MHS PTSA eNews, December 15, 2021

MHS PTSA black logo

December 15, 2021

Your Source for News About
the Highlander Community

Happy Holidays


Message from the PTSA President

Greetings McLean High School families!

The PTSA thanks you for your partnership over these first four months of the school year.

A heartfelt thank you to all our volunteers for your incredible service to our students, staff, and programs. We are so fortunate to be a part of this vibrant school community and volunteers like you who make all the difference.

If you have not had the opportunity to join our PTSA yet, please join today. It is easy to do, just follow the Join PTSA link on the PTSA website. Joining PTSA demonstrates that you value and are invested in your student’s education at McLean High School.

On behalf of the PTSA Board, we wish you a very special holiday season this year. We hope that these next few weeks afford you the opportunity to celebrate with your loved ones.

Wishing you all the best for a wonderful winter break and a Happy New Year!


teacher station

Holiday Friday Breakfast Station
for Teachers and Staff

Last One of the Year 2021!
Friday, December 17th

The PTSA needs your help to treat our wonderful teachers and staff to some home-baked breakfast treats and bring in the holiday cheer!

Please sign up here to contribute.

You can have your student drop off the item(s) on December 17th before 8:00am at the school's main office (door 1).

Thank you in advance for your continued help and support to celebrate the amazing MHS teachers and staff.

TOy Drive

Student Government Association (SGA) Toy Drive Benefiting  Housing UP

The SGA is conducting a toy drive benefiting Housing Up throughout this week.

All toys are going to children in low-income/homeless families (Housing Up builds thriving communities in Washington, DC by developing affordable housing and offering comprehensive support services to homeless and low-income families).

Bring toys to the front office and place them in the boxes labeled Toy Drive.

The last day to collect is Friday, December 17th at the Langley basketball game.

The SGA thanks the MHS community!

Reflections winners

PTA Reflections 2021-2022 Winner Entries from MHS

The PTSA congratulates the following MHS students whose winning entries will move on to the NoVa District PTA level of the competition:

  • Dance Choreography: Melina Turnage, All I Ask - Award of Excellence
  • Literature: Yeonsu Ju, I Can Change the World by - Outstanding Interpretation
  • Visual Arts:  Ally Chen, Awaken - Outstanding Interpretation

More than 250 entries were evaluated by the hardworking FCCPTA Reflections judges, an increase of almost 25% from last year thanks to increased PTA/PTSA and student participation in Reflections.

Look for information on next year's Reflections theme in August 2022.

Thank You Highlander Community

The PTSA would like to thank the MHS parents and teachers for their overwhelmingly generous effort to donate gift cards for the McLean Matters Winter Gift Card Drive, benefiting McLean High School families-in-need. 

The community came forward, and the amount of money that was raised is truly remarkable. Gift cards came in the mail, digitally, and parents were continually coming to the office to drop off gift cards. To date, we have collected over $21,000 in gift cards for our families-in-need. 

In addition to the gift cards, we have received the following support:

  • 20+ parents have offered gift cards, clothing, and other donations directly to the family mentioned in the newsletter
  • Two MHS Parent volunteers have come forward to help McLean Matters collect and sort the clothing donations, and are delivering everything to SHARE of McLean before the holiday break. 
  • Shout out to Dr. Banaji at Banaji Pediatric Dental Specialists, Dr. Jones at Merrifield Orthodontics, and Dr. Maull at Deirdre Maull Orthodontics, that each donated dental supplies, so that we could send dental supplies kits home with each of the students-in-need.
  • One McLean high school parent donated Starbucks gift cards for each of the 75 students in need.
  • Some parents have generously offered individual financial support to benefit the growth of the McLean Matters program within the PTSA

Thanks to your generosity we were able to provide gift cards to over 75 Highlander families. We have such a caring, energetic, and supportive community.  

We cannot thank you enough!

We are grateful for your generosity and charitable donation.

The McLean Matters Committee

McLean Matters

MHS Orchestra

MHS Orchestra Restaurant
Fundraiser is Tonight!

Support the MHS Orchestra with a delicious meal from Moby Dick House of Kabob in McLean, 5:00pm - 9:30pm

Click here for details.

Support Your McLean High School PTSA

Elaine Tholen

Mark Your Calendar!
PTSA General Membership Meeting

Wednesday, January 12, 2022, at 8:30am.

Special Guest Elaine Tholen, School Board Member- Fairfax County Public Schools representing Dranesville District in Virginia, will join our meeting to tell us what the school board is working on and answer any questions you may have during this moderated session.

Parents, guardians, family members, and students are invited and encouraged to use this link to submit questions, so they can be addressed during the meeting.

The meeting will be in person at the school and for those who are unable to attend a Zoom link will be distributed an hour before the meeting.

If you have any questions, please email

PTSA Funds Enhance Student Learning

Please consider making a tax-free donation to the PTSA.

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

Click here to donate.

Remember When Shopping this Holiday Season to Activate the Rewards Programs


Earn rewards while you shopHelp Our Cause: Check out a one-stop-shop to earn rewards while shopping at 1000+ stores online or on your phone.

Simply register once and use it often to get shopping discounts, travel rebates, discounted textbook purchases, electronics, and vehicle donations, and much more.

Details about the program are found here.


Harris Teeter Together in Education: Visit this link to register your card or register with the cashier next time you shop at Harris Teeter. MHS Code: 5560; Phone: (800) 432-6111.


Office Depot

Office Depot – MHS Code: 70104184

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


Holiday shopping

Earn Money for the PTSA When You Purchase through our Amazon Link

Simply bookmark: Amazon 

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! Thank you!

restaurant night

Local Restaurant Fundraisers

Show Highlander Spirit and Support Your Community

While Dining In or Carrying Out


Santini's is Today!

December 15th, 11:00am - 9:00pm

1443 Chain Bridge Rd, McLean, VA 22101

Sweet Leaf Cafe - 4th Wednesday

December 22nd, 4:00pm - 8:00pm

1359 Chain Bridge Road
McLean, VA 22101

Sweet leaf


PTSA Sponsored
Mock ACT/SAT Tests

EC Tutoring is offering mock ACT and SAT tests in January and February. 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 - January 8th, 9:00am-1:00pm      Registration Form

Mock ACT Test - January 22nd, 9:00am-1:00pm   Registration Form

Mock SAT Test - February 5th, 9:00am-1:00pm    Registration Form

Mock ACT Test - February 26nd, 9:00am-1:00pm  Registration Form

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.

PTSA Volunteer Openings

YOUR PTSA NEEDS YOU and appreciates all that you do!

Volunteers needed

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.

Please consider the following open position:


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.

All open positions can be found here.

Stay in the Know!

McLean Parent Podcast

Freshman Transition to High School

Do you remember what it was like to begin high school?

If you do, chances are likely that the experience you had as an adolescent passing through the doors of your high school for the first time is different today than they were in your youth.

Listen to the first McLean Parent Podcast for parents of freshmen, hosted by Ashley Lowry featuring the MHS school's experts in the Student Services Office: 

  • Paul Stansbery, Director of Student Services
  • Kathleen Otal, MHS School Counselor and 2020 VSCA Secondary Counselor of the Year 

They offer their wisdom and guidance about the transition from middle school to high school and how to support your student toward a successful high school experience. 

You are Invited! 

The 2022 National PTA Reflections Virtual Student Arts Showcase will be held Tuesday, January 25th at 7:00pm EST. 

Celebrate the national Reflections winners from the 2020-2021 I Matter Because... program with a selection of artists and artwork! RSVP today!

Reflections winners

Student Contests, Programs,
Workshops, Selected Resources & Webinars 

VA Council Women

STEAM-H Essay Content 

Each year the Virginia Council on Women hosts an Annual STEAM-H Essay Content which awards high school senior girls pursuing STEAM-H (Health) majors and careers with scholarships to aid with their tuition at institutions of higher education.

Submissions are due January 3, 2022. 

Application and guidelines can be found here


SPJ/JEA High School Essay Contest

The Sigma Delta Chi Foundation of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Journalism Education Association (SPJ/JEA) want to increase high school students' knowledge and understanding of the importance of independent media to our lives.

Upload/received by deadline: February 19, 2022, 11:59 p.m. Central time/9:59 p.m. Pacific time.

Essays will be accepted beginning November 1, 2021.

For more information click here.

Hamilton Relay

Hamilton Relay is Offering a $500 Scholarship!

The goal of the Hamilton Relay Scholarship is to support students who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind or have difficulty speaking in their post-secondary education.

The Hamilton Relay Scholarship is extended to qualifying high school students living within each of the states where Hamilton Relay is the contracted Telecommunications Relay and/or Captioned Telephone service provider.

Hamilton Relay selects one recipient from each state annually.

Scholarship recipients will be determined on or before March 1, 2022, and the deadline is January 31st, 2022

For information about the application guidelines click here and for the application click here.

cyber cup

National Cyber Cup

A free, 100% online Jeopardy-style Capture the Flag competition for students in grades 4-12 to sharpen their problem-solving skills through cyber-based challenges. 

 For more information, please look here

Registration opens on March 1, 2022. 


Scholarship Information

You can access here a comprehensive list of scholarships for high school students to help pay for school their freshman year of college and beyond.

college transitions

Competitions and Contests that Boost Your
Admission Prospects

list of 70 academic competitions and contests selected by the College Transitions.

Parents and Students, Did You Know?

Snow Day Holidays

Weather Cancellation Procedures

Be informed in the case of inclement weather or other emergency situations.          

Visit this site for more information.

Substance Abuse Prevention Support at McLean High School McLean High School has a Full-Time Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist

Kelly Rankin serves as a resource for students and parents interested in finding out more information on substance use or discussing concerns of use and addiction.

If you need more information, take a look at this flyer.

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. 

Calendar Reminder

Calendar Reminders

Upcoming Important Dates

Upcoming Events


December 15 - Santini's PTSA Fundraiser 

December 15 - Moby Dick House of Kebab MHS Orchestra Fundraiser

December 22 - Sweet Leaf Cafe PTSA Fundraiser 

December 20-31 - Winter Break

January 4 - Curriculum Night for Rising Freshmen, 6:30pm, MHS Auditorium

January 6 - Silver Diner PTSA Fundraiser

January 12 - PTSA General Meeting with Elaine Tholen

January 13 - Pie-tanza PTSA Fundraiser

January 17 - Martin Luther King Day - Holiday

January 20 - End of 2nd Quarter - 2-hour Early Release

January 21 - Teacher Workday/Student Holiday

January 24 - Teacher Workday/Student Holiday

June 1 - Graduation at 2:30pm at Constitution Hall

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