The Sentinel – November 6, 2013

November 6, 2013

Principal’s Message

While October was the month during which schools unite nationally in fostering “bully-free zones”, this is a commitment that we live out throughout the year at All Saints.  Through our Virtue Program and the full integration of our faith across the curriculum, students are encouraged to develop habits of respect, kindness, and compassion.  Over the course of years, these traits become embedded and part of the fabric of our students’ lives.  Nevertheless, it is vitally important that we explicitly remind our students of the dangers and consequences of bullying. 

We now know and recognize that the challenge of bullying in our country is not going to simply disappear.  For this reason, our families and Catholic school are called to be counter-cultural, taking a clear stand against these behaviors.  It is our responsibility to guide the children in recognizing that each individual is created in the very image and likeness of God.  As such, respect and reverence should surround all interactions.  Similarly, the complexities and risks associated with technology in the 21st Century are a part of our day to day existence.  It remains our responsibility to teach the children how to navigate these information highways, always using technology in a manner that shows respect to one another and God’s creation.

In accordance with our school and diocesan policy, this week I would like to invite all parents to participate in an anonymous, online survey for the purpose of assessing the level of bullying at All Saints Catholic School.  We estimate that it should take approximately 5-10 minutes to complete the survey.  Students in grades 3-8 will complete a corresponding survey during their computer class beginning next week.

Parents are asked to complete the survey by Friday, November 15th.  In advance, we thank you for your participation in our efforts to both assess our current climate and to establish benchmarks for future reference. 

If perhaps you are wondering what you can do as a parent to further support this initiative, I would offer the following suggestions:

1)      Take some time this week to review the topic of bullying with your son/daughter.  Help them to understand that the repeated, targeted nature of bullying is very hurtful, often resulting in wounds that last years, and in some cases a lifetime.  Help them to understand that all students have a right and expectation to be able to come to school each day to learn in an environment free of fear. 

2)      Remind your child that, should he/she ever encounter an instance of bullying, it is vitally important that he/she share this information with a faculty or staff member.  If for any reason they are uncomfortable doing so, please contact your child’s teacher directly.  It is only with this type of information that we are able to take steps to help prevent future occurrences.

3)      Spend some time discussing with your child the practical steps that he/she can take to discourage bullying.  For example, sharing strategies or even role-playing appropriate responses can help to empower students not to laugh, not to participate, and to take a stand whenever they witness an instance of bullying.

Report Cards & Parent-Teacher Conferences

On Friday teachers will distribute first quarter report cards to students in grades 1-8 and progress reports for those in Kindergarten.  In preparation for the parent-teacher conferences next week, please take some time to review all of the information provided by the teacher, noting any special areas of success or difficulty.  Additionally, we encourage you to speak with your child to determine if there is anything that he or she would like you to address with the teacher.  Please feel free to make a list of any questions or concerns that you wish to discuss during the conference.  While the time for conferences is somewhat limited, the teachers are committed to addressing the development of your child and welcome any questions you might have.  Recognizing that experiences in the home also affect a child’s performance at school, the conference provides an opportunity to discuss any changes in routine, significant events, such as the death of a close relative or pet, or any other occurrences that might be affecting your child’s behavior.  The better the teacher understands the specific needs of each of the children, the better he or she will be able to assist them in their learning.

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.

Pearson PowerSchool – Discrepancy regarding reporting of Half Day Absences

With the diocesan transition to a new database and report card software, we are continuing to work through some of the related changes.  With the prior system, it was our practice to record a “half day absence” for any student signed out prior to noon or entering school after 11:10 a.m. The software automatically tallied this information and reported it within the “absence” field.  However, at this time “half day absences” are being shown on the report cards as “tardies”.  For example, a student who has reported to school on time every day but has left once prior to noon due to illness will receive a report card that indicates one “tardy”.  As this is a system-wide discrepancy, the issue is being addressed at the diocesan level.  As this is being resolved, should you have any questions about your child’s attendance record, please do not hesitate to contact the office.

Annual Fund – Launched for 2nd Year!

Last week each family received an introductory letter and accompanying flyer outlining the goals of the Annual Fund.  Again this year, we invite you to make contributions of prayer, service and/or financial donations, all of which are important gifts that will help us sustain our mission now and into the future!  All funds received will be used in support of tuition assistance, the purchase of math & science equipment, and the installation of WiFi access throughout the school.

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.

PK1                 Max G.

PK2                 Emma W.

PK3                 Kyleigh F.

K1                   Grace A.

K2                   Giovanni P.

1A                   Sophia R.

1B                    Orla H.

2A                   Angelina Y.

2B                    Nolen K.

3A                   Hailey R.

3B                    Rudy G.

4A                   Aidan T.

4B                    Nina H.

5A                   Emma S.

5B                    Erin B.

6A                   Bianca M.

6B                    Sophia C.

7A                   Allison T.

7B                    Mary T.

8A                   Rachel C.

8B                    Emma D.

Virtue of the Month ~ Gratitude

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

A.     Thank Jesus each day for the sacrifice He made for you.  Look at the crucifix and say, “Thank you, Jesus”.

B.     Thank God for your special talents and use them to serve Him every day.

C.     Remember to say “Please” and “Thank you”.

D.     Show gratitude to all of your teachers.

E.      Remember to thank the ladies in the cafeteria for your lunch, milk or for helping you open your juice box or milk container.

F.      Tell your mom and dad you love them.

G.     Make a special effort to show gratitude to someone in your family each day.

H.     Say “Please” and “Thank you” at home.

I.        Thank a friend for being there for you.

J.       Be a good sport when you play.

K.     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.

Amen.

A Note from the School Nurse

Attention parents & Guardians:  If your child or someone in your family has food allergies, please join the Allergy Parent Support Group.  We will be meeting in Meeting Room #1 on Monday, November 18, 2013 at 10:30am.  This group is a place for families to talk about how food allergies have changed their lives, how they cope and a chance to lend support to others. Bring ideas, recipes and share your food allergy stories.  Please feel free to contact Mrs. Roth at jroth@allsaintsva.org or 703-368-4400 ext 207 with any questions.

READING OASIS- A COOL PLACE TO DISCOVER HOT BOOKS!

All Saints students will be taking an intriguing journey to the days of pyramids and pharaohs in this year’s exciting Book Fair theme.  Mark your calendar this month November 18th – 25th as the library presents fantastic new books and fun activities all week long.  Click on link below for the Egypt Book Fair letter.

5th Annual Greater Manassas Veteran’s Day Parade
Don’t miss the Manassas Veteran’s Day Parade on Saturday, November 9th beginning at 11:00am in Old Town Manassas. The 2013 Grand Marshall of the parade is our own Mr. Joe Ortiz from our school community!  This year’s parade will highlight the service of Desert Shield and Desert Storm veterans. For additional information and details on the parade route, please see the Veteran’s Day Parade website at www.vetpar.org

10 Days ‘Til Big Bash: Hollywood Nights!

We hope you’re planning to celebrate All Saints School with the PTO, teachers, faculty and other members of our school and parish community. It’s just 10 days away! Tickets are on sale for $35 per person and include hors d’oeuvres, dinner, soft drinks, coffee/tea, featured performer (magician Max Major), casino games and dancing. We will have a cash bar, multiple casino raffle prizes and the always popular Heads & Tails raffle. And of course, our fabulous silent and live auctions.

Performer Spotlight: Max Major was voted DC’s Best Performing Artist by The Washington City Paper in 2011 and 2013, but he is not just a regional talent, he is in demand across the nation for his amazing mind-reading and magic abilities. Tickets for Max’s 2 hour show in DC are selling for $29-$49 per person. You can see him much closer to home at Big Bash: Hollywood Nights for the price of your entry ticket! You can check out a video of his performance at www.ptobigbash.com.

Can’t Attend, But Want To Participate?  We know everyone cannot attend – but everyone can join in on the fun.  

  • Raffle Tickets

50/50 Raffle and Big Bash Raffle Prize tickets are on sale now. 50/50 Raffle tickets (you get half of the money gathered through this raffle!) sell for $2 each or 6 for $10; Raffle Prize tickets (newest American Girl doll, Kindle HD, etc.) are $5 each or 6 for $25. Ticket forms are attached in the Sentinel.

Family Raffle. The prize is a pew at the All Saints Church Christmas Mass of your choice. All Saints School families who donate, sponsor or advertise with the Big Bash earn 1 raffle ticket per $10 of value of their contribution. Check the Donate Or Sponsor section of www.ptobighbash.com for details and the form you need to download and complete for your Family Raffle entry. The form is also attached to this week’s Sentinel. Please submit entries by November 12 to be eligible for the raffle, which will be drawn on November 14.

  • Pre-Bidding & On-site Raffle Ticket Sales (at the PAC): November 15, 2013

New this year: auction pre-bidding and selected class items will be for sale! Auction items will be available for viewing and pre-bidding the Friday before the Big Bash and you can buy raffle tickets, too. Class auction items are highly valuable because they capture a moment in time – they are personalized with your child and his or her classmates in some way. Some are unique and will only be available for auction, but we have a select group of class gift items available for immediate purchase as “Buy It Now” items.

Please join the Big Bash auction team and to make your bids and buys during these times on November 15 in the Parish Activities Center (PAC):
8:30a-10:00a
1:30p-2:45p

Faculty/Staff Auction Item Spotlight

Wouldn’t it be nice to serve a special meal prepared for family or friends – that you don’t have to cook? Do you love to try new and interesting flavors? Have a special tie to New Orleans? Then you will definitely want to put your bid in for the culinary treat submitted to our auction by 6th grade teacher Mrs.Gaubert and her husband, New Orleans natives:

An authentic New Orleans meal to serve 4-6. You can choose from Red Beans & Rice with Sausage OR Chicken & Sausage Jambalaya. 

If you have any questions about Big Bash: Hollywood Nights, please reach out to Christian Cobb (703-869-2284) or Elissa Hackerson (703-599-0737). 

Spirit Events Committee Announcement

No School? No Problem! Once again a Spirit Event has taken care of you and the energetic bunch! Chuck E. Cheese!  That’s Right Chuck E. Cheese in Manassas on November 11th, 2013 from 12 noon till 9 p.m. will be where it’s at! Make either lunch or dinner plans or just make some plans to be there and have some fun. Let’s show our school we think they’re number 1. Take your flyer, print out the certificate, and get free tokens! See you there!

Download the certificate at: http://chuckecheese.com/_content_assets/files/Calendar%20PDFs/Super%20Student_8-12.pdf

Save the Date

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, when our All Saints School community comes together to celebrate the feast day of St. Nicholas, patron saint of children!  Join us for the 5th Annual “Evening with St. Nicholas“, Friday December 6th beginning at 7pm in the church.  Cookies, Cocoa and pictures with St. Nicholas and Mother Seton to follow in the PAC.   This year is very special, as we can celebrate the prayer service on his feast day!

This very popular community-building event is designed to help us prepare for the Advent season. Families are asked  to bring a donation of new shoes in honor of St. Nicholas and his feast day. Shoe donations will go to House of Mercy. 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 upcoming Sentinels.  We will need many hands (and donations) to make the evening a success.  The PTO looks forward to seeing you on December 6th.

Prospective Teachers  Information Sessions

Are you interested in teaching for the Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Arlington? There are 44 schools within the Diocese offering instructional programs for all ages from pre-school through high school. Perhaps your certification has expired, or perhaps you are thinking of changing careers or returning to teaching after a period of absence. Do you have questions about qualifications to teach? Would you like to learn more about the mission of teaching in a Catholic School in a nurturing and caring, Christ-centered environment? Please come to one of the following Information Programs for Prospective Teachers scheduled throughout the Diocese and meet with Sister Patricia Helene, IHM, former Assistant Superintendent of Schools for the Diocese and current head of the Marymount University Catholic School Leadership Program to learn more about the opportunities and advantages of teaching in our Catholic Schools. No registration is required.

All Saints School – Music Room Friday, November 15, 2013

9294 Stonewall Road 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Manassas, VA 20110

703-368-4400

St. Thomas More Cathedral School Monday, November 18, 2013

105 North Thomas Street 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Arlington, VA 22203

703-528-1547

St. Francis of Assisi School Monday, November 25, 2013

18825 Fuller Heights Road 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Triangle, VA 22172

703-221-3868

IMPORTANT REMINDERS

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 Friday, November 8th at 8:30 a.m. Following the Mass, there will be a brief ceremony in the Parish Activity Center followed by a reception for our honored guests in Father Kelley Hall. 

Open House for 2014-2015 School Year

All Saints Catholic School will host an Open House for prospective parents on Thursday, November 21st beginning at 9:00 a.m. in the Parish Activities Center.  All parishioners and members of the community interested in learning more about our 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.

Thanksgiving Luncheon

The schedule for the Thanksgiving Luncheon 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

The arrival process will be the same as prior years with parents reporting directly to their son/daughter’s classroom.  There, they will wait with their children, and when called by grade level, report to the gym via the Father Kelley Wing.

So that the kitchen staff may begin planning for the event, please be sure to return your form no later than Thursday, November 21st.  We do hope that you will join us for this Thanksgiving tradition!

Pilgrim Virgin Statue Program ~ Sign up Now to Host Statue in your Home

Families who wish to host one of the Pilgrim Virgin Statues of Our Lady of Fatima can sign up online at the following link:  http://www.signupgenius.com/go/20F084CAEAB22A02-pilgrim

Those interested in participating are encouraged to sign up for the first available week in order to avoid gaps in the schedule.  However, if there is an upcoming event or celebration that is particularly important to your family, i.e. wedding or anniversary, you are most welcome to host the statue during that specific week. 

While the statue of Mother Mary is in your home, families are encouraged to pray together either part or the entire 5-decade rosary for the intentions of our school as well as your private intentions.  Also, the school has purchased a DVD of “The Day the Sun Danced”, which presents the message of Fatima which was entrusted to three peasant children in Portugal in 1917.    

Should you have any questions about the program, please do not hesitate to contact either Mrs. Linda White (linda.white1016@gmail.com) or Mrs. Julie Mantooth (mantooth06@msn.com).

Criminal Background Checks for Volunteers & VIRTUS Requirements

The next live VIRTUS seminar (the 4-hour training ) will take place on Saturday, November 9th beginning at 9:00 a.m. in Father Kelley Hall.  To register, please visit www.virtus.org.

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, 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.)

Upcoming Events

Friday, November 8th              

          Veterans’ Day Mass & Program (8:30 a.m.)

          1st Quarter Report Cards distributed to students

Monday, November 11th         

          No School – Parent/Teacher Conferences

          Spirit Event – Chuck E. Cheese (12:00-9:00 p.m.)

Tuesday, November 12th         

          Noon Dismissal – Parent/Teacher Conferences

Wednesday, November 13th    

          Gold Medal Readers Party (1:30 p.m.)

Thursday, November 14th       

          Enrollment Management Team Meeting (7:00 p.m.)

Friday, November 15th            

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

          Diocesan Teacher Information Session (1:00-3:00 p.m.)

Saturday, November 16th        

          Big Bash (Parish Activities Center/6:30 p.m.)

Links

          Egypt Book Fair Letter: http://www.allsaintsvaschool.org/index/wp-content/plugins/download-monitor/download.php?id=egypt-bookfair-letter.pdf

          Parent Survey 2013: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/V7HSCK7

          Pilgrim Virgin Statue Sign-Up: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/20F084CAEAB22A02-pilgrim

          Prospective Teacher Information Sessions: http://www.allsaintsvaschool.org/index/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2013/11/ProspectiveTeachersInfoSessions.pdf

          Spirit Event at Chuck E. Cheese: http://www.allsaintsvaschool.org/index/wp-content/plugins/download-monitor/download.php?id=2013-11-14-Chuck-e-Cheese-revised.jpg

          Yearbook Cover Contest: http://www.allsaintsvaschool.org/index/wp-content/plugins/download-monitor/download.php?id=Yearbook-cover-contest-info-2013-14.pdf

          Big Bash links: 

Website: http://ptobigbash.com

Ticket Information: http://wiselightmarketing.com/ptobigbash/buy-big-bash-tickets/

Online Ticket Ordering: http://wiselightmarketing.com/ptobigbash/buy-your-big-bash-tickets-online/

Raffle Cover Letter: http://www.allsaintsvaschool.org/index/wp-content/plugins/download-monitor/download.php?id=Raffle-Cover-letter_vEEH.pdf

50-50 Raffle Tickets: http://www.allsaintsvaschool.org/index/wp-content/plugins/download-monitor/download.php?id=50-50-raffle-ticket-BigBash2013v2.pdf

Prize Raffle Tickets: http://www.allsaintsvaschool.org/index/wp-content/plugins/download-monitor/download.php?id=Prize-raffle-ticket-BigBash2013v2.pdf

Planning Calendar: http://wiselightmarketing.com/ptobigbash/planning-calendar/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/allsaintsptobigbash

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/2/100806208726508659866/