Good evening, Northwest Families, this is Jimmy D’Andrea, principal of Northwest High School, with your Sunday evening message.
Suicide Prevention & Mental Health Resources
you may have seen in the media, two MCPS high school students have
taken their own lives since Thanksgiving. In response, our Student
Government President and Vice-President, our Resource Counselor, and I
appeared in a special JAG-TV announcement for the entire school last
All students also received a flyer with information about resources and
supports available if they or someone they know is thinking about
harming themselves (http://www.btheone.org).
I encourage all parents to continue this conversation with their
children, and MCPS has compiled a list of suicide prevention and mental
health resources for families to assist in these conversations. The
list is at the end of this message.
Winter Instrumental Music Concert: Thursday, December 14
winter instrumental music concert is this Thursday, December 14, at
7:00 pm in the auditorium. Admission is free, and all members of the
community are invited to see excellent performances by our bands and
Helping Families in Our Community: Gift Card Donations Requested
we approach Winter Break, the counseling department, Booster Club and
PTSA are asking for your support for Northwest families in need of
assistance. To help these families during the holiday season we are
asking for gift card donations. Suggestions include gift cards to
grocery stores, Wal-Mart, or Target. Any amount is greatly
appreciated. If you would like to donate a gift card for one of our
families, please bring it directly to the business office by this
Friday, December 15. Questions regarding donations may be directed to
Ms. Ellen O’Connell, resource counselor, at 301-601-4642. Thank you in
advance for any assistance you can provide!
Midpoint of Second Marking Period: Thursday, December 14
hard to believe, but this Thursday, December 14, is the midpoint of the
second marking period! Please make sure you are monitoring your
student’s grades using myMCPS Portal. If you need assistance with
setting up your myMCPS Portal account, or have myMCPS Portal questions,
please contact Ms. Autumn Myers, media specialist, at email@example.com.
PTSA Fundraiser at Buffalo Wild Wings: Tuesday, December 12
Tuesday, December 12, our PTSA is sponsoring a fundraiser at Buffalo
Wild Wings in Gaithersburg from 11:00 am to 1:00 am. All you have to do
is give the fundraising ticket (http://files.constantcontact.com/fa53326b601/42c169a0-d9b3-4cb6-aad8-f0bee90859c5.pdf) to the cashier when you dine in or carry out, and our PTSA will receive a percentage of the sale!
Blood Drive Sponsored by Helping Hearts Club: Monday, December 18
Helping Hearts Club is sponsoring its annual INOVA Blood Drive for
students and parents next Monday, December 18, from 8:00 am to 1:30 pm
in the auditorium. Spaces are filling quickly, but it’s not too late to
sign up! Students can see Mr. Maradei in room 181 to pick up a
permission slip, and parents can e-mail Mr. Maradei at firstname.lastname@example.org. All donors must be at least 16 years old and weight at least 110 pounds.
Key Club Coat and Glove Drive Through Wednesday, December 20
Our Key Club is sponsoring a Coat and Glove Drive through next Wednesday, December 20, in 1st
period classes. Please consider helping those in need during this
winter season by sending winter coats, hats, gloves and/or scarves to
your student’s 1st period class. All items should be new or in excellent condition.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Visual Arts Contest: Deadline is Friday. December 15
students are invited to participate in the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Visual Arts Contest. The 2018 theme is “Fulfilling the Dream—A
Celebration of Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow.” Students are asked to
interpret what their dreams are for the future. Prints, posters,
collages, murals, photographs, and all other two-dimensional visual art
forms may be submitted. Group projects are welcome. Please send entries
to Linda S. Adams, supervisor, Pre-K-12 Fine Arts, Carver Educational
Services Center, Room 258, 850 Hungerford Drive, Rockville, Maryland
20850. The deadline is 5:00 pm this Friday, December 15.
PTSA Staff Gift Wrap Event: Friday, December 15
Friday, December 15, the PTSA will be offering a gift wrapping service
to the wonderful staff at Northwest! Staff members bring their holiday
gifts, and the PTSA returns beautifully wrapped packages! As an added
bonus, the PTSA will have a table of cookies and other sweets for the
staff to enjoy. Please consider donating a couple dozen cookies,
cupcakes, brownies, or other sweet treat. Food donations may be dropped
off in the main office all day on Thursday, December 14, or before 8:00
am on Friday, December 15. Please click here to sign up: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0e4baeae23a64-volunteers2. Thank you in advance for your help!
Personal Ads for Yearbook Due Friday, December 22
personal ads for the yearbook are due no later than Friday, December
22. A variety of sizes are available, and the ads can be purchased
online at www.yearbookforever.com,
or through Ms. Mason in Room 122. More information is available by
clicking on the “Yearbook” Quick Link on the left side of the Northwest
Yearbook Buddy Ads Due Friday, December 22
buddy ads are also due by Friday, December 22. The ads cost $20 and
include a picture of a group of friends with a short message. Order
forms are available from Ms. Mason in room 122 and online through the
“Yearbook” Quick Link on the left side of the Northwest website: http://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/uploadedFiles/schools/northwesths/buddy%20ad.pdf.
Yearbook Prices Increase Saturday, December 23
Yearbooks can be pre-ordered at www.yearbookforever.com, or from Ms. Mason in room 122. The books are currently $75, but the price will increase to $90 on December 23.
AP Exam Registration: Deadline is Friday, February 16, 2018
will start registering for AP exams this week in their respective AP
courses. Registration is completed online, and a parent/guardian will
need to pay for the exams through the online system after the students
have completed their registration. Exams are $94 each, and payment can
be made with a credit or debit card. Payment plans are available, with a
minimum payment of $25. The deadline to pay is Friday, February 16,
2018. All students taking AP courses are expected to register for the
corresponding AP exams. More information about registering for AP exams
can be found by clicking on “AP Test Registration” under “Quick Links”
on the left side of the Northwest website (http://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/schools/northwesths/academics/apregistration.aspx). If you have questions, please contact Ms. Autumn Myers, media specialist, at email@example.com.
Supporting Northwest When You Shop
we enter the holiday shopping season, we encourage you to support
Northwest when you shop at various merchants. At Giant and Harris
Teeter, Northwest receives money when you shop if you register your
rewards cards online. At Amazon.com, Northwest PTSA receives money when
you register your account through Amazon Smile. We encourage you to
register your cards and accounts by using the links below:
Giant Rewards Card Registration: www.giantfood.com/aplus
Our school ID is 03647.
Harris Teeter VIC Card Registration:
Amazon Smile Registration: smile.amazon.com
Search for “Northwest High School PTA.”
Prizes for After Prom Needed
After Prom Party keeps our kids safe, off the roads, and away from
negative forms of entertainment on prom night. We need prizes as
incentives to keep our students at the event all night long!
you are shopping for the holidays, please keep After Prom in mind!
Don’t turn down that gift with purchase, as it could be a great After
Prom prize item. Consider items your kids would want such as gift
cards, movie passes, small appliances, electronics, and items for
If you use Amazon to shop, please remember to use smile.amazon.com to support Northwest PTSA. If you have prizes to donate, please contact Kim Summers at firstname.lastname@example.org to make arrangements for collection.
Northwest Free Store
you to the Northwest Community for all of the donations to the Free
Store and for helping our community to reuse school supplies! Students
visit frequently and pick up needed school supplies or enjoy choosing
some of the unique items that line the Free Store shelves. As the
holidays approach, our awesome Free Store sponsor, Ms. Emily Asofsky, is
requesting “cute trinkets” to make shopping at the Free Store an
especially fun experience for students. Any donations can be dropped
off in the main office and should be labeled “Free Store.”
MCPS Budget Presentation: Tuesday, December 19
and members of the community are invited to attend Superintendent Jack
Smith’s Fiscal Year 2019 Operating Budget Presentation next Tuesday,
December 19, at 7:00 pm in the auditorium at Rockville High School (2100
Baltimore Road in Rockville). Interpretation services will be provided.
Free Microsoft Office 365 for Students
Maryland Department of Education and Microsoft have entered into a
collaborative partnership that allows all students and all school system
staff to get the latest version of the Microsoft Office software suite,
Office 365 ProPlus, at no charge. Office 365 ProPlus includes the full
suite of Microsoft applications such as Outlook, Word, Excel, and
PowerPoint as well as the ability to create, save, and share Office
files online. Under the program, students and staff are able to download
and install the Microsoft Office software on up to five devices free of
charge. The devices may be PCs, Macs, tablets, or phones. For FAQs and
download instructions in multiple languages, please visit www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/parents/.
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!
Suicide Prevention & Mental Health Resource List Compiled by MCPS
Montgomery County Youth Crisis Hotline,
301-738-9697, provides free, confidential, and anonymous support to
youth by trained counselors, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Montgomery County Crisis Textline, 301-738-2255,
provides free, confidential, and anonymous text support by trained
counselors. This service currently is available from Monday through
Thursday, from 4:00 to 9:00 p.m.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 800-273-8255, provides free, confidential, and anonymous support nationally.
The Montgomery County Crisis Center, provides
crisis services 24 hours a day/365 days a year. These services are
provided over the telephone (240-777-4000) or in person at 1301 Piccard
Drive, Rockville, Maryland (no appointment needed). The Mobile Crisis
Outreach will respond anywhere within Montgomery County to provide
emergency psychiatric evaluations.
The Crisis Chatline is a service of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Youth may access support 24 hours a day via chat. www.CrisisChat.org.
The Montgomery County BtheOne
suicide awareness and substance use prevention campaign website
describes action steps to help oneself and friends and includes links to
resources and hotlines. www.BtheOne.org.
EveryMind, 1000 Twinbrook Parkway Rockville, MD 20851, 301-424-0656, info@Every-Mind.org, provides mental health services to youth, adults, and the military, as well as crisis support services.
The Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide
family resource webpage includes information on warning signs, how to
support your child who needs help, and how to talk with your children
about mental health, suicide awareness, and the aftermath following a
tragic loss. www.sptsusa.org/parents
The Centers for Disease Control information fact sheet on the prevalence and public health issue of suicide, warning signs, and resources. www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/suicide_factsheet-a.pdf.
Youth Mental Health First Aid
(YMHFA) is an eight-hour, internationally-recognized course that
teaches adults who interact with youth how to identify signs of
emotional distress and a five-step action plan to engage with youth and
connect them to professional support. Just as Cardio-pulmonary
Resuscitation (or CPR) teaches individuals to help others experiencing a
medical emergency until professional help arrives, Youth Mental Health
First Aid teaches adults to address mental health crises until
professional help can be accessed. Courses are offered throughout the
The Dougy Center’s
National Center for Grieving Children and Families provides resources,
by age group, and information on support groups for youth, adults, and
families experiencing grief following a death. www.dougy.org/grief-resources/talking-with-children-about-tragic-events/.
The Campaign to Change Direction’s
goal is to change the culture of mental health so that individuals are
able to seek and receive the help and support that they need. The
Campaign includes information and infographics on five of the warning
signs of depression and strategies to support emotional wellbeing. www.changedirection.org/.