The Mustang Spirit

The Principal's Newsletter - January 29, 2021

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Mustang Days

The effects of this pandemic on our community have been painful, the adjustments challenging, and its presence looooooong! We recognize that school is such a vital component of all of our day-to-day lives, the disruption of which has caused a tremendous burden on our community. We are anxious to get our staff fully vaccinated and reopen our doors for in-person learning - which is right around the corner!

As we near our target date of February 23, we would like to offer our students an opportunity for a “sneak peek” day in the new building. This morning, we were pleased to have our seniors use our study spaces while continuing with their virtual learning. Over the next three Fridays, we are inviting our underclassmen to do the same and come and participate in virtual school from the confines of our new school.

11th graders -> February 5 (8:00 AM - 12:30 PM)

10th graders -> February 12 (8:00 AM - 12:30 PM)

9th graders -> February 19 (8:00 AM - 12:30 PM)

We will of course be adhering to our FCCPS Mitigation Protocols. All students must complete the health and wellness checks before entering the building and students' temperatures will be taken at the door. Pizza will be served. Transportation will not be provided.

We Welcomed Our Seniors Today!

Reopening Instructional Choice Change Requests

FCCPS will be reopening to a hybrid instructional model beginning the week of Feb. 22. Next week, students will be given the opportunity to revise their reopening instructional choice (hybrid versus virtual). All parents/guardians will receive an email next week confirming their current selection and directions on how to change their selection, should they choose. A reminder that details regarding our Hybrid reopening can be found here. All change requests are due by Friday, February 5 at 4:00 PM. These decisions will finalize student placement for the rest of the 3rd quarter. Families will have the opportunity to re-evaluate for the 4th quarter.

Grade Information

Students with an “I” (Incomplete) for Q1 and Q2 will have until February 22 to earn a passing grade. While it is true that the year-long grade is the only grade that will ultimately appear on a student's transcript, quarter grades are an important indicator of student progress and a component of a student’s final grade.

For Seniors:

There are three reports that are sent to colleges to update them on student progress:

  1. Initial report: This includes the student’s initial transcript. This transcript includes all the classes the student is enrolled in for their senior year (no grades listed), high school credit courses completed in previous years with their final grades, credits earned, and the cumulative GPA at the end of their junior year.
  2. Mid-year report: This is a mid-year report card that includes Q1 and Q2 grades (no GPA). The following language is presented at the bottom of this report for college admissions counselors: Our Standards-Based Learning & Grading (SBL&G) and Traditional grading systems are not static for each quarter. These quarter grades are dynamic, a measure of growth and progress toward a single year-long grade.”
  3. Final report: This includes the student’s final transcript. This transcript includes all completed high school credit coursework and final grade. (It does not include quarter grades.) It also includes a recalculated GPA based on these completed courses.

MYP Progress Report Card

The MYP report card (grades 6-10) will go live on PowerSchool this evening at 4:00 PM. This will include the criterion scores for Standards-Based Learning & Grading courses as well as traditional (A-F) course grades for quarter one. To learn how to create and manage your own PowerSchool account, please click on this link.

Please watch this video tutorial to learn how to access your child’s report card. In addition, this video explains the MYP SBL&G Progress Report Reference Guide also in PowerSchool. To access the report card, you must access it by a computer. It will not show up on your cell phone through the PowerSchool parent portal app.

Parent Presentations from the Counseling Team

The Counseling Department has prepared two presentations to assist parents with course scheduling and registration for the 2021-2022 school year that will be debuted on The Home of the Mustang's Youtube Channel on February 2, 2021, at 7:00 PM.

  • Core Curriculum Parent Presentation
    • Course Information and Sequence of Courses within each Department
    • IB Diploma Programme Overview
    • Course Registration Timeline
  • Rising 9th Grade Course Selection Parent Presentation
    • Introductions to the School Counseling Department at GMHS
    • Diploma Types
    • Understanding the GMHS Transcript
    • Course selection for rising 9th-grade students
    • Supports available at GMHS

Happy Black History Month!

The SCA Social Justice Committee and the Black Student Union are so excited to present a media calendar focused on Black history for this coming month! This project was inspired by the calendars that were circulating on social media in the summer which intended to provide a daily plan for learning about anti-racism and how to be a better ally. The calendar that we have developed will provide you with a daily plan for the entire month of February to engage in developing your understanding of Black history. Each day will include a few media sources such as podcasts, articles, and videos that we have carefully curated. We hope that this calendar will be used by students and parents alike, and we have even included sources for younger kids! Black history is such an expansive subject which is why we know that it can’t be condensed into one month, so we encourage you to continue your learning far beyond our short media sources. That being said, we hope you find our calendar to be interesting and informative, and above all, we hope you learn something new! Without further ado, the calendar is linked here. Happy learning!

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Senior Portrait Information from Victor O'Neill Studios

Senior Retakes may be scheduled with Victor O'Neill Studios directly. Their McLean location is ideal as it’s the closest and they offer lower-cost sessions just for this. Please keep in mind they are open on weekends only. The next open day is tomorrow, January 30, but more dates are being added. Please click here to book an appointment.

Senior Ads

Commemorate your seniors by sending them a Yearbook Recognition Ad. This is a great way to share your child's achievements and important milestones at George Mason High School! Please click on this link for more information on prices for different ad sizes. The deadline for purchase is February 11, 2021. For Senior families in need of financial assistance, please contact Principal Hills at

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