MHS PTSA eNews, November 3, 2021

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November 3, 2021

Your Source for News about the Highlander Community

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McLean High School PTSA Needs Your Support for this School Year! 

Click Here to Donate

McLean HS students and teachers need our financial support to build and maintain school-wide programming that supports personal growth, encourages academic excellence, and builds community.

Each year, through the PTSA, we provide the financial resources necessary for school-based enrichment programs, community building and support projects not funded by tax dollars.

We appreciate the contributions already received and hope that you consider donating if you have not done yet. Your donation will allow you the opportunity to support the efforts to ensure funding this year.

Please donate in the amount comfortable for your family; all donations are warmly welcomed

Thank you in advance for your support.


Reflections Program

The following students will move onto the county level of competition for the Reflections program! 

  • Melina Turnage - Dance (Grade 10)
  • Ally Chen - Fine Art (Grade 10)
  • Yeonsu Ju - Literature (Grade 11)

Congratulations to the students!

Grant winner

Announcing the
PTSA Teacher Grant Winners!  

The MHS PTSA is pleased to announce the following teacher grant award recipients:

  • Ms. Kong - Foreign Language Fiction for the MHS Library
  • Ms. McNish - Versatiles for Math Classes
  • Mr. Dobson - Smart Carts for Physics Demos
  • Ms. Clements - Romeo and Juliet Performance for 9th Grade
  • Ms. Heath - Chairs and Storage Bin for Outdoor Instruction
  • Ms. Lowry - Funds for the Sunshine Committee
  • Ms. Settlemeyer - Adobe Creative Suite for STEM Classes
  • Ms. Chase - Startup Money for the CAT B Car Wash Vocational Program
  • Ms. Geary - Supplies for Helping Highlanders
  • Ms. Heath - Reading Library for Upper-Level Spanish Students
  • Ms. Benedict - Journalism and Broadcast Journalism Videography Equipment

All the grants awarded will enhance the learning experience of students at McLean High School.  

Congratulations to all the winners!


Health & Wellness Therapy Dogs Return

Due to the popularity of Charlie, Oliver, Sammy, and Daisy, we have invited them to visit us again on November 3rd between 11:00am -1:00pm.

Please welcome them back!

therapy dogs 1
therapy dogs 2

parent coffee

Parent Coffee and Panel Discussion on Mental Health and Trends

Friday, November 12, 2021
8:30am to 9:30am 
@ MHS Dance Room

Please join us for Parent Coffee on the morning of November 12th. We organized a panel discussion for you to share information on mental health of students, impacts during COVID, and how we can help students in our various roles at the school, FCPS, law enforcement, and more importantly as parents and guardians.

Our panelists include:

Experts in their field from the McLean High School clinical team, CarolAnn Forrest and Marly Jerome-Featherson

The FCPS Substance Abuse Specialist, Kelly Rankin, and 

The school SRO Officer Davis

Assistant Principal, Emily Geary, will be moderating the panel discussion

It is an opportunity to meet other parents, ask questions of the panelists and school administrators, and exchange views on how we can collectively help our students.

Space is limited, so please register for the event here.

Questions? Email


PTSA Sponsored
Mock ACT/SAT Tests

EC Tutoring is offering mock ACT and SAT tests in October and November. These tests are 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 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

author talk

Book Talks Recording and Upcoming Program at
McLean High School

Last week, McLean Student Services hosted the authors of the parenting book, What Do You Say? How to Talk with Kids to Build Motivation, Stress Tolerance, and a Happy Home.  
Dr. William Stixrud and Ned Johnson provided excellent parenting insights and answered many questions posed by our parents. 

This video is now available on the McLean website at this link.

Mark Your Calendar!

On Wednesday, January 26, Kathleen Otal, School Counselor at McLean, will be hosting an in-person book talk on the first half of the book. 

Parents can purchase the book at this link to learn more about what you can say to your child. 

Stay tuned for more information in the next couple of months about the January 2022 book talk.  

Parent & Student Volunteer Opportunities

Be the bridge 1

Work-Based Learning -
Be the Bridge!

Help MHS Special Education Students Gain Work Experience within the Local Community

If you know of a worksite within five (5) miles of McLean HS that would be willing to support the MHS Special Education program by providing volunteer work opportunities during the school day, you can help!

This flyer contains details and if you have questions, please contact Anna Southworth, McLean High School Employment and Transition Representative (ETR) or call (703) 714-5956.


November Teacher Appreciation

Friday Breakfast Station SignUp
(Nov 5th, 12th, & 19th)

The PTSA is planning on treating teachers and staff to a Friday morning breakfast treat each week.

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

Thank you!

grad congrats

Signup for 2022 Grad Party Committee 

It is time to start planning the Graduation Party for the Class of 2022!

The graduation ceremony is planned for June 1st at 2.30pm, and the Graduation Party will be hosted by the PTSA later that evening on June 1st. 

We are looking for Co-Chairs to lead the planning and execution of the event. We also need parents' help with fundraising, entertainment/decor, food, budget, and other activities for the event.

We cannot do this without parent/guardian volunteers.

Please sign up here. Thank you!

Questions? Email

McLean HS Band

 Support McLean Band and Guard - Fruit Sale Fundraiser

Please support the McLean High School Band programs by purchasing fresh fruit from Florida! Orders will be accepted through November 10th here for (socially distanced) pick-up on Saturday, December 11th.

Questions or concerns? Please email


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. 

Support Your McLean High School PTSA

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 contributing 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 

restaurant night

Local Restaurant Fundraisers

Show Highlander Spirit and Support Your Community

While Dining In or Carrying Out

Tysons Silver Diner is Tomorrow!

November 4th, 4:00pm - 8:00pm

8101 Fletcher Street, McLean, VA 22102

Silver Diner


Pie-tanza - 2nd Thursday of Month

November 11th, 11:30am - 9:00pm

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


Santini's - 3rd Wednesday of Month

November 17th, 11:00am - 9:00pm

1443 Chain Bridge Rd, McLean, VA 22101

Sweet Leaf Cafe - 4th Wednesday

November 24th, 4:00pm - 8:00pm

1359 Chain Bridge Road
McLean, VA 22101

Sweet leaf

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.

Earn Rewards While Shopping

Remember to enroll in our rewards programsYou can raise money that enriches the educational, social and physical health of 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!


Harris Teeter – MHS Code: 5560

Visit this 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.

Cause Network

 Up to 10% of your shopping, booking travel, and donating electronics and vehicles. 

Details about the program are here.

Office Depot MHS Code: 70104184

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

Office Depot


Share Your Feedback on the FCPS 2022-2023 School Year Calendar

Families and staff received an email yesterday from with a link to the FCPS Calendar Survey. The survey will also be available in other languages.

If you did not see the survey in your in-box, check your spam or junk folders.

We encourage you to complete the survey at your earliest convenience. Employees and students in grades 7-12 will be invited to take a similar survey as well. The results will be used to inform and support FCPS staff as well as the Fairfax County School Board as they work to adopt the 2022-23 calendar. All responses are confidential. If you have any questions about the survey, please email  

Also, mark your calendars for a virtual Calendar Community Meeting on Monday, November 8, 7:00pm-8:00pm. Stay tuned for more details.  

This year, FCPS is using a different process to develop the calendar. Learn about the criteria being used in the development of the 2022-23 calendar.

Upcoming Programs, Workshops & Webinars


Fairfax County STEAM Opportunities for Youth Page!

The first stop in finding fun STEAM activities, information and career ideas for students and their families who have an interest in science, technology, engineering and math, as well as students who want to learn more about STEAM career options. 

The goal is to engage families and community partners to help inspire and prepare all Fairfax County youth to succeed and lead in STEAM fields and beyond.

Interested in learning more visit this site.


Recording for October 27th
PTSA Membership Meeting

Hear what our Special Guest Speakers had to say via this link!

  • Paul Stansbery, Director of Students Services, McLean High School
  • Gregory (Greg) Olcott, School Counselor, McLean High School
  • Olivia Zhang, President, McLean High School Student Government Association (SGA)
  • Arman Nikmorad, McLean High School SGA Officer
  • Rowan Frew, McLean High School SGA Officer

EC Tutoring

Understanding PSAT Scores

A Roadmap for the SAT and College Admission in the
Years of COVID and Beyond

The recording for this successful PTSA sponsored program is here.

Did You Know?

According to Harvard’s Center on the Developing Child, success is less about grades and extracurricular activities and more about a core set of skills to help children navigate life’s challenges as they grow.

These core skills include planning, focus, self-control, awareness and flexibility.

Here is the full article.

Healthy lifestyles

November is PTA Healthy Lifestyles Month! 

Explore resources to help your family maintain healthy minds, healthy bodies and a healthy Earth.

Learn more here.

math anxiety

Tips for Families: Simple Ideas Can Help Your Teen Overcome Math Anxiety

Some students get so anxious about math that they dread math class. Or they worry so excessively about a test that they make mistakes. Unless they can learn to cope, their fears of inadequacy and failure can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

To turn math anxiety into math success, share these tips with your teen:

  • Remember that everyone can learn math with practice and effort.
  • Be positive. When your teen starts to think math is hard, it will be. He or she is much more likely to solve a problem if they think they can.
  • Stop and take a deep breath when anxiety strikes. Your teen can switch gears and work on something else for a few minutes.
  • Make a list of math worries on a sheet of paper. Next to each worry, your teen can write down a possible solution.
  • Be prepared. Your teen should make a point of studying math every day.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Other students probably have the same questions your teen does.
  • Write questions down while studying. Then your teen can ask the teacher the next day.
  • Keep notes, old tests, and quizzes to study from later.
  • Occasionally review past material. This helps your teen show himself how much he or she remembers.
  • Redo incorrect problems. This will help him or her understand them.
  • Study with a friend or discuss the current math topic with someone else. People understand more when they explain it to others.
  • Keep a sense of humor. If your teen misses a problem, it’s not the end of the world.

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Calendar Reminder

Calendar Reminders

Upcoming Important Dates

Upcoming Events

November 4 - Tysons Silver Diner Restaurant Fundraiser, 5:00pm - 8:00pm

November 8 - Partners for Safe Teen Driving

November 11 - Veteran's Day - 2-hour early release

November 11 - Pie-tanza Restaurant Fundraiser, 11:30am - 9:00pm

November 17 - Santini's Restuarant Fundraiser, 11:00am - 9:00pm

November 24 - Sweet Leaf Restaurant Fundraiser 4:00pm-8:00pm

November 24-26 - Thanksgiving Break

Student Contests

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. 

The deadline for submissions is November 15th.

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. 

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