Welcome to the New Year at All Saints!

Dear Parents and Friends of All Saints,

I hope this letter finds you and your family well and continuing to enjoy the summer.  With the first day of school just around the corner, I want to take a moment to share with you some highlights for the new year as well as a list of important reminders.

To begin with, I wish to extend a special word of welcome to those families who have just joined our All Saints community!  We are delighted that you have chosen a Catholic education for your children and even more pleased that you have decided to partner with All Saints.   Again, welcome to our All Saints family!

Over the course of the summer, we have undertaken a number of projects that will enhance both the facility as well as the overall instructional program.  The following is a list of some of the more significant changes.

New Writing Program~ As part of our five year plan, we will be introducing a common writing framework to be used in all reading & language arts classrooms for students in grades K-8.  After research and discussion, a faculty committee has selected a program entitled Empowering Writers.  Our goal for this initiative is for students and teachers to adopt a common language and expectation regarding the different types of writing, i.e. narrative, expository and persuasive.   Implementing a standard framework across the grade levels will allow for on-going reinforcement of previously learned skills and encourage more frequent writing across the curriculum.

Middle School Math Program ~ In recognition of the increase in enrollment in the middle school and in an effort to more authentically place students in the regular or advanced classes, I have hired a part-time math teacher, Mrs. Debi Woolfrey, to instruct one class of students in 6th grade math and 6th grade science.  (Note: Although the students are placed by ability in math, the schedule necessitates that they be grouped similarly in one other class, i.e. science) In addition to allowing for more effective student placement in the math program, having an additional teacher will reduce class size in a curriculum area that we are continuing to strengthen.  It is our plan that this position will expand over the course of the next two years as students advance to 7th & 8thgrade in either the regular or advanced programs.

Spanish Program ~ In order to sustain the very fine work that Mr. Roy has begun and in an effort to reduce his exceptionally heavy teaching load, I have hired a part-time teacher, Mrs. Helmick, to instruct first and second grade students in Spanish.  (Note:  As the time of these classes occurs when Mrs. Helmick would have been assisting with supervision in the cafeteria, there will be no impact on her current role of first grade assistant.)

Security System ~ When visiting the school, you will notice that exterior cameras have been placed outside the main access points and that an intercom/electronic buzzer system has been installed at the front door. During school hours, the front door will remain locked and visitors will be granted access by way of this new system.  Additionally, a second electronic access system has been installed on the double-wooden doors that lead into the school from the front office.  In order to gain access, visitors will again be required to sign-in and then be granted access by office staff using an electronic buzzer system.

Kitchen Expansion ~ In response to increased enrollment and high demand for the hot lunch program, we have expanded the kitchen.   With the addition of a new walk-in refrigerator and freezer, we will be better equipped to provide for the large number of students who now order lunch.

******************************************************************************************

We are pleased to welcome the following faculty & staff who will be joining us for the 2013-2014 school year.

Mrs. Debi Woolfrey (6th Grade Math & Science) – In response to the increase in middle school enrollment and in an effort to be able to more authentically place students within the math program, Mrs. Woolfrey will be teaching one class of 6th grade math and science.  Mrs. Woolfrey earned her Bachelor of Arts from Randolph-Macon College and a Masters of Education from Virginia Commonwealth University.  She previously taught fifth grade in Hanover County Public Schools where she organized and participated in a number of math and science initiatives at both the local and district levels.  With a great passion for science and math, she will be a terrific addition to our middle school team.

Mrs. Carolyn Helmick (1st & 2nd Grade Spanish) – In addition to continuing in her role of first grade assistant, Mrs. Helmick will be teaching Spanish to our first and second grade students.  This change in the foreign language program will lighten the course load for Mr. Roy who previously taught all students in grades 1-8, including the Spanish I program in the middle school.  Having recently earned her teaching license and having studied Spanish during her undergraduate years at George Mason University, Mrs. Helmick will provide our youngest learners with a wonderful introduction to this foreign language.

Mrs. Angela Slater (Counselor) – We are pleased to welcome Mrs. Angela Slater, mother of Amelia and Charlotte, to the position of part-time counselor.  Mrs. Slater earned her Bachelor of Social Work from James Madison University and a Master of Social Work from Arizona State University.  Specializing in program planning and administration, she previously coordinated services and counseling resources for students and families in a public school setting in Arizona.  With a strong faith perspective and a compassionate heart, she will provide a professional and calming presence within our school community through her role as counselor on Mondays, Wednesdays and through the morning hours on Thursdays.

Mrs. Emily Reid (Pre-Kindergarten Assistant) – We are pleased to welcome Mrs. Emily Reid, mother of Austin and Logan, to the position of Pre-Kindergarten assistant.  Mrs. Reid earned her Bachelor of Science Degree from Virginia Tech and has recently worked in the business field, specializing in event planning. With strong organization skills and a wonderful sense of creativity, she will be a great addition to our vibrant Pre-Kindergarten team.

Mrs. Robin Speicher (Cafeteria Staff) – We are pleased to welcome Mrs. Robin Speicher, mother of Carolyn and the recently graduated Erika, to our cafeteria staff.  In addition to having served as a regular and highly committed volunteer at All Saints, Mrs. Speicher brings to her role her experience from the business world. Her attention to detail and dedication will make her an ideal member of our cafeteria team.

The one position that remains open at this time is that of the music teacher.  With interviews continuing, I remain hopeful that I will be able to identify the right candidate for our program in the weeks ahead.

Important Announcements for 2013-2014

Afternoon Dismissal – Revisions for the New Year

With the completion of the renovation of the Parish Activities Center, students dismissed in the front of the school will once again gather in the courtyard.  Assembled by grade level in lines facing the Parish Activity Center, the students will await their parents who will enter the courtyard via the sidewalk leading to the PAC, pick up their children, and continue to walk around the perimeter of the courtyard before returning to their cars. While this will be a slightly longer walk for parents than in prior years, the enclosure created by the new courtyard renovation provides a safer and more restricted area for pick-up during afternoon dismissal.

In an effort to ensure the safety and security of our students, children will only be released to their parents via the organized dismissal system.  Parents will not be permitted to pull their children from class lines as they exit the building or pick them up outside the main entrance at dismissal time. 

Two years ago we implemented a new carpool system by which each family has been assigned a specific parking area.  This was done in an effort to create a sense of predictability for the students so that on inclement weather days, they might walk directly to their assigned area.  However, in light of the fact that we have had only a handful of rainy day dismissals over the course of the past year, we will be modifying the carpool system accordingly.

All parents will continue to have an assigned parking bay which will be used on days of inclement weather.  In order to help the students to understand the process, parents are asked to park in their assigned bays for the first two weeks of school.  After the first two weeks, we will return to the prior practice of “first in, first out”, meaning that  parents assigned to the front parking lot will park in bay one as they arrive, followed by bay two and three.  Those assigned to the rear parking lot will park in bay four followed by bay five.  (Note:  It is very important that parents park only in their assigned area, i.e. front vs. back parking lots, as the system has been organized based on the total capacity for each parking area.)  On inclement weather days, parents will be asked to park in their assigned bays so that their children can walk directly to those areas.

Parents will once again be assigned one of five parking areas for afternoon dismissal based upon where their last name occurs in the alphabet.  Parking assignments for the new year will be posted on our school website in the coming weeks.  Additionally, copies of the procedures for afternoon dismissal as well as parking assignments will be available on Orientation Day.  All parents are asked to review these items prior to the first day of school.  Parents whose children will be walking to and from school are asked to provide written authorization to the office on Orientation Day.

Cafeteria Program – Updated Pricing

This year the cost of lunch in the cafeteria will remain the same ($3.00), however the price of milk will increase from $.16 to $.18.

Important Reminders

Orientation Day for Students in Grades K-8 (Friday, August 23rd from 9:00 a.m. to noon)

This day provides you and your child the opportunity to meet teachers and visit classrooms.  The classrooms will be open for visits until 11:00 a.m. while cafeteria ticket sales and distribution of information will continue in the gym until noon.    On Orientation Day, parents/visitors are invited to park in either the front or rear parking lots.

(Although the Pre-Kindergarten program will host a separate open house event, parents are welcome to visit the gym to pick-up important information at this time.)

¨       New families are invited to arrive early on Orientation Day.  Faculty and staff will be available to greet you and guide you through the school beginning at 9:00 a.m.  Returning families are asked to begin arriving at 9:30 a.m.

¨       Throughout the course of the morning, you are asked to keep your children with you at all times since the teachers will be occupied with meeting new students and will not be available to supervise the children.

First Day of School for Grades K-8 (Monday, August 26th)

8:00     Morning Bell

8:05     Classes Begin

Since you will already have had the opportunity on Orientation Day to meet teachers and visit classrooms, you are asked to drop off your children in the carpool line by 7:58 a.m.  Students will enter the building via the breezeway connecting the new facility to the original wing and report directly to their homerooms. The breezeway doors will open at 7:40 a.m. at which time the cars in the front of the carpool line will begin dropping off students at the direction of patrols and the supervising staff.  Any child dropped off before 7:40 a.m. must be escorted by a parent or guardian to the Extended Day Program in Father Kelley Hall.

Dismissal will occur at noon on Monday for students in grades Kindergarten through eight.  Dismissal for grades 1-8 will be at 3:00 p.m. for the remainder of the week.  However, the Kindergarten program will dismiss at noon for the entire first week of school.

Immunizations

Virginia law requires that parents of students enrolling in pre-kindergarten, kindergarten or first grade provide documentation of appropriate immunization for measles, mumps, and rubella.  All children who have not received a complete series of hepatitis B vaccine will be required to receive such immunization prior to entering the 6th grade.  Additionally, in accordance with the immunization requirements for the State of Virginia, all 6th grade students must receive a Tdap booster before returning to school in the fall. Please be aware that providing documentation of immunization is a necessary condition for enrollment at All Saints. Those students who have not received proper immunization will not be permitted to attend school. Should you have any questions about immunization requirements, please contact our school nurse, Mrs. Roth, at 703-368-4400.

Families and schools are now only able to access the MCH 213F (School Entrance Health Form) on-line.  Links to the form can be found on the Diocesan website on the following pages:

http://www.arlingtondiocese.org/catholicschools/forms.php

The form can also be downloaded from the Virginia Department of Health web site                                    http://www.vahealth.org/childadolescenthealth/schoolhealth/forms.htm

Background Checks  – Policies for School Parent Volunteers

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 diocesan policy, full compliance for an adult parent volunteer is not required for openevents.  (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.

Opening of School Mass

At 10:00 a.m. on Friday, August 30th we will celebrate the beginning of the new year with a school-wide Mass. All parents are cordially invited to join us for this liturgy as we pray for God’s blessings on our community in the year ahead.

2013-2014 School Calendars

New calendars may be picked up on Orientation Day.  We are grateful to Mrs. Laurie Short who again this year designed our school calendar.  The calendar was printed by JM Gaske with the financial support of local businesses that purchased adverstisements included in the publication.

Parent/Student Handbook

Information related to the updated student handbook will be issued to all families via upcoming school newsletters and posted on our website.

School Supplies

Supply lists were distributed in the spring in order that you might take advantage of sales during the summer. Parents who ordered supplies through the school-organized supply project may pick them up on Orientation Day.  All students are asked to come to school prepared with supplies on the first day of classes.

Uniforms

An overview of uniform requirements follows below.

Girls Uniform (Grades K-5)

Navy, Gold & White Plaid Drop Waist Jumper

White Short Sleeve Peterpan Collar Blouse (Summer and Spring)

White Long Sleeve Peterpan Collar Blouse (Winter)

Navy Crew Neck Cardigan Sweater (Worn with jumper)

Black Athletic Shoes (Optional Shoe: Black Mary Jane Strap Shoe may be worn with jumper)

Navy ribbed or regular tights, navy knee-hi or white crew socks

Hair bows must be of solid color, matching a color in the uniform, i.e. navy, white or black

Girls Uniform (Grades 6-8)

Navy, Gold & White Plaid Wrap Around Kilt

White Short Sleeve Polo Shirt with school logo (Summer and Spring)

White Long Sleeve Buttondown Collar Blouse (Winter)

Navy with White Trim V-Neck Sweater Vest

Black Penny Loafer Shoe

Navy ribbed or regular tights, navy knee-hi or white crew socks

 

Boys Uniform (Grades K-5)

Grey Pleated Twill Pants

White Short Sleeve Polo Shirt with school logo (Summer and Spring)

White Long Sleeve Button-down Collar Shirt (Winter)

Grey Tie (Mass Days and Special Occasions)

Navy V-Neck Sweater Vest

Black Athletic Shoes

Navy Crew Socks (Year round with twill pants)

 

Boys Uniform (Grades 6-8)

Grey Poly/Wool Dress Pants

White Short Sleeve Polo Shirt with school logo (Summer and Spring)

White Long Sleeve Button-down Collar Shirt (Winter)

Navy/Grey Striped Tie

Navy with White Trim V-Neck Sweater Vest

Black Oxford Shoe

Navy crew socks (year round)

While the black athletic shoe remains the standard for all students in grades Kindergarten through five, girls in those grades may opt to wear the black Mary Jane, with the jumpers,(available for purchase through Flynn & O’Hara).  In the middle school, girls wear a black, rubber-soled penny loafer and boys wear a black, leather oxford shoe.

P.E. Uniform

Students in grades 6-8 “dress out” for P.E. class.  Middle school students are asked to bring their P.E. uniform, socks and athletic shoes to school on days when they will attend P.E. class.

The following is a summary of the P.E. uniform for students in grades K-8.

Light Steel Gym Tee Shirt with Silk Screen with school logo

Navy Micromesh Nylon Gym Shorts with Silk Screen with school logo

Navy Sweatshirt with Silk Screen Logo (Grades K-5)

Navy Sweatshirt with Embroidered Logo (Grades 6-8)

Solid black athletic tennis shoes

FACTS Tuition Program

Parents are reminded that the first tuition payment for the 2013-2014 school year is due in August and will be submitted directly to FACTS via the new electronic transfer system.  Should you have any questions about this program, please do not hesitate to contact Mrs. Joyce D’Eugenio at 703-393-1490.

Information for Kindergarten Families

Parents who have a Kindergartner starting at All Saints this year are invited to a special orientation meeting on Thursday, August 22nd at 7:00 p.m. in the art room.  Mrs. Katherine Izquierdo and Mrs. Elizabeth Cote will present an overview of the program and will be available to answer questions.

Information for Pre-Kindergarten Families

Parents who have a Pre-Kindergartner beginning at All Saints are invited to attend a special meeting on Thursday, August 29th at 7:00 p.m.  Mrs. Kardaras, Director of the Pre-Kindergarten, will highlight pertinent information about our program.  In addition, the rest of the program staff will be in attendance and available to answer any questions that you might have.

On Tuesday, September 3rd there will be a special Open House for all Pre-Kindergarten students and their parents from 9:00-11:00 a.m. for those enrolled in the morning session and from 12:30-2:30 p.m. for those in the afternoon session.  The program will officially begin on Wednesday, September 4th.

Pre-Kindergarten students do not wear a uniform.  Rather, they are asked to wear comfortable, casual clothing that is conducive to their participation in the various activities that will occur each day.

Upcoming Special Events – Back to School Night

Back to School Night & PTO Meeting (Parents of Grades 1-5) – Thursday, September 5th beginning at 7:00 p.m. in the Parish Activities Center.  Following an opening presentation and introduction of the PTO Board, teachers in grades one through five will present an overview of programs in their classrooms.

Middle School Back to School Night (Parents of Grades 6-8) – Thursday, September 12th beginning at 7:00 p.m. in the Parish Activities Center.  These sessions will provide parents with important information about our many programs and plans for the 2013-2014 school year.  For this reason, at least one parent from each family is required to attend this session.

All school families are cordially invited to attend the 9th Annual Welcome Back Barbecue hosted by the PTO. This popular and well-attended event provides a wonderful opportunity for families to visit with friends old and new as we begin another year together.  Once again this event is free of charge, courtesy of the PTO.  The evening begins at 5:30 p.m. on August 23rd and will take place on the parking lot and grassy area located behind the school.  Parents are asked to park in the front lot and to either walk around the school or pass through the breezeway entrances when arriving for the event.  Families are asked to bring lawn chairs and a cooler full of favorite drinks.  (Non-alcoholic beverages only)  Although there is no need to RSVP, should you have any questions or wish to volunteer to assist with the event, please contact Mrs. Janene Shaw at 703-330-4487.   Plan to join us for an evening of traditional barbecue items along with some tasty Cajun specialties and music!

In the days preceding the opening of school, should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at 703-368-4400.  We look forward to seeing you in the weeks ahead!

 

Sincerely,

David E. Conroy, Jr.

Principal