SVHS Green and Gold
Dr. Cohen's Newsletter to the SVHS Community
August 30, 2020 Edition
Welcome to the 2020-2021 School Year
On behalf of the Seneca Valley High School (SVHS) staff, it is my pleasure to welcome you to the 2020-2021 school year.
The SVHS Green and Gold newsletter is a a primary source of communication from the school to students and families. You can expect it to be published weekly, usually on a Sunday evening. We hope that you will take time to review all of the information shared. In future editions, we will also be featuring students and staff who are continuing to do amazing things during these very difficult times. Stay tuned.
Additionally, we have a number of popular Twitter handles that you may choose to follow for information that you and your student may find interesting and important. These include:
Dr. Marc J. Cohen, Principal
Please order your Class of...T-Shirt. 100% of the profits from this fundraiser go to supporting your child's graduating class.
Attention SVHS Students: The SGA Needs You!
The SGA is looking for officers eager to lead the student body forward as we continue to navigate a critical time in our nation’s and school’s history. Due to the inability to hold elections last year and the many needs of a growing student population that will be moving into a brand new building, students must declare their candidacy and campaign within a smaller timeline than in year’s past. Please review the official 2020-2021 Election Packet if you are interested in serving your class or the SGA! The deadline to submit your Declaration of Intent is Tuesday, September 8th!
Below, you will find a DRAFT of the fall schedule and fall calendar
Who do I go to for help?
If you need assistance or support with anything leading up to the school year or once virtual learning has begun, please do not hesitate to reach out to any of the following staff. They are here to support you in any way they can.
Main Office Telephone Number: 240-740-6400 (This is a new number)
- Social Emotional Support - Students with last names beginning with A - C
- Class Support - Class of 2022
- Social Emotional Support - Students with last names beginning with D - J
- Class Support - Class of 2021
- Social Emotional Support - Students with last names beginning with K - P
- Class Support - Class of 2024
- Social Emotional Support - Students with last names beginning with Q - Z
- Class Support - Class of 2023
- Business, Finance, and Operations
Counselor Student Support Assignments
Counseling Telephone Number: 240-740-6420
Ms. Fellows - Students with last names beginning with A - Card
Ms. Patel - Students with last names beginning with Cardi - Del Mar
Ms. Murray - Students with last names beginning with Del Pilar - F
Ms. Moore - Students with last names beginning with G - King, C.
Mr. Matthews - Students with last names beginning with King, D. - Nunez Enriquez
Ms. Teixeira - Students with last names beginning with Nunez Rodriguez - Shad
Mr. Yarmus - Students with last names beginning with Shah - Z
Ms. Rina Chaves ESOL Transition Counselor
Ms. Rosa Santos ESOL Parent Community Coordinator
Ms. Rogena Parrish Secretary
Ms. Linda McCabe Registrar
Mr. Carlos Nalda College-Career Information Coordinator
Mrs. Margaret Drew School Psychologist
Mr. Tony Maturana Pupil Personnel Worker (PPW)
Mr. Daryn Moore Aces Coach (11th-12th grade)
Class of 2024 - Freshman Class
Class of 2023 - Sophomore Class
Class of 2022- Junior Class
Class of 2021 - Senior Class
Using Synergy ParentVue
Parent Webinar Series
More dates and times have been added to the webinar series for parents. Sessions with translators have also been added. Check out the updated flyer and visit the MCPS website for updates and links to resources.
Back to School Night - September 8
Back to School Night will be a live event, held via Zoom, on Tuesday, September 8 starting at 6:00 p.m. Parents will follow their student’s schedule and meet all of their student’s first semester teachers using their student's mcpsmd.net account to login to each teacher's Zoom Room.
Period 1: 6:00 to 6:10
Period 2: 6:15 to 6:25
Period 3: 6:30 to 6:40
Period 4: 6:45 to 6:55
Period 5 (Advisory): 7:00 to 7:10
Period 6: 7:15 to 7:25
Period 7: 7:30 to 7:40
Period 8: 7:45 to 7:55
Requests for Schedule Changes
- Course prerequisite not met
- Maryland graduation requirement course needed by senior
- To correct obvious error (e.g., incomplete schedule, computer error)
- Failing or non-qualifying grades in summer school
- Attended summer school and can advance in sequence
- Health reasons
- Recommended level change after parent and teacher conference and approval by administration
Visit our Virtual College and Career Center
Parents and students can also make an appointment with Mr. Nalda in the College & Career Center for help on getting started on a college, career or scholarship search. This is especially important for eleventh graders.
The College & Career Center holds a wealth of information and resources for students as they ponder "life after high school." Students planning to attend a post-secondary school, whether it is 2 year, 4 year, or Technical/Trade, should visit the College & Career Center.
He is some important information for this week:
Good Evening Dr. Cohen,
Thank you for letting me know. I have been sending information out via Naviance, updating the websites, and was also planning to release a monthly College & Career Center Newsletter. This was something I used to do at Edison with information, important dates, etc. If you get a chance, let me know your thoughts about the idea (see attached).
Here is some of the latest information that can be shared in the Green & Gold Newsletter:
College Visits - Juniors & Seniors
Just a quick note about College Visits. As long as MCPS is in virtual learning, SVHS College Visits will be virtual as well. Log into your Naviance account to see the lists of colleges we have scheduled. Check periodically as whenever we schedule a new visit, I will add to the list. A few things to note about visits:
- Our first College Visits of the year will take place on Tuesday, September 8th.
- Visits are a great way to learn more about colleges and ask specific questions.
- Students MUST register through Naviance to participate in these virtual visits.
- Once registered, students will have access to the link to join 10 minutes before the scheduled start of the visit.
- Visits are scheduled in 1-hour blocks, but will not necessarily be one hour long. This gives us time to transition when scheduling consecutive visits on any given day.
Reach out to Mr. Nalda if you have any questions.
Here are a few scholarships with upcoming September deadlines.
- September 15 - The Gates Scholarship - top 300 students receive funding for full cost of attendance; senior; US citizen, national, or perm. resident; African-American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian & Pacific Islander American, and/or Hispanic American; min 3.3 GPA; financial need; Pell-eligible; must enroll full-time in a four-year degree program; outstanding academic record; demonstrated leadership ability; personal success skills.
- September 15 - GoSkills Business Startup Scholarship - 1-$2,000 award; for any female high-school or college student who wants to start her own online business; share ideas (2-3 sentences) about your business; share a 2-3 sentence (or more) business plan.
- September 17 - We The Future Contest - 1-$1,000 award for each project categories; grades 9-12; ages 14-19 at time of entry; U.S. Cit. or legal res.; submit an original work one of the following about America: essay, song, STEM, or PSA; see link for full rules and guidelines.
- September 30 - Don't Text and Drive Scholarship - 1-$1,000 award; 9-12 grade; U.S. Citizen; 140-character message about texting while driving; top 10 selected as finalists; finalists asked to write a 500- to 1,000-word essay about texting while driving; 1 winner chosen from 10 finalists' essays.
For more information and additional opportunities, visit the SVHS College & Career Center Scholarships Page. Check frequently as Mr. Nalda is consistently updating and adding any opportunities that are shared with us.
Virtual Service Academy Information Night - Wednesday, September 2nd, at 3:30PM
Congressman Trone will be holding his Virtual Service Academy Information Night with special guests Congressmen Ted Lieu (CA-33) and Mike Thompson (CA-05) on Wednesday, September 2nd, at 3:30PM. This webinar serves as a chance for students interested in attending one of the U.S. Service Academies to get more information on the application process for nomination, life at the academies, and career opportunities after graduation.
Congressman Trone will be joined by Congressman Lieu, a Reserve Air Force Colonel, Congressman Thompson, a Purple Heart recipient who served as a staff sergeant/platoon leader with the Army's 173rd Airborne Brigade, and representatives and alumni from the U.S. Military Academy (USMA) at West Point, the U.S. Naval Academy (USNA), the U.S. Air Force Academy (USAFA), the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA), and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy (USCGA). We will also be joined by representatives of the Army and Air Force ROTC.
Together with Congressman Trone they will go over the nominations and application process, as well as provide insight into daily life, as well as offer tips and tricks into putting your best foot forward.
A recording of this webinar will be available on the Congressman’s social media leading up to the October 16th nominations application deadline for our office.
Visit our Virtual Library Media Center
While our physical spaces are closed during distance learning, our library resources are still available 24/7! Your students have full access to the resources of our Library Media Center at the click of a button: students may follow this link - https://bit.ly/virtualSVLMC - to join the SVHS Virtual Library in myMCPS Classroom/Canvas.
Library Media staff are also available to assist students with research and reading needs, and are happy to help anyone experiencing difficulty with their MCPS Google, myMCPS Classroom, and/or Parent Portal Accounts. Ms. Little is easiest to reach by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition, students and parents may call the published MCPS Community Tech Support Help Line for technical assistance: 240-740-7022.
MCPS Recovery of Education guide
What to Expect
All students will remain enrolled in their core academic classes, required courses, electives, support classes and special programs, according to the school-developed master schedule. Like a traditional schedule, students will be assigned to their subject area teachers by class period. This includes courses required for graduation, electives, Honors and advanced courses, and special programs such as career and technology education. Live Instructional Schedule The live instructional schedule will include full class periods, with teachers fully engaged with their students for the duration of the lesson.
Career Readiness Programs of Study
MCPS is working closely with the Maryland State Department of Education to ensure students are able to meet all requirements in a virtual-only model. These include programs housed at Thomas Edison High School of Technology and Seneca Valley High School. All students, whether they are at the very beginning of a program or continuing on in a program they had already started, will engage in rigorous and meaningful career-related instruction and have the opportunity to complete their career program. Students will have relevant, real-world experiences through web conferences, virtual simulations, project based learning, capstone projects and more. Students will be provided with the required software and technology for learning. Staff will continue to work on the development of modifications for some of the more equipment intensive programs, such as Automotive, Construction, Cosmetology, and Restaurant Management.
Live Instructional Schedule
The live instructional schedule will include full class periods, with teachers fully engaged with their students for the duration of the lesson.
Class Periods and Additional Support
Generally, students will have four full class periods per day and will also be provided time for additional live academic and/or social-emotional support. Each class will meet at least two times each week.
Targeted Support and Independent Work
The non-scheduled class time on Wednesdays is intentional time that prioritizes students and staff. It encourages connection and support outside of the daily class instructional blocks. Feedback from our students emphasized the need to provide schedules that were balanced and allowed time for work to be completed outside of class. In addition, students indicated a desire for increased dedicated time with teachers to review, reteach and deepen learning.
At all levels, we intend for non-scheduled class time to focus on two features that are essential to the student experience and learning:
- Time to engage in directed, self-paced/independent work that supports content mastery.
- Time to receive individualized student support, including working with staff members who serve students with disabilities and related service providers.
At the secondary level there are additional intentions for this time including:
- Time to check in with teachers by period and receive support on current course content.
- Time to engage in school sponsored and partnership programs.
At all levels, during non-scheduled class time, staff will be engaged in activities that directly connect to the provision of high quality planning, instruction and assessment. This includes individual and collaborative planning, examining student work, grading or professional development.
What to Expect: Special Education
Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) students with Individualized Education Plans will continue to receive special education and related services during the MCPS Recovery Plan. The Office of Special Education (OSE) has developed processes to meet the special education mandates of federal and state law and regulations.
The virtual learning for students receiving special education services may include:
- All students receiving core instruction that addresses the standards at the grade level in which they are enrolled.
- During core instruction (ELA and mathematics,) special educators and/or paraeducators may work with students from multiple classrooms in the same grade in a breakout group during small group instructional periods. This allows special educators and paraeducators to support students’ IEP goals in these areas, while ensuring that all students receive core instruction with their general education peers.
- Receiving interventions in a small group or individual setting.
- Providing related services (e.g., speech, occupational and physical therapy) through individual or small group televisits, or as plug-in services in classes. School schedules will need to accommodate the scheduling of related services throughout the instructional day.
- For students working towards Alternate Learning Outcomes (ALO), providing alternating morning and afternoon instructional opportunities in both ELA and mathematics, which are designed to address feedback from teachers and parents/guardians regarding the need for flexibility to address student and family schedules.
Individual Distance learning Plan (IDLP)
While students receive their instruction in a distance learning format, students will continue to have their services documented in an Individual Distance Learning Plan (IDLP). The IDLP will align with each student’s IEP and describe the delivery of special education services in the distance format. Special education teachers/case managers will update the IDLP in collaboration with parents/guardians.
Speech/language therapy, occupational therapy and physical therapy delivered using a variety of methodologies. As agreed upon in the IDLP, services will be provided through direct televisits and may include both individual and small-group sessions. Services may also be delivered in a plug-in model, with a related service provider joining student’s virtual class to deliver direct services.
Montgomery County Public Schools is extending access to existing assistive technology tools and offering new technology options for students with more significant disabilities for distance learning. Additional assistive technology online tools and equipment will allow teachers to engage and support more students with disabilities and allow home access for more of these supports. All enhancements to assistive technology tools and resources will be distributed prior to the start of the 2020-2021 school year.
Professional development and parent training sessions will be available on multiple topics related to the use of assistive technology tools and devices for students with high and low incidence disabilities, including accessible digital instructional materials. This will build on prior required accessibility training for all teachers completed in March. The district’s assistive technology teams have extensive experience in remote professional learning and technical assistance over the past ten years and will lead these efforts.
For questions related to technology access, parents/guardians and staff may contact:
- High Incidence Accessibility Team (HIAT)—supporting students with high incidence disabilities, contact Ms. Linda B. Wilson at Linda_B_Wilson@mcpsmd.org
- Interdisciplinary Augmentative Communication and Technology Team (InterACT)—supporting students with severe communication disabilities, contact Ms. Marilyn Jacobs at Marilyn_K_Jacobs@mcpsmd.org
Parents/guardians of students currently using assistive technology will have the opportunity to receive devices and equipment required for distance learning at a centrally-located distribution site by appointment, prior to the start of the 2020-2021 school year. Distribution sites will be expanded to coincide with districtwide distribution of materials and equipment.
What to Expect: ESOL
Students will receive virtual English Language Development (ELD) instruction during their English Language Arts (ELA) course or via an ESOL course. Additional language supports will be embedded within each class experience by their content teacher. Each ESOL student will continue to receive supports aligned to their proficiency level.
Supports for Families
MCPS will address the physical, social and psychological needs of students, families and staff through central office- and schoolbased programs and initiatives. The Be Well 365 90-Day Recovery plan provides steps for schools to take to address community concerns around school safety, social-emotional learning and interventions, staff members supports, and family and community supports to ensure that staff and students can return to a psychologically-safe learning environment. Socialemotional learning (SEL) lessons will be conducted as both standalone and integrated throughout Kindergarten through Grade 12 lessons.
- SEL lessons will focus on cultivating healing, empathy, resiliency, and managing stressors and anxieties to support the learning process for students.
- Live Kindergarten–Grade 12 SEL lessons will be developed, focusing on the Collaborative for Academic and Social-Emotional Learning (usually referred to as CASEL) five core competencies: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision making.
- Schools have the option to integrate mindfulness activities at the start or end of their schedule to support student stress management and support student focus during their day. Examples of mindfulness activities are available online on the Be Well 365 webpage.
- As school schedules are developed and finalized, the goal is to have 30–60 minutes dedicated to SELs each day, at all levels. This can include a morning mindfulness activity, either stand-alone and/or integrated Kindergarten–Grade 12 SEL lessons, and an afternoon check-in.
- MCPS is developing a process for recording lessons that families can access at a later time. Precautions will be taken to ensure confidentiality and privacy. Students will also have access to workshops, virtual chats and other activities that address their concerns and questions on topics, including wellness, self-management, and race and equity.
MCPS is committed to equipping parents/guardians with the resources, tools and information they need to help their child(ren) succeed during this period of virtual-only learning. Parents will have access to a wide variety of trainings, workshops and recorded video sessions on a number of topics, including social-emotional wellness, distance learning strategies and supports, maintaining positive parent-child relationships, and navigating the technology.
Grading, Attendance, and Engagement
MCPS will use a more standardized and traditional grading system for the fall semester. While we anticipate that we will have to revise our grading system in certain areas, we want to ensure that we have a framework in place that reflects our students’ work, their learning and their progress.
Students are expected to attend all classes in which they are enrolled. The Maryland State Department of Education has issued an expectation to school districts that daily attendance will be recorded. A student will be marked present for a class in one of three ways:
- Student attends a live virtual learning class via Zoom
- Student completes an Attendance Check-in on myMCPS Classroom during a live or recorded class
- Student engages in an online discussion thread on myMCPS Classroom during a live or recorded class
All attendance will be recorded in the new student information system and will be visible to parents through the parent portal. In addition, ConnectEd calls and other parent outreach will occur regularly to inform parents if their child has not attended.
Parents/guardians must submit a note, phone call, or email to the attendance secretary if a student will be absent for a full or partial school day. All absences for which no documentation is received will be listed as unexcused.
In order to monitor student engagement, MCPS has created a comprehensive student engagement monitoring program that includes multiple data sources and mobilizes staff and resources across the district in order to meet individual student and family needs. This fall, we will continue to analyze and track individual student engagement at the school and central office level, create outreach and case management action plans to address student needs, and analyze the quality of student engagement.
Extra-Curricular Activities and Athletics
The Student Leadership and Extracurricular Activities Unit is working on a new webpage that will outline independent activities, as well as school-based and local school partnership programs. This will include student-to-student content, a leadership development series and additional means for students to build their personal and professional skills.
The first semester of athletic operations will be virtual and will feature three sport seasons, which will be conducted within the confines of the first semester. With the approval of the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA), highlights of the proposed plan include:
Three seasons will occur during the first semester. Each season will be 5 weeks long as follows:
- Fall: September 14-October 16
- Winter: October 26-December 4
- Spring: December 14-January 22
During the first semester, all sports will operate within the confines of their respective seasons, based on the traditional model of operations. Please note that cheerleading will only occur in the fall season, while poms will only occur in the winter season.
The virtual athletic program will not include tryouts and will be open to all students.
Each season will consist of:
- Systemwide engagement opportunities, including speakers, character education and other resources as appropriate
- Schoolwide engagement, per the athletics specialist or athletic coordinator
- Sport-specific countywide engagement
- Team-specific engagement
Curriculum and programming will include activities that reflect the R.A.I.S.E. core values of MCPS Athletics, including the following:
- Respect & Sportsmanship—team building, potential engagement with other schools
- Academic Excellence—academic support and college recruiting support
- Integrity & Character—character education, including speakers and programs
- Spirited & Safe Competition—skills and sport instruction, along with COVID-19 safety education in preparation for in-person activities
- Equity & Access—efforts supporting equity and social justice initiatives
All students participating in the fall, winter, and spring virtual seasons, must complete the online registration process. Registration is done electronically through the school’s specific athletics registration link posted on the school’s website. Students and parents/guardians who have difficulty with registration should contact the athletics specialist or athletic coordinator at the local school. The registration process will require parent permission and allow for the submission of a pre-participation physical.
Students must have a valid physical on file with the school for to participate in high school virtual athletics. Given the unprecedented circumstances, for students who are unable to secure an updated physical, MCPS will extend the expiration date of an existing physical by one calendar year. To the extent a student does not have a physical on file with the school, the student will need to obtain one. For middle school athletics, parents/legal guardians will authorize and consent to their child’s participation in interscholastic athletics and sports and assume the risk of any injuries that may occur while participating in virtual athletic activities. Due to the strenuous nature of selected activities, each student is encouraged to consult their physician concerning fitness to participate in the program.
Students will need to complete a parent permission form to participate. If students want to participate in any physical conditioning/skills-based activities they must have a valid physical on file.
Outside of the confines of the formal season, coaches will also be able to engage with students, consistent with the out-of-season guidelines for virtual engagement. Similar to the summer, this engagement would be team-based and not administered centrally.
The virtual delivery and seasonal structure will also apply to the middle school athletics program. Appropriate modifications to middle school sports will be made during the planning process, as needed. There will be three, 3-4 week seasons for middle school (fall, winter and spring). The fall season begins on Sept. 21.
If current state and local health guidelines and metrics allow, the second semester of program operations would be in-person. Seasons and calendars will be reimagined to operate as many sports as possible, consistent with the designated seasons established by the MPSSAA. In the event state level competition is not feasible due to current health metrics, MCPS will implement a local reimagined program that maximizes participation opportunities, consistent with state and county health metrics and school system operations. The reimagination of seasons would apply to both the high school and middle school athletics programs, with appropriate modifications made to middle school sports. More information will be forthcoming from the MPSSAA and during the fall, when more updated health metrics will be available.
MCPS will transition to a more traditional food service program this fall, starting on Monday, Aug. 31, the first day of the 2020-2021 school year. Breakfast and lunch meals will be provided to MCPS students at 74 meal sites. A student must be enrolled in an MCPS school to receive these meals. This curbside meal service will be provided from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday (no meal service on Thursday). Students/families will need their student identification number in order to pick up a meal. Standard meal prices will be charged and students who receive Free and Reduced-price Meals (FARMS) will continue to pay reduced rates. Payment will come from a student’s lunch account. Families can pick up meals at any of the 74 sites. MCPS is mailing this information home to all families, along with student ID numbers. The district will also continue to partner with local nonprofits, faith-based organizations, county government agencies and others to provide food and other critical resources to the community. Additionally, families are encouraged to visit Montgomery County's COVID-19 Food Resource page for additional resources.
Parents/guardians of enrolled MCPS students can click here to opt in for 2020 Fall Meal Curbside Service. Meals will be available at 74 sites around Montgomery County.
The safety and wellness of our students remains a top priority. Below are resources to support the physical, social and psychological well-being of our community. If you believe your child is in crisis, please contact the Montgomery County Crisis Center at 240-777-4000. Students can also reach out to their counselor and school psychologist to set up a confidential appointment.
Waymaking Video Series
- Suicide Awareness
- Managing Stress and Anxiety for Students
- Managing Stress and Anxiety during Social Distancing
Mindful Moments Video Series
Tips on Addressing Student Grief
Tips for Preventing Youth Suicide
Below is information regarding food/grocery access beyond the MCPS school meal sites:
Food Assistance Resource Map: The Montgomery County Food Council created an interactive map of food assistance providers and benefits application assistance sites in Montgomery County. It is searchable by location, food assistance type, accessibility and many other special features. This resource can give principals and families a quick view of local resources in their area. The information indicates where, when and how to access the resources. **We would caution parents and staff supporting parents to pay particular attention to how one qualifies to access food as some sites state requirements.
Weekend Bag Program: MCPS, Manna Food Center, and Women Who Care Ministries are distributing weekend backpacks with groceries to the families of MCPS students each Friday. The location of distribution sites and times are listed at the bottom of the webpage.
VIRTUAL CRISIS WALK_IN CLINIC
MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT WEBSITES
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- And don't forget to use #svproud. Go Eagles!