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Director’s Sunday Evening Update

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If you have not completed the Return to School Survey in the PowerSchool Parent Portal, please do so by Tuesday evening. 

PSAT

Attention Juniors in the second half of the alphabet (and those who missed the first testing day) – PSAT testing is this Thursday October 29th. Report to school ready to test by 8:40.

Make sure to

  • wear layers as some rooms are cold and others are warm
  • bring a #2 pencil and a graphing calculator (extra batteries if needed)
  • pack a non-nut (for allergy reasons) snack
  • eat a big breakfast as testing may not finish until 1 pm

More info about testing can be found on the counseling website here

If you aren’t planning on attending and haven’t informed us yet, please complete this survey

Important: Students are to wear masks at all times during testing and will be subject to temperature checks and health screening questions upon entry into building. Students may want to come as early as 8:15 to avoid lines.

MLWGS Announces “Chalk Day” and “Yoga on the Field”

Friday, October 30th will offer two opportunities for students to come on campus in an outdoor, socially distanced way—just in time for Halloween!

Straight from your suggestions on the student survey, Maggie Walker will be hosting “Chalk Day” in the student parking lot. So what is “Chalk Day”? It is a day for students to decorate a space in the student parking lot in their own creative way. Drawings, positive messages, and/or any other chalk creations are welcomed. Since Halloween is the next day, we are inviting students to wear costumes if they choose!

Students will also have the option to participate in “Yoga on the Field” from 10:00am-11:00am.

If students are comfortable, they may sign up for one or both events. These events are purely optional.

How will MLWGS carry out these events safely? Students who wish to participate must follow these guidelines:

  • Students who wish to sign up for Chalk Day will need to sign up for a 30-minute slot to decorate an area of the student parking lot. Time slots will run from 8:00am – 4:00pm on October 30th. Up to 20 students can be drawing during each time slot, and they will be spaced at least six feet apart. A Sign Up Genius will be posted on each class’ Schoology page this coming week. Feel free to coordinate with friends when signing up.
  • A separate Sign Up Genius will be available for Yoga on the Field later this week as well and will include details about what to bring.
  • Students must wear masks intended for COVID protection at all times. Students will be temperature screened upon entering the parking lot or the field. Students should arrive via the parking lot on Elizabeth Street (bus loop) and report directly to the check point on the sidewalk at the top of the steps leading down the student parking lot.
  • MLWGS will be ordering chalk to give to students and students should take it with them when they leave. Students may bring their own chalk, but cannot share it with other students.
  • Costumes are invited, but you must adhere to the following CDC guidelines when planning your costume (if you choose to dress up):
    • Do not use a costume mask (such as for Halloween) as a substitute for a cloth mask unless it is made of two or more layers of breathable fabric that covers your mouth and nose and doesn’t leave gaps around your face.
    • Do not wear a costume mask over a cloth mask because it can be dangerous if the costume mask makes it hard to breathe. Instead, consider using a Halloween-themed cloth mask.
    • View the CDC website for complete details: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html#halloween
  • There are all-outdoor events.

We plan to take plenty of pictures for the yearbook and, since not everyone can attend at once, pictures will be posted so that everyone can see the finished product and other classmates’ costumes.

Drive In Movie Night!

On November 6th, MLWGS and the PTSA will be hosting a Drive-In Movie Night in the student parking lot!  In response to student surveys, we have decided to hold a double feature: “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” at 5:30pm and “Knives Out” at 8:00pm.

Tickets will be free and available to all students and faculty/staff through a constant contact link posted to Schoology class pages.  Please sign up for one ticket per carload and be 100% sure you plan to attend.  A live DJ will provide music prior to both showings, pre-wrapped goodie bags will be distributed, and the Dragon’s Lair will have an outdoor booth for school schwag purchases.

Tickets will be checked upon entering the student lot from Lombardy St.  Security will then direct each car to a spot.  Please arrive 30 minutes prior to the showing.  Restrooms and handwashing stations will be available.  At all times, masks must be worn while outside a vehicle and proper social distancing must be maintained.

For more information please contact Mr. Smith (msmith@gsgis.k12.va.us).  We will attempt to reschedule should there be inclement weather.

Seniors

It’s time for seniors to order their cap and gown from Herff Jones.  The fee for these items was included in the senior fees, but we now we need measurements.  The link to collect this information was sent around over Schoology and the class Facebook page.  If you haven’t filled this out already, please take a moment to:  https://forms.gle/FadMGKfmx7YVu4Gz6

If you are interested in ordering any announcements or other graduation paraphernalia, here is some information from Herff Jones:  www.highschool.net/herffjones.com

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Ms. Sheppard, the Senior Class sponsor.

Virtual Band Concert

Come hear the Maggie Walker Concert Band perform their first virtual concert! Join us as to celebrate the culmination of our band students’ hard work as we perform our first virtual concert. Comprised of about 60 students, the Maggie Walker Concert Band includes woodwinds, brass, and percussion players. The concert will be on a scheduled Zoom call on Thursday, October 29th at 7PM, and will last about 45 minutes. We look forward to sharing our music with you!

Topic: Virtual Fall Band Concert
Time: Oct 29, 2020 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81596829483?pwd=eWl0MHZXczlaVUd4VEE5cTk3MGlQZz09

Meeting ID: 815 9682 9483
Passcode: DragonBand

Virtual Choral Concert

Topic: Maggie Walker Chorus Fall Concert

Time: Nov 2, 2020 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81234337987?pwd=YXljVlkveEVHTndreFdGSXFDYkduUT09

Meeting ID: 812 3433 7987

Passcode: 831394

School Counseling

As featured in Issue #1 of this year’s Senior Newsletter, you are invited to check out the Infinite Scholars Program’s 14th annual RVA College & Scholarship Fair (sponsored by Delta House Foundation, Inc. in partnership with the Richmond Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.) on Saturday, October 31st from 11AM-3PM. While it will be held virtually this year, students who are pre-registered and prepared can expect to engage in live conversations with college representatives that could lead to on-the-spot acceptances and scholarship offers!  For more information, visit

https://cdn.website-editor.net/82afc1142b584c9baefc84453194e0fb/files/uploaded/Richmond%2520October%252031%25202020%2520Virtual.pdf

Yearbook

Yearbook staff is doing a two-page spread featuring each locality that contributes students to MW. Staffers are trying to invite the participation of as many students as possible via Google Forms surveys. Below are the first three along with a survey for seniors:

Do you live in Henrico County? If so, please take a moment of your time to complete this survey for the Yearbook staff. We would be enormously grateful for your help between now and Tuesday, the 20th! https://forms.gle/tSigWGeQfUZg5fsX7

We also have a Hopewell survey, which was just deemed ready for publication: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1EypX8At8H2RURjfA-Hp4uPgWSEjVNAuXHL6XFrsy3as/edit?ts=5f918028

Do you live in Chesterfield County? If so, please complete this survey for the Yearbook staff. It won’t take long at all, and we would be so thankful for your contribution: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfR53Cp6sv8ZS9Lqc0Wcp8OgWrE2sUmV0EUZyDhuY-ogfCWLQ/viewform?usp=sf_link

Seniors! The Yearbook staff would be grateful for your perspectives on Senior Sunrise. Please take a moment to complete this survey: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1H3cikM6-U0C-Flwq2jW8v0l8XEiuPWoQ1Dnb6I2e248/edit?ts=5f90685d

GRTC Passes for Richmond Residents

If you are a student who resides in the City of Richmond, you can obtain a pass to ride the GRTC buses for free!  Just follow this link for more information on how to obtain your pass:

http://ridegrtc.com/fares/richmond-public-schools-ridership-program

It has been a challenging 1st quarter in the Dragon Nation. With a couple of weeks left, we, as a learning community, have found a way to adapt to a new reality and remain focused as we work to find a way out of the current situation.  As Myles Munro said, “Our life is the sum total of all the decisions we make every day, and those decisions are determined by our priorities.”  Let’s keep making the right choices with our priorities.  We will get through this together.

Have a great evening and GO DRAGONS!

 

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MLWGS Announces “Chalk Day” and “Yoga on the Field”

Friday, October 30th will offer two opportunities for students to come on campus in an outdoor, socially distanced way—just in time for Halloween!

Straight from your suggestions on the student survey, Maggie Walker will be hosting “Chalk Day” in the student parking lot. So what is “Chalk Day”? It is a day for students to decorate a space in the student parking lot in their own creative way. Drawings, positive messages, and/or any other chalk creations are welcomed. Since Halloween is the next day, we are inviting students to wear costumes if they choose!

Students will also have the option to participate in “Yoga on the Field” from 10:00am-11:00am.

If students are comfortable, they may sign up for one or both events. These events are purely optional.

How will MLWGS carry out these events safely? Students who wish to participate must follow these guidelines:

  • Students who wish to sign up for Chalk Day will need to sign up for a 30-minute slot to decorate an area of the student parking lot. Time slots will run from 8:00am – 4:00pm on October 30th. Up to 20 students can be drawing during each time slot, and they will be spaced at least six feet apart. A Sign Up Genius will be posted on each class’ Schoology page this coming week. Feel free to coordinate with friends when signing up.
  • A separate Sign Up Genius will be available for Yoga on the Field later this week as well and will include details about what to bring.
  • Students must wear masks intended for COVID protection at all times. Students will be temperature screened upon entering the parking lot or the field. Students should arrive via the parking lot on Elizabeth Street (bus loop) and report directly to the check point on the sidewalk at the top of the steps leading down the student parking lot.
  • MLWGS will be ordering chalk to give to students and students should take it with them when they leave. Students may bring their own chalk, but cannot share it with other students.
  • Costumes are invited, but you must adhere to the following CDC guidelines when planning your costume (if you choose to dress up):
    • Do not use a costume mask (such as for Halloween) as a substitute for a cloth mask unless it is made of two or more layers of breathable fabric that covers your mouth and nose and doesn’t leave gaps around your face.
    • Do not wear a costume mask over a cloth mask because it can be dangerous if the costume mask makes it hard to breathe. Instead, consider using a Halloween-themed cloth mask.
    • View the CDC website for complete details: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html#halloween
  • There are all-outdoor events.

We plan to take plenty of pictures for the yearbook and, since not everyone can attend at once, pictures will be posted so that everyone can see the finished product and other classmates’ costumes.

AP Exam Ordering Information

Students enrolled in Advanced Placement courses: AP students should complete the AP Exam Ordering Form (https://forms.gle/WYjkQv1SwAQCBQ4i9) to indicate which AP tests you plan to take (or not take) in May of 2021. AP exams are $95 per exam. In order to have an AP exam ordered for you, you must complete the following tasks by October 23rd, 2020:

  1. Join the AP course(s) in your myAP.collegeboard.org account. Your teacher can help you with this if you have not already completed this task. (If you are self-studying for an exam, you will need to obtain an “exam only” code from Dr. Loving after your exam has been approved. NOTE: AP Statistics is pre-approved and Ms. Riles can provide the code.)
  2. Complete this AP Exam Order Form and indicate all exams you wish to take or not take this year. (If you DO NOT intend to take one or more of your AP exams, you STILL DO need to complete this form so that we have a record that you wish for the school to NOT order an exam for you.)
  3. Pay for your exams ($95 per exam) at https://osp.osmsinc.com/MLWGS. (The link can also be found on mlwgs.com by clicking “pay fees online.”)

If you feel you might qualify for a fee waiver or fee reduction, please review the Fee Waiver/Reduction Application (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1bpkRBP_3F5Kctb7h6uH4N2u7JXDu88zu/view?usp=sharing) for income guidelines. Please complete and return this form to Dr. Loving at rloving@gsgis.k12.va.us by October 19th, 2020. Dr. Loving will be in touch about your request approval. Students who have submitted this form previously and have been approved do not need to apply again this year.

October 23rd is the deadline for “on time” registration. A $10 per exam late fee will be applied between October 24th and November 12th for exams not paid for by October 23rd. The College Board late fee of $40 will be instituted beginning November 13th. March 12th is the final deadline for all late AP exam orders; no additions can be made after this date.

For the 2020-2021 academic year, the College Board has waived the cancellation fee for any student who decides not to take an exam in May. For planning purposes, the MLWGS deadline for cancelling an exam is April 13th.

January 15th is the deadline to apply for College Board accommodations for a documented disability. Please contact Ms. Cobb at jcobb@gsgis.k12.va.us no later than January 11th to begin this process.

Click here to view the May 2021 AP Exam Schedule: https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/courses/exam-dates-and-fees

See this AP Ordering Information document for complete details: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1yx0NkUBxpMd8FqHfaUjXyVLLD8Nw3qcqrccl6KcDC3s/edit?usp=sharing

Virtual Band Concert

Come hear the Maggie Walker Concert Band perform their first virtual concert! Join us as to celebrate the culmination of our band students’ hard work as we perform our first virtual concert. Comprised of about 60 students, the Maggie Walker Concert Band includes woodwinds, brass, and percussion players. The concert will be on a scheduled Zoom call on Thursday, October 29th at 7PM, and will last about 45 minutes. We look forward to sharing our music with you!

Topic: Virtual Fall Band Concert
Time: Oct 29, 2020 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81596829483?pwd=eWl0MHZXczlaVUd4VEE5cTk3MGlQZz09

Meeting ID: 815 9682 9483
Passcode: DragonBand

Virtual Choral Concert

Topic: Maggie Walker Chorus Fall Concert

Time: Nov 2, 2020 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81234337987?pwd=YXljVlkveEVHTndreFdGSXFDYkduUT09

Meeting ID: 812 3433 7987

Passcode: 831394

School Counseling

Join College Board this Tuesday, October 20, at 7PM, for the second session of their Real Talk fall series, “Real Talk: Maryland Colleges Edition.” The online event will feature eight colleges and universities in the state of Maryland, including Johns Hopkins University, Morgan State University, the University of Maryland, and more.  Admissions representatives will share pertinent information about the admissions process and campus life. They’ll answer questions in real time during the Q&A portion of the event.

Real Talk is a virtual college exploration series designed to connect Black students with admissions representatives from universities across the country. Although this event will cater to students, they also encourage parents, educators, and community members to participate. This event is open to all—you don’t need to be a resident of Maryland to attend.

To register, visit: https://globalmeet.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1380178&tp_key=41753ded7e&SFMC_cid=EM381275-&rid=47018424

Korean War Veterans WANTED!

Korean War Veterans who may be willing and able to speak to students via Zoom.  We are interested in stories about their service, experience, and present perspective on the war.  Zoom sessions would likely be during Tuesday or Thursday morning in mid to late November.  Participants would have to be able or have someone available to assist them connect with a Zoom link provided by the class.  If you have a family member, friend, neighbor or acquaintance that might be willing, please contact John Wilkes in the Social Studies Department at jwilkes@gsgis.k12.va.us.

Slam Poetry Club

On Thursday, October 15, MLWGS Slam Poetry Club members’ work was showcased during the State of the Period Gala, an annual fundraising event hosted by and benefitting PERIOD, a youth-oriented global non-profit organization working to end menstrual poverty and stigma through service, education, and advocacy.

Seniors Avery Rhoden, Savannah Vonesh, and Gabriella Watson; juniors Devon Jebo and Pooja Muthuraj; and sophomore Caroline Osenga collaborated to write and perform an original poem for the virtual event.  Senior Shannen Amaoko, also a club member, edited the video, which PERIOD used as a kick-off for their entire program.  In recognition of the students’ outstanding contribution, PERIOD also awarded the Slam Poetry Club an honorarium which nearly doubled the club’s existing funds.  Way to go, slam poets!

From the PTSA 

Great Lake Script orders are due on Monday.

Good News!

Congrats to the following students who auditioned for Senior Regional Orchestra last week and are now eligible to audition for All Virginia in February:

Jennifer Chen, violin (’23 Henrico)

Mira Eisenhauer, cello (’21 Henrico)

Sam Lichtman, viola (’22 Henrico)

Eric Qian, violin (’22 Chesterfield)

Joshua Yoo, violin (’22 Chesterfield)

Minji Cho, violin (’21 Chesterfield)

As we slip into Autumn and the cooler weather, let me close this quote by the Scottish comedian Billy Connelly.  He said, “There’s no such thing as bad weather – only the wrong clothes!”

Have a great evening and GO DRAGONS!

 

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Update on Students Returning to In-Person Instruction at MLWGS

Over the past couple of weeks, we have seen several of our partner districts begin to share their plans for the return of students to campus.  Several of our stakeholders have reached out to me with questions about our decision-making process and when we plan to return our students to the campus.  I wanted to share a few thoughts as to when and how we will make that decision.

As a regional public school, we are 100% dependent upon our partner districts to provide transportation for our students to get to school.  While some of our smaller districts have been transporting their high school students to school on either full or modified schedules, our three largest districts which account for 80% of our students have not.  To be able to bring our students back in either a full or modified fashion, we need our large districts to be at that point along with us.  As of now, Richmond, Chesterfield, and Henrico have not made the decision as to when to allow grades 9-12 back on campus.  Until they do and can transport our students, we are unable to develop a return timeline and will remain in a virtual school model.

We will continue to work with our partner districts to safely return to our students to campus.  As soon as we have any solid indication as to when that could be, we will immediately communicate it to all of our stakeholders as well as any contingency plans for our students or staff that may not be able to return to campus.

PSAT Reminder for Juniors

Attention Juniors in the first half of the alphabet – PSAT testing is this Wednesday. Report to school ready to test by 8:40.

Make sure to

  • wear layers as some rooms are cold and others are warm
  • bring a #2 pencil and a graphing calculator (extra batteries if needed)
  • pack a non-nut (for allergy reasons) snack
  • eat a big breakfast as testing may not finish until 1 pm

More info about testing can be found on the counseling website here

If you aren’t planning on attending and haven’t informed us yet, please complete this survey

Important: Students are to wear masks at all times during testing and will be subject to temperature checks and health screening questions upon entry into building. Students may want to come as early as 8:15 to avoid lines.

AP Exam Ordering Information

Students enrolled in Advanced Placement courses: AP students should complete the AP Exam Ordering Form (https://forms.gle/WYjkQv1SwAQCBQ4i9) to indicate which AP tests you plan to take (or not take) in May of 2021. AP exams are $95 per exam. In order to have an AP exam ordered for you, you must complete the following tasks by October 23rd, 2020:

  1. Join the AP course(s) in your myAP.collegeboard.org account. Your teacher can help you with this if you have not already completed this task. (If you are self-studying for an exam, you will need to obtain an “exam only” code from Dr. Loving after your exam has been approved. NOTE: AP Statistics is pre-approved and Ms. Riles can provide the code.)
  2. Complete this AP Exam Order Form and indicate all exams you wish to take or not take this year. (If you DO NOT intend to take one or more of your AP exams, you STILL DO need to complete this form so that we have a record that you wish for the school to NOT order an exam for you.)
  3. Pay for your exams ($95 per exam) at https://osp.osmsinc.com/MLWGS. (The link can also be found on mlwgs.com by clicking “pay fees online.”)

If you feel you might qualify for a fee waiver or fee reduction, please review the Fee Waiver/Reduction Application (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1bpkRBP_3F5Kctb7h6uH4N2u7JXDu88zu/view?usp=sharing) for income guidelines. Please complete and return this form to Dr. Loving at rloving@gsgis.k12.va.us by October 19th, 2020. Dr. Loving will be in touch about your request approval. Students who have submitted this form previously and have been approved do not need to apply again this year.

October 23rd is the deadline for “on time” registration. A $10 per exam late fee will be applied between October 24th and November 12th for exams not paid for by October 23rd. The College Board late fee of $40 will be instituted beginning November 13th. March 12th is the final deadline for all late AP exam orders; no additions can be made after this date.

For the 2020-2021 academic year, the College Board has waived the cancellation fee for any student who decides not to take an exam in May. For planning purposes, the MLWGS deadline for cancelling an exam is April 13th.

January 15th is the deadline to apply for College Board accommodations for a documented disability. Please contact Ms. Cobb at jcobb@gsgis.k12.va.us no later than January 11th to begin this process.

Click here to view the May 2021 AP Exam Schedule: https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/courses/exam-dates-and-fees

See this AP Ordering Information document for complete details: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1yx0NkUBxpMd8FqHfaUjXyVLLD8Nw3qcqrccl6KcDC3s/edit?usp=sharing

School Counseling

Per Issue #2 of the Senior Newsletter and Schoology posts for the Class of 2021, a new Naviance survey (“Optional: In-House Nom Consideration List #2”) was posted on Monday, 10/5.  Seniors, if you wish to be considered as the school’s nominee for the Harry F. Byrd, Jr. Leadership Award, the DAR Good Citizen Award, and/or the Virginia Tech Pamplin Leaders Award, submissions of this survey are due by 8AM on Monday, 10/12.

Virtual Band Concert

Come hear the Maggie Walker Concert Band perform their first virtual concert! Join us as to celebrate the culmination of our band students’ hard work as we perform our first virtual concert. Comprised of about 60 students, the Maggie Walker Concert Band includes woodwinds, brass, and percussion players. The concert will be on a scheduled Zoom call on Thursday, October 29th at 7PM, and will last about 45 minutes. We look forward to sharing our music with you!

Topic: Virtual Fall Band Concert
Time: Oct 29, 2020 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81596829483?pwd=eWl0MHZXczlaVUd4VEE5cTk3MGlQZz09

Meeting ID: 815 9682 9483
Passcode: DragonBand

Korean War Veterans WANTED!

Korean War Veterans who may be willing and able to speak to students via Zoom.  We are interested in stories about their service, experience, and present perspective on the war.  Zoom sessions would likely be during Tuesday or Thursday morning in mid to late November.  Participants would have to be able or have someone available to assist them connect with a Zoom link provided by the class.  If you have a family member, friend, neighbor or acquaintance that might be willing, please contact John Wilkes in the Social Studies Department at jwilkes@gsgis.k12.va.us.

Engineering Club

Have a passion for engineering? Want to help out the community? Join the Engineering Club! This year, we will work on engineering-based projects as well as hearing from guest speakers. If this sounds interesting to you, please come to our Zoom interest meeting Thursday, October 15th at 3:30pm https://zoom.us/j/97248332988?pwd=Z21qbjRVdFBtL21qa0c1dUhBVDBFQT09 If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to Gavin Telfer (gtelfer@gsgis.k12.va.us) or Stamate Theofanos (stheofanos@gsgis.k12.va.us).

Math Club

All students interested in joining Math Club (a group for all math enthusiasts at MLWGS) should go to the Math Club GROUP on Schoology and request to be a member.  The Math Club will have elections on October 23.  This club works closely with Mu Alpha Theta (the math honor society) to arrange for activities, speakers, contests, etc.

From the PTSA

Want to learn more about how to support your students through their first pandemic – and yours? Join the MLWGS Counseling Department and PTSA on October 14 at 6:30 p.m. for Helping Adolescents Cope during COVID-19, a candid online discussion led by Dr. Beth Heller, VCU Center for Psychological Services and Development; Lisa Ebeling, MLWGS Psychologist; and Karl Zweerink, MLWGS Counselor. The webinar will cover the impact on teens’ health as the pandemic persists; self-care practices; parent support ideas; school counseling support; and determining when professional mental health support is needed.

To participate, sign up here so we can send you the Zoom link, and take a minute or two to share you preferences for future parent meetings and discussion topics. It’s an important topic for unprecedented times – and definitely worth your time. We hope to see you there.

Let me sign off tonight with some words from the great American writer Nathaniel Hawthorne who wrote “I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house.”

Have a great evening and GO DRAGONS!

 

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Interims

Parents and students, teachers will have updated grades in PowerSchool by Monday morning.  While we no longer distribute paper interims, the grade in the Q1 spot should be an accurate assessment of the course grade as it stands at this point in the marking period.  If you have any questions, please contact the student’s teacher.

Juniors and Sophomores PSAT Registration

If you have not done so, we need you to register through this link to let us know whether you plan on taking the PSATs at Maggie Walker. This will help us with room and proctor assignments so please complete the form even if you do not plan to attend. Juniors with last names A – Maz will test on October 14th and juniors with last names Mc – Z will test on October 29th. Sophomores will test on January 26th.  More info about testing day can be found on the counseling webpage.

School Counseling

Interested in learning more about college, scholarship, career, military, enrichment, and multicultural opportunities?  Issue #2 of the Senior Newsletter has been posted to the MLWGS School Counseling website and the Class of 2021 Schoology pages. Seniors are encouraged to cross-reference this publication with their Naviance account and the individual programs’ websites for more details.  Also this is a reminder that the Naviance survey that is required only of seniors who wish to be considered as one of our school’s two nominees to the UVA Jefferson Scholars Program closes at 8AM on Monday, 10/5, as shared in English class presentations in September and stated in Issue #1 of the Senior Newsletter: https://sites.google.com/a/gsgis.k12.va.us/mlw-school-counseling/college-admissions-information-1/2011-2012-newsletters

October 2nd was World Smile Day!  The MLWGS Operation Smile is hosting an online Smile Fund for children in need.  Your donations are appreciated: http://support.operationsmile.org/site/TR/SmileFund/SmileFund;jsessionid=00000000.app30103b?px=2896115&pg=personal&fr_id=2761&new_registrant=true&NONCE_TOKEN=B890688DB6E2EB235EE812736572F37E

From the PTSA

Want to learn more about how to support your students through their first pandemic – and yours? Join the MLWGS Counseling Department and PTSA on October 14 at 6:30 p.m. for Helping Adolescents Cope during COVID-19, a candid online discussion led by Dr. Beth Heller, VCU Center for Psychological Services and Development; Lisa Ebeling, MLWGS Psychologist; and Karl Zweerink, MLWGS Counselor. The webinar will cover the impact on teens’ health as the pandemic persists; self-care practices; parent support ideas; school counseling support; and determining when professional mental health support is needed.

To participate, sign up here so we can send you the Zoom link, and take a minute or two to share you preferences for future parent meetings and discussion topics. It’s an important topic for unprecedented times – and definitely worth your time. We hope to see you there.

Student Athletes

Attention any student who plans to participate in any athletic activity in 20-21.  You must have a the forms completed from the link https://mlwgs.com/co-curricular-overview/athletics/ to participate. Once they’re complete, please send to phawkins@gsgis.k12.va.us with the anticipated sport in the subject line.  Please take into consideration the places to obtain a physical might not be doing them or might have a long wait.  Please review the start dates of the sports you intend to play.  Any questions may be sent to the above email.

Future Friends Lunchtime Gatherings for Freshmen

Co-hosted by your librarian, Ms. DeGroat, and Counseling Director, Mr. Zweerink, Future Friends Lunchtime Gatherings provide an opportunity for freshmen to meet other students in the Class of 2024. A discussion spark will be provided connected to The Walker Way and then you’ll be invited to a random breakout room with two or three other freshmen.  These gatherings are on Mondays from 11:40am to 12:05pm. For the Zoom link, go to the Class of 2024 group in Schoology. Hope to see you there!

Forensics

Do you love to talk?  How about in front of a crowd?

Whether you want to improve your public speaking skills or simply show them off, MLWGS Forensics is the place for you!  Come to our interest meeting this Friday, October 9th, at 11:30 AM for more info about the club, virtual competitions, and our plans for this year.  For more information (+ a Zoom link), join the Debate Team Schoology group or contact Mr. Brown at dbrown@gsgis.k12.va.us!!!

Good News!

Despite being nervous about participating in their first tournament of the year and dealing with technology glitches, the Maggie L. Walker debate team had a successful weekend. The tournament, sponsored by Holy Cross High School out of New Orleans, brought together some of the best debaters in the country to compete in a virtual debate format. In total, 72 different schools from around the nation were represented at the tournament. Lincoln-Douglas debaters Senthil Meyyappan and Tejas Muthusamy advanced to the playoff rounds with Tejas Muthusamy making it to the Quarterfinals before losing on a 2-1 decision.

Let me sign off tonight with some more words from the great American statesman Abraham Lincoln.  Mr. Lincoln said, “We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection.”

Have a great evening and GO DRAGONS!

 

092720

From the MLWGS PTSA

Thank you for your participation in the MLWGS 2020 Virtual Back to School Night!  All items on the ballot were passed.

Don’t forget the first Scrip order of the year is due tomorrow.  Help raise money for our PTSA doing your everyday shopping at no extra cost to you.

Student Handbook

This is a reminder that all students must review and complete a quiz on the 2020-21 Student Handbook.  The deadline has been extended to 9/30/20 and it is open everything with unlimited attempts.  The quiz is located at

http://www.quia.com/quiz/5928160.html

Secret Word= Dragons

Keeping your Zoom app updated

As Zoom adapts to having more schools as customers, they are releasing software updates at a rapid pace, many of which enhance the features available when you participate in class meetings on Zoom.  For instructions about how to keep the Zoom app installed on your computer updated to the current version, see this page from Zoom support.  If you don’t have a Zoom account, which is perfectly fine since you don’t need to have a Zoom account to attend MLWGS Zoom class meetings, then follow the third option in the video: going to the Zoom.us website and downloading the latest Zoom desktop client (an option you’ll find under Resources near the top right).

Future Friends Lunchtime Gatherings for Freshmen

Co-hosted by your librarian, Ms. DeGroat, and Counseling Director, Mr. Zweerink, Future Friends Lunchtime Gatherings provide an opportunity for freshmen to meet other students in the Class of 2024. A discussion spark will be provided connected to The Walker Way and then you’ll be invited to a random breakout room with two or three other freshmen.  These gatherings are on Mondays from 11:40am to 12:05pm. For the Zoom link, go to the Class of 2024 group in Schoology. Hope to see you there!

Fall Play

The show must go on!  MLWGS Drama will present a virtual production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream Nov 19-21.  Please join the Drama Club Schoology Group or email Mrs. Glatt (lglatt@gsgis.k12.va.us) for details on how to audition.  The deadline to submit an audition video is Tuesday, September 29.  

National Honor Society Application Now Open for Juniors and Seniors

Attention Juniors and Seniors! The National Honor Society online application for the 2020-2021 school year is now open: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeIbXsVDVp3LkUpbzXS6x6zRnv0zOn4KeebNwxPFXV80RCQlw/viewform?usp=sf_link

Interested juniors and seniors who have not already been inducted may apply for membership through 5:00pm on Monday, September 28th. Eligible candidates will need a 3.5 GPA and meet the following service requirements (adjusted due to COVID-19): 50 verified hours for Juniors and 85 verified hours for Seniors. A modified service requirement has been implemented in order for inducted members to remain in good standing and earn the NHS cord at graduation. Selected members will be notified on October 9th and a virtual induction ceremony will take place in mid-October. Please see the online application itself for complete details.

Good News!

Umesh Gunendran, a MLWGS 10th grader, has been involved in an organization called “Race for Unity.”  Race for Unity (RU) is a group organized by RVA youth, actively working to establish unity in the community and to fight against racism. They raise money to provide two main services. One of these is to buy groceries for families in need, and the second is to run a program where they teach these families how to be financially disciplined and responsible. ​ It is great to see our Dragons engaged in community support during the pandemic!

Let me sign off tonight with some words from President Abraham Lincoln.  Mr. Lincoln says “Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.”

Have a great evening and GO DRAGONS!

 

092020

Back to School Night

MLWGS will hold a Virtual Back to School Night on Thursday September 24th at 6:30 PM.  A detailed information sheet will be sent out on Tuesday that will explain how to view the PTSA business meeting, vote on PTSA items, and access the teacher course videos.

Economics

The Fall Economics Course will begin on Monday, Sept 21st. Due dates for the first week’s lessons will be the following Monday. Please see the main course page in Schoology Monday Sept 21st for instructions for the first week.

PSAT 2020-21 Covid Update!

Dear Families of Sophomores and Juniors,

We have a new schedule for PSATs this year due to Covid-19. Please go to the counseling department link for schedules, links to test information, and test day reminders. This is an optional activity based on family comfort levels with students entering the school building under current Covid-19 guidelines. It will help us with our planning if families could register for testing on this google form. (https://forms.gle/TUZirNyaHVsaCzZw9)

Student Handbook

This is a reminder that all students must review and complete a quiz on the 2020-21 Student Handbook.  The deadline has been extended to 9/30/20 and it is open everything with unlimited attempts.  The quiz is located at

http://www.quia.com/quiz/5928160.html

Secret Word= Dragons

Seniors

To learn from the senior counselors about college, scholarship, career, military, enrichment, and multicultural opportunities, you are invited to view the Senior Newsletter (Sept 2020 edition) on the School Counseling website ->College Admissions Information -> Senior Newsletters: https://sites.google.com/a/gsgis.k12.va.us/mlw-school-counseling/college-admissions-information-1/2011-2012-newsletters

Students are encouraged to cross-reference this publication with their Naviance accounts and the individual programs’ websites for more details.

Community Service Announcement:

Please enter all community service hours that you have earned into x2vol ASAP.  We will be completing an upload of hours from x2vol into PowerSchool on Tuesday 9/22.  This means you have until Monday 9/21 to get the hours entered before the upload.  Once the upload is completed, we will determine how students are doing on their community service hours goals.  Seniors, in order to have your transcripts accurately reflect your community service hours, please get your hours onto x2vol.  Also, the data from this upload will help us determine whether any adjustments need to be made to the goals due to Covid-19.

Fall Play

The show must go on!  MLWGS Drama will present a virtual production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream Nov 19-21.  Please join the Drama Club Schoology Group or email Mrs. Glatt (lglatt@gsgis.k12.va.us) for details on how to audition.  The deadline to submit an audition video is Tuesday, September 29.  

National Honor Society Application Now Open for Juniors and Seniors

Attention Juniors and Seniors! The National Honor Society online application for the 2020-2021 school year is now open: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeIbXsVDVp3LkUpbzXS6x6zRnv0zOn4KeebNwxPFXV80RCQlw/viewform?usp=sf_link

Interested juniors and seniors who have not already been inducted may apply for membership through 5:00pm on Monday, September 28th. Eligible candidates will need a 3.5 GPA and meet the following service requirements (adjusted due to COVID-19): 50 verified hours for Juniors and 85 verified hours for Seniors. A modified service requirement has been implemented in order for inducted members to remain in good standing and earn the NHS cord at graduation. Selected members will be notified on October 9th and a virtual induction ceremony will take place in mid-October. Please see the online application itself for complete details.

I would like to end this evening with a couple of thoughts.  First, I want to sincerely thank all the parents and students for your patience while we work through this new learning model.  Give yourselves a high five!  We are listening to your feedback and are working to reduce the screen time of our students and teachers.

Next is a call for unity among our Dragon family.  We are all under an enormous amount of stress.  We are trying to learn and teach in a new way, we are dealing with the physical isolation that has been brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, we are engaging with each other in a time of racial reckoning, and we are in the midst of the most divisive political season in our lifetimes.  Yet throughout all of this we must remember that we are all equal members of our learning community.  We must be respectful of each other and seek to learn from each other as well.  Name calling, bullying, deliberately embarrassing or anonymously harassing one another is allowing the forces of divisiveness to prevail.  It is unacceptable and not something that you would want your child, or future child, to engage in or endure.  We plan to facilitate some virtual opportunities for students to talk, engage, and learn from each other in the very near future.

Remember, we are here to be compassionate, courageous, collaborative, and to have a sense of community.  It is The Walker Way.

Have a great evening and as always, GO DRAGONS!!

 

091320

Have you always felt like you’re smarter than all your friends, but never had any hard data to prove it?  Do you have a passion for being right all the time?  Do you want to make a fortune crushing bar trivia when you go to college?  Are you bored out of your gourd with a vague desire to learn a thing or two?  If any of this resonates with you, consider joining the Maggie Walker Scholastic Bowl team! Answer trivia questions with us Monday – Thursday after school on Zoom at 3:15. Email Mr. Rotche at arotche@gsgis.k12.va.us for more information. All are welcome!

Virtual College Visits Begin Monday, September 14th and Will Continue Through Mid-November

We may be all virtual, but colleges are still very interested in connecting with Maggie Walker students! We have already had 90 colleges sign up for virtual visits and we anticipate well over 100 colleges connecting with us over the next two months during our “fall college visit season”. During these visits, admissions representatives will review the programs offered at their school as well as answer questions about the admissions process, student life, and any other topics. Students in 10th, 11th, and 12th grades are invited to attend. All virtual visits will take place during asynchronous times (11:30 Monday – Thursday and multiple time options on Fridays). In fact, the following colleges are all scheduled to come this coming week:

 

Appt Date Appt Start Appt Finish College
9/14/2020 11:30am 12:10pm University of Richmond
9/14/2020 11:30am 12:10pm Southern Methodist University
9/14/2020 11:30am 12:10pm Emerson College
9/14/2020 11:30am 12:10pm Dickinson College
9/14/2020 11:30am 12:10pm Vanderbilt University
9/15/2020 11:30am 12:10pm Richard Bland College of William and Mary
9/15/2020 11:30am 12:10pm Mississippi State University
9/15/2020 11:30am 12:10pm College of Charleston
9/15/2020 11:30am 12:10pm Williams College
9/16/2020 11:30am 12:10pm American University
9/16/2020 11:30am 12:10pm Macalester College
9/16/2020 11:30am 12:10pm Ursinus College
9/16/2020 11:30am 12:10pm Hampden-Sydney College
9/16/2020 11:30am 12:10pm University of Chicago
9/17/2020 11:30am 12:10pm The University of Alabama
9/17/2020 11:30am 12:10pm Salem College
9/17/2020 11:30am 12:10pm United States Naval Academy
9/17/2020 11:30am 12:10pm William and Mary
9/17/2020 11:30am 12:10pm Randolph-Macon College
9/18/2020 9:30am 10:10am James Madison University
9/18/2020 10:30am 11:10am University of Pittsburgh
9/18/2020 11:30am 12:10pm Davidson College
9/18/2020 11:30am 12:10pm Ringling College of Art and Design
9/18/2020 11:30am 12:10pm Christopher Newport University
9/18/2020 11:30am 12:10pm Tulane University of Louisiana
9/18/2020 11:30am 12:10pm University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
9/18/2020 12:30pm 1:10pm William and Mary
9/18/2020 1:30pm 2:10pm University of South Carolina

Virtual links (Zoom, Google Meet, or Teams) are provided 15 minutes prior to the event in Naviance (scroll to the bottom of the “Colleges” home page) and may also be accessed through a google sheet shared as a “resource” in each on the Schoology class pages for 10th, 11th, and 12th graders (please do not click the link before the time of the event). This is where you can also find the complete fall calendar of scheduled events. With so many colleges vying for your asynchronous time, some of your favorite institutions may have conflicting times. In that case, you may float in and out of each session as respectfully as possible; colleges realize you are busy and have many commitments. Some colleges use “Slate” software, which may prompt students to provide a name, email address, and perhaps other optional information for future contacts. This is a virtual replacement for the “info card” colleges would ask each attendee to complete in person. Letting colleges know you came is a great way to express your interest and leave a digital record of that interest, which is something colleges may reflect on when reviewing your application down the road. Dr. Rachel Loving, Senior Counselor and College Visit Coordinator, will be popping into each of these visits to greet representatives during the first few minutes of each meeting. If students or parents have questions about college visits in a virtual environment, please contact Dr. Loving at rloving@gsgis.k12.va.us.

Looking for a service opportunity while also connecting with colleges? Consider serving as a “College Visit Ambassador” who would 1) send a welcome email to a selected college representative and 2) then commit to attending their virtual college visit to personally welcome them to Maggie Walker and stay in the session for the remainder of the event. Completing both actions would be worth 1 hour of community service. Students in 10th-12th grades can find a separate announcement with the details in their Schoology class page.

National Honor Society Application Now Open for Juniors and Seniors

Attention Juniors and Seniors! The National Honor Society online application for the 2020-2021 school year is now open: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeIbXsVDVp3LkUpbzXS6x6zRnv0zOn4KeebNwxPFXV80RCQlw/viewform?usp=sf_link

Interested juniors and seniors who have not already been inducted may apply for membership through 5:00pm on Monday, September 28th. Eligible candidates will need a 3.5 GPA and meet the following service requirements (adjusted due to COVID-19): 50 verified hours for Juniors and 85 verified hours for Seniors. A modified service requirement has been implemented in order for inducted members to remain in good standing and earn the NHS cord at graduation. Selected members will be notified on October 9th and a virtual induction ceremony will take place in mid-October. Please see the online application itself for complete details.

Good News!

Justin Goldman is a current senior at Maggie Walker and he entered an essay contest with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit regarding The Right to Vote.  He won a third place $1,000 award and is being honored at a virtual ceremony on September 17, 2020 @ 2:30 pm. See the press release below:

https://www.ca4.uscourts.gov/news-announcements/2020/08/17/fourth-circuit-announces-winners-of-2020-high-school-essay-contest

I would like to close tonight with two thoughts.

First, I want to thank everyone for the patience as well as their feedback during this first week of virtual instruction.  All in all, things went fairly well.  We received a lot of feedback about “Zoom Fatigue” and we feel it too!  When we designed the plan, we committed to running with it for a couple of weeks to allow everyone to settle into a rhythm before considering any changes.  For many of our students, they haven’t really had to be awake and sharp at 8:45 AM since March, so we may need to shake the rust off a little.  We will take a good look at how we are doing in a few days and see if we need to make any adjustments.  Until then, keep on swimming!

The second issue I would like to address is one of civility.  It has come to my attention that there are several social media platforms that are using the MLWGS name and have become a hotbed for intense conversations that in some cases have devolved into name calling and borderline cyber-bullying.  I need to be clear on two points, first, I am a fierce defender of the 1st Amendment and all are entitled to free speech as defined by The Constitution and SCOTUS Case Law whether we agree with it or not.  Second, the school has no authority to police or monitor  non-school owned platforms or to react to what is written on these platforms.

Having said that, I want to express my disappointment that some of our Dragons are engaging in behavior online that they would never do in person.  While we live in extraordinarily divisive and challenging times, as members of our community we should be able to rise above the current standard of discourse and bring back civil conversations where we can listen to each other’s opinions and respond thoughtfully with compassion and empathy.  At the end of the day, we are all Dragons and as such all are entitled to feel welcome at our school.  We have huge problems to tackle, but we can do it if we work together in a positive fashion and avoid falling into the trap of trying to blow out another’s candle to make ours burn brighter.

Have a great evening and as always, GO DRAGONS!!

 

090620

Good Evening MLWGS Family, this is Dr. Lowerre the Director with the First Sunday Night Update for the 19-20 school year!

Every Sunday evening at about 7:00, you will receive a message from me that will include a link to my blog.  On the blog I will let you know about upcoming events in the Dragon Nation.  You will hear about parent meetings, community events, upcoming deadlines, and some student activities.  I will also try to include a good news section about students and faculty who are making a difference in their community.  As we begin to safely move to having students back on campus, this will also be a vehicle to pass along important information related to reopening.

Parents, I want to draw your attention to a form in the Parent Portal of PowerSchool that is very important.  It is called “Notification of Rights under FERPA” and “Directory Information”.  We are required to get permission from you to be able to share your contact information with anyone other than school personnel.  By opting in, we will only share your contact information with the PTSA, the Booster Organizations, and the MLWGS Foundation.  Without opting in, you will not receive any of the newsletters and other information from any of these parent organizations. I strongly encourage you to take a few seconds and go to this form and opt in.

There are also several other important notices on the main website at the following link:

https://mlwgs.com/welcome-to-mlwgs/annual-notifications/

I would request that you take a look at them as they contain important information that must be shared with you by law.

COMMUNITY SERVICE

At the end of last school year we had to place a restriction on earning community service hours outside of your home.  Now that the 2020-2021 school year is beginning, we are able to alter our plan.  After careful consideration by MLWGS administration, students are permitted to volunteer outside of their homes as long as they abide by all local, state, and federal guidelines regarding Covid-19.  Also, students would need to adhere to any additional guidelines implemented by the organization where they are working.  Mr. Cook will also be posting a list of ways to earn volunteer credit at home and virtually. These plans may change as we move forward, so we need to remember to remain positive, optimistic, and flexible.

The Maggie Walker Counseling Department welcomes students and families to another school year! Even though students won’t initially be in the building, the school counselors, school psychologist and school registrar are available for support and look forward to connecting with you! Please reach out to us if you have any concerns by email. Counselors will be responding to email during the school week and typically can respond within 24 hours and are happy to set up Zoom conferences with students and families as needed. During the first week of school, counselors will have drop-in lunchtime office hours via Zoom (links were sent out to students through Schoology).

We have made a short video with greetings from our school psychologist and counselors including our fabulous new senior counselor Ms. Kim Forquer.

A special note to freshman parents: Parents of freshmen with special circumstances such as medical needs or learning disabilities/differences need to alert freshman counselor Karl Zweerink (kzweerink@gsgis.k12.va.us) of needed supports as comprehensive student files do not automatically transfer from each of our twelve supporting divisions.

“Do you like playing games? Do you enjoy playing the ancient game of chess or want to learn how to play chess? Then join the MLWGS Chess Club, to learn the basics or sharpen your skills. Chess club will teach all those interested about chess from the basics to the advanced techniques. Members can meet others across all grades and will form a strong bond with other members as we compete in online and in person (later in the year) tournaments.  If you have any questions, feel free to message Adriel Barretto (abarretto@gsgis.k12.va.us) or Mr. Coleman (ecoleman@gsgis.k12.va.us).”

I would like to close tonight with a few thoughts about the opening of the school year.  Obviously, this opening is unlike anything that I have ever had in my 26 years of public education and I would guess that all of you are right there with me.  We are all anxious, worried, and perhaps a little frightened.  I am here to tell you that we will all be ok if we can just do two simple things.

First, we must all be flexible.  This is new to everyone.  Students, parents, teachers, counselors, staff, and administrators are all in the same boat.  None of us will be spared.  We must all work together and address the issues that are certain to arise and understand that the old norms are of no use to us now.  We must be agile and adapt to find the pathway forward.

Second, we must have patience with one another.  There will be glitches.  Things won’t always go to plan, but we must remember that we are all trying our best.  Nobody is trying to make things more challenging than they already are.  We must be forgiving to each other, take a deep breath when we get stressed, and not panic when something doesn’t work.  We will work the problems and get through them together.

I can honestly say that I have never worked a summer with more dedicated group of people than the team here at MLWGS.  I can also honestly say that there is no other community that I would rather attack these challenges with than the MLWGS family.  We are strong, smart, innovative, kind, generous, and will rise to the occasion and make this work.

Have a great Labor Day Holiday, a great First Day of School, and as always, GO DRAGONS!!