opportunity to gain an understanding of classroom procedures and a familiarity with our way of life at All Saints. 

In closing, I have every confidence that Mrs. Kessler will continue the good work begun by Mrs. Cote and with the support and assistance of Mrs. Brown, provide a nurturing and engaging learning environment for the children.  In the meantime, let us continue to remember Mrs. Cote and her husband in our prayers as they prepare for the birth of their baby.

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For the past several years, we have invited parents and students to complete a survey in October and again in the spring to assess the effectiveness of our bullying prevention program and intervention strategies.  The following links provide access to the results of our most recent survey administered this past fall:

Parent Survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/sr.aspx?sm=_2fa7ntvbdINa_2bQ6wPlgB0fJ_2b9Z4cfFBQqUDKn3iXDtZI_3d

Student Survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/sr.aspx?sm=rvSXKjizFsEPyQfMrGhIQX6AfJambS7Vl6Yi1m_2fTueU_3d

While our results show that All Saints Catholic School has a high degree of effectiveness in addressing bullying, it also pinpoints areas for further improvement.  For example, we know that our students and parents are especially concerned about social bullying and teasing. We also know that the places where bullying is most likely to occur is during recess and lunch. Subsequently, it is part of our plan to further increase supervision in these “hot spots.”

The following prevention strategies have been designed to address these concerns and others found in the survey.

  • In an effort to increase supervision at recess and lunch, additional parent volunteers will be trained and increasingly utilized.
  • Communication with parents about bullying prevention and intervention efforts will continue through the weekly newsletter, survey and school website.
  • Educational resources will be provided for parents on the Counselor’s Corner section of the All Saints Catholic School Homework Central website.
  • Parent letters will be sent home when an intervention presentation is given in their child’s classroom.
  •  In-service presentations will continue to be provided to faculty and staff twice yearly to report the findings of surveys and respond to concerns and questions. These presentations also include education to improve detection of bullying in the classroom and hallways.
  • Classroom lessons are provided by the counselor in September, during bullying awareness week, and on an as needed basis. These presentations focus on various aspects of bullying such as, bystander participation, defusing situations, and the effects of bullying and social isolation.
  • Virtues are taught, encouraged, and adopted by students, parents, and teachers. This counteracts bullying behaviors and attitudes.
  • To prevent relational aggression, all 4th grade girls are invited to participate in a GIRLS group. This group focuses on communication, common conflicts, friendship skills, and coping strategies.
  • To prevent social isolation, social skills groups are provided for students who are having difficulty making or keeping friends.
  • Anti-Bullying Week in January includes educational and spirit-related activities to prevent bullying and build an inclusive, encouraging community.

Intervention strategies that are currently in place include the following:

  • Students are referred to the counselor or assistant principal for bullying behaviors whereby they have an opportunity to discuss the situation and empathize with the person who is being hurt by their words or actions.
  • The parents of the children involved are contacted and asked to work with the school to resolve any issues contributing to the problem behaviors.
  • If the situation continues, it is addressed through disciplinary channels.

I wish to take a moment to thank Mrs. Karcher, our school counselor, for organizing the survey effort and for providing an analysis of parent and student responses.   Additionally, she provides meaningful support to students and resources to parents and teachers throughout the year that help us to create a “bully-free zone”.  I also want to thank Mrs. Campagna, our assistant principal, for her continued commitment to this effort as well.  Working closely with parents and students as needs arise, she strives to make each disciplinary response an opportunity for growth and learning for our students.

Prayer for the Third Week of Advent

Lord God, may we, your people, who look forward to the birthday of Christ, experience the joy of salvation and celebrate that feast with love and thanksgiving.  We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.

Tuition Assistance Applications for 2013-2014

Applications for tuition assistance for the 2013-2014 academic year are now available at the front office.  Again this year the Diocese of Arlington has contracted with FACTS Grant & Aid Assessment Company.  FACTS has established an on-line application process that can be initiated through the company website (www.factstuitionaid.com). 

The due dates for applications and supporting documentation are as follows:

High School                 January 28, 2013

Elementary School      March 18, 2013

NOTE: All families with children enrolled in both high school and elementary school will need to submit an application by the January high school deadline.

Please note that ALL applications and supporting documentation must be received by FACTS by the date listed above, not postmarked.  Applications are not considered complete until FACTS has received the supporting documentation.  Additionally, only those families who are verified by FACTS as having submitted all of the required supporting documentation will be eligible for diocesan tuition assistance.

An overview of the Diocesan Tuition Assistant Program can be found at the following link:  http://www.arlingtondiocese.org/catholicschools/tuition grant.php

Those families interested in applying for tuition assistance for the Pre-Kindergarten program are invited to complete a separate application available in our front office.  As the diocesan tuition assistance program pertains only to those students enrolled in grades K-12, the Pre-Kindergarten assistance program is distinct and managed by All Saints rather than FACTS Tuition.

Annual Fund Update

The Legacy Fund is now underway and members of our community are continuing to give generously of their time, talent and treasure in support of our mission.  By this time, all faculty, staff and parents should have received a brochure and letter outlining the details of this new development effort.   We now invite your prayerful discernment and participation through gifts of prayer, gifts of involvement and gifts of financial contribution.      

We are truly excited about this new beginning for our school and look forward to our continued partnership with you.  Remember, your gift – no matter the size – will help provide for our current students and secure the future of our school! For more information about The Legacy Fund or to request additional brochures, please contact Mrs. Janis DeVore, Director of Marketing & Development, at jdevore@allsaintsva.org.

Confirmation Date Announced

8th Grade Confirmation will take place on Saturday, May 4th at 10:00 a.m. & 2:00 p.m.  Details to follow from the Religious Education Office.

Update from the Pennefather Family

Thank you for your continued prayers for Charbel.  His neurologist called last night and told us the MRI done on Monday showed no change from the one done in September.  The good news is that the blood flow to the brain is not getting worse and Dr. Lavenstein does not anticipate that it will.  Charbel’s internal carotid artery continues to have significant stenosis and therefore significant reduction in blood flow through it, however, he does have “adequate compensatory blood flow” through other vessels and Dr. Lavenstein called him “stable”.    So that’s the update.  We continue to pray for St. Charbel’s intercession for his namesake’s complete healing but are grateful to learn that his condition does not seem to be degenerative.  The plan is to continue to monitor Charbel’s development.

Bob the children and myself are so grateful for your many prayers.  Please keep our little Charbel in your prayers.

God Bless you all

Have a blessed Advent

~ Beatrice and Bob Pennefather

Celebrate the feast of St. Nicholas and help House of Mercy at the same time

The Celebration will be held this Friday, December 14th, beginning at 7 p.m. in the church.  Remember to RSVP today!

Join the All Saints PTO for the 4th Annual “Evening with St. Nicholas”, and help us help the House of Mercy in their time of need. 

Terry and John Bisaga , from House of Mercy, will join us for this special evening. The shoes we collect that night will go to children whose parents go to the House of Mercy to select two gifts per child for Christmas. Two gifts! The shoes you donate will be a child’s Christmas gift.  Last year we collected 50 pairs of shoes- let’s double that this year and help twice as many children! Please bring a donation (or two!) of new shoes in honor of St. Nicholas and his feast day. Monetary donations will also be accepted. House of Mercy shoe donation guidelines are: NEW plain colors of tennis shoes- white, blue, black, tan, or brown. No character tennis shoes, please.   The shoes will be given away the next day!

We are happy to announce the details of the evening! Father Bob will preside over our Advent prayer service, and Mrs. Reynolds and members of Schola will sing traditional Advent carols. 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. For planning purposes, please visit the “Evening with St. Nicholas” link at www.allsaintsvaschool.org/news-events/calendar/evening-with-st-nicholas-rsvp-form to RSVP today.

Thank you to those who have already volunteered to help- we still need many hands (and donations) to make the evening a success!

VOLUNTEERS:  Please go to www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0448AAAF2A1-evening to volunteer your time. Questions about volunteering- contact event co-chair Gina Michak at ginamichak@gmail.com. *All volunteers at the event must have completed the background check and be Virtus trained.

Contact event co-chair Kate Bachman at katebachman2002@aol.com with questions about food donations or to volunteer for an at home volunteer opportunity: Covering battery-operated candles with pink/purple paper for the advent wreath centerpieces (all supplies provided!)

FOOD DONATIONS: 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. Please go to www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0448AAAF2A1-evening to donate. Cookie donations can be sent in on Thursday Dec. 13th or Friday Dec. 14th. Cocoa donations can be sent in at any time to the attention of Kate Bachman. All volunteer opportunities & food donations count toward the Point for Parents program.

The PTO looks forward to seeing you on the 14th!

John Paul the Great Events and Invitations for Middle School Students!

All Middle School students are invited to participate in these special events hosted just for you!

Band and Choir Music Festival: January 26. Attention singers and instrumentalists: Learn new music, meet new friends, and perform on the JP stage during our third annual event for middle school musicians! For more information, and to register, please click here. Questions? Please contact: Music Director, Mrs. Kingett: Kelly.Kingett@jpthegreat.org.

Free Admission to Varsity Basketball Games: (NEW DATE!) January 30. Girls play at 4:30pm, boys at 6:00pm. To add your name to the RSVP list, or just come by! For more information, please contact: info@jpthegreat.org

2nd Annual Futsal Tournament: (NEW DATE!): February 9, 2013. What’s Futsal?  A type of indoor soccer for boys and girls! Click here to learn more, and to register! Contact: Coach Jay Jesse: Jay.Jesse@jpthegreat.org

Preview Open House: March 14, 4 – 6pm. For Grades 5 – 7 (or anyone!) who wants to preview high school at JP! Contact: admissions@jpthegreat.org

e-News Update: Check out the latest e-newsletter from John Paul!

IMPORTANT REMINDERS

All Saints Christmas Pageant 2012

The annual Christmas Pageant as performed by students in kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th and 6th grades will take place on Thursday, December 20th at 7:00 p.m. in the church.  Students are asked to report to the gym at 6:30 p.m. 

Grades K, 1, 2, 4, & 5 – Christmas Sunday Best Attire

6th Grade directors, lights, Readers, soloists, & Candle Lighters = Christmas Sunday Best Attire

6th Grade Stage Crew & Stage Managers = all black attire

6th Grade actors (characters in the pageant) = costumes into school by December 10th – Mrs. Reynolds has/will contact you regarding details.

If your son/daughter is unable to participate due to family obligations/conflicts, you MUST inform Mrs.Reynolds via email, phone, or in writing.  Students will receive their participation grade based on attendance.  Questions?  email Mrs. Reynolds: nreynolds@allsaintsva.org

Criminal Background Checks for Volunteers & VIRTUS Requirements

The diocese 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 all of which will take place in the Art Room beginning at 7: 00 p.m.

Tuesday, January 15th

Tuesday, February 12th

Thursday, March 7th

Thursday, April 11th

Monday, May 13th 

One presentation will take place in the afternoon: Thursday, February 7th at 2:15 PM in Meeting Room 1.

Open House for 2013-2014 School Year

All Saints Catholic School will host an Open House for prospective parents on Thursday, January 17th beginning at 9:00 a.m.  All parishioners and members of the community interested in learning more about the 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.

Registration Schedule for the New Year

  • Re-Registration for Current Families             February 1-15, 2013
  • Registration for New Students                       February 8-March 1, 2013 (Including siblings for Pre-K & K)

Upcoming Events

Thursday, December 13th

–          1st Grade Activity Day (1:00-2:30 p.m.)               

–          Enrollment Management Team Meeting – cancelled                               

Friday, December 14th               

–          School Mass with Deacon Matthew Carroll preaching (8:30 a.m.)

–          Sacrament of Reconciliation – 7th Grade

–          Evening with St. Nicholas (church/7:00 p.m.)

Monday, December 17th

–          Sacrament of Reconciliation – Grade 8

Tuesday, December 18th

–          Band Concert for Students (Gym/2:00 p.m.)

Wednesday, December 19th         

–          2nd Grade Christmas Around the World Celebration (10:00 a.m. – Noon)

–          Christmas Pageant Performance for Students (2:00 p.m.)

Thursday, December 20th            

–          Pre-Kindergarten Christmas Pageants (church/10:00 a.m. & 1:15 p.m.)

–          Christmas Pageant (church/7:00 p.m.)

Friday, December 21st               

–          School Mass (8:30 a.m.)

–          Classroom Christmas Parties (10:30 a.m.)

–          Noon Dismissal

Links