VA Weekly Navigator

Your guide to news, updates, and reminders in the Upper VA

(Week of September 5, 2022)

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Launching Year Two

Welcome back, and congratulations on a successful first week! Our teachers, administration, and various teams have been working hard this summer to set students up for success this school year, and even with a few bumps along the way, we are proud to have launched our second year of virtual instruction.

There are lots of upgrades, updates, and reminders contained in this and future newsletters -- please let us know if there are other features you'd like to see included. Thank you for all your patience, positivity, and support as we continue to chart our course for 2022-2023!

-Steve Orders & the VA Team

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Picture Day, Part Deux: The Make-up!

If you missed our picture day last month, don't worry -- Barksdale will be back on September 30 for make-ups. Please see the information below and use this link to sign up for a slot. Photos will be taken at 15 West Gude Dr., Rockville MD 20850. If you have questions, please call us ats 240-740-6060.
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Virtual Academy Calendar for Setpember 2022

See below for the calendar for this upcoming week. Please note that Monday, September 5 is a holiday; schools and offices are closed. Also, MAP-R takes place this week for grades 6 and 7. More testing information is coming via email and through classes. For the full May calendar, click the link below:

Virtual Academy Daily Calendar

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Zoom Links and Contacting Teachers

Use this link or click the logo to the left to access a full list of Virtual Academy teachers with their Zoom links and Outlook email addresses. If you have general questions, or you need a live human to assist you, please call us at 240-740-6060 during school hours.
MCPS School Calendar

The MCPS website features "Calendar Central," where you can find information on holidays, early release days, and other special events throughout the school year.

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SSL Updates & Opportunities

Student Service Learning, or SSL, is an important graduation requirement. Check out these important September 2022 SSL updates to learn more about SSL opportunities, forms and how secondary students can stay up to date on their SSL record and activity. And, read on below for some special opportunities available countywide and specifically for Virtual Academy students!
SSL in Action

Check Out Our VA SSL Website

You can now access many important resources for Student Service Learning (SSL) at our new website: ​​

Here you'll find...

  • Contact information for our SSL Coordinator (Dr. Simarjeet Sandhu) and our counseling team
  • An introductory video about SLL hours and how to complete them
  • The official submission form for reporting hours
  • Timely updates on service opportunities within and outside of the Virtual Academy
  • and more!

How to Check SSL Hours in ParentVUE

  • Navigate to
  • Select "I am a parent" or "I am a student."
  • Enter your User Name and Password, then click "Login."
  • Click "Course History" from the left-hand navigation.
  • The Course History page shows the student's graduation progress, test requirements, and SLL hours earned. (Students need 75 hours for graduation.)
  • Toggle on "Detail" to see full Service Learning details.
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SSL Opportunity: Project Linus

Attention families and students: More SSL opportunities are available through Project Linus, an organization that provides handmade blankets to children experiencing trauma in Montgomery County and surrounding areas.

Project Linus is a national organization with chapters across the country ( Their Montgomery County Maryland chapter works with partner organizations like Holy Cross Hospital, Children's Hospital, A Wider Circle, and the Montgomery County Department of Social Services, to distribute blankets to children who are in the hospital, homeless, in foster care, in shelters, and in other situations where just a small comfort can make a major difference. All these blankets are made by volunteers.

Middle and high school students can earn SSL hours with Project Linus in 3 ways:

  1. Attending one of their monthly meetings and helping to make blankets. They meet on the 4th Monday or every month (except December, where it’s the third Monday) from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in the cafeteria of Richard Montgomery High School. They provide all the necessary supplies, and their adult volunteers supervise the blanket-making activities. No special skills or experience required. Meeting dates are listed on this flyer.

  2. Students can also earn SSL hours remotely by making blankets at home. When they drop off the blankets, they also need to send a picture of them with the blanket(s) they made. We ask that students making blankets at home first attend one of their meetings, or contact the organization at, to make sure they are following the proper instructions. Project Linus does not provide supplies for blankets made at home.

  3. Finally, they are always looking for volunteers to help with blanket pickup and delivery and other activities.

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Need to Reach a Counselor?

Virtual Academy students in grades 6-12 who need to speak with a counselor
can reach out to the counselor listed below (alphabetical by last name). Please note that during these first few weeks of the year, all counselors are inundated with schedule requests and questions -- thank you for your patience and understanding as we work to serve the needs of our 1,800 students and families! (Click the image of the list below for a web browser version, for easier viewing.)

Deadline for Schedule Change Requests

The deadline for students and families to request changes to schedules and classes is this Friday, September 9. After this date, classes will have been in session for two full weeks, and moving between sections and teachers is not possible without significant disruptions. Please contact your counselor as soon as possible (see the chart above) with any questions or requests. Thank you!

Apply Online Now for Free and Reduced-Price Meals Benefits

Families of students who may qualify for free or reduced-price meals can now apply for assistance for school meals. Eligibility is based on family size and gross income. Students in Maryland who qualify for reduced-price meals will receive free breakfast and lunch meals.
Apply here. Learn more about the program.

MVA Parent Teacher Council Updates

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 formal organized MVAPTC social but just a fun event for your family to participate in to show your school spirit.

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 and $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.

Alert MCPS

Alert MCPS provides emergency information about school closures or emergencies via text or email messages to devices you register. Sign up here.

Attendance Questions and Absence Notes

If you have any questions about your child's attendance, or if you need to report an excused absence, please contact our Attendance Secretary, Ms. Hikeyya Falden:

Advisory ("Homeroom") Reminders

Every student in the VA is scheduled for Advisory (indicated as "Homeroom" on their schedules).

Advisory meets every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Students are able to:

  • connect with peers from their home school
  • receive Virtual Academy updates and information
  • participate in fun and interesting advisory lessons

It is important for students to log in each Advisory day for learning and attendance. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, asynchronous activities are provided for students; completion of these activities counts for Advisory attendance on these days.

Contact your advisory teacher for information and to answer questions.

Activating and Utilizing ParentVUE

Activate Your ParentVue Account

This important tool will provide near real-time access to information on assignments and scores, attendance, class schedules, transcripts, graduation status, and more. You may access ParentVUE online, but for the best mobile experience, we encourage you to download the ParentVUE App from the Google Play Store or Apple Store, as this app will replace the current myMCPS mobile application.

Contact Your Child's Administrator or Counselor for your activation letter

ParentVue Directions

Log in to ParentVue

Free English as Second Language Classes for Parents

In collaboration with MCPS, the Literacy Council of Montgomery County (LCMC) is offering free English as a Second Language (ESL) classes for MCPS parents. The classes will be held virtually and there will be options for all levels of English speakers. They are available to any MCPS parent for whom English is not their first language.

Please see this flyer for details:

Parents can complete this Interest form to receive a placement test.

Technology Support

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:

Student Newsletter

Click here to review the updates that we share with students each week in our student newsletter Google Site.

Helpful SSL Tip

When you submit your SSL forms, it’s really important that you complete all sections properly, so the form does not get returned to you. Check out this video from our SSL committee that demonstrates how to complete the SSL form in its entirety.

Thank you, Ms. Marks, for the helpful video!

Free Computers for MoCo Residents in Need

The Montgomery County government has received grant funding to provide a computer to residents who do not have one. All you need is a valid Montgomery County library card and a photo ID to register. Click here for more information: