The Sentinel ~ January 9, 2013


Message from the Pastor

Dear Teachers, Parents & Students,

Greetings in the New Year, a year of faith and hope for all of us.  We want to thank you for your lovely Christmas cards & notes written by the students, and the wonderful Omaha Steaks for Christmas.  We are going to have a special dinner together with thoughts of you and your kindness to us.  We look forward to celebrating Mass with you and visiting your classrooms.

Love & blessings,

Fr. Bob, Fr. Melmer, Fr. Juan, Fr. Jeb and “Shutters”

Message from the Principal

Happy New Year!  I hope that you and your family enjoyed the Christmas holiday and the many opportunities to celebrate the season. 

Next week our school will participate in Bullying Awareness & Prevention Week, a time during which we annually refocus our attention and direct our efforts toward the particular challenges associated with bullying.  Implemented as part of our program several years ago, this annual practice has raised the level of awareness among faculty, parents and students and provided an opportunity for us to recommit ourselves to establishing a bully free environment. 

The following is a list of strategies that we will implement next week in support of Bullying Awareness & Prevention Week. 

Monday:            School-wide Prayer Service (gym/8:15 a.m.)

                        Signing of Virtue Pledge at Lunch                      

Tuesday:            Ambassador Program presented in classrooms

                        Friendship Bracelets distributed to all students

Wednesday:       Buddy Activity

Thursday:          Peace & Justice Players visit classrooms

I am particularly enthused about a new initiative at All Saints, the Ambassador Program.  In an effort to ensure that faculty and staff are consistently aware of student-level concerns, one student will be selected in each class to serve in the role of “ambassador”.  By their good example, their positive interaction with classmates and their informal communication with faculty & staff, they will help to further transform our community into a “bully-free zone”.  What better way for our school to take a stand than for students to lead the way among their peers?  Within a school culture where students are already striving for goodness, I believe that this innovative approach has the potential of influencing day-to-day interactions at All Saints and even expanding into a much larger program in the future.    

The keys to reducing instances of bullying are education and communication.  When faculty, staff, parents and students share a keen awareness of the policies and are committed to engaging one another in meaningful conversation when challenges arise, it is then that we effectively address the issue of bullying.  In the event that you ever have a concern related to a bullying incident, please contact us so that we can be aware and assist in resolving the matter.  The teachers and staff stand ready and welcome any feedback or concerns that you may have.  Additionally, Mrs. Karcher, Mrs. Campagna and I continue to closely monitor and address any bullying concerns that arise.  Please know that you can contact any of us at any time.

There is no place for bullying in any school environment, most especially in a Catholic faith community.  Recognizing the inherent goodness and dignity of each individual, it is our mission to instill within each student a respect and reverence for the sacredness of life.  Founded upon Gospel principles, our school provides more than simply instruction and academic opportunity for students.  Rather, All Saints provides formation, integrating the very best of our faith tradition seamlessly across programs and curricula.  As such, it is the continual focus on moral development, particularly within the context of our Virtue Program, which provides a strong foundation for our students and, ultimately, helps us to create a climate free from bullying.    

I wish to thank Mrs. Karcher, our school counselor, as well as Mrs. Brown and Mrs. Izquierdo for their assistance and leadership in planning our Bully Awareness & Prevention Week.  I appreciate their dedication to this initiative and know that the students will continue to benefit from their efforts.

Virtue of the Month ~ Awards Presentation

Congratulations to the following students who received special recognition at our monthly Virtue Ceremony last Friday for having exemplified the Virtue of Generosity during December.

Joseph C. (PreK-1)

Julia F.(PreK-2)

Max N. (PreK-3)

Christopher S. (K1)

Isabella B. (K2)

Madelyn W. (1A)

Anna D. (1B)

Jacob Y. (2A)

Elizabeth K. (2B)

Ryan H.(3A)

Lilibeth B.(3B)

Grady B. (4A)

Erica W. (4B)

Eirian C. (5A)

Maria M. (5B)

Mathew W. (6A)

Victoria W. (6B)

Shelby U. (7A)

Bradley M. (7B)

Caton B. (8A)

Aiden T. (8B)

Prayer of the Month

O Father, give us the compassion you want us to have and teach us to embrace each other with compassionate arms, no matter what our age, color, history, or belief. Help us to remember that you are Life Itself, and that you are using every one of our unique gifts to bring us together with you once again.  Amen.

Virtue of the Month Program ~ Compassion

The following is a list of ways that we will encourage the students to practice the Virtue of Compassion during the month of January.

1)      Pray for those people who are hungry or homeless.

2)      Give money to the poor box in church from your own allowance.

3)      Give food or clothing to those in need.

4)      Help at home without being asked.

5)      Keep your room neat and orderly to help your parents.

6)      Make a pretty card or write a cheerful letter to someone who is sick or in a nursing home.

7)      Listen quietly when your friend is upset or angry and needs to talk.

8)      Visit relatives, neighbors, or friends that are sick.

9)      Include new students in your games.  Introduce them to your friends.

10)   If someone doesn’t understand a lesson or a game, offer to teach them.  Do not make fun of them.

11)   Make someone laugh when they are feeling sad.

12)   Be kind to everyone you meet.

Lock-Down Drill – January 17th (2:00 p.m.)

The next quarterly lock-down drill will take place at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 17th

(Please note: This drill has been scheduled for several weeks and is not in response to any concerns specific to All Saints.  Rather, it is another exercise by which we maintain a state of preparedness should the need ever arise to secure the facility and safeguard the children.) 

Make Your Commitment to the Annual Fund Today

Our Making a Difference, Every Day Annual Fund campaign is now underway.  Not only are we receiving support from our faculty/staff and parent community, we are also hearing from parents of All Saints alumni who received our annual fund mailing and are supporting the school in appreciation of the strong faith and academic foundation that their children received at All Saints. We have also received three commitments of matching funds from donors who work for companies that offer a Matching Gift Program.*

As we greet the New Year, we invite you to use this time to recommit to our school through your prayerful discernment and participation in The Legacy Fund through gifts of prayer, involvement and financial contribution.

  • Remember, funds raised through the annual fund will be used to provide your child with new opportunities related to technology and math/science, and support efforts to provide tuition aid for families in need.
  • We are looking for 100% participation (through gifts of prayer, involvement and financial commitment) from our teachers/staff and parent community. This will allow us to ask for support from the broader community with the knowledge that the initiative is receiving full support from within.

How Can You Participate?

  • Complete a Participation Form2012/13 Annual Fund Brochure
  • Donate Online – Please note that if you donate online, you will also have an opportunity to add a gift of prayer and/or involvement after submitting a financial gift.

Help All Saints continue Making a Difference, Every Day. 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, please contact Parent Division Chairperson, Mrs. Holly Stefonsky or Director of Marketing & Development, Mrs. Janis DeVore at jdevore@allsaintsva.org.

*Did you know that you can double or even triple your gift? Many employers offer a Matching Gift Program to maximize your gifts to charitable organizations. Check with your human resources department for details. It’s as simple as enclosing a form from your employer along with your donation. We will do the rest!

8th Grade Graduation Announced

Graduation for the 8th Grade Class of 2013 will take place at 7:00 p.m. on the evening of Monday, June 10th.  The Mass & Ceremony will be followed by a reception in the gym.  All school families are cordially invited to attend this special event. 

“Souper Sunday” Collection after Weekend Masses

Members of the NJHS and SCA will be participating in a service project whereby they will be collecting funds to benefit House of Mercy.  During each Mass on January 12th and 13th, students will gather at all entrances to the Church with their “Souper Sunday” pots to accept donations in support of the efforts of House of Mercy.  There has always been tremendous support at this event, and the House of Mercy benefits significantly from the generosity of our community. 

Library Internship

All Saints is pleased to welcome Mrs. Lisa Fred, a graduate student at the University of South Carolina, who is completing a Master of Arts Degree in School Library Media.  Next week, Mrs. Fred will begin an internship at All Saints under the guidance and direction of Mrs. Coyle.  She will be observing and assisting in the library on Wednesdays and Fridays through the month of March. 

First Reconciliation – Reminder of Change

First Reconciliation for our second graders will take place on Saturday, February 23rd rather than March 2nd as previously announced.

Calendar Correction – January 31st?

Thursday, January 31st was inadvertently not included on the official school calendar.  It will in fact be a regular day of school at All Saints. 

Mother Teresa Outreach

Two years ago we began a new initiative at All Saints encouraging stewardship among our students.  This initiative, the Mother Teresa Outreach, invited students to make contributions to benefit the students of our sister school, St. Thomas, In Haiti.  To date, we have collected over $3000.00.

Beginning at our school Mass on Friday, January 11, we will begin collecting for the Mother Teresa Outreach.  Students will receive the collection envelopes on Thursday of this week, and again be invited to make contributions in the form of time, talent and treasure at each of our weekly Masses.   The fifth grade students will serve as ushers during school Masses.  All of the funds received through this program will directly benefit St. Thomas, helping to defer the cost of school lunches and supplies.  

Our goal is to cultivate a lifestyle of stewardship among our students.  In the words of Mother Teresa – “The miracle is not that we do this work, but that we are happy to do it.”  Students will learn that by doing small things, they can make a big difference in the life of someone else.

Boxtops Receipts

Thank you to the many families who continue to support our Boxtops for Education effort.  Last week our school received a check in the amount of $870.46.  Keep clipping those labels!

IMPORTANT REMINDERS

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.

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.

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 7 – March 1, 2013(Including siblings for Pre-K & K)

Upcoming Events

Thursday, January 10th              

–          Free Ice Cream at Lunch, courtesy of Fr. Bob, on the occasion of the Redskins making the Playoffs!

Friday, January 11th                  

–          School Mass (8:30 a.m.)

–          Geography Bee (gym/10:00 a.m.)

–          Noon Dismissal (Faculty Meeting) 

Monday, January 14th                

–          Bullying Awareness & Prevention Week

Thursday, January 17th              

–          Open House (9:00 a.m.)

–          Lock-Down Drill (2:00 p.m.)

–          Enrollment Management Team Meeting (art room/7:00 p.m.)

Friday, January 18th                  

–          Holiday: Professional Development Day

Monday, January 21st                

–          Holiday: Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday

Wednesday, January 23rd           

–          End of 2nd Quarter

–          Adoration & Benediction (2:00 p.m.)