The Mustang Spirit

The Principal's Newsletter - October 2, 2020

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Congratulations to Mason's National Merit Scholar Semifinalists and Commended Students!


Katherine Donovan

James Trombo

Commended Students

Megan Boesen

Ellen Chadwick

Maryn Hiscott

Andrew Lester

Caroline Russell

Elisabeth Snyder

Grace Tarpgaard

Michael Viala

Maia Vollen

Jonah Werbel

Sequoia Wyckoff

Ian Zullo

Reopening Plan for English Learners (ESOL Program)

We will welcome our EL students on Mondays and Fridays, from 11:30 am to 3:00 pm beginning on Monday, October 19. Students will attend all classes with their ESOL teacher.

Parents/guardians of all our EL students should read this letter in order to learn about the reopening plan and to ensure we adhere to the CDC and the Fairfax County Health Department guidelines.

Picture Day for Grades 9-11

Picture Day will be on our short days -- Friday, October 16, and Friday, October 23, from 1-7 pm. Families/students will need to create an account and book their own time(s) using the link below. Due to Covid-19 guidelines, walk-ins will not be accepted at this time.

Book a Photo Appointment Here

  • Students will enter the school using Door 19 and walk straight to the Mustang Cafe. In order to limit the number of people in the school, we request that students come to the Cafe by themselves.
  • In an effort to keep picture day appointments “contactless”, students will check in with VOS staff when entering the Mustang Cafe and will scan his/her/their camera card at the designated camera station. Instant IDs will be given to students on-site upon exiting the photography station.
  • Everyone is required to wear a face-covering and adhere to social distancing rules including staying at least 6 feet apart.
  • If a student has been exposed to COVID, or is showing symptoms of COVID, we ask that the student please not come for their appointment.

Students wishing to purchase a picture package will have the opportunity to do so online after they sign up for a time and after picture day. Paper picture orders will not be accepted at the camera. All picture packages will be delivered via USPS shipping to a home address.

Victor O'Neill Studios is a third-party company that Mason uses. Please contact VOS directly at for any questions. Thank you for helping make Picture Day a success!

Update: Standards-Based Learning & Grading

Dr. Dippold created this video to help you understand and support navigating the Standards-Based Learning and Grading (SBL&G) PowerSchool grade book.

Want an in-depth opportunity to learn about the SBL&G model? We have scheduled the following dates below to provide you an opportunity to understand the SBL&G philosophy and research, how you can support your child, and learn more about the grade book. You only need to attend one session. Links to each session will be sent closer to the date.

Wednesday, October 7 at 11:15 am


Monday, October 19 at 7:15 pm

If you have specific questions about SBL&G or MYP, please reach out to Dr. Dippold at

Supporting Students with Remote Learning

Zoom and International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) are offering a Back-to-School webinar designed for families and caregivers. You will learn important tips and best practices from education experts for supporting children in remote and blended learning environments this school year.

Tips and Strategies for Families and Caregivers (K-12) on Wednesday, October 7 at 7:30 pm

Learn key strategies and tips for building a positive and effective home learning environment and implementing concrete tips to advocate for your learners. ISTE Certified Educators and Trainers, Dr. Daisy Sam and Dr. Sonn Sam will join us to lead this timely and important discussion. We’ll then host a Q&A with Tracie Potts, National PTA Board of Directors Member, as well as Marlon Styles, Superintendent of Middletown City School District in Ohio.

It will be broadcast in English with the option to listen to a live language interpretation in Spanish. Live American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation will also be available.

Be sure to register for the conversation ahead of time!

Band Boosters Fundraiser at Chipotle

Tuesday, Oct. 6th, 4-8pm

358 West Broad Street

Falls Church, VA

Band Boosters will host a Grab and Go fundraiser at Chipotle. Your participation will benefit music in our schools.

Supporting Band Boosters is easy:

  • Go to Chipotle or visit to place an online order for pickup at the West Broad Street location.
  • Show this flyer in English or this flyer in Spanish or use our unique online ordering code 2ME6XGA to ensure Band Boosters benefits from each purchase.

All proceeds go to the Band Boosters' general fund to advance equity, excellence, and engagement for students, while also helping our community.

Forget to credit Band Boosters at checkout? No problem, just send a picture of your October 6 receipt from the West Broad Street location to and we'll take care of it!

The Shows Will Go On!

Now that we’re riding smoothly into our 7th week of the school year, the FCCPS Choral Boosters want to reassure you that the shows will go on! We want you to be part of some of the great music-making that’s going to happen this year! The FCCPS Choral Boosters are committed to helping our choir teachers make “virtual” as “real” as possible, to keep singing voices, infrastructure, and relationships in place for the time when our students can joyfully sing side-by-side. To learn how to become a Choral Booster and to sign up for private Voice or Piano lessons, visit

Let's Go Mustangs!

The Athletic Boosters have put together a Virtual Learning Emergency Kit that includes the essentials: flannel PJs, a mug for hot beverages, and a comfy stadium cushion to adapt virtual learning to any location. Go to the Fan Shop to purchase one for your Mustang. Go Mustangs!
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Quick Links

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