Montgomery Virtual Academy K-5 News

Week of November 13, 2022

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A Note from the Dean's Desk

Greetings Montgomery Virtual Academy Voyagers!

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, it's a wonderful time to take an extra moment to express gratitude to your child's teachers! Please see below to learn how you can send a "Grateful Gram" to one or more MVA staff members to add some sunshine to their inbox!

Marking Period 1 report cards will be available starting November 14 on ParentVUE. Report cards are located in the "Documents" section of ParentVUE.

In honor of Native American Heritage Month, there will be two lunch bunch read alouds this week on Friday, November 18. See below for details.

This is a reminder that we are now in re-enrollment season! We need to hear from each family regarding your enrollment intentions for the 2023-2024 school year. Please complete this form for each child by November 15:

I want to thank all of you all for your support & partnership! We are so happy to have you on our voyage!

Mrs. Cassandra Heifetz



  • Monday, November 14 - Marking Period 1 Report Cards available in ParentVUE
  • Tuesday, November 15- November Maker Space Lunch Bunch
  • Tuesday, November 15- Rainbow Club (Grades K-2)
  • Thursday, November 17- MVAPTC Special Education Committee Meeting
  • Thursday, November 17- Virtual Changemaker Workshop for Grades 3-5 (see below)
  • Friday, November 18- Native American Heritage Lunch Bunch Read Alouds
  • Friday, November 18- Grade 2 Strathmore Field Trip
  • Monday, November 22-Early Release Day- Parent Teacher Conferences
  • Tuesday, November 22- Early Release Day- Parent Teacher Conferences
  • Tuesday, November 22- Rainbow Club (Grades 3-5)
  • Wednesday, November 23- No School-Thanksgiving Holiday
  • Thursday, November- No School-Thanksgiving Holiday
  • Friday, November 25- No School-Thanksgiving Holiday
  • Wednesday, November 30- Kids for Equity Club (Grade 2-5)


Native American Heritage Month Lunch Bunch Read Alouds

Students in Grades K-5 are invited to attend a lunch bunch read aloud on Friday, November 18 from 11:45-12:15 PM.

Lunch Bunch with Ms. Holman:

The First Strawberries-A Cherokee Story

Zoom Meeting ID: 817 5604 4957

Password: mva

Lunch Bunch with Ms. Rahr:

How Chipmunk Got His Stripes -- a Native American folktale.

Zoom Meeting ID: 872 6048 1032

Password: mva

Grateful Grams for Staff

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, it's a wonderful time to take an extra moment to express gratitude to your child's teachers! I invite you and your child to use this link to send a "Grateful Gram" to one or more MVA staff members to add some sunshine to their inbox! Once you submit the form, the staff member will get an automatic email in the form of beautiful card containing your message (see example). You can send as many as you like!

Notice of Intent for 2023-2024 School Year- DUE 11/15/22

We are seeking to verify every full-time student's intention for school enrollment for next school year (2023-2024). This confirmation is MANDATORY for all currently enrolled full-time MVA students. Please complete a separate form for each MVA student in your family.

PLEASE CLICK HERE to indicate your intention for school enrollment for the 2023-2024 school year.

Enrollment in the MVA is intended to be a full year commitment. Current Montgomery Virtual Academy students who confirm their desire to remain enrolled by November 15, 2022 will not need to reapply for next school year.

Families who do not complete the form (linked above) by November 15, 2022:

  • will not be automatically re-enrolled in the MVA for 2023-2024.
  • will be expected to re-apply on ParentVUE.
  • will be considered by lottery unless space is available.

Please complete the form (linked above) for each student currently enrolled in the MVA. All responses are due by November 15, 2022. PLEASE ONLY COMPLETE THE FORM ONE TIME PER CHILD.

Last week, at the MVAPTC meeting, Ms. Heifetz shared information on the re-enrollment process. View the meeting recording (in English and Spanish) here: 11/10/22 MVAPTC Meeting Recording

If you have questions as you consider the best fit for next school year, please contact an MVA administrator.

Thank you for completing the form, and for your continued support of the MVA!

Weekly Meal Kits for MVA Students Coming Soon!

MCPS and the Montgomery Virtual Academy has developed a plan to distribute free weekly meal kits to those interested. Meal kits will be available for pick up from designated locations on Fridays starting in December. Families interested in picking up a weekly meal kit for their children enrolled in the Virtual Academy will need to complete a weekly request form. Look in next week's newsletter to request meal pick-up on December 2.

Student IDs Ready for Pick-up

Students who had their picture taken on the September 30 make-up day can pick-up their child's ID from our offices 7:30 AM -4:30 PM, M-F.


The Commission on Remembrance and Reconciliation was established by the Montgomery County Office of Human Rights in 2019 to promote a better understanding of its history and legacy of African Americans in the county.

In response, Montgomery County Public Schools will observe Remembrance and Reconciliation Month by supporting local Emancipation Day celebrations, providing schools with age-appropriate lessons on local historic African American communities, and virtual changemaker workshops for students and their families in English and Spanish on November 15 - 17, 2022. See below for details.

Click here for Additional Remembrance and Reconciliation Month Events

Changemaker Workshop for Students and Families

All grades 3 – 5 students and families are invited to participate in a virtual changemaker workshop to learn how to make positive changes in their communities. Local and student activists will help students and families learn strategies to challenge problems and inequities in their communities.

Student Council Grades 3-5

We have added an additional Interest Meeting on Wednesday, November 9th at 12:40 & 3:30. Students can attend either time to learn more details and ask any questions. Students wishing to run for office must have submissions in by November 14th (this has been extended from 11/11). Election of Officers will be held the week of November 14th and the election of Homeroom Representatives will be held after Thanksgiving break.

See flyer for meeting details.

Student Council FLYER

FALL FUNDRAISER - Ends December 1, 2022

Looking to get a head start on some holiday or winter season shopping! Don't like going out to stores? Then our Fall Fundraiser just might be the answer! Our online fundraiser store has all occasion and holiday items, apparel, bags & totes, candles, floral items, sweet & savory snacks and treats, popcorn, jewelry, kitchen items, kids & pet items, magazines, gift wrap, and more!

With your help, we will be raising funds to be used to support Montgomery Virtual Academy K-12 students and teachers through general school-wide purchases that would otherwise not be funded by available school funds. We are encouraging every family to participate. We will reach our first goal when each student registers and shares the fundraiser with 5 or more supporters.

There are 2 ways to participate:


  1. Please register your student(s) at After registering, you will get a link/code to share with family & friends
  2. Send your link/code to 5 supporters
  3. Consider making a purchase

B) Not interested in registering, but still interested in supporting? Use this direct shopping link set up for MVA K-5 Admin & Staff:

Any purchase made will generate funds for the benefit of every child. Your participation is very appreciated. Thank you for your help and support! All purchases will be shipped directly to purchasers in time for the winter holidays! There are prizes for the highest sellers. See the linked letter for details.

Click to view the Believe Fall Fundraiser Parent Letter for more details

Digital Citizenship Lessons

MVA lower school students are taking part in digital citizenship lessons from Common Sense Education to learn the habits and skills they need to use technology safely and responsibly in school, at home, and beyond. The Common Sense lessons help kids in grades K–2 develop healthy media habits and learn how to be safe online. Lessons in grades 3–5 continue to focus on screen time and online safety. Older kids also learn how to recognize cyberbullying, what is and isn’t OK to share online, and how to find credible news and information. Our media specialist, Ms. Jeffcott, and media assistant, Mrs. Rahr, will be plugging into classes throughout the year to share these lessons with our students. Click here for tips and strategies to use when talking about digital citizenship at home

Passwords for Grades 3-12

Students in Grades 3-12 now have the ability to set and change their passwords for their MCPS accounts. Because this practice started last November, there are large numbers of students whose passwords are going to expire by November 30th. Since allowing students to set their own passwords, email communication was the only way students were being notified about the expiration date and the need to change their passwords. MCPS received feedback from many that email wasn’t the most reliable method. This message provides information on new processes in place to help communicate with students whose passwords are about to change. In addition, please have your child check their MCPS Gmail account to see if they have a message to update their password.

myMCPS Classroom (Canvas) Course

To help alert students to change their password, MCPS has created a new district-wide Canvas Course (Student Password Reset) that the central technology teams will use to target students whose passwords are about to change. During the month that students need to reset their password, students will be enrolled in the course and will be assigned a no-submit assignment to change their password. This will trigger an alert as well as an action item on the student’s to-do list in Canvas. This, in conjunction with the email, will help create an awareness for students using Canvas regularly as part of their school experience.

Chrome PopUp

In addition to the email and myMCPS Classroom course assignment alerts, MCPS has created a chrome popup for students. When students log into their chromebook, a message will pop up in the corner reminding them to reset their password. (see image)

Directions for Student Password Changes

As was shared with the students in the email notifications to student Gmail accounts, they simply need to go to and log in with their current username and password. That will allow them to reset the password.

Password Report Access by School Staff

As a reminder, should any of the students fail to reset their password by the expiration date, the account does not get disabled, but the password is changed automatically and the new password added to the password report. The MVA office staff have access to that report and can provide the new password, if needed. Please call 240-740-6060 for assistance if needed.

Technology Challenges

We are aware that some of our students have been experiencing challenges with accessing instruction in the recent weeks. We have been in close contact with our partners in the technology office to try to identify what might be causing some of the specific issues. To support this work, we have been gathering data from our staff to try to identify any patterns. As we work to find a more comprehensive solution, we shared some tips at the MVAPTC meeting this past week. The tips that were shared address obstacles that we typically see, as well as the current issues with the password resets and Zoom functionality issues. These tips have helped some of our students, but not all. In most cases, the issue is not with the device itself and does not require a device swap. Please continue to reach out to our main office at 240-740-6060 and email the Community Help Desk mailbox at . We thank you for your continued patience and willingness to help problem-solve.

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 (in English & Spanish).

Please click here or on the picture below to view the flyer for the Kids for Equity Club! (in English & Spanish)

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.


Personal Body Safety Lessons


MCPS implements Personal Body Safety Lessons (PBSLs) with grade-level, age-appropriate content for students in every grade from Pre-K to 12. These lessons were developed with input from national stakeholders and County partners, and are designed to empower students to recognize and report suspected cases of abuse without fear of reprisal. The Chief of the State’s Attorney’s Office—Special Victims Division has commended MCPS on the PBSLs and shared publicly that these lessons are making a difference in children reporting incidents of abuse and neglect. In addition, embedded in the MCPS elementary and secondary health curriculum are age-appropriate lessons on safety and injury prevention, family life and human sexuality, cyberbullying and social media, healthy relationships, harassment, and intimidation.

Lessons will be provided by the Virtual Academy School Counselors during students´ class schedule one day during November. Please see the parent letters below about Personal Body Safety Lessons. Letters are available in 6 languages. Plus 3 additional links with detailed information about the lessons being provided.

Parent letter links:







Virtual Family Grief Supports

Virtual GRIEF SUPPORT program for FAMILIES to do together. Any family who is grieving the death of someone important to them can participate. We welcome families who speak Spanish and we have bilingual interpreters available.

Registration is required. Information is on the flyers. Family Night Information

Es necesario registrarse. La información está en los volantes. Noche familiar informacion general

Registration is now open for our Winter Holidays & Special Days, December 8, 2022 (Registration deadline December 2nd).


The Holiday Giving Project (HGP) of Montgomery County has provided Thanksgiving meals and December holiday assistance to families in need for over 30 years. A network of social workers, school counselors, and other human service professionals refer families and individuals in need of assistance. Local non-profits, faith-based organizations, service organizations, and other government agencies serve Holiday Giving recipients, as donations are available.

If you and your family are in need and would like to be referred to possibly receive assistance for the Thanksgiving or Winter holiday season, please complete the following referral form. The information is required to make a referral to The Holiday Giving Project.

Applications for Winter holiday referral must be submitted by November 14, 2022. (Referrals to be considered for the Thanksgiving services have now passed.) Resources are limited, please apply only if you and your family are truly in need. While a referral is not a guarantee of assistance, the Project helps as many families in need as donations will allow.

If you have any questions please email your student's school counselor. Ms. Whited: Ms. Bamberger:

Holiday Giving Project Referral (English)-

El Programa de Asistencia para los días de Fiesta Referidos (español)-

Report an Absence Form

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


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:

Community Tech Support Portal Support Guide:

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

MCPS Parent Academy

Families and students can stay engaged throughout the school year with Parent Academy TO GO, a series of webinars for families to watch at home. The webinars are available on the Parent Academy website. Registration is available here.


The following MVA Parent Council Announcements are being shared as a public information courtesy. The MVAPTC is the MVA parent-teacher organization with non-profit status and insurance.

Recording from Nov. 10 MVAPTC Meeting Now Available

Last week, at the MVAPTC meeting, Ms. Heifetz shared information on the re-enrollment process. The MVA Upper School counselors also shared information on college planning. View the meeting recording (in English and Spanish) here: 11/10/22 MVAPTC Meeting Recording

MVAPTC Meeting: Thursday, December 8th at 6:30 PM.

Meetings are held on the second Thursday of each month. Meeting slides, meeting minutes and other documents in English and Spanish are available for review on the MVAPTC website located at A board member election will be held for the Vice President of Grades 3-5. Additional positions available are Vice President for High School, President-Elect, and Treasurer-Elect. Please contact Jessica at to express your interest. No experience is required.

The zoom link is:, the Meeting ID is: 830 0426 4203 and the Passcode: mvaptc

MVAPTC Special Education Committee Meeting will be held on Thursday, November 17tth.

The topic will be: IEPs and 504s: What are they & what questions do you have?

Donation Request: Let's support our office staff and our volunteers for student materials organization days with food & drinks to let them know how much we appreciate them! Donations can be dropped off, mailed, or delivered to 15 West Gude Drive, 2nd Floor, or Jessica in Kensington. Thank you in advance for your support!

Staff Appreciation Wish Donation Wish List:

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!