Bernie's Bark
Dear Parents-

Happy Catholic Schools Week! On Sunday, January 31, the first day of Catholic Schools Week, we celebrated the Feast of Saint John Bosco, patron saint of school children, whose theory of education reflected his desire to “unite the spiritual life with one’s work, study and play.” Today we celebrate the Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord, marking 40 days after the Nativity. Interestingly, the day is also known as Candlemas. However, both feasts celebrate children, St. John Bosco focusing on the potential found in school children to change the world, and the Presentation celebrating the Christ Child as the Light of the world.

We have strictly enforced all SJS COVID mitigation strategies, and they are working very well. Inconvenience is a small price to pay for good health. Research data is proving what we already know, that schools can be safe places, provided mitigation strategies are closely monitored and followed. The data is also showing that in cases where a student does test positive for COVID-19, that student did not catch the virus at school, but in most cases caught the virus at a sporting event not sanctioned by the school. For this reason, I have to ask that if you allow your child to engage in indoor sports activities please insist that masks are worn. All healthcare research on masks and exercise supports the wearing of masks during exercise. #STOP THE SPREAD.

COVID data in Fairfax County shows total cases of COVID in children under 17 years of age has reached 7,629, with a total of 60,000 cases for all ages in Fairfax. The current positivity rate in Fairfax over the last fourteen days is 11.1%; neighboring Loudoun County has a 7-day positivity rate of 13.7%, and Prince William County is unchanged, with a 7-day 14.1% positivity rate.

In-person students will continue to go outside for recess everyday, as fresh air is an important mitigation strategy. Please make your child bring a coat to school. There will be recess, winter weather tends to be cold, and a coat is needed to stay warm. No student will be allowed to stay inside; please insist that your child has a coat...gloves and a hat are nice options as well.

Please check below for the Catholic Schools Week activities, including food, winter warmth and diaper drives, as well as dress-out day and themes.

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
Return to School

In-person students will return to school as soon as weather permits.
Weather Related School Closing and Delays

For weather related closing and delays, we continue to follow Fairfax County Public Schools - FCPS.
Catholic Schools Week
We are excited about all the fun events planned for our students during Catholic Schools Week! One slight change on February 2! The PTO will sponsor a Winter Warmth Dive - please donate gently used or new coats, hats, scarves, and gloves. In addition, the Knights of Columbus will generously donate ice cream for our students on February 3! *Note to our friends with allergies: The ice cream brand is Glenview Farms which is US Foods’ “house brand "there is dairy and corn syrup in all of the flavors. There is also Red Dye 40 in the strawberry flavor. As part of our allergy plan, parents with students with an allergy may choose to send in a special treat for their child keeping in mind that our classrooms are "nut free" classrooms. Ice pops will be available for students with allergies. If you have any questions, please contact Ms. Laura Stump at  
Vision and Hearing Screening
Thursday February 11 at 9:00

Please read the email sent out on Monday 1/25 about the upcoming vision and hearing screening at St. Joseph School. If your child has already been screened this school year and we have a copy of the screening report on file, your child does not need to be re-screened. The hard copy consent forms included in the email sent on Monday 1/25 are due back to your child's teacher on Thursday February 4.  
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.

Topic: Book Club
Time: Jan 30, 2021 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 984 3437 1204
Passcode: ZX99BY

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.

For your convenience, a grade-level parent email directory has been added to Schoology. The hope is to facilitate communication within the grade-level as needed. Parents, of course, can share any other contact information privately with each other.
Alumni News

Congratulations to Claire Toia (SJS c/o 2019) and her Bishop O'Connell High School teammates on coding an application to navigate the terrain of the lunar south pole! Their submission awarded them a spot in the NASA App Development Challenge! Read more HERE We are proud of you, Claire! Go, Saints! Go, Knights!
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