The GMHS Hitching Post

George Mason High School Newsletter - May 1, 2020


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Dear Mustang Families,

Happy May 1st. We made it through what quite possibly might have been the longest April of our lifetime. Despite the challenges many of us are experiencing, your kids continue to amaze us. Their ability to lead, support one another, and work collaboratively during a global crisis is inspiring to all of the Mason faculty members.

On April 14th we began our new instruction at the high school. I can proudly state that on our first day of instruction 97% of our student population was engaged in distance learning. This includes communication to teachers, logging onto Schoology, participating in virtual office hours, completing assignments and engaging in virtual classroom discussions. Below we have included the unique student Schoology log ins for the first 3 weeks of new learning. For your reference, the current student enrollment is approximately 800 students.

Thank you for your continued support during these difficult times.

Go Team Mason!


The Mason Admin Team










We will issue a 3rd quarter (Q3) grade based on the work completed between January 27th - March 12th. A student’s grade cannot go down as a result of any missing work that was not submitted during this window. However, students are expected to turn in missing work that was assigned during the 3rd quarter (January 27th - March 12th) prior to the launch of the “continuity of learning” which began on March 19th. We recognize that in some courses there were a minimal number of grades/assessments. Consequently, if a student wishes to improve upon the grades from prior assignments from January 27th - March 12th they will have that opportunity. To ensure the highest level of learning and mastery of prior content, the deadline for when students need to submit and/or resubmit missing Q3 work has been extended through the end of the year.

Students participating in our standards-based grading (SBG) courses have demonstrated mastery of several criterion to date. In January, your student received a S1 converted score which is located in PowerSchool. Your students current overall score in Schoology consists of all summative assessments though March 12th. The score from March 12th will be converted to a letter grade using our official FCCPS overall IB MYP conversion chart, and issued as a Q3 grade.

Students have the ability to retake summative assessments delivered from January 27th - March 12th to improve their Q3 grade. Teachers in SBG courses will continue to deliver instruction and provide feedback on assessed criterion as we embark on new learning and will issue a pass/fail (P/F) in Q4 to align with our secondary grading plan.


New Learning Block Schedule Image

  • Teachers will hold either AM or PM office hours Monday-Thursday. Office Hours for all teachers are 10am-12pm on Friday. Individual teachers will note their hours on their Schoology page.

  • World Language Teachers will always hold office hours from 9:00 -10:00am to align with Henderson Office Hours.

  • Office Hours include School Counselors.

  • The designated Blocks in the schedule will be instructional time with teachers. Instruction may be synchronous (live) or asynchronous (recorded) in nature.



Mr. Hills and Mr. Bates continue to engage in conversations with Seniors related to graduation options. While our senior class has expressed interest in eventually participating in an in-person graduation, we are committed to confirming our future graduates prior to June 5th.

The senior class met this afternoon to discuss a professional graduation video production. Our graduation production is a collective effort from the entire senior class, where individual mustang student videos will be combined to create a seamless streaming production. Thank you to our senior class leaders who have remained dedicated to planning a graduation event where we can honor and recognize the incredible accomplishments of the George Mason High School Class of 2020. We look forward to sharing additional information in the coming weeks.

Senior Dates:

Last Day for Seniors-Friday May 29th


Last Day: Thursday, June 4th



This schedule is for our AP classes. It does not include another 7 or 8 AP exams that students are registered to take as extra AP exams. Please see the full schedule here: 2020 AP Exam Schedule

AP Exam Schedule Image


This information was provided to George Mason High School by The College Board

Things to do the weeks of April 27 and May 4 to prepare.

AP students should review their College Board user profiles. To ensure your AP students are receiving critical information, make sure they log in to My AP to remind themselves of the email address and cell phone number they've asked the College Board to use. If they want, students can change how they are contacted. Two days before each exam, AP students will receive an email with a personalized e-ticket that will include their eight-character AP ID code. If an AP student still doesn’t receive the email, they'll be able to access their e-ticket directly through My AP.

Encourage AP students to attend online AP classes and review sessions for prep week. During the final days before exams, online AP classes will focus on understanding the exam day experience and reviewing sample exam questions.

Confirm AP students are ready for test day. On April 28, the AP Program will be emailing all AP educators exam guide PowerPoint slides that will enable teachers to walk AP students through this essential preparation for testing.

Ask AP students to practice submissions through the exam demo. AP students and their teachers will have access to a demo of this year’s exam experience. It will give AP students a click-through practice of the different ways to submit their responses to this year’s AP Exams. The demo will be generic across subjects, and not a practice exam. A video walk-through of the world language experience will also be available.

Colleges have already committed to awarding credit and placement for this year’s AP Exams. Admissions officers from across the country offer words of encouragement to AP students in this video.



Monday, May 11

AP Exams Begin

Thursday, May 21

Summer Academy Registrations Due

Friday, May 22

AP Exams End

Monday, May 25

Memorial Day Holiday

Thursday, May 28

Summer Academy Orientation via Schoology at 1:00 p.m.

Friday, May 29

Last Day for New Instruction

Last Day for Seniors

Monday, June 1

Virtual Summer Academy Begins

Monday - Thursday, June 1-4

Last Week of School for Students in Grades 9-11

(End-of-year activities with classes online, final presentations, etc.)

Friday, June 5

Last Day for Teachers

Wednesday, June 10

Semester 2 Grades

Available in PowerSchool/Schoology

Monday, July 6

Tentative - Summer Academy Face-to-Face Instruction to Begin

Any reference to face-to-face instruction will be subject to the current

government guidance regarding Covid-19

Friday, July 31

Last day of Summer Academy



SENIOR PORTRAITS: Thursday, August 6 and Friday, August 7

SENIOR MAKE-UP PORTRAITS: Thursday, October 29 and Friday, October 30



Students will have the opportunity to select from a variety of Hybrid (Hy-C) courses for new credit, credit recovery or continuation. Parents can register students for new credit courses using the 2020 Summer Academy Registration form linked below by Thursday, May 21st, 2020. Parents will be sent an email to confirm your student’s registration once registration closes.

2020 Summer Academy Registration

Register by Thursday, May 21st

Summer Academy Orientation - Thursday, May 28 at 1:00 p.m. via Schoology

2020 Summer Academy Handbook (Covid-19 Revisions)

Orientation and Start Date

A Summer Academy Orientation will be held virtually on Thursday, May 28th, at 1 p.m. At this time, students will receive instructions for how to access the course in which they are enrolled. This will allow students to begin the class on Monday, June 1st. Please note, it is not a requirement to begin on this date. However, it is a requirement to complete the selected course by July 31st.



Schoology remains our main platform for teacher to student communication and instructional delivery. Schoology can never replicate the entire school-day in the virtual setting. Instead, students will experience some synchronous (live) instruction as well as asynchronous (recorded) lessons with assignments and tasks between sessions along with access to their teachers via office hours. Each of the synchronous lessons will be recorded in Schoology. This is important to note because, if you do not want your student recorded for the session, please encourage your child to disable their camera but not your sound. The lessons will be online and available to watch via Schoology for seven (7) days following instruction. The nice part about the recording is that there may be some students who aren't available for the synchronous session but are able to come back later to see what they missed.

Schoology addresses recent outages:

Please contact Steven Knight at for Schoology account issues.



The school district’s IT team is available to support all teachers and students. This includes support via email, online conferencing, and limited physical office hours at Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School.

Please submit a support ticket here on behalf of your child.* -

*If the IT Team can provide support virtually by remoting into the computer, the team must have the consent of the parent.



Click on this link for the latest communication from IB: Latest Communication from IB

AP exams will not be administered in the long-established, face-to-face manner. Please read the latest updates here AP UPDATES FROM THE COLLEGE BOARD.


Over the course of this school year, local artwork found in the hallways of GM will be published in our GMHS Hitching Post. Artist names will be acknowledged if available.
Earth - Wind - Fire - Water - Poster Image


Surreal Environment Poster -- from Ms. Gurgo's Computer Graphics II

Block 4 Students




Please visit our FCCPS Coronavirus (Covid-19) Information page for the latest information and links to resources.


Keep Calm and Check Parent University

Did you know that FCCPS has a resource for parents that pulls together all of the parent education opportunities across the schools? Anything that helps parents get smarter about school and parenting is included in Parent University.



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You can find current and past issues of the GMHS Hitching Posts from Principal Hills on the GMHS website at the link below:

Principal's Newsletter