August Parent Letter – August 5, 2015

Dear Parents and Friends of All Saints,

I hope this letter finds you and your family well and continuing to enjoy the summer season.  With the first day of school less than a month away, I wish to share with you some updates as well as highlights for the year ahead.

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 selected All Saints.   Again, welcome to our All Saints family!

With the completion of the Design for Excellence re-accreditation process last year, we are now poised to begin the next chapter of All Saints, one that I believe will be a time of growth and innovation as we further adapt to the learning needs of our students.  The 2015-2016 academic year will be an exciting time for us as we welcome new faculty & staff, launch new initiatives and, most importantly, continue to share the Gospel message by word and example each day.

As we look ahead to the new year, I’m excited to share with you a few new initiatives at All Saints.

Wi-Fi Access – The installation of school-wide WiFi access will take place the week of August 10th.  This has been made possible through the generosity of the PTO, community-wide support of the Annual Fund, and a significant gift from an anonymous donor.

Mobile Lab (Chromebooks) – Thirty-five Chromebooks and a mobile cart have arrived and will be configured in the weeks ahead.  The Chromebooks will be used primarily by faculty and students in the middle school in support of differentiation of learning, online assessment, and for further integration of technology and learning, particularly in the math and science programs.  The purchase of these new devices has been made possible through a significant gift from an anonymous donor.

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) Program – In an effort to provide students with more opportunities for hands-on learning in the areas of math and science, we will be implementing three programs in partnership with Lego Education in support of our current curriculum.  The purchase of equipment for this initiative has been made possible through the Annual Fund.

Grades 1 and 2: More to Math – A hands-on approach to problem solving that encourages collaboration, higher-level thinking, and real-life connections.

Grade 3: Simple Machines – A hands-on approach that reinforces math and science skills through the design and building of models as an introduction to engineering.

Grades 4-5: WeDo’s – A hands-on approach that integrates STEM knowledge with language arts as students work together to find creative solutions for problems and to create structures using digital technology.

I want to thank the members of the Technology Committee who investigated a number of options related to mobile technologies and STEM programs over the course of this past year and who crafted a plan for implementation, including intensive professional development for faculty.


Welcome new members of our faculty & staff!

Mrs. Jacqueline Cottingham (6th Grade Homeroom/Middle School Science) – Mrs. Cottingham earned her Bachelor of Science Degree from St. Mary’s College of Maryland and completed graduate coursework through both the University of Phoenix and the University of La Verne.  She previously taught middle school science, math and religion at Our Mother of Mercy in Fort Worth, Texas and most recently taught 7th & 8th grade science for five years in Prince William County Public Schools.  There she also served as a 7th grade team leader and assistant coach for boys’ track and field.  With experience using differentiation in the classroom and a demonstrated commitment to the success of each child, Mrs. Cottingham will be a wonderful addition to our middle school team.

Mrs. Stephanie Filippone (Pre-Kindergarten Assistant) – Having served as a regular volunteer in the Pre-Kindergarten, Mrs. Filippone is already very familiar with the routine and philosophy of the program and looking forward to being a member of our staff.  With previous experience as an assistant daycare director and a highly organized and detail-oriented approach, Mrs. Filippone will be a great asset in the pre-kindergarten classroom.

Mrs. Lisa Kessinger (8th Grade Homeroom/Middle School Literature) – Mrs. Kessinger joins All Saints after relocating to Northern Virginia from California where, for the past five years, she taught 8th through 12th grade English in San Diego.  In addition to teaching full-time, she served as the senior class advisor, helped to lead the re-accreditation process for the school, and managed professional development programs for the faculty.  Mrs. Kessinger earned her Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Connecticut and her Master of Arts in English Education from Southern Connecticut State University. With significant educational experience, she will bring additional leadership and insight to our middle school team.

Mrs. Tomasita Liu (5th Grade) – Having worked in the field of private industry, Mrs. Liu will bring a strong understanding of technology and excellent communication skills to the classroom.  She earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History from George Mason University and a Master of Business Administration as well as a Master of Education Degree from Marymount University.  She completed her student teaching in Fairfax County Public School system where she integrated traditional methods with interactive media and also served as a substitute teacher at a variety of grade levels.  With considerable management experience and a high degree of professionalism, she will be a wonderful role model and example for her fifth grade students.

Miss Cristin McPhilamy (Music) – Miss McPhilamy graduated from The Catholic University with a Bachelor of Music Degree and Minor in Theology.  She completed her student teaching in Fairfax County Public Schools and has since served as a long-term substitute in the Loudoun County system while also working as a musical director at Corpus Christi Catholic Church.  With both a comprehensive understanding of music and liturgy, Miss McPhilamy will provide instruction in the K-8 music classroom and direct the Schola in support of the school’s experience of prayer and worship.

Mrs. Jennifer Smith (7th Grade Homeroom/Language Arts) – Mrs. Smith earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in psychology from San Diego State University and a Masters in Social Work from the Catholic University of America.  She has most recently completed graduate coursework from Regent University where she is pursuing a Master of Education Degree.  She completed her student teaching in Fairfax County Public Schools where she also served as a long-term substitute teacher in a middle school language arts classroom.  With her previous professional experience and understanding of the human person, she will be a terrific addition to our middle school team.


I also want to share with you a couple of more recent changes among our faculty and staff. 

Mrs. Lisa Stevens has decided to resign from her position as Director of Extended Day.  During her employment at All Saints, Mrs. Stevens earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education Psychology as well as a Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology.  With her course of studies now completed, she is pursuing opportunities for career advancement in the public school system.  I am grateful for her eighteen years of dedicated service to our community, a time during which the program blossomed under her leadership and the children received a high level of care each day.  We wish her every success and blessing with her future endeavors.

Mrs. Belkis Amador-Mitter will serve as our new Director of Extended Day.  Mrs. Mitter was previously employed as the Before and After School Care Director at Saint Veronica Catholic School in Chantilly.  As the founding director, she coordinated the design and growth of the program for six years.  With this experience as well as her bilingual skills, she will ensure that the Extended Day program continues to meet the needs of families in our community.

Mrs. Elizabeth Cote has also resigned from her position as she and her husband are planning to relocate to southern Virginia in the near future.  Additionally, with the joyful news that she is expecting, Mrs. Cote is looking forward to the opportunity of being a full-time mother.  We thank her for her three years of dedicated service and for all that she did for the children in the kindergarten program.

I am pleased to announce that Mrs. Julie Feltman has accepted the offer to teach kindergarten.  Having served as a long-term substitute in the very same classroom last year, Mrs. Feltman is already very familiar with the curriculum and routines of the program.  Mrs. Feltman earned her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Master of Arts in Early Childhood Special Education from George Mason University.  She previously worked as an early childhood special education teacher in Fairfax County Public Schools as well as a substitute teacher in Prince William County.  With a joyful demeanor and boundless enthusiasm, Mrs. Feltman will be an inspiring presence for her kindergarten students.

Important Reminders

Orientation Day for Students in Grades K-8 (Friday, August 28th 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 31st)

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.

Dismissal Procedures

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.

Parents are assigned a parking bay in order to create a sense of predictability for the students so that on rainy days the children may walk directly to their assigned area rather than waiting in lines.  On all other days, we will continue to use the “first in, first out” approach, 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.)

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.


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.  A link to the form on the Diocesan website follows below:

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 open events.  (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.  As it typically takes approximately six weeks for the diocesan office to process completed forms, parents are encouraged to complete this paperwork prior to the start of the new year if interested in volunteering in the school during the fall semester. 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 8:30 a.m. on Friday, September 4th 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 unite our hearts in prayer asking for God’s continued blessings on our school community.

2015-2016 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 and corresponding acknowledgment forms 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.  A complete list of supplies remains available for review on our website.  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.

A note from the Supply Packet Coordinator:  Although the group order has already been completed, you may still submit an individual order through the same website and using the same code: EPI Pre-Packaged School Supply Orders (Use ID: ALL088) . These individual orders will be sent directly to your home and may be brought to the school on orientation day. (Middle school students who do not need locker shelves may order a supply pack and remove the locker shelves from the order.)


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)

Low Cut Black Athletic Shoes (Optional Shoe: Solid black leather 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 (worn with winter blouse)

Solid Black Leather 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 – worn with winter shirt and must be purchased from Flynn & O’Hara)

Navy V-Neck Sweater Vest (Winter uniform)

Low Cut Black Athletic Shoes

Black or Navy Crew Socks (Year round with twill pants)

Black Belt


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 (Worn with winter shirt and must be purchased from Flynn & O’Hara)

Navy with White Trim V-Neck Sweater Vest (Winter uniform)

Solid Black Leather Oxford Shoe

Black or Navy crew socks (year round)

Black Belt

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-8)

Low Cut Solid Black Athletic Shoes (Grades K-5)

Middle School Students may wear athletic shoes of any color

FACTS Tuition Program

Parents are reminded that the first tuition payment for the 2015-2016 school year is due in August and will be submitted directly to FACTS via electronic funds transfer.  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 27th at 7:00 p.m. in the art room.  Mrs. Katherine Izquierdo and Mrs. Julie Feltman 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, September 3rd at 7:00 p.m.  Mrs. Kardaras, Director of the Pre-Kindergarten, will highlight pertinent information about our program.  In addition, the program staff will be in attendance and available to answer any questions that you might have.

On Tuesday, September 8th 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 9th.

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 planned for each day.

Upcoming Special Events – Back to School Night & Welcome Back Barbecue

Back to School Night & PTO Meeting (Parents of Grades 1-5) – Tuesday, September 8th 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 17th 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 2015-2016 school year.  For this reason, at least one parent from each family is required to attend Back to School Night.

All school families are cordially invited to attend the 11th 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 28th 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 Juan and Beth Rivera at  Volunteers are still needed to assist with set-up, serving and clean-up.  Plan to join us for an evening of barbecue and fellowship with friends old and new!

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 and again, a very warm welcome to our new families!


David E. Conroy, Jr.