Montgomery Virtual Academy K-5 News

HAPPY LABOR DAY! Monday, September 5, 2022

Look for the icon of the person to translate this newsletter into other languages.

Busque el icono de la persona para traducir este boletín a otros idiomas.

A Note from the Dean's Desk

Greetings Montgomery Virtual Academy Voyagers!

What an incredible first week of school we had last week! I was amazed to see the progress we've made in the year since we first opened our zooms and I was overjoyed to see the smiles on kids' faces as they connected with their teachers and started making new friends! I truly hope your first week felt like a success too, and I encourage you to please reach out this week if you or your child need assistance.

This newsletter contains many new announcements for the weeks ahead. If you missed last week's newsletter, you can access a newsletter archive on our website or from the link at the bottom of this newsletter.

I want to thank all of you all for your support & partnership! I am so glad you are joining us on our voyage!

Mrs. Cassandra Heifetz



  • Monday, September 5 - No School for Labor Day Holiday
  • Thursday, September 8- MVA Parent Teacher Council Meeting
  • Saturday, September 10- MVAPTC Fundraiser & Social at Filicori Zecchini
  • Monday, September 12-Friday, September 16- SPIRIT WEEK!
  • Tuesday, September 13 - Back to School Night 6:30-8:00 PM
  • Tuesday, September 13 - Instrumental Music Interest Meeting 8:00-8:30 PM
  • Friday, September 30- Picture Make-up Day


Picture Make-Up Day: 9/30/22

Students who missed the Student Picture Day on August 19 or wish to have a re-take, can sign-up for Student Portrait Make-Up Day on September 30, 2022. Getting your child's student portraits for the 2022-2023 school is as easy as 1-2-3!

1. Please use this link to sign-up for an appointment:

2. Please use this link to select and pre-pay for your photo package. Packages will be mailed to your home. Shipping charges are included.

3. Please come to 15 West Gude Drive, 2nd Floor at your scheduled appointment time on September 30.

MVA Media Center Announcements

To start the school year our media specialist, Tracy Jeffcott, and media assistant Ellen Rahr will be visiting lower school classrooms to introduce students to our new MVA Library Media Center Website. Click here to view the site! The Media Center Website is also linked at the top of the Montgomery Virtual Academy website.

MVA Fourth & Fifth Grade Instrumental Music Program

Exciting News! The MVA Lower School will be offering Instrumental Music Lessons to 4th & 5th grade students. Students will have free group lessons weekly during the school day.

Students in grades 4 & 5 will be offered the opportunity to learn the following instruments: Clarinet, Trumpet, Percussion (snare drum & bells), Violin and Viola.

Students MAY also be offered Flute, Trombone, and Cello.

Students WILL NOT be offered Saxophone or Baritone.

The MVA has been allotted an extremely limited number of instruments for students so we will follow these procedures

  • Families who can rent an instrument from a music store are strongly encouraged to do so.

  • If your family can not rent an instrument from a music store, please send Mrs. DeStefanis an email with the name of your home school and the instrument you need. I will work with your home school to try to find an instrument for you.

  • If there are no instruments available at your home school, then an MVA instrument will be considered for use by the student.

If your child is interested in participating in the MVA Lower School Instrumental Music Program this year please come to the Back To School Night Instrumental Music zoom meeting on 9/13 from 8:00-8:30pm After attending the meeting, please register your child for Instrumental Music lessons by using this link Please only register once per child.

Then go to MCPS Instrumental Music to learn more about how to rent an instrument. Finally look at this shopping list to be sure you get everything your child needs for Instrumental Music.

Please e-mail me with any and all questions!

The Instrumental Music zoom meeting will be held on the following link:

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 874 1578 2156

Passcode: mva

Can't wait to get started!

Rebecca DeStefanis

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. Please note that there is a kick-off event for interested students and their families on September 27.

The flyer for Kids for Equity is coming soon!

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.

School Schedule and Attendance

The Montgomery Virtual Academy follows the traditional MCPS School Year calendar (see link below). Monday, August 29 is the first day of school for all students!

Zooms will open at 8:50 a.m. daily and hours of instruction are 9:00-11:35 AM and 12:35-3:25 PM. There is a daily wellness break from 11:35 AM -12:35 PM. Students should login at 8:50 ensure they are prepared when instruction begins.

Students need to eat meals before school, during the wellness break, and after school. Please do not serve meals during the instructional blocks.

Students logging in after 9:00 a.m. will be reported tardy. Parents are asked to use this Google Form to report an absence, late arrival, early dismissal, and submit attendance notes.

Please see the Virtual Academy website or click below to see the Daily Schedules, including the early release schedule, and the late opening schedule.

Report an Absence Form

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

Maximizing Student Engagement, Participation, and Attendance

Research indicates that meaningful personal engagement with their teachers and peers is one of the most important predictors of student learning and achievement.

As a result of a review of the research, the Montgomery Virtual Academy (MVA) presents the following revisions to its policies and expectations around student engagement, participation, and attendance for the 2022-2023 school year and beyond.

  1. All students are expected to appear on camera for the majority of every class
  2. Students should actively demonstrate engagement throughout each lesson.
  3. Students who demonstrate no engagement for the entire class period may be marked “Absent” for that class period.
  4. The MVA continues to expand opportunities for students to engage meaningfully with teachers, staff, and each other outside of the classroom.

For more detailed information on these expectations, please see:


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:

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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, please visit

A support guide for the Community Tech Support portal is available here:

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


The following MVA Parent Council Announcements are being shared as a public information courtesy.

MVAPTC (Montgomery VIrtual Academy Parent Teacher Council) welcomes you to the 2022-2023 school year!


Our first MVAPTC meeting will be held on Thursday, September 8th at 6:30 PM. We will have a discussion with the deans, talk about the upcoming school year and more. The meetings will be held on the second Thursday of each month. The zoom link is:, the Meeting ID is: 830 0426 4203 and the Passcode: mvaptc

The 2021-2022 school year meeting slides, meeting minutes and other documents are available for review on the MVAPTC website located at The MVAPTC is the MVA parent-teacher organization with non-profit status and insurance.

Upcoming Socials:

Saturday, September 10th from 1:00 to 3:00 PM on the patio of Filicori Zecchini located at 12430 Park Potomac Avenue, Potomac, MD. Food and drinks will be available for purchase. Filicori Zecchini is providing 10% of the purchases back to the MVAPTC, if mentioned at the time of your purchase. If the weather is bad and the event has to be moved indoors, masking is requested.

Sunday, October 2nd from 2:00 to 4:00 PM, we will meet 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.

Fun Event:

Lone Oak Brewery is holding an all county Back to School Food Truck Festival, on Sunday, September 11, 2022 from 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM where the school with the most school spirit wins $500. Receive 10% off your purchases if you wear your MVA school shirt (available for purchase in the school office). Please note that this is not a formally organized MVAPTC social but just a fun event for your family to participate in to show your school spirit. Lone Oak is a family-friendly, all-outside venue with generously spaced picnic tables and a large play area for children. For more details:

Spirit Wear:

Shirts are available for purchase at the MVA office. Shirts are self-service and after you select your shirts for purchase, please pay at Shirts will also be available at the socials for purchase. Children and adult sizes available in a variety of styles and colors.


Dues/Membership for the 2022-2023 school year are:

  • $5 for staff membership
  • $10 for individual/ two person membership
  • $15 for family/household membership.
MVAPTC also has a pay what you can/want option with a $2 fee to cover square costs. Donations are also greatly appreciated.

Dues/membership are not required to attend meetings and participate in events/activities, but greatly appreciated to help pay for the yearly insurance, organization expenses, teacher appreciation, social events and school needs/wants.


MVAPTC is also seeking to replace fill the high school vice president board position. No experience necessary. Please contact Jessica at to volunteer.


Volunteers are needed to host socials, fundraise, teacher appreciation, translation, assist with the facebook page and website, run and participate in committees and much more. Please contact Jessica at to volunteer.

Teacher Appreciation:

Teacher Wish Lists are located in the facebook discussion group. Lets support our teachers by helping them fill their wishlists. Facebook Discussion Group: MVAPTC Discussion Group - Montgomery Virtual Academy Families & Staff(MD)

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!