The GMHS Hitching Post
George Mason High School Newsletter - May 22, 2020
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We have hit the homestretch to what can only be characterized as the most unique school year in the history of George Mason High School. As always, we appreciate your endless support during these difficult times.
It is with great pleasure that I would like to introduce several new members of the George Mason High School team.
Peter Laub -- Assistant Principal
Sarah Snyder -- Director of Counseling
Rory Dippold -- Acting IB MYP Coordinator
Peter Laub has served the community of Falls Church as a teacher at George Mason for nine years, where he has taught English, Journalism and Creative Writing and served as advisor to the Lasso and Student Council. He previously taught overseas in Istanbul, Turkey. He is a National Board Certified Teacher who holds a Master’s of Education from The Ohio State University and a Master’s in Administration & Supervision from the University of Virginia.
Mr. Laub grew up in Falls Church, graduated from George Mason High School, and is very excited to continue his professional career in the community he loves.
Sarah Snyder studied psychology and women’s studies at The College of William and Mary before earning her MS in rehabilitation counseling from Virginia Commonwealth University. At the beginning of her career, she worked as a substance abuse counselor at a residential treatment facility in Fairfax. Sarah then went on to earn a post-master’s degree in school counseling from VCU.
She spent five years in Arlington Public Schools as a counselor at Wakefield High School and the last three years as Coordinator of Counseling for APS. A life-long Falls Churchian and proud George Mason High School graduate, Sarah is excited to be returning to the Mustang Nation!
Sarah spends her free time taking care of her two dogs—Claddagh and Doolin, singing, playing volleyball, hiking, and enjoying yard/board games with her husband, Mike Cummings, also a GMHS graduate and former lacrosse/wrestling coach.
Congratulations to Ilana Reyes on her new position as Director of Counseling at Flint Hill School in Oakton, VA. We will miss Ilana's leadership on the Counseling and Student Services team. We will miss her willingness to always lend a helping hand, regardless of the situation. One of Ilana's strongest traits is to always put others before herself. Her selfless approach is why she is a great leader and will have ultimate success in her next endeavor.
Dr. Dippold currently serves as Assistant Principal at Mary Ellen Henderson and will be assuming the role of Acting IB MYP Coordinator serving both Henderson and Mason students through June 2022 and the IB evaluation process. Rory has been a member of the FCCPS community for over 14 years and is looking forward to his new leadership role.
The Admin Team
YEARBOOK DELIVERY ANNOUNCEMENT
Please read this important message from Jostens regarding yearbook delivery.
There will be no face-to-face Summer Academy.
Summer Academy Orientation - Thursday, May 28 at 1:00 p.m. via Schoology
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.
NEWS FROM THE COUNSELING OFFICE
Returning Student Enrollment
Returning student enrollment instructions for the 2020-21 school year will be emailed to all families on or after July 1, 2020. It is extremely important this data be updated no later than August 1 to ensure the Student Health Information (Form D Regulation 9.60.1) is received. If a computer is needed to complete this registration, please contact Ms. Kirk in the Counseling office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If your student will not be returning to George Mason High School for the 2020-2021 school year, you must notify the GMHS Registrar by completing the attached online Withdrawal Form GMHS Withdrawal Form, or returning this completed form via email to email@example.com, fax (703-248-5556), or by mail to the Counseling Office. Please note that if this form is not completed, the student's academic records may not be released to the parent or the new school. This form also notifies the registrar to send your student's final transcript to their new school and removes them officially from our Returning Student registration in Powerschool. Please make sure the school-issued laptop, textbooks, library books and athletic uniforms have been returned. Also, pay any fines/fees incurred over the school year before completing the withdrawal process. If you are unsure of any outstanding items or fines/fees owed, please contact the registrar at 703-248-5526.
NEW INSTRUCTION DAY -- FRIDAY, MAY 29
Due to the Memorial Day Holiday on Monday, May 25th, instruction time will be held on Friday, May 29th.
9:00 -- 10:00 a.m. Office Hours
10:00 -- 10:30 a.m. Block 1
10:40 -- 11:10 a.m. Block 3
11:20 -- 11:50 a.m. Block 5
12:00 -- 12:30 p.m. Block 7
1:00 -- 2:00 p.m. Office Hours
LAST WEEK OF INSTRUCTION
This class time is an opportunity for teachers to connect with students one last time and provide some extra time for culminating activities.
STUDENT DROP OFF DAYS FOR GRADES 9-11
Click on the link below for complete drop off procedures.
At George Mason, the weekend of June 6 and 7 will be student drop off days. Student pick up will happen in early August.
Tables will be placed outside in the loop on the Rt. 7 side. The contactless process will be for families to drive up in cars and place items in orange moving bins and leave.
Staff will roll the bins back to tables where the items will be wiped off prior to staff bringing them into the building. Items being returned include:
Athletic Uniforms (parents will be asked to wash them prior to returning them)
Students and staff will be assigned drop off times in order to maintain physical distancing.
Medication will also be reviewed by the School Health Aide and will remain at school. FCCPS will move medication for any students transitioning to the next level. If parents need the medication returned, please contact Assistant Principal, Mr. Dave Serensits - firstname.lastname@example.org.
For technology, current seniors will return their MacBook and charger on June 11. Students in all other grades will keep their computers to support summer school enrollment and ongoing instruction. MacBook software will be updated remotely, and incoming freshmen will complete a laptop exchange in early August when they return their Henderson laptop and are issued a Mason laptop.
All fines/fees will be invoiced and sent on May 22 to students electronically.
UNDERCLASS DROP OFF SCHEDULE FOR JUNE 6 AND JUNE 7
We are excited to share that our graduates will participate in a professional graduation video production created with the expertise of Molly Hermann and her team at The Biscuit Factory - a local business. The video will be aired at 7:00 p.m. on June 10th in lieu of an in-person graduation. Seniors will return to Mason High School on June 11th to pick up their diplomas, stoles, medallions, cords, etc. and turn in their laptops. We will continue to meet with the students to discuss and plan a face-to-face ceremony in the late summer or fall when it is safe to do so.
Our graduation production is a collective effort from the entire senior class, where individual student videos will be combined to create a seamless streaming production. The video will include student and staff speeches along with the action of students moving their tassels and throwing their caps. We would like to send a special thanks out to our senior class leaders who have remained dedicated to planning a graduation event for the entire Falls Church City Community to enjoy, where we can honor and recognize the incredible accomplishments of the George Mason High School Class of 2020.
SENIOR DROP OFF AND PICK UP DAY -- JUNE 11
Items to be returned from seniors are:
Athletic Uniforms (please wash uniforms prior to returning them)
All of the items mentioned above will be returned in exchange for senior diplomas. Seniors will also pick up their stoles, medallions, cords, yearbooks, etc. All fines/fees will be invoiced on May 22 and sent to students electronically.
SENIOR DROP OFF AND PICK UP DAY SCHEDULE -- JUNE 11
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
Saturday, June 6 and Sunday, June 7
Underclass Drop-Off Days
Wednesday, June 10
Semester 2 Grades
Available in PowerSchool/Schoology
Wednesday, June 10
Official Graduation Day Video
Thursday, June 11
Senior Drop Off and Pick Up Day
Friday, July 31
Last day of Summer Academy
SENIOR MAKE-UP PORTRAITS: Thursday, October 29 and Friday, October 30
FALL SPORTS 2020
Any student wishing to participate in a fall sport (pre-season, practice, tryout) must have a completed VHSL Athletic Participation/Parental Consent/Physical Examination Form dated after May 1, 2020. This form is different from the school entry physical and the school entry physical is not sufficient for athletic participation - even for tryouts and practices.
NO EXCEPTIONS TO THE PHYSICAL RULE CAN BE GRANTED!!!
The Form is available on-line at: www.masonathletics.org.
Tryouts are held regardless of holidays or vacations, and candidates are expected to be present for all sessions.
Varsity Cheer Coach (Fall) -- Allison Cray email@example.com
Varsity Cross Country Coach -- Jeff Buck firstname.lastname@example.org
Varsity Field Hockey Coach -- Kali Vicars email@example.com
Varsity Football Coach -- Adam Amerine firstname.lastname@example.org
Varsity Golf Coach -- Mike Wolfe email@example.com
Varsity Volleyball Coach -- Derek Baxter firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW STUDENTS - Please check with the Counseling Office to be sure you are ELIGIBLE and ask them to contact Coach Bravin at email@example.com when you register!
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: https://www.schoology.com/blog/scaling-schoology-increased-demand
Please contact Steven Knight at firstname.lastname@example.org 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.* - http://bit.ly/2INO0hR
*If the IT Team can provide support virtually by remoting into the computer, the team must have the consent of the parent.
INDENTITY FONT DESIGN
Ms. Gurgo's Computer Graphics Class I: Gayle Lobaton, Meike Van Der Steen, Anna Comenetz,
Colleen Romps, Ella Petree, Mena Hailemariam, Caroline "Cece" Walker,
Katherine Valerio Chavez, Dean Wisemiller, Max Saaty, Eliza Gibb and Henry de Vignier-Awad.
FALLS CHURCH EDUCATION FOUNDATION
Postponement of the Falls Church Education Foundation’s (FCEF) Gala & Auction, combined with the immediate need for funds to respond to the current crisis, will leave FCEF short on funds for critical teacher grants, programs and operations. To raise these funds and ensure FCEF is able to provide needed dollars to teachers in this unprecedented time, we are launching an “Orange A-Peel” fundraising campaign with a community twist.
Please consider donating to the Falls Church Education Foundation through this fundraising campaign at the GoFundMe page. Learn more about individual prizes and fundraising milestone celebrations here.
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.