SVHS Green and Gold

Dr. Cohen's Newsletter to the SVHS Community

August 16, 2020 Edition

Welcome to the 2020-2021 School Year

On behalf of the Seneca Valley High School (SVHS) staff, it is my pleasure to welcome you to the 2020-2021 school year. I hope that you are healthy, rested, and ready for the new school year. While this year will certainly be different from any we have experienced in the past, what has not changed is our commitment to providing our students a world-class instructional program that supports their individual growth and development, appropriately challenges their ability to think critically, and allows them to compete in the workforce. I share your belief that each of our students has within them the capacity for greatness, and I am committed to working collaboratively with you to ensure that all of our Screaming Eagles leave high school college-and-career ready.

Dr. Marc J. Cohen, Principal


Home-School Communication

Effective home/school communication is important to us at Seneca Valley High School. Our entire staff is available to help you with your questions and concerns. The main school number is 240-740-6400. A more complete list of important contact people and numbers is published on our Staff Directory and is also available through the MCPS Directory. Please do not hesitate to call or make an appointment. Our website is another excellent source of information about school events with which I hope you will become familiar.

Who do I go to for help?

If you need assistance or support with anything leading up to the school year or once virtual learning has begun, please do not hesitate to reach out to any of the following staff. They are here to support you in any way they can.

Student Support

Ms. Crawford

  • Social Emotional Support - Students with last names beginning with A - C
  • Class Support - Class of 2022

Mr. Davidson

  • Social Emotional Support - Students with last names beginning with D - J
  • Class Support - Class of 2021

Mr. Smith

  • Social Emotional Support - Students with last names beginning with K - P
  • Class Support - Class of 2024


  • Social Emotional Support - Students with last names beginning with Q - Z
  • Class Support - Class of 2023

Ms. Riddick

  • Business, Finance, and Operations

Counselor Student Support Assignments

Ms. Fellows - Students with last names beginning with A - Card

Ms. Patel - Students with last names beginning with Cardi - Del Mar

Ms. Murray - Students with last names beginning with Del Pilar - F

Ms. Moore - Students with last names beginning with G - King, C.

Mr. Matthews - Students with last names beginning with King, D. - Nunez Enriquez

Ms. Teixeira - Students with last names beginning with Nunez Rodriguez - Shad

Mr. Yarmus - Students with last names beginning with Shah - Z

Ms. Rina Chaves ESOL Transition Counselor

Ms. Rosa Santos ESOL Parent Community Coordinator

Ms. Rogena Parrish Secretary

Ms. Linda McCabe Registrar

Mr. Carlos Nalda College-Career Information Coordinator

Mrs. Margaret Drew School Psychologist

Mr. Tony Maturana Pupil Personnel Worker (PPW)

Mr. Daryn Moore Aces Coach (11th-12th grade)

Class Sponsors

Class of 2024 - Freshman Class

Class of 2023 - Sophomore Class

Class of 2022- Junior Class

Class of 2021 - Senior Class

New Student Orientation and Back to School Night

In preparation for the new school year, I would like to share information about our opening activities. We will be having New Student Orientation and Back to School Night in the coming weeks. The pre-recorded New Student Orientation event will be broadcast on the evening of Wednesday, August 25 at 6:30 p.m. You will be sent an email with a link to the event. All students new to Seneca Valley High School this year are strongly encouraged to review the information included in the orientation video. Back to School Night will be a live event, held via Zoom, on Tuesday, September 8 starting at 6:00 p.m. After the opening zoom meeting, parents will follow their student’s schedule and meet all of their student’s first semester teachers.

Student login information and passwords

Login and passwords will not be changed for the start of the school year. Later this fall, more information will be provided to families regarding the required password changes for students.

Student login information will be provided to all families via an email to the email address on record for the students’ guardians. If you need additional assistance with login information, please contact Nicole Little-Cook, the school media specialist,

Methods of Communication

Maintaining open lines of communication between school and home are essential in creating a positive academic and social experience for our students. There are five major methods of communication from my office to homes that each of you will experience in the coming year.

  • A weekly call out every Sunday night which will be supplemented with an equivalent email message (Both are done simultaneously through the Blackboard Connect Ed System).
  • All daily announcements will be posted to our school website.

  • Regular and frequent updates will be made on the main page of the school website with news, events and important dates.

  • The Green and Gold newsletter will be sent to you by email every Sunday night through the Blackboard Connect Ed System. These will also be posted on Twitter and on the school website. Included in these messages are thoughts on local, state, and national issues that impact our school; important reminders to parents about upcoming deadlines and events; celebrations of recent student and staff accomplishments; and links to important documents.
  • Twitter will be utilized to communicate messages and share news with our community. Many of our teams, clubs, departments, staff members, and parent organizations have their own Twitter accounts so please contact them to access their specific Twitter handles. However, several to get you started are below:

Seneca Valley High School @SenecaValleyHS

-- SVHS 2.0 @TheNewSVHS

-- SVHS Counseling @SVHSCounseling2

-- SVHS Athletics @SVHSathletics

-- SVHS Booster Club @SVHSBoosters



Collection and Distribution of Materials

With the new school year upon us, we turn our attention to the gathering of materials from the 2019-2020 school year and the distribution of technology and materials for the new school year.

SVHS is preparing to distribute technology and instructional materials to all students for the 2020-2021 school year. Each student will be assigned a Chromebook. Many of our students already have a MCPS device they can continue to use for the school year. Some students may be in need of an upgrade though. Our school will offer curbside pickup of devices and available instructional materials on August 26-28, 2020.

Student Chromebook & Instructional Materials Distribution Schedule

Wednesday, August 26

8:00 to 10:30 Students whose last names begin with A - C

10:30 to 1:00 Students whose last names begin with D - F

1:00 to 3:30 Students whose last names begin with G - I

3:30 to 4:30 Students A - I who missed their time

Thursday, August 27

8:00 to 10:30 Students whose last names begin with J - L

10:30 to 1:00 Students whose last names begin with M - O

1:00 to 3:30 Students whose last names begin with P - R

3:30 to 4:30 Students J - R who missed their time

Friday, August 28

8:00 to 10:30 Students whose last names begin with S - V

10:30 to 1:00 Students whose last names begin with W - Z

1:00 to 3:30 Students A - Z who missed their time

Curbside Procedures:

  • All visitors must wear a face covering and have a VISIBLE SIGN with child’s first and last name, grade level, and student ID #.

  • MCPS staff will follow the CDC guidelines, maintain physical distancing, and wear face coverings.

  • Drivers and occupants are not permitted to exit the vehicle unless asked by staff to meet the needs of the student.

  • Accommodations will be made for walk ups.


MCPS will be enforcing user responsibility; the Chromebook login screen will be updated to reflect the expectations and costs associated with repair should a device be physically damaged by neglect, accident, or intent. Acceptance of the MCPS device implies consent of the policy which can also be viewed online. The login screen and MCPS website outline the process for return and repair.

MCPS issued MiFi for internet connection:

Due to limited supply, internet MiFis will not be available during school distributions. The device distribution team will take note of requests. Pick up arrangements will be made once inventory is received. As a reminder, the MiFis are intended for families who do not have home internet options. Those with weak or problematic internet connections should contact their service provider to ensure they are receiving the service for which they are entitled. Other issues may be solved by moving the home router to a more central location. Each MiFi device can support multiple connections.

Visit our Virtual College and Career Center

Seneca Valley - College & Career Center

Parents and students can also make an appointment with Mr. Nalda in the College & Career Center for help on getting started on a college, career or scholarship search. This is especially important for eleventh graders.

The College & Career Center holds a wealth of information and resources for students as they ponder "life after high school." Students planning to attend a post-secondary school, whether it is 2 year, 4 year, or Technical/Trade, should visit the College & Career Center.

A Statement about Hazing and Bullying

Hazing and bullying are strictly prohibited at Seneca Valley High School. Students should be aware that acts of hazing or bullying in any form will not be tolerated. If students carry out such acts, they risk suspension from school. The school administration and coaches appreciate your support in stressing with your students the importance of refraining from and/or tolerating such behaviors and reporting them immediately when they occur.

Wellness Resources

The safety and wellness of our students remains a top priority. Below are resources to support the physical, social and psychological well-being of our community. If you believe your child is in crisis, please contact the Montgomery County Crisis Center at 240-777-4000. Students can also reach out to their counselor and school psychologist to set up a confidential appointment.

Waymaking Video Series

Mindful Moments Video Series
Tips on Addressing Student Grief
Tips for Preventing Youth Suicide

Having trouble with myMCPS Classroom?

Community Resources

Below is information regarding food/grocery access beyond the MCPS school meal sites:

Food Assistance Resource Map: The Montgomery County Food Council created an interactive map of food assistance providers and benefits application assistance sites in Montgomery County. It is searchable by location, food assistance type, accessibility and many other special features. This resource can give principals and families a quick view of local resources in their area. The information indicates where, when and how to access the resources. **We would caution parents and staff supporting parents to pay particular attention to how one qualifies to access food as some sites state requirements.

Weekend Bag Program: MCPS, Manna Food Center, and Women Who Care Ministries are distributing weekend backpacks with groceries to the families of MCPS students each Friday. The location of distribution sites and times are listed at the bottom of the webpage.













MCPS Fall Recovery Plan

Last week, MPCS released the latest version of the Fall Recovery Plan. Click link here. I know many of you have questions about the upcoming first semester. In order to provide our students with the best experience, we will continue to utilize this plan as our guide to prepare for online instruction.

Expectations for Live Instruction

All students will remain enrolled in their core academic classes, required courses, electives, support classes, and special programs, according to the school-developed master schedule. Students will be assigned to different teachers by class period. This includes courses required for graduation, Honors and advanced courses, and special programs such as career and technology education.

Teachers will engage in real-time, synchronous instruction with students in class periods that are each one hour in length. There will be a maximum of four class periods scheduled for full synchronous days. During each class period, teachers will use a variety of instructional strategies and routines to build a classroom community in which all students have a sense of belonging. Real-time instruction includes clear learning objectives, activators, independent and collaborative student practice with teacher monitoring and feedback, whole-group and small-group student discussions, brief periods of direct instruction & teacher led demonstrations, student presentations and summarizers.

Attendance in the Virtual Setting

One of the most important issues that we face as a school is student attendance. Because the State of Maryland awards the high school diploma to all graduates in the state, those seeking a high school diploma must comply with state attendance regulations. Students who are absent from class will remain responsible for the content of those missed assignments, as they prepare for culminating assessments.

Expanded IB and Career-related Program Options come to SVHS

Although we are not starting the year off in our new building, we are still very excited to welcome several amazing hew programs to our school. As has been the case for over a decade, the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program is at the center of how we define ourselves academically. Building from the strong IB foundation that already exists, we are expanding our IB brand to include the IB Middle Years Program and the new IB Career-related Program. Additionally, we are expanding on our already robust career program offerings with new high-interest, high-demand programs such as: Construction Management and Architecture, Health Professions, Hospitality and Tourism Management, Information Technology and Cybersecurity, and Project Lead the Way Engineering, just to name a few. If you want information on any of our IB Programs, I encourage you to reach out to Ms, Kim Becraft, or Ms. Natasha Ezerski. If you want information on any of our career programs, you can contact Mr. Darren Black. Our goal is for every student at SVHS to take at least one IB or Advanced Placement class before they graduate and we have made sure to align all of our career-related programs to ensure that students can do both if they choose.

Last year, even in the face of a global pandemic, our students made us #SVPROUD with their accomplishments. More students than ever challenged themselves to take the most rigorous courses we have to offer. And they didn't just enroll in record numbers, they also performed at unprecedented levels. We saw great progress across contents, including the sciences, math, literature, and the arts. And we saw our most significant growth in the areas listed below.

  • An amazing 76% of our IB Diploma candidates earned their IB Diploma, a significant increase from previous years and a rate that matches or exceeds that of many of the most prestigious IB schools in the US and across the globe.
  • 100% of our students who tested earned a 4 or above on the IB Literature Higher Level (HL) assessment!
  • 85% of our students who tested earned a 4 or above on the IB Language and Literature HL assessment!
  • 100% of our students who tested earned a 4 or above on the in French HL assessment!
  • 100% of our students who tested earned a 4 or above on the in French Standard Level assessment!
  • 91% of those that tested in Spanish HL and 100% of those tested in Spanish SL earned a 4 and above!
  • 94% of those that tested earned a 4 or above in IB History HL!
  • 82% of those that tested in World Religions SL earned a 4 or above!
  • 82% of those that that tested for Math Studies SL earned a 4 or above!
  • 75% of those that that tested for Visual Arts HL earned a 4 or above!

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!