August 14, 2018

Please be sure to View Entire Message for important information.
Laptop Distribution Information for
Rising 9th Graders, New Students and Returning Students

Rising 9th graders and new students must attend a Personalized Learning Orientation prior to receiving their laptop. If you haven't already signed up for a session, please sign up using thisEventbrite Link.

The orientation/distribution sessions will be held on the following dates starting in the George Mason Auditorium.

·         August 21 at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.

·         August 23 at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. OR

·         August 30 at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.

If a student is not available during these dates and times, they will be called to the library on the first day of school to receive their laptop.

All students and their parent/guardian will need to sign the Acceptable Use of Electronic Media Agreement before being issued a new laptop. (SB Policy 9.40 & Regulation 9.40 - signature page at the end of 9.40R)


Laptop Distribution for Current Returning Students

We are also making these dates/times available for current returning students (10-12) to pick up their laptop prior to the first days of school. Current returning students do not have to be accompanied by a parent for pickup or attend an orientation session. They must, however, sign up via Eventbrite Link so our IT team can be prepared for laptop distribution in the library.

·         August 21 at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.

·         August 23 at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. OR

·         August 30 at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.

These are the only dates/times that will offered for laptop pick up. If your student can’t make these dates/times, they can pick up their laptops during the first days of school.

>Fall Sport practices are underway.  FALL SPORTS BEGINNING PRACTICE SCHEDULE 2018  Any student in grades 9-12 who has not joined a team but would like to do so is urged to email our Athletic Director, Ms. Julie Bravin at

> Senior Portraits will be taken on Wednesday, August 22; Thursday, August 23; and Friday, August 24 in the auditorium. Seniors are asked to keep their appointed time mailed to them by Victor O'Neill Studios the week of August 6th. For more information click on Victor O'Neill.

>The New Student Orientation and New Parent Orientation will be held on Thursday, August 30, from 10:00 a.m. until 11:30 a.m.  The orientation is for 9th - 12th graders and their parents who are new to our district.  The Mustang Ambassadors sponsor the new student orientation and the PTSA sponsors the parent orientation.  The student orientation is a way for new students to meet other students and to hear about the many activities and programs available at GMHS.  It will be held in the Mustang Cafe.  The parent orientation will be held in the auditorium and will have a similar program.

>Freshman Orientation will be held on Friday, August 31, from 10:00 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. in the Mustang Cafe.  This informative program will introduce all 9th graders to their teachers, administrators, counselors, activities leaders and Mustang Ambassadors.  Parents of freshman will meet in the Auditorium at 10:00 a.m. for orientation.

>Meet and Greet the Admin Team prior to Back-to-School Night on Wednesday, September 5, from 6:15 p.m. until 6:45 p.m. in the Library.

>Back-to-School Night will be on Wednesday, September 5, from 7:00 p.m. until 8:40 p.m. (For parents of ALL grades.)  The schedule for Back-to-School Night is as follows:
Block 1                       7:00 – 7:10
Block 2                       7:15 – 7:25
Block 3                       7:30 – 7:40
Block 4                       7:45 – 7:55
Block 5                       8:00 – 8:10
Block 6                       8:15 – 8:25
Block 7                       8:30 – 8:40
The purpose of this special event is to give parents and guardians a general understanding of each course. There will not be time for teachers to engage families in individual conversations regarding student performance.  Teachers will provide you with contact information so that you might reach out to arrange for a more personal conversation.

>GMHS Tailgate Party will be held on Friday, September 7, from 5:30 p.m. until 7:00 p.m.
> Spirit Week begins Monday, September 10. If your student would like to participate in any of the Spirit Week activities a GMHS Homecoming Activities Permission Slip 2018 needs to be completed and signed by both student and parent/guardian and returned to Ms. Bravin's office, B102, by Noon on Tuesday, September 11th.
>Senior/Parent College Information Night about Senior Year and the College Application Process will be held on Thursday, September 13th, at 7:00 p.m. in the Mustang Café.

>Homecoming Game (Nelson County vs George Mason)  is Friday, September 14th,
at 7:00 p.m.  
>Homecoming Dance is Saturday, September 15th, at 8:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m.

>FCEF 14th Annual Run for the Schools, will be held on Sunday, September 16th, beginning at 8:00 a.m.
 Register your family today!

>Underclassmen Portraits will be taken on Wednesday, September 19th, in the auditorium.  Make-up portraits will be taken on Thursday, October 25.

>Senior Make-up Portraits will be taken on Thursday, September 20th, in the auditorium.  One last make-up session will be held on Friday, October 26th.

>JV Show is Thursday, September 27th and Friday, September 28th, at 7:00 p.m. in the auditorium.
Announcing Physical Therapy/Sports Medicine and Emergency Medical Technician Courses being offered at GMHS in the 2018-19 school year! It's not too late to register for
these classes -- there is still room!

Due to increased interest in the programs and limited availability at the Arlington Career Center, students will be able to take equivalent Physical Therapy/Sports Medicine, and EMT courses here at George Mason starting this upcoming school year! Any interested students should speak to their counselors for more information

Dear FCCPS Parents and Students -

Welcome back!  The Parent and Student Information Handbook for the 2018-19 school year is available on FCCPS’ website at  The Handbook includes the following:

  1. A welcome letter from Dr. Noonan, Superintendent;

  2. Information about each school (address, phone numbers, website, etc.);

  3. How to receive FCCPS emergency announcements;

  4. Information about the School Board, School Affiliated Organizations, and Volunteer Opportunities; and

  5. Annual Notifications

If you would like a hard copy of the Handbook, please contact the main office.


Falls Church City Public Schools

Student Parking Passes
Student parking passes for the school year 2018-2019 are $250.  Parking passes will go on sale for seniors beginning August 20. The deadline for seniors to purchase parking passes will be Friday, September 7th. Parking spots will be numbered and will correlate with the number on the parking pass. Students are asked to park in the assigned numbered spot. An announcement will be made if and when parking passes will be available for juniors to purchase.

Seniors can pick up parking pass forms from Ms. Flanigan in the main office or Ms. Baldo in the Finance Office beginning Monday, August 20, from 9:00 a.m until 2:30 p.m.  You must have a valid driver's license at the time the parking pass is requested. All fines/fees must be cleared before a parking pass is issued.   All parking pass forms must be filled out and signed by the student and the parent/guardian and returned to the office with either a check made payable to GMHS or cash.  Please note that students run the risk of being towed if they do not display the current 2018-2019 parking pass on their vehicles. Students are reminded that they must park only in the designated student parking lots. There are 2 designated lots for students—the first lot is directly across from the Virginia Tech Grad Center and the second lot faces Haycock Road. Students are not allowed to park in the Faculty parking lots.
Notes from the Clinic
Greetings from the George Mason Health Room! We hope everyone has been enjoying a safe and healthy summer break!

Kelly Miceli, School Health Aide
Aimee Simons, RN School Public Health Nurse
The GM Health Room will be open on August 30th and 31st  from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon for parents to drop off any medications. Each medication requires a signed Authorization Form, and these can be downloaded from the FCCPS website (

Please note:

·  There are specific forms for inhalers and Epi-pens.

·  Medications can be given 30 minutes prior or after the time stated on the prescription or Authorization Form. When indicating the time to be given, please remember to include timing on early school closings.

·  Students who self-carry their Epi-pens or inhalers must have signed Authorization Forms on file in the GMHS Health Room.

If you have any questions regarding medications or want to discuss a health condition that will affect your student’s school day, please contact:
Aimee Simons, RN BSN
School Public Health Nurse
Fairfax County Health Department
Vision and Hearing Screenings for ALL students in Grade 10 and all new students in Grades 9 – 12 will be held on October 11th and 12th.  Parent volunteers are very welcome!

Check out the Virtual Tour of the future George Mason High School
Notes from the Counseling Office
We hope you are having a wonderful and relaxing summer.  We have been working hard in the Counseling Office, gearing up for what we know will be an incredible 2018-2019 school year. We have added two new members to our fulltime GMHS staff this summer who will be here, in addition to our school counselors, to support students.  Sharon Hoffman will be our school psychologist, and Ghada Khalaf will be our school social worker. School counselor assignments are:
Dana Quirine - Students with last names A-F
Brad McAdam - Students with last names G-O
Valerie Chesley - Students with last names P-Z
The George Mason High School Counseling Department provides all students with a comprehensive school counseling program designed to facilitate college and career readiness and develop academic and personal growth in order for our students to meet with their greatest potential. We can't wait to work with you this year!

Take care, 
Ilana Reyes
K-12 Director of Counseling 

BL 1  Assignments and Student Schedules

All students will go directly to their Block 1 class on the first day of the school. Students will have access to their schedule through PowerSchool by August 22nd.  Although students will be able to view their schedule on PowerSchool, schedules will not be finalized until August 31st. If they have difficulty accessing their schedule, there will be staff located in the Mustang Cafe, main office and lobby to assist them on the first day back to school.

Student schedules will be distributed during Block 1 on the first day of school and students will follow the schedule assigned to them.  If there are errors in a schedule, the student should schedule an appointment in the Counseling Office as quickly as possible.  After errors are corrected, the counselors will consider other requests for scheduling changes.  
Changes that involve adding a new class must be completed by the 10th day of school. Students may not begin a new class after 10 school days have passed.  If students wish to change a class they must begin by filling out the Schedule Change Request Form at A request to change a course DOES NOT guarantee the change is possible. 

Returning Student Enrollment  

Returning student enrollment instructions for the 2018-2019 school year were emailed to all families the week of July 1, 2018.  This data should have been completed by August 10 to ensure the required residency documentation and Student Health Information (Form D Regulation 9.60.1) is received.  If a computer is needed to complete this registration, please contact Ms. Thayer in the Counseling office at or 703-248-5525.

Proof of Residency is required yearly and must be provided to the registrar via email  ( or (fax (703-248-5556) or dropped off before your student’s registration will be approved and entered into PowerSchool. More details are provided in the online registration.
Important Information from FCCPS Food Service Director
Richard Kane
Lunch prices for George Mason High School and Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School are $3.90 per meal and Breakfast prices are $2.50 per meal.
In the Food Service Department we have updated our computerized system that allows us to manage our business faster and better. The system is called Café Enterprise.
A great feature of this system is that each student has a “debit account” (not a credit account) with us. This means that money is deposited into the account, and then the student can purchase lunch using it. Each student has an account number which is the same as their student ID number. At lunch time, the student enters their number on the pin pad and the computer accesses the student’s account. If there is money in the account, the purchase is deducted. If the student is eligible for a free meal, the computer acts as if the student has meal credits in the account. If there is no money in the account, and the student is a paying student, the computer will ask for the price of the meal.
  • By sending your check in advance of school opening so we can get it deposited in your child’s account. Please send one check per school per student. Send checks to the Food Service Office or to the School your child attends with the child’s name and student ID number made payable to : FCCPS Food Service or by creating an account online at and pay by credit card. The following credit cards are accepted, Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover Card.
Parents can view their child’s account balance and pay for multiple children at different schools by creating an online account at All balances from the prior school year will transfer over.  To view your student’s account you do not need to use a credit card. If meals are purchased online there is a small fee to use this service.  Please remember, any funds sent to the Food Service Department must include student’s name and student ID to ensure funds are applied to the correct student.

The Food Services Department will be offering two lunch entrees with a choice of fresh vegetables and fresh fruit each school day.  Also available will be pre-packaged cold sandwiches.  Applications for free or reduced-price lunches are posted on the website. You can also download the applications here:
Please return your free/reduced-price lunch application or send payment directly to food services to FCCPS c/o GMHS before September 4, 2018, to allow time to process before the first day of school.  Lunch applications are accepted all during the school year. It takes about 10 days to process them. We look forward to serving your students a nutritious lunch this school year. If you have additional questions, please call the food service office at 703-248-5534 or attend one of the PTSA meetings for a Q&A  session at the beginning of the school year to meet the FCCPS Food Service Director Richard Kane.
From the Transportation Office
Bus routes will be posted online by August 30th at
Check out this new App showing the location of your child’s school bus…

Predictable Ryde 
Notes from the Math Department
All students enrolled in a mathematics class are required to have a graphing calculator.  If you are purchasing a new calculator, please purchase TI-84 CE.  These can be charged with a USB charger and do not require batteries.  Other acceptable calculators include:  TI-83 (plus), TI-84 (plus).  The Mathematics Department has a limited supply of old TI-83 graphing calculators that students may check out from the library for the school year.  
>Students are required to provide their own batteries or power cord.
>Students who did not return graphing calculators lent to them from past school years will not be eligible to borrow another calculator until the fine is paid or the calculator is returned in working order.
>Used calculators are sometimes procured from sources such as eBay or craigslist.  Please be certain that these calculators are in complete working order before purchase.
If you purchase a new calculator, please look for the redeemable points on the package and bring them to your teacher.
Attendance Information
Attendance Policy Regarding
Excessive Absences for Any Reason
“In courses for which high school credit is earned, a student who is absent for any reason twelve times from a class that meets daily or six times from a blocked class during a quarter will receive a grade of “F” for the quarter.  Long term illnesses supported by a medical doctor’s written requirement of medical confinement will be considered for an exception to be decided by the principal after consultation with the class teacher and guidance counselor. Students who are being provided homebound instruction are considered present for attendance purposes.”

 Reference School Board Policy 9.22

Absence requests for three days or more requires an Extended Absence Request Form.
Have an absence, tardy, or early dismissal to report?
You may:
-- Leave a message on the 24-Hour Attendance Line, 703 248 5501

-- Send an email to
-- Send a signed note with your child (for tardies and early dismissals only)

Participate in the French Exchange 18-19! - Privately Sponsored By A La Carte Travel 
Interest Meeting: September 13 at 7:00 p.m. in Room C102

Host a French Student in October and visit them in France next Spring! Improve your knowledge of French Language and broaden your horizon by participating in a direct exchange program with a school from France. This program is designed for High School students who wish to make lifetime friendships and learn about the culture, family life, and the famous cuisine in France while visiting some of the most magnificent places in Europe: Provence and Paris! This is a privately sponsored trip by A La Carte Travel.

The students are not required to host and travel to be eligible. You can either host, travel to France, or do both! For more information regarding this fantastic opportunity to host and travel you can visit our website at: or email Rene Piard at
Lavender Fields of Provence                                                   Paris
2018-2019 Yearbook Ordering Information 

This year’s 2018-2019 yearbook for George Mason High School will be ordered directly through our publishing partner, Jostens. Parents are highly encouraged to order early and online by going to To go directly to the George Mason HS ordering site, click here. Order the yearbook early and save $15 off the late price of $100. Ordering the yearbook by September with personalization also gets your student four free icons! 

For any questions, please contact:

Jason Baranowski | Jostens Yearbooks | 703-463-6061

Please note, parents must go to this link Celebrate Your Student to create and purchase recognition ads. Parents are encouraged to order their ad at Senior Portraits. Senior Portraits are August 22-24 by Victor O'Neill Studios. 
If you have any questions or need assistance, please visit the VOS website at and they will be happy to answer your questions.

A Message From The PTSA President
On behalf of the GMHS Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) welcome to the 2018-2019 school year! We are looking forward to a great year full of information, events and activities.  Check out what we have in store late August and the first weeks of school.  No need to RSVP to any of these events - just come.  Just so that you know, there are donuts involved for the first two meetings, so that's a plus.  See you soon!
Thursday, August 30, at 10 a.m. in the Mustang Café and Auditorium
GMHS Orientation for Families New to Falls Church. Students meet in the Café and parents meet in the Auditorium
Friday, August 31, at 10 a.m. in the Mustang Café and Auditorium
GMHS 9th grade Orientation for students and parents
Friday, September 7, 5:30 p.m.-7:00 p.m. 3rd Annual Tailgate George Mason Practice Field
We are kicking off the year before the first Mustang football game with a free community wide event, featuring tables to meet all of the principals, elected officials, and all of the school affiliated organizations.  We will also have corn hole, football toss, the school Mascots, Mason spirit wear and lots of food and drinks, including a Frufeti Food Truck!  It's free and fun for all ages!

Wednesday, September 26, at 7 pm Joint PTA meeting in the GMHS Auditorium
Joint meeting with Middle School and Elementary School PTAs. See the plans for the new George Mason High School!
Please take a minute to join the PTSA on line today! 
Go to
Elizabeth Meade, President
and the PTSA Executive Council
- Amy Kusic, Vice President
- Tracy Meade, Secretary 
- Christina Goodwin, Treasurer
A Message From The GMHS Athletic Boosters

Dear GMHS Families,                                                                                                                                      
I invite you to join the GMHS Athletic Boosters Association! Boosters supports athletic programs at George Mason High School and our goal is to help our teams, our athletes, our coaches, and our entire athletic community to grow and thrive. As a 501c (3) school-affiliated organization that is formally recognized by FCCPS, Boosters is able to coordinate with GMHS to help create a positive, supportive, and welcoming athletic experience for our entire community.
Why should I join? Over 50 percent of Mason students (and MEH 8th graders who are eligible to play on JV teams) participate in athletics. Our high school’s unique commitment to developing the mind, body and character of all of our students is one that the entire GMHS community should embrace. Through the sale of memberships, fundraising and volunteer activities, Boosters has been able to enhance and support the athletic experience for our entire community. In addition, Boosters is committed to supporting the athletic participation of all students, regardless of their ability to pay and actively manages the Bill Rose Fund that provides financial aid in the form of athletic fees, personal equipment, sports clinics, etc. to students who face financial challenges.
We Need You! Our organization is made up of entirely of volunteers: parents of MEH and GMHS students and graduates, GMHS Alumni, as well as the FCC community. Our funding comes entirely from you, our members, and the FCC community at large and we cannot continue our work without your support. Through generous donations Boosters has been able to make major equipment purchases for our teams, provide seven scholarships to graduating seniors each year, provide concessions at athletic events, provide coaches with Mason apparel, along with numerous other programs that support all of our athletic teams.
How can I get involved? Along with joining Boosters and/or making a (tax-deductible) financial donation, there are many ways to support Boosters and our athletic programs: attend a monthly meeting to learn more about Boosters; reach out to your athlete’s Team Parent or Coach to learn about volunteer opportunities; volunteer at and/or attend one of Boosters many fundraisers throughout the school year or contact me @ or I would be happy to hear your ideas and welcome your involvement in Boosters!
We hope you will consider joining Boosters because a strong and vibrant athletic community at GMHS enhances our entire community. You may mail in your membership with the form on the page below or join online at the following link: In addition, to learn more about Boosters visit our website: and follow us on Twitter @gmhs_aba.
On behalf of Athletic Boosters, thank you for your support of Mason Athletics. Go Mustangs!
Julie S. Donnelly, President
GMHS Athletic Boosters Association

School Accident Insurance
Markel offers student accident insurance.
Enroll on-line at:
You can find current and past issues of the GMHS Hitching Posts 
from Principal Hills on the GMHS website at the link below:

Principal's Newsletter
Does your student need a tutor or a quiet place to study? 
Saturday Learning Lounge starts September 22
Check out the link below:
Saturday Learning Lounge

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