MHS PTSA eNews, October 6, 2021

MHS PTSA black logo

October 6, 2021

Your Source for News about the Highlander Community

national principals month

October is National Principals Month

Thanks to Dr. Reilly for being an awesome Principal and leading from her heart!

On behalf of our Highlander families, the PTSA is grateful for her service to the school, our students, and the community.

Teacher Appreciation Apple

Teacher Appreciation!

The Hospitality Committee Needs Your Help!


PSAT/SAT Day Snacks for Exam Proctors

We are planning to provide some snacks (mints, wrapped cookies, etc.) for our teachers who will serve as proctors for PSAT/SAT on Wednesday, October 13th.

Please sign up via the Signup Genius here to contribute.

Thank you so much for your help. The teachers and proctors will really appreciate it!

October Friday Tea Station SignUp

The PTSA is planning on treating teachers and staff to a weekly Friday morning breakfast treat (Oct 8th, 15th, 22nd & 29th).

Sign up here for the week that best suits your schedule.

Thank you!


Last Week for the 2021-2022 Reflections Art Competition

For over 50 years, National PTA’s Reflections program has helped students explore their own thoughts, feelings and ideas, develop artistic literacy, increase confidence and find a love for learning that will help them become more successful in school and in life. 

Students can create theme-based artwork in dance choreography, film production, literature, musical composition, photography, or visual arts.  

Submission guidelines and entry forms can be found on Directions and Rules for Submission categories.

All submissions will be online - submissions are due by Friday, October 8th.  Winners will be notified via email by October 22nd, and entries can then be left in the MHS front office for pick-up the week of October 25th.  

To make an online submission by October 8th, click here

For questions, please contact Reflections Chair, Sarah Liberatore at

Parent University

The goal of Parent University is to help support parents as they support their students through the college process. Registration is not required.

Parents of Juniors

The first Parent University session is coming up on October 8th @ 8:30am in the Lecture Hall. The topic is Standardized Testing.  

Last year's recorded sessions are available here for those not able to attend in person.

Save the Date


McLean High School Graduation

McLean High School's graduation will be on Wednesday, June 1, 2022, at 2:30 pm

Location: DAR Constitution Hall, 1776 D Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006

hispanic heritage month

Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month takes place September 15th to October 15th every year as a time to recognize and celebrate the many contributions, diverse cultures, and extensive histories of the American Latino community. Beginning in 1968, Hispanic Heritage Month was originally observed as “Hispanic Heritage Week” under President Lyndon Johnson, but it was later extended to a month during President Ronald Reagan’s term in 1988. Since then, the month has been celebrated nationwide through festivals, art shows, conferences, community gatherings, and much more. 

The National Hispanic Heritage Month website highlights the Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum tributes to the generations of Hispanic Americans who have positively influenced and enriched our nation and society. 

Please go the their website for more information and events for children and families.

Parent & Student Volunteer Opportunities

Vision and Hearing Screening for 10th Graders and New to FCPS Students on October 19th and 20th

McLean HS will be conducting its Vision and Hearing Screening in the Lecture Hall.  All 10th graders and any new to FCPS in 9th, 11th, and 12th will be screened.  Students who wear glasses/contacts need to bring/wear them on those days.

If you are interested in volunteering anytime on either or both of these days, please contact Julie Gamboa, School Health Aide by e-mailing her at

I Volunteer

Help Build a Connected Community!

The McLean PTSA is an all-volunteer organization. Whether you have the time and energy to chair a committee or prefer to volunteer an hour at an occasional event, YOUR PTSA NEEDS YOU and appreciates all that you do!


Serve our Highlander community before stepping into the role of President. Share your valuable insights and contributions and shape the following year, while allowing time to learn on the job.

See the complete list of open volunteer roles.

If you are interested in volunteering contact our Secretary- Sooa Kang at for more details. 

GM meeting

Upcoming General PTSA Meeting

Date: October 27th

Time: 7:00pm-8:15pm

More details about the virtual meeting will be provided soon.


Book talk

McLean HS Sponsored Book Talk 

The authors of the new parenting book What Do You Say? How to Talk with Kids to Build Motivation, Stress Tolerance, and Happy Home will be speaking on Tuesday, October 26 from 6:30 – 8 PM in the McLean High School Auditorium.

Dr. William Stixrud and Mr. Ned Johnson, who also wrote The Self-Driven Child, are parenting experts who live in the DC Metro area.  Their latest book provides much-needed practical parenting tips as our children come back to school.  Parents learn how to engage in respectful and effective dialogue with their teens, improving communication and the parent-child relationship.  Boundaries around technology, family problem-solving, and anxiety around current events are addressed.

Kathleen Otal, counselor at McLean High School and the 2020 Virginia School Counselor of the Year, will be hosting a follow-up book talk at McLean in January for Longfellow and McLean parents (date TBD).  This will allow parents who are interested to read the book and formulate questions, then share with like-minded parents in our own community.

We invite all parents of McLean students to hear the authors speak!  Purchasing the book is not required, but if parents do want to purchase they can do so at this link

Please fill out this Google form to register for the event.  It’s important to register so that we have an accurate count as well as emails for all parents who plan to attend.  

Thank you and we look forward to seeing you there!

Support Your McLean HS PTSA

restaurant night

Local Restaurant Fundraisers

Show Highlander Spirit and Support Your Community

While Dining In or Carrying Out

Silver Diner

Tysons Silver Diner is Tomorrow!

October 7th, 4:00pm - 8:00pm

8101 Fletcher Street, McLean, VA 22102

Pie-tanza - 2nd Thursday of Month

October 14th, 11:30am - 9:30pm

Lee Harrison Center, 2503B N. Harrison St., Arlington, VA 22207


Santini's - 3rd Wednesday of Month

October 20th, 11:00am - 9:00pm

1443 Chain Bridge Rd, McLean, VA 22101


Sweet Leaf Cafe - 4th Wednesday of Month

October 27th, 4:00pm - 8:00pm

1359 Chain Bridge Rd, McLean, VA 22101

Sweet leaf


Mock ACT/SAT Tests

EC Tutoring is offering a mock ACT test in September. This test is available to students at area schools for $20.

*** Please remember to indicate your status as an MHS student on the registration form to ensure that the PTSA receives credit; the fees support our programs.

Mock ACT Test - October 23rd, 9:00am-1:00pm     Registration Form

Mock SAT Test - November 13th, 9:00am-1:00pm  Registration Form

Mock ACT Test - November 20th, 9:00am-1:00pm  Registration Form

Mock ACT Test - December 4th, 9:00am-1:00pm    Registration Form

Mock SAT Test - December 11th, 9:00am-1:00pm   Registration Form

Did You Know?

The 2022-2023 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Opens October 1;
College Access Fairfax Offers Free Help


Parents of current high school seniors—did you know that the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will open on October 1? 

Parents are encouraged to work with their students to complete the FAFSA as early as possible, but definitely before March 1, 2022, as you prepare for your child to begin college in the fall of 2022. Parents and students should start by creating an FSA ID and then begin the FAFSA.

Our partners at College Access Fairfax will be offering a number of webinars on completing the FAFSA and finding/applying for scholarships over the next two months. Information on these programs and how to access them can be found at the College Access Fairfax website.

In addition, College Access Fairfax staff are available for virtual one-on-one help sessions to complete the FAFSA.

Interested families should email to request an appointment.

McLean Boosters

Sports Boosters Golf Tournament

McLean High School Athletic Boosters has exclusive use of the entire course on October 14th, and the fun is not limited to golf! 

For more information, click here.

SCC logo

Recording and Resources Available 

The return to school is often accompanied by a myriad of emotions…excitement, nervousness, anxiety, you name it! And certainly, this year is no exception.

Recognizing that we all may be a little more anxious than usual, the Safe Community Coalition (SCC) was proud to offer an online panel discussion moderated by Dr. Melissa Sporn and featuring local mental health professionals Jennifer Weaver, Mimi Weisberg, and Robyne Davis last Tuesday, September 21st.

The panel discussed Back to School Anxiety and offered concrete ways you can help get the school year off to a great start. 

Watch the webinar and access handouts here

join ptsa

PTSA Membership 2021-2022

Join the McLean High School PTSA today and play an active role in your student’s education!

Please use the AtoZConnect button below to join by verifying your directory information, paying membership dues and contribute to the Direct Donation  Fundraiser.

Important Note: If this is the first time you are trying to access AtoZ Connect this school year, please click the "AtoZConnect" button above and choose "Create Account" under "New User" to set up an account (do this even if you have used AtoZConnect before). AtoZ updated the database platform over the summer - new and existing users both need to register to (re)gain access."

Questions or Need Help – Click here or ask our Membership chair at 

PTSA Value add

Donation Fundraiser

Your contribution translates directly into academic enhancements, virtual programs, improved technology, and courtyard and facilities renovations.  

Click here to Donate.

Earn Rewards While Shopping

Remember to enroll in our rewards programsYou can raise money that enriches the educational, social and physical health for MHS students and staff at no extra cost to you!

Amazon Smile

Amazon Link Earn Money for the PTSA       

Simply bookmark: MHS PTSA Amazon Link 

And use the link to access Amazon BEFORE you add items to your cart and check out promptly. Items that are left in your cart for 24 hours or more do not qualify. To save items to purchase later, please use your Wish List.  

Every purchase counts!

Cause Network

 Up to 10% of your shopping, booking travel, and donating electronics and vehicles.  Details about the program here.


Harris Teeter – MHS Code: 5560

Visit link to register your card. or register with the cashier next time you shop at Harris Teeter, and with every purchase, the store will donate to the MHS PTSA.

Office Depot

Office Depot MHS Code: 70104184

MHS receives 5% of your purchases. Details about the program here

Corporate Sponsor

2021-2022 Corporate Sponsorship

If you are a McLean High School parent, friend, or relative and your place of business would like to become a corporate sponsor for our school at $400 per school year, we would welcome your support!

Funds raised through corporate sponsorships benefit various programs provided by the McLean HS PTSA.   

For more information click here.

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Important Dates

October 7 - Tysons Silver Diner Restaurant Fundraiser, 5:00pm - 8:00pm

October 8 - Parent University (Juniors) on Standardized Testing, 8:30am, Lecture Hall

October 11 - Teacher Work Day/Student Holiday

October 13 - PSAT/SAT Day - 2-hour early release

October 14 - Pie-tanza Restaurant Fundraiser, 11:30am - 9:30pm

October 20 - Santini's McLean Restaurant Fundraiser, 11:00am - 9:00pm

October 26 - Book Talk:  What Do You Say? How to Talk with Kids to Build Motivation, Stress Tolerance, and Happy Home, 6:30-8:00pm

October 27 - Sweet Leaf Cafe Restaurant Fundraiser, 4:00pm - 8:00pm

October 27 - PTSA General Membership Meeting, 7:00pm - 8:15pm, virtual

October 29 - End of 1st Quarter - 2-hour early release



Essay/Art Contest with Cash Prizes

Tysons Interfaith (a non-profit organization) is sponsoring an exciting art/essay contest for students with cash prizes. 

The theme is:  "A Whole New World Starts Now" to focus on positive lessons learned from this COVID era.  For more information click here.

The deadline is Friday, October 15th.

Questions:  Contact Irene Bortolussi at 202-258-9311.  Irene is a retired teacher and docent at the National Gallery of Art.

NASA TechRise

NASA TechRise Student Challenge

School student Teams are invited to join NASA in its mission to advance space exploration and enhance our knowledge of Earth. Student teams in sixth to 12th-grade at a U.S. public, private, or charter school, brainstorm and design an experiment or test an apparatus that could be selected to make a suborbital flight aboard a high altitude balloon or rocket. 

Entries are due by November 3th.

RVA Film contest

2022 Virginia Environmental Film Contest

The 12th annual Richmond Virginia Environmental Film Festival (RVA EFF) is announcing the 2022 Virginia Environmental Film Contest.

Prizes are awarded in two categories: students 12 and under, and 13-18. The contest is open to Virginia residents with films based on environmental topics about Virginia. Films of all formats, genres, and lengths will be considered. 

Deadline for submission is November 15th.

Congressional App Challenge

2021 Congressional App Challenge

This challenge through November 1st and offers middle school and high school students interested in coding a chance to enhance their skills and interests in computer science and STEM.

Local judges will evaluate the student submissions and choose a winning individual or team.

For additional details, you can visit

Workshops and Webinars


College Bootcamp

Monday, October 11th (Student Holiday)
12:30pm– 3:00pm

Registration open here

This virtual College Boot Camp is for students with an IEP that are graduating in 2022 and plan to attend college. Career and Transition Services staff will work with students on starting the application process.  

Agenda includes:

  • Complete a college search in Naviance
  • Identify and explore your top three colleges
  • Get familiar with the Common App ®
  • Determine your next steps

For more information, please contact 

Career and Transition Services

Moving on to Life in the Community:
"Virtual" Resource Fair

This resource fair assists parents, guardians, and caretakers with future planning for students with intellectual disabilities who may require ongoing supports after graduating from high school.

Participants include representatives from vocational, residential, leisure, recreational, independent living, and advocacy programs.  

Tuesday, October 19th, 6:30pm-8:30 pm       

Register Here

FCPS Parent Resource Center

FCPS Parent Resource Center Workshops

The FCPS Parent Resource Center is offering workshops, information and resources to support the success of all students, including those with learning challenges, special needs, and disabilities.

For a list of upcoming events click here. 


New Recording Virtual Back to School Night

Back to School Night

Learn about our Student Services team, Student Activities information and Library resources.  Watch videos on College and Career Center, Fall Testing information and Attendance during virtual learning.  Join the McLean HS PTSA, order McLean merchandise from the McLean Booster club, purchase yearbooks, class rings and more!

MHS Front entrance

New School Year PTSA Check List

Welcome to the new school year! Here are some quick links to get you started:

  • Set up AtoZ Directory account
  • Join our PTSA
                If are a returning family, please re-enroll
  • Make a Donation
  • Check if your company offers Corporate Matching
  • Sign up for one of our Volunteer Opportunities
  • Ask a local business to become a Business or Community Sponsor
  • Find McLean PTSA on Facebook and Twitter
  • When shopping, link your accounts and a portion of your sales will go to the PTSA

Thank you for helping us make a difference in our children’s lives and their futures!  

Helpful Links


Bell Schedule

Red/Silver Calendar

Office and Support Staff

Student Services

Student Activities

Special Education Resources

Virtual Back to School Night

Teacher Office Hours 

FCPS Return to School Site - Resource to find out which colleges will be test-optional next year.

FCPS Support for Parents & Families

FCPS Parent Resource Center 

Provides access to information and resources to support all families, educators, and students, including those with special needs, learning challenges, and disabilities.

FCPS has Parent Information Phone Lines available in eight (8) languages to assist with general questions about FCPS.


Thank you to our Business Sponsors

Georgetown Learning

LM Orthodontics

Policy Viz Business Sponsor