VA Weekly Navigator
Your Guide to News, Updates, and Reminders in the VA
(Week of January 9, 2023)
Virtual Academy Calendar for December 2022
MARK YOUR CALENDARS - Middle School Only
Winter MAP Testing is underway. This past week, we offered MAPM to sixth graders and select 7th and 8th graders. There will be a makeup session on Thursday, January 12th for those that did not attend.
MAPR is on Tuesday for ALL Sixth Graders (and select 7th and 8th graders). Tuesday is an A Day so there will be no Period 6 classes for 6th grade students. 7th and 8th graders who are testing will be excused from their class and return when they are done testing. All students taking MAPR should report to the testing zoom at 12:35.
MAPR- Tuesday, January 10th 12:35-3:00 for 6th graders and select 7th and 8th graders.
MAKE UP DATE Thursday, January 12th 12:35-3:00
MAP Zoom Link for January 10th and 12th:
Meeting ID: 827 1984 4449
7th and 8th graders who will need to participate in MAPR received an email on Friday from Mrs. Cohen to their school account. Make sure to check your email! These students will also receive reminders on Tuesday, January 10th the day of testing.
Any questions about MAP testing should be directed to Marjorie Cohen, MVA Testing Coordinator at Marjorie_S_Cohen@mcpsmd.org
FALL/WINTER MCAP TESTING (High School Only)
We are nearing the end of this testing window. LS-MISA and Government exams close on January 13th and Algebra and English exams close on January 20th..
Students who are scheduled to participate in MCAP testing received multiple emails for Mrs. Cohen notifying them of the testing protocol etc.
If your child is scheduled to attend in-person testing please make sure to submit an MVA Attendance Form for the dates students will be in-person testing so our attendance secretaries can reconcile and excuse the absence.
Marjorie Cohen, MVA Testing Coordinator is available to parents and MVA students if you have any questions. She can be reached at Marjorie_S_Cohen@mcpsmd.org
If you have questions about MCAP testing or still have not received correspondence from your homeschool about testing information, please contact Mrs. Cohen directly.
Seal of Biliteracy Updates
Is your child registered for the Maryland Seal of Biliteracy test? Are you wondering what’s next? Please encourage them to come to one of our informational sessions!
The Seal of Biliteracy Diploma is an official way to let others know you are bilingual.
Please attend ONE of our informational meetings to learn more about the testing process.
Wednesday, January 11th, Friday, January 13th, and Tuesday, January 17th from 12:35 pm - 1:00 p.m.
Find out more about scheduling the assessment, taking the practice test, and preparing for test day.
Questions: Contact Aba Anyomi - World Language Content Specialist
Seal of Biliteracy Information Session Zoom
Meeting ID: 848 1256 3481
Is your junior or senior bilingual and has NOT registered?
The Seal of Biliteracy Diploma is an official way to let others know your child is bilingual. Your child can register to take the Seal of Biliteracy exam with the MVA by attending our registration session on
Monday January 9th & Thursday, January 12th from 11:35-12:05.
This is a drop-in session.
It only takes 10 minutes to register and take advantage of this opportunity for your child’s future.
Questions: Contact Jill Schuck - English Language Development (ELD) Resource Teacher
Seal of Biliteracy Registration Zoom
Meeting ID: 928 569 0938
POSSE Scholarship Winner
The Virtual Academy staff and students wish to congratulate Isaah Douglas, who has been accepted "Early Decision" to Bucknell with a full 4-year scholarship. CONGRATULATIONS, Isaah!
Preparing Students for ACCESS for ELLs Online
The WIDA ACCESS test window is January 9 - February 17. All ELD students are required to take the test in-person at their home school. Please check your email and remind your child to check their email for communication from your home school. Home schools will begin contacting families after December 16th with information regarding test dates and times. The test usually takes two half days. Student’s attendance will be recorded at the home school and reconciled at the MVA to be marked present.
Want to help your child maximize their ELP score or exit the ELD program?
We can help you!
All ELD students are encouraged to attend our MVA WIDA ACCESS Prep and Practice Sessions which will be held each Wednesday through the month of January during Advisory time. Students that attend will receive credit for Advisory attendance. The WIDA ACCESS Prep and Practice Sessions will be hosted by Jill Schuck from 12:35-1:00 on Wednesday, 1/11, and 1/18.
Questions: Contact Jill Schuck - English Language Development (ELD) Resource Teacher
WIDA ACCESS Prep & Practice Zoom
Meeting ID: 928 569 0938
Weekly Meal Kits for MVA Students
MCPS and the Division of Food & Nutrition Services will be providing bulk meal kits to MCPS students enrolled in MCPS Virtual Academy. The boxes will be distributed at the designated locations listed below. The location you select will be your assigned location to pick up your pre-ordered meal kit.
Please utilize this form to place an order for our Bulk Meal Kits. Each Meal Kit will provide 5 breakfasts and 5 lunches.
***Distribution & Distribution Sites***
Meal kits will be distributed at each site listed below every Friday from 11:00 am - 1:00 pm.
- Richard Montgomery High School: 250 Richard Montgomery Drive, Rockville, MD 20852
- Seneca Valley High School: 19401 Crystal Rock Dr, Germantown, MD 20874
- A. Mario Loiederman Middle School: 12701 Goodhill Rd, Silver Spring, MD 20906
- Food & Nutrition Services Building: 8401 Turkey Thicket Dr., Gaithersburg, 20879
All orders for meal kits should be placed using the Google link a week in advance for distribution the following week.
The ordering link closes every Friday at 12:00 noon, and reopens Friday at 3:00 p.m.
Parents must provide the first and last name and ID number of each student for whom they are requesting a meal kit.
***Questions & More Information***
Questions regarding meal kits can be sent to the meals dropbox:
Use the link below to request meal pick-up on December 2:
Inspiring Person of the Week
Inspiring Person of the Week
The Virtual Academy has launched the Inspiring Person of the Week Campaign. The campaign is designed to elevate the diverse people who have contributed their knowledge and talents to the United States.
Students can earn 2 SSL hours by submitting a slide to the Inspiring Person of the Week committee. Student submissions must have the student's name and MCPS ID number, a title, a summary, a picture of the inspiring person, and links to additional information about the inspiring person.
Students can email their slides or Canva poster and reflections to Mr. Henrique Vissotto: firstname.lastname@example.org. Because this is a school-hosted SSL opportunity, we will keep a log of the students who submit posters along with their reflections.
Here is this week’s Inspiring Person of the Week: Sheryl Sandberg
The Pearls of Hope Scholarship Foundation
The Pearls of Hope Community Foundation, Incorporated (POHCF), is pleased to announce our new Scholarship Program! In 2023, this exciting scholarship program offers scholarships ranging from $1,000-$8,000 over four years to graduating high school seniors. We are currently seeking high school seniors to apply for a variety of scholarships that exemplify our values in community service, entrepreneurship and social action, and pursuing higher education.
The deadline for applications is Tuesday, February 28, 2023
Download the Application PDF here, and visit the website:
If you are in need of a winter coat for you or your children, please connect with your school counselor. MoCo Coats of Olney, Maryland is providing coats to families.
Winter Break is a great time for students to participate in SSL opportunities! SSL opportunities available during the month of December can be found at the following link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/102YffrxZCM_ZhBw7UEN9gSeqjGd-pL9rLm5Z1dk5UWc/edit?usp=sharing
SSL opportunities - https://bit.ly/SSLOpportunities and https://bit.ly/VirtualSSL2020
SSL forms, resources, and guidelines - https://bit.ly/SSLHubMCPS
SSL program overview - https://bit.ly/SSLOverview2020
Step-by-step directions for viewing student SSL record on StudentVUE - https://bit.ly/SSLonVUE
Introduction to SSL Handout:
English | Español | 中文 | Français | tiếng Việt | 한국어 | አማርኛ | Portuguêse
Student IDs Ready for Pick-Up
MVA World Languages Website
The Montgomery Virtual Academy’s World Languages Department has a new website!
MVA language learners and anyone interested in American Sign Language, French, and Spanish can access a rich database of digital resources. Fostering our MVA vision for an innovative, personalized virtual learning community, this website enables students to engage with the MCPS World language curriculum outside of the “traditional” modes.
Students will receive up-to-date announcements on all the happenings in our department and ways they can engage with their peers in the virtual or in-person community. The website has over 30 web pages, a growing database of videos, and a plethora of stock images to engage our Gen-Z learners.
Please watch the following promo video and access the website.
MVA Science Website
Mental Health Provider Resources for Children who have Medical Assistance
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.
- All students are expected to appear on camera for the majority of every class
- Students should actively demonstrate engagement throughout each lesson.
- Students who demonstrate no engagement for the entire class period may be marked “Absent” for that class period.
- 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 this document. Thank you for your support and encouragement as we work together to connect students with their teachers and each other!
MVA Parent Teacher Council Updates & Reminders
MVAPTC (Montgomery Virtual Academy Parent Teacher Council) Announcements:
This Thursday: MVAPTC Meeting: Thursday, January 12th at 6:30 PM.
Special Presentation on College Admissions by Foundry Admissions
Meeting slides, meeting minutes and other documents are available for review on the MVAPTC website located at http://www.mvaptc.org.
Zoom Link: https://mcpsmd.zoom.us/j/83004264203?pwd=M09hQzNtbVgyWVB6SGF3UE1sU2Fodz09
Meeting ID: 830 0426 4203 & Passcode: mvaptc
Next MVAPTC Special Education Committee hosted by Andrea Levy: Thursday, January 19th at 6:30 PM.
Topic: Transitions: What does it mean to transition to the next school level?
Seeking donations & volunteers for the MVAPTC Spring Auction to be held in late February/early March. Please contact Jessica, MVAPTC President, at email@example.com to express your interest.
Seeking parents/guardians and teachers/staff to form a subcommittee of the MVAPTC to make recommendations to the MVA regarding policies pertaining to attendance, grading, student engagement, schedule, improving parent/teacher communication, innovation, and more. Please contact Jessica, MVAPTC President, at firstname.lastname@example.org to express your interest.
Request: Shirt Donations for Staff Appreciation: https://smile.amazon.com/hz/charitylist/ls/2AYECVMZIHTZ3/ref=smi_ext_lnk_lcl_cl Thank you to all who donated!
Shirts, Necklaces, and Earrings are available for purchase at the MVA office.
Amazon Smile: Go to: smile.amazon.com (web browser and activate in the Amazon Shopping app) - Set your Charity to: MVAPTC (Montgomery Virtual Academy Parent Teacher Council, Inc), Rockville, MD, Parent-Teacher Group)
Facebook page: Montgomery Virtual Academy Parent Teacher Council
Facebook Discussion Group: MVAPTC Discussion Group - Montgomery Virtual Academy Families & Staff (MD) Facebook Special Needs Discussion Group: MVAPTC - Children with SN - Montgomery Virtual Academy (MD)
Shirts, Dues & Donations: https://mvaptc.square.site
Please contact Jessica, MVAPTC President, at email@example.com to volunteer, or for any questions or concerns.
Zoom Links and Contacting Teachers
The MCPS website features "Calendar Central," where you can find information on holidays, early release days, and other special events throughout the school year.
SSL Updates & Opportunities
Students need 75 student service learning (SSL) hours to graduate from Maryland public schools. Every month, Dr. Simarjeet Sandhu, the Virtual Academy SSL Coordinator, provides a listing of SSL opportunities that are virtual and in-person. Click on the link and get your child involved in these fun and rewarding service opportunities.
Four Seasons World Dance Auditions
Arise & Flourish:
Students will need to visit the Montgomery County Volunteer Center (https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/volunteercenter/) and in the red box “Find a Volunteer Opportunity”, type in Arise and Flourish. Students will find the volunteer opportunity for the cycle of addiction video review project. This SSL opportunity has been approved by the MCPS SSL department. Please let the students know NOT to use their MCPS email address as we will not be able to respond to them.
Once students respond for the volunteer opportunity on the site, we will send the student/parent permission slip and detailed volunteer information. Please make sure the students do NOT use their MCPS email address as we will not be able to respond to them. Students will watch two video presentations provided by our organization. One video is our speakers who are people in recovery who share their personal experience. The second video is the presentation on the cycle of addiction which has information on how addiction happens.
Students have the ability to earn the following for the quality completion of this project:
- Earn 1 SSL hour for watching one speaker video and the video for the cycle of addiction and completing one paper or artwork or;
- Earn up to 4 SSL hours for watching up to 4 speaker videos along with the one video for the cycle of addiction and completing 4 papers or 4 artworks.
Students can watch anywhere from 1-4 speaker videos and the video for the cycle of addiction and completing one paper or artwork for EACH speaker video watched.
Project Linus is a national organization with chapters across the country (www.projectlinus.org). Their Montgomery County Maryland chapter works with partner organizations like Holy Cross Hospital, Children's Hospital, A Wider Circle, and the Montgomery County Department of Social Services, to distribute blankets to children who are in the hospital, homeless, in foster care, in shelters, and in other situations where just a small comfort can make a major difference. All these blankets are made by volunteers. See our previous newsletters (linked below) for more information.
Check Out Our VA SSL Website
Here you'll find...
- Contact information for our SSL Coordinator (Dr. Simarjeet Sandhu) and our counseling team
- An introductory video about SLL hours and how to complete them
- The official submission form for reporting hours
- Timely updates on service opportunities within and outside of the Virtual Academy
- and more!
How to Check SSL Hours in ParentVUE
- Navigate to https://md-mcps-psv.edupoint.com/PXP2_Login.aspx.
- Select "I am a parent" or "I am a student."
- Enter your User Name and Password, then click "Login."
- Click "Course History" from the left-hand navigation.
- The Course History page shows the student's graduation progress, test requirements, and SLL hours earned. (Students need 75 hours for graduation.)
- Toggle on "Detail" to see full Service Learning details.
Useful SSL Resource
Apply Online Now for Free and Reduced-Price Meals Benefits
Apply here. Learn more about the program.
Attendance Questions and Absence Notes
Activating and Utilizing ParentVUE
Activate Your ParentVue Account
This important tool will provide near real-time access to information on assignments and scores, attendance, class schedules, transcripts, graduation status, and more. You may access ParentVUE online, but for the best mobile experience, we encourage you to download the ParentVUE App from the Google Play Store or Apple Store, as this app will replace the current myMCPS mobile application.
Contact Your Child's Administrator or Counselor for your activation letter
Free English as Second Language Classes for Parents
In collaboration with MCPS, the Literacy Council of Montgomery County (LCMC) is offering free English as a Second Language (ESL) classes for MCPS parents. The classes will be held virtually and there will be options for all levels of English speakers. They are available to any MCPS parent for whom English is not their first language.
Please see this flyer for details:
Parents can complete this Interest form to receive a placement test.
If you are having technology issues, please submit an e-ticket by emailing your question or issue to firstname.lastname@example.org 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 https://montgomery.service-now.com/csm.
A support guide for the Community Tech Support portal is available here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1cczbhEXF7x3TBquSMQGUGsxIcqsm_BtG2KBBi_bA0_0/edit
Helpful SSL Tip
When you submit your SSL forms, it’s really important that you complete all sections properly, so the form does not get returned to you. Check out this video from our SSL committee that demonstrates how to complete the SSL form in its entirety.
Thank you, Ms. Marks, for the helpful video!
VA Weekly Navigator Archive
- Week of January 8, 2022
- Week of December 19, 2022
- Week of December 12, 2022
- Week of December 5, 2022
- Week of November 21, 2022
- Week of November 14, 2022
- Week of November 7, 2022
- Week of October 31, 2022
- Week of October 24, 2022
- Week of October 17, 2022
- Week of October 10, 2022
- Week of October 3, 2022
- Week of September 26, 2022
- Week of September 19, 2022
- Week of September 11, 2022
- Week of September 5, 2022