Montgomery Blair High School
Renay Johnson, Principal
September 21, 2020
I hope that you and your families are well and you were able to visit your teen's teachers at our Back to School Night. If you missed Back to School Night, you can join your teen in class during our Parent Visitation Days on Monday, October 12 and Tuesday, October 13. Due to our new virtual schedule this semester, we will have two visitation days to give parents / guardians the opportunities to visit one, some, or all of their teen's classes.
My staff and I miss interacting in person with our Blazers, especially, our littlest Blazers in our Preschool program. Yes, we have a Preschool at Blair and it's my pleasure to highlight our program in this newsletter. Our Annual Preschool Graduation is one of my favorite activities at Blair. Our students can take Child Development Program levels 1-3 and Child Development Internship courses that fulfill the Career Development Program graduation requirement.
Students work with children in a variety of settings, supported by the study of child development from prenatal stages, through infancy and early childhood, to Grade 3. Knowledge of physical, intellectual, language, social, and emotional development is applied through planning lessons, teaching, observing, and studying three and four-year olds in our Preschool. For more information, contact Denae Guzan, Child Development Teacher, Denae_N_Guzan@mcpsmd.org or your school counselor, https://sites.google.com/mcpsmd.net/mbhs-schoolcounseling-team/home.
Finally, we have a large school with over 3300 students, 314 staff members and 20 university interns, my newsletters are filled with an abundance of school information and names of staff to contact if you have questions. We want to engage all of our families with school news and information. In addition, visit our website at https://mbhs.edu/ for up to date information.
Membership Matters: Join Blair's PTSA, Mariama Orange, President
September 22: General PTSA Monthly Meeting, 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. During the meeting, you will have the opportunity to meet with your teen's administrator by grade level / program. Register in advance for this meeting: https://mcpsmd.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJErd-2grjsvG9Ig6gYlndDr0lPSvKEJp3O8
Join the PTSA: https://blairptsa.org/join/
Check the PTSA website for volunteer opportunities: https://blairptsa.org/
Montgomery Blair High School Leads the State with the Most National Merit Semi-finalists!
Please join me in congratulating our 40 National Merit-Semifinalists, the most in Maryland! Mrs. Soriano, Resource Counselor, created this video to recognize our students for their outstanding achievement. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1SDhoF8C3ef4XydxrMQ0YzvUKU2yi6lT0/view?usp=sharing Congratulations Blazers!
Math Honor Society Tutors:
Join the Math Help Space on Canvas for live Zoom tutoring with Blair's Math Honor Society tutors! Tutoring starts on Tuesday September 22, and will be held every B day from 2:45-3:15 p.m. Questions, please contact Grace_R_Contreras@mcpsmd.org, math teacher and MHS Sponsor.
Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) is Required for All Students:
The MAP assessment will be administered as the fall diagnostic in reading and math to all students. We will administer the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessment to serve as our fall baseline on Wednesday, September 23. Students will report to their Period 4 classes according to the following schedule:
MAP Schedule for Wednesday, September 23 (in lieu of live check-ins)
10:00 – 11:30 MAP-R Testing Window
11:30 – 1:00 Lunch
1:00-2:30 MAP-M Testing Window
Questions: Please contact Ms. Burgos-Ojeda or Mr. Fanning, Administrators.
Back to School Essentials Continued:
Last week, we distributed over 2200 bags of materials to our Blazers. Did you miss the entire week of school materials distributions? We will continue materials distribution, Monday, September 21 - Friday, September 25, 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. The pick up will be curbside in front of the Student Activity Center (SAC) and social distancing protocols including masks will be followed.
Blair Network Communication (BNC)
Montgomery Blair Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month:
Hispanic Heritage Month is from September 15 to October 15 and it is a great time to learn more about the diversity of experiences and cultures that comprise the country's Hispanic and Latino heritage. We celebrate our school's largest student population.
Enjoy an episode of Voces Unidas, our student-directed Hispanic Heritage Month Show, every day from September 15-October 15 by following @voceunidasmbhs on Instagram and Twitter and/or visiting our @BlairNetworkCommunications YouTube Channel, https://bnconline.net/voces-unidas-episode-1/. Our student performances honor and represent Latinx and Hispanic figures, topics, and issues in our community. Even though we are physically apart, our voces still remain unidas! Contact sponsor Ms. Kalin Martínez with any questions.
Equity and Inclusion Support:
As we approach the end of the first month of school, we hope your students feel engaged and connected in spite of our socially distanced circumstances. Given the continued social unrest touching different corners of our nation, we also want to ensure that all of our students feel affirmed and encouraged. As we always have, Blair strives now more than ever to foster classroom experiences that are both culturally responsive and socially inclusive. Should you have any questions or suggestions about steps we are taking as a community toward exercising this mission, please reach out to Rahman Culver, Diversity and Inclusion Instructional Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or (240) 621-2760."
SENIOR PORTRAITS Class of 2021
We are extremely excited to capture the joy of senior portraits for the Class of 2021! With the challenges raised by COVID-19, Lifetouch/Prestige Portraits has developed policies, photographer training and procedures for the safety of our employees, Class of 2021 seniors and our school community partners. The first session of Class of 2021 senior portraits will be held at Montgomery Blair High School on October 28, November 11, November 14, November 18, December 2 and December 9.
Please note that the no-charge, yearbook-only sitting option is not available to select as a sitting on the website. If the no charge, 2-pose yearbook option is the desired sitting level you should select the Basic sitting level online when you confirm but not pay the sitting fee. You can alert the team when you arrive for their appointment that you just want the no-charge yearbook sitting.
• Please keep an eye out for your senior portrait mailer in mid-October.
• Be sure to confirm your portrait session online once you receive your mailer with your unique code.
• If you do not receive a packet in the mail or if you lose your code, you can go to prestigeportraits.com and look up your information by doing a search for the school and then entering your first and last name information. If, in that process, your name is not listed, that means you were not included in the data file we received from the school. You will then need to call our Customer Service team to schedule. That number is 800-445-1189.
Visit our Silverlogue website at http://www.silverlogue.wordpress.com/
Graduation requirements for the Class of 2021 is here
https://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/uploadedFiles/curriculum/1025.19_GradReqAtAGlanceClass2021_Flyer.pdf. You will be informed if the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) changes the graduation requirements.
School Counseling Department
Please check out the recent updates of our School Counseling program via this video. We are sharing how to access recent recording of events, and hear about upcoming events!
Montgomery County Public Schools SAT / ACT Information:
MCPS and College Board are moving forward with plans for offering the SAT to registered students on September 26 and October 3 at select MCPS test centers. For students not already registered, registration for October 3 remains open until September 22 here. In order to limit group sizes, additional test centers have been added to spread out students, which may result in students being assigned to a different test center nearby. Non-standard testing for students with approved accommodations will also be offered. These testing details, along with details for testing day and health/safety requirements, will be communicated directly by the College Board to the email address that was used for student registration. Be on the lookout for these email messages from the College Board.
Important Note on ACT: Although large national ACT administrations in MCPS buildings are not being offered in September or October at this time, MCPS is currently planning to administer the ACT for students with already approved accommodations. This small group testing will take place during the approved October special testing window. Parents of students with approved accommodations for special testing should contact the counseling department at their child’s school to make arrangements with the testing coordinator for testing to take place outside of the school day.
College Board Website: https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/sat
Montgomery College / Montgomery Blair ACES Program:
Do you have a 10th grade student at a Montgomery Blair High School? Does your student want to attend college?
Achieving Collegiate Excellence and Success (ACES) is a collaborative program among Montgomery County Public Schools, Montgomery College, and the Universities at Shady Grove that provides a seamless and supportive pathway to college completion.
The ACES program seeks to serve students who identify with any of the following categories:
- Historically underrepresented in higher education
- First in their family to graduate from a college or university in the United States
- Have differing abilities
- From a single parent household
- From a low income household - falls below the poverty line as defined by the State of Maryland
- English language learners
As a qualifying 10th grader*, students can receive:
- Individual coaching
- Preparation for college entrance exams
- College and financial aid application support
- Leadership development opportunities
- Career readiness training and skills
- Student success workshops
Visit acesmontomgery.org/apply/ for important information and to apply. The application deadline is January 15, 2021.
Contact for the ACES program coordinator at Montgomery Blair:
Mónica Burgos, LMSW
Montgomery Blair High School
Grade 9 Information:
Grade 9 Parent Meeting:
It is our expectation that all students will attend the live class sessions every day. Parent should send Ms. Roxanne Fus, an email (Roxanne_F_Fus@mcpsmd.org) with the reason for their child's absence, include date of absence, student ID # and a daytime phone number to verify the absence.
❏ If a student is absent during the live sessions, they can access the recorded lesson within 72 hours.
❏ Student/Parent/Guardian must attest to viewing the recording by completing the school-specific Attendance Google Form found on the school’s website and here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfI682JHZy_aI1i9t1CigBdDsj6K48bIjxzMeuJ-QTu-Qw-WA/viewform?entry.255371218=Montgomery+Blair+HS
❏ The attendance secretary will then reconcile the absence on the student record.
❏ Students with extenuating circumstances should communicate with their grade level / program administrator.
School Meals are Free for All Students:
Montgomery County Public Schools is providing curbside meal service at Blair. Breakfast and lunch meals will be provided from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday (double meals), no meal service on Thursday, and triple meal service on Fridays, to help address food insecurity for MCPS students over the weekend.
We ask that you wear a facemask and practice physical/social distancing as you pick up meals. Menu information is available on the main Menu webpage, https://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/foodserv/menus/secondary_lunch.aspx. Allergens, nutrients and other information can be found on the Wellness & Nutrition webpage.
Complete the 2020 - 2021 online application for fee or reduced price school meals. Click the link below and apply now, https://www.myschoolapps.com/. If you qualify, you are eligible to receive free or reduced breakfast and lunch. In addition, you will be eligible for the following benefits: Waivers for Advanced Placement and SAT Exams, fieldtrip cost, and discounted internet service.
Due to COVID-19 related school closures, children who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals can get up to $370.50 in food benefits. These benefits, called P-EBT, are intended to help families purchase food while schools are closed. For more info:
Support Montgomery Blair High School Restaurant Fundraiser:
Show Your School Spirit: Order Blair Wear!
Blair Fanny Pack:
Blair Clothing and Apparel:
The fall virtual season is underway! The fall season has 311 student-athletes registered for the 9 programs including football, field hockey, boys soccer, girls soccer, golf, cross country, girls volleyball, cheerleading and team handball. The teams have been involved in virtual meetings to discuss fitness and sport-specific skills and knowledge, have attended virtual meetings with guest speakers including our very own alumni, and engaged in conditioning programs on their own after receiving instructions.
The Athletics staff has started a Leadership program in which 128 student-athletes across all our 43 teams are involved. The Leadership Program will run all semester long in 9 sessions with a celebration of completion in January! Starting on Wednesday 9/23 we will start an 8 session Strong Mind program for student-athletes to work on enhancing their mental health and making them more prepared for the mental part of athletics and being the best student-athlete one can be! Both extra programs require registration and if interested, contact Rita J. Boulé, Athletic Director.
If you are a student-athlete interested in a virtual winter or spring sport, those seasons will be here soon. Winter will run from 10/26 – 12/4 and spring from 12/4 – 1/27. Registration will open about 3 weeks before the season starts. It is important that you receive medical clearance to fully participate in any season and if we should ever go to in person. The form can be found here: Medical Clearance form SR-8. This is the only form we can accept.
The following note comes from the Boosters President, Tom Hildebrandt:
Greetings from the Blair Athletic Association Booster Club! Welcome back to all our returning student athletes and a BIG welcome to our incoming 9th graders. Great to have everyone back for what promises to be in interesting year!
As many of you know already, Blair Boosters is a parent volunteer organization which supports the health and safety of all Blair student-athletes by providing general assistance to Interscholastic Athletics at Blair. We fundraise to assist in paying for facility improvements, program-wide equipment, record boards, and awards for Blair student-athletes. Blair Booster leadership includes Treasurer- Ed Wilhelm, Concessions- Barb Efantis, Gear/Spiritwear- Todd Elliott, Membership- Kirsten Wenger, Secretary- Jean Townsend. We can be reached by email at email@example.com
It will be a challenging year to maintain our fundraising efforts for Athletic programs, but we are working on some new ideas which can be implemented in a social-distanced environment. Keep watching our website at www.blairboosters.org for our Blair spiritwear sales coming ONLINE this Fall.
Blair Athletic Association Boosters
If you have question, comments or concerns, please email the Athletic Director Rita Boulé at Rita_J_Boule@mcpsmd.org. Visit https://blairblazersathletics.com/ or go to the MCPS Athletics website for more information at https://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/athletics/.. Looking forward to a great year! Go Blazers!
If you do not receive log-in information for your teen, please contact Ms. Melissa Young, Latino Achievement Coordinator, Melissa_Young@mcpsmd.org or Ms. Andrea Lamphier, Media Specialist, Andrea_Lamphier@mcpsmd.org.
Student schedules are now available in ParentVUE and StudentVUE. Parents and students will need to log in to the report using the student’s ID and password. Report Link: https://studentschedule.mcpsmd.org
ParentVUE Support for Parents:
If you did not receive an email with ParentVUE activation information, you can call 240-740-7020 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
If parents can only see some children but not all, please complete this form and we will merge accounts:
Parent Webinar Series:
More dates and times have been added to the webinar series for parents. Sessions with translators have also been added. Check out the updated flyer and visit the MCPS website for updates and links to resources.
Scheduling, Transcript, Social Emotional Wellness Questions, Contact Your Teen's Counselor
School Counseling Department:
All Things College and Career: Contact Carmen Salazar, College and Career Coordinator. Carmen_A_Salazar@mcpsmd.org
Melissa Young, is our MyMCPS/Synergy Parent Portal Staff Liaison, Melissa_Young@mcpsmd.org
Retrieving Medication From Last Year: Contact Joseph Fanning, Joseph_M_Fanning@mcpsmd.org
Health Room: Full Time School Nurse: Anisa Harris, Anisa_Harris@mcpsmd.org
Health Room Tech: Sophia Duque, Sofia_Duque@mcpsmd.org
Principal's Administrative Secretary, Claudine Biggs, Claudine_Biggs@mcpsmd.org
Attendance Office: Roxanne Fus, Roxanne_F_Fus@mcpsmd.org
Blair Security Office: Darryl Cooper, Security Team Leader, Darryl_J_Cooper@mcpsmd.org
Financial Specialist: Donna Franklin, Donna_M_Franklin@mcpsmd.org
Parent Community Coordinator: Faye Nabavian, Farzaneh_Nabavian@mcpsmd.org
Pupil Personnel Worker: Ramona Washington, Ramona_L_Washington@mcpsmd.org
Renay Johnson: Principal
Adriana Burgos-Ojeda: Grade 12 Administrator
Joseph Fanning: Grade 11 Administrator
Dirk Cauley: Grade 10 Administrator A-L
Candace Wilkerson: Grade 10 Administrator M-Z
Lavina Carrillo: Grade 9 Administrator A-L
Tracy Pettis-Jones: Grade 9 Administrator M-Z
Peter Ostrander: Magnet & CAP Programs
James Funk: School Business Administrator
Saturday School Learning Opportunities:
All students and families can register online at www.saturdayschool.org. Scholarships are available for students and families in need.
Register to Vote:
Postmark deadline: Tuesday, October 13th.
1) Text VOTE to 77788;
2) Visit 777vote.org to download paper application;
- English: https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/Elections/Resources/Files/pdfs/Voter%20services/English_Internet_VRA%20(1).pdf
- Spanish: https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/Elections/Resources/Files/pdfs/Voter%20services/Spanish_Internet_VRA.pdf
Mail-in Ballot Application. Received deadline, Tuesday, October 20th.
1) Text VBM to 77788;
2) Visit 777vote.org to download application:
- English: https://elections.maryland.gov/voting/documents/Absentee_Ballot_Application_English.pdf
- Spanish: https://elections.maryland.gov/voting/documents/Absentee_Ballot_Application_Spanish.pdf
General Election FAQ's: https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/Elections/FrequentlyAskedQuestions/faqs-general-2020.html
Ballot Drop Box Information: https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/Elections/dropbox.html
Montgomery Blair High School
Montgomery Blair is a nationally recognized award winning high school located in Silver Spring, MD. Celebrating 80 years of tradition, pride & excellence! The mission of Montgomery Blair High School is to ensure that all students graduate equipped with the skills to navigate their chosen paths successfully.
Follow on twitter @blairprincipal
Like Montgomery Blair High School on Facebook
Follow on Instagram @blairprincipal