Montgomery Blair High School

Principal's Newsletter

November 2020

Dear Blair Families,

I hope that you and your family are well during these challenging times. It is hard to believe that the first marking period ends on Friday, November 6. Report cards will be available in ParentVue and mailed home on November 24, 2020.

Schools will be closed for students on Tuesday, November 3 for the Election and Wednesday, November 4, for staff professional development. Our complete schedule is available below and on our website,

Given the hyperpartisanship, COVID pandemic, and civil unrest that have created an election season more tense than any other in recent memory, we are prepared to provide our students and families support in navigating the weeks ahead. In addition to staff-wide training around best practices for discussing sensitive topics in a non-biased manner, we will also conduct workshops later in November during our Innovation Periods to provide students guidance on using their political voices responsibly and constructively. For resources that provide guidance on how to tackle these issues in the home, we recommend research-backed suggestions from Britannica for Parents and National Geographic.

In addition, Montgomery County Public Schools has shared the following letter to parents on the Election:

This is a reminder that Virtual Check-in days are for teachers to support students. Please schedule a meeting with your child's teacher during non-instructional times. As always, the best way to have your questions answered or concerns resolved is to contact your child's teacher, department resource teacher, school counselor, or grade level/program administrator; our staff directory is below. These professionals are here to help you.

Our staff directory is here, In addition, you can call the main office Monday - Friday at 301-649-2800, 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m, and our office staff will assist you.

Thank you for your support!

Renay Johnson


MCPS Grab and Go Meals will not be distributed on Election Day, Tuesday, November 3.

Information on Food Resources / Recursos Alimenticios - COVID-19 Information Portal, Montgomery County, MD is here:
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Montgomery Blair School Counseling Department Updates

MBHS Math Support

Blazers, here are some options for you:

  • Go to virtual check-in with the teacher on Wednesdays (by period)

  • Send emails to the teacher and request help during the Student Support time (B Days, 2:45-3:15 p.m.)

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Blair Network Communication

BNC recently upgraded it’s website,, with a new look and a few changes to the overall navigation system. It’s easier now than ever to stay up with the latest Blair news and to easily access the BNC archives for past content. Shout out to BNC Executive Director, Vivian Li, who designed the new changes and Kevin Higgs, a Blair senior, who spent countless hours re-coding the website with the new changes. Both Vivian and Kevin are in the Magnet program. For a quick overview of the new changes to our website check out this nifty video below created by Elizabeth Leca, a sophomore and BNC editor.

To keep up with InfoFlow follow us on Twitter @bncblair and on Instagram @bnc.infoflow. Thanks! Mr. Mayo and the BNC Team

BNC Online's New Look!

Silver Chips Online News and Newspaper

Montgomery Blair High School's Online Student Newspaper, Ms. Elie, Staff Sponsor:

Silver Chips Newspaper, Mr. Stelzner, Staff Sponsor:

Diversity and Inclusion

This week we released the inaugural issue of Blazing Toward Equity, the companion monthly e-newsletter to our diversity, equity, and inclusion resources website. The goal of the e-newsletter is to continue to provide teachers with additional instructional support, particularly as it regards cultural responsiveness and equitable, anti-bias pedagogy. You may access the current issue at the following here: Blazing Toward Equity: November 2020 Issue.

Mr. Rahman Culver

MBHS Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator

Student Attendance

It is our expectation that all students will attend the live class sessions every day. Parents / guardians should send Ms. Roxanne Fus, an email ( 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:

❏ The attendance secretary will then reconcile the absence on the student record.

❏ Students with extenuating circumstances should communicate with their grade level / program administrator.

Student Service Learning Information:

All SSL forms should be sent to

Students can learn more about virtual/remote SSL guidelines HERE.

Students may use free apps such as Genius Scan and Scannable to create PDFs of their SSL forms.

For students/families

Senior Class of 2021

Senior Portraits:

We are extremely excited to capture the joy of senior portraits for the Class of 2021! With the challenges raised by COVID-19, Lifetouch/Prestige Portraits has developed policies, photographer training, and procedures for the safety of our employees, Class of 2021 seniors, and our school community partners. The first session of Class of 2021 senior portraits will be held at Montgomery Blair High School on November 9, 11,14, and18, December 2, 9, and 10.

Please note that the no-charge, yearbook-only sitting option is not available to select as a sitting on the website. If the no charge, 2-pose yearbook option is the desired sitting level you should select the Basic sitting level online when you confirm but not pay the sitting fee. You can alert the team when you arrive for their appointment that you just want the no-charge yearbook sitting.


• Be sure to confirm your portrait session online once you receive your mailer with your unique code.

• If you do not receive a packet in the mail or if you lose your code, you can go to and look up your information by and search for the school and then enter your first and last name information. If, in that process, your name is not listed, that means you were not included in the data file we received from the school. You will then need to call our Customer Service team to schedule. That number is 800-445-1189.

For more information, please contact Blair Staff, Dr. Dana Simel, or Mr. James Funk,

Visit our Silverlogue website at

Senior T-Shirt and Cap & Gown sizes are due by December 1, 2020, indicate your sizes at the link below:

To ensure clarity about graduation requirements for the Class of 2021 as it relates to the Maryland Comprehensive Assessment Program (MCAP), the high school graduation requirements document for the Class of 2021 has been updated, here. Note that MCAP requirements include passing MCAP assessments OR taking no-fault assessments this school year.

SAT / ACT Administration

SAT Update: MCPS and College Board are moving forward with plans to administer the SAT to registered students on Saturday, November 7 and Saturday, December 5. College Board registration information is here. The focus of this effort is ensuring that seniors graduating in the Class of 2021 have additional opportunities to access these college entrance examinations.

SAT test centers for November 7 include: Walter Johnson, Whitman, Clarksburg, Quince Orchard, Watkins Mill, Einstein, Wheaton, Damascus, and Springbrook High Schools.

SAT support is available for Class of 2021 Seniors: MCPS and College Board are providing support with testing fee waivers and transportation for the November and December SAT, if needed. Grade 12 students can arrange for fee waivers and a transportation request to an MCPS test center by contacting their school counselor or college and career information coordinator.

ACT: Additional information about the possibility of ACT National administrations in December 2020 and February 2021 will be shared soon.


College Board has announced a new PSAT date on January 26, 2021, which MCPS will be planning to offer as health and safety conditions allow. For Grade 11 students, the January PSAT administration will have the same benefits as the October PSAT/NMSQT, including eligibility for programs administered by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

MBHS Athletics

Visit this link to read the latest updates in Montgomery Blair Athletics,

Rita J. Boulé, CAA

Blair Athletic Director

Spanish Honor Society

The Spanish Honor Society is accepting applications for the 2020-2021 school year through the deadline of 11/6; please contact sponsor Sra. Karen Araujo with any questions.

Weekly Blazer Community Tech Support

We continue to admire the work you are doing to support your students. We want you to know that additional help with Zoom, StudentVUE, ParentVUE, and myMCPS Classroom will be available every Wednesday morning at 9:00 to 10:00. Ms. Lamphier (Media Specialist), Mr. Hammond (Blair's IT Specialist), Ms. Young (Latino Achievement Coordinator), and, when possible, Dr. Fields (Blair's Staff Development Teacher). Ms. Young will be able to help students and parents in Spanish.

Ms. Young can also help by phone. Here is her phone number: 240-630-2079.

Here is a form in English and Spanish to provide the information we might need to help you:

Here is the Wednesday morning Zoom link (Register in advance for this meeting)
Meeting Passcode: 053291

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

We hope to see you during these Zoom sessions!

DonorsChoose Fundraiser for Inclusive Titles

I want to make sure my students have exactly what they need to succeed, so I've created a project through DonorsChoose , the nonprofit classroom funding site for public school teachers.

Right now, any contribution you make to my project will be doubled by Equal Justice Initiative. This is an amazing opportunity for my students! Your donation will brighten my students' school year.

Here's our project: Inclusive Titles that Represent Our Community

To have your donation matched, just make a contribution on that page. (Donations will be doubled automatically, but only while funding lasts.)

Thank you for considering a gift to our students!

First Book and DonorsChoose campaign provides hard copies of books to Project LIT @Blair!

Once again, Blazers and friends of Blazers came through! Blair's Project LIT is a new club this year. We are small but mighty! Our first campaign was fully funded right out of the gate and we purchased hard copies of books for all club members!

At our first meeting, students selected the books we wanted to read and we put up a DonorsChoose Campaign to purchase hard copies of the books because students said they preferred hard copies to more screen time! Thank you so much for helping our students get out of self-described "reading slumps" and providing a way to bring our students together.

Project LIT is more than a book club; it's a way to bring students together in support of each other, a love of reading, and to help promote to our entire community literature that reflects who we are! Students will also participate in Service Learning projects to bring diverse reads to others in our community.

Andrea Lamphier

Montgomery Blair HS

51 University Blvd., East

Silver Spring, MD 20901


School Meals are Free for All Students

Montgomery County Public Schools is providing curbside meal service at Blair. Breakfast and lunch meals will be provided from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday (double meals), no meal service on Thursday, and triple meal service on Fridays, to help address food insecurity for MCPS students over the weekend.

We ask that you wear a facemask and practice physical/social distancing as you pick up meals. Menu information is available on the main Menu webpage, Allergens, nutrients and other information can be found on the Wellness & Nutrition webpage.

Complete the 2020 - 2021 online application for fee or reduced price school meals. Click the link below and apply now, 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.

Show Your School Spirit

Purchase Blair Spirit Wear and surprise your favorite Blazers! It's the Blair Apparel Fanshop! And you can also get a Blair face covering or a Blair fanny pack.

Blair Online School Payment Center

Silver Chips subscriptions, lab fees, AP Exam fees, and more can be paid for easily at Blair's Online School Payments store; Seniors can even pay for their Cap and Gown (though only after they fill out their size and gown color preference information here)!

Membership Matters: Join Blair's PTSA, Mariama Orange, PTSA President:

Join the PTSA:

The annual PTSA Blair Citrus Sale is going on now! Order online now and get your fruit delivered to your door...or send it as a holiday gift anywhere in the continental US; ordering deadline is 11/13.

Kindness Corner

The Kindness Corner at Blair is grateful for the school community and

the PTSA for coming together in order to spread kindness to our community.

Now more than ever we are all working together to help each other. It goes to show how much we can do to lift each other up in trying times!

In a collaborative effort, we have created a “Kindness Corner Registry” that will have items needed and will be updated regularly to reflect the immediate needs of our community.

You can also assist us by spreading the word however you can. Together, we can do this!

Farzaneh Nabavian

Parent Community Coordinator


COVID-19 Rent Relief Program for County Residents

The Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is providing short-term rental assistance to eligible families that have experienced financial loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While funds are available, the program will provide up to $4,000 to eligible households to cover the cost for back rent (arrears) and/or a rent credit for future months. The program is funded through a $20 million supplemental appropriation to DHHS.

You can learn more and apply for the rent relief program at this website.

Recording of Let’s Talk Respect Town Hall Now Available

If you missed the Let’s Talk Respect: Preventing Sexual Harassment and Assault Town Hall on October 13, you can watch the recording here.

MCPS collaborated with the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office, the Montgomery County Police Department, the Victim Assistance Sexual Assault Program, Choose Respect Montgomery, Coaching Boys Into Men, EveryMind, and Identity, Inc. to provide a forum for students and the community to:

● Acknowledge the student stories shared on social media;

● Share MCPS response and updates (immediate, short-term and long-term actions);

● Provide an anonymous, safe space for students to ask questions;

● Collect student feedback on ways to better support students who are victimized by sexual assault and harassment; and

● Connect students and families to appropriate resources.

Panelists included:

Lisette Dardon, site manager, Watkins Mill High School Wellness Center, Identity, Inc.

Captain Amy Daum, director, Montgomery County Police Department Special Victims Unit

Debbie Feinstein, chief, Special Victims Unit, Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office

Rachel Larkin, director, Crisis Prevention and Intervention, EveryMind

Jason Lomax, teacher and varsity football coach, Rockville High School

Rafiah Prince, Victim Assistance Sexual Assault Program

Ed Clarke, chief safety officer, MCPS

Greg Edmundson, director, Student Welfare and Compliance, MCPS

Ed Reed, resource counselor, Robert Frost Middle School

Choose Respect Video PSA Contest Accepting Entries

The 11th Annual Choose Respect Montgomery video PSA contest is now accepting entries. This contest challenges middle and high school students to create an original 50- to 70-second public service announcement video to promote awareness of dating abuse and domestic violence among teens. The contest is open to students in Grades 6 through 12, and students may enter on their own or as a group. The top three videos win cash prizes. The submission deadline is Monday, March 1, 2021. More information can be found at

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Blair Information

If you do not receive log-in information for your teen, please contact Ms. Melissa Young, Latino Achievement Coordinator, or Ms. Andrea Lamphier, Media Specialist,

Student Schedules:

Student schedules are now available in ParentVUE and StudentVUE. Parents and students will need to log in to the report using the student’s ID and password. Report Link:

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.

Melissa Young, is our MyMCPS/Synergy Parent Portal Staff Liaison,

Retrieving Medication From Last Year: Contact Joseph Fanning,

Health Room: Full Time School Nurse: Anisa Harris,

Health Room Tech: Sophia Duque,

Principal's Administrative Secretary, Claudine Biggs,

Attendance Office: Roxanne Fus,

Blair Security Office: Darryl Cooper, Security Team Leader,

Financial Specialist: Donna Franklin,

Parent Community Coordinator: Faye Nabavian,

Pupil Personnel Worker: Ramona Washington,


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

Choice and High School Application Programs for 2021-22

  • The Grade 8 High School Common Application for High School Regional/Countywide Programs remains open to parents/students in ParentVUE, with a deadline of 11/6. More information about any adjustments to admission processes during the pandemic will be coming soon.

  • Information about upper grade high school special programs such as Thomas Edison High School of Technology, Early College, JROTC, Fire Science and Rescue, and more for 2021-22 can be found here. Applications for these programs can be found here, by 11/6.

  • Grade 8 students who are residents of the Downcounty or Northeast Consortium submit their high school choices by 11/6.

  • This information has been sent to families direction and additional information can be found on the Special Programs webpage.

WXY Interactive MCPS Boundary Tool

The second phase of the Districtwide Boundary Analysis will focus on engagement with an Interactive Boundary Explorer tool, which will provide MCPS stakeholders a deeper look and better understanding of school boundaries. The tool has been developed by WXY Studios (WXY) as part of its ongoing work with the district to provide a comprehensive assessment of MCPS boundaries by analyzing various data points.

Released in March, an interim report highlighted key aspects of the data analysis in utilization, diversity, and proximity. The report also includes boundary benchmarking data from other school districts and a summary of community engagement. You can learn more about the Boundary Analysis at .

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Montgomery Blair High School

Montgomery Blair High School is a nationally recognized award winning high school located in Silver Spring, MD. Celebrating 86 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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