Montgomery Virtual Academy K-5 News

The "SCHOOL STARTS SOON" Edition! August 2022

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A Note from the Dean's Desk

Greetings Montgomery Virtual Academy Voyagers!

Welcome to the 2022-2023 school year! Can you believe the new school year is just around the corner and soon we will be opening our Zooms for the first day of school? It is nearly time for us to return to school and begin another year, and I continue to be excited and honored to be the Dean of this unique and important program! Our community inspires me everyday and I hope you feel as lucky to be a part of the Montgomery Virtual Academy as I do!

Summer is often a time for families to slow down to reconnect after a busy school year. I hope this summer has provided you with plenty of opportunities to rest, relax, read, and have fun with your children! We are looking forward to welcoming your children back very soon for an exciting year of learning! If there is ever anything that I can do to help you or your child, please feel free to contact me.

As we get ready to start our second year voyage, I am so excited by what this year has in store! We had an incredible year last year on our maiden voyage and we have spent the summer preparing and upgrading so that the year ahead is even more amazing!

Some exciting upgrades I am pleased to share:

  • A fully synchronous day with live, teacher led instruction for all subject areas
  • Expanded extracurricular opportunities for students
  • Reduced teacher to student ratios
  • Increased time and opportunities for small group instruction and targeted student support
  • Expanded access to enrichment opportunities

In the coming days and weeks, there will be a number of opportunities to connect with you and share even more details on these and other exciting developments. Please be sure to take some time to become familiar with the information below so that you and your child are ready for a successful start to the school year!

Please see below for:


Finally, please stay on the lookout in your email for additional messages and updates over the next few weeks as we send out more information. Check your spam regularly and add my email address to your contacts to ensure you see my newsletters and other messages I send out through our mass communication system.

I am confident that this is going to be a great year as we build upon the success of last year. I want to thank all of you in advance for your support! I am so glad you are joining us on our voyage!

Mrs. Cassandra Heifetz



  • Thursday, August 18- New Family Orientation from 6:30-7:30 PM
  • Friday, August 19 - Materials Distribution 9 AM-5 PM and Student Picture Day (by appointment)
  • Thursday, August 25- Upper School Orientation (6th-12th)
  • Thursday, August 25- Materials Distribution from 1PM- 6 PM
  • Friday, August 26- Lower School Orientation (K-5th) from 10:00-11:45 AM
  • Friday, August 26-Materials Distribution from 1PM- 6 PM
  • Monday, August 29- 1st Day of School
  • Monday, September 5 - No School for Labor Day Holiday


The start of a new school year means a number of new faces and names among both staff and students!

Welcome New Students and Families!

We are very excited to be welcoming a number of new students and families! We are glad you have chosen the Montgomery Virtual Academy this year and we are committed to ensuring this is a great year. We want you and your child have a smooth start! To ensure Day 1 is all "smooth sailing", please plan to join us for a New Family Orientation on Thursday, August 18 from 6:30-7:30 PM on Zoom. New families will be emailed the Zoom link the week of August 15.

Welcome New Staff!

In addition to welcoming many new children and families, we are also welcoming some new staff members, most of them in positions new to the MVA! Please help me extend a warm Virtual Voyager welcome to:

  • Tracy Jeffcott, Media Specialist
  • Adela Jimenez, Administrative Secretary
  • Jean Kiernan, Staff Development Teacher
  • Kimberly McIntyre, Reading Specialist
  • Ellen Rahr, Media Assistant
  • Sarah Szak, Speech Pathologist
  • Eboni Thomas, Attendance Secretary

We also have a number of staff members taking on new roles and a few staff who have moved on to other opportunities. Please check out the Staff Directory linked below to see our entire staff and their roles!

New Family Orientation

Thursday, Aug. 18th, 6:30-7:30pm

This is an online event.

Families new to the Montgomery Virtual Academy (MVA) are invited to a new student information and orientation session on Thursday, August 18 at 6:30 PM on Zoom. Meet the MVA administration, learn about our unique program, and get tips on helping your child be successful in their first year in the Montgomery Virtual Academy. We will also provide new families with information on how to get technology assistance and how to troubleshoot common technology problems from home!

Zoom information will be sent the week of August 15.


Student Supplies and Materials

This year, all MVA K-5 students can expect to receive the following:

  • grade-level specific curriculum materials
  • basic school supplies
  • a touchscreen Lenovo Chromebook (if the student does not yet have one.) More details below.

Families may wish to provide some additional organizational tools and personal supplies. To see what items are going to be provided by the MVA and which items are optional for families, please review this year's Student Supply List K- 5 2022 - 2023 (in English and Spanish).

Families are asked to plan to pick up their child's supplies and materials from 15 West Gude Drive prior to the start of school during Material Distribution. (see below for details).

Student Supply List K-5

In English and Español

Materials Distribution- August 19, 25, & 26

Please schedule an appointment to pick up Semester 1 curriculum materials for Virtual Academy students. Curriculum materials are available for students in Kindergarten to Grade 8 and students taking Algebra 1 and AP Psychology. There are no materials for other High School students.

Materials will distributed from 15 W. Gude Drive (2nd Floor) Rockville, MD


  • Friday, August 19 9AM-5 PM
  • Thursday, August 25 1 PM- 6 PM
  • Friday, August 26 from 1 PM-5 PM

Please select a pick-up time on Sign-up Genius here.

Directions for day of pick-up

  • Write your child’s name, ID number, and grade on a paper.
  • Students do not need to be present, but all students who come on August 19 can also have their school picture taken! (see below)
  • Students who have an Acer Chromebook, should exchange it for a Lenovo Chromebook. Please bring the charger. The Lenovo Chromebook uses a different type of charger.

See the complete FLYER

Chromebook Updates

MCPS wants to make sure all Virtual Academy students have a touchscreen Lenovo chromebook, which is more current and will support system updates.

Any Virtual Academy student who has an Acer Chromebook, should bring it to 15 W. Gude, to exchange it for a Lenovo chromebook during Materials Distribution days.

When returning any Acer device, be sure to bring the charging cable. The Lenovo uses a different type of charging cable.

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Student Pictures - August 19

We are excited to be partnering with Barksdale Photography for a second year of providing high quality student pictures! Our Fall picture day is scheduled for August 19. We have scheduled picture day before school starts to reduce the need to miss instruction to come in for pictures! Families can come to pick up student materials at our first materials distribution day and then have your child's school picture taken! Picture packages start at $12.

  1. Please click here to access the online ordering form OR
  2. Please click here or on the image below to see the PDF of the Barksdale Flyer.
  3. Click here to schedule your time on picture day! (Click on Montgomery Virtual Academy on August 19 to select a time.

All payments are due on or before picture day. There will be a make-up day on September 30.

Volunteers needed! SSL Hours available!

We are excited to welcome students back to school in the Virtual Academy. We need volunteers to help sort, organize and bag the materials in preparation for distribution which will begin August 19.

Parents, Staff, MS students, and HS students are invited to sign up! Any amount of time you can volunteer is greatly appreciated. Volunteers will meet at in the Virtual Academy office at 15 W. Gude Drive, 2nd Floor, Rockville

Sign up to Volunteer HERE

Contact Jackie DeLucia, Supervisor K-5 with any questions: or by phone: 240-447-8277

Parent Volunteers: Please review the MCPS policies for parent volunteers on the MCPS website.

Orientation & Meet-the-Teacher- August 26

We will hold an Orientation and Meet-the Teacher event for Kindergarten-Grade 5 students on Friday, August 26 from 10:00 AM-11:45 AM on Zoom. The Orientation will begin with a webinar-style presentation at 10:00 AM for all K-5 families led by the Lower School administration. Following the Orientation session, students will be able to login to their classroom zooms to meet the teacher and ensure they are ready for the first day of school!

There will also be a Zoom drop-in for families during the Teacher Meet & Greets to help answer additional questions, provide troubleshooting support, and clarify student schedules.

Zoom links and additional details will be shared the week of August 22.

We are excited for the year to start and hope you and your child can plan to attend this important orientation session to make sure the first day of school is a great success!

School Schedule and Attendance

The Montgomery Virtual Academy follows the traditional MCPS School Year calendar (see link below). Monday, August 29 is the first day of school for all students!

Zooms will open at 8:50 a.m. daily and hours of instruction are 9:00-11:35 AM and 12:35-3:25 PM. There is a daily wellness break from 11:35 AM -12:35 PM. Students should login at 8:50 ensure they are prepared when instruction begins.

Students need to eat meals before school, during the wellness break, and after school. Please do not serve meals during the instructional blocks.

Students logging in after 9:00 a.m. will be reported tardy. Parents are asked to use this Google Form to report an absence, late arrival, early dismissal, and submit attendance notes.

Please see the Virtual Academy website or click below to see the Daily Schedules, including the early release schedule, and the late opening schedule.

Maximizing Student Engagement, Participation, and Attendance

Research indicates that meaningful personal engagement with their teachers and peers is one of the most important predictors of student learning and achievement.

As a result of a review of the research, the Montgomery Virtual Academy (MVA) presents the following revisions to its policies and expectations around student engagement, participation, and attendance for the 2022-2023 school year and beyond.

  1. All students are expected to appear on camera for the majority of every class
  2. Students should actively demonstrate engagement throughout each lesson.
  3. Students who demonstrate no engagement for the entire class period may be marked “Absent” for that class period.
  4. The MVA continues to expand opportunities for students to engage meaningfully with teachers, staff, and each other outside of the classroom.

For more detailed information on these expectations, please see:


If you are reading this newsletter, that means one or more of your children is enrolled in the Montgomery Virtual Academy (K-5). We hope you plan to remain with us the entire year!

The last day to request to return to in-person instruction for the start of the 2022-2023 school year is Friday, August 19, 2022. After that date, the next available window for an elementary grade student to return to in-person learning will be the end of the first marking period. Middle and high school students will need to wait until the end of the first semester to transition to in-person learning.

Families who no longer wish to start the school year in the Virtual Academy are asked to take the following steps prior to August 19:

1) Complete this form

2) Email Ms. Elle Dimond, registrar, to alert her of the request

3) Contact your child's home school to indicate your intent to return for the first day of school


Free and Reduced Meals Application Now Open!

Families who meet certain federal income standards are eligible for free or reduced-price meal benefits. All Virtual Academy families are encouraged to complete this year's application for Free and Reduced Meals. See flyer below for additional benefit that may be available to qualifying applicants. Apply online NOW at so that benefits will be in place when school starts!

All children use their MCPS ID number at the register so confidentiality is maintained and no child is overtly identified as receiving free or reduced-price meals. Only one application is needed for all students in a household. A new application must be completed for any family requesting assistance this school year. The online application is now open for families to submit applications.

For more information and How-To videos visit the Food Services website:

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Technology Support for Virtual Academy Families

If you are having technology issues, please submit an e-ticket by emailing your question or issue to or submit a ticket via the Community Tech Support portal This account is monitored daily and you will receive email notifications throughout the process.

For helpful support guides and screencasts in English and Spanish, please visit A support guide for the Community Tech Support portal is available here:


The following MVA Parent Council Announcements are being shared as a public information courtesy.

Save the Date!-October 15, 2022

The MVAPTC will be holding a craft fair as an MVAPTC fundraiser on October 15, 2022. The craft fair will be held at the True Respite Brewery. Stay tuned for more details on attending or setting up a booth at the craft fair for interested artists!


Please contact Council President, Jessica at if you’d like to volunteer or have any questions, comments or suggestions. Thank you for your support!


Montgomery Virtual Academy Website

Check out our website to access the staff directory and other resources!