Montgomery Virtual Academy K-5 News

Week of October 16, 2022

Look for one of these icons to translate this newsletter.

Busque uno de estos iconos para traducir este boletín.

A Note from the Dean's Desk

Greetings Montgomery Virtual Academy Voyagers!

We really enjoyed connecting with some our families last week during the Dean's Coffee on Monday. We were able to discuss several topics relating to what is going well and any areas for improvement. We will be sharing information gained with our Instructional Leadership Team as we are always considering ways that we can improve the school experience for all of our students and families.

I want to thank all of you all for your support & partnership! We are so happy to have you on our voyage!

Mrs. Cassandra Heifetz



  • Sunday, October 16- NEW DATE: MVAPTC Social & Fundraiser- Ben and Jerry's, Rockville
  • Thursday, October 20 - MVAPTC Special Education Committee Meeting
  • Monday, October 24 - No school for students
  • Friday, October 28 - Grade 5 Strathmore Concert & Field Trip (details below)
  • Friday, October 28 - Fall Festivities (more info to come from your child's teachers)
  • Monday, November 7 - No school for students
  • Tuesday, November 8 - Election Day, schools and offices closed
  • Thursday, November 10 - MVAPTC meeting 6:30pm-8:00pm
  • Monday, November 14 - Marking Period 1 Report Cards available in ParentVUE


Technology Challenges

We are aware that some of our students have been experiencing challenges with accessing instruction in the recent weeks. We have been in close contact with our partners in the technology office to try to identify what might be causing some of the specific issues. To support this work, we have been gathering data from our staff to try to identify any patterns. As we work to find a more comprehensive solution, we shared some tips at the MVAPTC meeting this past week. The tips that were shared address obstacles that we typically see, as well as the current issues with the password resets and Zoom functionality issues. These tips have helped some of our students, but not all. In most cases, the issue is not with the device itself and does not require a device swap. Please continue to reach out to our main office at 240-740-6060 and email the Community Help Desk mailbox at . We thank you for your continued patience and willingness to help problem-solve.

Weather-related Emergency Preparedness Tips

Safety of our staff, students and their families is of utmost importance to us and we know that one of the best ways to prepare for the unexpected is by being proactive with a safety plan. We are providing the tips below to our families to encourage you to talk to your children about a safety plan in the event of an unexpected weather-related emergency.

  • Designate and identify internal spaces such as interior hallways or a windowless bathroom as safe areas to go to in the event of a tornado.

  • Basements offer the best protection. Use interior rooms and hallways on the lowest floor and away from windows. Rooms with wide spans of open space and windows should not be used.

  • Monitor weather information from local radio and television stations or phone-based weather apps

  • Be prepared for a power failure during a tornado or other weather-related emergency. Access to a flashlight, or other equipment may be necessary.

  • In the event a teacher or staff member loses internet or power, classroom instruction should pause. Students may attempt to connect every 30 minutes if conditions at their home are safe.

  • In the event a student experiences severe weather at home, staff will check to see if the student has an adult present and encourage the student to follow the directions of the adult in the household. If no adult appears present, staff will issue the above guidelines to the child.

  • Students should log-off and move to a safe location if weather conditions worsen or feel unsafe.

The following websites may be helpful in providing families with resources to learn more and develop a plan that will best suit the needs of your family.

Counselor's Corner

Please click this link to view this month's counselor newsletter for information about the Holiday Giving Project and the Middle School Magnet Consortium Open Houses.

Extracurricular Clubs and Activities

In an effort to create more social opportunities for students this year, we are working to expand our after-school clubs. Two clubs that will be starting in October are the Rainbow Club and the Kids for Equity Club. Both clubs will be run by MCPS central office staff and high school students in partnership with MVA staff. Other clubs are also in development and will be shared as information becomes available.

Please click here or on the picture to view the flyer for Rainbow Club (in English & Spanish).

Please click here or on the picture below to view the flyer for the Kids for Equity Club! (in English & Spanish)

Students in the MVA are also permitted to participate in extracurriculars at their home school. Parents interested in an after-school activity at their child's school should contact the school for information and details.

Grade 5 Strathmore Concert & Field Trip

Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) once again is pleased to offer the opportunity for all Grade 5 students to attend the Student Concerts presented this year by Strathmore Artists in Residence Blues Band on October 28, 2022 at The Music Center at Strathmore. This program gives our students exposure to the wonderful world of jazz and blues music in a concert hall setting. Our goal is to inspire a love and appreciation of music and the arts at a young age that will grow and develop over a lifetime. MCPS is able to provide these

concerts at no cost to families.

Students may only attend these performances in the company of their school. For safety reasons, parents may not drop off or pick students up from The Music Center at Strathmore. Although we encourage everyone to get the full experience of a live performance by attending in-person, there will also be a virtual option provided for students whose families may be more comfortable experiencing the performance in a home environment.

Transportation for MVA students will be provided from three locations across the county.

  • Dr. Sally K. Ride Elementary School, 21301 Seneca Crossing Dr. Germantown, MD
  • Virtual Academy Office, 15 W. Gude Dr., Rockville, MD
  • Glenallan Elementary School, 12520 Heurich Road, Silver Spring, MD

Fifth grade teachers sent additional information to families that include the permission slip to be signed. The form should be completed as soon as possible, even if you plan for your child to attend virtually. We want to make sure we are able to make the appropriate arrangements for all to participate in this opportunity.

Report an Absence Form

Please use this form to report a student absence for any Montgomery Virtual Academy student in Grades Kindergarten - Grade 12.


Saturday School Registration Now Open

Saturday School provides low cost, core academic support aligned with Montgomery County Public Schools curriculum, plus other specialized programs. Standard registration costs $85 per child. There is a reduced fee of $40 for families who are eligible for Free and Reduced Meals (see announcement below to see if you qualify.)

Students may start any Saturday that the program is in session. Click below to register and to find the center closest to you or opt for the online option.

Free and Reduced Meals Application Now Open!

Families who meet certain federal income standards are eligible for free or reduced-price meal benefits. All Virtual Academy families are encouraged to complete this year's application for Free and Reduced Meals. See flyer below for additional benefit that may be available to qualifying applicants. Apply online at to determine if your family qualifies.

Only one application is needed for all students in a household. A new application must be completed for any family requesting assistance this school year. The online application is now open for families to submit applications.

At this time, due to changes in federal funding, weekly meal box distribution to Virtual Academy families is suspended. Families who need food assistance are asked to contact the counselors by emailing or or call the Montgomery County Food Access Call Center at 311

For more information and How-To videos visit the Food Services website:

Big picture

The "Ready for School" Initiative Now Provides Extra "Bonuses" for Eligible Families

Families who are complete an updated Free & Reduced Meals application and are eligible for benefits may be able to receive additional financial assistance and bonuses.

Ready for School Initiative and Montgomery County are providing several “bonuses” for eligible families, including:

  • $200 worth of free classes from the Recreation Department (provided by the Montgomery County Department of Recreation);
  • Discounts on extracurricular fees (provided by MCPS);
  • Reduced-price AP exam fees (provided by MCPS and College Board); and
  • Up to a $40 reimbursement for school supplies (provided by Ready for School Initiative).

To participate, families must follow three easy steps:

  1. Fill out an MCPS Free School Meal Form (
  2. Share their free meal eligibility letter with Ready for School Initiative
  3. Receive the bonuses

For more details and to submit visit:


Eligibility for Free School Meals is determined based on the the size of your family and your household income. You do not have to be a US citizen to qualify for Free School Meals.

MCPS does not report meal application information to migrant, immigration or refugee offices.

Additional Info also at:

Adult Literacy & Language Courses

The George B. Thomas Learning Academy offers two face-to-face Adult Literacy classes and one virtual (weeknight) class to parents of MCPS students. The program gives parents the capacity to support their children’s success and navigate through the processes of the MCPS school system. The classes offer basic, intermediate, and advanced levels and focuses on listening skills, reading, comprehension, speaking and writing.

Parents of MCPS students from any school in the county may attend after registering.

See flyer for details:

Additionally, in collaboration with MCPS, the Literacy Council of Montgomery County (LCMC) is offering free English as a Second Language classes for MCPS parents. The classes will be held virtually and in-person, and there are options for all levels of English speakers. They are available to any MCPS parent for whom English is not their first language. Parents can complete this interest form to receive a placement test.

Technology Support for Virtual Academy Families

If you are having technology issues, please submit an e-ticket by emailing your question or issue to 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:

Community Tech Support Portal Support Guide:

To request tech support or submit a Chromebook Repair Request

Zoom Log in information & Troubleshooting

Zoom for Students /Zoom para estudiantes

myMCPS Classroom/Canvas Information & Troubleshooting

Having trouble logging in? Please review the support guide

MCPS Parent Academy

Families and students can stay engaged throughout the school year with Parent Academy TO GO, a series of webinars for families to watch at home. The webinars are available on the Parent Academy website. Registration is available here.


The following MVA Parent Council Announcements are being shared as a public information courtesy. The MVAPTC is the MVA parent-teacher organization with non-profit status and insurance.

MVAPTC Announcements:

1) All School Meetup/Fundraiser on Sunday, October 16th
2) MVAPTC Special Education Committee Meeting on October 20

3) MVAPTC Meeting on Thursday, November 10th


1) NEW DATE!! All School Social/Fundraiser: Sunday, October 16th from 2:00 to 4:00 PM on the patio of Ben and Jerry’s, located 199-F East Montgomery Avenue Rockville, MD 20850. Sweet treats are available for purchase and the store is providing 20% of the purchases back to the MVAPTC, if mentioned during of your purchase. This is a dog friendly event if your dog is friendly/not aggressive, vaccinated and good around young children. Ben and Jerry’s has dog ice cream for sale. MVA Shirts will be available for purchase.

2) MVAPTC Special Education Committee Meeting will be held this Thursday, October 20th. The topic will be: Sports & social activities: What is available in the DMV?

3) MVAPTC Meeting: Thursday, November 10th at 6:30 PM. Meetings will be held on the second Thursday of each month. Meeting slides, meeting minutes and other documents are available for review on the MVAPTC website located at We are working on getting this years meeting slides and minutes translated into Spanish. The zoom link is:, the Meeting ID is: 830 0426 4203 and the Passcode: mvaptc

Helpful Links:


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:

Please contact Jessica, MVAPTC President, at to volunteer, or with any questions or concerns.


Montgomery Virtual Academy Website

Check out our website to access the staff directory and other resources!