October 24, 2017
Saint Benedict School Year Theme :
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is  true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Phillipians 4:8
Saint Benedict Alley
Please remember that Saint Benedict Alley is for public access, not for parking. After school hours, the alley may be used for temporary drop off or for pick up as long as there is room left for cars to pass by through the alley. It should not be used for parking longer than 5 minutes without permission from the school. 
Hispanic Heritage Celebration
This Friday, October 27, from 1:30-2:40pm we will be celebrating Hispanic Heritage Day.  Make sure to ask your student about what they experience. They will watch a Hispanic folklore dance and then will make their own maracas. After their craft they will use their maracas to experience the flavor of the Latino culture as they are taught to dance themselves. 
From the Clinic

That time of year to touch base with some thoughts and considerations for the months to come. We make every effort at school to ensure that students wash hands and clean surfaces before and after eating. Stair railings, surfaces, and classrooms are cleaned frequently by faculty, staff, and our cleaning crew. In addition, we support children in understanding how germs transmit from one person to another. We also help them, in age appropriate ways, to identify ways in which they can keep their bodies healthy and how to recognize when their bodies don't feel well.

As cold/flu and virus season approaches, we rely heavily on our partnership with you to keep our community healthy. As stated in the handbook, children should stay home from school until they are free from the following symptoms, without medication, for 24 hrs:

Temperature of 100 degrees F or higher
Vomiting or diarrhea
A barky or croupy cough
Mouth sores with drooling
A rash related to known contagious illness or unidentified source

As all parents know, the most effective give way to prevent illness is through good habits including diet, exercise, sleep, and hand washing. Even with these efforts, there are times when children become ill. We appreciate you alerting the front desk and your child's teacher when they are ill and not in school. For extended absences a doctor's note may be requested by the clinic.
Comet Campaign
Our 2017-18 Comet Campaign is up and running, but we need your help to reach 100% participation! Pledge forms are available in the office and at the front desk. Classes that reach 100% participation will be rewarded with an ice cream social!

If you have already pledged, THANK YOU and make sure to sign your family name on the banner in the front hallway of the school. We want to see the names of ALL of our Saint Benedict School families on our banner. For more information or questions, please contact Pat Maehr, Director of Development at pmaehr@saintbenedictschool.org or call the school at 804-254-8850. 
Grandparents Day Coming Soon! 
Calling all grandparents! Grandparents Day at St. Benedict will be held on Friday, November 17th. Please RSVP by October 31st

Printed invitations will then be mailed out to grandparents with all the details for the day.  If your child's grandparents live out of town or are unable to attend, they are invited to send a letter for their grandchild to St. Benedict School to be presented to the child on that day. For more information, please contact Pat Maehr at 804-254-8850 or   pmaehr@saintbenedictschool.org .
PTO News
PTO would like to say, “THANK YOU!” to Georgia Riccobono, for taking the lead as Fall Fest Chair. She jumped right in, and put on such a fantastic event!
We would also like to thank all those who volunteered their time to make Fall Fest a fun evening for all!

Box Tops for Education: We will be doing a class competition in the spring, so continue to save up those box tops. However, if you have box tops that will expire before the spring collection, please submit them tomorrow , and we will go ahead and send them in. This is a great way to raise money for our school through things you buy already.

Other PTO News: Thank you to all the parents, guardians, grandparents, siblings and staff members of Saint Benedict Catholic School who have already signed up for your 2017-2018 support hours. Your commitment to our PTO shows your support and belief in what we are able to do for our children and for our school. We have many volunteer options still available, so please refer to the Saint Benedict website for volunteer opportunities to sign up. Please remember that without your help we could not have so many great activities for our children of Saint Benedict Catholic School. You are our PTO! 

There are many ways to support our school without purchasing anything you wouldn't be buying already. For those who shop at Kroger, the Community Rewards program gives a percentage of your purchases to the non-profit of your choice. They require that you re-enroll annually. Enroll by going to www.kroger.com/communityrewards and entering our school code: 82176. Thanks to those of you who participated last year, the school just received a check from Kroger for over $200.
Student Council News
This year again the Student Council will again be collecting pop tops from aluminum cans to donate to the Ronald McDonald House on Monument Avenue. Last year, even though we got a late start, we collected over 30 pounds of tops which paid for a family of 4 to stay at the house for a night. Please save and send in your pop tops! 

Other News: The Student Council will be sponsoring a dance on Friday, October 27th from 6:30-8:30pm in Saint Anselm Hall. The dance is for Saint Benedict middle school students only. The cost of the dance is $5 or $4 if you come in costume. There will be a prize for the best costume of the night. We ask that each 8th grade student bring a snack to share, 7th grade students bring candy to share, and 6th grade students bring a 2-liter bottle of soda. We will have a DJ and a photo booth. Start planning your costume and come out and have fun with your fellow middle schoolers. Parents who would like to chaperone, please make sure your VIRTUS information is in order and contact Mr. Cichocki at jcichocki@saintbenedictschool.org.
VIRTUS and Background Screening
All volunteers working with or near children in the school must
  • Have current background screening (every 5 years).
  • Have attended a VIRTUS training session, and consistently complete the monthly training bulletin, as evidenced by answering a short multiple-choice question at the end of the reading (Bulletin is sent monthly via e-mail)

Some examples of positions that REQUIRE VIRTUS and Background Screening: chaperone, lunch server, tour guide, greeter, comet shop, picture day, class room rep.

Some examples of positions that don't normally require VIRTUS and Background Screening: bringing food, event set-up, event clean-up, gala, school board, clean up day

If you will not be working at the school or at another Diocesan location with or near children or vulnerable adults you don't need to meet the VIRTUS and Background Screening requirements. If you have a VIRTUS account, you may ask for it to be made inactive and it can be made active again should you need it in the future.  You will not have to retake VIRTUS, but you will not need to keep up with the monthly training bulletin. The Diocese pays for active accounts so if you do not need the account it would save the Diocese the cost of keeping your account active unnecessarily.  If you want your account to be made inactive for the ENTIRE DIOCESE just email Elizabeth Hanson, ehanson@saintbenedictschool.org.

If you have taken VIRTUS but don't have a current background screening on file with the Diocese, you should have received an email from Elizabeth Hanson or Maria Jaramillo recently. Please decide if you want your account to be made inactive or that you want to submit a background screening and then communicate your decision to Elizabeth or Maria. We are gratefully for all your hard volunteer work and for your efforts to help keep our children safe.
Wednesday, November 1
All Saints Day

Class Choir: 5th grade
Readers: Scout Kennon, Madeleine Lang, Tabitha Pickral
Servers: Dabney Lang, Liam Cruess, Lemma Wheatley

Friday, November 17
Grandparents Day

Class Choir: 7th grade
Readers: Ella Wagner, Kai Knudsen
Servers: Scout Kennon, Hector Cibes-Lee, Michael Williamson
Parish News
Voter Education Materials
On Tuesday, November 7, Virginians will elect their governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general. To help voters prepare for these elections the Virginia Catholic Conference has released its 2017 voter education materials. The Conference has compiled three separate side-by-side comparisons of the positions of candidates for state offices. Conference staff compiled Know the Positions of the Candidates for Governor, Know the Positions of the Candidates for Lieutenant Governor, and Know the Positions of the Candidates for Attorney General from policies, public statements, official campaign websites, party platforms and other sources. The Conference, which represents Virginia’s bishops on public policy matters, neither supports nor opposes candidates for public office. As they consider these races and also local House of Delegates races, voters are encouraged to turn to the wisdom of the Catholic Church as they form their consciences by consulting the Four Principles of Catholic Social Teaching. These materials can be found www.vacatholic.org. Spanish translations are also available.
Upcoming Events at Saint Gertrude High School
Thursday, November 2 to Saturday, November 4....What if Jesus was on earth today? Come see Godspell, based on the Gospel of Matthew and set in the present day with music by the compuser of Wicked. The Stuart Avenue Players will present Godspell on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, November 2, 3 & 4 at 7:00 PM; and Saturday, November 4 at 1:00 PM. Tickets on sale at  www.saintgertrude.org/arts/theatre/stuart-avenue-players.

Saturday, November 4.... Calling all 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade girls to  Meet Me At The Matinee! Stuart Avenue Players invites you to be their guest at the Saturday, November 4 matinee performance of Godspell at Saint Gertrude High School. Come for a slice of pizza (at 11:30 a.m.) and meet the amazing cast and crew of Godspell (at 12:00 Noon). 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th graders will have reserved seats for the 1:00 PM Matinee performance.  Please note that a parent must accompany the student. For more information and to register, visit  www.saintgertrude.org/matinee.

Tuesday, November 7...Saint Gertrude High School will host  Lunch & Learn. Similar to our Open House, Lunch & Learn is a shorter more intimate experience. We begin at 11:00 a.m. and for a little over an hour, guests enjoy a light lunch, participate in an informal Q&A session, and take a tour of the school. Please register online at  www.saintgertrude.org/lunchandlearn. If you cannot attend on November 7, Lunch & Learn will also be offered on Tuesdays, November 28; January 9; and February 6. For more information, please contact Meredith McNamara, Director of Admission at  804-822-3955 or  mmcnamara@saintgertrude.org.  
Upcoming Dates
Oct. 27 School Mass 8:30am in the church (middle school wear dress uniform)
Oct. 27 First Quarter Report Cards
Nov. 1 School Mass - Solemnity of All Saints
Nov. 1 Honor Roll Assembly 9:30am
Nov. 7 Fall Open House