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Limited Spaces Remain Available in the Kindergarten Program at St. Thomas More Cathedral School

Families with prospective kindergarteners for the 2018-2019 school year are encouraged to apply for admission at St. Thomas More Cathedral School as the program is now nearing full capacity.

Children must be 5 years old by September 30, 2018 to register. The application form is located here: K-8 Application.

St. Thomas More Cathedral School is an authentic Catholic learning community that promotes the spiritual, moral and intellectual excellence of students in PreK through 8th grade. Recently, STM made history as the first elementary school in the world to launch a CubeSatellite and is recognized by The U.S. Department of Education as a National Blue Ribbon School since 2006.

Teachers at St. Thomas More differentiate instruction in the classroom by meeting with students in small groups to reach all levels of learners.

The curriculum includes The Comprehension Toolkit featuring Daily 5, Writer’s Workshop, Words Their Way, Everyday Mathematics, character education and service learning. Students attend special classes in Spanish, Physical Education, Music, Art, Library and Technology.

Opportunities for movement and socialization are woven into the day, including three recess periods. Throughout the year kindergarten students present six performances for their families, prayer partners and friends. These include We Sing America, Corn Feast Reader’s Theatre, The Nativity, Bible Plays, Manners Tea and a Kindergarten Closing Ceremony.

A sample of a typical day in kindergarten can be found here.

As an added convenience, extended care is offered both before and after school from 7 a.m. until the school day begins, and again after school until 6:15 p.m. More than 45 extracurricular choices are available including athletics, band, scouts and high interest enrichment classes.

Students come to STM from Arlington, as well as Alexandria, Fairfax County, the District of Columbia and Maryland. The diverse backgrounds and experiences of our families contribute to the welcoming spirit you will find at Saint Thomas More.

The Diocese of Arlington and the STM School and parish community are committed to making a Catholic education attainable for all who seek it. All families are encouraged to apply for tuition aid if assistance is needed and 30% of current students receive financial aid.

St. Thomas More Cathedral School is conveniently located at 105 N. Thomas St, in the center of Arlington, VA near the Pentagon, Ballston, Ft. Myer and the National Guard. Visit our website for further information regarding the admissions process. To schedule a tour call 703-528-6781 x242 or email [email protected].

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Open Houses at St. Thomas More Cathedral School in Arlington

St. Thomas More Cathedral School is an authentic Catholic learning community that promotes spiritual, moral and intellectual excellence for students in PreK through 8th grade.

Interested families are invited to attend an Open House on Sunday, January 28 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and Wednesday, January 31 from 9-11 a.m. Meet faculty and explore the school on tours led by current parents and students. RSVP by clicking this link.

St. Thomas More is recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School and recently became the first elementary school in the world to launch a CubeSatellite. There is a focus on high-interest projects which encourages students to stretch their knowledge and motivates them to attempt hands-on activities.

Teachers at St. Thomas More differentiate instruction in the classroom by meeting with students in small groups to reach all levels of learners. The curriculum includes The Comprehension Toolkit featuring Daily 5 and CAFE, Writer’s Workshop, Words Their Way and the Everyday Mathematics program.

Incoming kindergarten students can expect to experience a rich program with STEM embedded in their day and special performance events throughout the year such as America Sings and a Manners Tea. Each grade level selects a service project to help others in our community, with kindergarten supporting HOPE in Northern Virginia.

Students come to STM from Arlington, as well as Alexandria, Fairfax County, the District of Columbia and Maryland. The diverse backgrounds and experiences of our families contribute to the welcoming spirit you will find at Saint Thomas More.

The Diocese of Arlington and the STM School and parish community are committed to making a Catholic education attainable for all who seek it. All families are encouraged to apply for tuition aid if assistance is needed.

Visit our website for information regarding the admissions process, learn about the after school Enrichment Program, extended day care and more. St. Thomas More Cathedral School is conveniently located at 105 N. Thomas St, in the center of Arlington, VA near the Pentagon, Ballston, Ft. Myer and the National Guard. To schedule a tour on an alternate day, call (703)528-6781.

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Female Little League Umpire Enjoys Taking Control

By the time she was 9 years old, Isabel Graham had earned a black belt in mixed martial arts and, with a younger brother around, has always enjoyed being in charge.

So it seemed like a natural fit when she began umpiring in Arlington Little League earlier this season.

Out of an officiating roster of dozens of teenagers and a handful of adults, Graham is currently the only female ump in the league. (An older female umpire is out with an injury.)

But the 14-year-old Graham, an eighth-grader at St. Thomas More Cathedral School, said that her gender has never been an issue for anyone as she takes charge of games at the AAA and Majors levels for children up to the age of 12.

“At this age the players don’t actually know that it’s different, so they treat me like anyone else,” she said before a recent game at Fort Scott Park. “The only people who know it’s different are the parents, so the moms always give me a smile.”

Graham combines her umpiring with playing travel softball for Arlington Sage, and also plays basketball during the winter. She was introduced to umpiring by her friend and St. Thomas More classmate Nicolas Lopez-Riveira, now in his third season overseeing Little League games.

And she seems to have taken to the umpiring quickly. She said it is very similar to playing catcher on her softball team, as she is in charge and sees a lot of action behind home plate.

“It’s exciting, but I guess I’ve seen her in so many things where if she’s not in charge, she’s at least constantly aware of what’s going on,” said her father Michael Graham. “I’m not surprised that she enjoys it, mostly because of the interest in softball and baseball. I’m glad that she’s doing it.”

To become an umpire, Isabel Graham went through training on the rules of the game and how to handle situations on the field. League umpire-in-chief Steve Sundbeck said he has approximately 65 teenagers and seven adults, including himself, that umpire. The league has approximately 1,500 children as young as 4 that play baseball.

Sundbeck said he looks to use the training program to teach new umpires good sportsmanship and confidence, something that is helped by a league culture in Arlington that emphasizes earning respect and doing your best, regardless of age.

“It really is a matter of doing the best job you can in the first place, because they’ll know when you’re getting lazy and not getting in position,” Sundbeck said. “And you just know what to ignore and what to call out that you’re not putting up with. We try to teach them the rubric.”

And while Isabel Graham said she gets nervous before games start, once the batter settles into the box, it feels natural.

“They’re really just trying to have fun, and they often don’t understand what’s happening, they just want to get out there and play,” she said. “I don’t think there’s that much pressure. Mostly I’m just pressuring myself. I’ll always think I’ll make mistakes, but I’ll have to get over it.”

Isabel Graham will start at Bishop Ireton High School in Alexandria in the fall and said she hopes to continue umpiring and maybe move up to the 50/70 level, the highest in Arlington Little League.

“She’s always been a fairly focused, confident kid and loves all things baseball as well as being in charge,” said Michael Graham. “So being an umpire seems to be a really good fit for her personality and interest in sports. Whether she’s the only girl or the first girl to do anything has never really been of concern to her.”

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Morning Notes

The Church at Clarendon

County Board Debate Preaches to Choir — Arlington County Board candidates Libby Garvey and Erik Gutshall participated in a debate Sunday night. Reported the Washington Post: “Nearly all the 50 people in the Campbell Elementary School audience Sunday night were campaign workers or committed supporters for each candidate.” In a new line of attack, Gutshall criticized Garvey for a $250 donation from a real estate developer she accepted in 2011. [Washington Post, Blue Virginia]

Campaign Criticism Prompts Reactions — Supporters of County Board candidate Erik Gutshall have penned a joint statement defending some of his attacks on Libby Garvey as substantive policy issues. However, there appears to be something of a backlash to two of Gutshall’s campaign mailers — at least among those who write letters to the Sun Gazette. County Board member Christian Dorsey, meanwhile, has published a statement on what he says is a “mischaracterization” of Garvey’s (and thus, the Board’s) record. [Blue Virginia, InsideNova, Facebook]

Elementary School’s Satellite Located — Two students from Morehead State University have located the “Cubesat” satellite created by students at St. Thomas More Elementary School in Arlington. The satellite was launched into orbit from the International Space Station but, for a few weeks, nobody was able to make contact with it. [Daily Independent]

Update on Rescued Baby Ducks — The six ducklings rescued from an Arlington storm drain are doing well and are undergoing rehabilitation, with the goal of being released back into the wild in a couple of months. [Washington Post]

Clarendon Co-Working Space Filling Up Fast — The new 40,000 square foot MakeOffices co-working space in Clarendon is more than half full already and is expected to be sold out by early July. The location, just across from the Clarendon Metro station, is the Arlington-based company’s tenth, but has been deemed its new flagship location. [Bisnow]

Nauck Profiled in WaPo — The Washington Post real estate section has profiled Arlington’s Nauck neighborhood, noting that “affordability is a major selling point in Nauck, where about half of current listings are priced under $500,000.” [Washington Post]

Photo by Jackie Friedman

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Morning Notes

Boxed water at Roti restaurant in Rosslyn

Elementary School’s Satellite Launches — A “CubeSat” satellite built by students at St. Thomas More Cathedral School in Arlington was launched from the International Space Station yesterday. It’s the first time an elementary school CubeSat has been deployed into space. [CBS NewsThe Register, Twitter]

ConnectArlington Program Makes New Connection — Arlington County’s ConnectArlington fiber optic network is getting access to a collaborative research network of universities, industries and government agencies via the University of Maryland’s Mid-Atlantic Crossroads access point. The move is expected to help with economic development in Arlington. [Arlington County]

Shirlington Restaurant Investigated — The U.S. Dept. of Labor is reportedly investigating labor law violations at Aroma Indian Cuisine restaurant in Shirlington. [Patch]

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Morning Notes

Arlington House at dawn (Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf)

County Apologizes for Political Facebook Post — Arlington County has taken down and apologized for a Facebook post that some called inappropriate. “No support or endorsement was intended” the county said of the post, which linked to an article about an Arlington County Democratic Committee resolution calling for a change to the Washington Redskins team name. [Facebook]

Arlington to Partner with Nextdoor — The Arlington County Police Department will be holding a press conference Wednesday afternoon to announce a partnership with Nextdoor, a private social network for neighborhoods. The partnership will help “build stronger, safer communities with the help of Arlington residents.” Nextdoor has been criticized recently for becoming “a bastion of racial profiling.”

Bluemont Residents Concerned About Big Ballston Development — The Bluemont Civic Association is expressing concern over a massive proposed development on the western side of the intersection of N. Glebe Road and Wilson Blvd. The development proposal calls for 483 apartments in a building with a grocery store and other ground floor retail. [Curbed]

Arlington-Built Satellite Blasts Off to Space Station — A tiny satellite built by elementary students at St. Thomas More Cathedral School in Arlington is part of the cargo of a rocket that launched into orbit Sunday, bound for the International Space Station. [CBS News, Space.com]

‘Arlington Tech’ School Proposal — The Arlington School Board has signaled that it’s ready to move forward with the establishment of “Arlington Tech,” a high-technology coursework initiative to be located at the Arlington Career Center. [InsideNova]

Anti-Hunger Effort Draws Big Crowd — More than 1,000 people gathered at the Thomas Jefferson Community Center gym over the weekend to put together 100,000 meals for starving children around the world. [NBC Washington]

Arlington’s Official Song Turns 45 — “Arlington,” the official song of Arlington County, recently turned 45 years old. The song was written by a local clergyman and adopted as the county’s official song in 1970 with the encouragement of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce. [Arlington County]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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