The Sentinel ~ September 23, 2015

Principal’s Message

This week I would like to provide you with an update regarding our expanding Title I program, a federally funded initiative that provides services to benefit students in lower grades who are not yet showing mastery in math and/or reading.  Last spring we began a partnership with Manassas City Public Schools and NonPublic Educational Services, Inc. and I am pleased to share with you that this effort has been expanded to now include students in Prince William County.  As such, Ms. Cassandra Putnam will continue in her role of Title I Teacher, providing small group instruction and remediation to approximately two dozen identified students.  In order to qualify for the program, students must be residents of the City of Manassas or live within the jurisdiction of a Title I zoned school in Prince William County and meet specific academic criteria.  Ms. Putnam distributed permission slips last week to parents of students who qualify and will begin instruction this week.

As we continue to focus on differentiation in all of our classrooms, Title I is a wonderful program for us in that it specifically targets the learning needs of students.  Should you have any questions about this program or your child’s eligibility, please do not hesitate to contact the office for more information.

A footnote: As we’ve expanded the program to benefit more students in our population, we have also identified a dedicated instructional space for Title I.  Over the course of the summer, we renovated the large middle school storage closet adjacent to the science lab for this purpose.

We welcome back Ms. Putnam, who during her first months with us in the spring, provided tailored instruction that has already yielded positive gains for our students.

Middle School Program ~ The Gift of Human Sexuality

Central to the mission of Catholic education is a commitment to the formation of the whole person within the light of the teachings of the Gospel.  At All Saints our effort to educate all dimensions of the child ~ spiritual, intellectual, social, and emotional, has been an essential and consistent element of our mission.

As a Catholic school, All Saints also affirms the role of parents as the primary educators of their children and we are privileged to have the opportunity to work with you as partners in this regard.  During the past several years, we have grown increasingly concerned about the many confusing messages that society as a whole, and the media in particular, place before the young people of today, particularly in regards to the topic of human sexuality.  In this day and age it is increasingly important that we insure that the children learn the beautiful teachings of the Church on this topic and that they fully realize and understand the gift of human sexuality within this framework.  Not to share this information with the children leaves them unprepared for the world they face and the many choices that await them in the years ahead.

In recent years, All Saints Catholic School has implemented a middle school family life curriculum that supports our goal of educating the whole child.  The program is coordinated by the Diocesan Director of Youth Ministry, Mr. Kevin Bohli, and is tailored to the specific needs of each school community. The program consists of a parent presentation during which Mr. Bohli provides an outline of his presentations as well as resources for parents.  Following this presentation, he and an associate, Mrs. Celia Fruchterman, will meet with the students for three one hour lessons designed to provide the children with an understanding of the Church’s teachings on the topic of human sexuality.

One of the advantages of this program is the involvement of outside professionals.  In addition to their expertise and experience, Mr. Bohli and Mrs. Fruchterman are unfamiliar to the students, which may put the students at greater ease in asking questions and discussing this topic.  A second advantage of this program is that it is designed to take place in a single-sex setting; Mr. Bohli will address the boys and Mrs. Fruchterman will speak with the girls.  Finally, in accordance with diocesan policy, this program is designed as an opt-in opportunity for parents and students.  Accommodations will be made for those children whose parents prefer that they not participate in the program.

Parents of middle school students are invited to a presentation to be held on Wednesday, October 7th beginning at 7:00 p.m. in the PAC.  As this is such a very important topic related to the development of your child, I ask that at least one parent from each family new to this program be present at the meeting.  Should you have any questions about this initiative, please do not hesitate to contact the office for more information.

PTO Meeting ~ Financial Planning Tips for Parents (October 6th)

Are you looking ahead to the future and the next steps in your child’s education?  Are you concerned about the rising costs of higher education and wondering how best to prepare?  If so, you won’t want to miss the PTO General Assembly Meeting on Tuesday, October 6th beginning at 7:00 p.m. in the Parish Activities Center.

Mr. Shak Hill, a certified financial planner and recognized speaker, will provide an overview of the College America 529 plan and address any questions that parents might have related to this topic.

Plan now to join us as we continue our commitment to offering a series of high quality speakers and relevant topics for our parent community!

2015 All Saints Catholic School Casino & Auction

Invitations for the 2015 Casino & Auction “A Romantic European Evening” will go home with Pre-K students on Thursday, September 24th and with K – 8 students on Friday, September 25th.

Don’t miss your chance for the early bird ticket price of $35 per person!  Tickets include:

  • hors d’oeuvres
  • gourmet European/Italian dinner & dessert
  • non-alcoholic beverages
  • live & silent auction
  • 3 hours of casino play with “funny money”
  • casino raffle prizes
  • dancing
  • door prize drawings at 6:30pm.

Attire is business casual/cocktail (romantic European recommended).  Cash bar serving beer, wine and specialty drinks will be available.

Early bird price ends October 5th.  Ticket orders can be sent in with your students and will be forwarded to the front office.  For more information, please contact allsaintsauction@allsaintsvaschool.org

Volunteers & Food Donations needed for Kindergarten Screenings

Plan ahead for your family stewardship shares.  We are always in great need of volunteers to welcome rising kindergarteners and their families for the spring EPSF screening.  This is an easy way to earn family steward shares and help offer hospitality to new and current families.  This is a great opportunity to volunteer for a shift and bring your small children.   Reserve your spot now to help.  Volunteers are always needed. Thank you!  To sign up please use link: https://www.helpcounterweb.com/ci/signup/140e99b9492

IMPORTANT REMINDERS

8th Grade Parents Meeting (Thursday, October 15th)

Mrs. Slovenkay and Mrs. Kessinger will host a meeting for all 8th grade parents on Thursday, October 15th beginning at 7:00 p.m. in Father Kelley Hall.  Important information will be shared regarding the high school application process and the special events & activities that are part of the 8th grade experience at All Saints.  At least one parent from each family is asked to attend this important session.

Parent ~ Student Handbooks – Past Due

The 2015-2016 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.  Those families who have not yet signed and returned the acknowledgment form are asked to do so as soon as possible.  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.  To register for an upcoming training, please visit www.virtus.org.

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. 

Register for the training course at www.virtus.org for one of these upcoming September sessions:

September 30th at 6:00 p.m. – Holy Family in Dale City

September 30th at 6:30 p.m. – St. Luke in McLean

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.  

The diocese also requires volunteers who have completed the full VIRTUS training to attend an annual update entitled Keeping the Promise Alive.  This 30 minute video training is a prerequisite for volunteering in the school.  The following is a list of upcoming sessions:

Tuesday, Sept. 29th in Meeting Room 1 at 7:00 p.m.

Thursday, Oct. 1st in Meeting Room 2 at 2:15 p.m.

Tuesday, Oct. 13th in Meeting Room 2 at 7:00 p.m.

Tuesday, Oct. 27th in Meeting Room 1 at 7:00 p.m.

Tuesday, Nov. 10th in Meeting Room 1 at 7:00 p.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 1st in Meeting Room 1 at 7:00 p.m.

We are requesting advance registration by telephone or email for this brief update.  Attendance will be taken to ensure that you receive credit for completing the training.  If you have any questions or to register, please call Mrs. Janet Smith, Virtus Coordinator at the Parish Office, (703) 393-2158 or email her at jsmith@allsaintsva.org

Upcoming Events

Thursday, September 24th       

  • Room Liaisons Meeting (FKH/9:00 a.m.)
  • Confessions – 4B (9:15 a.m.)
  • Enrollment Management Team Meeting (PLC/7:00 p.m.)

Friday, September 25th           

  • School Mass (8:30 a.m.)
  • Noon Dismissal – Professional Development Day

Monday, September 28th         

  • Paul VI High School 8th Grade Visit (8:45 a.m.)

Tuesday, September 29th         

  • School Mass – Feast of the Archangels & Virtues Presentation (8:30 a.m.)
  • PTO Executive Board Meeting (7:00 p.m.)

Wednesday, September 30th

  • Science Fair Information Meeting for Parents (Science Lab/7:00 p.m.)

Thursday, October 1st             

  • Manassas City Speech Screenings

Saturday, October 3rd             

  • Diocesan Pilgrimage to the National Basilica

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