The Mustang Spirit

The Principal's Newsletter - October 16, 2020

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From Principal Hills

Dear Mustang Families,

Happy Friday. Fall is in full swing and we are hopeful that the leaves changing colors represent the return to semi normalcy over the next few months. We are looking forward to seeing our elementary students return to in-person learning. This will pave the way for the secondary return to in-person learning. Thank you to students and parents who have reached out to me directly over the past few weeks with feedback on how we can ensure our secondary students are back sooner than the advertised January 21st date. Dr. Noonan is committed to looking at this more closely and will have further conversations with the school leadership and teachers in the week to come. We are hopeful we can provide an update to you in my newsletter next Friday. Thank you as always for your support. Have a wonderful and restful weekend!


Team Mason

In-Person Student Activities

The PTSA, with GMHS Administration support, has begun the process of creating outdoor meeting spaces at GMHS which will allow student groups to gather safely for optional extra-curricular activities.

In preparation for these in-person club meetings, sports, and other extra-curricular activities, students together with their parent/guardian are required to read the COVID-19 Precautions statement and fill out the form. A student will not be permitted to participate in any in-person student activity unless the statement is read and the form is submitted. If you have any questions, please contact Coach Wooten at

Thank you to the PTSA and volunteers for strategizing, putting procedures in place, and identifying outdoor meeting spaces for our Mustangs.

Second Standards-Based Learning & Grading Info Session

If you missed the first live SBL&G info session, we will have another live session on Monday, October 19 at 7:15 pm. Please use this Zoom link for Monday's live session.

The SBL&G info session provides parents/guardians of students who are in SBL&G classes (Language & Literature 9, Algebra 1, Geometry, World History II, Biology, Earth Science, Theater I & II, and Chorus) with an opportunity to understand the philosophy and research, how you can support your child, and learn more about the PowerSchool grade book. Dr. Dippold created this video which you can watch before the live session.

If you have specific questions about SBL&G or MYP, please reach out to Dr. Dippold at

Available Resources for Our Mustangs

* All of the information and links below are also available on the GMHS website.

  • Learning Support Time (similar to Mustang Block): Every day from 11:00 am to 11:55 am. Students may book a time with their teachers or counselor through their Calendly links. Teachers' Calendly links are on their Schoology subject page while counselors' Calendly links are on our website under Counseling -> Counseling Staff.

  • Online Writing Lab: OWL is for students who need help with ANY writing assignments including College essays. Students should join the Schoology group using access code, WCJM-99P2-7VC8C, then book an appointment with a peer tutor using this Calendly link.

  • Virtual Learning Lounge: VLL is for students who need support with ANY course work. It is available every Monday from 9:00 am-10:00 am and 11:00 am-12:00 pm, and Friday from 11:00 am-1:00 pm. Students should join the Schoology group using access code, JR5K-744Q-TSP87, then book a peer tutor using this link. In addition, students who are proficient in a certain subject may be a peer tutor using this link. These volunteer hours may count towards NHS hours, etc.

  • IB and COVID-19: A folder containing information on COVID-19 impacts on IB for May 2021. This folder may also be accessed on our website under Academics -> IB.

  • Tech Support: If students are having tech issues with their school-issued laptop, they need to submit this Tech Support Form first. After the form is submitted, the IT department will reach out to the student about the next steps. Mason does not have drop-in tech support.

Picture Day for Grades 9-11

The second scheduled Picture Day will be on our short day, Friday, October 23, from 1-7 pm. Families/students will need to create an account and book their own time(s) using the link below. Due to Covid-19 guidelines, walk-ins will not be accepted at this time.

Book a Photo Appointment Here

  • Students will enter the school using Door 19 and walk straight to the Mustang Cafe. In order to limit the number of people in the school, we request that students come to the Cafe by themselves.
  • In an effort to keep picture day appointments “contactless”, students will check in with VOS staff when entering the Mustang Cafe and will scan his/her/their camera card at the designated camera station. Instant IDs will be given to students on-site upon exiting the photography station.
  • Everyone is required to wear a face-covering and adhere to social distancing rules including staying at least 6 feet apart.
  • If a student has been exposed to COVID, or is showing symptoms of COVID, we ask that the student please not come for their appointment.

Students wishing to purchase a picture package will have the opportunity to do so online after they sign up for a time and after picture day. Paper picture orders will not be accepted at the camera. All picture packages will be delivered via USPS shipping to a home address.

Victor O'Neill Studios is a third-party company that Mason uses. Please contact VOS directly at for any questions. Thank you for helping make Picture Day a success!

Community Partnership Week from October 19-23

In recognition of the importance of partnerships that connect local businesses, non-profit organizations, and our schools, the Business in Education partnership will be doing something every day next week to recognize people who are involved in partnerships and encourage staff and community to work with partners.

Check your email for the FCCPS Morning Announcements and the BIE webpage to learn about great partnerships and how you can get involved.

Joint PTSA General Member Meeting

There will be a Joint Elementary, Middle, and High School PTSA membership meeting on Wednesday, October 21 at 6:30 pm via Zoom. The Zoom link will be shared closer to the date.

Not a member yet? Join now!

Joining the PTSA ($20 for an adult, $10 for a student, $5 for a faculty member) is an easy way to make sure you’re supporting our high school’s teachers, staff, and students. The PTSA organizes and funds the All Night Grad Celebration, teacher appreciation events, and parent meetings on topics such as teen mental health and substance abuse. We can’t do it without your participation and support. Please go to to officially join and contribute to our efforts to make our schools the best they can be!

Let's Go Mustangs!

The Athletic Boosters have put together a Virtual Learning Emergency Kit that includes the essentials: flannel PJs, a mug for hot beverages, and a comfy stadium cushion to adapt virtual learning to any location. Go to the Fan Shop to purchase one for your Mustang. Go Mustangs!
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Quick Links

Student Tech Support

If your student is experiencing technical issues with their laptop, they will need to fill out this form first. Once the form is submitted, the tech team will be able to help.

FCCPS Morning Announcements

Please subscribe to the Morning Announcements if you have not done so yet.


Please join the Parent-Teacher-Student Association.