Sunday Evening Message: April 25, 2021

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


Schedule for This Week: Monday, April 26 – Friday, April 30

This week in-person learning will occur for students in grades 10 and 12 who selected a partial in-person learning experience.  All other students should plan to attend their classes virtually from home.  This week we will have regular “A” days on Monday and Thursday.  We will have regular “B” days on Tuesday and Friday.  All classes will have optional student check-ins on Wednesday.  For the complete schedule for this week, please select “Daily Student Schedule Information” in the “News” section of the Northwest website.  Please note that the schedule for optional student check-ins on Wednesdays has changed from previous marking periods. 


First Day of In-Person Learning for Students in Grade 10: Monday, April 26

For students in grade 10 who selected a partial in-person learning experience for the remainder of the school year, the first day of in-person learning will be tomorrow, Monday, April 26.  In addition, all students in grade 12 who selected a partial in-person learning experience are scheduled to attend in-person classes this week.  School buses will run on their regular routes.  However, if students have another method of transportation, they may choose to arrive at school by 8:40 am in time for their first class.  Students who drive should park in the lower parking lot; no parking passes are needed.  Virtual orientations for each grade level were held over the past few weeks, and the recordings are available in the “News” section of the Northwest website.  Please note that in-person students will not be allowed to leave school during the advisory and student support time on “B” days.  Dismissal will occur at 2:30 pm on any day when students are participating in in-person learning.  If, for any reason, you no longer wish for your student to participate in in-person learning this school year, please contact Ms. Patty Hsieh, administrative assistant, at


Summer RISE Program for Rising Juniors and Seniors: Registration Deadline is Monday, April 26, at 5:00 pm 

Summer RISE is an initiative led by the MCPS Partnerships Unit in collaboration with businesses, government agencies, higher education institutions, and nonprofit organizations. The program is designed for rising juniors and seniors to participate in career-based learning opportunities related to their field of interest during the summer.  The program will run from Monday, July 5, through Friday, July 30, with a minimum of 40 hours of either in-person, virtual or a combination of the two experiences.  For more information, and to register, please visit  The deadline to register is tomorrow, Monday, April 26, at 5:00 pm.


Paying for AP Exams: Deadline Extended to Monday, April 26

Each AP course includes a standardized national AP exam at the end of the school year.  While taking AP exams this year is optional for all students, it is excellent preparation for large cumulative assessments in college, and students can earn college credit and/or advanced standing in college based on their performance.  It is important to note that the majority of the AP exams this year will be taken by students online at home; details will be shared with students through their classes.  If you would like to pay for your student to take AP exams in any of the AP classes for which he or she is enrolled, please select “AP Exam Payment”  under “Quick Links” on the left side of the Northwest website by tomorrow, Monday, April 26.  The cost of each exam is $95.  Fee reductions are available for students who qualify, and we are committed to ensuring that the cost does not prevent students from being able to take the exams. If you would like to discuss fee reduction options, or have questions, please contact one of our AP exam coordinators, Ms. Amy Mason ( or Ms. Autumn Myers ( 


Applications for Northwest Ambassadors Due Friday, May 7

Students interested in applying to be a Northwest Ambassador for the 2021-2022 school year are asked to complete the application in the “News” section of the Northwest website by Friday, May 7.  The Northwest Ambassadors is an organization that helps support the school and the surrounding school community through volunteer service.  If you have any questions, please contact one of the sponsors, Ms. Tara Erichson ( or Ms. Colby Nagl ( 


Planning for Tentative Outdoor Graduation Ceremony: Wednesday, June 9

As a follow-up to my messages earlier this school year, MCPS has made the decision to transition to Plan B for graduation ceremonies (MCPS Graduation Information).  As a result, our 2021 graduation ceremony is now tentatively scheduled for our stadium on Wednesday, June 9, at 9:00 am.  We also have two rain dates/times if there is inclement weather: Wednesday, June 9, at 6:00 pm, and Thursday, June 10, at 9:00 am.  Last week the Montgomery County Council approved a waiver request from MCPS to allow each senior to have two guests at the ceremony.  As a result, we will be sending a form to all senior families in early May to confirm each senior’s desire to participate in the ceremony and to request the names of the two guests. 


COVID-19 Testing at Northwest High School Beginning in Early May

One of the ways that MCPS is working to prevent the transmission of the COVID-19 virus in schools is through weekly COVID-19 testing to identify cases where a student or staff member may not be showing symptoms. Each testing swab will be placed in a common tube for a group and sent off to a central testing laboratory. The test detects whether the virus that causes COVID-19 is present in that pooled sample, and we will receive results within 2-3 days. Weekly testing is expected to begin at Northwest High School in early May.  In order for your student to participate, a parent or guardian must sign a consent form for any student under 18 years of age.  For students participating in in-person learning this week, consent forms will be distributed during the check-in process on Tuesday, and then the student can return the signed consent form during check-in on Thursday or Friday.  Alternatively, please feel free to download and sign the consent form, and then send a scanned copy to Ms. Patty Hsieh, administrative assistant, at  If you do not complete the consent form, your child will not be able to participate in testing.  For more information about in-school COVID-19 testing, please visit the MCPS website.   


MCCPTA Positions for the 2021-22 School Year

The Montgomery County Council of PTAs (MCCPTA) is seeking candidates to serve on its board for the 2021-22 school year, including an area vice-president and two Northwest cluster coordinators.  If you are interested, please contact Ms. Kristen Carter (, Seneca Valley Cluster Coordinator and MCCPTA Nominating Committee Member, for more information. Candidate names must be submitted to MCCPTA by Wednesday, May 5.


Ordering Yearbooks

It’s not too late to order your yearbook, so that you have a copy reserved when the yearbooks arrive in early June!  The cost is $55, and you can order online at  Please note that the quantity available for purchase is limited, so you are encouraged to order soon!


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