SVHS Green and Gold

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

May 2, 2021- Edition

Update Video from Dr. Cohen

Click here to view a Newsletter Summary from Dr. Cohen.
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Celebrating Staff Appreciation Week at SVHS

The following message is sent to you on behalf of the SVHS PTSA.

Celebrating Staff Appreciation Week at SVHS

THANK YOU for taking the time to send some love and appreciation to our wonderful staff at Seneca Valley High School! Please fill out each section as needed. Upon form submission, the staff member will receive a PDF Certificate of Recognition via email.

NEW: Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) testing for Math and Reading from May 11-28

Dear Parents and Students,

This notification is to inform you that all ninth grade students will participate in the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) testing for Math and Reading from May 11-28. The MAP diagnostic assessment is designed to inform instruction, recovery and intervention, and account for learning loss, as well as determine present performance levels on math and literacy standards. MCPS wants to ensure that we have full participation to accurately assess student progress and achievement. Student attendance and participation is important so that we can assess the performance data to implement supports as we plan for the next school year. Students will test during their 5th period Advisory classes on Tuesdays and Fridays, beginning May 11. Here is the MAP testing schedule:

  • MAP – Math will be administered during Advisory periods on May 11 and 14.
  • MAP – Reading will be administered during Advisory on May 18 and 21.
  • Make-Up Testing will be on May 25 and 28.

MAP testing will be conducted digitally on electronic devices (e.g. Chromebooks, laptops, and desktop computers). To prepare students for the test, their devices must be set-up properly for the MAP assessment, students can follow these instructions for device set-up . Advisory teachers will briefly review the procedures to set-up devices this week in their Advisory classes, but it is important for students to check their devices beforehand.

If you are the parent of a ninth grade student, please mark your calendars from May 11-28 for the MAP Testing administration through Advisory classes. If you have any questions, please contact Kisheena Wanzer at

Thank you,

Kisheena Wanzer

NEW: Return to Live Extracurricular Activities

Seneca Valley is now offering face-to-face extracurricular activities. Activities may meet one day a week, either Monday, Tuesday, or Thursday. All students may participate in these experiences.

Activity busses will be available at 4:30 each of those days, but please note that transportation to the school will not be provided for students on virtual learning that week or in whole.

All Covid practices and policies remain in full force: 6 feet distance must be kept, masks must be worn, and hands must be washed and sanitized frequently.

Sponsors may choose if they will host face-to-face engagement one day a week and/or host a special event. Sponsors are still formulating these plans, but we recommend you reach out to your club sponsor to learn more.

If you would like to participate in face-to-face extracurriculars, you must complete this google form and permission slip. These must be submitted in order to participate.

Please email if you have questions.

Thank you, Joanna C Fellows

NEW: Library Media Center Updates - Borrow books from the LMC, get a MCPL library card, and check out the Gaithersburg Book Festival!

Book borrowing is back! If you would like to learn more about checking out print books from the Library Media Center (LMC), click HERE.

The Friends of the Library, Montgomery County, Inc. (FOLMC) have created an MCPL virtual library card sign up campaign: Rise Up, Sign Up to encourage more teens to use the library during the pandemic and beyond. Those that sign up (and complete the Google form) have a chance to win a $25 gift certificate to the FOLMC Book Stores. Please explore these resources for more information:

The 2021 Gaithersburg Book Festival (GBF) will be held virtually, with 30+ author presentations, as well as several writing workshops for adults, teens and children scheduled throughout the month of May. Please visit the GBF website regularly and subscribe to the e-newsletter for program schedule updates. The schedule-at-a-glance can be downloaded here.

NEW: Please Consider Volunteering for MCCPTA

The Montgomery County Council of PTAs (MCCPTA) is seeking candidates to serve on the board for the 2021-2022 school year. The following positions are available:

  • Clarksburg/Northwest/Quince Orchard/Seneca Valley Area Vice President (1)
  • Seneca Valley Cluster Coordinator (2)

Please contact Kristen Carter (, SV Cluster Coordinator and MCCPTA Nominating Committee Member, for more information. Candidate names must be submitted to the MCCPTA by May 5, 2021.

NEW: Join a New Club! Girls of Color Alliance (GCA)!

NEW: Literary Magazine Donations and Distribution

Now accepting donations! The SVHS Literary Magazine presents Volume V of Depths of the Valley! The Literary Magazine will be distributed the week of May 24th. The recommended donation is $10, but if you are able to give more, please do. YOU MUST PROVIDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS IN THE COMMENTS OF YOUR PURCHASE. If you would like to donate by cash or check, or are unable to donate at this time but would like the electronic version of the Literary Magazine, please email Reminder: YOU MUST PROVIDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS IN THE COMMENTS OF YOUR PURCHASE so that the Literary Magazine PDF can be shared with you as well as pick-up information for the paper copy.

Click here to request a copy.

NEW: Mindful Mornings with Mariana at SVHS

Seneca Valley High School Presents: OPTIONAL Mindful Mornings with Mariana at SVHS

When: Tuesdays & Thursdays 8:15-8:30am

Location: Cafeteria (for IN-PERSON Students) AND Online Via Zoom (link included below)

Join Mariana for a 15-minute live mindfulness session every Tuesday and Thursday morning to help you start the day off right! Among its many benefits, mindfulness practice has proven to help us reduce stress, improve focus, and cultivate a positive mindset to overcome challenges more easily. Mariana will lead us in a different mindfulness practice each session. All are welcome!

Zoom link:

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 Signing Day 2021 - Seniors

In celebration of National College Signing Day 2021, we will be celebrating digitally! We are asking all seniors to share their plans for after high school!

Feel free to reach out if you have any questions.

Upcoming Scholarships

  • May 03 - Morton A. Gibson Memorial Scholarship - $875 - $2,500; Must be a high school senior; must be a Jewish resident of the DC metro area; U.S. citizen or working towards citizenship; accepted into an accredited four-year school on a full-time basis; significant volunteer services within the local Jewish community (in addition to SSL hours); most recent transcript; score reports (SAT, ACT, etc.); resume; Letter of Acceptance from the college you will attend; Financial Aid Award Letter from the college you will be attending, unless you are not applying for a scholarship based on financial need; copy of your FAFSA report and cover letter showing the EFC; 2 letters of recommendation.
  • May 03 - Max and Emmy Dreyfuss Jewish Undergraduate Scholarship - $1,500 - $4,000; senior; preference given to first generation college students; must be a U.S. citizen or working towards citizenship; accepted into a community college or an accredited four-year undergraduate program on a full-time basis; transcript; score reports (SAT, ACT, etc.); resume; Letter of Acceptance from the college you will attend; Financial Aid Award Letter from the college you will be attending, unless you are not applying for a scholarship based on financial need; copy of your FAFSA report and cover letter showing the EFC.
  • May 03 - JSSA Educational Scholarship - $3,000 - $6,000 (Recipients are eligible for 1-2 years of funding); senior in MCPS; must be a U.S. citizen or working towards citizenship; accepted into an accredited four-year undergraduate program, vocational school, or community college; transcript; score reports (SAT, ACT, etc.); resume; Letter of Acceptance from the college you will attend; Financial Aid Award Letter from the college you will be attending, unless you are not applying for a scholarship based on financial need; copy of your FAFSA report and cover letter showing the EFC.
  • May 05 - mLINQS ON THE MOVE Scholarship - 1-$1,000 award; senior; min 3.0 GPA; have relocated at least three (3) times and at a distance of at least 50 miles since January 1, 2007; submit a video (no more than 5 mins) or essay (no more than 500 words) about relocating; deadline is 5pm on May 5 (click here to see the flyer).
  • May 15 - High Bridge Foundation Scholarship - 5-$2,000 & 7-$1,000 book awards; senior; for students who are facing and overcoming personal & family hardship conditions (including financial); min 3.0 GPA (those under may apply if they demonstrate academic progress given hardship conditions); attend school full time in the fall; community service; leadership.
  • May 15 - Kaiser Permanente Health Equity Scholars Program - $5,000 awards; senior; min 2.5 GPA; proof of U.S. citizenship or legal permanent residency is NOT required; plan to enroll full-time in an accredited, public or not-for-profit, four-year university, or community college, in the US, in the fall; must have a demonstrated interest in pursuing a clinical (e.g., pharmacist, physician, practitioner, nurse) or non-clinical (e.g., accounting, business administration, human resources, marketing, public policy) career in the healthcare industry; preference given to students with demonstrated financial need; program overview - English, Spanish (Español).

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

Upcoming Events

Get Ready, Get Set Workforce Readiness Conference for High School Students - Grades 10 through 12

The Get Ready, Get Set Workforce Readiness Conference for High School Students, co-sponsored by Montgomery County Public Schools, Montgomery College, and WorkSource Montgomery, has been scheduled for Thursday, May 13, 2021. The event will take place virtually from 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Although the event is focused on high school seniors who are considering and/or planning to enter a trades program or workforce upon graduation, this event also provides opportunities for sophomores and juniors who are either applying to- or currently enrolled in a career pathway program to attend the conference. Parent/guardians are welcome to attend as well.

§ Click here for more information and the link to register

§ Click here to see the session topics

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. Participating students will receive a $300 stipend.

§ 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.

Summer Programs & Internships - List of summer programs and internships created by MCPS College & Career Information Coordinators.

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NEW: IB Update

How does IB prepare students for college?

The IB is a high school diploma with a difference. IB standards address key cognitive strategies (critical thinking, intellectual inquisitiveness and interpretations skills). These have all been identified by college instructors as necessary for college success. Further, students’ perspectives are broadened and boosts confidence.

The IB program per alum “helped me write better.” Through Internal Assessments (IAs) and the EE, in particular students will learn how to write properly, which is an essential skill used throughout one’s life. Being able to write well makes professors, employers, and peers value their potential and future ambitions of students.

There is a high degree of alignment with college readiness standards in all subject areas. By challenging yourself while in high school, students gain valuable skills from perseverance to essential academic skills that will lead them to be better prepared for college/career.


MCPS is planning to offer a virtual academy for students in grades PreK-12 for the 2021-2022 school year in addition to a traditional in-person, five-day-a-week learning option. Your responses to this interest survey will help MCPS in planning for virtual learning. This is not a commitment to attend the virtual academy and does not guarantee admission, it is intended to gauge family interest. More information on how to apply for the virtual academy will be shared with the community soon.


REPEAT: Important Information about AP Testing

Hello Seneca Valley High School Community,

This message is for all students taking AP exams. The time has come to prepare for AP exams. Only students taking the AP Spanish Language and Culture exam will take their exams IN-PERSON at Seneca Valley High School on May 21, 2021 at 8:00 am in room 1601. All other AP exams will be administered At-Home Digitally. Here is some information to guide you through the AP Student Application - Digital Exam Process. This information provides information and instructions to:

  • Login for the AP exams
  • Access the Digital Audio Capture
  • Provides a digital practice and resources for the Digital Exam
  • Download and install the digital testing application

Additionally, here is information for the AP Digital Testing Application for Chromebooks

AP teachers will share this information with students to guide them through the steps for the Digital Testing Process.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: If you have not submitted your payment for AP exams, the deadline has been extended to Monday, April 26, 2021 by 7:00 p.m. Teachers have sent emails to students reminding them of the payments with the deadline included.

If you have any questions, please contact Kisheena Wanzer, assistant principal at

REPEAT: 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!

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!


As we begin to welcome students and the community into Seneca Valley High School 2.0, we'd love to get feedback from you regarding your experience in our school. We aim to please you 100% of the time. However, if we fall short, we'd like to know so that we can improve. We will use the feedback you provide to congratulate successes of our staff and/or identify areas of growth. Please consider completing THIS brief form to provide us with your valuable feedback.