Principal's August 2016 Letter

August 3, 2016

Dear Parents and Friends of All Saints,

Greetings! I hope that you and your family are continuing to enjoy the summer season! With the turn of another page of the calendar and the start of “Back to School” sales, we are reminded that the new year is just around the corner. With this mind, I wish to share with you some exciting news about the year ahead and to provide important reminders and information.
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!

The following is a list of major initiatives that we are undertaking now and in the year ahead.

Restroom Renovation – Thanks to the extraordinary generosity of a member of our community, the renovation of the restrooms in the old wing (grades 2-5) is fully funded and now underway. The demolition is complete and we are on track for completion of the project right around opening day.

Virtues Program – As one of our Five Year Plan goals, the faculty evaluated our existing Virtues Program and researched options for implementing a new framework that will place even greater emphasis on the teaching and modeling of Catholic virtues. I am pleased to share with you that the faculty has selected the Virtues in Practice program designed by the Nashville Dominicans. One of the key changes is that we will discontinue the practice of acknowledging individual students on a monthly basis as we incorporate more substantive lessons within the religion curriculum. Our goal is to infuse even greater meaning into the program so as to promote authentic lives of virtue among our students.

IPads & Chromebooks – Again, thanks to the generosity of a donor, during the summer we purchased additional devices for our school that will increase student access to technology and allow for greater differentiation of instruction. We will be introducing five IPads into each of the Kindergarten through second grade classrooms and a mobile cart of thirty Chromebooks to be shared among grades three through five.

Scantron Testing – As a diocesan school, All Saints will be adopting Scantron as our standardized testing program beginning this year. Rather than administering Terra Nova in the spring, students will complete three shorter series of tests in math, reading and language arts in the fall, winter and spring. As the testing will take place online, teachers will have access to immediate results and data. Additionally, as the test is driven by technology, it is adaptive in nature, with each test being customized to the ability of each student. Administered three times over the course of the year, it will provide data with which the teachers can tailor instruction and measure student growth.

Accelerated Math – For many years, the Accelerated Reader program has been a fundamental aspect of our curriculum. Beginning this year, we will implement Accelerated Math in grades 1-8. This online program will allow teachers to customize learning tasks for students based upon assessment data and will be a focus for the use of the newly purchased IPads and Chromebooks.

Micron Partnership – With the assistance of school parents currently employed at Micron, All Saints is beginning a partnership with this high-tech firm located just south of our campus on Route 28. In support of STEM education, employees will teach hands-on lessons to students in grades three and five during the spring months and our school will have access to Math Kits to be used for a special evening event for families that promotes math education. Look for more details on these exciting programs in the future!

Welcome New Faculty & Staff!

Mrs. Nicole Coughlin (Pre-Kindergarten Assistant) – After serving as a parent volunteer in the Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten classrooms for the past three years, Mrs. Coughlin will be joining our staff as a morning and afternoon Pre-Kindergarten Assistant. In addition to her experience and understanding of our program, Mrs. Coughlin brings strong communication and organizational skills developed through her years in the business world.

Mrs. Melissa DeBruyne (Middle School Language Arts) – As a long-term substitute language arts teacher at All Saints during the spring semester of 2012, Mrs. DeBruyne has already developed a comprehensive understanding of the routines and curriculum of our middle school program. She and her family relocated to Northern Virginia from Washington State where she was employed as a librarian and enrichment coordinator at St. Monica Parish. Prior to that time, she taught middle school language arts for a number of years in New Hampshire. She earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from St. Michael’s College in Vermont and a Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Southern Maine. In addition to her classroom experience, she served as a consultant in both New Hampshire and Washington in the areas of differentiation of instruction and alternative assessment. With a passion for the writing process, Mrs. DeBruyne will be a wonderful addition to our middle school team.

Mrs. Belkis Mitter (Spanish Teacher, Grades 1-2) – In addition to continuing to serve as the Director of Extended Day, Mrs. Mitter will assume responsibility for the instruction and assessment of first and second grade students in the Spanish program. With her bilingual skills as well as her experience in having hosted a Spanish Club at her previous school, she is well prepared and excited for the opportunity of introducing our students to their study of foreign language.

Mrs. Mandy Rogers (Pre-Kindergarten Director/Teacher) – Mrs. Rogers joins our program after teaching kindergarten for the past three years at St. Michael’s Academy in Haymarket where she also served as the lead teacher for her team. Mrs. Rogers earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Iowa State University. In addition to having worked in the education field, she has previously been a business owner and will bring a wide-range of skills and experience to her leadership position in the Pre-Kindergarten. With an enthusiastic spirit and creative flair, Mrs. Rogers will be instrumental in leading the program into the future.

Miss Sharon Zerhusen (Resource) – Miss Zerhusen will join our faculty as a resource teacher, assisting students in the lower grades. With five years of classroom experience, Miss Zerhusen comes to All Saints from St. Thomas Aquinas Regional School where for the past year and a half she taught fifth grade. Miss Zerhusen earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education from Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania and a Master of Education Degree in Literacy as a Reading Specialist from Loyola University in Baltimore. With a heart for students who struggle in the learning process, Miss Zerhusen will further strengthen our efforts to meet the diverse needs of our students. We congratulate her on her wedding later this month and look forward to welcoming her to our All Saints community as Mrs. Sharon Jemielity.

As announced during the spring, there are also a couple of changes regarding staff. Mrs. Sandy Weitendorf will transition from the Pre-Kindergarten classroom to a full-time role as a first grade assistant in Mrs. Nichol’s classroom. Additionally, Mrs. Stephanie Filippone will transition from her role as an assistant in the afternoon Pre-Kindergarten session to the morning program.

Important Reminders

Orientation Day for Students in Grades K-8 (Friday, August 26th 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 29th)

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. Only parents completing volunteer hours during the school day, as well as those who are parents of Safety Patrols or students attending after-school activities, are permitted to park in front of the church.

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 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 either the school or parish offices.

Opening of School Mass
At 8:30 a.m. on Friday, September 2nd 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 in the year ahead.

2016-2017 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.

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 2016-2017 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 25th at 7:00 p.m. in the Parish Activity Center. 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 1st at 7:00 p.m. Mrs. Mandy Rogers, 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 6th 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 7th.
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 6th 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 15th 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 2016-2017 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 12th 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 26th 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!
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!
In Christ,

David E. Conroy, Jr.