QOHS Weekly Newsletter

November 21, 2021

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Dear Quince Orchard Students, Staff, and Family,

It is a great privilege to introduce myself as Principal Intern for Quince Orchard High School. I am looking forward to this experience and to continue getting to know our Quince Orchard community. I can assure you that I share the drive and passion for excellence that we strive for at Quince Orchard and will continue the phenomenal work that we are doing.

This is my third year at QO and prior to coming here I served as an Assistant Principal at Springbrook High School and prior to that I worked at Clarksburg and Watkins Mill High School. It is with excitement and pleasant anticipation that I look forward to serving our community.

This week was the start of our winter sports season. Congratulations to all winter sports athletes. We look forward to cheering you on this season. I would also like to recognize all the amazing choral and instrumental concerts this past week and a special congratulations to the 2021-2022 Tri-M inductees and members!

Another win for our football team! Congratulations Cougars for an amazing game against Old Mill making QO Region Champs. Our quest for states continues Friday the 26th of November at 7pm when we play Northwest High School at home.

On Monday and Tuesday of this week, we will be on an early release schedule for parent-teacher conferences. You should have received an email with information on how to request a parent conference. Please see below for the early release bell schedule.

Wishing all of you a restful and enjoyable break.


Vilma Nájera

Principal Intern

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Giving Tree 2021

Twelve years ago QO started this event to give those in need within our own community a little brighter holiday season. The Giving Tree is traditionally a gift giving project where students and their families who would not have much of a holiday season have been selected and we hope that as a community we can provide each and every one of them something special this holiday season. Each year we help over 50 people have a happier holiday season. This year we have the goal of helping at least 60 people have a happier holiday season!

Due to the continuing COVID Pandemic, we will again only be collecting gift cards to allow families to purchase items that they are most in need of or greatly want. Here is how it works:

  • Community Members select a gift card from our Sign-Up Genius.

  • We are looking for donations of the following types:

    • $25 Amazon, Target, and Walmart Gift Cards - for Gifts

    • $25 Giant and Safeway Gift Cards - to provide each family with a holiday meal

    • Due to shipping delays and shortages of some items, we feel that by giving families gift cards this year they can go out and select items in time for the holidays so that everyone has something. This way the families can put the donations to the best use.

  • We ask that gift cards are returned by Thursday, December 9th so that they can be organized and distributed to families with enough time for families to shop.

  • When returning gift cards, please follow these guidelines:

    • Drop-off at school - PREFERRED METHOD

      • Place cards in an envelope or ziploc bag and label the envelope or bag with the Gift Code and your name or email address

      • Deliver cards to Ms. Adams in:

        • Room 123B before school & at lunch on Tuesdays and Wednesday (yellow hallway)

        • Room 128 during lunch on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays

    • Mail to school (please mail EARLY so they arrive by December 9th) -

      • Label all cards with the Gift Code and your name or email address

      • Mail to:
        Colleen Adams
        ℅ Quince Orchard High School
        15800 Quince Orchard Road
        Gaithersburg, MD 20878

Timeline of Events:

  • NOW - Sign-Up Genius will go live with family requests

  • NOW - Card Collection Begins

  • Tuesday, December 7th - Sign-Up Genius Closes

  • Thursday, December 9th - All Gift Cards are due back to QOHS

If you have any questions, please email Mrs. Colleen Adams at colleen_m_adams@mcpsmd.org.
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Dine with Coal Fire in the Kentlands on 11/23

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Important Reminder - Please Update Your Student Emergency Information

Please remember that any adult picking a student up from school must be on their emergency contact list. It is VERY important that the school has accurate contact & emergency information for each student. The process outlined below replaces the yellow cards that were traditionally sent home and MUST be completed by each family, as soon as possible.

Student Emergency Information should be updated through ParentVUE. Each year parents/guardians are required to complete the Annual Verification of Information through the Online Registration portal (in the right corner of your ParentVUE home screen). We highly recommend that you complete this as soon as possible. It is critically important that we have accurate parent contact information on file with the school and system as soon as possible.

Here are links to the ParentVUE Support Guide and directions for completing the annual verification of information.

MCPS Community Updates

Updated on Nov. 18, 2021

This update provides information and resources you can share with your school community.

Clarifying Student Report Card Information Recently Sent to Families

Dear MCPS Parents and Guardians

We are sending this message to clarify information shared with families about student report cards sent home beginning last Friday, Nov. 12, 2021. We apologize for any confusion; we want to ensure all families have the correct information to understand updates that will be made to some report cards that align with revised criteria. It is important to know that all reported grades and levels of accomplishment, for all students, are accurate.

Full message here: https://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/publicinfo/community/school-year-2021-2022/Community-Update-20211118.html

Un Mensaje de Las Escuelas Públicas del Condado de Montgomery Para Aclarar la Información Sobre Los Boletines de Calificaciones que Fue Enviado a las Familias Recientemente

Estamos enviando este mensaje para aclarar la información que se compartió con las familias sobre los boletines de calificaciones estudiantiles y que fue enviado a casa a partir del viernes pasado, 12 de noviembre de 2021. Nos disculpamos por cualquier confusión; deseamos asegurarnos de que todas las familias tengan la información correcta para entender las actualizaciones que se harán a algunos boletines de calificaciones que se alinean con los criterios modificados. Es importante saber que todas las calificaciones reportadas y los niveles de logro de todos los estudiantes son correctos.


Schools and Offices Closed on Wednesday, Nov. 24

Schools and offices will be closed on Wednesday, Nov. 24, the day before Thanksgiving. Nov. 24 was originally scheduled to be an early-release day for all staff and students. Schools and offices will now be closed from Wednesday, Nov. 24 through Friday, Nov. 26. Child care may be available as originally scheduled; please check with the provider for details. Schools and offices will reopen on Monday, Nov. 29.

Escuelas y oficinas de MCPS estarán cerradas el 24 de noviembre

Todas las escuelas y oficinas administrativas estarán cerradas el miércoles, 24 de noviembre, día antes de Acción de Gracias. Originalmente, el 24 de noviembre era medio día de clases, sin embargo ahora todas las escuelas y oficinas estarán cerradas del 24 al 26 de noviembre. Servicio de cuidado infantil podrá continuar según programado, por favor verifique con su proveedor para detalles. Las escuelas y oficinas reabrirán el lunes, 29 de noviembre.

Test-to-Stay Program Part of New Quarantine Guidelines

The Test-to-Stay program will allow students who are close contacts of a positive COVID-19 case and are not wearing masks during the exposure, such as during periods of eating and drinking, to come to school and take rapid COVID-19 tests for five days. As long as the rapid tests are negative, these students would be allowed to attend their classes. The program will begin in a limited number of schools and expand to more schools in the coming weeks.

Learn more: https://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/coronavirus/quarantine.aspx

Prueba para quedarse como parte de las nuevas guías de cuarentena

El programa Prueba para Quedarse permitirá que los estudiantes que estén en contacto cercano con un caso positivo de COVID-19 y que no estén usando máscaras durante ese tiempo, como por ejemplo mientras están comiendo o bebiendo, puedan ir a la escuela y tomar una prueba rápida de COVID-19 por cinco días. El programa comenzará en un grupo limitado de escuelas y será expandido a otras durante las próximas semanas.

Vea más: https://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/coronavirus/quarantine.aspx

Share Your Feedback on Calendar Options for the 2022-2023 School Year

MCPS has developed three calendar scenarios that reflect different start and end dates for the 2022-2023 school year. Additionally, one scenario (Scenario C) shows the full spring break at a different time than the other two (Scenarios A and B).

All draft scenarios include:

  • A minimum of 180 instructional days

  • Full spring break

  • Contingency days

  • Additional early release days on Sept. 14, Dec. 7 and March 15 for school-based professional development.

The Board is scheduled to adopt a final school calendar on Dec. 2, 2021. Learn more and share your feedback.

Comparta sus comentarios sobre las opciones de calendario para el ciclo escolar 2022-2023

MCPS ha desarrollado tres opciones de calendario que reflejan distintas fechas de inicio y final para el ciclo escolar 2022-2023. Además una opción (Escenario C) refleja unas vacaciones de primavera diferente a los otros dos (Escenario A y B)

Todos los calendarios incluyen:

  • Un mínimo de 180 días de instrucción

  • Vacaciones de primera completas

  • Días de contingencia

  • Medio días de clases para el 14 de sept. 7 de diciembre y 15 de marzo desarrollo profesional

El Consejo está programado para adoptar el calendario final el 2 de diciembre de 2021. Vea más y comparta sus comentarios.

Oct. 26 Community Message Regarding Updated Quarantine GuidanceQuarantine and Contact Tracing Information

Quarantine Decision Flowchart

MCPS connects with families and staff in a variety of ways. You are encouraged to share information from our newsletters and social media channels.


A newsletter emailed to all families every other week. Find the latest edition here.

QuickNotes is also available in other languages to share with multilingual families:

Aks MCPS / Spanish Hotline

General information about MCPS

Call: 240-740-3000 | Spanish Hotline: 240-740-2845

E-mail: ASKMCPS@mcpsmd.org

The Bulletin

A newsletter emailed weekly to all staff. Find the latest edition here.

Social Media - Connect With Us

MCPS: MCPS en Español: MCPS-TV:

https://twitter.com/mcps https://twitter.com/mcpsespanol https://twitter.com/MCPSTV

https://www.facebook.com/mcpsmd https://www.facebook.com/mcpsespanol https://www.youtube.com/user/MCPSTV

https://www.instagram.com/mcps_md/ https://www.youtube.com/user/MCPSTVespanol


The George B. Thomas Sr. Learning Academy

Our class sessions begin at 8:30 am each Saturday with a motivational session. After the session, students then participate in an hour of reading/English instruction and then an hour of math instruction.

The cost for Saturday School is $40 for FARMS students and $85 for all others. This cost covers the entire school year through May and registration is open all year.

Dream It, Be It Program - Career Support For Girls

The Dream It Be It program is accepting applications. For more information, email Ms. Hardaway at Shalewa_T_Hardaway@mcpsmd.org. If you can dream it, you can be it!!
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Say THANK YOU to our amazing Staff by sending them a message!

Our staff has been working incredibly hard this year, and we hope that you will share how much you appreciate their efforts! Complete this form, and it will auto-generate a message of thanks that will be emailed to the staff member.


Updates from the College and Career Center



Do you need help completing your FAFSA or MSFAA financial aid form? Sign up for a FAFSA & MSFAA Days session at Montgomery College! These virtual sessions are available every Monday, 1-4 p.m., and Tuesday, 4-7 p.m. throughout November.

Sign up here: https://www.montgomerycollege.edu/events/fafsa-fever/days.html

Jump Start to College

Students! Are you interested in taking a class or two at Montgomery College while you're in high school?

The Spring Registration season has begun for the Jump Start to College Program (formerly known as Dual Enrollment). Students with a GPA of 2.75 and above are eligible to take courses at MC. Please check out our website to learn more about this opportunity: https://sites.google.com/mcpsmd.net/qohs-counseling/college-and-career/dual-enrollment?authuser=0.

Students and families who have any additional questions can contact Mr. Rivera at Douglas_A_Rivera@mcpsmd.org.

College Visits

Cougars, we are happy to announce that we will be partnering with Damascus High School with some of our Virtual Visits. Please make sure that you are checking out our College Visits Website to stay up to date on colleges that we have available., and be sure to register for your college visits in Naviance!

Here are the schools that we have coming this week:

No visits this week due to the shortened week & early release schedule.

Seal of Bi-Literacy

Hey Cougars! Are you a Junior or Senior who is fluent in a language other than English? If so, did you know you have the opportunity to qualify for a seal of bi-literacy? That’s right, the seal of bi-literacy is a special seal that indicates you’re fluent in two languages and it could be applied to your diploma if you qualify. The seal of biliteracy shows that you have a special skill which makes you more attractive to colleges and careers!

Quince Orchard is offering free testing to Seniors on Tuesday, December 14th. Juniors must pay a fee of 17 dollars. You can find the registration link on the QOHS website, or see Mr. Lynch in room 225.

Updates from QO Theatre

Congratulations to QO Cappies Critics!

Last weekend, QO Theatre's Cappies Critics traveled to Justice High School and Edison High School to view and critique their performances of "The Mousetrap" and "Into the Woods." Out of the 11 total reviews selected for publication for these two shows, 6 of them were from our critic team! Congratulations to Hayley Asai, Hayden Polsky, McKenzie Phelan, Fiona Feingold, and Kaiya Mayhew on being selected for publication!

Tickets for "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee"!

Tickets are now on pre-sale for QO Theatre's production of "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee!" They are available on the online school store. They are

  • Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for all others.
  • The production will run on December 4th at 2 and 7 PM, and December 11th at 2 and 7 PM.
We hope that you'll come to support the arts at QO, and for a great production!
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Come volunteer during playoff season with The Booster Club!

Concession Volunteers Needed!

It's playoff season and there is still an urgent need for volunteers for the concession stand. We need more help!

The Booster Club generates a great deal of money through concessions. These fundraising efforts directly support Quince Orchard sports teams and clubs by providing money for uniforms, equipment, and upgrades to facilities. The commitment to help is a couple of hours. The benefits for our students are widespread!

If you have not already signed up, please take a look at the signup genius and find a volunteer time that works for you. We will continue to add playoff games as they are scheduled.


Thank you so much for your help and support!

Important Reminders from our Attendance Office & Security Team

Please review these important attendance reminders:

  • If a student is late to school for any reason they must stop by the attendance office to sign in. This also applies if a student needs to sign out early with parent permission or parent pick up. An accurate sign-in/out time must be recorded in the system. (Please note: If a student does not stop by the attendance office then anything that the student is marked absent for will stay in the system).
  • Please make sure whoever is signing the student out is on their emergency pick-up contact list in Parent VUE & is at least 21 years of age.
  • Any notice sent for a student to sign out early must be submitted in writing - this can be emailed to Stephanie_S_Bradley@mcpsmd.org

Also, please remember that all parents/guardians and visitors are required to show ID upon entering our building.

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Counseling Corner

Gaithersburg Holiday Giving Project

If your family has financial needs during the November and December holidays and could use food for the holidays, please fill out the linked google form.

This particular project is only for food at Thanksgiving and the December holiday.

Please note: Before filling out the form, you need to know your Quince Orchard student’s ID number.

Link: https://forms.gle/b3WHyanB7nvEpfSk8

Si su familia tiene necesidades financieras durante las vacaciones de noviembre y diciembre y podría usar alimentos para las fiestas, complete el formulario de Google vinculado.

Esto es solo para comida en Acción de Gracias y las vacaciones de diciembre.

Antes de completar el formulario, debe conocer el número de identificación de estudiante de Quince Orchard.

Enlace: https://forms.gle/b3WHyanB7nvEpfSk8

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Testing Accommodation Info & AP Registration

Testing Accommodations for the College Board Tests (AP, SAT, PSAT)

In order to receive accommodations on these tests, a student must request the accommodations by submitting a Student Eligibility Form. The form must be completed by both parents and school officials and then mailed to the College Board at least seven weeks in advance of the student taking the first test.

The criteria established by the College Board for granting testing accommodations differs

significantly from those used by Montgomery County Public Schools. Students who have an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) or a 504 Plan are not guaranteed that the College Board will provide accommodations. The College Board requires current neuropsychological testing (within the past three years) which documents the specific need for each requested accommodation. Please contact Mr. Douglas Rivera in the Counseling Office (240-740-3620) in order to obtain the forms and to ask questions about this process.

AP Registration & Payments

  • Students are now required to register for AP Exams in the fall. The exams will still take place in May. If your AP course doesn’t start until after the fall registration deadline, you can register later in the year. For help registering, talk to your child’s AP teacher, counselor, or your school’s AP coordinator.

  • To begin the registration process, students need to have a College Board account. All College Board programs (PSAT®, SAT®, or College Board Opportunity Scholarships) are connected through one account. If you have any issues with your student’s account please contact the College Board at 866-315-6068.

  • The Registration period closed Friday November 12, 2021. If your student still needs to register for their AP exam AFTER the November deadline, there will be a $40 late registration fee charged in addition to the $95 exam fee. Additionally, if students register for the exam and later decide not to test, there will be a $40 cancellation fee.

  • Payments can be made through the Online School Payments system, which can be accessed through the “School Store” link on the QO website.

  • You will also find a Fee Waiver Application Form (English / Spanish) that lists additional requirements that may qualify your student for a reduced exam fee based on your family income. If you meet one or more of the guidelines listed on the Fee Waiver Application form linked above, please fill out the application and submit it by December 1, 2021. Once you have completed the Fee Waiver, you are eligible to pay the exam fee of $15 listed in Online School Payments. We understand that some families may not be eligible for the fee waiver but may be experiencing extreme financial hardship. If you would like to request financial considerations please fill out this form.

If you have any questions regarding AP Testing, please reach out to Ms. Nicholson at Jennifer_R_icholson@mcpsmd.org.

Students & Staff join us every Wednesday in the Courtyard for Mindfulness Meditation!

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The Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological, and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO) is an enrichment program and competition designed to encourage high school students to strive for excellence in up to 3 of 31 categories including Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM); Humanities (Writing); Performance Arts; Visual Arts; and Entrepreneurship. Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) is encouraging student participation from each high school. The Montgomery County National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) ACT-SO and MCPS have been working with high schools through designated liaisons. 

Students create projects following the appropriate rubric and receive support at monthly seminars.  Students are encouraged to share projects with a teacher before submission. ACT-SO may provide mentors to students submitting projects.  Projects are presented at a local competition and are adjudicated by specialists. The mission of ACT-SO is to prepare, recognize and reward youth who exemplify scholastic and artistic excellence as well as develop public speaking, time management, and other life-building skills.

Important Dates: All ACT-SO applications, short bios (200 words or less), and photos (headshot preferred; selfies are acceptable) should be returned by November 15, 2021.  The final due date for projects and applications is January 15, 2022.

Additional Information: Projects and applications should be submitted via email to actsomoco@gmail.com. Applications and projects will be acknowledged via email within 72 hours. For additional information contact ACT-SO Chairs Ms. Pat Price (actsomoco@gmail.com) or Ms. Laura Dennis (Ldennis99@comcast.net).

Celebrating Our QOHS Cougar Students and Staff

Athletic Season Passes

The QO Athletic Season Passes for the 2021-22 seasons are still on sale! The ordering process is easy! Simply complete the order form below and return with payment (Cash or Check made out to Quince Orchard High School). Passes will be available at the gate of home games. Season passes are only valid for home regular season contests for the designated season(s) at Quince Orchard High School and passes are non-transferrable.

To order, please complete the form at the link below, make sure that you neatly print all first and last names, incomplete orders will take longer to process and may not be available before the first game. Passes can also be ordered online, if you are ordering online, please follow-up with an email to Ms. Adams including the names you would like on each of the passes.


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Athletics Game Schedule & Community Updates

Playoff Schedule for the Week of 11/22

Tickets for everyone over the age of 7 is $8. MCPS and Season passes WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. MPSSAA will sell tickets exclusively through GoFan. Links will be provided to participating schools in advance of each game to promote to their communities. There will be no cash sales at the door.

Friday, November 26- Football State Semifinals vs. Northwest 7:00pm

QO Winter Sports Parent Meeting Information

We will be having our Winter Sports Parent Meeting on Zoom, Monday, November 22nd at 7pm. In order to attend the meeting, you must sign in under your students MCPS Zoom account. Please see the Zoom Information below and email Jeffrey_L_Rabberman@mcpsmd.org with any questions.

Topic: QO Winter Sports Parent Meeting

Time: Nov 22, 2021 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 840 4971 9428

Passcode: 177253

QO Spectator Guidelines for Athletic Events

Please see the link below for the Spectator Guidelines for Indoor and Outdoor Athletic Events.


IMPORTANT 11/19 MCPS Athletics Update

Please see the MCPS Athletics Return to RAISE Update for Friday, November 19th HERE .This communication includes updates regarding masks/face coverings indoors, and reminders about other program operations.

MCPS Volunteer Vaccinations

Montgomery County Public Schools requires school volunteers and partnership agencies to complete certain compliance measures in order to volunteer within our school district.

  • Online Recognizing Child Abuse and Neglect Training via their myMCPS Classroom/Canvas account
  • Background check (dependent upon the type of volunteer service, per the Volunteers regulation and FAQ)
  • COVID-19 Vaccination Attestation - NEW!

Beginning September 20, 2021, volunteers will be required to upload their Certificate of COVID-19 Vaccination to remain on the volunteer roster.

Please review the Volunteer/Contractor Vaccination Attestation Update for details on this process.

Quince Orchard HS Quarantine Instructional Process Plan

Quince Orchard High School will provide opportunities for students to engage in learning and receive needed support. If needed, students and families should review the process below and reach out to the school if you have any additional questions (240) 740-3600.


  • Teachers will post work in Canvas while a student is out.

  • Assignments missed during the quarantine period should be made up.

  • Students who are able/well enough to complete work while in quarantine are encouraged to do so. They can access their work in Canvas.

  • Students may email teachers to ask questions related to assignments. More guidance about seeing teachers is provided below.


  • If your student needs to speak to someone during quarantine or upon their return to school, our school COUNSELORS are available to support. Please contact the school for assistance.

Quarantine Live Check ins

All QOHS teachers will have a designated period for live check-ins posted on Canvas. Students/families should reach out to the grade level administrator if you are unable to access the Zoom link on their Canvas page..

  • If students have questions about assignments, they should email the appropriate teachers and join the Zoom meeting.

  • Student schedules can be found in StudentVue and ParentVue.

We appreciate your cooperation as we continue to prioritize the health and safety of the entire Quince Orchard High School community.

Our process and plan is also highlighted in the presentation shared at Back to school night: Google Slides ←Click here

Class of 2022

Join the Senior Reminder Account for Important Updates: To join, please text the following code to 81010:

  • Last names A-G: text qosr22ag to 81010

  • Last names H-M: text qosr22hm to 81010

  • Last names N-S: text qosr22ns to 81010

  • Last names T-Z: text qosr22tz to 81010

Senior fees: senior fees include your cap and gown and other expenses related to graduation. You are able to pay your senior fees online through the school store with a credit card.

  • November 1-January 31: $75

  • February 1-April 30: $85

Important Reminder - Please Review Lunch Process and Norms

Families, please discuss open lunch expectations with your students. 9th and 10th-grade students are still not permitted to leave campus during lunch. Please remember: open lunch is a privilege, not a right. It will be taken away from students who do not adhere to norms or showcase Cougar Pride. This loss of privilege may also include sports and after-school activities. Disrespectful behavior will not be tolerated.

Important Links:

Stay connected throughout the school year with these important links: