Bernie's Bark
Dear Parents-
We have reached the Ascension of Our Lord, celebrated on Thursday, May 13, (if you’re from Philadelphia) or on Sunday, May 16, (if you live in Virginia), marking the last week of the Easter Season. The Ascension recognizes Jesus’ humanity entering heaven, where He sits at the right hand of His Father, and where he has gone to prepare a place for each of us. Our job on earth is to continue His work! As we reflect on the meaning of the Ascension, it is a good time to reflect on our personal commitment to “doing His work.”
I congratulate all our students who celebrated their first Holy Communion on Saturday, May 8. Please keep all these amazing boys and girls in your prayers, and pray for their families. As the primary teachers of their children, there is a large responsibility on parents for proper faith formation of their children.
It is with very mixed emotions that I announce that Mrs. Kathy Karcz will leave us at the end of the school year. Mrs. Karcz served the SJS community for almost 30 years as one of our third grade teachers. Mrs. Karcz has made the difficult, yet exciting decision to retire from teaching, and while Mrs. Karcz will miss “her kids” and the strong relationships she has built within the community, she is very excited to spend time with her wonderful husband, Peter. I will miss her terribly. Please keep Mrs. Karcz and her family in your prayers as she starts this new adventure.
Last Friday, Gov. Northam announced the plan to lift COVID capacity restrictions and social distancing requirements on June 15, assuming that infection rates continue to trend downward and the vaccination rate continues to trend upward. Governor Northam did not set a date to lift the mask mandate.

VDH reports a 7-day average of 74 new cases of COVID-19 per day in Fairfax County, with a current 7-day test positivity rate of 3%. In nearby Loudoun County the current 7-day positivity rate is 4.3%, and in Prince William County, the test positivity rate remains unchanged at 5.6%. All averages represent PCR testing, which is considered the most reliable. All parents are encouraged to get vaccinated...34% of Fairfax County is fully vaccinated….#getvaccinated

As we start to anticipate the end of the pandemic, please remember that St. Joseph Catholic School does not have autonomy to throw aside the COVID mitigation strategies currently in place. Please expect these restrictions to remain in place through the remainder of the school year. In addition, there will be no extending the school year so that end-of-year celebrations can coincide with the lifting of social distance requirements and capacity limits on June 15. Graduation for 8th grade is Tuesday, June 8 and the last day of school for all students, K-7, is Friday, June 11. Thank you for your support in keeping students, faculty, and staff healthy!

We are in SCANTRON testing week two for grades 3-7, and all 8th grade students will take the World Language Exam on Tuesday, May 11. Please make sure your children are in school and on time during these last important weeks of school.

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
Early Dismissal

11:30am dismissal on Friday, May 21 for all students
Online Book Fair
3 Days Left!!

Don't forget to get some books from the Book Fair!
There is something for everyone!

April 12-May 14 2021

All proceeds will go to the school library!

Check out the Teacher Wish List, too!
Let's Spread Kindness!
SJS Saints are spreading incredible acts of kindness! You can too!
  • 21 days to go!
  • $2,605 raised
  • 26 Acts of Kindness
  • 37 Participants
  • Leading Class: 6 White Mrs. Bolka

Tips to remind families:
  • Each child should have their own account to log their Acts of Kindness- Reminder we are hoping to have 100% participation
  • Don't want to burden your family with sending them multiple children links? Don't worry divide the family/friend emails so each email only gets one ask.
  • Please register under the class your child is in NOW not homeroom- the prizes are:
  • Top Acts of Kindness Classroom - 1st Place
  • Chick-Fil-A Lunch with the Friars and Chef Laura + a Dress out Day!
  • Top Acts of Kindness Classroom - 2nd Place
  •  Chick-Fil-A Lunch with the Friars and Chef Laura  
Register at and start spreading kindness!

To Get Started:
  • Registration Link:
  • Enter your student’s name
  • Select at least 3 Acts of Kindness
  • Enter 5-10 email addresses of potential supporters.
  • Raise Craze will send all emails, reminders and thank you notes. Emails will never be shared with third parties or used for marketing.

Raise Craze is an online platform enabling students to set up secure, custom websites where they request donations via email. During the fundraiser, students pay it forward by completing Acts of Kindness for others. Questions? Contact Suzy Fitzpatrick at
New Family Sponsors Needed!
Year of St. Joseph
Student Reflection
Saint Joseph, a Man of Many Vocations

Saint Joseph has been called to do many things. Even though he didn´t know what lay ahead and he was scared, Joseph decided to stand beside the Virgin Mary in marriage. He had happily followed his vocation to protect Jesus and be his foster father. He knew that within him was the foster father of Jesus. Joseph obediently and lovingly raised Jesus. He was devoted to God and always did what he was asked. Another vocation he followed was to be a good carpenter. Joseph was kind and was an honest and hard worker. Saint Joseph had many callings.

St. Joseph Catholic School 5th Grader
Early Pick Up Reminder

Kindly remember that if you need to pick up your child before dismissal for doctor's appointments, trips, etc. please do so by 2:15pm. Thank you for your support!
Nurse's Corner
Due to all the recent and continued changes from the CDC regarding traveling and quarantine, the Fairfax county health department issued a statement of clarification yesterday regarding quarantining after any travel for all unvaccinated individuals.

"Regardless of the close proximity of jurisdictions in the DMV area, the same CDC guidance applies when visiting vaccinated or unvaccinated individuals not within a family’s cohort
Please see below a reference table from the CDC guidance on domestic travel". The link below shows a graphic of travel requirements for easy reading. 

Book Club
Tomorrow Night!
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, May 12, at 7:00PM.
Book Club Zoom Link:

Topic: Chapters 5 and 6 -- Empathy and Radiant Faith

The author shares these takeaways for our consideration:
5. Empathy
  • Empathy is the gift we use to know another person. It allows us to consider their perspective or to feel what they feel. It helps us care for one another. Today, children are becoming less empathic, despite “empathy training” in schools.
  • Emotionally healthy children don’t need to be taught to care; it comes naturally to them in the right circumstances. But we can coach our children in how to care: how to hold a baby, how to feed a pet, how to see a sibling’s point of view, how to resolve disagreements with a friend. 
  • The best way to raise an empathic child is to treat her with empathy; this is simple modeling. We tend to treat others the way our attachment figures treat us. We can nurture a child’s “caring brain” by filling her attachment cup to overflowing and being an emotion coach.
6. Radiant Faith
  • Your family can enjoy a shared faith life that’s alive and radiant, a faith that becomes a tremendous witness to other families of the truth and beauty of Christ’s message.
  • Allow your home to reflect the abundant joy and hope of our Catholic Faith. Learn about the Christian virtues together; explore and celebrate feast days and saints days with crafts, tea parties, and sharing books together; develop a family prayer plan and pray together regularly. Practice the corporal and spiritual works of mercy alongside your children both within your home and in your community.
  • Children, especially young ones, will absorb our attitudes about attending Mass and growing in the Faith. If we’re excited and enthusiastic, it’ll be contagious!  We can help our children see both the obligations and the opportunities of living out our Faith.  The heart of our Faith is love and hope, and the opportunity for transformation and renewal.

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.
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