SVHS Green and Gold

Dr. Cohen/Mr. Smith's Newsletter to the SVHS Community

February 7, 2021 Edition

Newsletter Summary

Need a quick summary from Dr. Cohen on what you will find in this week's Newsletter?

Click Here to view.

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REMINDER: Counselor LIVE Chat

Counselors are now available for live chat sessions EVERYDAY via Zoom. Please use your student's sign in credentials to access the session. Click HERE to access counselor's availability. *Please note that you may be required to wait briefly in the waiting room while the counselor is meeting with another parent and/or student."

REMINDER: Where do I go for help?

We are here to support you in any way that we can. for more information about who to go to for the most commonly asked questions, please visit this link. There you will find resources for the topics listed below. We will continue to add to this list as needs evolve.

  • Community Resources
  • Wellness Resources
  • Student Support
  • Counselors
  • Class Sponsors
  • Technology Reminders
  • Ask Your Librarian

Looking for a great class to round out your schedule for next year? See below to learn more about our amazing electives.

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NEW: Valentine's Day PTSA Fundraiser

Send a Valentine Flamingo!

Includes flamingo, note and a rose! $10

Delivered on Feb 13 or 14 in Germantown area.

Order before Feb 8. Contact 301-928-7075, pay by Venmo

(SVHS AfterProm fundraiser) #RT #SVHS2021 #SVHS2022 #SVHS2023 #SVHS2024 @sv.classof2022 @senecavalley_2023 @svhs.2021

@ptsa_seneca_valleyhs _valley

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NEW: Listen - Learn - Act

Since last spring, our staff has been engaging in activities designed to promote listening, learning, and acting to make our school an explicitly anti-racist environment for our students, staff, and community. We have also engaged our students in some of this work through our advisory period lessons, class discussions, and virtual community activities.

While our work has been meaningful and while we appreciate all of the efforts that have been made to date to bring to the surface issues that have plagued our community and our nation for hundreds of years, we recognize that it has been slow moving and that more must be done to bring the voices of our students and community to the forefront.

Over the next few weeks, we will be partnering with the MCPS Office of Student, Family, and Community Engagement to provide opportunities for greater voice to our students and parents as we expand this important work. Please stay tuned, and when the opportunity arises, please choose to participate in any way you can.

NEW: Black Youth Minds Matter

  • In celebration of Black History Month, we have developed a Black Youth Minds Matter (BYMM) campaign to include:
    • promoting the work of organizations that work to support Black youth mental health
    • a club guide with suggested activities and materials for students
  • Our BYMM campaign will culminate in a Solomon Speakers panel on Tuesday, February 23rd at 7pm EST in remembrance of Dr. Solomon Carter Fuller, the first African American psychiatrist. We invite you to attend and share with anyone who may be interested in attending, I have attached a flier below. Please register via
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NEW: SVHS Equity Twitter Chat!

In our efforts to support SVHS’ goals to create a schoolwide antiracist culture, SVHS' Equity Committee is producing a twitter chat series!

  • Our February chats are centered at the intersection of (1) SVHS’ commitment to building an antiracist culture of thinking, and (2) Justice X Design principles.
  • Our first chat on Feb. 10th from 8-9PM continues the advisory conversation on allyship. Use #SVHSEquityChat.
  • Remember that you may join the chat in real time OR participate asynchronously simply by viewing the hashtag and responding to posts.

For specifics about the twitter chat and how to join in, please see these slides here. They will guide you in your participation!

NEW: Black History Month Events Hosted by Montgomery County Public Libraries

Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL) has planned a series of events to commemorate Black History Month, including presentations on local history, author visits, and trivia contests. Click on the links below to learn more about upcoming learning opportunities geared toward teens and adults:

NEW: TIKTOK Digital Citizenship Lesson 2/9/21

On Tuesday, February 9, 2021, Safer Internet Day, students will complete an internet safety lesson in Advisory as part of the countywide commitment to teaching digital citizenship. The focus of his lesson is on privacy and security issues related to the social media app TikTok. To learn more about TikTok, read The Parent’s Ultimate Guide to TikTok / Guía para padres sobre TikTok from Common Sense Media or The Parent’s Guide to TikTok from ConnectSafely. Should you have any questions, please reach out to Ms. Nicole Little-Cook, SVHS Library Media Specialist.

NEW: This Week's Notes from the College & Career Center

Please click here for important new updates from Mr. Nalda in the College and Career Center.

Topics include:

  • College Acceptances - Seniors
  • HBCU College Fair On-the-Sport Interviews (Feb. 12) - Seniors
  • Mid-Year Transcripts - Seniors
  • FAFSA & MSFAA - Seniors
  • Upcoming Scholarships
  • Upcoming Events
  • Moving Forward College and Career Readiness - For Juniors

NEW: Parent Academy Workshop on Digital Well-Being 2/11/21

On Thursday, February 11th, from 6:00-7:00 pm, MCPS is hosting a Parent Academy Workshop titled A Family Approach to Digital Well Being that will explore practical ways to use media and tech to create, connect, communicate, and learn. Families will leave with resources and strategies to support learning and digital well-being at home. Presented by Common Sense Education. If interested, use THIS LINK to register for this Parent Academy Workshop and others.

NEW: Update from the January 28 Board of Education Meeting

Click Here for the latest "Return to School" update from the MCPS Board of Education (BOE)

The BOE will again meet on February 9. At that time, we expect MCPS will share more information with the Board on the plan for students’ return, including an outline of what parents, students, and staff can expect for in-person and virtual learning experiences and a timeline

NEW: Student Transfer Application Season Has Begun

Montgomery County parents/guardians who wish to request a Change of School Assignment (COSA) for their children from their home school may begin the process during the transfer season that began on February 1. All COSA requests must be submitted no later than April 1, 2021.

For more information on the COSA process, please click here.

NEW: Welcome to our New Counselor, Ms. Rina Palchick

We would like to inform you that Mrs. Melissa McCarthy is on long-term leave beginning immediately. While she is out, we have secured a long-term substitute, Ms. Rina Palchick. We feel fortunate to have her join our team on such short notice and are confident and excited that she will be able to serve Mrs. McCarthy’s caseload in her absence.

Please see Ms. Palchick’s introduction below:

Dear Students and Parents,

I am delighted to tell you that I am joining the Seneca Valley counseling department as a long-term substitute. This past July I retired from Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, where I was a counselor for 16 years and, before that, an English teacher for 12 years. Having been a member of the MCPS community, I am familiar with its resources and policies. I am eager to get to know and work with you. If you would like to touch base, you can reach me at 301-664-4569. I would be more than happy to chat. I also welcome your emails, and, most importantly, I look forward to helping to support your educational journey.

Best regards,

Mrs. Palchick

Phone: 301-664-4569

NEW: Fall Sports Update from Mr. Irvin

SV Community,

MCPS and Seneca Valley High School are excited to announce that registration for Fall Sports is now open! Please click here for important information regarding the upcoming Fall Sports season, as well as the registration process. Additional information can be found in this memo from MCPS regarding the return to athletics.

NEW: Student and Staff Celebrations

The students and staff of SVHS continue to shine, even through COVID. Click here for the latest examples that have made us #SVPROUD!

NEW: BOOKMOBILE: Pick up Print Books at NWHS on Wednesday through February

In December, MCPS expanded its Bookmobile pilot program to include Seneca Valley. Seneca students may now borrow physical copies of print books from the collection at Northwest High School. Here is the process:

  1. Browse/search the Northwest High School Library Media collection to find a book you’d like to read. Directions with screenshots are provided HERE.
  2. Complete THIS GOOGLE FORM to reserve your book.
  3. Go to the UPPER PARKING LOT AT THE MAIN ENTRANCE OF NORTHWEST HS on Wednesdays in February (2/3, 2/10, 2/17, 2/24), between 3:30-5:00 pm, to pick up your books.

Questions? Please contact Ms. Little at SVHS or Ms. Myers at NWHS.

NEW: Book Club Updates: Project Lit & Black-Eyed Susan Book Club

  • The next meeting of the Black-Eyed Susan Book Club has been rescheduled to Wednesday, February 24th, at 2:00 pm. We plan to discuss the book A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi, which is available in Sora, our online reading platform. To learn more about how to access this book in eBook or audiobook format, please visit the “Read Online” flag in the Virtual Library Media Center.
  • Project LIT met last week to discuss the book The Poet X. We are in the process of selecting our next book and setting a date for the discussion; please reach out to Nicole Little-Cook, our school librarian, if you have suggestions!
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NEW: IB/MYP Spotlight

IB Spotlight: This month we are continuing our focus on the ATL category RESEARCH, but now we will examine the MYP cluster of INFORMATION LITERACY. Our Learner Profile attribute is PRINCIPLED.

RESEARCH is both an integral academic skill and an essential life skill. Research encompasses both information literacy and media literacy. INFORMATION LITERACY requires students to find, interpret, and judge both their own data, as well as primary and secondary sources. Students must collect, record, verify, and present data in a variety of formats and platforms to make connections between various sources of information. With this information, students need to process and report results and use those results to identify solutions and make informed decisions. In this digital age, this means students must understand and use technology systems to evaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on their appropriateness to specific tasks. Most importantly, information literacy includes an understanding and implementation of intellectual property rights using references and citations, footnotes/endnotes, and a bibliography according to recognized conventions.

As PRINCIPLED individuals, “we act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness and justice, and with respect for the dignity and rights of people everywhere. We take responsibility for our actions and their consequences.”

IB students should use their RESEARCH skills and INFORMATION LITERACY to be PRINCIPLED ; ensuring an evaluation and fair interpretation of information and data that includes intellectual integrity through the use of references.

Please contact Natasha Ezerski (IB DP/CP Coordinator) with any questions about the IB DP & CP Programs. Please contact Kim Becraft, (MYP Coordinator) with any questions about MYP.

NEW: Updated: Creativity Contests

  • High school students from across the Washington Metropolitan Area are invited to submit poems to the Gaithersburg Book Festival Poetry Contest. Entries must be no longer than one page, single spaced, 12-point Times New Roman and are due by February 18, 2021. Download contest rules HERE.
  • The 12th Annual Choose Respect Montgomery video contest is accepting entries of original, 60-second public service announcements (PSA) that promote awareness of dating abuse and domestic violence among teens. Submissions are due by March 1, 2021. Click HERE for entry rules and to see past winners.
  • NEW: Gandhi Brigade Youth Media (GBYM), an organization of students who use digital media to advance social justice, are inviting artists and filmmakers to submit work for an upcoming “Empathy to Solidarity” exhibit that will run through April. Submissions are due by March 8, 2021. For more information and to submit work for consideration, click HERE.
  • The Montgomery County Youth Media Festival invites all middle and high school students, plus young adults ages 18-25, in the DMV to submit original works of video and art for consideration. Selected entries will be shown at the festival in April, when winners will be announced. Submissions are due by March 20, 2021. Click HERE for contest rules and the submission form.
NEW: The Keeping It Safe (KIS) Coalition invites teams of two or more students to create and submit 30-second videos on one of three topics related to the risks and dangers of underage drinking. Entries are due by March 26, 2021. Click HERE for contest rules and a Zoom link to a virtual information session scheduled for February 11th @3:00pm.

NEW: Announcement from the Literary Magazine: "Depths of the Valley"

Do You Want Your Voice to be Heard??? Make a Submission to our Literary Magazine!

If you love POETRY and like to express yourself through influential strong words then submit YOUR TALENT to have a chance of showcasing it in this year’s 2021 LITMAG!

Do you live to write but don't have anywhere to display your work? Submit your stories to Lit Mag and have your work placed alongside the works of other up and coming writers.

Do you like creating art? Do you want it to be shown to your schoolmates? Tired of all these questions? Then submit your art to the Lit Mag to be showcased!

Use this link to submit your art, poetry, or prose to Volume V of our Literary Magazine: Depths of the Valley!

NEW: Identity Program Opportunity

Program opportunity for 9th, 10th and 11th grade students

Enroll in Identity’s program! Be part of our group and form lasting relationships with fellow students, while you gain knowledge for future success. Learn how to set, and reach your goals, create, and maintain healthy relationship and strengthen your community. All enrolled participants will receive gift cards during the program and have opportunities for earning SSL hours. Sign-up to enroll by February 15th.

For enrollment or more information contact Addison Coryell 301-820-5326 or Jennifer Garcia 301-820-5335.


Oportunidad de programa para estudiantes en el grado 9º, 10º, 11º

¡Inscríbete en el programa de Identity! Se parte de un grupo en donde podrás crear amistades mientras que adquieres conocimiento para éxito en tu futuro. Aprende cómo poner y alcanzar tus metas, cómo crear y mantener relaciones saludables y fortalecer tu comunidad. Todos los participantes podrán recibir tarjetas de regalo y tendrán oportunidades para hacer horas comunitarias (SSL) durante el programa. Inscríbete antes del 15 de febrero.

Para inscribirse o para más información llamar a: Addison Coryell 301-820-5326 or Jennifer Garcia 301-820-5335.

REPEAT: TENTATIVE Graduation Date and Location

Our 2021 commencement ceremony is TENTATIVELY scheduled for Monday, June 14, at 2:30 p.m. at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. Please note that this date is tentative pending finalization of contracts with the graduation venues, as well as COVID-19 health and safety metrics within Montgomery County and the local government authorities associated with the graduation venues. As more information is communicated, we will continue to update the community.

REPEAT: Gradebook Symbols and their Meaning

It is important to remind parents/families of what some symbols in ParentVue and StudentVue represent. Please see below some important examples of these symbols.

  • A "0" means:
    • That assignment can no longer be made up.
    • That assignment does NOT show up as a missing assignment.
    • There has been two-way communication regarding the fact that the assignment was never completed.
  • The letter "z" or "Missing" in the comments menu means:
    • That assignment CAN still be made up.
    • That assignment calculates in the final grade as a zero until it is made up.
    • That assignment shows up as a RED MISSING in parent and student Vues.
  • An assignment left BLANK means:
    • The assignment does NOT get reported as missing.
    • The assignment does NOT show up in the student or parent Vues at all.
    • The assignment is not weighted in the student's grade at all.
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For spirit wear purchases:

Seneca Valley Online SPIRIT WEAR!!!

Seneca Valley is excited to offer online sales of the spirit wear we used to sell on-site (and more!) through our local vendor, VerTee Shirts. Check it out!

VerTee Shirts: (T-shirts, sweatshirts, lounge pants, fleece jackets, and masks)

SVHS Spirit Wear can also be purchased at the following sites.

Squad Locker:


Want a SVHS License Plate? Please visit the School website for details.

Are you #SVPROUD?

Are you proud to be a part of the SV community? We want to let everyone know how much we love being a part of the Screaming Eagle family. We have a challenge for you. Let's go viral!!!
  • Tweet, Snap, IB, FB, etc., a pic of you repping "The Valley" by wearing your Seneca gear.
  • And don't forget to use #svproud. Go Eagles!