Weekly Jaguar Newsletter

Week of September 28

"Internationally Speaking" with Principal Karen Bryant

As we enter our 5th week of the school year, I am celebrating the wins we have experienced so far. We greeted just under 1200 Silver Spring International students to a fresh school year full of the shiny traditional promises of new adventures, new friends, and new learning. We embraced a not-so-traditional virtual learning platform and are practicing and perfecting our access to the platforms that will comprise our classrooms for the Fall semester. We hosted a SSIMS Parent Orientation that garnered over 460 participants. We hosted two sessions of instructional materials distribution to students and families. We've partnered with our PTSA's school- supply donation drive to obtain items to enhance the virtual learning experience for our students. And we thrived through our first attempt at the virtual administration of MAP testing (no small feat, I assure you)! Sometimes the learning curve has been steep. It is during those times that we come together as a learning community to support each other forward --- and that has been the biggest win of all.

My heartfelt thanks to each parent and community member who continues to support our school and our students in large and smalls ways -- your ongoing support is felt and deeply appreciated.

In closing, please pay close attention to this week's alternate schedule (see graphic below). Monday's instructional day will take place on Wednesday of this week since there is no school on Monday for students and teachers. Additionally, Friday is a half day for students.

It is always a great day to be a SSIMS Jaguar! While we're at it, let's have a great week too. 😁

Important Dates to Remember

  • Monday, September 28 - ***No School
  • Tuesday, September 29 - After School Activities Begin
  • Wednesday, September 30 - Make-up Sessions for MAP-M
  • Thursday, October 1 - Make-up Sessions for MAP-M
  • Friday, October 2 - Half Day for Students
  • Wednesday, October 7 - MAP-R Testing
  • Wednesday, October 7 - Interims Distributed
  • Tuesday, October 13 - Parent Workshop and PTSA Meeting

Table of Contents

JAG News!

Our Students as Visual Artists

This Week's Virtual Learning Schedule

MAP Testing Updates

Presenters Needed!

After School Activities Launch

October Parent Workshop and PTSA Meeting

Student Attendance

Student Reminders

Online Digital Consent Forms

Poetry Out Loud Competition

Parent Academy Resource

Feedback Survey

JAG News 9/18

Our Students as Visual Artists

Ms. Umetsu's photo 1 students learned how to establish strong main subjects and create emphasis by filling the frame.

This Week's Virtual Learning Schedule

Big picture

MAP Testing Updates

Dear Parents and Guardians,

We would like to begin by thanking our students and families for their patience as we administer our fall MAP diagnostic assessment. Although we continue to work through some technical logistical issues, we appreciate our students remaining committed as we complete our MAP-M make-ups and prepare for our MAP-R assessment.

MAP-M Make-up Sessions

As shared in the 9/25 parent message, we will hold a final round of MAP-M make-ups on Wednesday (9/30) and Thursday (10/1) of this upcoming week for students who need to complete the assessment. On Monday, September 28th, an administrator will notify students and parents/guardians, via email, of their testing date, time, and zoom information. Due to the protocols surrounding test administration, we are unable to accommodate individual requests for changing sessions.

MAP-R Testing

As shared in previous communications, MAP-R testing will take place on Wednesday, October 7th. We will follow the same schedule as MAP-M testing where most students will test through their 4th period teacher at 12:30pm. Students in a specialized program (IEP, 504, and ELL) will test at 9:30am. Students will receive an email by the morning of Tuesday, October 6th, from their test administrator communicating their testing group, time of assessment, and zoom information. Please ask your child to check their email Tuesday morning and confirm they have received the email. If they have not received the email, please contact your child's 4th period teacher for the information.

If you have any questions, please reach out to Ms. Olivia Bailey at Olivia_K_Bailey@mcpmsd.org and Ms. Erin Martin at Erin_L_Martin@mpcsmd.org.


Ms. Bailey and Ms. Martin

After School Activities Program Launch!

We are excited to launch our after school activities program for the 2020-2021 school year! We have both athletic and non-athletic offerings designed to appeal to a variety of student interests.

Non-Athletic after school activities information can be found here. If your student is interested in joining a non-athletic after school activity, please register them using this form.

To access information about our after school athletic program (including offerings, registration, and medical forms), please visit our the sports page on our website by clicking here. If you have questions about our athletics program, please contact Mr. Adam Seidman at Adam_E_Seidman@mcpsmd.org.

After School activities and athletics begin Tuesday, Sept. 29, from 3:30 - 4:30 p.m. If you have any questions, please contact Mr. Stephen Reck at Stephen_Reck@mcpmsd.org.

Student Attendance

Students are expected to attend all live virtual learning classes in which they are enrolled. However, in some instances, this may not be possible due to illness or extenuating circumstances. Students may then access the recording of the class to engage in the daily learning during an alternate time within 72 hours of the absence. Students/Parents/Guardians may then submit a Live Virtual Lesson Absence Form to document that they engaged in the lesson and to request the unexcused absence to be reconciled to Present. If extenuating circumstances exist, parents/guardians are encouraged to communicate with the school’s administration ahead of time. The Live Virtual Lesson Absence Form must be completed for each documented absence.

A link has now been placed on the SSIMS website main page on the left hand side below the administration listing. The link is labeled “Live Virtual Lesson Absence Form.”

October Parent Workshop and PTSA Meeting

On the second Tuesday of each month, our Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) holds it's monthly meeting at 7pm. Each meeting will include a featured topic/presenter as well as standard PTSA business. Beginning in October, we will launch a parent workshop series which will take place 30 minutes prior to the PTSA meeting.

Here is the schedule for October 13th:

  • 6:30pm Navigating Canvas
  • 7:00pm Mental Health for Families

Here is the zoom webinar meeting for the 6:30pm Parent Workshop and 7:00pm PTSA Meeting:


Passcode: 891282

Dial in: 301 715 8592

Webinar ID: 973 7918 4798

Student Reminders

All students should know their class schedules and Zoom codes at this point. We will still have our SSIMS Student Help Desk available this week for those experiencing technical issues. See details below.

Below are some helpful reminders for students:

StudentVUE - https://md-mcps-psv.edupoint.com/

- Where you see your Class Schedule

- Log in is just the numbers of your ID and password

MyMCPS - https://mcpsmd.instructure.com/

- Where you see your class “tiles”

- Where you will see your class Zooms

MCPS Zoom - https://mcpsmd.zoom.us/

- Make sure you are logged in with your MCPS ID and password for school on Monday

- Use Chrome for internet browser

Troubleshooting Google Drive - (***NEW)

- If you are using myMCPS Classroom and are experiencing issues with authorizing Google Drive, here are some steps you can take to troubleshoot the issue.

Online Digital Consent Form

Please take a few minutes to complete the Online Digital Consent form. This form gives your child permission to access the multiple platforms used to enhance their online educational experience.

Poetry Out Loud Competition

In collaboration with the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC), MSDE is pleased to announce the 2020-2021 Maryland Poetry Out Loud competition. Approximately 129,000 Maryland students have participated since 2005, and nearly 4.7 million students have participated nationwide. This year’s competition will be held virtually. Educators and community organizers may register their intent to submit student poetry recitation videos. Students are also encouraged to register themselves! This is a great opportunity for a remote and hybrid learning project. Information on the timeline, competition structure, and toolkits may be found at the link below:


Parent Academy Resource

As MCPS continues to navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic, families and students can stay engaged throughout the school year with Parent Academy TO GO. Parent Academy TO GO is a series of virtual webinars for families to watch at home.

The October webinars are listed below and are also available on the Parent Academy website. Parents must register to access the webinars.

September Webinars:

  • September 30 @ 6pm: Supporting LGBTQ Youth

October Webinars:

  • October 1 @ 6pm: Using Technology: A Family Approach to Distance Learning
  • October 8 @ 6pm: How to Maintain Positive Parent-Child Relationships During COVID-19
  • October 14 @ 6pm: Leadership Qualities that Result in Positive Student Outcomes
  • October 15 @ 6pm: Online Resources for Families During Distance Learning
  • October 28 @ 6pm: Special Education Supports, Resources and the IEP Process During Distance Learning
Communications Feedback

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