SVHS Green and Gold

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

April 18, 2021- Edition

Update Video from Dr. Cohen

Click here to view a Newsletter Summary from Dr. Cohen.
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Click below to view SVHS Bus Routes for students returning March 15 and beyond:

REMINDER: Graduation Announcement

Recently, MCPS approved adjustments to the graduation calendar.

Here is our current plan:

  • Graduation Date: Monday, June 14 at 9:00 a.m.
  • Graduation Location: SVHS Stadium
  • Rain date #1: June 14 at 6:00 p.m.
  • Rain Date #2: June 16 at 9:00 a.m.

More information about tickets, rehearsals, etc. to follow shortly. If you have not yet ordered your cap and gown, please contact Ms. Riddick right away.

IT'S NOT TOO LATE: COVID-19 Pool Testing at SVHS

We must all do our part to prevent the transmission of the COVID-19 virus in our schools. This includes participating in school-provided COVID-19 testing to identify cases where the student or staff member may not be showing symptoms. MCPS families were notified about this new effort in February and March.

Tests will be provided for all students and staff on a weekly basis. Each swab will be placed in a common tube for that classroom or group and sent off to a central testing laboratory. The test detects whether the virus that causes COVID-19 is present in that pooled sample. Schools will receive results within 2-3 days. A consent form is linked below. If you do not complete the consent form, your child will not be able to participate in testing.

Consent forms can be emailed to Dr. Cohen at, or your student can return them to the building when they return for in-person instruction. We will collect them as students check in.

Consent form - Spanish

Consent Form - English

NEW: A Note to Students Returning for In-Person Instruction

The following information is important for you to read as you prepare to come into the building for in-person instruction.

  1. Before you leave your house: Pack up and bring with you, your Chromebook, charger, a cloth mask, and earphones if you have them. If you do not have a mask or earphones, one will be provided for you. Breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snack will be provided for you free of charge, but you are welcome to bring a packed lunch and drink with you if you wish. You are only permitted to drink water in the classrooms. Any other drink and food must be consumed in the cafeteria.

  2. Everyone should arrive for entry/check-in through the cafeteria doors. These doors are located off the Wisteria Drive entrance to the school. (see image below for a map!)

  3. Cafeteria doors will open at 7:45 a.m. for check-in. The doors will be locked at 9:00 a.m.

  4. If you are a bus-rider, please click on this link to review your bus route and pick-up time:

  5. When you arrive, you will remain in the cafeteria during the Student Support hour (7:45 a.m.- 8:45 a.m.) and then report to your period 1 class between 8:45 a.m. and 9:00 a.m.

  6. If you are a walker/car-rider, please be sure to arrive NO LATER THAN 8:45 a.m. so that you have enough time to check-in and report to period 1.

  7. Cafeteria doors will be locked at 9:00 a.m. If you arrive after 9:00 a.m., please enter through the main office entrance located off of Crystal Rock Drive (see image below for a map!) NOTE: if you are arriving late to school, you must have an official excuse (doctor's appointment, family emergency, etc.) to be marked EXCUSED late.

When you arrive…

  • You will check-in at one of the tables that are set up by the entrance doors through the cafeteria.

  • You will receive a copy of your schedule with room numbers along with a map of the building.

  • At that time, if you need to borrow any equipment, you will have an opportunity to check them out for the day.

  • We will gather in the cafeteria until 8:45 a.m.

Attending Classes...

  • You have signed up for In-Person return which means that you will be attending all of your classes with your teachers and other classmates who have been assigned to your week in the Green/Gold Rotation.

  • You will still use your Chromebook to log into each class because your teacher will be teaching you AND the students who are attending class from home.

  • You will have 15 minutes in between each period to log off, pack up and head to your next classroom. Just like every new year, it will take you a few days to get to know your classroom locations, but you’ll find your way in no time!

  • For the most part (with a few exceptions) your classes are located in the following areas:

    • Ground Floor: Auto Tech, PE, Music
      1st Floor: Health Professions, Construction, LFI/SCB, Film, CREA, Carpentry, Main Office, IB Office
      2nd Floor: Art, Social Studies, Counseling Suites, ESOL
      3rd Floor: World Languages, English, Math
      4th Floor: Science, Tech.

Lunchtime, Restrooms, and Water Fountains...

At lunch, everyone will eat in the cafeteria at socially distanced tables. One person per table.

  • A bagged lunch (also breakfast and afternoon snack) will be provided for everyone free of charge, but you may choose to bring your own lunch if you wish.

All restrooms will be open for student use. Only two students permitted at one time to ensure safe social distancing.

Water Fountains will be closed but there are several water-filling stations available throughout the building if you would like to bring a water bottle with you.


  • Students who are scheduled to attend IN-PERSON are expected to attend all 4 periods of each day and remain the building from morning check-in until afternoon dismissal. Students are NOT permitted to partially attend school, leave early, or arrive late without a valid excuse (doctor’s appointment, family emergency, etc.) Students who have to leave early must check out at the attendance office window by the main entrance on the first floor.

  • Regular dismissal will occur at 2:30 p.m. through the cafeteria doors.

If you forget something at home...

  • If you forget your headphones, charger, or Chromebook, or mask, we will have extra supplies here in the building for you.

If you have questions or concerns over...

If you would like to change your Educational Model Preference from IN-PERSON to VIRTUAL, at any time, please have your parent/guardian send me a note: Please know that once you switch to virtual, you may NOT switch back to In-Person until further notice.

Here is a video introduction/orientation for more information about our reopening plans:

We are so glad you're coming back to the building and look forward to seeing you!

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NEW: Dual Enrollment Registration

Registration for summer/fall 2021 Montgomery College courses through Dual Enrollment opens soon. Current or prospective Dual Enrollment students should have received information about initial steps to complete. Other prospective students or families who are interested should contact the Dual Enrollment Coordinator, Mr. Yarmus, at

NEW: Principal's Advisory Council Applications Now Open!

The focus of the Principal's Advisory Council (PAC) is to give students regular opportunities to provide important input and feedback to the principal on policy and climate issues facing our school and to weigh in on decisions that impact us all as members of our school community.

All students, regardless of previous leadership experiences or GPA, are invited to apply. In order for the PAC to be successful, we need a wide range of voices represented on the PAC. Most PAC meetings will be held during the school day through Advisory. On some rare occasions, an after-school meeting may be required. If you would like to be considered for membership on the 2021-2022 PAC, please complete this brief application. Applications are due by May 14, 2021. All members will be notified by June 16, 2021.

Click Here to Apply!

NEW: Semester 2 Schedule Adjustments for Secondary Students

In response to feedback about virtual learning at the secondary level, adjustments have been made to improve the student/teacher experience in virtual learning; promote student well-being and provide flexible options for student schedules. These adjustments for the second semester are in addition to other adjustments that went into effect for the second marking period.

In middle and high schools, schedule adjustments for second semester include opportunities to:

  • Request an abbreviated schedule to lighten course load and take a course over the summer or in future semesters instead.
  • Take up to two courses Credit/No Credit (also known as Pass/Fail) instead of a letter grade, in courses not specifically required for graduation.
  • Retroactively apply the Credit/No Credit or Withdrawal from Semester 1 of the 2020-2021 school year in courses not specifically required for graduation.

To take advantage of these schedule and grading options, students/parents will need to closely consult with their school counselor for review and approval by the principal. The various options and processes are summarized at this website:

Semester 2 Schedule Adjustments for Secondary Students - Montgomery County Public Schools (

NEW: SVHS a part of the MCPS Virtual Art Show

SVHS is being showcased as one of the schools in the all-county virtual Art Show. Please see the links below to view both the all-county's show and SVHS' as well. Congrats to our wonderfully talented Art Department!

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

Senior Planning

Unsure about your plans for after high school? Need some assistance? Reach out to Mr. Nalda. We can discuss college options, career options, apprenticeships, job options, and more!

College Acceptances & Scholarship Awards - Seniors

Have you applied and been accepted to a college or university? Have you been offered any scholarships? Please keep track of this information and update in your Naviance account. At some point soon, we will be distributing a Senior Survey asking for this and other information. All seniors in MCPS will be asked to complete this survey.

Keeping track of this as you go along will make it easier to fill out when it is time to fill out this survey. If possible, please share you acceptance(s) and scholarship award letter(s) with Mr. Nalda. You can forward, take a picture of, or scan your letter(s) of acceptance and add as an attachment. Thank you!!

FAFSA & MSFAA - Seniors

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.

FAFSA - If you plan on attending college after graduation and have yet to fill out the FAFSA, you should still complete this form. Although you may not qualify for Maryland aid and at this point, you may still be eligible for federal aid in the form of a Pell Grant. Click here for more information.

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

Upcoming Scholarships

  • April 19 - Generation Hope Scholarship (for teen parents) - awards of up to $2,400/year and other benefit (click to see); be a teen parent (pregnant or expecting at 19 or younger, currently 25 or younger; be attending, or planning to attend, college in the DC metro area seeking an Associate's or Bachelor's degree taking a minimum of 6 credits/semester; US Citizen, Permanent Legal Resident, DACA recipient (contact us for specific questions regarding immigration status and eligibility); 350-700 word personal essay; one letter of recommendation.
  • April 19 - Lincoln Tech Scholarship - earn up to $2,000 in scholarship just by taking this scholarship test; senior; scholarship may only be used for Lincoln Tech tuition; test takes less than 20 minutes to complete; students with the highest scores will be contacted about opportunity to earn up to $15,000; students MAY take the scholarship test BEFORE applying to Lincoln Tech.
  • April 23 - 2021 NAACP Scholarship Award - $1,000 awards; senior; res. of Montgomery County; min 3.0 GPA; extracurricular activities; must participate in faith-based, religious-based, or volunteer activities (if not possible due to paid employment, you can provide an explanation); 2 references; include the name of your current state Congress member and/or delegate (see link); 300-word essay; 3-4 paragraph narrative essay about yourself; scholarships will be presented at the Annual Freedom Fund Dinner which will be held at Martins Crosswinds, Greenbelt, Maryland (date to be announced).
  • April 24 - Damascus American Legion Auxiliary Unit 171 - General Scholarship - 2-$1,000 awards; senior; female; U.S. Citizen; in the upper 50% of the class who will attend a full-time and accredited post-secondary academic instruction, accredited vocational, trade or business school; not have accepted an appointment to a service academy or have received any other grants or scholarships (including ROTC awards) exceeding $5,000 total (does not include Guaranteed Student Loans); copy of SAT/ACT test scores; 3 letters of recommendation; brief essay; see link for judging criteria.
  • April 24 - Damascus American Legion Auxiliary Unit 171 - Medical Scholarship - 1-$1,000 award (not limited to one year); senior; female; U.S. Citizen; must be a daughter, granddaughter, great granddaughter, step daughter, step granddaughter, step great granddaughter or an ex-service women or active servicewomen who needs financial assistance in order to attend an accredited school for medical training (see link for full details); transcript; copy of SAT/ACT test scores; essay of 300 words or less.
  • April 29 - Sander Jennings Spread the Love Scholarship - 1-$1,000; grades 9-12; write a short essay (250-500 words) about how their journey with self-love and acceptance has impacted their beliefs, relationships, and aspirations
  • April 30 - Tzu Chi USA Scholars - $1,000 awards; senior; min 3.0 GPA; based on (proven) financial need, academic achievement, and community involvement; family tax returns; 2-5 page autobiography; 2 page essay about Tzu Chi; 2 letters of recommendation; official transcript.
  • April 30 - E-Waste Scholarship - $1,000 award; 9-12 grade; U.S. Citizen or Legal Resident; submit a 140-character message about e-waste; top 10 applications will be selected as finalists; finalists will be asked to write a full length 500- to 1,000-word essay about e-waste.
  • April 30 - Upakar Foundation – the Indian American Scholarship - awards ranging from $1,000 - $8,000; senior; either you or one parent was born in India; min. cumulative GPA of 3.6 (unweigthed); U.S. citizen or a U.S. ‘Green Card’ holder (Permanent Resident) with Proof of Citizenship (United States and Indian); enter a two- or four-year college or university in the fall; have a 2020 Family Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) on the IRS form 1040 (line 7) of less than $90,000; 2 well written on-point essays (topics prompt in Scholarship Application Form); transcript; copy of the official SAT or ACT report; letter of recommendation; copy of student aid report (SAR) from FAFSA.
  • April 30 - Shawn Carter Foundation Scholarship - senior; U.S. Cit. or perm. res.; min 2.0 GPA; leadership; community service; compelling desire to pursue higher education in spite of personal, socio-economic setbacks; essay.
  • April 30 - Alfred Street Baptist Church Foundation Scholarship - Approximately 120 scholarships ranging from $1,000 for one year to $7,500 annually for up to four years; senior; U.S. Citizen; min 2.5 GPA; attend a four-year school in the fall; financial need; demonstrated community service; essay; letter of recommendation; mid-year transcript; proof of financial need (SAR from FAFSA and/or other documentation); SAT/ACT scores (if available, not required); click for scholarship guidelines.
  • April 30 - SVHS Jane Sowers PTSA Scholarship - 1-$600 award; senior; unweighted GPA of 3.2 or higher for each year of high school; copy of your transcript; one-sided resume; one page essay discussing one of three prompts; award is based upon GPA, course rigor, activities, and essay; read ALL instructions carefully and submit to Mr. Nalda by noon (12pm) on April 30.

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

Next Week's College Visits - Juniors & Seniors

Moravian College

Tim Wait


4/20/21 11:30 AM

St. Bonaventure University

Pete Lindsey


4/21/21 1:00 PM

Washington College

Jack Despeaux


4/22/21 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.

§ Monday, April 19 - College Essay Writing

§ Wednesday, April 21 - Tips on Common Application

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

Federal Financial Aid Bootcamp, April 20-21

This bootcamp is ideal for students, parents, guidance counselors, college access professionals, college and career coaches, and other members of the financial aid community. Six sessions over two days.

§ Click here for the flyer

§ Click here to register

MCPS Let's Talk Careers - Healthcare and Community Health

Let’s Talk Careers is a speaker series for experts to share their career path stories and industry expertise. Each session will be moderated by MCPS students.

§ DATE & TIME: Wednesday, April 28, 10:00-11:30 AM

§ INDUSTRY: Healthcare and Community Health

§ click here for the flyer with more information

Summer Rise 2021 - 10th & 11th Graders

Summer RISE is an initiative led by the Montgomery County Public Schools’ (MCPS) Partnerships Unit in collaboration with businesses, government agencies, higher education institutions, and nonprofit organizations. The program is for rising MCPS juniors and seniors to participate in a career-based learning opportunity during the summer. Students will have the opportunity to engage in hands-on learning opportunities related to their field of interest.

§ Click here for more information

§ Click here for the flyer

Pre-College / Summer Program Opportunities

A pre-college summer program offers high school students the opportunity to take classes at a college and experience college life during the summer. Many programs offer a residential and commuter option. Students can stay in dorms with their peers, or they can commute from home if they live close to the college.

SVHS April College & Career Newsletter

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NEW: IB Update

ATL Skill Category Quote for SOCIAL SKILLS:

“Empathy and social skills are social intelligence, the interpersonal part of emotional intelligence. That’s why they look alike.” - Daniel Coleman

As an IB school, our goal is to support the whole student, including their academic and socioemotional development. As we prepare students for college, career, and life, we know that social skills are an essential component for success. We strive to equip students with social skills to develop positive interpersonal relationships and collaboration skills that leads to developing social-emotional intelligence.

ATL Skill Cluster Quote for COLLABORATION:

“Unity is strength...when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.” -Mattie Stepanek

Collaboration is a powerful thing- it places emphasis on the crucial role of diversity and honoring different perspectives during group work. As we only have our own perspective and worldview, there is great strength in collective minds and success in sharing tasks. We encourage students to be open-minded risk takers who both share their varied skills, thoughts, and opinions to the table, while also listening to those around them. Collaboration creates remarkable outcomes when students leverage their social skills in a unified approach.

Learner Profile Quote for INQUIRERS:

“We learn more by looking for the answer to a question and not finding it than we do from learning the answer itself. -Lloyd Alexander

Questioning, critical thinking, and the creative development of new knowledge through inquiry is crucial to fostering curiosity and learning in students. We strive to have inquiry-based lessons that allow students to take ownership of their learning and deeply engage with the content to enhance learning for students. When inquiry is combined with collaboration, students develop their own skills but also continue their journey in appreciating other perspectives.

PTSA Fundraiser: Show your Eagle Pride with this Limited Edition, SVHS Blanket!

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Please Consider Participating in this Service Project

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REPEAT: Library Media Center Update - Book Borrowing Resumes!

  • Book borrowing is back! If you would like to learn more about checking out print books from the LMC, please click HERE.
  • The next Project LIT book discussion will take place on Wednesday, April 21st, at 2:00 pm (a virtual check-in day). One of our student leaders, Etmy, will lead a book discussion about the book Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson, a story about a teenager who won’t give up on investigating the disappearance of her best friend. Borrow this book in eBook or audiobook format in Sora. ALL ARE WELCOME!

REPEAT: Creativity Contests

To help celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, all MCPS students are invited to submit artwork for a poster contest that will be judged by community art and art performance professionals. The theme for this year’s contest is courage. For contest rules, click HERE. Submissions are due by April 18, 2021.

REPEAT: Chromebook Pick-up Information

For those students returning to in-person instruction, MCPS is not allowing personal devices to be used in the building. As a result, if you have not yet picked up an MCPS issued Chromebook, you should go to 45 W. Gude Dr in Rockville, Monday-Friday from 9:30 - 3:30.

If a student does not have an MCPS issued Chromebook and is returning to school, Chromebooks will be issued from SVHS directly and on a daily basis.

For any questions around this change, please reach out to the school directly at 240-740-6400.

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!