Montgomery Blair High School
Renay Johnson, Principal
Welcome Back To School August 2020
Dear Montgomery Blair High School Families,
Welcome to the 2020 - 2021 school year. I hope that you are well. During these challenging times, I hope that you've had the opportunity to engage in some fun summer activities. As you know for health safety reasons, we will remain in a virtual-only instructional model through the first semester—January 29, 2021; or until state and local health officials determine conditions in our county allow for students to return safely after the first semester.
The first day of school for all students is Monday, August 31. The school day for students is 9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. (as of 08/17/2020). Students will have access to view their schedules through Synergy, our new information system, on August 26. MCPS will mail students log-in and password information with directions on how to access their schedules and class information soon. 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.
This year, all students are enrolled in their core academic classes, required courses, electives, support classes, and special programs, according to the school-developed master schedule. Students will be assigned to different teachers by class period. This includes courses required for graduation, Honors and Advanced Placement courses, and special programs. After you receive your teen's schedule on August 26, please contact their school counselor at the information below if you have any scheduling questions.
During our virtual first semester, teachers will engage in real-time, synchronous instruction with students in class periods that are each one hour in length. There will be a maximum of four class periods scheduled for full synchronous days. During each class period, teachers will use a variety of instructional strategies and routines to build a classroom community in which all students have a sense of belonging. Real-time instruction includes clear learning objectives, activators, independent and collaborative student practice with teacher monitoring and feedback, whole-group and small-group student discussions, brief periods of direct instruction & teacher led demonstrations, student presentations and summarizers.
Attendance will be taken daily in all classes.
I look forward to meeting with our students and families to share our school success and goals for the new school year. Our theme this year, is leading and learning outside the box (the box being our traditional building). We will be teaching and learning differently this semester and I look forward to highlighting the innovative and creative ways our students engage and learn in our non-traditional setting.
Finally, I am very excited to begin my 10th year as your principal! When I arrived at Blair nine years ago, we had 2700 students, and now we have the largest high school enrollment in Maryland, with over 3200 students (we are still enrolling students) and 311 staff.
As I work with our staff to organize a smooth and innovative school opening, I always welcome new ideas and strategies that will ensure that all students graduate equipped with the skills to navigate their chosen path successfully. I know that together we will continue to make Montgomery Blair High School the best place to learn, collaborate, engage, and inspire our students to achieve. As always, please check our website at https://mbhs.edu/ and social media pages (Twitter and Instagram accounts @Blairprincipal and follow Montgomery Blair HIgh School Facebook page) for up to date school news and information.
Meet MBHS Instructional Leadership Team
Our instructional leadership team consist of administrators, department leaders, teachers and support staff representatives. We meet weekly to collaborate and develop school goal, plan professional development, design school programs, analyze school data and manage school and MCPS initiatives.https://www.smore.com/kruqs
MCPS News and Information
While school buildings have been closed, MCPS has provided information on the draft recovery plan and school operations.
You can read the latest message here: https://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/publicinfo/community/school-year-2020-2021/Community-Update-20200816.html
Students Chromebook and Back to School Essentials Distribution:
Students will receive Back to School Essentials (Textbooks, novels, instructional materials, fine arts kits, etc.) as soon as we have a full staff to organize materials and plan for a safe distribution to 3200+ students. Mr. Dirk Cauley and Joseph Fanning, Assistant Principals, are organizing distribution of school textbooks and materials for students and they will be sending you information soon.
Grade 9 and New Students Orientation: Thursday, August 27!
We will welcome 900+ 9th Graders this year! I look forward to meeting our new Blazers! Register now for 9th Grade & New Student Orientation using any of the following links. Please register only once for the session of your choice:
Session A: 10:00-11:00 https://mcpsmd.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwkdeGtrTgqEtNVWqYuSD2k3pPKDSwgHbDE
Session B: 11:00-12:00
Session C: 12:00-1:00: https://mcpsmd.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJUpdeuqpzIpGtUBGrmWb03Q1oDGNYgZogHf
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
Senior 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 received 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.
MCPS Athletics has established a plan for the year based on the county and state. The first semester will be virtual and will feature three seasons:
Season 1: September 14 – October 16
Season 2 : October 26 – December 4
Season 3: December 14 – January 22
The different seasons (fall, winter, spring) will be determined very soon and all sports will operate within the confines of their respective seasons. The virtual season will be open to all students. Each season will be 5 weeks and consist of systemwide opportunities, school engagement, sport-specific engagement and team-specific engagement. The curriculum and engagement will include activities that reflect the R.A.I.S.E core values of MCPS Athletics.
Students will need to complete a parent permission form to participate and the permission form information will be forthcoming once seasons are established. If students want to participate in any physical conditioning/skills-based activities, they must have a valid physical on file with the school. The medical clearance form SR-8 with Covid attachment can be found here: https://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/uploadedFiles/departments/athletics/health/SR-8%20Physical%20Form%20with%20Covid%20Supplement.pdf.
With the current situation for many families with financial limitations, Care for Kids has a program for free (and reduced cost) physicals. Information can be found here: https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/HHS-Program/Program.aspx?id=PHS/PHSMedCareforUninsChildrenCareForKids-P1703.html.
MCPS Athletics has a website for more information for parents and students: https://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/athletics/health/default.aspx?id=670945.
We will design a virtual athletics program for the virtual semester that will engage our students through athletics. The Athletics staff is working hard to create an experience for the students that will benefit them socially, emotionally and in their academic and athletic pursuits. More information as to registering, seasons, how to enroll and get started, and dates will be coming in the next two weeks as we receive more direction from the county. Blair Athletics believes in developing our student-athletes and that athletics are an extension of the classroom and we are looking forward to working with the Blair students soon.
Rita Boule, Athletics Specialist: Rita_J_Boule@mcpsmd.org
Music and Fine Arts:
Fine Arts teachers at Blair have been collaborating to bring the most authentic music and visual art experience to our students. Our visual art teachers have created Essential Art Materials kits for students to pick up and our music teachers will be providing students with software that will support their learning. As we move from the emergency response of Continuity of Learning to teaching and learning in a remote environment, Fine Arts teachers are really excited to provide our students with daily, live instructional opportunities. Along with athletics, our marching band, performance based courses, and honor societies are also looking forward to engaging with students virtually.
For more information, contact your teen's teacher.
School Clubs and Activities:
Apply Now for School Meal Benefits:
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:
Returning School Forms and Items From Last Year:
With the new school year upon us, we will continue to have opportunities to return instructional materials from last school year, return school information forms, as well as receive any additional resources. As a reminder, you can drop off textbooks from last year, return school forms, and other items at any time in the front lobby area. The lobby entrance is available from 9AM – 3PM every day. Please make sure to clearly identify the student name and ID number on each item and place informational forms in a sealed envelope.
Links to forms:
Student Information Form:
G-Suite for Education: https://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/forms/pdf/271-2.pdf
FARMS (Free & Reduced Meals):
We have a large student population (3200+ students and the best way to resolve a concern is to contact your child's teacher, department resource teacher, school counselor, or assistant principal. These professionals are here to help you.
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 Mediation 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, Ms. 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
Montgomery Blair PTSA...
PTSA Families Information can be found www.blairptsa.org
The mission of the Blair PTSA is to support the academic success and personal growth of all students, and to unify, engage, and empower families, staff, and the broader school community, through purposeful meetings, events, program funding, advocacy, and informative communication. All families are invited to join the PTSA and be engaged in their children’s education. Mark the 3rd Tuesday of each month as “PTSA night” in your calendar and look for information on programs and activities to support all Blair students towards success. Contact: President@BlairPTSA.org for more information.
Ms. Mariama Orange
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.
- 8/24 First day of school for teachers
- 8/27 Grade 9 and New Students Orientation
- 8/31 First day of school for students
- 9/4 Early release day for students
- 9/7 Holiday; Labor Day: Schools and offices closed
- 9/16 Senior College Application Planning Meeting; 5:30 PM
- 9/16 Back-to-School Night; 7:00 PM
- 9/24 DCC Options Fair for 8th grade students & parents
- 9/24 College Admissions Event: For families of 11th and 12th graders; 5:30 PM
- 9/26 School Fundraiser at El Golfo, 5:00 PM. - 9:00 PM
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.
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