SVHS Green and Gold

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

May 9, 2021- Edition

Update Video from Dr. Cohen

Click here to view a Newsletter Summary from Dr. Cohen.
Big picture


WE'D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU! As we begin to welcome students and the community into Seneca Valley High School 2.0, we'd love to get feedback from you regarding your experience in our school. We aim to please you 100% of the time. However, if we fall short, we'd like to know so that we can improve. We will use the feedback you provide to congratulate successes of our staff and/or identify areas of growth. Please consider completing THIS brief form to provide us with your valuable feedback.

NEW: SVHS Welcomes new assistant principal, Ms. Katie Rahmati

As many of you know, Mr. Davidson has been out on leave for most of this school year. he has decided to retire after a long and impactful career in MCPS. We are grateful for his service to our school and wish him well.

We are pleased to announce that Ms. Kataneh "Katie" Rahmati has been selected as our newest assistant principal, effective July 1, 2021. Most of you already know Ms. Rahmati who has been on our teaching staff for 8 years, most recently serving as acting assistant principal during this school year.

When asked what she would want our community to know first about her, Ms. Rahmati shared the following:

I'm thrilled to be able to continue serving the Germantown community in this new leadership role. As a former MCPS ESOL student, it has been my honor to teach in my community for 21 years. I graduated from Watkins Mill High School and started my career at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School where I taught English for seven years. I spent the next seven years teaching at Clarksburg High School, and then moved into my Staff Development role at Seneca Valley High School in 2013.

Throughout my career in education, I have been an avid advocate for English Language Learners and equitable opportunities through culturally responsive teaching and restorative practices. I have directed my own professional growth to focus on relational trust and collaborative relationships with students and staff in order to create multiple opportunities for success. I made the choice to become a teacher because I strongly believe in the potential of each child and as a member of the administrative team, I look forward to working closely with our screaming eagles to help each student build a future filled with options and proud achievements.

Senior Unity Day

The Class of 2021 will have a Unity Day Celebration on Saturday, May 22, from 7 pm until 10 pm on the Seneca Valley field in the Al Thomas Memorial Stadium. Seniors from the Class of 2021 will gather one last time to reconnect, reminisce and have fun.

This event replaces the traditional Senior Picnic and is open to all seniors. There is no charge for the event, but pre registration will be required. No outside guests will be permitted.

The evening will feature a movie on the scoreboard, trivia contests, prizes, and food at the end of the event. Seniors must bring a blanket or towel to sit on, as no chairs will be permitted on the field. More details will be shared through Senior Advisories, the Senior Canvas Page and the senior Instagram@ svhs.2021.

Questions may be directed to Jonathan Main and Lee Ann Wolfe, class sponsors. This event is hosted by the Class of 2021 and the SVHS PTSA. If parents or staff wish to help, monetary donations will be accepted by the PTSA. Contact Pam Staskal for more information.

NEW: Student Vaccinations

Effective April 16, 2021, all Maryland residents aged 16 and older will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccinations. We are hopeful that many of our age-appropriate students will be vaccinated to further ensure the safety of our school communities.

While absences to receive a vaccine shot are excused, parents must provide notes for these absences. Students should not be leaving school without prior permission and notice to the school. In addition, parents are reminded that you need to register your student for an appointment and that the student may not just show up at a vaccine location.

Also, please be aware that, as with adults who have received the vaccines, students may have adverse reactions that may necessitate them missing school the day after the get the shot. It is unclear to what extent students may experience some type of reaction, as this age group is just beginning to be vaccinated. Again, vaccine related absences are excused, but they must be documented by a parent note.

Adhering to these established protocols will help us monitor student attendance in and out of the school building.


Seneca Valley Summer School Program

Seneca Valley High School will be offering enrichment (not for credit) courses this summer. These courses will be free to students.

Click the links below to see a list of enrichment courses and to register. Registration forms must be submitted by Friday, June 11. Please note that Enrichment courses are NOT for credit toward graduation and courses may be canceled if we do not have enough students enrolled.

Students that have failed a course needed for graduation will be contacted by email to view and select an option for recovering credit. Students that wish to take courses for original credit or to earn a higher grade should sign up through MCPS Regional Summer School.​

During the week of June 21st you will receive an email confirming registration and the session details. We will do our best to accommodate your requests, however sessions will be based on enrollment. Students may be placed in a different session or time than requested based on enrollment.

If you have questions about the SVHS program offerings, please contact Kisheena Wanzer ( or Elizabeth Maxey (


Click below to see the 6th Annual SVHS International Night - virtual on Zoom with French and Spanish Honor Society members and sponsors.

International Night.April.2021

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 Signing Day 2021 - Seniors

In celebration of National College Signing Day 2021, we will be celebrating digitally! We are asking all seniors to share their plans for after high school!

Feel free to reach out if you have any questions.

Upcoming Scholarships

  • May 14 - The Joseph M. Fannell Creative and Performing Arts Scholarship - 1-$2,000 award; senior; be enrolled in a creative or performing arts program at an accredited college or university for the 2021-2022 school year; essay of no more than 1,000 words about why you have chosen to become an artist and what motivates you to continue to pursue your artistry; transcript and letter of acceptance.

  • May 14 - Mometrix College Scholarships - 1-$1,000 (first place) & 1-$500 (runner-up) awards; senior; write an essay telling about your favorite test preparation practices and why they work so well for you.

  • May 14 - Mometrix Nursing Scholarships - 1-$750 (first place) & 1-$400 (runner-up) awards; senior; write an essay where you tell about the single biggest motivating factor that drives you in your pursuit of a career in nursing.

  • May 15 - High Bridge Foundation Scholarship - 5-$2,000 & 7-$1,000 book awards; senior; for students who are facing and overcoming personal & family hardship conditions (including financial); min 3.0 GPA (those under may apply if they demonstrate academic progress given hardship conditions); attend school full time in the fall; community service; leadership.

  • May 15 - Kaiser Permanente Health Equity Scholars Program - $5,000 awards; senior; min 2.5 GPA; proof of U.S. citizenship or legal permanent residency is NOT required; plan to enroll full-time in an accredited, public or not-for-profit, four-year university, or community college, in the US, in the fall; must have a demonstrated interest in pursuing a clinical (e.g., pharmacist, physician, practitioner, nurse) or non-clinical (e.g., accounting, business administration, human resources, marketing, public policy) career in the healthcare industry; preference given to students with demonstrated financial need; program overview - English, Spanish (Español).

  • May 21 - 2021 NAACP Scholarship Award - (deadline extended to May 21!) $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 - click Lookup and enter your address); 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).

  • May 21 - Delegate Alonzo T. Washington Scholarship - multiple awards of $200 or more; senior; MD residents only; attend a Maryland institution this fall; 2 letters of rec.; transcript; volunteer/community service; completed FAFSA; create a video essay.

  • May 22 - B.Davis Scholarship - 1-$1,000 award; available to all high school juniors and seniors; write an essay of less than 1000 words on the topic: Describe the three characteristics of leadership you value most. Discuss why you believe that these traits are so important and how you feel that they are developed in an individual.

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

Upcoming Events

Ready For College? (Seniors)

Seniors - Join for a student-focused session led by current college students.

Get Ready, Get Set Workforce Readiness Conference for High School Students (10th - 12th grade)

The Get Ready, Get Set Workforce Readiness Conference for High School Students, co-sponsored by Montgomery County Public Schools, Montgomery College, and WorkSource Montgomery, has been scheduled for Thursday, May 13, 2021. The event will take place virtually from 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Although the event is focused on high school seniors who are considering and/or planning to enter a trades program or workforce upon graduation, this event also provides opportunities for sophomores and juniors who are either applying to- or currently enrolled in a career pathway program to attend the conference. Parent/guardians are welcome to attend as well.

Interested in a Summer Job? This Way ONward! Summer Hiring Event (Students 16+)

This Way ONward is a program that provides the next generation with the first jobs, mentoring, skills, and confidence they need to make their dreams a reality by partnering Boys & Girls Clubs with their local Old Navy stores. They will be hosting a virtual meet & greet with Old Navy and Boys & Girls Club staff. More information and details will be given at this event.

  • Wednesday May 19 @ 4pm (click to see the flyer)

  • Must be at least 16 years of age or older

  • If interested in this job opportunity, please complete the short survey on the registration page by clicking here.

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.

SVHS May-June College & Career Newsletter

Big picture

NEW: IB Update

IB Spotlight: This month we are focusing on the ATL category of THINKING skills with the MYP cluster of TRANSFER. Our Learner Profile attribute is KNOWLEDGEABLE.

Students are KNOWLEDGEABLE when they access, select, and summarize information, use a range of technology, make connections between sources, record and verify data and cite their sources. Being KNOWLEDGEABLE is important, but one of the goals of being KNOWLEDGEABLE is TRANSFERRING that knowledge to new or different situations. As we live in a quickly changing world, it is imperative to be able to transfer both skills and knowledge to adapt to the careers of the future.

Transfer means:

  • Using skills and knowledge in multiple contexts

  • Use effective learning strategies in subject groups and disciplines

  • Apply skills and knowledge in unfamiliar situations

  • Inquire in different contexts to gain a different perspective

  • Compare conceptual understanding across multiple subject groups and disciplines

  • Make connections between subject groups and disciplines

  • Combine knowledge, understanding and skills to create products or solutions

  • Transfer current knowledge to learning of new technologies

  • Change the context of an inquiry to gain different perspectives

Please contact Natasha Ezerski (IB DP/CP Coordinator) with any questions about the IB DP & CP Programs. Please contact Kim Becraft, (MYP Coordinator) with any questions about MYP.

Big picture

NEW: Students and Staff Give Back to the Community - Fill bags with essentials for those in need.

Mrs. V. Wideman wants to give another big shout out of thank you to Mr. Fernando Maturana for connecting her with Ms. Faith Whang, leader of the Montgomery Village Resource Center!

Also, another big thank you to Dr. Marc Cohen and Mr. Scott Smith for allowing our Seneca Valley scholars the rich opportunity to help the community and earn Student Service-Learning hours at the same time! We love taking an active role in serving our SV families and community and it is still showing! Big THANK YOU to the freshmen parents of each of the following volunteers, Mackenzie Smith, Vero Smith, Layla Stepanik., Vida Sulureh, Kendall Wideman II and Mya Wideman, for allowing their child to participate again in this event of giving!!

Some of Mrs. Wideman's homeroom and honors biology students, along with her son and alumna daughter, volunteered for round two to collaborate with Ms. Whang to make bags containing diapers, assorted dry foods, tampons and pads, assorted bras, toiletries like shampoo, conditioner, face cream, mascara, and toilet paper. This 2nd wonderful event took place on April 28th, and they are looking forward to doing it again each month to come, even throughout the summer. #GOOOOOO #EAGLES!

YES!! The Screaming Eagles have done it again! The #SVHS #EAGLES #ARE #FOR #COMMUNITY #BUILDING! The students expressed their feelings of being privileged to serve and help others and she was yet overwhelmed and excited at having the opportunity to take part again as well! GIVING BACK IS WHAT WE LOVE TO DO AT #SVHS! Check out the wonderful photos of the students showing how much they enjoyed helping others!

Big Shout Outs Of THANK YOU To Ms. Faith Whang, Mr. Jay Han, and Pastor Ben Wikner!!!!!

REPEAT: Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) testing for Math and Reading from May 11-28

Dear Parents and Students,

This notification is to inform you that all ninth grade students will participate in the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) testing for Math and Reading from May 11-28. The MAP diagnostic assessment is designed to inform instruction, recovery and intervention, and account for learning loss, as well as determine present performance levels on math and literacy standards. MCPS wants to ensure that we have full participation to accurately assess student progress and achievement. Student attendance and participation is important so that we can assess the performance data to implement supports as we plan for the next school year. Students will test during their 5th period Advisory classes on Tuesdays and Fridays, beginning May 11. Here is the MAP testing schedule:

  • MAP – Math will be administered during Advisory periods on May 11 and 14.
  • MAP – Reading will be administered during Advisory on May 18 and 21.
  • Make-Up Testing will be on May 25 and 28.

MAP testing will be conducted digitally on electronic devices (e.g. Chromebooks, laptops, and desktop computers). To prepare students for the test, their devices must be set-up properly for the MAP assessment, students can follow these instructions for device set-up . Advisory teachers will briefly review the procedures to set-up devices this week in their Advisory classes, but it is important for students to check their devices beforehand.

If you are the parent of a ninth grade student, please mark your calendars from May 11-28 for the MAP Testing administration through Advisory classes. If you have any questions, please contact Kisheena Wanzer at

Thank you,

Kisheena Wanzer

REPEAT: Return to Live Extracurricular Activities

Seneca Valley is now offering face-to-face extracurricular activities. Activities may meet one day a week, either Monday, Tuesday, or Thursday. All students may participate in these experiences.

Activity busses will be available at 4:30 each of those days, but please note that transportation to the school will not be provided for students on virtual learning that week or in whole.

All Covid practices and policies remain in full force: 6 feet distance must be kept, masks must be worn, and hands must be washed and sanitized frequently.

Sponsors may choose if they will host face-to-face engagement one day a week and/or host a special event. Sponsors are still formulating these plans, but we recommend you reach out to your club sponsor to learn more.

If you would like to participate in face-to-face extracurriculars, you must complete this google form and permission slip. These must be submitted in order to participate.

Please email if you have questions.

Thank you, Joanna C Fellows

REPEAT: Library Media Center Updates - Borrow books from the LMC, get a MCPL library card, and check out the Gaithersburg Book Festival!

Book borrowing is back! If you would like to learn more about checking out print books from the Library Media Center (LMC), click HERE.

The Friends of the Library, Montgomery County, Inc. (FOLMC) have created an MCPL virtual library card sign up campaign: Rise Up, Sign Up to encourage more teens to use the library during the pandemic and beyond. Those that sign up (and complete the Google form) have a chance to win a $25 gift certificate to the FOLMC Book Stores. Please explore these resources for more information:

The 2021 Gaithersburg Book Festival (GBF) will be held virtually, with 30+ author presentations, as well as several writing workshops for adults, teens and children scheduled throughout the month of May. Please visit the GBF website regularly and subscribe to the e-newsletter for program schedule updates. The schedule-at-a-glance can be downloaded here.

REPEAT: Literary Magazine Donations and Distribution

Now accepting donations! The SVHS Literary Magazine presents Volume V of Depths of the Valley! The Literary Magazine will be distributed the week of May 24th. The recommended donation is $10, but if you are able to give more, please do. YOU MUST PROVIDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS IN THE COMMENTS OF YOUR PURCHASE. If you would like to donate by cash or check, or are unable to donate at this time but would like the electronic version of the Literary Magazine, please email Reminder: YOU MUST PROVIDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS IN THE COMMENTS OF YOUR PURCHASE so that the Literary Magazine PDF can be shared with you as well as pick-up information for the paper copy.

Click here to request a copy.

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!


As we begin to welcome students and the community into Seneca Valley High School 2.0, we'd love to get feedback from you regarding your experience in our school. We aim to please you 100% of the time. However, if we fall short, we'd like to know so that we can improve. We will use the feedback you provide to congratulate successes of our staff and/or identify areas of growth. Please consider completing THIS brief form to provide us with your valuable feedback.