Montgomery Blair High School
Principal's Newsletter November 2023
Dear Montgomery Blair High School Families,
Safely and calmly evacuating over 3600 people, the size of a city, at various times of the school day is no easy task. My staff and I train for these emergencies and do what’s best for students. A heartfelt thank you to our Montgomery County police partners, school security team, school leaders, and staff for their leadership and efforts during these crises. Their swift actions and dedication to the ongoing safety of our students and school community have been truly commendable.
As we move forward, I encourage you to continue being vigilant and proactive in maintaining a safe and secure environment. If you see something, say something. If you have any concerns or ideas regarding safety measures, please do not hesitate to share them with the administration and security staff. Your recommendations are invaluable, and together we can ensure that our school remains a safe and nurturing environment for academic achievement, social-emotional growth, and extracurricular involvement.
We have had a busy first quarter of school. It’s been great to see students, staff, and guests engaging in classrooms, special events, athletics, and many school activities. Staff and students showed their school spirit on Costume Day this year and we’ve hosted many guest speakers, see the photos below.
We have completed the first marking period and report cards will be distributed on Thursday, November 9. Please check your teens' grades and celebrate their achievements or meet with your teen's counselor to collaborate on a plan for improvement. To schedule a meeting with your teen’s counselor call, 240-740-7220, or visit the counseling department website, https://sites.google.com/mcpsmd.net/mbhs-schoolcounseling-team/home.
Finally, I want to THANK our staff, coaches, and many parent volunteers who work at our school and weekend events and advocate for more resources for our school. I truly appreciate your support.
Have a joyous Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends.
Montgomery Blair High School is one of the A. James Clark School of Engineering’s Top 25 Source Schools for 2023.🏆👏🏽
Happy Veteran's Day!
In honor of Veteran's Day, we celebrate our Staff Veterans and thank them for their services to our country and school.
Dr. John Davis, Air Force, Science Teacher
Mr. Kevin Moose, Army, Social Studies Teacher
Mr. Raymond Moreno, Army, Special Education Paraeducator
Mr. Kirk Simms, Army, School Counselor
Ms. Tracy Pettis-Jones, Army, Assistant Principal
Mr. Donald Wharton, Army, Technology Education Teacher
Ms. Zoll, Blair's Japanese Language Teacher, hosts Mr. Tomoko, First Secretary, & Ms. Taichi, Education Public Affairs, from the Embassy of Japan
BRAVO: Voces Unidas Show!
Staff Show Their Creativity on Costume Day!
Check Out Our Website's New Look And Get School News & Information
NEW ATTENDANCE REGULATION:
In order to be in line with Maryland State Department of Education guidelines and other school districts in Maryland, Montgomery County Public Schools will be reducing the number of unexcused absences from 15 to 10 for students to be withdrawn for non-attendance. Please email Roxanne Fus, Roxanne_F_Fus@mcpsmd.org, if you have questions about our attendance policy.
NEW this year:
- Breakfast: FREE FOR ALL STUDENTS, 7:00 a.m. - 7:35 a.m.
- Lunch: Regular Price: $2.80 (Middle and High); Reduced Price (All Levels): No Cost for those who qualify.
- Supper: FREE FOR ALL STUDENTS, 2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Free and Reduced-Price Meal Applications
Apply online NOW! Families who meet certain federal income standards are eligible for free or reduced-price meal benefits. All children use their MCPS ID number at the register so confidentiality is maintained and no child is overtly identified as receiving free or reduced-price meals. 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.
For more information, visit the Food Services website: https://www2.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/food-and-nutrition/meal-payments/
MCPS POLICY HANDBOOKS
In order to ensure a safe, productive, and positive learning environment, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) publishes these handbooks to help students, parents/guardians, and staff understand the Montgomery County Board of Education's core values and commitments; students' rights; school rules; expectations for student conduct; and the possible consequences for violating the rules. If you have questions, please speak to the administration at your school. If you have comments about any of these publications, please send them in writing to the MCPS Department of Communications at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Counseling Department News & Information
The school counseling department just ended an exciting Mental Health Awareness Week (October 31 - November 3) and we look forward to sharing those moments with the community! A recording of our parent mental health discussion, "Teen Mental Health: Ways to Support Your Teen" with Ms. Callaghan can be found on our website. Please check out our November Newsletter as we highlight application-based opportunities for 9th and 10th graders, along with providing SSL opportunities. You can also find our College Career Information Coordinator Ms. Delos Reyes' November Newsletter with workshop opportunities for all grade levels.
Links Embedded Above:
Counseling Department Newsletter: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1h261Czp2PHsEm3R9aZHsjT4G5bisljdC/view?usp=sharing
Mrs. Makeyda Soriano, NCC (she/her)
Resource School Counselor
Montgomery Blair High School
School Counseling Website: https://sites.google.com/mcpsmd.net/mbhs-schoolcounseling-team/home
Does your 10th-grade blazer need help with the college application process? Apply to the ACES program today to receive one-to-one support with college application applications, financial aid and Scholarships, Careers and so much more. Application Closes January 12th and notifications will be sent in early March. for questions, please email Mr. Dwaine Brown ACES student success coordinator, Montgomery Blair HS via email: Dwaine.l.Brown2@mcpsmd.org
The FINAL Deadline to Register for AP Exams is November 15
The FINAL deadline to register for AP Exams is November 15. This is also the deadline to cancel an existing exam registration. (Exceptions: Microeconomics, Physics C: E&M, Statistics)
This year, MCPS will be paying for all registration fees, late fees, and cancellation fees for all students ENROLLED IN the corresponding AP course at their school. If they are not enrolled in the corresponding AP course, or the school does not offer the AP course, the student will be responsible for paying the full price to take the exam ($102/exam). All students taking an exam will be charged $10 to cover other testing costs.
- Students will receive an e-mail detailing what they owe for AP exams after registration ends. Online payment links will be included. Students will also be able to pay with cash or check made out to “MBHS.”
Staff Development Teacher, Testing Coordinator
Montgomery Blair High School | 51 University Blvd East | Silver Spring, MD 20901-2451
office: 240.740.7261 | email: Leslie_V_Blaha@mcpsmd.org
PTSA Meeting, Ayo Atterberry, President
Joining the Montgomery Blair High School Parent Teacher Student Association (Blair HS PTSA) is one of the best ways to get connected and support the Blair community.
Please see information about the PTSA and join here: https://blairptsa.org/join/
Please see our listservs here: https://blairptsa.org/listserves/
Mark your calendars for our PTSA meeting dates at 7:00 PM:
Below are the dates for our PTSA membership meetings:
- WEDNESDAY, November 15, 2023
- Tuesday, January 16, 2024
- Tuesday, February 20, 2024
- Tuesday, April 16, 2024
- Tuesday, May 21, 2024
Our November meeting will be by Zoom with the following topics:
PTSA Business & Committee Reports
Understanding the High School Report Card
NEW AP African American Course
School Safety & Security
Topic: General PTSA Meeting, Wednesday, November 15, 7:00 p.m.
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 892 1956 5825
Blair’s Heath & Wellness Fair - Lunch Time Activities & Information For Students
English Language Development Students of the Month!
Media Center News
Your students are really settling into the new year, now that Halloween is behind us! We continue to have a full house nearly every morning and during lunch. It's great to see so many students studying, playing board games or doing puzzles, or in some cases, getting well-earned naps.
We've had a super sweet contest for fall, thanks to our intrepid media staff, who created Boo Time Books. What are they? Students pick an orange-wrapped horror book with only small clues to what might be inside - So Random! Students who took a chance on a Boo Time Book were entered for a prize, and our winner was Averyn! Keep following us on Instagram for more contests and events @https://www.instagram.com/blairlibrary/
As before, we are gearing up for some of our new old traditions! First off the mark will be our next Free Book Giveaway in November honoring Native American & Indigenous Characters & Cultures. We hope to have a nice mix of fiction and non-fiction titles to give away. Here are a couple of titles we hope to purchase from First Book Marketplace Rez Ball by Byron Graves or Harvest House by Cynthia Leitich Smith. There will be more titles, and they will be awesome too! Tell your kids to look for an announcement from the media center soon!
It's not too early to begin thinking about our upcoming Free Book Fair, and we are hoping to hold that during the second week of December. Ask your children, neighbors, and friends to begin rounding up books in good to excellent condition that they'd like to donate for this event. Last year, we gave away at least a thousand books for students to take home.
Especially popular are cookbooks, classics, and YA novels. We are happy to accept children's books too. More on this later in the month!
Keep in touch and keep reading!
Montgomery Blair HS
51 University Blvd., East
Silver Spring, MD 20901
National Honor Society
National Honor Society (NHS) is an organization that recognizes students that exemplify its 4 pillars of Service, Leadership, Character, and Scholarship. Blair would like to encourage any Juniors and Seniors interested in becoming a part of NHS to apply. You can get more information and apply by November 7th using the following handout linked here. Please email Larissa_J_Prentice@mcpsmd.org with any questions.
George B. Thomas Learning Academy Saturday School at Blair!
We are happy to welcome our Saturday School community members and families back to our building after more than a year of remote learning! This month we re-launched our traditional, in-person 1st through 12th-grade academic support (including Pre-K) classes -- building on an over 30-year tradition. Through this county-wide program, we strive to ensure every student believes they can achieve and has the tools to maximize their potential. SAT/ACT prep classes are also available at our site, in addition to general tutoring in the core subjects, for high school students. Please register online at www.saturdayschool.org.
Assistant Principal, Grade 11
Rahman A. Culver, M.P.A. (he/him) What’s this?
George B. Thomas Learning Academy Center Director
Montgomery Blair High School
51 University Blvd. East, Suite 340
Silver Spring, MD 20901
Explore Montgomery Blair High School's equity journey!
Register now for the 2022-23 year of the George B. Thomas Learning Academy Saturday School Program!
Seniors: Class of 2024
Our last scheduled day for Senior Photos is less than one month away! If you have not yet taken your senior portraits, or wish to “re-take” previously taken photos, please be sure to sign up as soon as possible. You can do so by using this link: https://seniors.legacystudios.com/montgomery-blair-hs-silverspring-md/
BLAIR'S FALL PLAY: CAESAR AND CLEOPATRA
This year’s fall production is a ‘new’ Shakespeare play – a mash-up of two of his most popular titles: Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra. Following the fortunes of ancient Rome from the assassination of Julius Caesar to the reign of the Emperor Augustus, this epic tale features many of classical history’s most famous names: Brutus, Cassius, Mark Antony and, of course, one of Shakespeare’s greatest women, the brilliant and fascinating Cleopatra.
Performed on Blair’s intimate ‘Black Box’ stage with a set and costumes that vividly represent everywhere from the crowded streets of Rome to the battlefields of Greece and the palaces of ancient Egypt, Caesar and Cleopatra will offer great opportunities for Blair’s talented cast and crew to display their talents.
Purchase your ticket here: https://gofan.co/event/1208412?schoolId=MD24810
Performances: November 9 - 18
Congratulations to our Senior Viveka Sinha✨✨🎉🎉 who received a scholarship from Calcutta University Alumni Association of Greater Washington DC on November 4, 2023. CUAA-DC is a US-based non-profit organization that is welcoming to all in our DMV area! 🎉🎉
Congratulations Blair Cheer, Division III, Champions!🏆
Congratulations to our Fall 2023 World Champions of Blair Indoor Lunchtime Soccer! Check out all the cool things happening during lunch each week at lunch.mbhs.edu
Congratulations to the Montgomery Blair High School BLAZER PRIDE Marching Band for their performance at the 2023 MMBA Maryland Marching Band State Championships! 7th place Band 6th place Color Guard 4th place Percussion
Big congratulations to Blair's Alex Risso the 4A South Regional Champion! Lots of top 15 finishes and the Boys and Girls teams placed 2nd overall! On to States!
Congratulations to the Field Hockey Regional Champions! Way to go Blazers!
Blair Football Round 2 Playoff Game at Walter Johnson HS Friday Night!
Congratulations Girls Soccer Regional Champions! Next, State Semi-Finals Game!
If you or someone you know needs resources and seasonal items, please refer them to Kindness Corner at Blair High School. Together, we provide resources and supplies to our students and families, through Kindness Corner and county and federal resources.
Please visit the resources page at https://blairpcc.weebly.com/
Kindness Corner at Blair is grateful to many for their generous contributions and we continue to collect gift cards and other items through the Kindness Corner registry.
Please contact Faye Nabavian with any questions.
WHERE IS MY TEEN?
We receive many calls and visits from parents looking for their teens after school. Here are a few safety tips for parents:
1. Speak with your teen about their after-school plans. School dismisses at 2:30 p.m. for students who have 8 class periods, and 3:20 p.m. for students with 9 class periods. After school, students must be under the direct supervision of a staff member or participating in a school-sponsored activity to remain in the building.
2. Make sure your teen has their cell phone charged and turned on after school and is checking phone messages.
3. Cell phones have a locator function, have your teen turn it on so that you can know their location.
4. Students without cell phones, can come to the main office to call their family or ask a staff member for assistance. Our main office is open until 3:50 p.m. daily.
A SAFE PLACE FOR TEENS AFTER SCHOOL? BLAIR AFTER SCHOOL RECREATION PROGRAM: REC ZONE IS BACK!
Montgomery Blair High School in partnership with Montgomery County Recreation Department offers a FREE after-school recreation program, Monday - Friday • 2:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m., in Blair's cafeteria. The program has begun, but students can still register for the program and attend on the same day. This program is open to all students. In addition, free dinner is available for students.
APPLY FOR THE REGENERON SCIENCE TALENT SEARCH WITH A TOP PRIZE OF $250,000!
Regeneron Science Talent Search is the oldest STEM competition in the nation where thousands of high school seniors can submit their original research for a chance to win funding for themselves and their schools.
To enter, students must fill out an online application that consists of essays, questions about students and their research, recommendations from teachers and mentors, and more, including the submission of an original research paper.
Applications are due by Wednesday, November 8, 2023.
The top 300 scholars will receive $2,000 each for themselves and their schools to fund research in their communities. Forty finalists will receive a minimum of $25,000 and a paid finals week experience in D.C.
Those looking for more information about the program can find it here.
ParentVUE: If you do not receive log-in information for your teen, please contact Ms. Maria Tanos, Latino Achievement Coordinator, Maria_E_Tanos@mcpsmd.org, or Ms. Andrea Lamphier, Media Specialist, Andrea_Lamphier@mcpsmd.org.
Scheduling, Transcript, Social Emotional Wellness Questions, Contact Your Teen's Counselor
School Counseling Department:
All Things College and Career: Contact Jazmine Delos Reyes, College and Career Coordinator. email@example.com
MyMCPS/Synergy Parent Portal Staff Liaison: Maria Tanos, Maria_E_Tanos@mcpsmd.org
Social Worker: Emily Callaghan, Emily_P_Callaghan@mcpsmd.org
Health Room: Full-Time School Nurse: Anisa Harris, Anisa_Harris@mcpsmd.org
Health Room Tech: Angela Romero, Angela_Romero@mcpsmd.org
Principal's Administrative Secretary, Ms. Eileen Heiss, Eileen_F_Heiss@mcpsmd.org
Attendance Office: Roxanne Fus, Roxanne_F_Fus@mcpsmd.org
Blair Security Office: Adrian Kelly, Security Team Leader, Adrian_D_Kelly@mcpsmd.org
Financial Specialist: Donna Franklin, Donna_M_Franklin@mcpsmd.org
Parent Community Coordinator: Faye Nabavian, Farzaneh_Nabavian@mcpsmd.org
Pupil Personnel Worker: Tee Clark, Tee_Clark@mcpsmd.org
Renay Johnson: Principal, Renay_C_Johnson@mcpsmd.org
Adriana Burgos-Ojeda: Grade 12, Administrator, Adriana_Burgos-Ojeda@mcpsmd.org
Rahman Culver: Grade 11, Administrator, Rahman_A_Culver@mcpsmd.org
Aaron Bernstein: Grade 10, Administrator, A-L, Aaron_M_Bernstein@mcpsmd.org
Ramona Washington, Grade 10, Administrator, M-Z, Ramona_L_Washington@mcpsmd.org
Tracy Pettis-Jones: Grade 9, Administrator, A-L, Tracy_Pettis-Jones@mcpsmd.org
Brenda Barrera Mercado, Grade 9, Administrator, M-Z, Brenda_A_BarreraMercado@mcpsmd.org
Peter Ostrander: Magnet Program, Peter_M_Ostrander@mcpsmd.org
Andrew Fields: School Business Administrator, Andrew_S_Fields@mcpsmd.org