Good evening, Northwest Families, this is Jimmy D’Andrea, principal of Northwest High School, with your Sunday evening message.  


Early Release Day: Friday, October 6

Please remember that this Friday, October 6, is an early release day.  The last class on Friday ends at 11:38 am, and then there is a brief student lunch period from 11:38 am to 12:00 noon.


Assemblies Last Friday

Through a partnership with several county agencies called “Speak Up - Save a Life,” all students participated in grade-level assemblies last Friday.  Students heard from an attorney, a police officer, and other individuals about the dangers of alcohol and drug use.  I encourage all parents to ask their students about what they learned from the assemblies.  Also, please note that, in collaboration with our PTSA, the same information will be presented at a parent meeting on a date to be determined later this semester.


Homecoming Week: Monday, October 2 – Friday, October 6

Homecoming is this week, and I want to thank our awesome SGA leaders and sponsors for all of their hard work to prepare.  Students are encouraged to show their school spirit by wearing school-appropriate attire aligned with the following daily themes:  Jersey Day on Monday, Tropical Tuesday, Wacky Wednesday, Class Colors Thursday, and Blackout Friday.  Homecoming hallway decorating is this Wednesday from 2:30 pm to 9:00 pm, the Homecoming pep rally is Thursday during the school day, and the Homecoming football game is this Friday at 7:00 pm against Churchill.


SGA Homecoming Dance: Saturday, October 7

Our annual Homecoming Dance, sponsored by SGA, is this Saturday evening, October 7, from 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm in the gym.  Tickets are $20 per person and will be sold in the auxiliary gym during lunch every day this week.  Tickets will also be sold on Friday, October 6, between 12:00 noon and 2:00 pm, since that day is an early release day for students.  If your student wishes to bring a date who does not attend Northwest High School, there is a form available in the main office that must be completed and signed by the other student’s principal prior to purchasing a ticket for that individual.  Also, please note that all financial obligations must be cleared before a student will be allowed to purchase a ticket.


Upcoming Student Survey

MCPS has partnered with Equal Opportunity Schools, a non-profit education organization, to examine and develop the learning culture within our schools and to develop strategies to increase student participation in challenging high school coursework.  To support these goals, we will be encouraging all students to participate in a survey during their English classes between October 2 and October 13. Survey questions will address students’ views on their coursework, their school experience, and the ways in which our school supports their educational goals.

Student responses to survey questions will be shared with their teachers and counselors in order to better understand each student’s strengths and aspirations.  Student responses will not be shared in an individually identifiable way outside of these specific purposes within our school. We foresee only positive benefits for each student and are excited to gather data that will enable us to better prepare all students to succeed in rigorous academic programs. Please know that you may also withdraw your child’s participation at any time and for any reason. If you have any questions or concerns about the survey, or the partnership more generally, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.


Ulysses Program Parent Meeting: Tuesday, October 3

There will be a meeting for parents of current Ulysses students this Tuesday, October 3, at 7:00 pm in the auditorium.   The purpose of the meeting is to discuss Ulysses Program events, guidelines, and projects.  The meeting is primarily for the parents of current Ulysses freshmen, but all are invited to attend.


PTSA Fundraiser: Tuesday, October 3

This Tuesday, October 3, the PTSA is sponsoring a fundraiser at Coal Fire in the Kentlands from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm.  All you have to do is show an electronic or printed flyer to the cashier, and the PTSA will receive a percentage of your sale!  Flyers are available on the PTSA website, the PTSA Twitter account, and my Twitter account.


National Walk to School Day: Wednesday, October 4

National Walk to School Day is this Wednesday, October 4.  The Green Team is encouraging all students to join their friends and be part of the community effort to walk or bike to school.  The Green Team is also encouraging students to meet at McDonald's next to Shoppers at 7:00 am on Wednesday and walk to school together.  The Green Team will be providing doughnut holes to all who come. 


9th Grade Parent Meeting: Monday, October 9

There will be a 9th grade parent meeting next Monday, October 9, at 7:00 pm in the auditorium.  The purpose of this meeting is to provide parents all of the information they need regarding what to expect during the first year of high school.  All 9th grade parents are strongly encouraged to attend!


Northwest College Fair: Wednesday, October 11

The first-ever Northwest College Fair is next Wednesday, October 11, from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm in the cafeteria, followed by optional break-out sessions until 8:45 pm.  This is an excellent opportunity for students and parents to talk directly with college representatives.  It is designed primarily for juniors and seniors and their parents, but it is open to all Northwest families!


PSAT Day: Wednesday, October 11

Our annual PSAT Day is next Wednesday, October 11.  There will be special activities for each grade level in the morning, and it is essential that all students arrive at school on time. 

  • All 9th graders be completing a practice PSAT. 
  • All 10th graders will be taking the PSAT, and the cost is covered by MCPS. 
  • All 11th graders will also be taking the PSAT, and the cost is $16.00.  When students take the PSAT in 11thgrade, it can qualify them for scholarship opportunities.  Students may pay the $16.00 fee online (, or by cash or check in the counseling lobby beginning this Tuesday, October 3.  Checks should be made payable to Northwest High School.
  • All 12th graders will participate in important senior activities, including the annual senior panoramic photograph.


Open House: Monday, October 9

Our annual Open House is next Monday, October 9, from 8:00 am to 11:00 am, and we encourage all parents to stop by for whatever amount of time your schedule allows, from a few minutes to the entire morning!  You may park in the parking lot in front of the school beginning at 7:45 am. 

All Open House visitors are required to sign-in at the main office before visiting any classes, and please make sure to bring a driver’s license or government-issued photo ID when you come.  Please also note that Open House is for parents only, as we are unable to accommodate children who do not attend Northwest. 


Make-up Senior Pictures: Monday, October 9 – Tuesday, October 10

For seniors who have not yet completed their sitting for senior pictures, Victor O'Neill Studios will be returning for portrait sessions next Monday, October 9, and Tuesday, October 10, during the school day.  This is the last opportunity for seniors to get their portraits taken for the yearbook.  Flyers indicating the date and time of the session have already been mailed home, and students who need to take senior pictures will also receive a pass this week with the date and time of their appointment.  Students should use this pass to leave class next Monday or Tuesday.  Students who have questions about appointment scheduling should see Ms. Mason, yearbook sponsor, in room 122.  Parents who have questions can contact Ms. Mason at  More information about portrait packages is available in the “News” section of the Northwest website.


Order Your Yearbook!

Preorder your yearbook at, or from Ms. Mason in room 122. This is the only way to ensure you will have one when the books arrive in May. The current cost is $75.


Dinner Program

Northwest is excited to be hosting a free dinner program for students participating in after-school activities.  If your child will be participating in any after-school activity, he or she can come to the cafeteria between 2:30 pm and 2:50 pm Monday through Thursday for a free meal prior to the start of the activity.


Northwest High School Preview Night: Wednesday, October 18

Northwest High School cordially invites all families of elementary and middle school students in the community to attend the 8th annual Northwest Preview Night on Wednesday, October 18, at 7:00 pm in the Northwest High School Auditorium to learn more about the outstanding academic programs and extracurricular opportunities available to students at Northwest.  Among other things, the evening will feature performances by student organizations, and student speakers will share their experiences in the Ulysses Signature Program.  There will also be information about the Middle College program, in which students can earn an associate’s degree from Montgomery College while in high school.   This event is open to all families of future Northwest students, not just 8th graders!


Northwest PTSA Membership

All families are encouraged to join the Northwest Parent-Teacher-Student Association, or PTSA.  The PTSA advocates for the school and community at the local, county, state and national levels, organizes the After Prom Party and staff appreciation events, provides student scholarships and staff grants, and supports school enhancements!  For more information, and to join, please visit


Northwest Booster Club Membership

All families are also encouraged to join the Northwest Booster Club, a volunteer group that supports all student extracurricular activities, including academic programs, the arts, and athletics.  The Booster Club works collaboratively with the school to enable our students to have the highest quality programs, equipment and supplies as a result of fundraising projects throughout the year.  100 percent of the funds are allocated to student activities.  The first fundraiser this year is the membership drive.  For more information, and to join, please


George B. Thomas, Sr., Learning Academy Saturday School

The George B. Thomas, Sr. Learning Academy, Inc. Saturday School is a low-cost tutoring and mentoring program that provides a sixth day of learning and helps MCPS students enhance their mastery of core academic subjects. Students who are in need of additional academic support can attend sessions at one of 12 locations across Montgomery County, including Northwest High School. Registration is $40 for students who receive Free or Reduced-price Meals (FARMS) and $70 for students who do not. Please visit for more information.


As always, please do not hesitate to call us at any time if you have questions or concerns.  Thank you for your support of Northwest, and have a great evening!

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