MHS PTSA eNews, December 22, 2021

MHS PTSA black logo

December 22, 2021

Your Source for News About
the Highlander Community


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!

Sandra P. Buteau

We Appreciate Our Corporate Sponsors!

Please thank and patronize our 2021-22 PTSA school year Corporate Sponsors. 

For more information click here.

Thx sponsors

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

take a break

Take a Break on Homework

As a reminder, it is an MHS policy that students do not have major schoolwork to complete over winter break. As Dr. Reilly stated in her last Monday message of the year:

"At McLean High School we have many students who work hard and spend a great deal of time outside of school on assignments and on school activities during the school year. We would like to help our students find a healthy balance of school, work, and family/friends time during the two week Winter Break.Similarly, we would like our staff to do the same. We would like for everyone to spend this precious time with their family, friends and loved ones.

Teachers should not issue any homework that students must complete over the Winter Break. Specifically, teachers will not assign homework that is due on the first two school days we return to school - January 3 and 4.  Assessments should also not be conducted the first two days after returning from a long break. Additionally, our school’s offices will be closed over the holiday."

Want to hear from you

Call For eNews Content

The MHS PTSA eNews team is glad to publish reports and announcements about the school and our amazing students and staff to the McLean community.

The newsletter is put together by a small and dedicated group of volunteers that source and compile submissions from administrators, teachers, other MHS volunteer organizations, FCPS sources, and parents and students into a weekly publication that we trust you all find useful. 

We encourage you to send reports of students' individual or team achievements. The PTSA wants to know if students are representing MHS in any venue. We would appreciate knowing about it to celebrate  and let the entire community know it. Contact us at

Remember that the accomplishment should be significant and that the PTSA is not able to promote a business or an outside organization. 

Support Your McLean High School PTSA

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

Sweet Leaf Cafe is Today!

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.


PTSA Board Nominations for

Are you interested in being on our PTSA Board or do you know someone who would be great in a Board position next year?

Please take a quick look at the Board positions and their related job descriptions on our website  and let us know who would fit any of these positions. If you know of someone who would generally be a great Board member, but you are not sure in which specific position, we also want to hear from you!

Starting in late January, the Nominating Committee will be collecting the names to slate for our 2022-2023 PTSA Board and we always want to get a diverse group of members from our broad community on the Board. 

Please contact Sandra P. Buteau at or with any names and ideas you have for us.

Thank you in advance.

Stay in the Know!


If You Haven't Yet Taken Your Senior Portrait, You are Running Out of Time!

There are no more appointments at McLean. You can do one of the following:

1) Schedule an appointment at Lifetouch’s Annandale Studio location.

That studio is located at the John G. Fox Memorial Hall, 7128 Columbia Pike, Annandale, VA 22003.  You can schedule a studio appointment by going to

No need to login to the website, just click the blue 'Book Appointment' button to get started. Then select the Virginia - Northern Virginia location and enter McLean High School in the search bar.  Select McLean High School when it comes up and you can select your sitting level and appointment date and time from there.   

2) Submit your own photo.

SUBMIT TO THE YEARBOOK STAFF: go to - (use school code mcyearbook). After filling in the general information, make sure to select - "PORTRAIT" and upload your photo.

BACKGROUND: Photos must be shot on a solid background. (we recommend blue)

POSE: Head and shoulder shots ONLY. Hands should not be visible. No hats. No sport team logos. No props (i.e., sports equipment, toys, wigs, benches, chairs, etc.).

DRESS: Senior portraits are a more formal picture. Solid colored dress shirts/tops work well for the camera; jackets and ties are optional.

Very little of the top shows so what's important is the neckline (nothing too low cut or busy - a simple solid colored top will look great and sleeve length doesn’t matter).

All pictures must be submitted by January 10th to be included in the yearbook.

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. 

Reflections winners

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!

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 student's 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 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