SVHS Green and Gold

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

April 11, 2021- Edition

Update Video from Dr. Cohen

Click here to view a Newsletter Summary from Dr. Cohen.
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Click below to view SVHS Bus Routes for students returning March 15 and beyond:

NEW: A Note to Students Returning for In-Person Instruction

Some things to know as you prepare to return for in-person learning:

  1. Before you leave your house: Pack up and bring with you, your Chromebook, charger, a cloth mask, and earphones if you have them. If you do not have a mask or earphones, one will be provided for you. Breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snack will be provided for you free of charge, but you are welcome to bring a packed lunch and drink with you if you wish. You are only permitted to drink water in the classrooms. Any other drink and food must be consumed in the cafeteria.

  2. Everyone should arrive for entry/check-in through the cafeteria doors. These doors are located off the Wisteria Drive entrance to the school. (see image below for a map!)

  3. Cafeteria doors will open at 7:45 a.m. for check-in. The doors will be locked at 9:00 a.m.

  4. If you are a bus-rider, please click on this link to review your bus route and pick-up time:

  5. When you arrive, you will remain in the cafeteria during the Student Support hour (7:45 a.m.- 8:45 a.m.) and then report to your period 1 class between 8:45 a.m. and 9:00 a.m.

  6. If you are a walker/car-rider, please be sure to arrive NO LATER THAN 8:45 a.m. so that you have enough time to check-in and report to period 1.

  7. Cafeteria doors will be locked at 9:00 a.m. If you arrive after 9:00 a.m., please enter through the main office entrance located off of Crystal Rock Drive (see image below for a map!) NOTE: if you are arriving late to school, you must have an official excuse (doctor's appointment, family emergency, etc.) to be marked EXCUSED late.

When you arrive…

  • You will check-in at one of the tables that are set up by the entrance doors through the cafeteria.

  • You will receive a copy of your schedule with room numbers along with a map of the building.

  • At that time, if you need to borrow any equipment, you will have an opportunity to check them out for the day.

  • We will gather in the cafeteria until 8:45 a.m.

Attending Classes...

  • You have signed up for In-Person return which means that you will be attending all of your classes with your teachers and other classmates who have been assigned to GOLD WEEK.

  • You will still use your chromebook to log into each class because your teacher will be teaching you AND the students who are attending class from home.

  • You will have 15 minutes in between each period to log off, pack up and head to your next classroom. Just like every new year, it will take you a few days to get to know your classroom locations, but you’ll find your way in no time!

  • For the most part (with a few exceptions) your classes are located in the following areas:

    • Ground Floor: Auto Tech, PE, Music
      1st Floor: Health Professions, Construction, LFI/SCB, Film, CREA, Carpentry, Main Office, IB Office
      2nd Floor: Art, Social Studies, Counseling Suites, ESOL
      3rd Floor: World Languages, English, Math
      4th Floor: Science, Tech.

Lunchtime, Restrooms, and Water Fountains...

At lunch, everyone will eat in the cafeteria at socially distanced tables. One person per table.

  • A bagged lunch (also breakfast and afternoon snack) will be provided for everyone free of charge, but you may choose to bring your own lunch if you wish.

All restrooms will be open for student use. Only two students permitted at one time to ensure safe social distancing.

Water Fountains will be closed but there are several water-filling stations available throughout the building if you would like to bring a water bottle with you.


  • Starting April 8, all students who are scheduled to attend IN-PERSON are expected to attend all 4 periods of each day and remain the building from morning check-in until afternoon dismissal. Students are NOT permitted to partially attend school, leave early, or arrive late without a valid excuse (doctor’s appointment, family emergency, etc.) Students who have to leave early must check out at the attendance office window by the main entrance on the first floor.

  • Regular dismissal will occur at 2:30 p.m. through the cafeteria doors.

If you forget something at home...

  • If you forget your headphones, charger, or Chromebook, or mask, we will have extra supplies here in the building for you.

If you have questions or concerns over...

If you would like to change your Educational Model Preference from IN-PERSON to VIRTUAL, at any time, please have your parent/guardian send me a note: Please know that once you switch to virtual, you may NOT switch back to In-Person until further notice.

Here is a video introduction/orientation for more information about our reopening plans:

We are so glad you're coming back to the building and look forward to seeing you!

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IMPORTANT: COVID-19 Pool Testing at SVHS

Dear Parents and Guardians:

This letter is to inform you that COVID-19 testing will began at our school on Friday, March 26, 2021.

We must all do our part to prevent the transmission of the COVID-19 virus in our schools. This includes participating in school-provided COVID-19 testing to identify cases where the student or staff member may not be showing symptoms. MCPS families were notified about this new effort in February and March. Tests will be provided for all students and staff on a weekly basis. Each swab will be placed in a common tube for that classroom or group and sent off to a central testing laboratory. The test detects whether the virus that causes COVID-19 is present in that pooled sample. Schools will receive results within 2-3 days. A consent form is linked below. If you do not complete the consent form, your child will not be able to participate in testing.

Consent forms can be emailed to Dr. Cohen at, or your student can return them to the building when they return for in-person instruction. We will collect them as students check in.

Consent form - Spanish

Consent Form - English

NEW: SAT School Day - April 13

Hello Seneca Valley High School families,

On Tuesday, April 13 we will administer the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) at Seneca Valley High School to juniors who registered. This test is free to students registered and information has been shared with each student registered to participate. The 13th is an asynchronous school day to allow us to facilitate testing for those who have registered.

Please note the following items:

  • Students are to arrive by 7:30 a.m. in the cafeteria near the rear athletic field parking lot entrance.
  • Students have been advised to bring number 2 pencils, fully charged calculators, and get a good night's rest the night prior.
  • Students will receive breakfast and lunch from the school and are permitted to bring a snack and water in a clear plastic bag to be consumed only during breaks and/ or before or after testing.
  • Students will be released after testing to either go home only with written parental consent or they will engage in asynchronous instruction in a learning pod after the SAT testing administration.
  • Students who ride the school buses will remain at school in the Learning Pod until the buses arrive in the afternoon.

If you have further questions, please contact Kisheena Wanzer. Thank you.

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

Senior Planning

Unsure about your plans for after high school? Need some assistance? Reach out to Mr. Nalda. We can discuss college options, career options, apprenticeships, job options, and more!

College Acceptances & Scholarship Awards - Seniors

Have you applied and been accepted to a college or university? Have you been offered any scholarships? Please keep track of this information and update in your Naviance account. At some point soon, we will be distributing a Senior Survey asking for this and other information. All seniors in MCPS will be asked to complete this survey. Keeping track of this as you go along will make it easier to fill out when it is time to fill out this survey.

FAFSA & MSFAA - Seniors

If you have created an MDCAPS account to apply for financial aid and need to upload your transcript, send Mr. Nalda an email with your MHEC ID Number. He will be able to upload your GPA information directly to MHEC.

FAFSA - If you plan on attending college after graduation and have yet to fill out the FAFSA, you should still complete this form. Although you may not qualify for Maryland aid and at this point, you may still be eligible for federal aid in the form of a Pell Grant. Click here for more information.

Feel free to reach out to Mr. Nalda if you have any questions.

Upcoming Scholarships

  • April 12 - Apartment Guide Student Scholarship - 2-$2,500 awards; senior; U.S. Citizen or legal resident; at least 17 years of age; min 2.5 GPA; accepted as a full-time student at an accredited college or university for the Fall 2021; submit a 500-600 word essay; 10 finalists chosen will then submit a video illustrating their essays; see link for full rules and guidelines.
  • April 14 - Senator Nancy J. King Legislative Scholarship - senior; be a resident of District 39 (click this link to verify); must have completed your FAFSA by March 1; planning to attend a college/university in Maryland; must take a minimum of 6 credits to be eligible; include a copy of the front page of your completed FAFSA form; once you compete, please return your application to Mr. Nalda in the College & Career Center.
  • April 15 - Lavinia Engle Scholarship Fund (application instructions) - awards ranging from from approximately $500 to $3000 for the year; senior; female, resident of Montgomery County, MD for at least three years; enrolling for an undergraduate degree at a Maryland college or university; attention given to financial need, academic and other accomplishments (based on GPA, choice of courses, recommendations, extracurricular/volunteer activities, etc.); transcript; 2 letters of recommendation; first 2 pages of tax return; 1 page essay; photograph.
  • April 15 - WSSC Commissioners' Engineering Scholarship Program - 2-$2,000 awards (renewable); senior; proof of permanent residency in WSSC Service District; pursue an engineering degree in one of the following areas: Civil Engineering (i.e., Environmental, Sanitary, Structural, Geotechnical, Water Resources, Fire Protection, Transportation, Project Management, Construction Management); Electrical Engineering; Material Science and Engineering; Chemical Engineering; Mechanical Engineering or Computer Science/Engineering; proof of acceptance; 500-1,000 word essay; video Introduction/Infomercial; official transcript; two reference letters.
  • April 15 - WMCCAI Scholarship Contest - min 2.5 GPA; high school transcript; letter of recommendation; 500-700 word essay or 90 second media presentation.
  • April 16 - Ida F. Haimovicz Visual Arts Award - 1-$3,000 award; junior; resides in Montgomery County, MD; for students who intend to pursue the study of, and/or career in, the visual arts; able to provide Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN); high school transcript; 1-10 samples of original work created within the past two years; samples should include at least 5 pieces that the applicant would feel comfortable exhibiting publicly.
  • April 16 - Fran Abrams Creative Writing Award - 1-$3,000 award; junior; resides in Montgomery County, MD; for students who intend to pursue the study of, and/or career in, creative writing; able to provide Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN); high school transcript; Upload 1-10 samples of original work created within the past two years; samples should include pieces that the applicant would feel comfortable reading out loud.
  • April 16 - Ida F. Haimovicz Visual Arts Award - 1-$3,000 award; junior; resides in Montgomery County, MD; for students who intend to pursue the study of, and/or career in, the visual arts; able to provide Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN); high school transcript; 1-10 samples of original work created within the past two years; samples should include at least 5 pieces that the applicant would feel comfortable exhibiting publicly.
  • April 16 - Fran Abrams Creative Writing Award - 1-$3,000 award; junior; resides in Montgomery County, MD; for students who intend to pursue the study of, and/or career in, creative writing; able to provide Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN); high school transcript; Upload 1-10 samples of original work created within the past two years; samples should include pieces that the applicant would feel comfortable reading out loud.
  • April 17 - KYCF-GROCK Scholarship - senior; male student of color; min 2.5 GPA; accepted into a college or university as a full time student in the fall; active in extra-curricular or work related activities; essay; transcript; proof (letter) of acceptance to the college you will attend; 2 letters of recommendation; current photo.
  • April 17 - The Links, Inc. Scholarship - senior; min 3.5 GPA; for African Americans and other persons of African ancestry; accepted into a four-year accredited U.S. college/university as a full-time student; unofficial transcript; 250-300 word personal essay; signed letter of recommendation from counselor or teacher; resume; color (headshot) photo.
  • April 17 - The Links, Inc. Technical School/Community College Scholarship - senior; for African Americans and other persons of African ancestry; accepted in a technical school or two-year community college; unofficial transcript; 250-300 word personal essay; signed letter of recommendation from counselor or teacher; resume; color (headshot) photo.
  • April 19 - Generation Hope Scholarship (for teen parents) - awards of up to $2,400/year and other benefit (click to see); be a teen parent (pregnant or expecting at 19 or younger, currently 25 or younger; be attending, or planning to attend, college in the DC metro area seeking an Associate's or Bachelor's degree taking a minimum of 6 credits/semester; US Citizen, Permanent Legal Resident, DACA recipient (contact us for specific questions regarding immigration status and eligibility); 350-700 word personal essay; one letter of recommendation.
  • April 19 - Lincoln Tech Scholarship - earn up to $2,000 in scholarship just by taking this scholarship test; senior; scholarship may only be used for Lincoln Tech tuition; test takes less than 20 minutes to complete; students with the highest scores will be contacted about opportunity to earn up to $15,000; students MAY take the scholarship test BEFORE applying to Lincoln Tech.
  • April 23 - 2021 NAACP Scholarship Award - $1,000 awards; senior; res. of Montgomery County; min 3.0 GPA; extracurricular activities; must participate in faith-based, religious-based, or volunteer activities (if not possible due to paid employment, you can provide an explanation); 2 references; include the name of your current state Congress member and/or delegate (see link); 300-word essay; 3-4 paragraph narrative essay about yourself; scholarships will be presented at the Annual Freedom Fund Dinner which will be held at Martins Crosswinds, Greenbelt, Maryland (date to be announced).
  • April 24 - Damascus American Legion Auxiliary Unit 171 - General Scholarship - 2-$1,000 awards; senior; female; U.S. Citizen; in the upper 50% of the class who will attend a full-time and accredited post-secondary academic instruction, accredited vocational, trade or business school; not have accepted an appointment to a service academy or have received any other grants or scholarships (including ROTC awards) exceeding $5,000 total (does not include Guaranteed Student Loans); copy of SAT/ACT test scores; 3 letters of recommendation; brief essay; see link for judging criteria.
  • April 24 - Damascus American Legion Auxiliary Unit 171 - Medical Scholarship - 1-$1,000 award (not limited to one year); senior; female; U.S. Citizen; must be a daughter, granddaughter, great granddaughter, step daughter, step granddaughter, step great granddaughter or an ex-service women or active servicewomen who needs financial assistance in order to attend an accredited school for medical training (see link for full details); transcript; copy of SAT/ACT test scores; essay of 300 words or less.

Click here to see the SVHS Scholarships Page for more opportunities.

Next Week's College Visits - Juniors & Seniors

Lycoming College

Craig Washington


4/14/21 11:30 AM

*Register in Naviance to access zoom links to meetings.

To see a full list of College Visits, see click the link: List of College Visits

Upcoming Events

Real Talk: The College Experience of Students of Color

A virtual student panel of current college students of color talking about their college experiences at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Majority Minority (MM), and Predominantly White Institutions (PWIs). Schools represented are: University of Alabama (PWI), Spellman University (HBCU), McDaniel College (PWI), Trinity Washington (MM), UMBC (PWI), UMD-College Park (PWI), Rust College (HBCU), and Bowie State University (HBCU).

§ Wednesday, April 14, 3pm

§ Click here for the flyer

§ Click here to register

Moving Forward College and Career Readiness - For Juniors

Juniors, let's start planning! We enthusiastically invite you all to participate in the following workshops to get a head start in planning for life after high school! All workshops are from 11:30 am - 12:30 pm. Click here to see the flyer. Click Here to Register.

§ Monday, April 19 - College Essay Writing

§ Wednesday, April 21 - Tips on Common Application

§ Wednesday, April 28 - Intro to Financial Aid and Scholarships

Federal Financial Aid Bootcamp, April 20-21

This bootcamp is ideal for students, parents, guidance counselors, college access professionals, college and career coaches, and other members of the financial aid community. Six sessions over two days.

§ Click here for the flyer

§ Click here to register

Pre-College / Summer Program Opportunities

A pre-college summer program offers high school students the opportunity to take classes at a college and experience college life during the summer. Many programs offer a residential and commuter option. Students can stay in dorms with their peers, or they can commute from home if they live close to the college.

Summer Programs & Internships - List of summer programs and internships created by MCPS College & Career Information Coordinators.

SVHS April College & Career Newsletter

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NEW: IB Update

Although the May component of your IB exam is cancelled this year, IB will grade Internal Assessments and issue exam scores (1-7). In order to obtain an IB score, you must submit your Internal Assessment for each IB course for which you are registered to “test.”

As IB is still grading student assessments and issuing scores, students must still pay for their exams by April 9th. All students who do not pay for their exams by April 9th will be withdrawn and will not receive an IB exam score. IB Exam scores can be used for potential college credit, depending on your score and the college you are attending, as usual.

To pay your exam fees - please follow the following steps:

  • Go to
  • Once there click on “High”and scroll down to “Seneca Valley High School”
  • Scroll down to “IB Exam Fee Approved Payment”
  • Please enter the name of your exams and the amount you are paying. Each exam is $119. Remember if you qualify for a fee waiver, each exam is $20.

We understand the past year has been extremely challenging, so please do not hesitate to reach out to Ms. Ezerski with any concerns you have regarding IB exam fees at Remember to do your absolute best on your IB Internal Exams - YOU CAN DO THIS!!

IB Spotlight: This month we are continuing our focus on the ATL category on SOCIAL skills with the MYP cluster of COLLABORATION. Our Learner Profile attribute is INQUIRER.

SOCIAL SKILLS we focus on our students developing that they can apply in and out of the classroom include:

  • Taking full responsibility for one’s actions & practicing empathy for others

  • Delegating and sharing responsibility for decision-making to help others to succeed

  • Taking responsibility for one’s own actions, while managing and resolving conflict to work collaboratively in teams

  • Listening actively to other perspectives and ideas to effectively negotiate and build consensus to make fair and equitable decisions

  • Exercise leadership and take on a variety of roles within groups by encouraging others to contribute, giving and receiving meaningful feedback, and advocating for one’s own rights and needs

Students’ application of these social skills in COLLABORATION leads to the development of higher-level thinking, oral communication, self-management, and leadership skills. Research shows that educational experiences that are active, social contextual, engaging, and STUDENT-owned lead to deeper learning.

As INQUIRERS “we develop our natural curiosity. We acquire the skills necessary to conduct inquiry and research and show independence in learning. We actively enjoy learning, and this love of learning will be sustained throughout our lives.”

IB students should use their SOCIAL skills to COLLABORATE to become INQUIRERS that help one another grow our empathy and understanding of different perspectives through inquiry skills in both in and out of the classroom.

PTSA Fundraiser: Show your Eagle Pride with this Limited Edition, SVHS Blanket!

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NEW: Library Media Center Update - Book Borrowing Resumes!

  • Book borrowing is back! If you would like to learn more about checking out print books from the LMC, please click HERE.
  • The next Project LIT book discussion will take place on Wednesday, April 21st, at 2:00 pm (a virtual check-in day). One of our student leaders, Etmy, will lead a book discussion about the book Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson, a story about a teenager who won’t give up on investigating the disappearance of her best friend. Borrow this book in eBook or audiobook format in Sora. ALL ARE WELCOME!

REPEAT: Creativity Contests

To help celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, all MCPS students are invited to submit artwork for a poster contest that will be judged by community art and art performance professionals. The theme for this year’s contest is courage. For contest rules, click HERE. Submissions are due by April 18, 2021.

REPEAT: Chromebook Pick-up Information

For those students returning to in-person instruction, MCPS is not allowing personal devices to be used in the building. As a result, if you have not yet picked up an MCPS issued Chromebook, you should go to 45 W. Gude Dr in Rockville, Monday-Friday from 9:30 - 3:30.

If a student does not have an MCPS issued Chromebook and is returning to school, Chromebooks will be issued from SVHS directly and on a daily basis.

For any questions around this change, please reach out to the school directly at 240-740-6400.

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

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!