The Sentinel – April 15, 2015

Principal’s Message

Beginning on Monday, all students in grades three 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).  This brief assessment will be administered to students on Friday morning in advance of the Terra Nova battery next week.

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 three 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.  As All Saints has been selected as a pilot school for on-line testing, students will complete this assessment in the computer lab.

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.

  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.

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This week I also wish to share with you two additional staffing changes for the 2015-2016 academic year.  Ms. Rebecca Zwisler, middle school language arts teacher, has accepted a position at the American School in Tangier, Morocco for the upcoming year.  Having lived around the world, this opportunity opens up wonderful possibilities for her to travel throughout Europe and Northern Africa.  We thank her for her years of dedication and for all that she has done to contribute to the success of the language arts curriculum, one of the strengths of our academic program.

Mrs. Janis DeVore, Director of Marketing and Development, has also decided to resign from her position at the close of this year.  While working part-time at All Saints, she has expanded her own business and is experiencing great success in private industry.  Over the course of the past eight years, she has been highly effective in advancing the mission and “brand” of All Saints.  During a time of remarkable growth and accomplishment for our school, we were blessed to have such a talented person dedicated to promoting our story within the community.    Thank you, Mrs. DeVore, for having so generously shared your gifts and expertise in support of our school.

Key Dates & Holidays for 2015-2016

The following is the schedule of key dates and holidays for the upcoming academic year.

August 31st                  First Day of School (Noon Dismissal)

September 7th             Labor Day Holiday

October 12th                Columbus Day Holiday

October 30th                Professional Development Day (No School)

November 12th            Parent/Teacher Conferences (Noon Dismissal)

November 13th              Parent/Teacher Conferences (No School)

November 24th             Noon Dismissal for Thanksgiving

November 25-27th       Thanksgiving Holiday

December 22nd            Noon Dismissal – Christmas Holiday Begins

January 4th                  Classes Resume

January 15th                 Professional Development Day (No School)

January 18th                 Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday

February 15th               Presidents’ Day Holiday

March 14th                   Professional Development Day (No School)

March 24th                   Holy Thursday (Noon Dismissal)

March 25th                   Good Friday Holiday

March 28th                   Easter Week Holiday

May 30th                      Memorial Day Holiday

June 22nd                     Last Day for Grades 1-7 (Tentative – 5 Make-Up Days Included)

10th Annual Race for Education

The donations for the Race for Education have been arriving at the school daily and our total deposit as of today is: $5,720.00. 

We are still looking for parent volunteers to help with our record keeping. We meet at the school on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays in various time and locations to process the Race mailers. If you are interested in volunteering, please sign up through this Volunteer Spot link:  http://vols.pt/4UBVxk  Make sure to comment on the hours you are available and know that any amount of time will be greatly appreciated.  ***Next week we will be meeting in the St. Joseph conference room in the PAC during the following times:

Tuesday, April 21st: 10 AM – 2 PM

Wednesday, April 22nd: 10 AM – 2 PM

Thursday, April 23rd: 10 AM – 2 PM

If you have any questions about the Race for Education, please contact Mrs. Marjorie Collins or Mrs. Liz Stogran at: racefored@allsaintsvaschool.org

Volunteer Opportunities

Junior Achievement

April is National Financial Literacy Month! Financial literacy is understanding how money works – how to earn money, spend wisely, save for the future, invest and give back. Please consider giving some of your time to teach Junior Achievement this Spring. Details and sign up info are located here: http://vols.pt/5qQPGR

Parish Festival Cake Walk

The Parish Festival Cake Walk needs Volunteers to run the cake walk (10 points per hour) and cake donations (5 points each donation).  The sign up has 2 tabs at the top for each sign up. Please follow the link: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/8050e45a5aa2fa57-cake3 or contact Tera Woolf Tera200@aol.com.         ()

Food donations needed for Kindergarten Screenings on Monday, April 27

On Monday, April 27th, All Saints Catholic School will be having the first day of Kindergarten Screenings.  We are in need of volunteers and finger food donations. This is an easy way to earn points for parents and help us offer our hospitality to new & current families coming to our school. Please use link http://vols.pt/6zc6UH

to sign-up. Thank you!

Catholic High Schools

Bishop O’Connell

Pre-HSPT – We are now accepting registrations for the Pre-HSPT. This is an opportunity for 7th graders to take a practice HSPT. The HSPT is required for 8th graders and this gives students a chance to see what the test is like. The test will be held at Bishop O’Connell on May 9 and May 16. More information and registration can be found here: http://www.bishopoconnell.org/page.cfm?p=1152

HIGH SCHOOL OPEN HOUSE – Sunday, Apr. 19 – Families of middle school students are invited to visit Bishop O’Connell High School on Sunday, April 19 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. There will be a presentation in the auditorium at 1 p.m. followed by classroom activities and much more. Meet the faculty, administration, students and coaches of this 2014 School of Excellence! For more information, visit www.bishopoconnell.org/open or call 703-237-1433.

IMPORTANT REMINDERS

Graduation Day – Noon Dismissal (June 12th)

Since 8th Grade Graduation will begin at 4:00 p.m. in the church on Friday, June 12th, school will dismiss at noon that day.

End of Year Calendar Confirmed

Monday, May 18th       Field Day at Linton Hall School – Grades K-8 (9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.)

Thursday, May 28th     Final Day of Pre-Kindergarten

Thursday, June 11th     Kindergarten Luau

Friday, June 12th          8th Grade Graduation Day (Mass & Ceremony at 4:00 p.m.)

Monday, June 15th       Kindergarten Graduation (Church/10:00 a.m.)

Tuesday, June 16th       Final Day for Students in Grades 1-7

Kindergarten Screening ~ No Pre-Kindergarten or Kindergarten on Monday, April 27th & May 4th

The Early Prevention of School Failure Screening for Kindergarten applicants will take place on Monday, April 27th & Monday, May 4thIn order that the teachers may be available to administer the assessment, there will be no Pre-Kindergarten or Kindergarten classes on these two days.

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 1st.  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.

VIRTUS  Training Update

A 30-minute video “Keeping the Promise Alive” is a review of the warning signs of abuse and the steps we can take to keep our children safe that is required by our Diocese every year for all clergy, employees and any volunteers who have contact with children.

This valuable reminder will be presented on Tuesday, May 5th at 7:00PM in Meeting Room 2.   We are requesting that you register in advance by contacting Janet Smith at jsmith@allsaintsva.org or by phone at (703) 393-2158.

Upcoming Events

Thursday, April 16th                

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

Friday, April 17th                    

  • School Mass (8:30 a.m.)
  • National Junior Honor Society Induction Ceremony (1:30 p.m.)
  • 3rd Quarter Report Cards sent home

Saturday, April 18th                

  • 2nd Grade Jesus Day
  • Diocesan Science Fair

Monday, April 20th

  • Week of Terra Nova & ACRE Testing

Wednesday, April 22nd

  • Gold Medal Readers Celebration (1:30 p.m.)
  • Golf Tournament Committee Meeting (2:00 p.m.)

Thursday, April 23rd

  • 8th Grade Class Trip to Annapolis (6:45 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.)

Friday, April 24th

  • Holiday – Parish Festival Prep Day

Saturday, April 25th

  • Parish Festival

Monday, April 27th

  • EPSF Screening – No Kindergarten/Pre-Kindergarten Classes (Spirit Event: Bounce Mania 10:00-1:00 & 2:00-5:00)
  • Terra Nova Make-Up Testing

Tuesday, April 28th

  • Terra Nova Make-Up Testing
  • Confirmation Rehearsal (6:30 p.m.)
  • PTO General Assembly Meeting (PAC/7:00 p.m.)

Links