PYTHON PRESS

Pikesville Middle School - April 2021

From The Desk of the Principal:

We are so excited to have students back in the building! We had a wonderful re-opening of schools and are excited for our students to continue their learning in a Hybrid model that includes in-person learning. As we continue in our Hybrid model, I want to remind you that the physical walls of the school building do not define the classroom. Our awesome students and dynamic teachers make the classrooms; so, as we continue in this hybrid setting, our students will continue to help our community grow both academically and socially. It is our job to make sure that our virtual leaders stay connected to our school and our classroom communities.


Thank you for your understanding as we continue to work through hurdles associated with the virtual platforms and connectivity. Thank you for your partnership as we continue educating our children amid the coronavirus pandemic. While I am sure we will still have hurdles to overcome, we will do so as a Pikesville Middle School community. Please continue to provide ongoing feedback to teachers, counselors and school administrators about your child’s experience and needs as we begin the fourth quarter. Please remember that we are always here to support our students and families, so please do not hesitate to contact us if you or your child needs support:





If your child is still virtual, it is not too late to request in-person learning. Below is the chart with the request date window and the start dates for students to return. If you are interested in having your child return to in-person learning, please complete the request:

https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=3cPDSRs_g0GOdLONSDpa_TJUXMNCSEFCo0O-Bq4cMAFURTI0NzBKUTlTTkQ3RjhBUFUzRjRBUlo0Uy4u&wdLOR=c2F28E70A-7701-4D2D-95AF-F03039DEF29C

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Important Dates:

4/16 - Third Marking Period Ends – Elementary and Middle Schools Close 3 Hours Early for Students – Grade Reporting and Data Analysis** – High Schools in Session Full Day – Teachers on Duty

4/29 - Report Cards Distributed

6th Grade News Flash From Ms. Luchtefeld:

Happy Spring! It was very nice to enjoy the last few days off from school for a rejuvenating and reinvigorating break, but we are back and ready to go! We will be wrapping up the third quarter on April 16th, so students have a few more days to ensure their grades are all set. Please encourage students to check their grades and reach out to their teachers regarding any coach class assistance, redo opportunities, or completion of any missing assignments. This past month, we were very happy to welcome back our Hybrid 6th graders to the building while still supporting our virtual 6th grade students! We loved being able to meet so many of our students in person that we have grown to love and know through virtually teaching. This is a reminder that students are to bring their computers, chargers, and headphones on the days they are in the building. We will continue to hold our students in person and at home to high standards and further develop our community as we all adjust to this new virtual-hybrid format. Some 6th graders are still struggling with the time change of third period. For those students who have lunch B and lunch C, third period begins at 11:00. Please make sure you check with students' third period teacher for any clarification. As always, please do not hesitate to contact Mrs. Banks, 6th Grade Counselor, Mr. Koehler & Mr. Lavallee, 6th grade team leaders, or I with any questions or concerns.

Ms. Luechtefeld

7th Grade Scoop From Mrs. Hammel:

Hello again, from the 7th Grade Team. We hope everyone had a restful and relaxing Spring Break. Please remember, the end of 3rd quarter is quickly approaching. The last day of the quarter is April 16th, 2021. It will be important to monitor grades and communicate with teachers to ensure the success of every 7th grader at Pikesville Middle.

Students should be mindful of their current grades in various classes. With the long break, it may be easy to forget grades, due-dates, and missing work. By simply logging into Schoology, students can review their grades and develop a plan to ensure their success.

Additionally, the end of the quarter presents a great opportunity for students to practice their self-advocacy skills. Self-advocacy is the ability to speak up for yourself and things that are important to you. Students can demonstrate self-advocacy by asking teachers for assistance on difficult assignments, inquiring about coach class dates/times, and by notifying teachers when missing work has been turned in.

Let us work together to finish out the 3rd quarter strong. This can be the start of a final charge that will carry us into 4th quarter. Until next time, remember TEAMWORK MAKES THE DREAM WORK, and always show your #PythonPride.

8th Grade Updates From Dr. Sullivan:

Hello 8th Graders! We are so excited to welcome everyone back after what we hope was relaxing and wonderful Spring Break. A special welcome back goes out to those 8th graders who are joining us in the building starting this month! While break was relaxing, it is time to dive back into your schoolwork, which will help you to finish the 3rd quarter strong. Please remember that the 3rd marking period will be ending on April 16th, 2021. Double check your grade reports, message your teachers, and do everything necessary to ensure success as we close out the third quarter! With the 3rd quarter ending, means the start of the 4th quarter! The beginning of a new quarter is always a great time to restart and refresh ourselves, and for our 8th graders, an opportunity to finish middle school on a successful note. Let us make sure that we are continuing all we have done to meet with success so far this school year. Please be sure to keep an eye out for next month’s newsletter regarding information on this year’s 8th Grade Farewell Ceremony, which we expect to be conducted virtually. As always, reach out to your grade level team leaders, school counselor, or grade level administrator if you have questions or concerns.

Social/Emotional Learning:

As we welcome our students back and continue to support others virtually, we will work on the following topics during the month of April:

  • Belongingness
  • Voice/identity
  • Compassion/Empathy
  • Self-advocacy
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It's Academic

Math

The third quarter ends April 16th, please make sure you are looking in Schoology with your child and checking their current grades. All contents are finishing up a unit at this time and will be giving a County Assessment before the quarter ends. Math 6’s next unit is Number Operations, GT 6 is Using Variables, Pre-Algebra 7 is Ratios and Proportional Relationships, Math 8 is Graphing on a Coordinate Plane, Algebra 1 is Exploring Linear Relationships, Geometry is Geometric Reasoning. We have an online textbook for all the courses, read through your child’s syllabus to see how to access their textbook. There are also other helpful resources through Schoology links. Class attendance is important due to the pace of the courses, please reach out to the teachers if your child is experiencing technical issues.

Science

Happy Spring Pikesville Family!

Our 6th, 7th and 8th grade students have all moved into Unit 2 of their contents. In 6th grade, students are continuing their chemistry unit. Students will continue to explore matter, atoms, and the periodic table of elements. In 7th grade students are finishing the Cell City Assessment (end of LC2). Students will then move onto learning cycle 3 to learn and discuss levels of organization and body systems. Students will focus on cells, tissues, organs, organ systems and finally organisms. Our 8th graders have just finished learning about the water cycle and what would happen if the sun disappeared, which powers the water cycle. Next, the students will learn about the four types of weather fronts - cold, warm, stationary, and occluded and high and low pressure. To conclude the unit, the students will use their weather skills to analyze weather data to make a prediction of future weather forecasts. In 8th grade engineering, students are continuing the Automation and Robotics units, where they are still learning to program virtual VEX robots. In 7th grade students are continuing to learn about electrical circuits and how they are arranged to create a continuous flow of energy. Lastly, in 6th grade engineering students are continuing with the Flight and Space unit.

Please continue to encourage your student(s) to attend coach class sessions when needed, we are here and would love to offer the support. Also, please remind students to complete any missing assignments, and regularly communicate with their teacher about any areas of confusion they may be experiencing.

Thank you for your support as we continue to move into 4th quarter. Please feel free to email your students teacher if you have any questions or concerns.

Social Studies

Pikesville Historians,

April brings SPRING BREAK and the end of the 3rd Quarter! Please take time to catch up on missing assignments, but more importantly rest and relax away from screens for a while. We look forward to seeing those who are returning the building for Hybrid learning. Don't forget to follow all schedule changes. We will be having our first Document Based Questions (DBQ) where you will write an argumentative 5 paragraph essay using a variety of primary and secondary source documents. Take your time investigating, annotating, and note-taking to ensure you have strong evidence and reasoning that support your claim! Ask your teachers for help and coach class. We are here for you!

Up Next:

Ancient World History 6 - Continuing Unit 2: River Valley Civilizations. Mesopotamia and Egypt

Medieval World History 7 - Continuing Unit 2: Medieval Europe

American History 8 - Continuing Unit 2: Early Nation

English

Language arts, reading, theater, and college & career teachers are wrapping up Unit 1 at this time and gearing up for our return to the building. Along with their schoolwork, we encourage all students to read independently for pleasure. To support that goal, our media specialist, Ms. Getty, has been visiting our language arts classes for a digital library orientation. Ms. Getty has shown students three platforms for them to access free e-books. We know students are getting a lot of screen time, so please know the public libraries offer curbside pick-up to keep your family safe! Books are quarantined for at least 72 hours after being returned per CDC guidelines for safety. You can feel safe and confident using our public library. We are excited for students to be able to use our Pikesville school library if they come back as hybrid students!

We welcome Ms. Thomas to sixth grade reading as Mrs. Haugrud-Barton begins her maternity leave. We also welcome three interns from Towson University who are learning from the best – our Pikesville ELA teachers!

Foreign Language

Bonjour et Buenos Dias! Already a month into the new semester and we have been learning so much in World Language classes. Not only have students been learning how to talk to each other and about themselves, they also have been learning new ways to communicate. We have made FlipGrid videos, Padlets, completed work in Wizer.me, Gimkit and Quizlet Live. Students and teachers have been using Google docs to track progress and submit work as well. So much new technology but so much fun!

Please welcome Ms. Gee to our team. She will be teaching Spanish B classes and helping Ms. Scott with French A classes while Ms. Whiten is on leave. Please reach out to teachers if you have any questions.

Now that we are back to hybrid learning, make sure students are charging devices each night so they are ready as needed in class. Also, please make sure that students are actively participating from home and asking questions. Each teacher also provides extra help from 2:30-2:45 and will schedule personal coach classes if requested. All teachers have multiple graded assignments in the gradebook, so make sure you check Schoology regularly.

It’s a great idea to have a notebook for World Language class, especially when we are virtual. Taking notes on paper, making flashcards, and writing vocabulary by hand can really help retention. For extra practice, your student can also use https://quizlet.com/ to review vocabulary and then make old fashioned flash cards on index cards! We also like https://www.duolingo.com/ to track progress and https://conjuguemos.com/ for extra practice with tricky grammar rules.

We are so happy to see many of you in person. It’s great to be back in the building!

Related Arts

Welcome to the Pikesville Middle School Related Arts Department! Related Art are your “Specials” classes. At Pikesville Middle School they consist of Physical Education, Health Education, Art Education, Chorus, Band, Orchestra, World Music, American Music, and Dance Education. We have so many exciting opportunities for our students outside of the core four classes here at Pikesville Middle School.

Physical Education and Health Education are taught in a combined setting. You will have PE class for 1 marking periods (Quarter 4) and Health for 1 marking period (Quarter 3). Both classes will be taught by the same teacher.

Physical Education is a class that students are required to take. It encourages psychomotor learning in a play, or movement explorations setting to promote overall wellness.

At Home Fitness Activities:

Home Fitness - Towel Activities Link (Video) - https://www.wevideo.com/view/1614597216

Home Fitness - Balloon Challenge Link (Video) - https://www.wevideo.com/view/1614427122

Home Fitness - Tabata Link (Video) - https://www.wevideo.com/view/1614233931

At Home Daily Activities - https://www.shapeamerica.org/uploads/pdfs/2020/resources/activity-ideas-calendar_english.pdf

SuperDeck - Fitness Workout - https://www.shapeamerica.org/uploads/pdfs/2020/resources/SuperDeck-Color-Your-Own.pdf

Wheelchair workout - https://youtu.be/TogQwHLCIgw

At Home Workout Workbook -https://na3.documents.adobe.com/public/fs?aid=CBFCIBAA3AAABLblqZhCIvmSHqIv4_wbu3Pwn18449L7T9U1F0FuFECOF7BV8Y7YDpZqctxruGsK80nLUnTU%2A

Current Units of Study:

Health 6: Mental an Emotional Health. Growth and Development, Substance (Ab)use and Prevention, and Safety and Injury Prevention

Health 7: Mental and Emotional Health, Substance (Ab)use and Prevention, Safety and Injury Prevention and Healthy Eating

Health 8: Substance Abuse/Use and Prevention, Mental and Emotional Health, Safety and Injury Prevention, Human Sexuality and Disease Control and Prevention

Health Education is a class that students are required to take. It is any combination of learning experiences designed to help individuals and communities improve their overall health, by increasing their knowledge or influencing their attitudes. Health Education will begin Quarter 3.

Health Education Classes End April 16th, 2021.

Health 6th and 8th grade Human Development Lesson Opt Out Letter.

6th Grade Health Letter:

6th Grade Health Human Development Lesson Opt Out Letter - https://docs.google.com/document/d/1hA6tN2aRnAutsq9vS36uCCIGO-x9x3V6mnwRk4aO7iI/copy

8th Grade Health Letter:

8th Grade Health Human Development Lesson Opt Out Letter - https://docs.google.com/document/d/1R8kQs-J0Ow1Fa5KaCAOriVBQEqAPNUOko_fH1jS4OTs/copy

February Health and Fitness Calendar

English Mind & Body Calendar: file:///C:/Users/mbritt2/Downloads/Mind-Body-Calendar-March2021-Secondary-English.pdf

Spanish Mind & Body Calendar: file:///C:/Users/mbritt2/Downloads/Mind-Body-Calendar-March2021-Secondary-SPANISH.pdf

Fine Arts is a collection of classes such as Visual Art Education, Music Education and Dance Education.

Visual Arts is an area of learning that is based upon only the kind of art that one can see, visual arts- drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, and designing jewelry, pottery, weaving, fabrics and design applied to other fields such as commercial graphics and home furnishings. I

Announcement: 6th, 7th and 8th grade Students - Art supplies can be picked up at Pikesville Middle School, your Art teacher gives you a date and time to pick up your supplies.

Music Education incorporates music training and education in multiple areas of music because involvement in music is considered a fundamental component of human culture and behavior. At PMS it is made up of many different courses, chorus, band, orchestra, world music and American music.

Chorus and American Music

Mr. Permenter’s chorus classes have been singing their hearts out each day in rehearsals. In addition to refining their musical skills, the chorus students are enjoying learning the following songs: “A Million Dreams” from the movie, The Greatest Showman and music from the Broadway show, Hamilton.” They finished the semester by hosting a sing-a-long with Ms. Britt’s class and sharing slides they made of their favorite songs. Go Chorus!!!

In American Music, students have been studying the following styles of music: Jazz, Blues, Protest, and Hip Hop. In addition to singing and listening to various recordings of these styles, the students have been looking at the role this music played in the Harlem Renaissance. To celebrate and reflect on the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, students rehearsed and sang the beautiful anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”

Congratulations to all of the students who auditioned for and were cast in the spring musical, “Frozen, Kids.” Rehearsals have started and I am looking forward to working with our cast on our first virtual show. Let’s make the hit song, “Let It Go” our theme song for the year!



***Attention: Semester 2 Instrumental Music Students: If you will be taking a band or orchestra class during semester 2 please reach out to one of the following instrumental teachers as soon as possible. We need to know what instrument you play, if you have your own instrument or have your BCPS provided instrument from the previous year or if you do not have an instrument at home and need the information to rent. Please email the following teachers for information.

Subject – Teacher – Email address

All Orchestra Students Email Mr. Lavallee – llavallee@bcps.org

6th Grade Band Students Email Ms. Leggiero – lleggiero@bcps.org

7th and 8th Grade Band Students Mr. Rauson – drauson@bcps.org

Instrumental Music (Band and Orchestra) – School owned instruments are still not available for students. Students and Families are encouraged to obtain an instrument on their own by renting or purchasing. Pikesville Middle School’s approved vendor is Menchey Music in Timonium, MD - https://www.mencheymusic.com/stores/timonium-md/

Music Update: Quarter two brings Smart Music into full swing in all our classes. This platform is allowing students to self-pace as well as challenge them on many levels of music. The string students are making the transition with limited technology issues. Students will be expected to complete class assignments using this program from now on. A working microphone, along with a quiet place to work are essential for students to maximize the grade they earn. They may play as many times as possible until they are satisfied with the results. This is enrichment and does not replace synchronous instruction. Students are still expected to come to class on time, turn cameras on to participate, and answer and ask questions in the chat, as well as verbally.

· If your child’s computer is having tech issues such as microphone or Camera, it is expected that parent or caregiver contacts the help desk for them to remedy the issue. Both are needed for performance classes. BCPS Tech Support/ Help Desk Phone Number 443-809-4672

Smart Music: As we look ahead and get into second quarter, we will be starting a new virtual platform called Smart Music. It is an inclusive platform that will allow us to expand our offerings into many different genres and allow more interactive playing between our students. We’d like to thank Mrs. Miller for finding the funds to do this. All of us are very excited to get started with this. WE will let your children know when this will begin as soon as we do.

Instrumental Music Club: Meetings are every Tuesday from 2:45-3:45, Ms. Leggiero and Mr. Lavallee are having an Instrumental Music club. This is open to any grade 6-8 student who plays and instrument (band or strings). We will be doing many different activities in this club and having the first (full orchestra) experience here at Pikesville. You may still sign up by contacting Ms. Leggiero or Mr. Lavallee. Even if you don’t have band or strings until second semester, you can still be a part of this. Hope to see you there!!!

American Music

We just finished up a unit on song writing using Hip- Hop and Rap music as our basis. We explored their origins and compared the similarities of the two. We learned about how one genre would not exist without the other.

7/8 Standard Strings

We continue to explore more challenging note and rhythm reading and had a chance to apply our skills to a new piece of music. Seventh graders in the class will have the option of auditioning for Honors Orchestra next year as well. They have all the materials and have been working on them in class as well as during asynchronous time. Please encourage your 7th grader to audition.

Dance Education:

The dance students at Pikesville Middle School will be exploring Modern Dance technique. Students will have the opportunity to research and perform different techniques based on dancers such as Martha Graham and Alvin Ailey.

Students will be preparing for their movement assessments based on Alvin Ailey’s Revelations. The Honors Dance students will begin preparing a performance for BCPS-TV in collaboration with other dance students in the county from the middle school and high school levels.

It is so wonderful to see the students participating and enjoying every moment of dance at Pikesville Middle School. We dance every day, and this is a great opportunity for the students to release their energy and show their expressive movements.

Counseling Corner

Time is constantly changing. Some children have begun to return to in-person learning while others have chosen to stay virtual. One thing that has remained constant, no matter which media has been chosen, is anxiety and stress among our students. In the school counseling office, we are doing our best to address these concerns. We want every student to feel validated and heard. Please keep encouraging your student to reach out to their school counselor.

Also, take time to reflect on how you as the parent or guardian are manifesting your own stress during this adjustment. How we as adults react to life’s stressors will reflect through the children. The National Association of School Psychologist (nasponline.org) has offered strategies that can help with the changes and stress resulting from Covid-19.

· Deep Breathing: this is a valuable tool for calming the nervous system.

· Focus on the Positive: Sing and laugh, do projects as a family.

· Establish a daily routine: this provides a sense of control, predictability, calm and well-being.

· Monitor television and social media viewing: Watching continual negative news coverage can increase fear and anxiety.

· Stay connected to others: talking to others about your fears and anxiety can deescalate your stress.

· Educate yourself: There are many resources out there that can help you to understand stress and how to handle it in a positive way.

If you need more resources regarding mental health, visit The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) at www.nimh.nivh.gov Or continue reading the article “Helping Children Cope with Changes Resulting from COVID-19” at www.nasponline.org If you need more resources for your student please reach out to the school counseling office and encourage your child to also utilize the staff in the counseling office. We are here to help them navigate through these challenging times, so that they have a successful educational experience.

Mrs. Banks, 6th Grade School Counselor & Dept chair, vbanks2@bcps.org

Mr. Hess, 7th Grade School Counselor mhess@bcps.org

Ms. Daeschner, 8th grade School Counselor ddaeschner@bcps.org

Ms. Cole, School Counseling Intern bcole3@bcps.org

Health Suite

With many students returning to some in person learning please remember to check your child for symptoms daily and do not sent them to school if they have any of the following symptoms:

· Fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher

· Sore throat, congestion or runny nose

· New onset or worsening of cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

· New loss of taste and or smell

· Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea

· Muscle pain, chills or extreme tiredness

· New or severe headache

· Have you had close contact with a person with confirmed COVID-19 (within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes) in the last 14 days? If ‘YES’, you must stay home. Consult with your health care provider about testing and contact the School Nurse for more information.

· Are you waiting to get tested or waiting for COVID-19 test results? If ‘YES’ you must stay home until notified of test results regardless of reason for test.

· Have you tested positive for COVID-19? If ‘YES’, you must stay home, notify your school nurse/ supervisor, and consult your healthcare provider

If you have any questions please contact Ms. Limmer.

Please make sure that your son/ daughter’s immunizations are up to date and that the health suite has a copy of the completed vaccinations. If you are having difficulty getting an appointment with your pediatrician, please contact Mrs. Limmer at jlimmer@bcps.org or 443-801-5000 for assistance. If there are any changes in your child’s health status, please let Mrs. Limmer know. For any questions or concerns please contact the health suite at 443-809-5000 or jlimmer@bcps.org.