Montgomery Virtual Academy K-5 News

Week of October 2, 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!

I love October! While most of the trees are still green, I love watching all the leaves as they change colors. I also love enjoying the fall apples from our local orchards! If you are considering a family field trip to check out one of the area's great pick-your-own opportunities, this link can help!

This week is another adjusted week with no school on Wednesday. Be sure to check out the Upcoming Event list for other important dates ahead!

Finally, I am very excited to announce the next new extra-curricular activity for students: Kids for Equity! See below for details!

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



  • Tuesday, October 4- MVAPTC Playground Meetup for 2nd-4th graders (details below)
  • Wednesday, October 5- No School for all MCPS Students and Teachers
  • Friday, October 7- Hispanic Heritage Read Aloud with Ms. Carlson at 11:45 AM
  • Monday, October 10- Friday, October 15- Mental Health Awareness Week
  • Monday, October 10- Hispanic Heritage Month After School Activity & Celebration at 3:45 PM
  • Thursday, October 13- MVAPTC Meeting at 6:30 PM
  • Friday, October 14 - Hispanic Heritage Read Aloud with Ms. McIntyre at 11:45 AM
  • Sunday, October 16- NEW DATE: MVAPTC Social & Fundraiser- Ben and Jerry's, Rockville
  • Friday, October 28 - Grade 5 Strathmore Concert & Field Trip (details coming soon!)


Hispanic Heritage Month: September 15- October 15!!

Staff in the MVA are excited to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with our students and families!

Hispanic Heritage After-School Event

The Hispanic Heritage Month team would like to invite staff, students and families to join us for an after school event Monday, October 10th from 3:45 - 4:45. We will have free choice breakout rooms of Music, Arts, Read Alouds and more. Click here or on the images below for more details! We’d love to see you there!

Also, every Friday from 11:45 AM to 12:15 PM during Hispanic Heritage Month, MVA staff will be hosting a Lunch Bunch Read Aloud! For details and zoom links see: Hispanic Heritage Month Friday Lunch Bunches

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.

Mental Health Awareness Week: October 10-15, 2022

MCPS and the Montgomery County School Psychologists’ Association (MCSPA) will host a free week-long virtual event October 10–15 to give youth and families the opportunity to hear from mental health experts on issues that are important to them. The weeklong expo will feature daily themes, dynamic speakers and informational videos, as well as two live events: a Waymaking Special on Student Mental Health, and a Resource Fair and Q&A session on Saturday, October 15, 2022. Sessions will be available in multiple languages.

For details and announcements about daily topics, speakers, resources and how to join us, please visit

For more information on child mental health for parents and caregivers, check out:

MVA Special Services Fall Family Night

The Virtual Academy Special Education & English Language Development department held a presentation on Tuesday, September 27, 2022 for all families of Special Education and/or English Language Development students in grades K-12. The presentation provided information about the special education and ELD program, supports & services.

Families who were unable to attend can access the presentation from the links below:


Recording (in English & Spanish)

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.

August 19 Student Photos Update

If your child had their school picture taken at our offices on August 19, their student ID card is now available for pick-up at the front desk at the MVA office.

Feel free to contact the office at 240-740-6060 for confirmation prior to pick-up, 8:00 AM-4:00 PM, Monday-Friday.

Report an Absence Form

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


Saturday School Registration Now Open

Saturday School provides low cost, core academic support aligned with Montgomery County Public Schools curriculum, plus other specialized programs. Standard registration costs $85 per child. There is a reduced fee of $40 for families who are eligible for Free and Reduced Meals (see announcement below to see if you qualify.)

Students may start any Saturday that the program is in session. Click below to register and to find the center closest to you or opt for the online option.

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:

Big picture

The "Ready for School" Initiative Now Provides Extra "Bonuses" for Eligible Families

Families who are complete an updated Free & Reduced Meals application and are eligible for benefits may be able to receive additional financial assistance and bonuses.

Ready for School Initiative and Montgomery County are providing several “bonuses” for eligible families, including:

  • $200 worth of free classes from the Recreation Department (provided by the Montgomery County Department of Recreation);
  • Discounts on extracurricular fees (provided by MCPS);
  • Reduced-price AP exam fees (provided by MCPS and College Board); and
  • Up to a $40 reimbursement for school supplies (provided by Ready for School Initiative).

To participate, families must follow three easy steps:

  1. Fill out an MCPS Free School Meal Form (
  2. Share their free meal eligibility letter with Ready for School Initiative
  3. Receive the bonuses

For more details and to submit visit:


Eligibility for Free School Meals is determined based on the the size of your family and your household income. You do not have to be a US citizen to qualify for Free School Meals.

MCPS does not report meal application information to migrant, immigration or refugee offices.

Additional Info also at:

Adult Literacy & Language Courses

The George B. Thomas Learning Academy offers two face-to-face Adult Literacy classes and one virtual (weeknight) class to parents of MCPS students. The program gives parents the capacity to support their children’s success and navigate through the processes of the MCPS school system. The classes offer basic, intermediate, and advanced levels and focuses on listening skills, reading, comprehension, speaking and writing.

Parents of MCPS students from any school in the county may attend after registering.

See flyer for details:

Additionally, in collaboration with MCPS, the Literacy Council of Montgomery County (LCMC) is offering free English as a Second Language classes for MCPS parents. The classes will be held virtually and in-person, and there are options for all levels of English speakers. They are available to any MCPS parent for whom English is not their first language. Parents can complete this interest form to receive a placement test.

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.

MVAPTC Announcements:

* Please note that the Meetup/Fundraiser originally scheduled for October 2, 2022 has been rescheduled due to rain!
1) Playground Meetup for Grades 2-4 on Tuesday, October 4th

2) MVAPTC Meeting on Thursday, October 13th
3) All School Meetup/Fundraiser on Sunday, October 16th


1) Playground Meetup for 2nd, 3rd and 4th graders: Tuesday, October 4th from 4:30 - 6:30 PM at Black Hill Regional Park - 20930 Lake Ridge Dr, Boyds, MD 2084. We will meet up at the Picnic Shelter A or B (look for balloons). Please bring snacks, drinks and games to share, if you are able. Please contact Jose Balcarcel at 301-335-1031 or for additional information:

2) MVAPTC Meeting: Thursday, October 13th at 6:30 PM. Meetings will be held on the second Thursday of each month. Meeting slides, meeting minutes and other documents are available for review on the MVAPTC website located at We are working on getting this years meeting slides and minutes translated into Spanish. The zoom link is:, the Meeting ID is: 830 0426 4203 and the Passcode: mvaptc

3) NEW DATE!! All School Social/Fundraiser: Sunday, October 2nd from 2:00 to 4:00 PM 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. This is a dog friendly event if your dog is friendly/not aggressive, vaccinated and good around young children. Ben and Jerry’s has dog ice cream for sale. MVA Shirts will be available for purchase.

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!