The Sentinel ~ September 30, 2015

Principal’s Message

Over the course of the summer we revised several of our homework policies as part of a continued effort to find the proper balance between reinforcement of skills and concepts and acknowledging the importance of students having time in their schedules for free play and other pursuits.  This week I wish to highlight just a few of the adjustments that we have made, all of which are outlined in our Parent-Student Handbook.

Recognizing that the time required to complete homework will vary for each student, the following expectations have been established for All Saints Catholic School.  The only change here is that of a slight adjustment for grades 4-5, allowing for 30-60 minutes per day rather than 40-60 minutes.  Instead of aiming for a specific amount of time, i.e. ten minutes per grade level, this model provides a range in recognition that there will be some variance from day to day.

Homework is defined as any task completed in the home environment in support of learning in school, i.e. written work, projects, studying, assigned reading, flashcards, etc.

Grades 1-3:      10 to 30 minutes daily

Grades 4-5:      30 to 60 minutes daily

Grades 6-8:      60 minutes to 2 hours daily

Homework, other than long-term projects, will not be assigned on weekends except for students completing high school level courses, i.e. Algebra I and Spanish I.

Due dates for long-term projects that bridge major holidays, such as Christmas and Easter, will not occur less than three days after classes resume.

Since homework is designed to provide students “practice” of new skills, no more than 10% of each student’s grade will be based upon homework completion.  This policy recognizes that homework is assessment for learning (formative) and occurs while students are still in the process of acquiring new skills and concepts.  As such, homework helps teachers better understand student needs, provides opportunities for meaningful feedback, and shows students how to improve.  Homework is distinctly different from assessment of learning, when students are given the opportunity to demonstrate the skills and knowledge they have acquired through unit tests, projects, quizzes, etc. Since homework will only be weighted as 10%, the quarterly grade will more authentically represent the extent to which students have mastered skills and concepts.

Parents are encouraged to provide feedback to teachers regarding their children’s experience of homework so that the faculty may adjust expectations as necessary in an effort to better meet the needs of the learners.

How can you support your son or daughter in the learning process and in their completion of homework?

  • Provide a quiet work space.
  • Encourage your son or daughter to complete all assignments carefully and to the best of his or her ability.
  • Verify completion of homework, while at the same time allowing your child to assume responsibility for the quality of the work. All homework and projects should be completed independently by the student.

Our focus this year will be on the quality of the work that we ask our students to complete.  It is our hope to increase the rigor, thereby asking our students to think more deeply about concepts and to complete difficult tasks.  In essence, through a “less is more” approach, we’re aiming to increase the value of the homework experience for our students through the year ahead.

Virtues Ceremony & Prayer Service

We are pleased to announce and congratulate the following students who were selected by their teachers for having demonstrated Respect & Responsibility throughout the month of September.  These students were individually recognized at a ceremony following our school Mass on Tuesday.  In addition to receiving a certificate, students were presented with pins, which they are invited to wear through the month of October, and a note from their teacher indicating why they were selected for this special recognition.

PK1                 Rafael LovingPK2                 Henry HiltonPK3                 Luke Fifield

K1                   Joshua Rodriguez

K2                   Cameron Steketee

1A                   Marcelina Slaiby

1B                    Caroline Tuttle

2A                   Noah Coughlin

2B                    Julianna Algeier

3A                   Jack Brooks

3B                    Jesus Santos

4A                   Brenda Rodriguez4B                    Ryan McGinnis5A                   Nicole Kupferer

5B                    Moira Haggerty

6A                   Natalie Mirus

6B                    Christina Santiago

7A                   Mary Carley

7B                    Gabriela Olan-Ocasio

8A                   Zachary Mills

8B                    Gabe Short

October Virtue of the Month ~ Self Discipline

Students will be encouraged to demonstrate the virtue of self-discipline both at school and home through the following strategies:

  • Follow the rules.
  • Never interrupt someone who is talking.
  • Walk in line without talking.
  • Be responsible for your space in the cafeteria or at the dinner table.
  • Listen attentively to morning and afternoon announcements.
  • Keep your feet and hands to yourself. Never kick or hit anyone.
  • Say only kind words.
  • If you get angry, walk away from the situation until you are calm and can discuss it.

Prayer of the Month

Merciful Lord, let your Holy Spirit guide my life so that my soul may bear the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Renew my desire to be your faithful friend and servant, increase my loving dependence on you, and grant me that joy and peace of heart which comes from doing your holy will. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Installation of SCA Officers & Representatives

Our newly elected officers and class representatives were recently welcomed into the Student Council Association of All Saints Catholic School. Fr. Noah Morey was the keynote speaker offering insights on the importance of servant leadership and of Jesus as the first and foremost model. We congratulate the following students and wish them every success and blessing as they begin their year of student leadership!

Officers:
President Gabriel Cabello
Vice President Emily Gomez
Secretary/Historian Morgan Shanz
Finance Kyle Campagna
Religious Activities Eirian Crocker
Health/Safety/Ecology Joe Blackstone
School Spirit Julia Woolfrey

Class Representatives: Elizabeth Rice, Anna Downes, Brian Varghese, Rudy Gasser, Dan Coleman,  Lauren Mangilit, Aiden Parker, Davelyne Sama, Joey Gould, and Brianna Wydajewski.

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

Beginning in October, the month devoted to the Holy Rosary, All Saints School families are invited to renew their devotion to Jesus through Mary in a special way.  Beginning Friday, October 9, after being blessed at the school Mass, two statues of Our Lady of Fatima will begin traveling to the homes of our school families for a week long visit.

Families who wish to participate can sign up online at: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/20F084CAEAB22A02-pilgrim.

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

To create awareness about the program, the two statues began traveling from classroom to classroom earlier this week.  In addition to informing the students of the opportunity to host one of the statues in their home, the teachers are leading the students in praying a novena that will conclude on October 8th, one day prior to the start of the program.

Should you have any questions or would like more information, please contact the rotation coordinator, Mrs. Julie Mantooth (mantooth06@msn.com).

2015 All Saints Catholic School Casino & Auction

Want a fun adult evening out?!  A night where you can get to know your All Saints community even better or meet new fellow parents in a fun environment?!  Well then don’t miss your chance to order your $35.00 early bird tickets for this year’s Casino & Auction Night “A Romantic European Evening” taking place on:

Saturday, November 21, 2015
6:00-11:00 p.m.
All Saints Parish Activity Center (PAC)

Each family should have received an envelope in your child’s backpack on Friday. Included was an invitation, ticket order form and raffle ticket sign-ups.  Please note that there will not be a Disney option in the raffle this year.  New raffle tickets will be sent home in the coming week.  If you have already sent in your raffle ticket marked with the Disney option, members of the auction committee will contact you. We apologize for any inconvenience this might cause. There are some other great raffle items like a Chromebook and America Girl Doll- Grace the doll of the year, just to name a couple.

There are also many ways you can support our event!  We are looking for event sponsors, prize donations, program sponsors and volunteers. For more information, email solicitations@allsaintsvaschool.org.  Thank you to all who have already volunteered!  We can’t wait to see everyone there on Saturday, November 21st.

Catholic High School News

Paul VI Catholic High School

All 7th & 8th grader students and their families are invited to a special event designed just for our Future VI Man.

Date: October 9, 2015

Place: PVI Football Stadium

Time: Rally in the Alley at 6:00PM

            Varsity Football at 7:00PM

Free food, tee shirts and admission to the game.

St. John Paul the Great Catholic High School

We have lots of other things going on at JP, and we’d love to see you soon! Please join us:

Note: Applications for admission for the 2016-2017 school year are now being accepted!

IMPORTANT REMINDERS

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!

Middle School Program ~ The Gift of Human Sexuality

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.

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.

Volunteers needed for Kindergarten Screenings

We are always in great need of volunteers to welcome rising kindergartners 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. Thank you! To sign up please use link: https://www.helpcounterweb.com/ci/signup/140e99b9492

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:

Thursday, October 1st, Church of St. Charles Borromeo in Arlington at 6:00 p.m.

Tuesday, October 6th, Church of Holy Spirit in Annandale at 6:30 p.m.

Saturday, October 10th, Church of Holy Spirit in Annandale at 8:00 a.m.

Thursday, October 15th, Church of St. Joseph in Herndon at 5:30 p.m.

Thursday, October 22nd, Church of the Nativity in Burke at 6:00 p.m.

Saturday, October 24th, Church of the Nativity in Burke at 8:30 a.m.

Saturday, October 24th, Church of Good Shepherd in Alexandria at 9:00 a.m.

Saturday, October 31st, Church of St. James in Falls Church at 9:00 a.m.

Saturday, October 31st, Church of St. Timothy in Chantilly at 10:00 a.m.

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:

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, October 1st

  • Manassas City Speech Screenings

Saturday, October 3rd

  • Diocesan Pilgrimage to the National Basilica

Monday, October 5th

  • Bishop Ireton 8th Grade Presentation (1:30 p.m.)

Tuesday, October 6th

  • PTO General Membership Meeting – Financial Planning Tips for Parents (PAC/7:00 p.m.)

Wednesday, October 7th

  • Lock-Down Drill (9:15 a.m.)
  • Gift of Human Sexuality Parent Presentation (PAC/7:00 p.m.)

Friday, October 9th

  • School Mass & Blessing of Families Hosting the Pilgrim Virgin Statues (8:30 a.m.)

Monday, October 12th

  • Holiday – Columbus Day

Links