Bernie's Bark
Dear Parents-

This week offers us many opportunities to connect on spiritual and personal levels with all that is truly important. The Feast of Christ the King, Thanksgiving and the First Sunday in Advent are all in a week’s time. We are reminded to love, serve, follow and give thanks to our King!

We have been through quite a bit this year, and nevertheless, I remain thankful for the many blessings God has shared with me, including our amazing students and families, and all our staff who serve in the various roles needed to keep our school open and safe….they are selfless, tireless, fearless, and all-giving! It is an honor and a privilege to work alongside them.

Our COVID-19 update this week shows the Commonwealth set a record high number for positive tests, 3,242, on November 23. The current 7-day moving average for positivity is 7.4%. Fairfax County is averaging 24.6 new cases per day with 7-day average test positivity rate of 7.13%; neighboring Loudoun County has a positivity rate of 8%, and Prince William County is at 10.7% positivity rate. Websites that track the virus indicate COVID in Fairfax County is at risk of an outbreak.

At this writing there is no change to SJS return to class on December 2. We continue to monitor the core indicators for safe schools recommended by the CDC:
    number of new cases per 100,000 persons within the last 14 days
    percentage of RT-PCR test that are positive during the last 14 days
    ability of the school to implement 5 key mitigation strategies (masks, social distance, hand hygiene, facility cleaning, contact tracing)

While we can not control the first two indicators, we can control the third, and SJS has done an excellent job- students and staff wear masks, keep distance, wash hands and the facility's high touch areas are continually cleaned throughout the day.

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. More information will be available in the coming weeks, as we plan to start after the Christmas break.

Also, we invite you to join us for the Vigil Project’s Advent and Christmas Journey. Our first evening of reflection and prayer is planned for Wednesday, December 2. More information will be available in the next Bark.

On behalf of the entire SJS Faculty and Staff, I wish you a very happy and healthy Thanksgiving. 

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

Go to Joseph
                              (Gen 41:55)

Denise Rutledge
 Building Wisdom and Faith Through Service to God
Re-enrollment for 2021-2022 School Year
With our 93% retention rate, it is reasonable to streamline our re-enrollment processes. The process is restructured so that current students will be automatically re-enrolled for the 2021-2022 school year. Enrollment fees of $300 per student will be charged on February 1, 2021 from the FACTS account on file. Families in need of an extension payment plan must also contact the Business Office by January 15. Re-enrollment fees are non-refundable and non-transferable. If, for some reason, your student will not be returning to St. Joseph Catholic School, notification in writing is needed by January 15, 2021. We are confident that you will find this expedited and recurring re-enrollment process helpful. If you have any questions, please contact Debbie Millon (dmillon@sjcherndon.orgor 703-880-4355) in the Business Office.
SJS Book Fair
Book Fair is OPEN!
**NEW** Teacher Wish List and Donate to the Book Drive
have been added! Give the gift of a book to a teacher and their classroom by browsing the School Wish List!
Also, consider donating a book (or making a donation)
to the charity, A Simple House!

The SJS Book Fair is open for business! Click the button below to get a sneak peek of all the great books and gifts you can purchase! Free shipping on orders $30+.....shipped to your home!

The last day to order books and have them arrive by Christmas will be Dec. 6. Happy Shopping!
Nurse's Corner
Mask use and carbon dioxide
Wearing a mask does not raise the carbon dioxide (CO2) level in the air you breathe

A cloth mask does not provide an airtight fit across the face. The CO2 completely escapes into the air through and around the sides of the cloth mask when you breathe out or talk. CO2 is small enough to easily pass through any cloth mask material. In contrast, the virus that causes COVID-19 is much larger than CO2, so it cannot pass as easily through a properly designed and properly worn cloth mask (CDC). Please click on this link to read more information about wearing masks, click HERE.
Thanksgiving Break Guidelines

Thanksgiving holiday is a long awaited time in which families look forward to spending time with together. And Thanksgiving weekend is a notoriously busy time for travelers. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to stir personal safety concerns and force travel restrictions and quarantine mandates, we ask you to please think carefully about how you will gather this year.

Our primary goal at the school is to minimize the impact of student/family high risk activity and travel on the community spread of COVID-19. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) strongly discourages traveling for the holiday to curb the spread of COVID-19. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others. However, the final decision rests upon you. If you must travel, be informed of the risks involved.

Per CDC, the risk of COVID-19 spreading at events and gatherings increases as follows:

Lowest risk: Virtual-only activities, events, and gatherings.
More risk: Smaller outdoor and in-person gatherings in which individuals from different households remain spaced at least 6 feet apart, wear masks, do not share objects, and come from the same local area (e.g., community, town, city, or county).
Higher risk: Medium-sized in-person gatherings that are adapted to allow individuals to remain spaced at least 6 feet apart and with attendees coming from outside the local area.
Highest risk: Large in-person gatherings where it is difficult for individuals to remain spaced at least 6 feet apart and attendees travel from outside the local area.

If during the Thanksgiving holiday you participate in higher risk activities or think that you may have been exposed during your celebration, please take extra precautions for 14 days after the event to protect others at school. Please do not send your child(ren) to school until you have satisfied the suggested quarantine.

As a reminder, the following are considered high risk activities
specifically during Thanksgiving:

  • Going shopping in crowded stores just before, on, or after Thanksgiving
  • Participating or being a spectator at a crowded event
  • Attending crowded parades
  • Attending large indoor gatherings with people from outside of your household.

It is highly recommend that you visit the special holiday-specific website below as you make your plans for thanksgiving
Apply for the 2021-2022 School Year
NEW Incoming Students
For any siblings that anticipate attending St. Joseph Catholic School in Fall of 2021, don't forget to submit their application!
We have been blessed with an
enormous amount of interest for the
2021-2022 school year.

Applications are being accepted now and can be emailed to Monique Tuttle at
A non-refundable $125 application fee can be mailed or dropped off at the school. (ATTN: Admissions).

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