The Sentinel – August 31, 2016

Principal’s Message
It was a great joy to welcome the students to the new year on Monday.  The school building is once again alive with the sounds of children’s voices and all of the excitement that surrounds the beginning of the year!

Our theme for this year is “We have found the Messiah; Come and you will see!  Taken from the Gospel of John, this Scripture passage refers to the Disciple Andrew’s first-hand encounter with Jesus.  Changed and transformed by the presence of Christ, he is inspired to share the message with others.  Such is our call as a Catholic school community.  Having similarly encountered Christ through Word, Sacrament and one another, we strive to make His presence known and to lead others to Jesus by our example.  This is the very essence of Catholic education – that students who have heard the message of the Gospel are changed forever and inspired to transform the world.  Indeed, we have found the Messiah, come and you will see!

This week I am pleased to share with you a link to a new feature in our newsletter, the Principal’s VideoChat, a brief clip that will highlight programs and developments at All Saints.  I look forward to sharing this information with you each week and hope that you find this helpful.  Remember, for up to date details and photos from events at All Saints, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Principal's VideoChat

School Messenger Emergency Notification System
The Diocese of Arlington uses the School Messenger notification service to send important information to families through phone calls, emails, and text messages.  In the event of an emergency, All Saints Catholic School will activate the School Messenger system.  As the system will only be used for this purpose, parents can anticipate that any communications received via this program are critical and deserve particular attention.

In order to ensure the functionality and effectiveness of the system, All Saints will conduct a test on Thursday, September 8th.  A test message will be issued via recorded phone message, text and email to the emergency contacts of all students and staff at approximately 10:30 a.m. 

To sign up for text alerts via SchoolMessenger, simply text the word “subscribe” to 68453.  You will know that you were successful if you receive the following automatic response SMS message: “You are registered to receive aprox 3 msgs/mo.  Txt STOP to quit, HELP for help.”  You can unsubscribe at any time by texting the word “stop” to 68453.

To opt out of all text messages from SchoolMessenger, including the verification message, go to http://www.schoolmessenger.com/txtmsg/ or reply STOP to the opt-in message you receive.

The Diocese and the school do not pay for text message charges that may be incurred by the user. Check with your wireless carrier for possible charges.

Parent ~ Student Handbooks

The 2016-2017 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.  Each family is asked to sign and return the acknowledgment form by Wednesday, September 7th.  Those families without access to the website are invited to contact the office to request a hard copy of the handbook.

Note: This year policies regarding the acceptable use of technology are included within the handbook.  For this reason, a signed handbook acknowledgement form verifies that students and parents have reviewed and understand these policies.  As students are not permitted to use any school computers until this acknowledgment form is received, parents are asked to submit signed copies as soon as possible.

New Parent Coffee
All new parents are invited to enjoy “coffee with the principal” on Tuesday, September 13th beginning at 9:00 a.m. in the Parish Activities Center.  Following a brief presentation, there will be time for questions and discussion about our school community and its many programs.  Babysitting services will be offered in an adjacent meeting room.  Plan to attend and meet other new families who have recently joined our community!

Special this year: Parents in their second year at All Saints are cordially invited to attend this event as well!

Student In-Service ~ Sexual Harassment, Our Policy & Response (Grades 6-8)
In accordance with diocesan policy, students in grades six through eight will participate in a brief classroom presentation within the next two weeks on the topic of the prevention of sexual harassment.  Mr. Conroy will visit each of the homeroom classes for approximately fifteen minutes, providing an overview of the diocesan policy and explaining to students how they should best respond if they encounter any behaviors of this nature.  Should you have any questions about this policy or presentation, please do not hesitate to contact the principal.

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 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.

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.

Upcoming Events

Thursday, September 1st

  • Pre-Kindergarten Parent Orientation (PAC/7:00 p.m.)

Friday, September 2nd             

  • Opening of the School Year Liturgy – Mass of the Holy Spirit (8:30 a.m.)
  • Student Assembly – Check presentation for Banica Mission from House-Building Project of last year (2:15 p.m.)

Monday, September 5th

  • Holiday – Labor Day

Tuesday, September 6th

  • Band Demonstration Day
  • Pre-Kindergarten Open House (9:00-11:00 a.m. & 12:30-2:30 p.m.)
  • Back-to-School Night for Grades 1-5 & PTO Meeting (PAC/7:00 p.m.)

Wednesday, September 7th

  • First Day of Pre-Kindergarten
  • Parent-Student Handbook Acknowledgment Forms due

Thursday, September 8th

  • SchoolMessenger System Test (10:30 a.m.)
  • Faculty Meeting (3:30-5:00 p.m.)

Friday, September 9th

  • School Mass (8:30 a.m.)