Week of September 29, 2015


All 9th, 10th, and 11th-graders will take the PSAT in the morning while 12th-graders will participate in college and transition-related activities in the auditorium.

For 9th and 10th-graders, the PSAT is primarily a practice test for the SAT.  For 11th-graders, the PSAT results are used for qualification purposes for the National Merit Scholarship Programs. 

There are major changes to the questions and format of the PSAT and SAT tests this year.  Students will be receiving an “Official Student Guide to the PSAT/NMSQT“ this week during lunch-time assemblies.   The assembly for juniors will be held on Monday September 28 and the assembly for freshmen and sophomores will take place on Wednesday October 1.   In addition to providing general information about the PSAT, the guides have specific information about test questions and contain a full-length practice test.  Students are encouraged to take the practice test before testing day.  More information about the PSAT can be found at www.collegeboard.org/psat

Students are reminded to bring #2 pencils and calculators for testing.  The College Board does not allow makeup testing for the PSATs so it is important that students arrive at school on time. Counselors will distribute score reports to students in mid-December through lunch-time, grade-level assemblies.  Juniors will need to register for SATs and ACTs on their own by going to www.collegeboard.org or www.actstudent.org

Juniors have the option to take the current SAT in December or January, or the new version starting in March.  Students may want to consider taking the current version of the SAT to see how well they do on it.  Also, the score reports for the March SAT will be delayed until May because it is the first administration of the new test.   Please note that colleges will not be able to “super-score” (selecting the higher scores for the different sections) between the current version and the new version of the SATs. In addition, the ACT is given several times in the year and is always an option for students as well. 

Sophomores and Juniors in AP classes will be reminded to register for SAT Subject tests if appropriate.   

Please visit the MLWGS school counseling website for more important information about college admissions testing at https://sites.google.com/a/gsgis.k12.va.us/mlw-school-counseling/college-admissions-information-1/test-preparation 


As part of Maggie Walker’s community engagement efforts, and a primary goal of this year’s SCA, school supplies for Carver Elementary will be collected during the Fall Festival.  Although any item is appreciated, the following items are especially appreciated as they are contributed less often and used at a greater rate:

  • dry erase markers
  • black and white composition notebooks
  • wide-loose leaf paper
  • K and 1st-grade writing tablets
  • crayons
  • glue sticks
  • glue bottles
  • 3-ring binders
  • hand sanitizer
  • paper towels
  • liquid hand soap

Items maybe dropped off at the Community Engagement Booth during the Festival.


The MLWGS PTSA would like to thank all the many people who have signed up to volunteer or to lend items to the Fall Festival! The success of the Festival is dependent on Volunteers! However, there are still lots of opportunities to help out! Please use the following link to find out how you can help support MLWGS clubs and organizations:


Have you ordered your Fall Festival Tickets yet? If not, please use the following link to order in advance and save time in line! 


The Governor's School Foundation would like to welcome all new and returning faculty, students, and families back for the new school year!  For those of you who may not be familiar with the Foundation, it is a non-profit established to support the students and faculty of the Maggie Walker Governor’s School.  In the 2014-15 fiscal year, the Foundation raised more than $357,000 to help enhance the educational experiences of MLWGS students, assist in sending teachers to workshops, conferences and graduate programs, provide student aid, and enhance technology in the school.  Additionally, the Foundation serves as the MLWGS Alumni Office, helping more than 3000 alumni stay in touch with their alma mater.  Over 28% of our alumni and 52% of current parents supported the Foundation last year. 

Look for articles in Smoke & Scales over the course of the school year for stories of enhancements the Foundation was able to provide for Governor’s School students and faculty. 

Questions about the Governor's School Foundation?  Feel free to reach out to Laura Lewis, Interim Development Officer, at 354-1566 or laura.lewis@governorsschoolfoundation.org.  And next time you are at school, stop by the office in Room 251!


Hugh O’Brian Youth
Leadership Seminar Program
The Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) Seminar Program is offering one slot for a Sophomore from MLWGS to attend its state-wide seminar in the spring.  Interested students should submit a 75 to 100-word essay to Ms. Davis describing the most rewarding and challenging aspect of being a leader in their school and community.  The deadline for submission is October 30.  More information about the program is available at www.hoby.org.

National English Honor Society
The English Department is pleased to invite Juniors and Seniors to apply for admission to the Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School Chapter of the National English Honor Society. 

To be eligible, students must have completed four semesters of core English credits with an un-weighted GPA of 3.75. 

To apply, please pick up an application from Ms. Davis (counseling office).  Applications and the membership fee must be received no later than Friday, October 16
National Honor Society applications are now available. If your child would like to be considered for the National Honor Society (NHS) please encourage him or her to complete an application and return it to Rachel Loving, School Counselor and NHS Sponsor by Monday, October 5. Candidates must have a 3.5 cumulative GPA and demonstrate the qualities of scholarship, leadership, and service. Candidates will be notified of acceptance by October 9 and an induction ceremony will take place later that month. Please contact Rachel Loving with questions at rloving@gsgis.k12.va.us.

The Society of Women Engineers at the University of Virginia invites high school seniors and juniors to apply for a place in its High School Visitation program, taking place Saturday, November 14, 2015. The program gives young women a comprehensive look at engineering fields and at UVA’s engineering curriculum through informative speakers and hands-on design activities. The program is designed to benefit participants with all levels of engineering experience, but it particularly targets those students who are not yet familiar with the field but may be interested in applying to engineering schools or pursuing a STEM career. Applications are available at http://www.virginiaswe.org. Applications are due by October 23

Virginia Aerospace Science and Technology Scholars (VASTS) is a NASA-based program for 11th-grade students  who are interested in aerospace-related science, technology, engineering and/or math (STEM). Applications and additional information can be found at http://vasts.spacegrant.org. The application deadline is November 8

Virginia Earth Systems Science Scholars (VESSS) is a NASA-based program for 11th and 12th-grade students who are interested in Earth Systems Science-related science, technology, engineering and/or math (STEM). This course focuses on Earth Systems Science and the NASA mission that help study these topics.  Applications and additional information can be found at https://spacegrant.net/apps/?pk=sss and are due by November 8

Virginia Space Coast Scholars is a NASA-based STEM program for 10th-grade students who are interested in NASA’s space and Earth and airborne science-related missions managed or flown by NASA Wallops Flight Facility. This dynamic (and FREE) program, designed by the Virginia Space Grant Consortium (VSGC), inspires students who possess technical and/or scientific interests and are motivated to learn about the many different opportunities that NASA offers. Additional information and applications can be found at http://vscs.spacegrant.org/. Applications are due by November 8


MLWGS’s quarterly Kroger Community Rewards payment for the quarter ending on August 31, 2015 is $1,989.64.  That’s more free money that goes to help the school’s programs. 

A quick reminder to those who participated last year--registration has to be renewed annually.

To renew:
  1. Sign in using your email and password.
  2. Click on View Reward Details – In the Account Summary page scroll to Community Rewards at the bottom.
  3. Type in 82125 or Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School and click to update.

For those of you who haven’t signed up yet:
  1. Click on SignIn/Renew then click on “SIGN UP TODAY” in the “New Customer?” box.
  2. Sign up by entering your zip code, clicking on your favorite store, entering your email address, creating a password and agreeing to the terms and conditions.
  3. You will get a link by email – click on this link.
  4. Click on “My Account” and use your email address and password to proceed.
  5. Click on “Edit Kroger Community Rewards” information and input your Kroger Plus card number from your card. Update or confirm your information.
  6. Enter the school NPO number 82125 or Maggie L Walker Governor’s School PTSA, select the school from the list and click on “Confirm”. The school name should appear at the right side of the page.

You still get all of your Kroger discounts and fuel points, and MLWGS gets a share of the money set aside to support community organizations.  


 For this week's issue, check out the new Jabberwock website.


Two years ago, the MLWGS Library started making supplies available to students and teachers for spreading gratitude at MLWGS and beyond.  You can help re-stock its gratitude supplies by donating extras of any of the following that you have on hand:

  • Blank note cards (with envelopes)
  • “Thank-you” cards (with envelopes)
  • Colored paper
  • Decorative printer paper
  • Stickers, glitter, or glue
  • Colored pencils, magic markers (incl. Sharpies), or pens

Thank you in advance for your contributions!

Wendy DeGroat

Librarian, MLWGS