Bernie's Bark
Dear Parents-
At the end of this week we will celebrate the feast of St. George, Martyr, and patron saint of England. St. George is surrounded by legend that depicts him as taming and slaying a dragon that terrorized villagers. In exchange, the villagers all agreed to be baptized and become Christian. St. George is counted among the Fourteen Holy Helpers, a group of ancient saints who are considered powerful intercessors in times of plagues. In this time of COVID, Fourteen Holy Helpers, Pray for us!
With less than 40 days left in the school year, St. Isidore, the Diocesan run virtual school has announced a variety of summer camp opportunities, covering interests from Alphabet Boot Camp, to Math Enrichment to Algebra 1 prep to astronomy, and so much more! Visit St. Isidore at to explore the list of camps.
In our COVID-19 update, the Fairfax County Health Department announced that all individuals 16 years old and older are now eligible to register for a vaccination appointment. VDH reports that 259, 559 Fairfax County residents are fully vaccinated as of April 17. Statewide, Virginia reports 26% of the population is fully vaccinated. And while we can’t get our kids vaccinated yet, parents are encouraged to get vaccinated!
As before, I want to strongly remind parents of in-person students that you are required to complete a morning COVID screening check of all your children, including taking temperatures. This requirement was spelled out as part of the waiver you signed upon returning to in-person instruction. This is a daily obligation on your part, and to keep our school families safe and to keep our school open, everyone must do their part!
Current case data shows substantial transmission of COVID in Fairfax County with 103 cases per 100,000, according to the CDC. Additionally, the percent positivity rate in Fairfax County is down slightly to 5.7% over the last 7 days. VDH reports that an average of 7 people per day are admitted to hospitals in Fairfax County due to COVID. Neighboring Loudoun County has a slightly increased positivity rate of 7.6%, and in Prince William County the positivity rate increased significantly over last week, now at 9.6%. Additionally, cases of all currently identified variants have been reported in Virginia. The UK B.1.1.7 COVID variant remains the variant causing most concern, estimated to spread about 50% more easily than previous variants. B.1.1.7 is now the most common variant of SARS-CoV-2 in the U.S, and it is likely associated with an increased risk of serious illness or death. The CDC reports that about 30% of COVID cases in Virginia are caused by the B.1.1.7 variant. All variants are considered more contagious strains of COVID-19, although not necessarily causing more severe illness.
There are many important upcoming events on the calendar. I ask for patience and understanding as we work out the details to make each event meaningful, and in compliance with all COVID mitigation strategies. The teachers, staff, Father Tom and I thank you for your understanding.

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

Go to Joseph
                              (Gen 41:55)

Denise Rutledge
 Building Wisdom and Faith Through Service to God
Online Book Fair

Online Book Fair is open!

April 12-May 14 2021

All proceeds will go to the school library!

Check out the Teacher Wish List, too!
Toiletries for LINK
During the month of April, the NJHS is collecting toiletries for LINK. LINK has a specific need for diapers (all sizes), toothpaste, shampoo, and conditioner. Grade levels are asked to sponsor an item: Grades K-2- diapers; Grades 3-5- toothpaste and Grades 6-8- shampoo and conditioner. Please consider participating in this important drive to support vulnerable children and adults in our community. In-person learners should bring their donations starting April 19; Distance learners are invited to drop items at the school office during normal school hours. Please do not leave items in the vestibule between the front doors, but instead call ahead for contactless drop-off, if needed.
Calendar Updates
Important Calendar Updates

Tuesday, June 8 - 11:30 dismissal. 8th Grade last day of school. 8th Grade graduation 7:00PM. Details to follow.

Friday, June 11 - 11:30 dismissal. Last day of school grades K-7. Kindergarten graduation details to follow.

Monday, August 23 - 8:00AM First day of school for 2021-2022 school year.
Walking with Purpose
Walking with Purpose is a Bible study that brings women to a deeper personal relationship with Jesus Christ by offering personal study enhanced by small group sharing. 
Groups are forming for the Spring/Summer Sessions
If you are interested, please download a registration form from our website or contact /703-338-7077 for a virtual time that will fit your schedule.
Book Club
Mrs. Rutledge and Mrs. Carson invite you to join along
for conversation and camaraderie as we begin
our second book
Discipleship Parenting -Planting the Seeds of Faith by Kim Cameron Smith
The next meeting is planned for Wednesday, April 28, at 7:00PM.
Book Club Zoom Link:

Topic: Chapters 3 and 4 -- Play and Merciful Discipline

The author shares these takeaways for our consideration:
3. Play
  • Play is one of the most important ways children connect to us, work through their fears and frustrations, and build their self-confidence. Despite the pressure to fill a child’s schedule with “enrichment” activities, parents can take the lead and preserve free time in their child’s life.
  • Playing together as a family builds rapport and protects connection.
  • Play can be hard for some parents. However, all humans need play, not just children. The good news: kids are play experts! Allow them to show you how to play again.
4. Merciful Discipline
  • The heart of effective discipline is the connection between parent and child. Without a secure connection, discipline will be a frustrating power struggle.
  • The goal of effective discipline is for the child to build a conscience and self-control, not to break the child’s will or to coerce obedience through threats. 
  • “Problem” behavior is rarely a sign that a child is bad or damaged. Usually, they’re trying to get a need met, or they’re struggling to express their emotions responsibly because they’re still immature. On the other hand, sin is real; we want our children to understand how their choices impact their relationships with others, including God. Using virtue training and positive discipline tools, we can shepherd our children toward maturity while teaching then how to protect their relationships and grow spiritually.

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.
Nurse's Corner
Allergy season is upon us! Check out two great articles below on ways to help relieve allergies.

April Wellness Letter - 95210 Health Initiative: Get at least 1 hour of physical activity each day. Click HERE to read more!
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