SVHS Green and Gold

Dr. Cohen/Mr. Smith's Newsletter to the SVHS Community

February 28, 2021 Edition

Celebrating Black History Month!

Every year schools across the country find ways to show their appreciation of Black History, but we here at SVHS have taken things up a few notches! This year a group of teachers, along with students, volunteered to meet outside of instruction to collaborate in creating the BEST Black History Month presentation, ever!

To view the presentation, click here.

We are so PROUD of these teachers/students and their beautiful work that demonstrates the grave importance of Black History. They spoke well of Black History being about integrity, leadership, and determination and were able to draw the conclusion that we truly believe "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

SVHS is an IB World school where we celebrate and thank those of African American heritage for giving us hope or a life lesson that could be used. Therefore, we hope that all our teachers and students can continue to reflect, engage, practice, and even use their voices to make connections in building positive relationships of trust and understanding.

Below is a special shout out of 'THANK YOU' to all those involved in this most important effort in promoting racial and social justice. #YEAH #SENECA...#GO #EAGLES #OF #EQUITY!!


Kelsey Cabanayan (MSP Outreach Coordinator-Wideman’s former student)

Manashvi Oli (Wideman’s 1st semester H. Bio student)

Laderek O’Neal (Wideman’s 1st semester H. Bio student)

Mackenzie Smith (Wideman’s Homerm & current H. Bio student)

Vero Smith (Wideman’s Homerm & current H. Bio student)

Layla Stepanik (Wideman’s Homerm & current H. Bio student)

Vida Sulureh (Wideman’s Homerm & 1st semester H. Bio student)

Femilayo Rossman (MSP Vice-Pres-Initiator of BHM Google Slide Presentation)

Korey Trone (Wideman’s 1st semester and current H. Bio student)


*Mr. Gibson, *Ms. Hanford, *Ms. Hopkins-Jones, *Ms. Little-Cook

Ms. Chaney, Ms. Cobble, Ms. Hess, Mr. Maturana, Ms. Maxey, Ms. Murray,

Ms. Rahmati, Ms. Reyes, Ms. Wanzer, Mr. Weisberg

NEW: Change to Schedule beginning March 1 (please see the calendar below)

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NEW: Materials Distribution THIS WEEK

There will be limited materials distribution on Wednesday, March 10th and Thursday, March 11th between the hours of 11:30 am – 12:30 pm and 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm. Students will be notified by their teachers if they have materials to collect. A specific list of teachers who have materials to distribute will be sent out in the next newsletter. Students may return textbooks that are no longer needed during materials distribution times.

NEW: This Week's Notes from the College & Career Center

FAFSA & MSFAA - Seniors, Maryland deadline is March 1st!!!

The FAFSA & MSFAA are financial aid forms to request financial aid to help pay for college. Those students not eligible to apply for the FAFSA should consider applying for the MSFAA. Please see the SVHS College & Career Financial Aid Page (linked below) for more information about both forms. If you haven’t done so already, you must submit these forms by the deadline of March 1!!!

IMPORTANT UPDATE - If you have created an MDCAPS account to apply for financial aid and need to upload your transcript, send Mr. Nalda an email with your MHEC ID Number. He will be able to upload your GPA information directly to MHEC.

Feel free to reach out to Mr. Nalda if you have any questions.

Mid-Year Transcripts - Seniors

Mid-Year Transcripts are now available! If you need one as part of your college application or a college has requested one from you, please request in Naviance. You can also reach out to your counselor as a follow-up.

College Acceptances - Seniors

Have you applied and been accepted to a college or university? Please update this information in Naviance and, if possible, share via email with Mr. Nalda as we need to keep track of this data. Take a picture of or scan your letter(s) of acceptance and add as an attachment. Thank you!!

SAT Reimbursements for Class of 2021

MCPS offers SAT School Day to all Grade 11 students each year, in order to remove barriers associated with college entrance examinations. Because this opportunity for a “free” SAT was cancelled in March 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, MCPS is offering reimbursement to any Class of 2021 graduate who paid for an SAT on their own and took the test on September 26, October 3, November 7, or December 5, 2020. A google form will be used to request reimbursement.

Montgomery College Board of Trustees (BOT) Scholarship - Due March 1st!

The Board of Trustees Academic Specialty Scholarship is for talented Montgomery County high school graduates who plan to enroll at any Montgomery College campus. This is a one-year scholarship that covers the full-time cost of tuition and fees at the county resident tuition rate, up to a maximum of 15 credits per semester.

Upcoming Scholarships

  • February 28 - MLB Black History Month Challenge - 1st Place: $10,000, 2nd Place: $6,000, & 3rd Place: $4,000; grades 9-12, ages 13-18; U.S. or Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident; after completing a 30-minute course, submit a short essay based on what you’ve learned.
  • March 01 - The Bernie Scholarship - up to 65 $1,500 awards; seniors, including undocumented students who qualify as Dreamers; min 2.0 GPA; live in Montgomery County, MD, and receive housing assistance from Housing Opportunities Commission (HOC), the Scotland Community or from housing owned/managed by Rockville Housing Enterprises, Edgewood Management or Forest Park Apartments, and other students who can prove they have a Section 8 or Public Housing rental subsidy; transcript; community service; at least 2 references; statement of goals; see link for full details and guidelines. (flyers: English, Spanish, Amharic)
  • March 01 - Choose Respect Video Contest - 1st-$1,000, 2nd-$750, 3rd-$500, and honorable mention awards; open to 6th-12th grade students living in Montgomery County; create an original video to promote awareness of dating abuse and domestic violence among teens; all submissions must: have a title, be in either English or Spanish, be 50-70 seconds in length, be uploaded to Google Drive, Dropbox, YouTube, or similar program; see link for full rules and guidelines.
  • March 01 - AFA’s 2021 Teens for Alzheimer's Awareness College Scholarship Essay Contest - multiple awards up to $5,000 (grand prize); senior; U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident; enter a four-year school in the fall; write a 1,200 to 1,500-word essay that describes the impact of Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia-related illness on themselves, their families or their communities, and what they have learned in light of coping with the brain disorder; transcript.
  • March 01 - David Ebrahimzadeh Scholarship - 1-$1,000 award; senior; accepted into a college or university; for students who are seeking a degree in real estate, or have a passion in real estate; submit a 500-word essay that answers the following prompt: “When it comes to real estate, what excites you about the future?”
  • March 01 - Aero Club Foundation of Washington Scholarship - $5,000 award; seniors; do not have to be a U.S. Citizen; attend an accredited college or university for studies in an aviation/aerospace program, technical school (e.g., enrolled in a course of study in the pursuit of an FAA mechanics certificate or other comparable certificated aviation or aerospace position), or flight training; 300-400-word essay; min. of one letter of recommendation, preferably from a teacher or guidance counselor or professor who can articulate the applicant’s career goals in aviation/aerospace and/or financial need; transcript; copy of your Student Aid Report (SAR) from your FAFSA is highly recommended OR complete the demonstrated financial need information contained as part of the online application.
  • March 11 - Lockheed Martin Vocational Scholarship Program - over 100 $6,600 awards; senior; plan to enroll part- or full- time at a U.S. accredited vocational technical school, trade school, two-year community college or state college; pursue an associate degree, credit-bearing certificate or an industry-recognized credential in one of the specified fields of study; see link for eligible fields of study.
  • March 13 - Delta Sigma Theta Sorority County-Wide Scholarship - senior; min 2.5 GPA; all students welcome to apply; 2 letters of recommendation; community service; submit two 300-500 word essays; transcript.
  • March 13 - Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Career/Vocational Technical Scholarship - senior; min 2.0 GPA; all students welcome to apply; 2 letters of recommendation; community service; submit two 300-500 word essays; transcript; apply to an accredited career/vocational/ tech school as a full-time student.

College Board Scholarships - opportunity to win up to $40,000! For Juniors & Seniors. Available to Seniors through February 28, 2021.

Click here to see the SVHS Scholarships Page for more opportunities.

Next Week's College Visits - Juniors & Seniors

U.S. Air Force

Colin Boerger

3/2/21 8:15 AM

Harrisburg University of Science and Technology

Tyson Singletary

3/4/21 11:30 AM

*Register in Naviance to access zoom links to meetings.

To see a full list of College Visits, see click the link: List of College Visits

Upcoming Events

Moving Forward College and Career Readiness - For Juniors

Juniors, let's start planning! We enthusiastically invite you all to participate in the following workshops to get a head start in planning for life after high school!

All workshops are from 11:30 am - 12:30 pm. Click here to see the flyer. Click Here to Register.

§ Wednesday, March 10 - Resume/Interview Skills

§ Wednesday, April 7 - Apprenticeship/Trades

§ Monday, April 19 - College Essay Writing

§ Wednesday, April 21 - Tips on Common Application

§ Wednesday, April 28 - Intro to Financial Aid and Scholarships

SVHS February College & Career Newsletter

NEW: Internship Applications

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NEW: IB/MYP Spotlight

This month we are continuing our focus on the ATL category THINKING skills, but now we will examine the MYP cluster of CREATIVE THINKING. Our Learner Profile attribute is THINKER.

One of the core skills within THINKING SKILLS is CREATIVE THINKING. How can students be creative? How can this creativity be applied to thinking skills? CREATIVE THINKING is generating novel ideas and considering new perspectives. CREATIVE THINKING can be encouraged through brainstorming and visual diagrams to generate new ideas and inquiries. Then, through the use of making guesses, asking “what if” questions and generating testable hypotheses, students can then apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products or processes to create original works and ideas; use existing works and ideas in new ways, practise visible thinking strategies and flexible thinking—develop multiple opposing, contradictory and complementary arguments. The goal of CREATIVE THINKING is to consider multiple alternatives, including those that might be unlikely or impossible, create novel solutions to authentic problems, and make unexpected or unusual connections between objects and/or ideas. This kind of thinking allows students to design improvements to new and existing machines, media and technologies.

As THINKERS, “we use critical and creative thinking skills to analyse and take responsible action on complex problems. We exercise initiative in making reasoned, ethical decisions..”

IB students should use their THINKING skills and CREATIVE THINKING to be THINKERS when they brainstorm and generate new ideas, outline and storyboard ideas, question and challenge arguments, identify problems and evaluate solutions, and make connections in unfamiliar situations.

Are you a rising 11th grader? Consider the IB Diploma or IB Career-related program!

Did you know the IB Diploma and IB Career-related program ...

  • are highly valued by colleges during the admission process?
  • can potentially save you money by earning college credit?
  • help students develop the academic and socioemotional skills essential for college & career success?

When colleges and universities evaluate student admissions, they compare student transcripts to the programs offered at the high school. They want students who take advantage of the program and rigorous courses offered at their school. Additionally, employers want to hire interns and employees with diverse skill sets that include both the academic and socioemotional skills.

  • Colleges and universities want to see students in an IB class, even if they earn less than an A, so they know the student has developed the skills to handle tough courses.
  • These programs give you an edge in the college application process and make you STAND OUT from other applicants.
  • This is especially true when students participate in the full IB DP or IB CP program. The core requirements of both programs, including the research components, service experiences, and core classwork, make them highly regarded college preparatory programs and unparalleled in their preparation for college, career, and life .
  • As MCPS no longer offers exams, the IB programs help you prepare for the rigor of college so you can excel.
  • IB Science courses give you an edge when applying to internships.
  • In addition to the skills preparation and standing out for college admissions and career opportunities, students also have the potential to earn college credit. Many colleges even award additional credit for participating in the IB DP or IB CP compared to individual IB or AP courses- some alum even enter college as sophomores!

The IB Programs are college level rigor with high school level supports. If you work hard now, you will be prepared for success in college and career! YOU CAN DO THIS!

Ms. Ezerski, the IB Coordinator would love to chat with you about your options. Please send her an email at or drop by her Zoom Mon-Thurs 3:00-3:30 or Lunch Mon and Weds 11:15-12:00

REPEAT: AP Exams Update

This is a reminder to submit your payment for Advanced Placement exams. The deadline to submit payments for AP exams is: MARCH 29, 2021. Payments can be submitted through our Online Student Payment system (OSP). To make payments, please follow the instructions below:

  • Go to the SVHS website
  • On the left-hand side in the green bar find "School Payments" (CLICK)
  • Find "Online School Payment" (CLICK)
  • Find "High" in the upper toolbar in Blue with WHITE letters
  • Select Seneca Valley High School
  • Select the specific AP exam(s) OR
  • NOTE: If you are requesting a Payment Plan or Fee Waiver based on income, you will select that option

REPEAT: SAT School Day

Montgomery County Public Schools is planning to offer SAT School Day for Grade 11 students. Seneca Valley High School will administer the MCPS Countywide SAT to all juniors.

As part of a comprehensive strategy to open access and opportunity for all students, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) provides important college readiness examinations to all students. This includes the SAT School Day for Grade 11 students. Not only does this approach allow greater access to these important examinations, but it supports efforts to remove barriers associated with college entrance examinations and ensures equitable access to these important steps to college and career readiness.

As a result, MCPS is moving forward with plans to offer the following assessments in spring 2021, depending on health and safety conditions:

  • The SAT during the school day on April 13, 2021 (make-up date April 27, 2021), at no cost to any Grade 11 student.

  • Students opting to take these assessments during the school day will be automatically registered. Students and parents/guardians will be able to elect to participate in the assessments regardless of their selected preference for in-person learning.

While the goals for these assessments are for maximum student participation, as a result of the pandemic, these are considered optional assessments.

Please note that students taking the tests during the school day must adhere to the same testing protocols that take place on national testing dates, including approval of individualized accommodations and adherence to COVID-19 guidelines.

If you are interested in taking the SAT (Grade 11) in-person on April 13, 2021, please complete:

SAT (Grade 11)

More information will be forthcoming as we approach the spring test administration. More information can also be found here:

If you have any further questions, please contact your child’s school counselor at 240-740-6420.

UPDATED: Book Club and Library/Media Center Updates

  • The next meeting of the Black-Eyed Susan Book Club will take place on Wednesday, February 24th, at 2:00 pm. We will discuss the book A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi, which is available in Sora, our online reading platform. To learn more about how to access this book in eBook or audiobook format, please visit the “Read Online” flag in the Virtual Library Media Center.

  • Please take a look at our curated Black History Month books & resources and other collections in Destiny, our online library catalog. The collections include eBooks students can read online by logging in to Destiny using their student IDs and passwords. If you have any trouble accessing Seneca’s online resources, please contact Ms. Little.

UPDATED: Creativity Contests

  • The 12th Annual Choose Respect Montgomery video contest is accepting entries of original, 60-second public service announcements (PSA) that promote awareness of dating abuse and domestic violence among teens. Submissions are due by March 1, 2021. Click HERE for entry rules and to see past winners.

  • NEW: Gandhi Brigade Youth Media (GBYM), an organization of students who use digital media to advance social justice, are inviting artists and filmmakers to submit work for an upcoming “Empathy to Solidarity” exhibit that will run through April. Submissions are due by March 8, 2021. For more information and to submit work for consideration, click HERE.

  • The Montgomery County Youth Media Festival invites all middle and high school students, plus young adults ages 18-25, in the DMV to submit original works of video and art for consideration. Selected entries will be shown at the festival in April, when winners will be announced. Submissions are due by March 20, 2021. Click HERE for contest rules and the submission form.

  • NEW: The Keeping It Safe (KIS) Coalition invites teams of two or more students to create and submit 30-second videos on one of three topics related to the risks and dangers of underage drinking. Entries are due by March 26, 2021. Click HERE for contest rules.

REPEAT: George B. Thomas Sr. Learning Academy

The George B. Thomas Sr. Learning Academy, Inc., Saturday School is working in conjunction with the MCPS curriculum office to offer FREE AP/IB support classes on Saturday mornings beginning on Saturday, February 27th. Please share this information with your families ASAP.

Students can register at the link below:

REMINDER: Counselor LIVE Chat

Counselors are now available for live chat sessions EVERYDAY via Zoom. Please use your student's sign in credentials to access the session. Click HERE to access counselor's availability. *Please note that you may be required to wait briefly in the waiting room while the counselor is meeting with another parent and/or student."

REMINDER: Where do I go for help?

We are here to support you in any way that we can. for more information about who to go to for the most commonly asked questions, please visit this link. There you will find resources for the topics listed below. We will continue to add to this list as needs evolve.

  • Community Resources
  • Wellness Resources
  • Student Support
  • Counselors
  • Class Sponsors
  • Technology Reminders
  • Ask Your Librarian

For spirit wear purchases:

Seneca Valley Online SPIRIT WEAR!!!

Seneca Valley is excited to offer online sales of the spirit wear we used to sell on-site (and more!) through our local vendor, VerTee Shirts. Check it out!

VerTee Shirts: (T-shirts, sweatshirts, lounge pants, fleece jackets, and masks)

SVHS Spirit Wear can also be purchased at the following sites.

Squad Locker:


Want a SVHS License Plate? Please visit the School website for details.

Are you #SVPROUD?

Are you proud to be a part of the SV community? We want to let everyone know how much we love being a part of the Screaming Eagle family. We have a challenge for you. Let's go viral!!!
  • Tweet, Snap, IB, FB, etc., a pic of you repping "The Valley" by wearing your Seneca gear.
  • And don't forget to use #svproud. Go Eagles!