Montgomery Blair High School
Renay Johnson, Principal
September 4, 2020
Dear Blair Families,
I hope that you and your family are well, I enjoyed seeing so many of your back to school photos posted on social media this week. While MCPS school buildings are closed, online school is open and our courses have begun. My staff has distributed thousands of chromebooks and meals to our families over the past few months and we will continue to do so daily. My staff and I continue to support many families in crisis with school and county services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
During our online school, I expect students to attend all of their classes and engage in their lessons. Teachers will engage in real-time, synchronous instruction with students. During each class period, teachers will use a variety of instructional strategies and routines to build a classroom community to give all students a sense of belonging in our online school. Attendance will be taken daily in all classes, so make sure that your child is on time for their classes.
As you know, we have the largest high school enrollment in Maryland with 3283 high school students; and 18 middle school students who are dual enrolled in middle school and high school. I receive hundreds of emails each day from students, staff, families, and community members. Many emails are humorous but should not be sent to the Principal, "Mrs. Johnson, what is for lunch today?, Mrs. Johnson, can you check my locker to see if I left my glasses there last year?, Mrs. Johnson, can I have a parking permit this year?, Mrs. Johnson, what time is first period?" I have a large staff that is here to serve you. In addition, our main office staff is answering school phones and can direct your calls to the appropriate staff, Monday - Friday, from 8:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m. at 301-649-2800.
The best way to have your questions answered or to resolve a concern is to contact your child's teacher, department resource teacher, school counselor, or grade level/program administrator; their information is below. These professionals are here to help you.
Finally, I want to thank you in advance for your patience and support as we virtually rebuild all of our traditional events, information meetings, and activities that our families have enjoyed for years. We are BLAIR STRONG and my staff and I are committed to all students and families.
MBHS School Counseling Information:
Back to School Essentials:
Parents will be able to pick up essential materials (including textbooks, musical instruments, magnets, and t-shirts) for their students during the hours of 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM on September 15 – 18. The pick up will be curbside in front of the Student Activity Center (SAC) and social distancing protocols including masks will be followed. Students may pick up their essential materials during lunch or after school on those days. Please see this link for your assigned day and additional information. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1tHx5jfKsG5LL9KKp0Qia7uKHzzbiI-I_/view?usp=sharing
Virtual Back to School Night:
Back to School Night will be held virtually on Wednesday September 16, 2020 from 7 – 9 PM. Parents will use their student’s log in information for Zoom to access the zoom classes that evening. There will be also be additional meetings held virtually that evening including a 12th grade parent meeting from 5:30 – 6:45, an ESOL Parent meeting from 5:30 – 6:45, and a Special Education parent meeting from 6 – 6:45 that evening. Additional details will be sent out via a Connect Ed message to the community on Wednesday September 9, 2020.
Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) is Required for All Students:
The MAP assessment will be administered as the fall diagnostic in reading and math for all students between September 9 - October 9. Please click below for more context. School specific information will be coming soon.https://docs.google.com/document/d/1XUEXKAvzpStGhC4Iha3iVfIzy6G0J8waZST1tcRQKV4/edit?usp=sharing
Questions: Please contact Ms. Burgos-Ojeda or Mr. Fanning, Administrators.
Class of 2021:
We have traditionally scheduled opportunities for students to individually sit for senior portraits at Blair. Due to the current guidance from the Department of Health and Human Services, we cannot have students in the building. Once we receive permission to have students re-enter the building, we will schedule in-person senior portraits.
Graduation requirements for the Class of 2021 is here
https://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/uploadedFiles/curriculum/1025.19_GradReqAtAGlanceClass2021_Flyer.pdf. You will be informed if the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) changes the graduation requirements.
Homeroom - Students will not meet with their homeroom sections regularly during distance-learning. Instead, we have extended fourth period as an Innovation Period to include school, social emotional and wellness activities.
Advisory - The advisory period in your student's schedule identifies their Academy Lead (Mr. Clay - 9th grade; Ms. Fillman - CAP; Ms. Gopin - International Studies and Law; Mr. Haigh - STEM; Mr. Horne - Multimedia and the Arts; Ms. Jacobs - Health and Human Services; Mr. Murley - Entrepreneurship; and Mr. Ostrander - Magnet). The advisory does not meet as a class.
Class Activity - Because we have an extended day, Class Activity is used as a placeholder to prevent courses from being scheduled during ninth period, which meets after the end of the school day when we are in person. If a student has Class Activity in their schedule, this is not an actual class. Students can use the time to complete homework or get assistance from teachers.
Wednesdays During a 5 Day Instructional Week:
- Students work on self-paced work for the week from all of their classes.
- Access the teachers for the periods listed.
- Attendance at these periods is optional
- Teachers can require students to attend their support period
Wednesdays During Weeks With Less Than 5 Instructional Days:
In order to prioritize live instruction, Wednesdays during weeks that are less than 5 days will become another instructional day to reflect the day missed, and virtual check-in’s will not occur. It is important to know the schedule for each week.
For example, next week only has four days, so we will have B Days (periods 6-9) on September 8 & 11 and A Days on September 9 & 10. During four day weeks, there will be no virtual check-in days, and students are expected to attend their A or B day classes.
Grade 9 Information:
MBHS Grade 9 Scavenger Hunt: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdRaEsOt5Pbb-TTTc9BILxsAi3WvV9T9AoHGRRh0NT-TgCb4A/viewform
MBHS Grade 9 Gift: Click this link to register for your Welcome Back to School gift. You will pick up your gift during the Back to School Essential Distribution, September 15 - 18.
Register to in advance to attend the Grade 9 Parent Meeting: Thursday, September 10, 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Diversity and Inclusion Support:
Rahman Culver is Blair's new Diversity and Inclusion Instructional Coordinator. He works to support the school's long-standing goals to promote an equitable and inclusive environment for all students. He engages with Blair's community members and programs to help provide positive and safe learning spaces, as well as professional development support for staff to strengthen culturally responsive instructional practices in the building. Mr. Culver works with Blair’s administrative team and can provide additional assistance to students and families who seek support regarding bias or cultural sensitivity. Please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
It is our expectation that all students will attend the live class sessions every day. Parent should send Ms. Roxanne Fus, an email (Roxanne_F_Fus@mcpsmd.org) with the reason for their child's absence, include date of absence, student ID # and a daytime phone number to verify the absence.
❏ If a student is absent during the live sessions, they can access the recorded lesson within 72 hours.
❏ Student/Parent/Guardian must attest to viewing the recording by completing the school-specific Attendance Google Form found on the school’s website and here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfI682JHZy_aI1i9t1CigBdDsj6K48bIjxzMeuJ-QTu-Qw-WA/viewform?entry.255371218=Montgomery+Blair+HS
❏ The attendance secretary will then reconcile the absence on the student record.
❏ Students with extenuating circumstances should communicate with their grade level / program administrator.
Blair Network Communication (BNC)
InfoFlow will air our first show next Thursday, September 10th, during the Innovation Period. We will then air two shows a week on Monday and Thursday for the remainder of the semester. All shows will also be uploaded to our website. We're excited to get started again and will be unveiling a new updated website in the next week or two. The updated website will have a special page dedicated to important school and community announcements. So please be sure to keep up with InfoFlow, SilverLens and all other videos (and podcasts) from BNC by checking out our website, bnconline.net.
School Lunch IS FREE For All Students:
Grab & Go lunches are served at Blair on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 11:15 - 12:30. Meals will be provided to any youth under age 18 at no charge in any area of the county. Parents/Guardians may pick up meals for their students / child during our lunch period.
Complete the 2020 - 2021 online application for fee or reduced price school meals. Click the link below and apply now, https://www.myschoolapps.com/. If you qualify, you are eligible to receive free or reduced breakfast and lunch. In addition, you will be eligible for the following benefits: Waivers for Advanced Placement and SAT Exams, fieldtrip cost, and discounted internet service.
Due to COVID-19 related school closures, children who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals can get up to $370.50 in food benefits. These benefits, called P-EBT, are intended to help families purchase food while schools are closed. For more info:
Student Service Learning Requirements Update:
The first semester virtual athletics program is up and running! The Blair coaches and athletics staff will run a comprehensive virtual athletics program during the semester that includes sport skills and knowledge, conditioning, engaging activities, team building, leadership, and a strong mind program. Each season is 5 weeks long and fall sports registration is happening now! Visit https://blairblazersathletics.com/ or go to the MCPS Athletics website for more information at https://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/athletics/.
Show Your School Spirit: Order Blair Wear!
Blair Fanny Pack:
Blair Clothing and Apparel:
Membership Matters: Join Blair's PTSA: Mariama Orange, President
September 17: Voter Education Meeting, hosted by the PTSA, 7:00 p.m. -
8:30 p.m. Join Zoom Meetinghttps://mcpsmd.zoom.us/j/98424263712?pwd=WCtaamxWeC9vQk5BejRtZGd1TzhSdz09
September 22: General PTSA Monthly Meeting, 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. During the meeting, you will have the opportunity to meet with your teen's adminstrator by grade level / program. Register in advance for this meeting: https://mcpsmd.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJErd-2grjsvG9Ig6gYlndDr0lPSvKEJp3O8
Join the PTSA: https://blairptsa.org/join/
Check the PTSA website for volunteer opportunities: https://blairptsa.org/
SAVE THE DATES:
At this time, first semester school events will be held virtually. Details about such events will be posted as they become available. Please note that MCPS may change early dismissal days and school closings.
September 4 Early release day for students
September 7 Holiday; Labor Day; Schools and offices closed
September 10 Virtual Ninth Grade Parent Meeting; 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
September 16 Senior College Application Planning Meeting; 5:30 PM
Back-to-School Night; 7:00 PM
September 22 Virtual PTSA Meeting; 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
September 24 DCC Options Fair for 8th grade students & parents
College Admissions Event; For families of 11th and 12th graders; 5:30 PM
September 26 Blair fundraiser at El Golfo Restaurant; All proceeds to go to Montgomery Blair High School; 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM
September 28 No school for students and teachers
If you do not receive log-in information for your teen, please contact Ms. Melissa Young, Latino Achievement Coordinator, Melissa_Young@mcpsmd.org or Ms. Andrea Lamphier, Media Specialist, Andrea_Lamphier@mcpsmd.org.
Scheduling, Transcript, Social Emotional Wellness Questions, Contact Your Teen's Counselor
School Counseling Department:
All Things College and Career: Contact Carmen Salazar, College and Career Coordinator. Carmen_A_Salazar@mcpsmd.org
Melissa Young, is our MyMCPS/Synergy Parent Portal Staff Liaison, Melissa_Young@mcpsmd.org
Retrieving Medication From Last Year: Contact Joseph Fanning, Joseph_M_Fanning@mcpsmd.org
Health Room: Full Time School Nurse: Anisa Harris, Anisa_Harris@mcpsmd.org
Health Room Tech: Sophia Duque, Sofia_Duque@mcpsmd.org
Principal's Administrative Secretary, Claudine Biggs, Claudine_Biggs@mcpsmd.org
Attendance Office: Roxanne Fus, Roxanne_F_Fus@mcpsmd.org
Blair Security Office: Darryl Cooper, Security Team Leader, Darryl_J_Cooper@mcpsmd.org
Financial Specialist: Donna Franklin, Donna_M_Franklin@mcpsmd.org
Parent Community Coordinator: Faye Nabavian, Farzaneh_Nabavian@mcpsmd.org
Pupil Personnel Worker: Ramona Washington, Ramona_L_Washington@mcpsmd.org
Renay Johnson: Principal
Adriana Burgos-Ojeda: Grade 12 Administrator
Joseph Fanning: Grade 11 Administrator
Dirk Cauley: Grade 10 Administrator A-L
Candace Wilkerson: Grade 10 Administrator M-Z
Lavina Carrillo: Grade 9 Administrator A-L
Tracy Pettis-Jones: Grade 9 Administrator M-Z
Peter Ostrander: Magnet & CAP Programs
James Funk: School Business Administrator
MCPS News and Parent Information Page:
Montgomery Blair High School
Montgomery Blair is a nationally recognized award winning high school located in Silver Spring, MD. Celebrating 80 years of tradition, pride & excellence! The mission of Montgomery Blair High School is to ensure that all students graduate equipped with the skills to navigate their chosen paths successfully.
Follow on twitter @blairprincipal
Like Montgomery Blair High School on Facebook
Follow on Instagram @blairprincipal