Montgomery Blair High School

Principal's Newsletter

April 2021

Dear Montgomery Blair High School Families,


Happy April! I hope that you and your family are well. On March 15, we welcomed our first group of Blazers for in-person learning and on April 8, our seniors returned to school. My staff and I are truly delighted to see our students again in our building. Our return to in-person learning has been a whole staff effort in physically changing our building to meet the recommended health and safety guidelines. I want to publicly THANK my staff for the reopening planning and implementation while still supporting thousands of students virtually.


Montgomery County Board of Education voted on March 23, 2021, to speed up the current timeline for the return of student groups for in-person instruction. At Montgomery Blair, Phase 2.2 (Grade 10) students who chose in-person instruction will begin on April 14th and 15th in our building.


With the start of the 4th quarter on April 19, we will follow a rotation schedule: Grade 9 &11 students who have chosen in-person instruction will attend one week (starting 4/19 - 4/23) and Grade 10 & 12 will attend classes virtually. The following week (4/26 - 4/30) Grade 10&12 students who have chosen in-person instruction will attend in-person and Grade 9 & 11 will attend classes virtually. Please review our updated schedule: MBHS Schedule.


Please note, Wednesdays will continue to be virtual for all students regardless of the selection, except for April 14 and May 12, which will be in-person/virtual instructional days. June 2 is graduation and there will be no classes on that day so that staff and families can celebrate our graduates.


We have worked to maintain the integrity of our virtual program while ensuring we provide a robust in-person experience to students who have requested that option. Please note, that due to operational requirements and approved ADA accommodations, in some cases the teacher assignment has changed. Your child will be notified of the teacher change.


My staff and I will lead two schools, in-person and virtual, with one vision of success for all students. Additional updates and information are below for our next phase of learning.


If you have questions or concerns, please see the list of staff to contact below. Our school offices are open and staff will assist you as needed.


Thank you for your continued support.


Renay Johnson

Principal

Tuesday, April 13, Free SAT for Registered Grade 11 Students Only

On Tuesday, April 13, we will administer the SAT free of charge. This test is only offered in-person with no virtual option. Students who have registered by the deadline were emailed letters communicating their room assignment. All students will be expected to follow safety and social distancing procedures. These safety procedures include students wearing masks before, during, and after testing.


Juniors are expected to bring their own materials needed for testing. Students should arrive at Blair by 7:30 a.m. for breakfast. The test will begin at 8:00 a.m. Students who arrive late may not be able to take the test. Students may be picked up by 12:30 p.m. (testing without accommodations) or 1:30 p.m. (testing with accommodations). Lunch will be provided from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. All MCPS busses will operate according to their normal times for arrival and departure routes at 2:30 p.m.


Students should bring the following essential items:

  • Their letter, which will serve as the entry ticket, making the check-in process as quick and smooth as possible.
  • Calculators are permitted during testing to include:
    • Most graphing calculators (see chart)
    • All scientific calculators
    • All four-function calculators (not recommended)
  • Water Bottle
  • Photo ID
  • Two No. 2 pencils

Cell phones are prohibited during testing. Remember to have a good night’s rest the day before testing and breakfast on testing day.


Questions about the SAT? Please contact the following assistant principals Dirk Cauley, Dirk_D_Cauley@mcpsmd.org, or Lavina Carrillo, Lavina_Carrillo@mcpsmd.org.


REMINDER: Tuesday, April 13 is an Asynchronous learning day for students who are not taking the SAT.

MCPS COVID Pool Test Begins April 23 at Blair

MCPS has established a pooled testing process for schools. Results are typically available within 2-3 days. If a student’s group identifies a positive result, then additional testing will be offered. Blair’s pooled testing will start on Friday April 23, and will be offered each Friday thereafter.


Here are five important things to know about the pooled testing process:


  • The testing is pooled and does not identify individual results nor collect personal information.

  • MCPS has developed a contact tracing and notification process to ensure safety and privacy.

For additional information, please watch the MCPS Pooled testing video .


If you have any additional questions about pooled testing, please contact Assistant Principal Joe Fanning via e-mail at Joseph_M_Fanning@mcpsmd.org

Counseling Department Information:

Class of 2021

Dear Senior Families,


Due to COVID-19 indoor gathering restrictions within Montgomery County and across the District-Maryland-Virginia (DMV) region, MCPS has moved to Plan B, outdoor graduation ceremonies, at each of our 25 comprehensive high schools stadiums.


Our 2021 Commencement Ceremony is scheduled for Wednesday, June 2, at 9:00 a.m. (rain dates June 2, 6:00 p.m., and June 3, 9:00 a.m.), at our school stadium. Please note that this date and location is contingent upon Montgomery County COVID-19 health and safety metrics and approval for a waiver on existing outdoor gathering restrictions at the time of graduation ceremonies in June.


More information will be shared with senior families once MCPS makes the final decision on high school graduations. MCPS graduations schedule and contingency plan are available at this link, https://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/info/graduation/.


MCPS has paid for all seniors to have caps & gowns. Our required $30 Graduation Venue Fee here; interested Seniors can also still get the Senior t-shirt here.


Thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate the next steps in celebrating the Class of 2021. We are committed to doing everything we can to provide a graduation experience that truly celebrates our students' accomplishments and represents our Blazer Pride.

Class of 2021 Yard Signs Have Been Delivered!

I hope that every senior (796) has received their Class of 2021 yard sign, if not please let us know. I would like to THANK all of our volunteers and staff who personally delivered signs to our seniors during the day and night:


Ms. Fus, Ms. Harrington, Ms. Thorne, Ms. Alexander, Ms. Howard, Ms. Goldstein, Ms. Adams, Mr. Hildebrandt, Ms. Plank, Ms. Moran, Ms. Jordan, Ms. Mason, Ms. Moran, Mr. Gabaree, Mr. Kirk, Ms. Franklin, Ms. Addison, Mr. Schafer, Ms. Sanchez, Ms. Jacobs, Mr. Gibb, Ms. Chen, Ms. Blaha, Ms. Fuller, Mr. McMahon, Ms. Woodward, Mr. Stein, and Dr. Davis.


A special THANK YOU to Ms. Armstead-Thomas, our Fine Arts Resource Teacher, for our sign design.

MBHS Climate Change Week

This year Climate Change week occurs April 19 - 23 with Earth day on Thursday, April 22. Science classes will have discussions, activities, and lessons about climate change during this week! Also, look in your communities for safe, outdoor service projects and activities that help promote climate change awareness. Please see your science teachers for more information!

Blair Athletics

Next week is Senior Week for Blair Athletics. We are looking forward to celebrating our Athletes!


Monday, April 12

Golf at 3:00 p.m. (at Rattlewood)

Girls Soccer at 7:00 p.m. (Poms performing at half)


Tuesday, April 13

Volleyball at 7:00 p.m.


Wednesday, April 14

Boys Soccer at 7:00 p.m.


Thursday, April 15

Cross Country at Wheaton Regional at 3:30 p.m.

Field Hockey at 6:00 p.m.


Friday, April 16

Varsity Football at 7:00 p.m.

Poms

Cheer


Athletics competitions now have spectators, 2 per player. All spectators must sign up for a game with the coach of that team and a specific player. No walk-ins are allowed. Most competitions will be able to be live-streamed. The automated camera in the stadium and the automated camera in the gym are controlled and calibrated through the NFHS Network. To subscribe, please see attached Fall NFHS flyer.


Spring sports will start on April 17th. It is time to register for spring sports! The spring sports are Baseball, Softball, Coed Softball (Corollary), Tennis (Boys and Girls), Boys Volleyball, Coed Volleyball, Gymnastics, Lacrosse (Boys and Girls), and Track and Field. Spring Sports Registration Information Letter.


All students must be registered for athletics through ParentVUE. If you are going to register, please activate your ParentVUE account soon! If you need help activating the account, please contact Rita_J_Boule@mcpsmd.org for assistance. Registration will close on Wednesday, April 14.


Parents have the ability to upload a medical clearance in the registration or submit it to the athletics office by emailing it to Rita_J_Boule@mcpsmd.org.


Here is a form in English and Spanish to gather the information we might need to help you with ParentVUE: https://mbhs.libwizard.com/id/d9654b88779879b4c62949e4e801b32b.


Pre-Participation Physicals
Students should complete their pre-participation physical (MCPS Form SR-8) so that the medical eligibility form and COVID pre-participation form (last two pages of SR-8) is ready for online submission or for submission to the athletic director prior to tryouts/practices. Physicals are valid for one calendar year. Note: This is a change from the policy during the virtual engagement in the first semester. At that time, physicals were valid for two years.


A partial list of Clinics that offer Sports Physicals within the Montgomery County area is available online, including the Care for Kids program through Montgomery County. Physicals can be uploaded by the parent during the registration process. However, if a parent needs to submit a physical after the student has already been registered, email an electronic copy of the pre-participation physical (MCPS Form SR-8) to Blair Athletic Director, Rita J. Boulé.


If you should ever have questions, concerns or comments, please reach out to Athletic Director/Specialist Rita J. Boulé at Rita_J_Boule@mcpsmd.org. Stay safe and healthy! Let’s Go Blazers!


Rita J. Boulé, CAA

Athletic Specialist

MBHS Yearbook

Yearbook Sales: Many parents and students have asked if there is going to be a yearbook this year. YES! The yearbook is happening. I am so proud of our local yearbook staff and advisors. They are working around the clock - covering VIRTUAL LEARNING, HYBRID SCHEDULE, SPORTS, ZOOM CLASSES, NEW HOBBIES, PETS, MUSIC, CLUBS, PORTRAITS, OUTSIDE ACTIVITIES, and more! There is NO CERTAINTY that we will order extra books to sell at the end of the year.


Order by clicking https://silverlogue.wordpress.com/

MONTGOMERY BLAIR SILVERLOGUE – 2020-2021 THEME: "CLEAN SLATE”

2020-2021 THEME: "CLEAN SLATE”

silverlogue.wordpress.com


Your student's photo: We need your help! Please upload your child's best photo (headshot or we can also crop it for you) so that s/he/they may be included in the yearbook. Please open the link above for directions. It's easy. Seniors, you do not have to do this if you have already done it, or if you have had your photo taken by Lifetouch. We have all of those ready to go!


Senior Yearbook Ads: Celebrate your senior with an ad in the yearbook. Recognition ads are a great way for parents, family, and friends to commemorate student achievements. Place your senior congratulatory ad by 5/2/21 at Jostens.com or by clicking the above link.

Payment plans are available at checkout for yearbooks and yearbook ads.


Thank you for your continued support, parents. All the best, Dana Simel, Yearbook Advisor.

Advanced Placement Exams Update

Advanced Placement testing begins on Monday, May 3, 2021. Student schedules are updated and posted in their College Board accounts at myap.collegeboard.org. Please contact Leslie_V_Blaha@mcpsmd.org, if you have any questions.

If you have not yet paid for your student's exam registration, follow the appropriate link to the Online School Payment system.

Financial Assistance:

Students who need to pay with a check should make it out to "MBHS," put their name and ID in the memo line and mail the check to:

Leslie Blaha

Montgomery Blair High School

51 University Blvd East

Silver Spring, MD 20901


Students who need to pay with cash need to deliver the fee to the Main Office at Blair in an envelope with "ATTN: Leslie Blaha, AP Exams" written on it.

Minority Scholars Program Student-Teacher Race and Equity Dialogue Series

The National Education Association (NEA)’s Community Advocacy & Partnership and the engagement (CAPE) department is teaming up with the Minority Scholars Program (MSP) in Montgomery County Public Schools to identify, engage, and mobilize educational stakeholders around increasing student achievement (specifically for students of color) in MCPS. As part of this effort, MSP student leaders from around the county have participated in leadership training to build the capacity of teachers to engage students around issues of racial equity. Montgomery Blair High School has been chosen as the first school to engage in these dialogues. Later this month, in partnership with MSP Sponsors Kenneth Smith, Puja Sharma, Kareef Overton, and Diversity and Inclusion Instructional Coordinator Rahman Culver, several Blair faculty will participate in this student-led professional learning opportunity.

Quarter 3 Report Card Information

Thursday, April 15: End of the third marking period

Thursday, April 29: Report cards available on ParentVUE

Friday, April 30: Report cards mailed home


Contact your child's teacher or counselor for grading and reporting progress and information.

Tutoring Available to MCPS Students

Does your teen need help? As of February 1, 2021, MCPS has begun offering Tutorme, an online homework help service. Tutorme.com is a secure, online resource that will be easily accessible through MCPS student Canvas and StudentVUE accounts and will offer on-demand assistance on any subject from grade 3 through grade 12.

Student Service Learning (SSL) Hours

NEW: Information Specific for the Class of 2021


IMPORTANT: The Maryland State Board of Education met on Tuesday, March 23, 2021, and approved the State Superintendent’s waiver for the Student Service Learning requirement for seniors who have not met the requirements.


Learn about SSL Updates and Opportunities


Questions can be emailed to Beth_S_Sanchez@mcpsmd.org

Blair Academic Academies

Rising seniors (Class of 2022) that are interested in completing an Academy Capstone during summer 2021 should complete this form.

https://forms.gle/AfUpa3UUqLn5vRyD8


Check out Blair Academies


Beth Sanche, Beth_S_Sanchez@mcpsmd.org

Academy and SSL Coordinator

Montgomery Blair High School

Free Student Parking Permit

Families interested in a student parking permit for 2nd semester should fill out this form. For this semester only, the permit is free of charge.

Blair Spirit Wear!

All the Blair you want to wear! It's the Blair Apparel Fanshop! And you can also get a Blair face covering or a Blair fanny pack or even a pair of Blair socks!
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Congratulations Blazers!

THANK YOU to Arjun Oberoi, Blair Junior, for making and delivering 330 easy-to-wear face shields for Blair staff!


U.S. Representative Jamie Raskin congratulates Congressional App Challenge Winner, Kevin Xu, Blair Senior by video, https://twitter.com/congressionalac/status/1380260001529352193?s=21


Congratulations to our National Merit Scholarship recipients as of 4/10/2021:

Fiona D Harrington

Dheeraj U Keshav

Mark G Kokiyelov

Raymond Luo

Esther Tang

Nicole E Tran

Christopher Tong

Timothy Qian

Charlotte S Wallsten

Evan Wang

Gabriel D Wu

Chad K Yu


Congratulations to Dhurv Pai, for being named a Carson Scholar and recipient of the Carson Scholarship.


Two Blair Students Win MCPS’ Business Pitch Challenge:

Congratulations to Ben Finlay and Karandeep Singh, who won first place in the MCPS Business Pitch Challenge! Their business is named Takoma Grails. They are an online retailer of specialty shoe releases. They make thousands of dollars each month. Ben and Karandeep told Fox5 DC news this morning, that they will use the money to pay for college. Thank you, Kevin Murley, Entrepreneurship Academy Lead Teacher, for leading and inspiring our students!

Here is a link to the news interview:

https://www.fox5dc.com/video/913473


Please join me in congratulating 29 students (28 Blazers) on their recent achievement in ExploraVision! ExploraVision is a science competition that goes beyond the typical student science competition and into what it takes to bring ideas to reality. More information is here, https://www.exploravision.org/what-exploravision/.

Congratulations to Leela Mahta-Harwitz, grade 11, and Ashley Thommana, grade 11, 2021 ExploraVision Regional Champions! Leela and Ashley will proceed to the finals, against five other teams, representing thousands of entries.

The Honorable Mention distinction represents an entry in the top 10% of those submitted nationwide.


Please join me in congratulating our Blazers, Dhruv Pai, Blair Junior, and Sujay Swain, Blair Senior, on being named Bethesda Magazine’s Top Teens! See the link below to read more about our outstanding Blazers.

https://bethesdamagazine.com/bethesda-magazine/march-april-2021/top-teens-6/


If you have great Blazer news that you would like to share with me to include in my newsletter or post on social media, please email me, Renay_C_Johnson@mcpsmd.org.

SANKOFA Episodes Now Available Online

Montgomery Blair High School is excited to announce the release of the 2021 Sankofa Production: Sankofa 2021: A Virtual Celebration of African American Life, History, and Culture through TV and Film.View the episodes online now at https://mbhs.edu/.
InfoFlow (From Home) 6.048 - 4/8/21

PTSA Meeting - Ms. Mariama Orange, President

Please join us for a student panel and conversation on systemic racism and systemic change. Hear about related initiatives and upcoming course scheduling changes at Blair. Students are welcome and encouraged to attend. Opportunities to earn SSL hours may be available. We will also take nominations from the floor for our upcoming election.

Blair PTSA General Body Meeting
Tuesday, April 20, 2021
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.


Join Zoom Meeting

https://mcpsmd.zoom.us/j/87351545252?pwd=VmFFai9kbGRjbk5YNUdKZjVNUFNzZz09


Meeting ID: 873 5154 5252

Passcode: BLAIRPTSA


One tap mobile

+13017158592,,87351545252#,,,,*506119822# US (Washington DC)


Dial by your location

+1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)

Meeting ID: 873 5154 5252

Passcode: 506119822

Find your local number: https://mcpsmd.zoom.us/u/kd5x7fTfGF


Join the PTSA: https://blairptsa.org/join/

Parent Community Coordinator(PCC) Faye Nabavian:

The Youth Cruiser SmarTrip® card is for Montgomery County residents ages 5 to 18 (older if still in high school). Please email Ms. Nabavian If you like to receive one at farzaneh_nabavian@mcpsmd.org, include your name, student ID number, and a contact cell number.


If you or someone you know needs resources and seasonal items, please refer them to Kindness Corner at Blair High School. Together, we provide resources and supplies to our students and families, through Kindness Corner and county and federal resources.


Please visit the resources page at https://blairpcc.weebly.com/

Kindness Corner at Blair is grateful to many for their generous contributions and we continue to collect gift cards and other items through the kindness corner registry.

Please contact Faye Nabavian with any questions.

Cell: 240-506-8576

Email: farzaneh_nabavian@mcpsmd.org

Poster Contest

Submit a poster showing courage by Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) for a poster contest celebrating AAPI Heritage Month in May. Deadline: April 18.

Application: https://sites.google.com/view/apasaag/home/May2021

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RespectFEST!

Students, there's still time to register for RespectFEST! Learn about dating violence prevention and resources. You can earn up to 5 SSL hours for participating.

For more information: bit.ly/respectfest21.

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MCPS: Let's Talk Careers

Students, are you interested in healthcare? The next installment of Let’s Talk Careers is scheduled for 10:00 –11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, April 28, and will feature speakers from the world of healthcare and community health. For more information: mcpsletstalkcareers.org
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Summer School:

Summertime is near and Montgomery Blair High School is preparing to offer a robust summer school program that will include credit recovery, credit-bearing (original credit), and non-credit bearing courses (enrichment). Montgomery Blair will only offer virtual classes during Summer 2021 as the building is being painted this summer.


There will be two 3-week sessions for High school credit-bearing courses and for credit recovery courses. Session one will start on June 28 and conclude on July 16. Session two starts on July 19 and concludes on August 6. In addition, there will be one, two, and three-week enrichment course offerings. Registration for summer school will begin on May 3, 2021, and will close on June 11, 2021. There is NO FEE to complete a summer course. Registration link will be posted on our website by May 3rd. If you have any questions contact your school counselor.


MCPS Central High School Summer School Information:

https://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/extendedhours/summerschool/

School Meals

Breakfast, lunch, and supper are free and available to all students at Blair on in-person learning days. We also still have grab-and-go meals for families on Monday, Tuesday (double meals), Thursday, and Friday (triple meals).
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Montgomery Blair High School Information

If you do not receive log-in information for your teen, please contact Ms. Melissa Young, Latino Achievement Coordinator, Melissa_Young@mcpsmd.org, or Ms. Andrea Lamphier, Media Specialist, Andrea_Lamphier@mcpsmd.org.


Student Schedules:

Student schedules are now available in ParentVUE and StudentVUE. Parents and students will need to log in to the report using the student’s ID and password. Report Link: https://studentschedule.mcpsmd.org


Scheduling, Transcript, Social Emotional Wellness Questions, Contact Your Teen's Counselor School Counseling Department:

https://sites.google.com/mcpsmd.net/mbhs-schoolcounseling-team/home/mbhs-school-counseling-team

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1wrBBfGeYx_uZKNEAN3GR9nzmlAYmInRY/view?usp=sharing


All Things College and Career: Contact Carmen Salazar, College and Career Coordinator. Carmen_A_Salazar@mcpsmd.org


Melissa Young, is our MyMCPS/Synergy Parent Portal Staff Liaison, Melissa_Young@mcpsmd.org


Retrieving Medication From Last Year: Contact Joseph Fanning, Joseph_M_Fanning@mcpsmd.org


Health Room: Full Time School Nurse: Anisa Harris, Anisa_Harris@mcpsmd.org

Health Room Tech: Sophia Duque, Sofia_Duque@mcpsmd.org


Principal's Administrative Secretary, Claudine Biggs, Claudine_Biggs@mcpsmd.org


Attendance Office: Roxanne Fus, Roxanne_F_Fus@mcpsmd.org


Blair Security Office: Darryl Cooper, Security Team Leader, Darryl_J_Cooper@mcpsmd.org


Financial Specialist: Donna Franklin, Donna_M_Franklin@mcpsmd.org


Parent Community Coordinator: Faye Nabavian, Farzaneh_Nabavian@mcpsmd.org

https://blairpcc.weebly.com/

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/17bdVkqSrfaCm2YPESsF57fOyy3r_0JiNSaT4dqgtag4/edit?ts=5f7f8957#slide=id.p


Pupil Personnel Worker: Ramona Washington, Ramona_L_Washington@mcpsmd.org


MBHS ADMINISTRATION:


Renay Johnson: Principal

Renay_C_Johnson@mcpsmd.org


Adriana Burgos-Ojeda: Grade 12 Administrator

Adriana_Burgos-Ojeda@mcpsmd.org


Joseph Fanning: Grade 11 Administrator

Joseph_M_Fanning@mcpsmd.org


Dirk Cauley: Grade 10 Administrator A-L

Dirk_D_Cauley@mcpsmd.org


Candace Wilkerson: Grade 10 Administrator M-Z

Candance_L_Wilkerson@mcpsmd.org


Lavina Carrillo: Grade 9 Administrator A-L

Lavina_Carrillo@mcpsmd.org


Tracy Pettis-Jones: Grade 9 Administrator M-Z

Tracy_Pettis-Jones@mcpsmd.org


Peter Ostrander: Magnet & CAP Programs

Peter_M_Ostrander@mcpsmd.org


James Funk: School Business Administrator

James_W_Funk@mcpsmd.org

Montgomery Blair High School

Montgomery Blair High School is a nationally recognized award-winning high school located in Silver Spring, MD. Celebrating 86 years of tradition, pride & excellence! The mission of Montgomery Blair High School is to ensure that all students graduate equipped with the skills to navigate their chosen paths successfully.