VA Weekly Navigator
Your Guide to News, Updates, and Reminders in the VA
(Week of November 21, 2022)
Happy Holidays from the Dean
As we prepare for a shortened week and a much deserved break, I hope everyone is thriving and staying connected. The Thanksgiving holiday weekend offers many of us the chance to gather with friends, family, and loved ones, and to indulge in long-standing family traditions. Whether it's watching football or playing it, hiking or running in the chilly November weather, or staying warm inside surrounded by laughter, music, and great food, I hope each of you has plans to take advantage of the long weekend. Keep your neighbors in mind and help out where you see need, and take time to rest and rejuvenate. If you're traveling, be safe and don't rush. We look forward to seeing you Monday afternoon and evening for parent conferences, and I want to personally wish you a happy holiday and a pleasant end to November, 2022. Thank you for a great start to this school year -- let's keep making it better every week!
Virtual Academy Calendar for November 2022
- Monday, November 21-Early Release Day - Parent Teacher Conferences
- Tuesday, November 22- Early Release Day
- Wednesday, November 23- No School - Thanksgiving Holiday
- Thursday, November- No School - Thanksgiving Holiday
- Friday, November 25- No School - Thanksgiving Holiday
Parent Conferences: Monday, November 21, 12:30 - 7:00 p.m.
Parent Conferences will be held tomorrow, Monday, November 21, between 12:30 and 7:00 p.m. Each teacher has created a schedule for conferences on SignUpGenius.com; these were shared on November 7 to allow families to sign up.
Each conference will last 10 minutes (please note that teachers will hold fast to that time frame to avoid delays across the schedule).
Parent conferences are a great opportunity to talk with your child’s teachers one-on-one, get answers to any questions you may have, hear updates on how they’re doing, and learn more about what’s coming up. Keep in mind that, while these conferences are intended to strengthen connections between your family and our staff, you can always reach out to our teachers and counselors to request time to get together.
Notice of Intent to Enroll for 2023-2024 - Deadline Extended: NOVEMBER 22, 2022
We are seeking to verify every full-time student's intention for school enrollment for next school year (2023-2024). This confirmation is MANDATORY for all currently enrolled full-time MVA students. Please complete a separate form for each MVA student in your family.
PLEASE CLICK HERE to indicate your intention for school enrollment for the 2023-2024 school year.
Enrollment in the MVA is intended to be a full year commitment. Current Montgomery Virtual Academy students who confirm their desire to remain enrolled by November 22, 2022 will not need to reapply for next school year.
Families who do not complete the form (linked above) by November 22, 2022:
- will not be automatically re-enrolled in the MVA for 2023-2024.
- will be expected to re-apply on ParentVUE.
- will be considered by lottery unless space is available.
Please complete the form (linked above) for each student currently enrolled in the MVA. All responses are due by November 22, 2022. PLEASE ONLY COMPLETE THE FORM ONE TIME PER CHILD.
Last week, at the MVAPTC meeting, Ms. Heifetz shared information on the re-enrollment process. View the meeting recording (in English and Spanish) here: 11/10/22 MVAPTC Meeting Recording
If you have questions as you consider the best fit for next school year, please contact an MVA administrator.
Thank you for completing the form, and for your continued support of the MVA!
Weekly Meal Kits for MVA Students Coming Soon!
MCPS and the Division of Food & Nutrition Services will be providing bulk meal kits to MCPS students enrolled in MCPS Virtual Academy. The boxes will be distributed at the designated locations listed below. The location you select will be your assigned location to pick up your pre-ordered meal kit.
Please utilize this form to place an order for our Bulk Meal Kits. Each Meal Kit will provide 5 breakfasts and 5 lunches.
***Distribution & Distribution Sites***
Meal kits will be distributed at each site listed below every Friday from 11:00 am - 1:00 pm.
- Richard Montgomery High School: 250 Richard Montgomery Drive, Rockville, MD 20852
- Seneca Valley High School: 19401 Crystal Rock Dr, Germantown, MD 20874
- A. Mario Loiederman Middle School: 12701 Goodhill Rd, Silver Spring, MD 20906
- Food & Nutrition Services Building: 8401 Turkey Thicket Dr., Gaithersburg, 20879
All orders for meal kits should be placed using the Google link a week in advance for distribution the following week.
The ordering link closes every Friday at 12:00 noon, and reopens Friday at 3:00 p.m.
Parents must provide the first and last name and ID number of each student for whom they are requesting a meal kit.
***Questions & More Information***
Questions regarding meal kits can be sent to the meals dropbox:
Use the link below to request meal pick-up on December 2:
Passwords for Grades 3-12
myMCPS Classroom (Canvas) Course
To help alert students to change their password, MCPS has created a new district-wide Canvas Course (Student Password Reset) that the central technology teams will use to target students whose passwords are about to change. During the month that students need to reset their password, students will be enrolled in the course and will be assigned a no-submit assignment to change their password. This will trigger an alert as well as an action item on the student’s to-do list in Canvas. This, in conjunction with the email, will help create an awareness for students using Canvas regularly as part of their school experience.
In addition to the email and myMCPS Classroom course assignment alerts, MCPS has created a chrome popup for students. When students log into their Chromebook, a message will pop up in the corner reminding them to reset their password. (see image)
Directions for Student Password Changes
As was shared with the students in the email notifications to student Gmail accounts, they simply need to go to https://SPM.mcpsmd.org and log in with their current username and password. That will allow them to reset the password.
Password Report Access by School Staff
As a reminder, should any of the students fail to reset their password by the expiration date, the account does not get disabled, but the password is changed automatically and the new password added to the password report. The MVA office staff have access to that report and can provide the new password, if needed. Please call 240-740-6060 for assistance if needed.
Fall Fundraiser - Ends December 1, 2022
Looking to get a head start on some holiday or winter season shopping! Don't like going out to stores? Then our Fall Fundraiser just might be the answer! Our online fundraiser store has all occasion and holiday items, apparel, bags & totes, candles, floral items, sweet & savory snacks and treats, popcorn, jewelry, kitchen items, kids & pet items, magazines, gift wrap, and more!
With your help, we will be raising funds to be used to support Montgomery Virtual Academy K-12 students and teachers through general school-wide purchases that would otherwise not be funded by available school funds. We are encouraging every family to participate. We will reach our first goal when each student registers and shares the fundraiser with 5 or more supporters.
There are 2 ways to participate:
A) DIRECTIONS TO PARTICIPATE IF YOU WANT YOUR CHILD TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR PRIZES:
- Please register your student(s) at www.ShopFund.com. After registering, you will get a link/code to share with family & friends
- Send your link/code to 5 supporters
- Consider making a purchase
B) Not interested in registering, but still interested in supporting? Use this direct shopping link set up for MVA Admin & Staff: https://www.shopfund.com/Shop?sid=1611436&t=EM
Any purchase made will generate funds for the benefit of every child. Your participation is very appreciated. Thank you for your help and support! All purchases will be shipped directly to purchasers in time for the winter holidays! There are prizes for the highest sellers. See the linked letter for details.
Click to view the Believe Fall Fundraiser Parent Letter for more details
Student IDs Ready for Pick-Up
MVA Middle School Math Team 2022-2023
If you're interested in joining the MVA Math Team this year, please fill out the following form: MATH TEAM FORM
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 838 8124 5246
Inspiring Person of the Week
The Virtual Academy has launched the Inspiring Person of the Week Campaign. The campaign is designed to elevate the diverse people who have contributed their knowledge and talents to the United States.
Students can earn 2 SSL hours by submitting an slide to the Inspiring Person of the Week committee. Student submissions must have the student's name and MCPS ID number, a title, a summary, a picture of the inspiring person, and links to additional information about the inspiring person.
Students can email their slides or Canva poster and reflections to Mr. Henrique Vissotto: firstname.lastname@example.org. Because this is a school-hosted SSL opportunity, we will keep a log of the students who submit posters along with their reflections.
Here is this week’s Inspiring Person of the Week: Malala Yousafzai.
SSL Volunteer Opportunity
SSL Hours Updates and Follow-Up
The SSL office at the central office level will review the responses to all of the Mental Health Awareness Week SSL opportunities and add the SSL hours to student records for quality responses no later than November 20, 2022.
Seal of Biliteracy
Does your child know a language other than English?
The Maryland Seal of Biliteracy recognizes high levels of proficiency in English and one or more additional languages!
The seal is a sign to future employers and college/university admissions that you are bilingual and biliterate, and it brings a sense of cultural awareness.
Testing open to ALL Juniors and Seniors!
Seniors test free! Juniors cost $21
Testing date TBA soon!
Please encourage your child to register with the VA to Test!
Please make sure you select “Montgomery Virtual Academy” when you register. The test is online.
¿Te gustaría incluir el Sello de Bilingüismo en tu curriculum vitae para demostrarles tus destrezas lingüísticas a empleadores y universidades?
La escuela virtual está ofreciendo evaluación para este honor a estudiantes en 11° grado y 12° grado.
¡Inscríbete ya! Asegurase de seleccionar “Montgomery Virtual Academy.” La evaluación está en línea.
¡La evaluación de 12° grado es gratuita! 11° grado por $21
Testing date TBA soon!
MVA World Languages Website
The Montgomery Virtual Academy’s World Languages Department has a new website!
MVA language learners and anyone interested in American Sign Language, French, and Spanish can access a rich database of digital resources. Fostering our MVA vision for an innovative, personalized virtual learning community, this website enables students to engage with the MCPS World language curriculum outside of the “traditional” modes.
Students will receive up-to-date announcements on all the happenings in our department and ways they can engage with their peers in the virtual or in-person community. The website has over 30 web pages, a growing database of videos, and a plethora of stock images to engage our Gen-Z learners.
Please watch the following promo video and access the website.
MVA Science Website
Attention Families of 12th grade Students
MVA Letters of Recommendation for College Applications
The process for students requesting a letter of recommendation from their Virtual Academy teacher is as follows. Virtual Academy students may choose one of these options below. This is very important: The VA student must ask the teacher first before adding the teacher to the Common Application or sending college admission information.
- The VA student will add the VA teacher to their Common Application (if the college uses Common Application). The student will be able to request a recommender through their personal Common application account. Then the student will inform the teacher to check their email for a request from Common Application.
- The VA student will provide their VA teacher with the college admission counselor’s email to their teacher. The teacher would then email their recommendation letter directly to the college admission counselor or admissions office email.
Mental Health Provider Resources for Children who have Medical Assistance
Maximizing Student Engagement, Participation, and Attendance
Research indicates that meaningful personal engagement with their teachers and peers is one of the most important predictors of student learning and achievement.
As a result of a review of the research, the Montgomery Virtual Academy (MVA) presents the following revisions to its policies and expectations around student engagement, participation, and attendance for the 2022-2023 school year and beyond.
- All students are expected to appear on camera for the majority of every class
- Students should actively demonstrate engagement throughout each lesson.
- Students who demonstrate no engagement for the entire class period may be marked “Absent” for that class period.
- The MVA continues to expand opportunities for students to engage meaningfully with teachers, staff, and each other outside of the classroom.
For more detailed information on these expectations, please see this document. Thank you for your support and encouragement as we work together to connect students with their teachers and each other!
Annual Notice for Directory Information and Student Privacy
Using this form, parents/guardians may also indicate that the student does not want to be recorded during virtual classroom sessions for future viewing by students in the same class. Completing this form does not exclude a child from having a camera on during non-recorded instruction. Parents/guardians who choose to complete this form should do so by September 12, 2022. Please use the following guide to support you in this process: https://montgomery.service-now.com/csm?id=kb_article_view&sysparm_article=KB0010232
MVA Parent Teacher Council Updates & Reminders
MVAPTC (Montgomery Virtual Academy Parent Teacher Council) Announcements:
MVAPTC Meeting: Thursday, December 8th at 6:30 PM.
Meetings are held on the second Thursday of each month. Meeting slides, meeting minutes and other documents in English and Spanish are available for review on the MVAPTC website located at http://www.mvaptc.org.
The zoom link is: https://mcpsmd.zoom.us/j/83004264203?pwd=M09hQzNtbVgyWVB6SGF3UE1sU2Fodz09, the Meeting ID is: 830 0426 4203 and the Passcode: mvaptc
MVAPTC Special Education Committee Meeting will be held on Thursday, January 19th at 6:30 PM.
Staff Appreciation Wish Donation Wish List: https://smile.amazon.com/hz/charitylist/ls/2AYECVMZIHTZ3/ref=smi_ext_lnk_lcl_cl
Shirts, Necklaces, and Earrings are available for purchase at the MVA office.
Facebook page: Montgomery Virtual Academy Parent Teacher Council Facebook Discussion Group: MVAPTC Discussion Group - Montgomery Virtual Academy Families & Staff (MD) Facebook Special Needs Discussion Group: MVAPTC - Children with SN - Montgomery Virtual Academy (MD)
Shirts, Dues & Donations: https://mvaptc.square.site
Please contact Jessica, MVAPTC President, at email@example.com to volunteer, or for any questions or concerns.
MVA Library Media Center Announcements
Click here to view the site! The Media Center Website is also linked at the top of the Montgomery Virtual Academy website.
Zoom Links and Contacting Teachers
The MCPS website features "Calendar Central," where you can find information on holidays, early release days, and other special events throughout the school year.
SSL Updates & Opportunities
City of Rockville Holiday Drive
There will be a need for volunteers between November 15-19 and on December 17. Tasks will include sorting food and produce, packing food boxes, making deliveries, helping families pick toys and wrapping gifts. SSL hours are offered! We request that children be accompanied by a parent or guardian if they are under the age of 15.
For the December holidays, we are looking for volunteers (age 15+) for the following jobs:
Wrapping presents or assisting parents with choosing gifts in the Toy Shop
Saturday 12/17, 10:30-12:00 pm, 12:00-1:30 pm, 1:30-3:00 pm
Please let me know if you speak Spanish or Chinese
Toy deliveries (2 adults per car required) - 8-12 deliveries
Saturday 12/17, 9:00-11:00 am
Please contact the Volunteer Coordinator by email at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Holiday Drive – [Insert Your Name]” to sign up for a volunteer shift.
You will be asked to provide the following information:
Date & Time of the volunteer shifts you are interested in [Note: due to high interest, we may only be able to assign you and your group to 1 or 2 shifts]
Number of volunteers you want to sign up (if you are signing up on behalf of a group)
Name(s) of all volunteers
Preferred contact number
If anyone in your group is under 18:
Age(s) of the children
Do they need SSL hours?
Students need 75 student service learning (SSL) hours to graduate from Maryland public schools. Every month, Dr. Simarjeet Sandhu, the Virtual Academy SSL Coordinator, provides a listing of SSL opportunities that are virtual and in-person. Click on the link and get your child involved in these fun and rewarding service opportunities.
Four Seasons World Dance Auditions
Arise & Flourish:
Students will need to visit the Montgomery County Volunteer Center (https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/volunteercenter/) and in the red box “Find a Volunteer Opportunity”, type in Arise and Flourish. Students will find the volunteer opportunity for the cycle of addiction video review project. This SSL opportunity has been approved by the MCPS SSL department. Please let the students know NOT to use their MCPS email address as we will not be able to respond to them.
Once students respond for the volunteer opportunity on the site, we will send the student/parent permission slip and detailed volunteer information. Please make sure the students do NOT use their MCPS email address as we will not be able to respond to them. Students will watch two video presentations provided by our organization. One video is our speakers who are people in recovery who share their personal experience. The second video is the presentation on the cycle of addiction which has information on how addiction happens.
Students have the ability to earn the following for the quality completion of this project:
- Earn 1 SSL hour for watching one speaker video and the video for the cycle of addiction and completing one paper or artwork or;
- Earn up to 4 SSL hours for watching up to 4 speaker videos along with the one video for the cycle of addiction and completing 4 papers or 4 artworks.
Students can watch anywhere from 1-4 speaker videos and the video for the cycle of addiction and completing one paper or artwork for EACH speaker video watched.
Project Linus is a national organization with chapters across the country (www.projectlinus.org). Their Montgomery County Maryland chapter works with partner organizations like Holy Cross Hospital, Children's Hospital, A Wider Circle, and the Montgomery County Department of Social Services, to distribute blankets to children who are in the hospital, homeless, in foster care, in shelters, and in other situations where just a small comfort can make a major difference. All these blankets are made by volunteers. See our previous newsletters (linked below) for more information.
Check Out Our VA SSL Website
Here you'll find...
- Contact information for our SSL Coordinator (Dr. Simarjeet Sandhu) and our counseling team
- An introductory video about SLL hours and how to complete them
- The official submission form for reporting hours
- Timely updates on service opportunities within and outside of the Virtual Academy
- and more!
How to Check SSL Hours in ParentVUE
- Navigate to https://md-mcps-psv.edupoint.com/PXP2_Login.aspx.
- Select "I am a parent" or "I am a student."
- Enter your User Name and Password, then click "Login."
- Click "Course History" from the left-hand navigation.
- The Course History page shows the student's graduation progress, test requirements, and SLL hours earned. (Students need 75 hours for graduation.)
- Toggle on "Detail" to see full Service Learning details.
Useful SSL Resource
Need to Reach a Counselor?
Office hours are:
- Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays 8:00 - 11:00 a.m.
- Tuesdays and Thursdays 11:35 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Students and families can also reach out to their counselor using this resource or consulting the list below (alphabetical by last name). Please note that during these first few weeks of the year, all counselors are inundated with schedule requests and questions -- thank you for your patience and understanding as we work to serve the needs of our 1,800 students and families! (Click the image of the list below for a web browser version, for easier viewing.)
Please use this link to access important information about connecting with school counselors.
Apply Online Now for Free and Reduced-Price Meals Benefits
Apply here. Learn more about the program.
Attendance Questions and Absence Notes
Activating and Utilizing ParentVUE
Activate Your ParentVue Account
This important tool will provide near real-time access to information on assignments and scores, attendance, class schedules, transcripts, graduation status, and more. You may access ParentVUE online, but for the best mobile experience, we encourage you to download the ParentVUE App from the Google Play Store or Apple Store, as this app will replace the current myMCPS mobile application.
Contact Your Child's Administrator or Counselor for your activation letter
Free English as Second Language Classes for Parents
In collaboration with MCPS, the Literacy Council of Montgomery County (LCMC) is offering free English as a Second Language (ESL) classes for MCPS parents. The classes will be held virtually and there will be options for all levels of English speakers. They are available to any MCPS parent for whom English is not their first language.
Please see this flyer for details:
Parents can complete this Interest form to receive a placement test.
If you are having technology issues, please submit an e-ticket by emailing your question or issue to email@example.com or submit a ticket via the Community Tech Support portal. This account is monitored daily and you will receive email notifications throughout the process.
For helpful support guides and screencasts in English and Spanish, please visit https://montgomery.service-now.com/csm.
A support guide for the Community Tech Support portal is available here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1cczbhEXF7x3TBquSMQGUGsxIcqsm_BtG2KBBi_bA0_0/edit
Helpful SSL Tip
When you submit your SSL forms, it’s really important that you complete all sections properly, so the form does not get returned to you. Check out this video from our SSL committee that demonstrates how to complete the SSL form in its entirety.
Thank you, Ms. Marks, for the helpful video!
Free Computers for MoCo Residents in Need
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