The Sentinel – April 2, 2014

April 2, 2014

Message from the Principal

It is with sadness that I share with you the news that the father of Mrs. Nichols, our first grade teacher, passed away Friday night after a period of prolonged illness.  Mrs. Nichols remains in Maryland at this time where family and friends are now gathered for funeral services scheduled for Thursday morning.  Additionally, we learned yesterday that Mrs. Nichols’ mother-in-law, who similarly had experienced a period of decline in her health, passed away Monday night.  Mr. Nichols has now traveled to Pennsylvania where he is helping to coordinate the arrangements for her funeral service.  I have assured Mrs. Nichols of our thoughts and prayers and asked her to let me know if there is anything we can do to assist either her or her family in the days ahead.

During this difficult time, may the Nichols Family be sustained by our prayers and comforted by the abiding presence of our Risen Savior.

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Beginning on Monday, all students in grades two through seven will participate in the Terra Nova standardized testing program.  As the days of testing quickly draw near, now is the time for us to complete the final “warm-up routines”.  Teachers have provided opportunities for a review of basic skills in the classroom and have been guiding the students through practice tests to familiarize them with the format and the process of “bubbling” answers. For parents interested in providing additional practice at home, there are a number of websites that provide opportunities for review and practice of basic skills.  A simple search using the keywords “Terra Nova” and “practice tests” will yield a number of sites that provide practice tests, games and activities related to math and language arts for specific grade levels.

Again this year, all diocesan students in grades three through seven will also participate in a brief assessment entitled “In-View”.  The In-View measures reasoning abilities related to academic success.  As such, it is designed to assess a child’s cognitive abilities in the following five areas:  sequences, analogies, quantitative reasoning (math), verbal reasoning (words) and verbal reasoning (context).

We wish to approach this period of standardized testing with the perspective that it is a weeklong celebration of learning, an opportunity for students to demonstrate all that they have learned this year.  Most importantly, when the results of the testing are received, teachers will be able to effectively plan instruction for the upcoming year, tailoring instruction to the needs of each classroom of learners. 

In an effort to reduce any unnecessary stress for the students, teachers will not be scheduling any classroom tests or projects for the week of testing.  Additionally, teachers in grades two through seven will assign little to no homework throughout the week.

Students in grades 5 & 8 will also participate in the ACRE testing program, an assessment that measures each student’s understanding of the Catholic faith.  This testing will occur during regularly scheduled religion classes within the next two weeks.   

The following is a list of test-taking tips that you may find helpful in preparing your son or daughter for the upcoming week of testing. 

Test-Taking Tips & Strategies

1)      Reassure your child that he or she does not have to answer all of the questions correctly to pass.  It is not expected that students answer every question correctly.

2)      Tell your child to attempt to answer all of the questions and not to leave any blanks.  There is no penalty for guessing.

3)      Remind your child that the test is important.

4)      Explain to your child the importance of using time wisely.  If your child gets stuck on a question, encourage him or her to make the best guess or place a mark in the test booklet by that item and to return to it after finishing that section of the test.

5)      Make certain your child gets a good night’s sleep and a healthy breakfast before taking the test.

6)      Try to make the morning of the test a pleasant one.  Avoid stress.

7)      Be sure that your child arrives on time the day of the test.

8)      Remind your child to listen carefully to the instructions from the teacher and to read the directions and each question carefully. 

9)      Encourage your child to stay focused on the test, even if other students finish early.

Virtue of the Month Award Winners

Congratulations to the following students who received special recognition last Friday for having exemplified the Virtue of Cooperation during March.

PK1     Isabella Hernandez-Zapata

PK2     Aceline Owusu

PK3     Axl Saylors

K1       Brooke Kresge

K2       John Fleisig

1A       Isabella Brown

1B        Isabella Ribeiro

2A       Faith Godeaux

2B        Emily Rivera

3A       Santiago Parada

3B        Isabella Ortiz

4A       Ryan Crocker

4B        Jacob Collins

5A       Morgan Shanz

5B        Ryan Shanz

6A       Trevor Cox

6B        Elizabeth Kwari

7A       Lucy Becker

7B        Mathew White

8A       Miguel Parada

8B        Samantha Gutierrez

Virtue of the Month ~ Stewardship/Service

1.         Do random acts of kindness every day.

2.         Always be there to help a classmate or a teacher who needs you.

3.         Take care of all classroom furniture, books and papers.

4.         Take care of your library book and return it on time.

5.         Don’t waste paper.  Use both sides.

6.         Pick up paper, pencils, and items you see on the ground inside and outside, EVEN IF YOU DID NOT DROP THEM.  Put them in their proper place.

7.         Put all papers, cans, and bottles in the proper recycling bin.  Never throw away something that can be recycled, both at home and at school.

8.         Find ways to help at home BEFORE you are asked.  Examples: make your bed, clear the table, walk the dog, read to a little brother or sister, clean up your mess, take out the trash.

9.         Treat all nature with respect. (Flowers, grass, trees, water, pets, wild animals.)

10.      Help all people in need, especially those less fortunate than yourself.  Give food, clothes, and money to the poor.  Smile at someone who looks sad.  Pray for all people in need around the world.

Prayer of the Month

Dear God,

Thank you so much for this wonderful day.

Thanks for the friends who showed me the way.

Please help me today in all that I do,

and don’t forget God, how much I love you!

Diocesan Band Festival ~ Superior Rating for All Saints!

Last Saturday the students in the Advanced Band under the direction of Mr. Ward participated in the annual Diocesan Band Festival at Bishop Ireton High School in Alexandria.  Congratulations to the members of our band for earning “Superior” ratings!  This marks the 36th time that the All Saints Band has scored superior at the diocesan band festival!  Thank you, Mr. Ward and Ms. Zaiko, for your dedication and for the inspiration that you provide for our students!

The band will perform a spring concert for our community on Tuesday, May 20th beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the PAC. 

Kindergarten Screening ~ No Pre-Kindergarten or Kindergarten on Monday, April 28th & May 5th

The Early Prevention of School Failure Screening for Kindergarten applicants will take place on Monday, April 28th & Monday, May 5thIn order that the teachers may be available to administer the assessment, there will be no Pre-Kindergarten or Kindergarten classes on these two days.

Important Reminders from the School Nurse

With the change of seasons, there has been an increase of stomach bugs, upper respiratory infections and strep throat at All Saints.  I wanted to take this opportunity to go over some of the health policies in place to keep our community healthy:

-Children must be 24 hours free of vomiting/diarrhea in order to return to school.

-Children must be 24 hours fever free without medication in order to return to school.

-If a child is diagnosed with strep throat or another communicable illness requiring antibiotics- he/she must have 3 doses/24 hours of treatment prior to returning to school.

As always, let us all continue to stress the importance of hand washing, coughing/sneezing etiquette and tissue use.  Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

Points for Parents Program ~ Year End Totals

One of the hallmarks of our school community is the high level of parent involvement that has helped the school achieve many goals in recent years.  As in the past, each family at All Saints has been asked to earn 60 volunteer points over the course of the current school year.  Those who are unable to do so are asked to submit a check at the conclusion of the year for any outstanding points that remain.  (1 point = $3.00)  As we begin the fourth quarter, parents are reminded to update their “points total” via our school website so that the database accurately reflects their contributions over the course of the entire year. 

At the beginning of May, the office will issue individualized letters to each family, confirming the number of points reflected in the school database. For this reason, we ask that those families who have not recently updated the database via our school website do so by Friday, May 2nd.  Those families who have not earned the required 60 points will be assessed a corresponding fee at a rate of $3.00 per point and asked to submit payment by the close of May.

9th annual Race for Education

Thank you to all the parents and middle school students who gathered last week to help prep the Race for Education mailers. Our school mailed over 5,650 mailers to almost all 50 states…48 to be exact! Mailers were also sent to Australia, Canada, France, Guam, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Philippines, and Puerto Rico…we are covering the globe! The donations have already begun to arrive at the school and we are looking for parent volunteers to help process the mailers during school hours, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at various time.  If you are interested in volunteering, please sign up through the Volunteer Spot link below. Make sure to comment on the hours you are available, any amount of time will be greatly appreciated. If you have any questions, please contact Marjorie Collins at: racefored@allsaintsvaschool.org

Please sign up for Record Keeping Phase of Mailers – here’s how it works in 3 easy steps:

   1. Click this link to go to our invitation page on VolunteerSpot: http://vols.pt/Dktfuk
   2. Enter your email address: (You will NOT need to register an account on VolunteerSpot) 
   3. Sign up! Choose your spots – VolunteerSpot will send you an automated confirmation and reminders. Easy!

All Saints School New Spirit Wear Line – On Sale starting today!!

All Saints is participating in a spirit gear drive and we need your help!  Showing your school spirit is a great way to encourage teamwork and camaraderie.  We’re proud of our school and we want to show off our gear!

Please shop using the one page flyer that will be sent home today, Wednesday, April 2nd OR go to www.SpiritGearDirect.com or look for the link on our school website to order on-line.  

We are accepting forms back any time before the deadline.  The last day to place an order is Wednesday, April 16th.  Our Spirit Wear items will be on display near the front office during the sale and we will be in the back and front lots during carpool several days each week. 

We are so excited to offer a variety of quality pieces which display our All Saints logo for children and adults!! Please let me know if you have any questions- Contact info: Kerryb17@verizon.net or 703-365-7327.

Uniform Exchange

It’s almost time to switch over to Summer Uniforms!  To help parents prepare the Uniform Closet will be open for sales on April 4 from 2:30 – 4:00 in the Gym Lobby.  If you know what items you need feel free to e-mail in advance and we will have it ready for pick up. The address is uniformexchange@allsaintsvaschool.org

IMPORTANT REMINDERS

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

In keeping with the Holy Father’s Consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary last Sunday, All Saints School families are invited to renew their devotion to Jesus through Mary in a special way.  There are two Statues of Our Lady of Fatima available to the homes of our school families for weeklong visits.  Sign up online at 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).

Final Presentation of the VIRTUS 30 Minute Update

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.  On Tuesday, May 13th the final presentation for the 2013-2014 school year will be presented at 2:15 p.m. in Meeting Room 2 (not at 7:00 p.m. as previously posted).  This change has been made in response to several requests from parents who cannot make the evening presentations.  For planning purposes, please contact Mrs. Janet Smith at 703-393-2158 to confirm your intent to attend.

Upcoming Events

Wednesday, April 2nd              

          PTO Sponsored Lenten Soup Supper (5:00 p.m.)

          Spirit Wear Launch!

Thursday, April 3rd                 

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

Friday, April 4th                      

          Uniform Exchange Sale

          National Junior Honor Society Induction Ceremony (1:30 p.m.)

Saturday, April 5th                  

          2nd Grade Jesus Day

Monday, April 7th                   

          Terra Nova Standardized Testing begins

Tuesday, April 8th                   

          Seniors’ Luncheon, hosted by the 8th grade

          3rd Quarter Report Cards sent home with students

          Parent Portal reopens at 3:00 p.m.

          VIRTUS Update Training for Volunteers (Art Room/7:00 p.m.)

          PTO Executive Board Meeting (PLC/7:00 p.m.)

Wednesday, April 9th               

          Golf Tournament Committee Meeting (2:00 p.m.)

Thursday, April 10th                

          Stations of the Cross – Grades K-8 (2:00 p.m.)

Friday, April 11th                    

          8th Grade Class Trip to Annapolis

          School Mass (8:30 a.m.)

Saturday, April 12th                

          Diocesan Science Fair

Links

          Spotlight on the Arts Summer Camps –  www.SpotlightSummerCamps.com

          Race for Education Volunteer Hours Form – http://www.allsaintsvaschool.org/index/wp-content/plugins/download-monitor/download.php?id=Mailer-prep-volunteer-flier-5.pdf

          Girl Scout Silver Award Flyer – http://www.allsaintsvaschool.org/index/wp-content/plugins/download-monitor/download.php?id=Girls-Scout-Silver-Award-Flyer.pdf

          Annual Fund Brochure – 2013/14 Annual Fund Brochure

         Annual Fund Online Donations – http://www.allsaintsvaschool.org/alumnidevelopment/annual-fund/   

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