The Sentinel – April 13, 2016

Principal’s Message

Last week I enjoyed a wonderful surprise as the faculty, staff and students celebrated my twenty years at All Saints, the highlight of which was a heart-warming assembly on Wednesday morning.  Each of the grade levels presented thoughtful mementos and some even performed songs, culminating with the presentation of a very generous gift card that the school purchased from donations from the children.

One of the more memorable moments was a slideshow of photos taken over the course of the past two decades.  Needless to say, the students really enjoyed seeing the “before” and “after” pictures!  It was a terrific celebration and I remain so grateful for the generosity of the community in marking this milestone.  It continues to be a great joy for me to serve as principal of All Saints and I consider myself tremendously blessed to be part of such a dynamic, faith-filled community.


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 Monday morning.

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.  Students will complete this online 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.

Virtue Award Winners
Congratulations to the following students who were recognized for their demonstration of the Virtue of Cooperation following our school Mass last Thursday.

Kate Gregory (PK1)
Anna Lima (PK2)
Keira Reynolds (PK3)
Taylor Kessinger (K1)
JJ Hernandez (K2)
Kyleigh Fifield (1A)
Lauren Balagtas (1B)
Grace Algeier (2A)
Arely Gutierrez (2B)
Emma Kate Coleman (3A)
Kiran Kapur (3B)
Anya Murray (4A)
Emily Rivera (4B)
Mary Collins (5A)
Mahlia Slaiby (5B)
Sloane Helmick (6A)
Alexia Mendiola (6B)
Tanya Benitez (7A)
Matthew Kleha (7B)
Salma Cruz (8A)
Nico Bruno (8B)

“Daughters of the King” A day of Faith, Friends, and Fashion
Keynote speaker:  Sister Clare Hunter!  
Saturday, April 23rd, 2 – 8pm, $20 at Seton School
Geared for today’s Christian young ladies living in a “Crazy World,” experience amazing talks, a health and beauty boutique, along with dinner and an entertaining fashion show.
This is appropriate for both HS and MS girls; sessions will be separated this way.
For more information, email:
The link to sign up is here:

High School News

Paul VI Catholic High School
Coach Allen’s Summer Basketball Camps at St Leo’s & Paul VI
June 20 – 24, June 27 – 30, July 18 – 22, July 25 – 29
Boys & Girls Grades 2 – 9….9 am – 4 pm
Info & Register at


Kindergarten Screening ~ No Pre-Kindergarten or Kindergarten on Monday, April 25th & May 2nd
The Early Prevention of School Failure Screening for Kindergarten applicants will take place on Monday, April 25th & Monday, May 2nd.  In order that the teachers may be available to administer the assessment, there will be no Pre-Kindergarten or Kindergarten classes on these two days.

Back by Popular Demand – Sr. Patricia McCormack (April 26th)
We are pleased to announce that Dr. Pat McCormack, IHM will be the presenter for our final PTO General Assembly meeting that will take place on Tuesday, April 26th beginning at 7:00 p.m. in the Parish Activities Center.

In 2015 Sister Pat shared with our community the basic elements of self-esteem (Security, Autonomy, Initiative, and Industry).  When she returns in April she will help parents to “connect the dots” between those elements and behavior.

Self-esteem and self-mastery are two sides of one coin! If helping a child to grow into a person who is responsible, self-disciplined, respectful, self-reliant and resilient is a recurring theme of your heart, do not miss this presentation. Parents lead children to develop self-discipline when they:

• understand the basic needs that motivate children
• identify how to avert misbehavior
• know how to “read” the danger signs
• determine responses that lead to conversion and re-connection
• exercise a pro-active style of authority

These dynamics of self-discipline are learnable skills and they are the focus of this presentation.  Related materials will be available for purchase.

Join us for what promises to be an insightful and inspiring presentation!

Pre-Kindergarten Openings for 2016-2017
Openings are still available in the Pre-Kindergarten Program for four year old students for the 2016-2017 school year.  This is a great opportunity for families in our community who may be hoping to send their child to All Saints but have heard that openings are limited due to high demand.  Please invite families who may be interested in the Pre-Kindergarten program to contact Mrs. Joyce D’Eugenio at (703) 393-1490 or for more information.
Remember, current parents who refer families into our program may earn up to $400.00 in tuition credit per year through our New Student Referral Program!

End of Year Calendar & Events
Thursday, June 2nd
– Final Day of Pre-Kindergarten
Friday, June 10th
– 8th Grade Graduation (4:00 p.m.)
Note: Noon Dismissal for Grades K-7
Thursday, June 16th
– Kindergarten Graduation (10:00 a.m.)
Friday, June 17th
– Final Day of School for Students in Grades 1-7 (11:00 a.m. Dismissal)

Title I Special Event
All Title I students and parents are invited to a special evening of storytelling to be held at 6:30 p.m.on Tuesday, April 26th at St. Michael School.Through puppetry and magic the performer will retell classic stories.All Title I students who attend will be provided pizza and a drink and be given a book and activity to take home.

Spotlight on the Arts Summer Camps in Theatre & Art this July
Expert Instructors in Drama, Music, Dance, and Art are providing one week camps this July for students as young as Pre-K and as old as high school.  Learn from some of the areas top Catholic teachers within the creative arts through camps like Camp Broadway, Art Explorer, Drama Bootcamp, Creative Kindergarten, and Art Fun Camp.  Registration is $20 off per camp through April 15th.  Plus, families registering 3 or more kids can take an additional 10% off.  All of the details can be found at

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 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 for the upcoming session:
Saturday, April 23rd, Church of Good Shepherd in Alexandria at 10:00 a.m.
Tuesday, April 26th, Church of the Holy Trinity in Gainesville at 6:00 p.m.

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.  

Upcoming Events

Thursday, April 14th

  • SCA Sponsored Earth Day Dress Down Day
  • Enrollment Management Team Meeting (7:00 p.m.)

Friday, April 15th

  • End of 3rd Quarter
  • Free Ice Cream, Courtesy of Fr. Lee
  • National Junior Honor Society Induction Ceremony (1:30 p.m.)
  • Confirmation Retreat

Saturday, April 16th

  • Diocesan Science Fair

Monday, April 18th

  • Week of Terra Nova & ACRE Testing

Wednesday, April 20th

  • Golf Tournament Committee Meeting (7:00 p.m.)

Friday, April 22nd

  • 8th Grade Trip to Philadelphia
  • School Mass (8:30 a.m.)
  • Distribution of Race for Education Prize Cards
  • Adoration & Benediction (2:15 p.m.)
  • 3rd Quarter Report Cards sent Home

Saturday, April 23rd

  • 2nd Grade Jesus Day