Bernie's Bark
Dear Parents-
Celebrating the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. gives us the opportunity to reflect on the similarities between Dr. King’s vision for social justice, and that of the Catholic Church. We are united in our belief that individual self-worth is not dependent on race, gender, occupation or family background. In Dr. King’s vision, “Anybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t need to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love.” Powerful words to live by!

We are in Scantron week 2. For “in-person” learners, please make sure your children are in school during this time to ensure adequate opportunity to complete the tests. If you have specific scheduling questions or conflicts, please contact your child’s teacher.

Our COVID update this week starts with the report of more than 6,757 new cases of COVID-19 reported in Virginia in the last 24 hours, with 1,523 of those cases in Fairfax County. The current positivity rate in Fairfax is 16.5%; neighboring Loudoun County has a positivity rate of 14.2%, and Prince William County is at 19.2% positivity rate. The actual case count in Fairfax County for residents ages 0-17 has topped 6,662.

With the increase in the number of COVID cases in Fairfax County, it is imperative that you keep your children home if ANY family member is feeling unwell, or is undergoing a test for COVID-19. Thank you for your partnership with us to stop the spread of COVID-19 in our community.

COVID cases in SJS families continue to rise. If the current trend continues, all in-person families should be prepared to switch to distance learning on short-notice. The expectation would be to switch to distance learning for a two week period so that families can quarantine and we can slow the spread. I will keep you informed.  
If a household family member is identified as a "close contact", and "complete separation" cannot be maintained during the quarantine period, SJS requires that our student remains at home until the family member has completed their quarantine period. SJS adds this extra layer of caution to prevent unintentional exposure to classmates and teachers during the family member(s) quarantine period since the incubation period is from 2 to 14 days.  VDH defines complete separation as "no contact, no time together in the same room, no sharing of any spaces, such as same bathroom or bedroom."  

Mrs. Carson and I invite you to join our parent book club. The first book we will read and discuss is recommended by the Intentional Catholic Parent community and is titled The Power of Showing Up by Daniel Siegel, M.D., and Tina Bryson, Ph.D. See below for additional information.

Tomorrow, we celebrate the inauguration of the 46th President of the United States. No matter your politics, we know that truth matters, integrity matters, and the children are always watching.

Please let me know if you have any questions, or if I can be of any assistance.

Go to Joseph
                              (Gen 41:55)

Denise Rutledge
 Building Wisdom and Faith Through Service to God
Reminder for Walkers
Effective Tuesday, January 19, students who walk will no longer dismiss from the Ferndale side of the school. The reason for this change is that there is no pedestrian walkway or other right of way for walkers. Students are not permitted to walk down Francisacan Way without a crosswalk or other sidewalk. It is not safe, and without a sidewalk, the exit is not viable. Students will dismiss from the Peachtree side of the school. 
Talent Show
Got Talent?

We are excited to showcase the talents of students virtually! Each performance is limited to a 30 second time frame. Talent videos will be shown on the SJS morning news throughout Catholic Schools Week!

Have fun recording your special talent and send your videos to Mrs. Hatley at no later than January 25, 2021!
Book Club
Mrs. Rutledge and Mrs. Carson invite you to read along and discuss the key elements detailed in
The Power of Showing Up.

First meeting planned for Wednesday, February 3, at 7:00PM...zoom link will be provided closer to that date.

Topic: Chapter 1 What It Means to Show Up
Parents should not seek to be perfect when raising children. It is more important to be present; it makes a child feel safe, seen, secure and soothed.

The goal of the book club is building community and helping each other through a pandemic. It is not intended to be therapy or family counseling. Please seek the assistance of licensed practitioners if needed.
Catholic Schools Week
Sunday of the Word of God
On January 25 and 26, 2020, the Catholic Church inaugurated the Sunday of the Word of God! In an Apostolic Letter given on September 30, 2019, Pope Francis declared that the Third Sunday of Ordinary Time be designated as the Sunday of the Word of God, to be “devoted to the celebration, study and dissemination of the word of God” and to the sacred scriptures.

In keeping with the pope’s instruction, St. Joseph Catholic Church celebrates and recognizes the role of God’s Word in each of our lives. We invite all in the parish family to reflect on the great importance of sacred scripture in lighting our way to Jesus, who is the Incarnate Word of God. We pray that God’s Word will remain at the center of our lives – on our minds, on our lips and in our hearts.

Please join the Friars on Sunday, January 24, 2021, at 1:30 p.m. for a virtual Reflection – St. Francis and Scripture by Father David. The link will be provided on the parish website and Facebook.

To read the Apostolic Letter given by Pope Francis instituting the Sunday of the Word of God and explaining its meaning, click HERE.
March for Life Prayer Service
St. Joseph Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus will lead a
prayer service on the day of the
March for Life.
Where: The Church
           When: Friday, January 29, 2021
           Time: 11:00 a.m.
           Prayer: Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament
Scripture reading
Rosary for Life
Benediction and closing prayer at noon

Please join us for any amount of time that you can spare to pray for a culture of life.
Middle School Girls Group
Stay Connected!
SJS Mobile App, Twitter and Facebook

Don't forget to follow the official St. Joseph Catholic School Facebook page (sjschoolva), Twitter account (@sjschoolva), and download the mobile app from the App Store (St. Joseph Catholic School, VA)
Weekly Saints Quote
750 Peachtree Street, Herndon, VA 20170
Tel: 703-880-4350 Fax: 703-880-4320