VA Weekly Navigator

Your Guide to News, Updates, and Reminders in the VA

(Week of November 7, 2022)

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Virtual Academy Calendar for November 2022

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Please click HERE for the overall MVA calendar.

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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:

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:


  1. Please register your student(s) at After registering, you will get a link/code to share with family & friends
  2. Send your link/code to 5 supporters
  3. Consider making a purchase

B) Not interested in registering, but still interested in supporting? Use this direct shopping link set up for MVA Admin & Staff:

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!

Middle School SGA Interest Meeting

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MVA Middle School Math Team 2022-2023

If you're interested in joining the MVA Math Team this year, please fill out the following form: MATH TEAM FORM

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 838 8124 5246

Passcode: math

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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

Chinese: 家長調查

Korean: 학부모 설문조사

Portuguese: Pesquisa de Pais

Vietnamese: Khảo sát phụ huynh

French: Enquête auprès des parents

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: 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 -

Milton Hershey

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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.

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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!

¿Eres bilingüe?

¿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.

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MVA Science Website

Hello Voyagers! Click here to access the Middle School Science website. This site will provide you information on our science educators, student learning processes, course learning topics, display student work, and other important information.
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Counseling Updates

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

MCPS is extending the regional/countywide application deadline until November 11, 2022. In addition to the robust offerings at the local high schools, students and their parents/guardians may apply to various high school programs for next year. Grade 8 students apply using ParentVUE. For more information, visit the website!

Here are some helpful links about the programs.

MCPS Website:

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. This is very important: The VA student must ask the teacher first before adding the teacher to the Common Application or sending college admission information.

  1. 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.
  2. 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

The Montgomery County Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health Services program offers mental health services for children and adolescent residents of Montgomery county who are uninsured or have Medical Assistance. We try to help as many people as possible, because we know how challenging it is to find mental health services. This list is intended to help you find treatment elsewhere if we are unable to help you. We hope you find it useful. Please see this link for more information!

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Book Wars!

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!

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.

  1. All students are expected to appear on camera for the majority of every class
  2. Students should actively demonstrate engagement throughout each lesson.
  3. Students who demonstrate no engagement for the entire class period may be marked “Absent” for that class period.
  4. 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!

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Virtual cafe is held from 11:45 to 12:30 each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. If you are interested in being a student leader to help host, please let us know. Clubs are starting this week, see your sponsor for more information!

Student Newsletter

Did you know we have a separate newsletter for students, to help them keep up with all the important events and offerings in various areas of the MVA? Use this link to visit, and make sure your children are getting our updates each week.

Annual Notice for Directory Information and Student Privacy

Each school year, families are asked to communicate updates about contact information, health, directory withholdings, emergency contacts and more. These updates are now processed in ParentVUE using Online Registration to access MCPS Form 281-13 “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:

MVA Library Media Center Announcements

To kick off the school year, our media specialist, Tracy Jeffcott, and Lower School media assistant, Ellen Rahr has been visiting lower school classrooms to introduce students to our new MVA Library Media Center Website. Visits to our middle and high school students will be coming soon!

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

Use this link or click the logo to the left to access a full list of Virtual Academy teachers with their Zoom links and Outlook email addresses. If you have general questions, or you need a live human to assist you, please call us at 240-740-6060 during school hours.
MCPS Calendar Central

The MCPS website features "Calendar Central," where you can find information on holidays, early release days, and other special events throughout the school year.

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SSL Updates & Opportunities

City of Rockville Holiday Drive

There will be a need for volunteers between November 15-19 and on December 17. Tasks will include sorting food and produce, packing food boxes, making deliveries, helping families pick toys and wrapping gifts. SSL hours are offered! We request that children be accompanied by a parent or guardian if they are under the age of 15.

For the Thanksgiving holidays, we are looking for volunteers (age 10+) for the following jobs:

  • Sorting of produce and goods & packing of Thanksgiving baskets

    • Tuesday 11/15, 5:00-6:30 or 6:30-8:00 pm

    • Wednesday 11/16, 3:30-5:00, 5:00-6:30 or 6:30-8:00 pm

    • Friday 11/18, 3:30-5:00, 5:00-6:30 or 6:30-8:00 pm

  • Deliveries (2 adults per car required) - each delivery team should expect to make 8-12 deliveries

    • Saturday 11/19, two-hour shifts beginning between 9:00-10:00 am

      • Please let me know if you speak Spanish or Chinese

For the December holidays, we are looking for volunteers (age 15+) for the following jobs:

  • Wrapping presents or assisting parents with choosing gifts in the Toy Shop

    • Saturday 12/17, 10:30-12:00 pm, 12:00-1:30 pm, 1:30-3:00 pm

      • Please let me know if you speak Spanish or Chinese

  • Toy deliveries (2 adults per car required) - 8-12 deliveries

    • Saturday 12/17, 9:00-11:00 am

Please contact the Volunteer Coordinator by email at with the subject line “Holiday Drive – [Insert Your Name]” to sign up for a volunteer shift.

You will be asked to provide the following information:

  • Date & Time of the volunteer shifts you are interested in [Note: due to high interest, we may only be able to assign you and your group to 1 or 2 shifts]

  • Number of volunteers you want to sign up (if you are signing up on behalf of a group)

  • Name(s) of all volunteers

  • Preferred contact number

  • If anyone in your group is under 18:

    • Age(s) of the children

    • Do they need SSL hours?

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.


Latino Student Fund Tutoring

Four Seasons World Dance Auditions

Arise & Flourish:

Students will need to visit the Montgomery County Volunteer Center ( 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

Project Linus is a national organization with chapters across the country ( 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

You can now access many important resources for Student Service Learning (SSL) at our new 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
  • 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

You can also stay up to date with SSL reminders, dates, and deadlines using this resource, and. contact Dr. Sandhu with any questions!

Need to Reach a Counselor?

Virtual Academy students in grades 6-12 who need to speak with a counselor can visit the open Counseling Zoom session every weekday using this link!

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

Families of students who may qualify for free or reduced-price meals can now apply for assistance for school meals. Eligibility is based on family size and gross income. Students in Maryland who qualify for reduced-price meals will receive free breakfast and lunch meals.
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 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 to express your interest. No experience is required.

The zoom link is:, the Meeting ID is: 830 0426 4203 and the Passcode: mvaptc

MVAPTC Special Education Committee Meeting will be held on Thursday, November 17tth.

The topic will be: IEPs and 504s: What are they & what questions do you have?

Donation Request: Let's support our office staff and our volunteers for student materials organization days with food & drinks to let them know how much we appreciate them! Donations can be dropped off, mailed, or delivered to 15 West Gude Drive, 2nd Floor, or Jessica in Kensington. Thank you in advance for your support!

NEW: Staff Appreciation Wish Donation Wish List:

Helpful Links: Website: 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


Shirts, Dues & Donations:

Please contact Jessica, MVAPTC President, at to volunteer, or with any questions or concerns.

Attendance Questions and Absence Notes

If you have any questions about your child's attendance, or if you need to report an excused absence, please contact our Attendance Secretary, Ms. Hikeyya Falden:

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

ParentVue Directions

Log in to ParentVue

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.

Technology Support

If you are having technology issues, please submit an e-ticket by emailing your question or issue to 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

A support guide for the Community Tech Support portal is available here:

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

The Montgomery County government has received grant funding to provide a computer to residents who do not have one. All you need is a valid Montgomery County library card and a photo ID to register. Click here for more information: