SVHS Green and Gold

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

April 5, 2021- Edition

Update Video from Dr. Cohen

Click here to view a Newsletter Summary from Dr. Cohen.
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Click below to view SVHS Bus Routes for students returning March 15 and beyond:

A Note to Students Returning for In-Person Instruction

Whether you are returned for in-person instruction in March or are returning April 8, April 12, April 19, or April 26, the following information is important for you to read as you prepare to come into the building for in-person instruction.

Some things to know as you prepare to return for in-person learning:

  1. Before you leave your house: Pack up and bring with you, your Chromebook, charger, a cloth mask, and earphones if you have them. If you do not have a mask or earphones, one will be provided for you. Breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snack will be provided for you free of charge, but you are welcome to bring a packed lunch and drink with you if you wish. You are only permitted to drink water in the classrooms. Any other drink and food must be consumed in the cafeteria.

  2. Everyone should arrive for entry/check-in through the cafeteria doors. These doors are located off the Wisteria Drive entrance to the school. (see image below for a map!)

  3. Cafeteria doors will open at 7:45 a.m. for check-in. The doors will be locked at 9:00 a.m.

  4. If you are a bus-rider, please click on this link to review your bus route and pick-up time:

  5. When you arrive, you will remain in the cafeteria during the Student Support hour (7:45 a.m.- 8:45 a.m.) and then report to your period 1 class between 8:45 a.m. and 9:00 a.m.

  6. If you are a walker/car-rider, please be sure to arrive NO LATER THAN 8:45 a.m. so that you have enough time to check-in and report to period 1.

  7. Cafeteria doors will be locked at 9:00 a.m. If you arrive after 9:00 a.m., please enter through the main office entrance located off of Crystal Rock Drive (see image below for a map!) NOTE: if you are arriving late to school, you must have an official excuse (doctor's appointment, family emergency, etc.) to be marked EXCUSED late.

When you arrive…

  • You will check-in at one of the tables that are set up by the entrance doors through the cafeteria.

  • You will receive a copy of your schedule with room numbers along with a map of the building.

  • At that time, if you need to borrow any equipment, you will have an opportunity to check them out for the day.

  • We will gather in the cafeteria until 8:45 a.m.

Attending Classes...

  • You have signed up for In-Person return which means that you will be attending all of your classes with your teachers and other classmates who have been assigned to GREEN WEEK.

  • You will still use your chromebook to log into each class because your teacher will be teaching you AND the students who are attending class from home.

  • You will have 15 minutes in between each period to log off, pack up and head to your next classroom. Just like every new year, it will take you a few days to get to know your classroom locations, but you’ll find your way in no time!

  • For the most part (with a few exceptions) your classes are located in the following areas:

    • Ground Floor: Auto Tech, PE, Music
      1st Floor: Health Professions, Construction, LFI/SCB, Film, CREA, Carpentry, Main Office, IB Office
      2nd Floor: Social Studies, Counseling Suites, ESOL
      3rd Floor: World Languages, English, Math
      4th Floor: Art, Science, Tech.

Lunchtime, Restrooms, and Water Fountains...

At lunch, everyone will eat in the cafeteria at socially distanced tables. One person per table.

  • A bagged lunch (also breakfast and afternoon snack) will be provided for everyone free of charge, but you may choose to bring your own lunch if you wish.

All restrooms will be open for student use. Only two students permitted at one time to ensure safe social distancing.

Water Fountains will be closed but there are several water-filling stations available throughout the building if you would like to bring a water bottle with you.


  • Starting April 8, all students who are scheduled to attend IN-PERSON are expected to attend all 4 periods of each day and remain the building from morning check-in until afternoon dismissal. Students are NOT permitted to partially attend school, leave early, or arrive late without a valid excuse (doctor’s appointment, family emergency, etc.) Students who have to leave early must check out at the attendance office window by the main entrance on the first floor.

  • Regular dismissal will occur at 2:30 p.m. through the cafeteria doors.

If you forget something at home...

  • If you forget your headphones, charger, or Chromebook, or mask, we will have extra supplies here in the building for you.

If you have questions or concerns over...

If you would like to change your Educational Model Preference from IN-PERSON to VIRTUAL, at any time, please have your parent/guardian send me a note: Please know that once you switch to virtual, you may NOT switch back to In-Person until further notice.

Here is a video introduction/orientation for more information about our reopening plans:

We are so glad you're coming back to the building and look forward to seeing you!

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IMPORTANT: COVID-19 Pool Testing at SVHS

Dear Parents and Guardians:

This letter is to inform you that COVID-19 testing will begin at our school on Friday, March 26, 2021.

We must all do our part to prevent the transmission of the COVID-19 virus in our schools. This includes participating in school-provided COVID-19 testing to identify cases where the student or staff member may not be showing symptoms. MCPS families were notified about this new effort in February and March. Tests will be provided for all students and staff on a weekly basis. Each swab will be placed in a common tube for that classroom or group and sent off to a central testing laboratory. The test detects whether the virus that causes COVID-19 is present in that pooled sample. Schools will receive results within 2-3 days. A consent form is linked below. If you do not complete the consent form, your child will not be able to participate in testing.

Consent forms can be emailed to Dr. Cohen at, or your student can return them to the building when they return for in-person instruction. We will collect them as students check in.

Consent form - Spanish

Consent Form - English

An Important Message from MCPS

Recovery of Education
The Board received an update and held a discussion on MCPS’ recovery of education plan. The Board unanimously voted to allow MCPS to speed up the timeline for the return of student groups. Students in Phase II, groups 2.1 and 2.2 will be combined and both groups will start a phased-return by April 19, 2021. To help reduce the potential spread of COVID-19 in schools once people return from spring break, the Board voted to make Tuesday, April 6, a virtual learning day for all students. Wednesday, April 7, will remain a virtual day as scheduled. Students scheduled to return on April 6 (Group 1.2) will return to buildings on Thursday, April 8. COVID-19 pool testing for students and staff participating in in-person learning will begin after spring break. Testing will be rolled out in phases, with the program beginning in schools on Thursday, April 8. The Board also received an update on summer school planning. MCPS is planning a range of summer programs for elementary, middle, and high school students. Programs will help address learning loss, with a focus on mathematics, literacy, electives, and preparing for the next grade level. Elementary and middle schools will offer programs that include mathematics, literacy, and specials/electives. At the high school level, there will be opportunities to earn credits in all subject areas required for graduation, for both repeat and original credit, as well as non-credit options in local schools.
View the PowerPoint Presentation.
Read the Community Update.

2021–2022 Traditional and Innovative School Year Calendars

The Board voted to approve a 2021–2022 traditional school year calendar. The school year will begin on August 30, 2021, and end on June 15, 2022 (scenario 1). The Board also voted to approve the 2021-2022 Innovative School Year Calendar for Arcola and Roscoe R. Nix elementary schools.

Read the resolution and see the adopted calendars.

Final Action, Board Policy IQD, Academic Eligibility for Extracurricular Activities

The Board took final action on Policy IQD, Academic Eligibility for Extracurricular Activities. On November 10, 2020, the Board tentatively adopted revised draft Policy IQD. Policy IQD encourages student engagement in school through a variety of extracurricular activities including, but not limited to, interscholastic sports, student government, fine arts, academic teams, and other group activities as an essential part of a complete educational experience. Policy IQD reaffirms the commitment of the Board to providing an array of extracurricular opportunities, with and without academic eligibility requirements. The tentatively adopted policy was distributed for public comment. The updated policy sets forth academic eligibility requirements for students participating in interscholastic sports, with certain exemptions from these requirements for middle school students in the first marking period of their first year of middle school, and for high school students in the first three marking periods of their first year of high school.

Read the Board memorandum.

Updated Calendar of Major Events for the Election of the 44th Student Member of the Board of Education

On December 3, 2020, the Board approved a resolution outlining the updated calendar of events for the election of the 44th student member of the Board (Attachment). Montgomery MCPS and the Montgomery County Region of the Maryland Association of Student Councils continue to plan for the annual election of the student member of the Board. Upon review of the MCPS spring calendar, the date for the election has been rescheduled from Wednesday, April 21, 2021, to Thursday, April 22, 2021, and Friday, April 23, 2021. This change aims to accommodate students for a two-day period and to ensure student access to the ballot regardless of an A/B day schedule. An early election day no longer is needed and has been removed from the official election calendar.

Read the Board memorandum.

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 Acceptances & Scholarship Awards - Seniors - Have you applied and been accepted to a college or university? Have you been offered any scholarships? Please keep track of this information and update in your Naviance account. At some point soon, we will be distributing a Senior Survey asking for this and other information. All seniors in MCPS will be asked to complete this survey.

Keeping track of this as you go along will make it easier to fill out when it is time to fill out this survey. If possible, please share you acceptance(s) and scholarship award letter(s) with Mr. Nalda. You can forward, take a picture of, or scan your letter(s) of acceptance and add as an attachment. Thank you!!

FAFSA & MSFAA - Seniors - If you have created an MDCAPS account to apply for financial aid and need to upload your transcript, send Mr. Nalda an email with your MHEC ID Number. He will be able to upload your GPA information directly to MHEC.

FAFSA - If you plan on attending college after graduation and have yet to fill out the FAFSA, you should still complete this form. Although you may not qualify for Maryland aid and at this point, you may still be eligible for federal aid in the form of a Pell Grant. Click here for more information.

Feel free to reach out to Mr. Nalda if you have any questions.

Upcoming Scholarships - If you find yourself with some extra time during spring break, take this opportunity to search for and work on scholarships!!!

  • April 09 - Paul Robeson Need-Based Scholarship - multiple awards; senior; min 3.0 GPA; attend a 2 or 4 year school in the U.S.; official transcript; 2 letters of rec.; essay (max one page); recent photo; must submit pages 6-8 of the FAFSA; parent/guardian signatures.

  • April 09 - Paul Robeson Merit-Based Scholarship - multiple awards, renewable based on college GPA; senior; min 3.4 GPA; attend 4 year school in the U.S.; official transcript; 2 letters of rec.; essay (max one page); recent photo; parent/guardian signatures.

  • April 09 - Allstate Minds in Motion Scholarship (Athletes) - 12 to 14-$1,000 awards; senior; min. 3.25 unweighted GPA; participated in athletics (see details); ACT/SAT scores; transcript.

  • April 10 - DC Area Phi Beta Kappa Association High School Merit Award - 4-$1,000 awards; senior; min 3.5 GPA (unweighted); academic achievement, community involvement, and a dedication to the liberal arts and sciences; letter of acceptance from their chosen college or university.

  • April 12 - Apartment Guide Student Scholarship - 2-$2,500 awards; senior; U.S. Citizen or legal resident; at least 17 years of age; min 2.5 GPA; accepted as a full-time student at an accredited college or university for the Fall 2021; submit a 500-600 word essay; 10 finalists chosen will then submit a video illustrating their essays; see link for full rules and guidelines.

  • April 14 - Senator Nancy J. King Legislative Scholarship - senior; be a resident of District 39 (click this link to verify); must have completed your FAFSA by March 1; planning to attend a college/university in Maryland; must take a minimum of 6 credits to be eligible; include a copy of the front page of your completed FAFSA form; once you compete, please return your application to Mr. Nalda in the College & Career Center.

  • April 15 - Lavinia Engle Scholarship Fund (application instructions) - awards ranging from from approximately $500 to $3000 for the year; senior; female, resident of Montgomery County, MD for at least three years; enrolling for an undergraduate degree at a Maryland college or university; attention given to financial need, academic and other accomplishments (based on GPA, choice of courses, recommendations, extracurricular/volunteer activities, etc.); transcript; 2 letters of recommendation; first 2 pages of tax return; 1 page essay; photograph.

  • April 15 - WSSC Commissioners' Engineering Scholarship Program - 2-$2,000 awards (renewable); senior; proof of permanent residency in WSSC Service District; pursue an engineering degree in one of the following areas: Civil Engineering (i.e., Environmental, Sanitary, Structural, Geotechnical, Water Resources, Fire Protection, Transportation, Project Management, Construction Management); Electrical Engineering; Material Science and Engineering; Chemical Engineering; Mechanical Engineering or Computer Science/Engineering; proof of acceptance; 500-1,000 word essay; video Introduction/Infomercial; official transcript; two reference letters.

  • April 15 - WMCCAI Scholarship Contest - min 2.5 GPA; high school transcript; letter of recommendation; 500-700 word essay or 90 second media presentation.

  • April 16 - Ida F. Haimovicz Visual Arts Award - 1-$3,000 award; junior; resides in Montgomery County, MD; for students who intend to pursue the study of, and/or career in, the visual arts; able to provide Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN); high school transcript; 1-10 samples of original work created within the past two years; samples should include at least 5 pieces that the applicant would feel comfortable exhibiting publicly.

  • April 16 - Fran Abrams Creative Writing Award - 1-$3,000 award; junior; resides in Montgomery County, MD; for students who intend to pursue the study of, and/or career in, creative writing; able to provide Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN); high school transcript; Upload 1-10 samples of original work created within the past two years; samples should include pieces that the applicant would feel comfortable reading out loud.

  • April 16 - Ida F. Haimovicz Visual Arts Award - 1-$3,000 award; junior; resides in Montgomery County, MD; for students who intend to pursue the study of, and/or career in, the visual arts; able to provide Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN); high school transcript; 1-10 samples of original work created within the past two years; samples should include at least 5 pieces that the applicant would feel comfortable exhibiting publicly.

  • April 16 - Fran Abrams Creative Writing Award - 1-$3,000 award; junior; resides in Montgomery County, MD; for students who intend to pursue the study of, and/or career in, creative writing; able to provide Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN); high school transcript; Upload 1-10 samples of original work created within the past two years; samples should include pieces that the applicant would feel comfortable reading out loud.

  • April 17 - KYCF-GROCK Scholarship - senior; male student of color; min 2.5 GPA; accepted into a college or university as a full time student in the fall; active in extra-curricular or work related activities; essay; transcript; proof (letter) of acceptance to the college you will attend; 2 letters of recommendation; current photo.

  • April 17 - The Links, Inc. Scholarship - senior; min 3.5 GPA; for African Americans and other persons of African ancestry; accepted into a four-year accredited U.S. college/university as a full-time student; unofficial transcript; 250-300 word personal essay; signed letter of recommendation from counselor or teacher; resume; color (headshot) photo.

  • April 17 - The Links, Inc. Technical School/Community College Scholarship - senior; for African Americans and other persons of African ancestry; accepted in a technical school or two-year community college; unofficial transcript; 250-300 word personal essay; signed letter of recommendation from counselor or teacher; resume; color (headshot) photo.

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

Upcoming Events

Moving Forward College and Career Readiness - For Juniors

Juniors, let's start planning! We enthusiastically invite you all to participate in the following workshops to get a head start in planning for life after high school!

All workshops are from 11:30 am - 12:30 pm. Click here to see the flyer. Click Here to Register.

  • Wednesday, April 7 - Apprenticeship/Trades

  • Monday, April 19 - College Essay Writing

  • Wednesday, April 21 - Tips on Common Application

  • Wednesday, April 28 - Intro to Financial Aid and Scholarships

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.

SVHS April College & Career Newsletter

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NEW: IB Update

The IB Learner Profile BALANCE aims to develop learners who are balanced. Our goal is to help students to discover and understand the importance of balancing different aspects of their lives, while also helping them build the time management skills needed to do so.

With spring break upon us, it is important to find a BALANCE as an essential component to achieving intellectual, physical, and emotional well-being for yourself and others. Be sure to take some time to unwind by taking a walk, try a new workout, watch a movie, read a book, or perhaps simply enjoy a beautiful sunset. Also, take find time to expand you mind and smartly manage your time by exploring scholarships or colleges, catching up on work, or watching an educational documentary.

Payment for IB Exams - DUE APRIL 9th

Although the May component of your IB exam is cancelled this year, IB will grade Internal Assessments and issue exam scores (1-7). To obtain an IB score, you must submit your Internal Assessment for each IB course for which you are registered to “test.”

As IB is still grading student assessments and issuing scores, students must still pay for their exams by April 9th. All students who do not pay for their exams by April 9th will be withdrawn and will not receive an IB exam score. IB Exam scores can be used for potential college credit, depending on your score and the college you are attending, as usual.

To pay your exam fees - please follow the following steps:

· Go to

· Once there click on “High” and scroll down to “Seneca Valley High School”

· Scroll down to “IB Exam Fee Approved Payment”

· Please enter the name of your exams and the amount you are paying. Each exam is $119.

Remember if you qualify for a fee waiver, each exam is $20.

We understand the past year has been extremely challenging, so please do not hesitate to reach out to Ms. Ezerski with any concerns you have regarding IB exam fees at Remember to do your absolute best on your IB Internal Assessments - YOU CAN DO THIS!!

NEW: May Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month Poster Art Contest

The month of May is designated by law as Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month to recall the history of AAPl since their arrival in the United States in the mid-1800s, their challenges and their contributions to American society.

This year, once again all K-12 Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) students are invited to submit artwork for a poster that demonstrates the courage of AAPI. The entries will be judged by community art/art performance professionals.

First place ($100), second place ($75) and third place ($50) winners will be selected for each of the elementary, middle and high school categories.

The submission deadline is April 18, 2021.

PTSA Fundraiser: Show your Eagle Pride with this Limited Edition, SVHS Blanket!

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REPEAT: Book Club and Library/Media Center Updates

  • Black-Eyed Susan readers must complete book surveys for at least three of the ten nominees by April 15th in order to be eligible to vote for the best book this year. Ms. Little will reach out to all eligible voters with further instruction for voting in mid-April.
  • The next Project LIT book discussion will take place on Wednesday, April 21st, at 2:00 pm (a virtual check-in day). We decided to read and discuss the book Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson, a story about a teenager who won’t give up on investigating the disappearance of her best friend. Borrow this book in eBook or audiobook format in Sora. ALL ARE WELCOME!
  • Please take a look at our curated Women's History Month books & resources and other collections in Destiny, our online library catalog. The collections include eBooks students are able to read online by logging in to Destiny using their student IDs and passwords. If you have any trouble accessing Seneca’s online resources, please contact Ms. Little.

REPEAT: Creativity Contests

  • The NAACP’s Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological, and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO) invites students of African descent to submit projects in the following categories: STEM, Humanities, Performing Arts, Visual Arts, and Business. To learn more about project requirements, click HERE. The deadline for all applications and submissions is March 22, 2021.

  • NEW: To help celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, all MCPS students are invited to submit artwork for a poster contest that will be judged by community art and art performance professionals. The theme for this year’s contest is courage. For contest rules, click HERE. Submissions are due by April 18, 2021.

  • The Keeping It Safe (KIS) Coalition invites teams of two or more students to create and submit 30-second videos on one of three topics related to the risks and dangers of underage drinking. Entries are due by March 26, 2021. Click HERE for contest rules.


Dear Parents and Guardians:

Please read this important update that clarifies expectations regarding travel during the pandemic and its impact on participation in in-person learning:

REPEAT: Chromebook Pick-up Information

For those students returning to in-person instruction, MCPS is not allowing personal devices to be used in the building. As a result, if you have not yet picked up an MCPS issued Chromebook, you should go to 45 W. Gude Dr in Rockville, Monday-Friday from 9:30 - 3:30.

If a student does not have an MCPS issued Chromebook and is returning to school, Chromebooks will be issued from SVHS directly and on a daily basis.

For any questions around this change, please reach out to the school directly at 240-740-6400.


Dear Parents and Guardians:

Montgomery County Public Schools is committed to providing a safe environment for our students and staff as we transition to in-person learning. To ensure schools are safe, we must all do our part to prevent the transmission of the COVID-19 virus. By selecting an in-person learning experience, you are agreeing to take key precautions and actions to keep schools safe.

Please follow this link to learn more about this shared responsibility: Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) (

REMINDER: AP Exams Update

This is a reminder to submit your payment for Advanced Placement exams. The deadline to submit payments for AP exams is: MARCH 29, 2021. Payments can be submitted through our Online Student Payment system (OSP). To make payments, please follow the instructions below:

  • Go to the SVHS website
  • On the left-hand side in the green bar find "School Payments" (CLICK)
  • Find "Online School Payment" (CLICK)
  • Find "High" in the upper toolbar in Blue with WHITE letters
  • Select Seneca Valley High School
  • Select the specific AP exam(s) OR
  • NOTE: If you are requesting a Payment Plan or Fee Waiver based on income, you will select that option

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!