The Mustang Spirit

The Principal's Newsletter - September 11, 2020

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Mustang Families,

It’s hard to believe the attacks of 9/11 occurred 19 years ago today. Each of us undoubtedly remembers where we were when our nation changed forever. Below is an eloquent reflection of that unforgettable day by an anonymous author that we would like to share with you.

Team Mason

Nineteen years ago, Americans woke and began their daily routines. They were little aware at the time that September 11th, 2001 would become a turning point in American History. The attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the plane crash in Pennsylvania resulted in the loss of nearly 3000 lives.

The results of 9-11 are many; changes in the basic structure of our government, severe economic challenges, and the important debate about the balance between our individual rights and our desire to be safe.

So this weekend, as our country recalls this tragedy, ask those who are close to you the true meaning of these events and how the world changed for them. Understanding their answers is key to understanding the world in which you live. - Anonymous

Virtual Back to School Night

Wednesday, Sep. 16th, 7-9pm

This is an online event.

Parents/Guardians will have an opportunity to meet their child's teachers for 10 minutes each. Parents/Guardians will receive an email next week with their child's schedule, along with a live meeting link in order to connect with teachers during their 10-minute blocks. A teacher introductory video link will also be included in the email. The schedule will be as follows:

School Counselors Info Session: 6:00 - 7:00 pm

Learning Block 1: 7:00 - 7:10 pm

Learning Block 2: 7:15 - 7:25 pm

Learning Block 3: 7:30 - 7:40 pm

Learning Block 4 (Advisory): 7:45 - 7:55 pm

Learning Block 5: 8:00 - 8:10 pm

Learning Block 6: 8:15 - 8:25 pm

Learning Block 7: 8:30 - 8:40 pm

Learning Block 8: 8:45 - 8:55 pm

Our School Counselors will provide a brief information session at 6:00 pm. They will answer general scheduling, learning support, and college application process questions. They will not answer individual student questions during this time. A link to the School Counselors' conference will also be provided in the individual student schedule email we will send next week.

If you do not receive an email with your child's schedule by Noon on September 16, please let Assistant Principal Serensits know,

Meet and Greet the Admin Team - September 9, 2020

If you missed the event on Wednesday night, please watch the video below to meet our team.
GMHS Administrator Meet and Greet September 10, 2020

Standards-Based Learning & Grading

As one of the premier IB school districts in the nation, we want to ensure that assessment and grading practices are accurate, fair, and aligned with instructional best practices and our IB programmes.

What is Standards-Based Learning & Grading?

Standards-Based Learning & Grading at Mary Ellen Henderson and George Mason is a system in which students receive feedback about their proficiency on a set of defined subject-specific criteria. Schools report students' levels of performance on these criteria.

What courses are involved at Mason?

· Language & Literature 9

· Math - Algebra 1 & Geometry

· World History II

· Biology and Earth Science

· Theater

· Chorus

We believe that reporting growth and progress towards mastery of subject-specific criteria allows students to take ownership of their learning. This practice aligns with Falls Church City Public Schools’ vision to be a premier IB division. We believe this best practice allows us to focus on improving student achievement and to foster reflective, life-long learners, as part of the IB’s mission.

Students are at the center of all IB programmes. Standards-based learning & grading creates a student-centered environment by providing student voice and choice in how students demonstrate their understanding of content to meet the criteria descriptors. Students also reflect on their progress toward mastery and set their own, individual goals for how they will approach their learning in order to improve their performance.

At our Back to School Night on Wednesday, September 16, you will have a chance to hear from our MYP Coordinator, Dr. Rory Dippold. He will provide an overview of how SBL&G and assessment function at Mason, along with how you as parents will be able to support and navigate your child's learning at home. If you have specific questions about SBL&G or MYP, please reach out to our MYP Coordinator, Dr. Rory Dippold at

Support the Athletic Boosters

The Athletic Boosters have put together a Virtual Learning Emergency Kit that includes the essentials: flannel PJs, a mug for hot beverages, and a comfy stadium cushion to adapt virtual learning to any location. Go to the Fan Shop to purchase one for your Mustang. Go Mustangs!
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