The Sentinel ~ October 21, 2015

Principal’s Message

A prevalent thought in educational circles and across society at large is the notion that, as individuals, we have unlimited growth potential but that it is often stifled by our own mental framework.  This is the premise of the current bestselling book Mindset in which the author, Carol Dweck, draws a distinction between a “fixed mindset” and a “growth mindset” and highlights the profound difference that can occur when one chooses to change his or her perspective.

Recognizing that the core message of this book might influence how we motivate and teach our students, the faculty has formed a book club and are currently making their way through this text.

During our first meeting last week, Mrs. Coyle shared an inspiring story that illustrates how a “growth mindset’ can influence our response to daily experiences. As she was introducing a group of kindergartners to a new computer activity, she encouraged them to have a positive attitude and to put forth their best effort.  At the end of her message, one of the little boys raised his hand and stated, “It’s very important that we try, because this is how we learn.  We want to try because we want to learn.”  What a wonderful example of a “growth mindset”!

Toward the close of our book club meeting, I invited the faculty to compose short statements that identify how this new way of thinking transforms our learning community.  The following is a list of statements that they generated and which serve as both inspiration and affirmation for the year ahead.

  • Because we believe we influence their mindset, our school produces students who love learning.
  • Because we know that a mindset is not set in stone, our students’ potential is unlimited.
  • Because we see the positive in growth mindset, our school is a safe place to learn life lessons and embrace the imperfect and challenges.
  • Because we create a safe environment to make mistakes, our students are risk takers in learning.
  • Because we have a motivated faculty, our students grow and succeed beyond their potential.

For those who wish to instill in their children a desire for growth and challenge, as well as a zeal for life-long learning, I highly recommend this text.  Do not be surprised if it changes how you and your family view the challenges and opportunities of day to day life and the words that you use to support and encourage one another.  Join us on this journey of reading – and learning!


I also wish to share with you today that Mrs. Baldwin, instructional assistant in Mrs. Harrill’s first grade classroom, will be undergoing surgery on Friday and on medical leave for approximately six to eight weeks.  During her absence, Mrs. Linda Byers will serve as substitute assistant.  In addition to having two children enrolled in our school and being already familiar with our program, Mrs. Byers previously worked as a substitute assistant in a kindergarten classroom several years ago.  Organized, dedicated and hard-working, she will provide steady support to the students as they continue with the learning routines that Mrs. Harrill and Mrs. Baldwin have established since the start of the school year.

In the days ahead, let us pray for the success of Mrs. Baldwin’s surgery and her swift recovery.

Veterans Day Celebration

Join us as our school community honors the commitment of the men and women who have served our country in the United States Armed Forces. We cordially invite all active duty, reserve, former and retired military personnel to attend our school Mass on Wednesday, November 11th at 8:30 a.m. Following the Mass, there will be a ceremony in the Parish Activity Center and a reception for our honored guests in Father Kelley Hall.

Do you want your child to be in the All Saints Catholic School Yearbook?

If you have not already done so, please go on to PowerSchool and complete 2015-2016 Media Consent Form (Waiver – Right to Object) for each of your children.  Below are step-by-step instructions to assist you in completing this form:

  1. Login to the Power School Parent Portal at
  2. Select your child’s name and click on the “Waiver – Right to Object”button in the left navigation.
  3. The “Waiver – Right to Object” feature allows you to indicate whether we have your permission to include your child’s image in Video, Audio, School Pictures, Yearbook, Internet (including the All Saints school website), Television, School Literature and Print. The system will allow you to opt-in to each by checking the corresponding fields.
  4. When you have completed your selections, please click “Save.”

Only students for whom we have consent will be included in the yearbook, team photos, school marketing efforts, etc.

  1. Important: you must complete a Media Consent Form for each of your children.

Special note to Pre-K and Kindergarten Parents:  The Power School Parent Portal is now closed for students in Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten.  Paper copies of the forms were sent home last week for students who still needed the form.  Please make sure that you complete this form and submit it to the school office by the deadline.

The deadline to complete the Media Consent Form in PowerSchool is Friday, October 23, 2015.

As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at (703) 368-4400 or via email at

Attention All Students

Would you like your artwork on the cover of the 2015-2016 All Saints Catholic School Yearbook???  The yearbook committee is hosting the annual Yearbook Cover Contest.  Click on the link at the bottom of the newsletter for more information.  Entries are due by Monday, November 16th.

Penny Bazaar Cupcake Sale – Volunteers Needed!

Volunteers are needed to sell cupcakes and lemonade during the Penny Bazaar on October 29th.  If you can offer any amount of time or cupcake donation for the event, please following the link to sign up:  Thank you in advance!


Casino & Auction Night

A reminder that our Casino & Auction Night is on Saturday, November 21 from 6-11:00 PM in the PAC!

A Romantic European Evening  

Are you creative or crafty?!  Help is still needed for the classroom auction items.  If you are not able to help with the actual item, but want to help in someway we are always accepting gift cards to places like Michael’s, A.C. Moore or Costco to help with supplies.  Please let us know if you can help out in anyway!  Donations can be applied to your Family Stewardship Shares!

Tickets are on sale for $40/person until November 2. Regular price: $45/person. Tickets can be purchased online at

We are also accepting donations from families for items, including timeshares, travel miles, tickets to sporting events, gift cards, etc. To make a donation or to inquire about how your business can become an event or program sponsor, please contact


High School News

Paul VI Catholic High School

PVI will be hosting our annual Open House on Sunday, November 1st from 1 to 4PMGroup presentations will take place at 1:15 and 2:15 in Father Heet Auditorium.  This is a perfect opportunity for 6th, 7th and 8thgraders and their families to explore the benefits of a Catholic high school education.  Visit or email for additional information about PVI. Current 8th graders are encouraged to set up a Panther for a Day experience by emailing


Parent – Teacher Conferences

Last week teachers distributed appointment slips confirming the date and time for the upcoming Parent-Teacher Conferences scheduled for November 12th & 13th.  If you did not receive this information, please contact your child’s homeroom teacher.

Last year, in an effort to provide middle school parents with the opportunity to speak with a number of teachers, the team hosted drop-in conferences for grades 6-8.  However, given the high turn-out of parents for conferences and the resulting wait-time, we have decided to revert to the previous model of scheduling appointments with the homeroom teacher.  However, middle school parents are most welcome to contact other teachers to request an additional conference for that same day or another time that is mutually convenient.

Classroom Activity Fee Reminder

Thank you to those families who have already submitted the Classroom Activity Fee.

If you have not already done so, please return your activity fee to your child’s homeroom teacher no later than Thursday, October 29th.

Veterans Day Celebration

Join us as our school community honors the commitment of the men and women who have served our country in the United States Armed Forces. We cordially invite all active duty, reserve, former and retired military personnel to attend our school Mass on Tuesday, November 11th at 8:30 a.m. Following the Mass, there will be an assembly in the PAC with American Legion Post 10 and featured speaker Amy Looney of the Travis Manion Foundation. A reception for all honored guests will follow in Father Kelley Hall. All are welcome!

Last week, we sent home a Veterans Packet with information on completing our Family Veterans’ Survey and commemorative paper brick for the wall that we will begin displaying outside of our Pre-Kindergarten classrooms just prior to Veterans’ Day. For your convenience, we have also included a link to the packet at the bottom of today’s newsletter. 

All Saints to Host Presentation on Dyslexia (October 27th at 7:00 p.m.)

In coordination with the Office of Catholic Schools, All Saints is pleased to host a regional presentation for parents on the topic of dyslexia.  Our speaker, Ms. Christina Fox, will provide an overview of dyslexia as well as helpful strategies for use by parents and teachers.  For more information about this presentation, please see the link in today’s newsletter.

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

In accordance with diocesan policy, full compliance for an adult parent volunteer is not required for openevents.  (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 for one of these upcoming sessions:

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:

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

Upcoming Events

Thursday, October 22nd    

  • SCA sponsored Red Ribbon Dress Down Day
  • 1st Grade Activity Day

Friday, October 23rd     

  • School Mass & Virtues Ceremony (8:30 a.m.)
  • Deadline: Media Consent Form (PowerSchool)

Monday, October 26th    

  • 2nd Grade Pumpkin Day

Tuesday, October 27th      

  • 1st Grade Field Trip to National Zoo (8:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.)
  • John Paul the Great 8th Grade Visit (10:15 a.m.)
  • Dyslexia Presentation (Parish Activity Center/7:00 p.m.)

Wednesday, October 28th       

  • Gift of Human Sexuality Presentation III

Thursday, October 29th   

  • Final Day of the 1st Quarter
  • School Mass & Feast Day Celebration (8:30 a.m.)
  • 8th Grade Saints Presentation following Mass
  • Penny Bazaar (1:30-2:30 p.m.)
  • Middle School Activity Night (Parish Activity Center/7:00 – 8:30 p.m.)
  • Deadline: Classroom Activity Fees

Friday, October 30th

  • Holiday – Diocesan Professional Development Day
  • Spirit Event: Bouncemania (10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.)