VA Weekly Navigator
Your Guide to News, Updates, and Reminders in the VA
(Week of October 31, 2022)
Virtual Academy Calendar for October 2022
Remembrance and Reconciliation Month
Montgomery County Public Schools will observe Remembrance and Reconciliation Month by supporting local Emancipation Day celebrations, providing schools with age-appropriate lessons on local historic African American communities, and virtual changemaker workshops for students and their families in English and Spanish on November 15 - 17, 2022.
Read the full message and access translation here: https://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/publicinfo/community/school-year-2022-2023/Community-Update-20221028-november.html
Fall Fundraiser - Ends December 1, 2022
Looking to get a head start on some holiday or winter season shopping! Don't like going out to stores? Then our Fall Fundraiser just might be the answer! Our online fundraiser store has all occasion and holiday items, apparel, bags & totes, candles, floral items, sweet & savory snacks and treats, popcorn, jewelry, kitchen items, kids & pet items, magazines, gift wrap, and more!
With your help, we will be raising funds to be used to support Montgomery Virtual Academy K-12 students and teachers through general school-wide purchases that would otherwise not be funded by available school funds. We are encouraging every family to participate. We will reach our first goal when each student registers and shares the fundraiser with 5 or more supporters.
There are 2 ways to participate:
A) DIRECTIONS TO PARTICIPATE IF YOU WANT YOUR CHILD TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR PRIZES:
- Please register your student(s) at www.ShopFund.com. After registering, you will get a link/code to share with family & friends
- Send your link/code to 5 supporters
- Consider making a purchase
B) Not interested in registering, but still interested in supporting? Use this direct shopping link set up for MVA K-5 Admin & Staff: https://www.shopfund.com/Shop?sid=1611436&t=EM
Any purchase made will generate funds for the benefit of every child. Your participation is very appreciated. Thank you for your help and support! All purchases will be shipped directly to purchasers in time for the winter holidays! There are prizes for the highest sellers. See the linked letter for details.
Click to view the Believe Fall Fundraiser Parent Letter for more details
Student Volunteers Needed for Materials Distribution -- SSL HOURS!
Gear up for Semester 2 Materials Distribution! Ms. DeLucia needs student volunteers.
Interested in helping prepare for second semester distribution and earning SSLs? Sign Up Here!
English Language Development Survey
The Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) is ready to collect survey data from parents to gather input from families about their experiences in MCPS, per the Center for Applied Linguistics Evaluation of the English Language Development (ELD) program for Emergent Multilingual Learners (EMLs) and instruction/supports for Latina/o/e in MCPS.
Participation is completely voluntary, and any parent can withdraw from the survey at any time with no negative consequences. All information will be confidential. Names will not be used in reports or papers about this project. Additionally, personal information will not be shared with MCPS schools, teachers, or administrators.
Please note that the deadline for all parent responses is November 11. Thank you for your participation and feedback! Your voice matters and can help make the change you want to see.
CAL Parent Survey Links Below:
English: Parent Survey
Spanish: Encuesta para padres
Amharic: የወላጅ ጥናት
Korean: 학부모 설문조사
Portuguese: Pesquisa de Pais
Vietnamese: Khảo sát phụ huynh
French: Enquête auprès des parents
Inspiring Person of the Week
Inspiring Person of the Week
The Virtual Academy has launched the Inspiring Person of the Week Campaign. The campaign is designed to elevate the diverse people who have contributed their knowledge and talents to the United States.
Students can earn 2 SSL hours by submitting an slide to the Inspiring Person of the Week committee. Student submissions must have the student's name and MCPS ID number, a title, a summary, a picture of the inspiring person, and links to additional information about the inspiring person.
Students can email their slides or Canva poster and reflections to Mr. Henrique Vissotto: firstname.lastname@example.org. Because this is a school-hosted SSL opportunity, we will keep a log of the students who submit posters along with their reflections.
Here is this week’s Inspiring Person of the Week: Angeline Jolie
Culture of Respect 3.0
Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) is committed to ensuring our students are equipped with the information needed to be able to recognize signs of bullying/cyber bullying, harassment (including sexual harassment), hate-bias incidents, hazing, intimidation, and student gender norms. An online student training lesson, entitled “Culture of Respect 3.0,” has been developed for students in grades 6-12. This online training lesson builds on last year’s student module and provides critical information that will help students better recognize the signs of inappropriate behaviors, including the various ways to report alleged/concerning incidents. The training includes a student survey that will provide school leaders with valuable data to assess the current culture and climate of respect at their schools and determine potential next steps to plan for improvements. Students will earn two student services learning hours to complete the training.
Read the full letter here.
The training should take approximately 30 minutes to complete, and will be accessible to all students via their myMCPS Classroom homepage beginning October 20, 2022. Students are asked to complete the training by December 2, 2022.
Seal of Biliteracy
Does your child know a language other than English?
The Maryland Seal of Biliteracy recognizes high levels of proficiency in English and one or more additional languages!
The seal is a sign to future employers and college/university admissions that you are bilingual and biliterate, and it brings a sense of cultural awareness.
Testing open to ALL Juniors and Seniors!
Seniors test free! Juniors cost $21
Testing date TBA soon!
Register to Test Today!
¿Te gustaría incluir el Sello de Bilingüismo en tu curriculum vitae para demostrarles tus destrezas lingüísticas a empleadores y universidades?
La escuela virtual está ofreciendo evaluación para este honor a estudiantes en 11° grado y 12° grado.
¡La evaluación de 12° grado es gratuita! 11° grado por $21
Testing date TBA soon!
MVA World Languages Website
The Montgomery Virtual Academy’s World Languages Department has a new website!
MVA language learners and anyone interested in American Sign Language, French, and Spanish can access a rich database of digital resources. Fostering our MVA vision for an innovative, personalized virtual learning community, this website enables students to engage with the MCPS World language curriculum outside of the “traditional” modes.
Students will receive up-to-date announcements on all the happenings in our department and ways they can engage with their peers in the virtual or in-person community. The website has over 30 web pages, a growing database of videos, and a plethora of stock images to engage our Gen-Z learners.
Please watch the following promo video and access the website.
MVA Science Website
The Holiday Giving Project has provided Thanksgiving and December holiday assistance to low-income households for over 30 years. A network of social workers, school counselors, and human service professionals refer families in need of assistance. Local non-profits, faith-based organizations, and public agencies serve Holiday Giving recipients, as donations are available. If you and your family are in need and would like to be referred for possible assistance for the holiday season, please complete this referral form to provide the required information. Resources are limited: please apply only if you and your family are truly in need. While a referral is not a guarantee of assistance, the Project helps as many families in need as donations allow.
Due DATES: Thanksgiving Holiday OCT. 31st [Extended deadline]
For December: NOV.16th
Please complete the GOOGLE parent consent form if you are interested.
Attention Families of 8th Grade Students
The deadline is approaching for Regional/Countywide Programs for 8th graders. All students who are interested in applying to Regional or Countywide Programs, please access your Program Eligibility Letter through Parent Vue.
Due Date for applications: NOVEMBER 4th
Here are some helpful links about the programs.
MCPS Website: https://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/curriculum/specialprograms/high/
8th grade Parent Presentation on High School Programs:
Attention Families of 12th grade Students
MVA Letters of Recommendation for College Applications
The process for students requesting a letter of recommendation from their Virtual Academy teacher is as follows. Virtual Academy students may choose one of these options below.
- The VA student will add the VA teacher to their Common Application.( if the college uses Common Application) The student will be able to request a recommender through their personal Common application account. Then the student will inform the teacher to check their email for a request from Common Application.
- The VA student will provide their VA teacher with the college admission counselor’s email to their teacher. The teacher would then email their recommendation letter directly to the college admission counselor or admissions office email.
Mental Health Provider Resources for Children who have Medical Assistance
BOOK WARS: Attention 6-8th graders. Do you love to read? Are you amazing at trivia? Join the MVA Book Wars team! Members read approximately 20 books a year and meet to discuss, collaborate, and celebrate reading, as we prepare for the MCPS spring Book Wars competition. Ms. Jeffcott will be hosting an informational meeting on October 11th at 3:00. Click on the flyer for more details! https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Zjy9v5mh-jXzrX2SSH7cL2Q1HHEHmKEn/view?usp=sharing
Maximizing Student Engagement, Participation, and Attendance
Research indicates that meaningful personal engagement with their teachers and peers is one of the most important predictors of student learning and achievement.
As a result of a review of the research, the Montgomery Virtual Academy (MVA) presents the following revisions to its policies and expectations around student engagement, participation, and attendance for the 2022-2023 school year and beyond.
- All students are expected to appear on camera for the majority of every class
- Students should actively demonstrate engagement throughout each lesson.
- Students who demonstrate no engagement for the entire class period may be marked “Absent” for that class period.
- The MVA continues to expand opportunities for students to engage meaningfully with teachers, staff, and each other outside of the classroom.
For more detailed information on these expectations, please see this document. Thank you for your support and encouragement as we work together to connect students with their teachers and each other!
Annual Notice for Directory Information and Student Privacy
Using this form, parents/guardians may also indicate that the student does not want to be recorded during virtual classroom sessions for future viewing by students in the same class. Completing this form does not exclude a child from having a camera on during non-recorded instruction. Parents/guardians who choose to complete this form should do so by September 12, 2022. Please use the following guide to support you in this process: https://montgomery.service-now.com/csm?id=kb_article_view&sysparm_article=KB0010232
MVA Library Media Center Announcements
Click here to view the site! The Media Center Website is also linked at the top of the Montgomery Virtual Academy website.
Zoom Links and Contacting Teachers
The MCPS website features "Calendar Central," where you can find information on holidays, early release days, and other special events throughout the school year.
SSL Updates & Opportunities
Students need 75 student service learning (SSL) hours to graduate from Maryland public schools. Every month, Dr. Simarjeet Sandhu, the Virtual Academy SSL Coordinator, provides a listing of SSL opportunities that are virtual and in-person. Click on the link and get your child involved in these fun and rewarding service opportunities.
Four Seasons World Dance Auditions
Arise & Flourish:
Students will need to visit the Montgomery County Volunteer Center (https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/volunteercenter/) and in the red box “Find a Volunteer Opportunity”, type in Arise and Flourish. Students will find the volunteer opportunity for the cycle of addiction video review project. This SSL opportunity has been approved by the MCPS SSL department. Please let the students know NOT to use their MCPS email address as we will not be able to respond to them.
Once students respond for the volunteer opportunity on the site, we will send the student/parent permission slip and detailed volunteer information. Please make sure the students do NOT use their MCPS email address as we will not be able to respond to them. Students will watch two video presentations provided by our organization. One video is our speakers who are people in recovery who share their personal experience. The second video is the presentation on the cycle of addiction which has information on how addiction happens.
Students have the ability to earn the following for the quality completion of this project:
1) Earn 1 SSL hour for watching one speaker video and the video for the cycle of addiction and completing one paper or artwork or;
2) Earn up to 4 SSL hours for watching up to 4 speaker videos along with the one video for the cycle of addiction and completing 4 papers or 4 artworks.
Students can watch anywhere from 1 - 4 speaker videos and the video for the cycle of addiction and completing one paper or artwork for EACH speaker video watched.
Project Linus is a national organization with chapters across the country (www.projectlinus.org). 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. See our previous newsletters (linked below) for more information.
Check Out Our VA SSL 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 https://md-mcps-psv.edupoint.com/PXP2_Login.aspx.
- 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.
Useful SSL Resource
Need to Reach a Counselor?
Office hours are:
- Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays 8:00 - 11:00 a.m.
- Tuesdays and Thursdays 11:35 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Students and families can also reach out to their counselor using this resource or consulting the list 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.)
Please use this link to access important information about connecting with school counselors.
Apply Online Now for Free and Reduced-Price Meals Benefits
Apply here. Learn more about the program.
MVA Parent Teacher Council Updates & Reminders
MVAPTC Meeting: Thursday, November 10th at 6:30 PM.
Meetings are held on the second Thursday of each month. Meeting slides, meeting minutes and other documents in English and Spanish are available for review on the MVAPTC website located at http://www.mvaptc.org. A board member election will be held for the Vice President of Grades 3-5. Additional positions available are Vice President for High School, President Elect and Treasurer Elect. Please contact Jessica at email@example.com to express your interest. No experience required.
The zoom link is:https://mcpsmd.zoom.us/j/83004264203?pwd=M09hQzNtbVgyWVB6SGF3UE1sU2Fodz09, the Meeting ID is: 830 0426 4203 and the Passcode: mvaptc
Helpful Links: Website: http://www.mvaptc.org 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: https://mvaptc.square.site
Please contact Jessica, MVAPTC President, at firstname.lastname@example.org to volunteer, or with any questions or concerns.
Attendance Questions and Absence Notes
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
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.
If you are having technology issues, please submit an e-ticket by emailing your question or issue to email@example.com 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 https://montgomery.service-now.com/csm.
A support guide for the Community Tech Support portal is available here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1cczbhEXF7x3TBquSMQGUGsxIcqsm_BtG2KBBi_bA0_0/edit
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
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