Raider Nation Newsletter

Week of December 21, 2020

Winter Break Starts This Week

Dear Atholton Families,

This week is a short week as we begin our winter break on Thursday. There is still an instructional expectation for students this week as we close out before the break. Teachers have been instructed to make adjustments to their assignments given the short week. Here is the schedule for this week:

12/21 - Monday (normal instructional day)

12/22 - Tuesday (normal instructional day)

12/23 - Wednesday (asynchronous day as normal)

12/24 - Winter Break begins

Regarding work and assignments for students, teachers have been instructed to assign a max of 3 asynchronous assignments (one per each day of the week). Each asynchronous assignment should take no more than 30 minutes to complete.

Tomorrow will mark the beginning of the registration process for families. Students will view a presentation during FLEX/Raider Time (extension of Period 2) that will explain how this process will work. For parents, the information is located below as well as the links to the video presentations. Please review the information carefully and if you have any questions, please reach out to your child’s counselor.

Lastly, as we near the end of 2020 and reflect on the unprecedented challenges we have all had to endure, I am in awe of the many ways small and large our community has come together. It is through our support of one another that has allowed us to persevere. Our families represent widely diverse traditions and beliefs from different cultural, religious, and ethnic backgrounds. That diversity is shared with all of us and teaches us about the importance of a global community. Every member of our community contributes to the values that we teach our children and creates an environment that honors each person. Thank you for the special contributions each of you has made to all of us. I wish you peace, understanding, and contentment in 2021. More importantly, I am looking forward to the day when we can welcome students back into the building and resume in-person learning. May we each have opportunities to continue to learn and work in productive and satisfying ways and to give and receive in equal measure.

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!!

Robert A. Motley


Scheduling & Registration Process

Course registration for students grades 8 - 11 will open Monday, December 21, 2020, for the 2021-2022 academic year. Students and their parents/guardians may review their teachers’ course recommendations, select their electives, and submit if necessary a Course Placement Review form through HCPSS Connect (Synergy) via the student log-in. All course requests and alternates must be submitted by Friday, January 15, 2021.

Each student must select 7 courses and 4 alternates. Alternate courses are just as important as the 7 other courses. The first alternate will be used as an 8th course in the event we stay in the 4x4 Model. It can also be used as a replacement for a course that was not able to fit in the students’ schedule. HCPSS is scheduled to return to a 7-period day next school year. Please add appropriate alternate courses in priority order and without duplicates.

All Course Placement Review (CPR) submissions will go through a review process. The Course Placement Review request must be submitted electronically through HCPSS Connect (Synergy) via the parent login. Requests received by January 15, 2021, will be given consideration prior to finalizing courses, and requests received after this date will be accommodated if space is available.

Dates to Remember

January 6, 2021, 6:30pm – Scheduling Night (more details to follow)

January 7, 2021, 7:00pm – ARL Career Academy Virtual Information Session

January 15, 2021 – Deadline for making course requests

January 6–February 17, 2021- High School counselors will schedule virtual course registration appointments with all students. Students will be notified of the appointment date/time via Office 365 Email and Canvas. It is critical that each student attend their appointment to ensure that course selections are complete and their progress towards graduation.

Helpful Links

FlexTime Presentation

HCPSS Scheduling Video

AHS Electives Video

Course Request Entry Instructions

Course Placement Review Instructions

HCPSS Connect Guides

JUNIORS ONLY -- PSAT Information

On Tuesday, January 26th, Atholton High School will be offering the PSAT to 11th graders.

The primary purpose of this administration is to give students the opportunity to qualify for the National Merit Scholarship Program. Participation is not required by HCPSS and students can qualify for the National Merit Scholarship Program without a PSAT score. Information on the National Merit Scholarship Program and how to apply without a PSAT score can be found here:

Key January 26th PSAT Details:

  • The exam starts at 8:30 AM and ends around 12:30 (arrival and dismissal details will be sent in January)

  • Transportation will not be provided.

  • Students will test in small groups of 10 or less.

  • Classroom desks will be arranged to provide 6ft of clearance between students at all times.

  • Face coverings will be worn at all times by students and staff.

  • Students will miss their synchronous classes during the PSAT. Absences will be marked as excused.

  • No exam cost to HCPSS students.

  • Scores will be sent by the College Board in mid to late-March.

  • Cancellations are possible due to county-level COVID metrics or school level COVID cases.

Please complete the form below to sign-up for the January 26th administration. Only students who complete the form will be allowed in the building to test.

Forms must be completed by 12/23. Please send any questions you may have to


Parents....please help us in assuring that our seniors complete this VERY important graduation requirement:

One of the requirements to graduate is the World of Workpiece (resume and mock interview). As you may remember, seniors completed the resume through their English 11 classes last year. They were not able to complete the mock interview as it was supposed to take place last March. Instead of an interview this year, ALL SENIORS will need to complete a post-secondary statement.

  • Open up the attached google slide with your HCPSS Account-

  • Save a copy. Name the slide with the senior's name.

  • Answer the question on the slide.

  • Share as a google slide to Mrs. Beneski by February 1st.

Don’t delay in doing this. This is a graduation requirement.

Winter/Spring Courses Announced at Howard Community College

Interested in earning college credit or dual credit through HCC? Courses are now available for the winter and spring terms! You can find available courses here: Schedules & Catalogs. Enroll in college courses for “college credit” or for “dual credit”. Register soon as classes may fill up. Tuition discounts are available for all high school students. Interested students should contact their high school counselor and follow the instructions outlined here:

Details: Registration for Winter / Spring HCC-based JumpStart Dual Enrollment courses opens on November 3rd, 2020 (for current students) and November 10th (for new HCC students). Winter semester dates: January 4, 2021 - January 28, 2021. Spring semester dates: January 30, 2021 - May 21, 2021.

Questions can be directed to and, or drop into one of the many support sessions found here.

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PTSA and Boosters Holiday Giving Drive

AHS Yearbook STILL Needs Your Pictures

Now that we are not going to be back in the building until APRIL, we need your photos and voice more than ever. If we are going to create a yearbook this year, we need you? For the past 53 years, we have put out a yearbook. Don’t be the reason there is no yearbook this year.

We are putting together pages and stories on:

1. Students during FLEX Time -What are you doing between 10:45 and 1:10 each day?

2. How are you socializing during this time?

3. How do you practice self-care or relax?

4. Show us your Work Area -We want to see where you work, we are going to do a spread on Home Offices/Work Areas.

5. Show us your Pets -Who are the fury friends you are spending time with?

6. What are you doing outside?

7. Have you traveled at all? -Have you gone to a park, hiking trail, the beach, or some other place?

A survey will come out shortly with various questions, please answer any questions you can. We are using your responses for stories and quotes.

Please see the attached info for details and instructions to upload photos.

If you have any questions please contact Mr. Mackechnie at


Go to

Enter User ID: 415465128

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Administrator Assignments

Ms. Nasir -- ALL 9th Grade AND Last Name Sm - Z Grades 10 - 12 (

Ms. Veslany -- Last Name A - H Grades 10 - 12 (

Mr. Richman -- Last Name I - Sl Grades 10 -12 (

School Counselor Assignments

Ms. Wade -- 9th Grade ONLY (

Mr. Cohen -- Last Name A - E / Grades 10 - 12 (

Ms. Meledick -- Last Name F - Kj / Grades 10 - 12 (

Ms. Clearfield -- Last Name Kk - P / Grades 10 - 12 (

Ms. Rogers -- Last Name Q - Z / Grades 10 - 12 (

Mark Your Calendar

December 24 - January 3 -- Winter Break

January 4 -- School Reopens

January 6 -- Scheduling Night