The Sentinel – August 28, 2013

Principal’s Message

As families were departing the Welcome Back Barbecue on Friday evening, one of our young students casually yet confidently stated, “I can’t wait to go to school tomorrow.”  His father, smiling in return, gently reminded him that the next day was Saturday and that he would have to wait two days…. 

This little boy’s eagerness, his anticipation for a new beginning, represents for me the spirit that surrounds our school this time of year. Parents, students, faculty & staff return to All Saints, with a sense of wonder and excitement for all that lies ahead. There is a renewed energy and commitment as we together embrace the mission of Catholic education, partnering with one another to provide our students with a strong academic foundation rooted in the very best traditions of our faith!

Each year we select a theme to serve as a focus for these efforts.  The theme for the 2013-2014 school year is the following: 

Each day with one heart, we are the hands of Jesus.

Selected by the faculty, this theme speaks to two concepts identified by Fr. Bob for our parish, i.e. the fact that we are “one parish” and that we are called to serve the poor in our midst.  As we continue to plan for the months ahead, these will serve as guiding principles for our school community.  Through continued dialogue among faculty, staff and student leadership, we will identify concrete and specific ways to incorporate this theme within the life of our school.  For example, with the opening of the new parish food pantry planned for this fall, opportunities will abound for our students to feel even more connected to the parish mission, for them to deepen their understanding of the needs that exist around us, and to develop habits of service and generosity that will last a lifetime.  That all may be saints…that is our call.  Let the journey begin! 

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I am pleased to announce that Miss Elizabeth Sartor will be teaching music for grades K-8 this year.  Miss Sartor is a graduate of Christendom College with a major in theology and a minor in liturgical music.  Having begun in the role of choir director at Seton during the spring, she has already gained experience leading young people and looks forward to starting her teaching career at All Saints.  Welcome, Miss Sartor!

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Undeterred by rain earlier in the day, hundreds of parents and students gathered behind the school on Friday evening for the 9th Annual Welcome Back Barbecue.  I want to again thank Mrs.  Janene Shaw, PTO Vice President, for coordinating the event and organizing the countless details.   I also wish to thank Mr. Jim Switzer for once again providing the music that helped to create a festive atmosphere.  Finally, I want to thank the parents and students who helped with the set-up, serving and clean-up following the event.  Working together they were a great example of the strong sense of community that surrounds All Saints!

Virtue of the Month

The Virtue of the Month for September will be Respect & Responsibility.  Throughout the first month of school we will adopt the following plan and strive to maintain these objectives throughout the course of the year.

1)      Wear your uniform with pride.

2)      Be reverent and quiet in church.

3)      Greet everyone cheerfully and by name.

4)      Listen quietly when others speak.

5)      Keep your desk and supplies neat.

6)      Stand at attention for the Pledge of Allegiance.

7)      Participate in Mass: Try to learn the responses and sing the hymns.

8)      Do your best work on every assignment.

9)      Turn all class assignments and homework in on time.

Virtue Prayer of the Month

Lord, teach me to be generous.
Teach me to serve you as you deserve;
to give and not to count the cost,
to fight and not to heed the wounds,
to toil and not to seek for rest,
to labor and not to ask for reward,
save that of knowing that I do your will.

Emergency Information Form

Please complete the attached diocesan emergency form, one per child, and return it to the office by Friday, September 6th. This form is critically important in that it provides us with the necessary information to contact you in the event of an emergency.  Note:  Please be sure to provide two points of contact in the event of an emergency.

Afternoon Dismissal – Important Reminders

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. 

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.

2013-2014 School Calendars

The new calendars have arrived and will be sent home with the oldest child in each family today.  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 advertisements included in the publication.

Volunteer Opportunity – Playground & Cafeteria Supervision

The school is seeking VIRTUS compliant parents to assist with recess and lunch supervision from 11:10 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.  All volunteers will receive training in playground supervision as well as allergy awareness and will earn Points for Parents.  Please contact Mrs. Holly Crocker at hollyscrocker@comcast.net for more information about this opportunity.  As she is hoping to finalize the schedule in the near future, those interested in helping with this program are encouraged to contact her within the next week.  In advance, thank you for your support and participation.

NJHS & SCA Service Project – Covering of Books for Students

The NJHS and SCA will sponsor a book covering service project on Thursday, August 29 from 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.  All parents who are interested in having NJHS and SCA members cover books for their child should plan to have them deliver the books to Mrs. Bill’s classroom by 3:00 p.m. Thursday.  All books should be placed in a clearly labeled bag which includes the child’s name, grade and teacher.    In addition, a role of clear contact paper should also be included with the books.  We will have brown paper available to cover textbooks.  Books will be returned to your child’s teacher by 8:00 a.m. Friday morning.  Members of the NJHS and SCA, as well as parent volunteers able to assist are asked to report to Mrs. Bill’s classroom by 3:15 p.m.

“Big Bash” to be hosted by PTO

Every year, the All Saints PTO throws a party to celebrate the grown-ups that make our school community so great: parents, teachers, support staff, priests and parishioners.  Formerly known as the Casino & Auction, we have renamed this fun gathering the BIG BASHMark your calendars for this year’s Big Bash to be held on 11.16.13!

Our new party comes with an exciting theme, “HOLLYWOOD NIGHTS.” We hope you, your spouse and your friends will come and help us roll out the red carpet at our first ever BIG BASH event. This premiere event will be held on campus at the Parish Activities Center (aka The PAC)!

The PTO is working hard to put on this brand new of party…and we want YOUR HELP. Follow this link (http://vols.pt/wAStrq) to sign up at our online signup sheet organized by VolunteerSpot. We especially need help setting up, decorating, and cleaning up afterwards.  Let’s work together to make a terrific night out and earn some money for the school at the same time.  You may direct questions about volunteer opportunities to Christian Cobb at cobbet@me.com.

We are also looking for donations of Michael’s craft store gift cards in any amount to support the class gift projects.  Please contact Debi Woolfrey at: dbwoolfrey@yahoo.com if you are willing to make a donation (and earn points for parents)!

Please click here: http://vols.pt/wAStrq to sign up for All Saints PTO Big Bash on @VolunteerSpot today!

Opening School Mass

On Friday morning students in Grades 1-8 will gather in the church at 10:00 a.m. for the annual Opening of the School Year Mass.  All school parents and families are cordially invited to join us as we gather to pray for the success of this new year.

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 gym.  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 gym.  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.

Parent ~ Student Handbooks

The 2013-2014 Parent-Student Handbook can be accessed electronically via our website: www.allsaintsvaschool.org.  Please take some time to review the policies and procedures of our school and discuss them with your children.  Each family is asked to sign and return the acknowledgment form by Friday, September 6th.  Those families without access to the website are invited to contact the office to request a hard copy of the handbook.

Criminal Background Checks for Volunteers & VIRTUS Requirements

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.  

We are hosting two live VIRTUS training seminars (the 4-hour training).  To register for one of these two sessions, please visit www.virtus.org.

Saturday, September 21 (Father Kelley Hall/9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.)

Saturday, November 9 (Father Kelley Hall/9:00 a.m. – 1:00  p.m.)

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 scheduled the following opportunities for completing the half-hour VIRTUS update:

Tuesday, September 10 (Art Room/7:00 p.m.)

Thursday, September 19 (Meeting Room 1/ 2:15 p.m.)

Tuesday, September 24 (Art Room/7:00 p.m.)

Tuesday, October 8 (Art Room/7:00 p.m.)

Tuesday, October 22 (Art Room/7:00 p.m.)

Tuesday, November 12 (Art Room/7:00 p.m.)

Tuesday, December 10 (Art Room/7:00 p.m.)

Tuesday, January 14 (Art Room/7:00 p.m.)

Tuesday, February 11 (Art Room/7:00 p.m.)

Tuesday, March 11 (Art Room/7:00 p.m.)

Tuesday, April 8 (Art Room/7:00 p.m.)

Tuesday, May 13 (Art Room/7:00 p.m.)

Support our School…Sign-up Now for the New Year!

All Saints currently participates in the Giant A+ Bonus Bucks and Harris Teeter’s Together in Education programs. These programs provide cash to our school based on the amount that registered customers spend each school year. Each program requires re-registration each school-year. If you have not already provided your card information, please complete the 2013-2014 enrollment form at the end of the newsletter and return to the office marked to the attention:  Grocery Store Program Coordinator. Don’t forget to recruit family, friends, neighbors and coworkers by getting them to complete a form also. The coordinator will take care of registration for you!

We also benefit from Target’s Take Charge of Education program.  The REDcard is an actual debit or credit card.  For security purposes, please visit www.target.com/tcoe or call 1-800-316-6142 to designate our school, and then use your REDcard whenever you shop at Target to benefit All Saints.

Boxtops

Please remember to turn in boxtops to count for the summer collection. Please label the ziplock with your child’s homeroom and teacher’s name and submit it to the office by the close of this week.

Important Reminders

Directory Contact Information (Submission deadline) – Friday, September 6th

Upcoming Events

Thursday, August 29th
Pre-Kindergarten Orientation for Parents (Art Room/7:00 p.m.)

Friday, August 30th
Opening School Mass (10:00 a.m.)

Monday, September 2nd
Labor Day Holiday

Tuesday, September 3rd
Pre-Kindergarten Open House (Morning Session ~ 9:00-11:00 a.m./Afternoon Session ~ 12:30-2:30 p.m.)

Band Instrument Demonstration for Students

PTO Board Meeting (Professional Learning Center/7:00 p.m.)

Wednesday, September 4th
First Day of Pre-Kindergarten

Thursday, September 5th
Back to School Night for Grades 1-5 & PTO General Assembly Meeting (PAC/7:00 p.m.)

Friday, September 6th
Deadline for Submitting School Directory Contact Information

Parent-Student Handbook Acknowledgment Forms due

Emergency Forms due

ATTACHMENTS

Diocesan Emergency Form – http://www.allsaintsvaschool.org/index/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2012/08/emergency-form.pdf

Grocery Program Registration Form 2013/2014 – http://www.allsaintsvaschool.org/index/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2013/08/GroceryProgram2013-2014.pdf