Pikesville Middle School Newsletter September 2017
From the Principal's Desk
Dear Pikesville Middle School Families,
Welcome to the 2017-2018 school year! I am so honored to serve the Pikesville Middle School community as Principal. While the summer months provide us with the opportunity to recharge, rejuvenate, and spend time with our family and friends, much has taken place at Pikesville Middle School in preparation for the upcoming academic school year. The following changes are promising to be exciting, focused on student-centered teaching and learning, as well as building team spirit throughout our building. We are excited to announce that this year as part of the Pikesville Middle School community, we will have a TV Studio, Dance Classes and our beloved school will be an AVID school! I look forward to connecting with students, staff, parents and community members as we truly cultivate an even stronger sense of community. We welcome your partnership in education as we embark on an academic school year that promises to transform the educational experience. As the principal, it is my personal mission to promote a safe, equitable and learner-centered environment that will inspire and propel our school family to places of continual growth and excellence. Continual growth and excellence will apply, in some form, to all Pikesville Middle School stakeholders including students, educators, administrators, support staff, parent-partners and community-based partners.
Additionally, the administrative team had an opportunity to meet with the Board of the new PTA at Pikesville Middle School. The new PTA Board is: Ms. Adrienne Gordon, President; Mrs. Alicia Danyali, Vice-President; Mrs. Chava Elgamil, Treasurer and Ms. Regina Gee, Secretary. We are very excited about the direction of the new PTA. Collaboratively, we worked to develop plans that will increase learning opportunities for all students, build school spirit and provide efficient communication with our parents. As such, we will continue developing positive connections with our students, parents/guardians and surrounding community. Using efficient communication and extending invitations to serve on school committees and the PTA, we will build lasting relationships that enhance the learning environment at Pikesville Middle School. Information and updates will be sent home with students, posted on the school marquee, communicated through the Connect Ed message center and posted on our school website at http://pikesvillems.bcps.org.
It is imperative that a safe school environment that is conducive to learning and teaching is a focus to be monitored, modified as necessary and maintained. This involves students consistently demonstrating behavior that supports learning as well as being appropriately dressed. Please remember that we encourage students to wear clothing that is modest and appropriate to create a comfortable learning environment for all since the middle school is the workplace for students and teachers.
Your child is assigned to an administrator who will work with him/her throughout the year:
Grade 6: Ms. Sheila Luechtefeld
Grade 7: Mrs. Anne Hammel
Grade 8: Mr. Matthew Sullivan
As we continue on the continuum of our Lighthouse School Initiative, all students will receive electronic devices. A Student Use Agreement session will be held on the following dates:
· September 7 from 6:00-7:00 pm
· September 11 from 5:00-6:00 pm
· September 13 from 5:30-6:00 pm; 8:00-8:30 pm
In order for students to receive their devices, the following parties must attend one of these sessions:
· grade 6 families who have not previously signed the Technology Device Student Use Agreement for Pikesville Middle School and
· all incoming grade 7th and 8th families new to Pikesville Middle School
The vision of Pikesville Middle School is for students to develop excellence in academics, character, and habits of mind by participating in student-centered learning experiences that promote 21st century skills. In order to be successful, students will need to think creatively, critically, and intuitively, solve real world problems, communicate effectively (verbal & written forms), work in teams, use technology to accelerate learning outcomes, and develop healthy, ethical life-style habits. Therefore, the Python Pride motto is one that students must observe daily. The Python Pride motto states that students are Prepared, Respectful, Inclusive, Diverse, and Engaged! I encourage you to remind your child daily that embracing the Python Pride motto will ensure they are a successful student at Pikesville Middle School.
On behalf of the faculty and staff at Pikesville Middle School, we look forward to an exciting and productive academic school year! We hope to see you at Back to School Night on Wednesday, September 13th.
Kalisha T. Miller
Important Dates to Remember
September 5 Opening Day for Students
September 13 Back to School Night 6-8pm
September 21 Rosh Hashanah: schools and offices closed
October 5 First quarter interims distributed
October 11 PTA meeting 6pm in the library
October 11-12 Fall School Pictures
October 12 Parent-Teacher Conference Night
October 19 Sixth Grade Induction Ceremony
October 20 MSTA Day; schools closed for students
6th Grade News Flash by Ms. Luechtefeld
Hello Pikesville Middle School Families! I am extremely proud and excited to serve as the 6th grade administrator for the 2017-2018 school year. Our teachers are energized and ready to provide all of our students with rigorous and engaging instruction as a continuation of Pikesville Middle School’s Lighthouse journey. We are planning on having a variety of events for our students to feel like a part of our Pikesville Middle School family – including our 6th Grade Induction Night in October, STEAM night in November, and the 6th graders trip to Northbay in March. More information on each of those will be sent to you closer to the date of the event. If you have any questions or concerns that arise at any time, do not hesitate to contact me. I look forward to working with each of you and developing a strong partnership that will support and empower your student.
Ms. Sheila Luechtefeld
The 7th Grade Scoop by Mrs. Hammel
I am excited to open another chapter with the 7th graders this year. On this journey with me will be Mr. Hess, guidance counselor, and our two team leaders: Mrs. Jackson and Ms. Felton-Woolcock. We can’t wait to support all of our students in meeting their fullest potential. As 7th grade is one year closer to high school it is critical for students, especially those interested in magnet schools, athletics, and the arts, to keep academics a priority. Schools make their selections at the beginning of eighth grade and look closely at grades, service learning, and extra-curricular activities from their seventh grade year. With a strong group of dedicated teachers our seventh graders will achieve greatness. We fully understand that this greatness comes with a lot of hard work and a strong connection between the school and families. To foster this partnership, please ensure that a BCPS One Account is set up so communication between students, parents, and teachers can be established. Never hesitate to reach out. It is our pleasure to support students and parents any way possible.
Mrs. Anne Hammel
8th Grade Updates from Mr. Sullivan
A former basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers once pointed out a very important fact about children. Magic said that "All kids need is a little help, a little hope and somebody who believes in them." As we begin a new school year, all PMS community members must come together to ensure that each and every student feels that they are supported, that they are able to accomplish whatever they set their mind on, and that they have adults who believe and care about them. We have many amazing things planned for our 8th grade students and we appreciate your support as we not only focus on their academic successes, but as we focus on their emotional and social successes as well.
I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce myself for anyone that may be new to Pikesville. My name is Matt Sullivan and I have the privilege to serve again as the administrator for this year's 8th grade class. It is particularly special for me since this is my third year with many of our students. It is my pleasure to welcome Mr. Jason Laraia, Social Studies teacher, and Ms. Cari Hummel, Language Arts teacher, as this year's 8th grade team leaders. Ms. Daeschner will continue to serve as your children's school counselor. We will be working closely together to ensure that this is a memorable year for our 8th grade students.
Some of our goals for this year include:
Demonstrating PRIDE (being prepared, respectful, inclusive of others, diverse in our thinking, and engaged in learning) each and every day.
Participating in each lesson in a positive manner, contributing to the learning of all.
Using our skills and strategies to resolve conflict in a positive and appropriate manner.
Understanding that each and every one of us is unique and amazing in our own ways. That we all can contribute to each other's learning and we should be open to each other's diverse perspectives and personalities.
If we work together as a team, I know that all of these goals will be accomplished. We appreciate your support and look forward to our open communication and teamwork this school year.
Welcome back, Pythons! The science department has an amazing year planned for you. Throughout the year, students will have a variety of great learning opportunities! Among so many things, our sixth graders will be getting slimy with things that have matter, our seventh graders will be able to demonstrate the energy that gives us sound and light and the eighth graders will be exploring what makes things move! Many of our students will also have the opportunity to use everyday objects and materials like never before in engineering class. We are excited to share that we will be having the BCPS Mobile innovation lab coming to Pikesville for our STEAM night this fall. Please plan to join us and support all of the incredible learning opportunities we will be offering here at PMS!
English Language Arts
Imagine watching one of this summer’s blockbuster superhero movies in a darkened theater. After a few minutes, the lights come on and someone comes to the front of the theater and begins a discussion of the director’s choices, asks you what you’ve learned about the characters and setting, and tells you to write down your prediction for what will happen next. That would be pretty frustrating, wouldn’t it? Yet that’s the way we’ve been teaching great books for decades and it’s not been great for our young readers. Happily, Baltimore County is now supporting a Whole Novel stance for literature education. This year, students will read the whole novel before being asked to analyze and evaluate it. Students will have greater responsibility for outside reading – with supports if needed – and during class will be practicing those analysis and evaluation skills on shorter, supporting texts. Students should have one pad of light-colored sticky notes with them each day. In addition, all students will be introduced to the Pikesville Middle Power Writing Tool and be expected to write extensively across all subjects. This tool was designed to prepare students for a successful transition to high school. The language arts and reading department is very excited about these changes to promote student literacy. We’re looking forward to a great year!
*credit to Ariel Sacks for the opening metaphor
Welcome Back! The Social Studies department is proud to have Mr. Finck, Mr. Mathias, Ms. Pultorak, Mr. Huller, and Mr. Laraia returning to teach your students to be globally aware citizens as well as fellow history buffs! The department would also like to welcome the new additions of Mr. Walters and Ms. Mursal to the Grade 7 World Cultures team! As a team, we are charged with turning students into social scientists that investigate the world from its ancient beginnings to modern events. Our minds are going to experience people, places, and environments from all continents using a variety of primary and secondary sources. Students will use simulations, field trips, and projects to be fully immersed into the historical events of the world. One of those projects will be the National History Day competition to allow students choice in their learning as well as how they present their research. This year’s theme is Conflict and Compromise in History. Stay tuned for more information about National History Day! We look forward to a great year in Social Studies. The famous Civil Rights activist Marcus Garvey put it best, “A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.”
Bonjour et Buenos Dias! This year is going to be an exciting year for World Languages at Pikesville Middle School. We have a great returning faculty and a new department chair, Michelle Scott, who will also be teaching French 1 and 2. This year all 6th grade students will have a choice between French or Spanish. Students will focus on interpretive, presentational, and interpersonal learning at all levels, and we will start the year in World Languages with a focus on ourselves and our families. There will be many opportunities to share projects, performances, and presentations. Students will regularly use technology to access authentic resources and demonstrate their knowledge of the language and culture. New this year, we will be offering World Languages clubs and Honor Societies for French and Spanish students. Stay tuned for more information about these great opportunities for growth! We are looking forward to a productive year!
❝The limits of my language are the limits of my world.❞‒Ludwig Wittgenstein
Welcome back! The mathematics department is ready for an exciting new school year. Our teachers for this upcoming school year are Mr. Koehler, Mrs. Gersh, Ms. Powell, Mr. Paules, Mrs. Robinson, Mr. Bahl, and the Department Chair is Ms. Quayhackx. The following are the first units for each course: Math 6 – Numbers; GT 6 – Reading and Writing Numbers; Pre-Algebra 7 – The Number System; Algebra 1 – Linear Functions and Models; Math 8 – Real Numbers, and Exponents; Geometry – Foundations of Geometry. We have an online textbook this year for students to access on their devices along with other helpful resources through BCPSOne. We will be incorporating some new and fun strategies this year in each class in order to have a great and successful year for all.
Welcome Back from 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 for the first time ever Dance Education. We have so many new and exciting opportunities for our students this school year.
Physical Education and Health are combined together with the same teacher for both courses. All students must take PE and Health class. All students will be in PE for the first two weeks of school in order to collect baseline data for FITNESSGRAM testing.
After the first two weeks, Mr. Long's Class will begin health class, while the others classes will remain in PE for the rest of the first quarter. All students need a Pikesville Middle School PE uniform. The entire uniform cost $40.00. This includes t-shirt, shorts, sweatshirt, and sweatpants. Each item cost $10.00 individually. Uniforms will be sold during the students PE classes.
Art Education welcomes Mrs. Beth Payne, who joins the Pikesville family this school year. All students need to have sketch book for art class. You can purchase one for $5.00 from your art teacher or you can purchase one on your on but you need it for daily instruction.
Music Education is excited to begin their first school year with an honors program. Chorus, Band, and Orchestra programs have a standard and honors program this school year. They are also excited to pilot the new choral curriculum and the new sixth grade world music curriculum.
Dance Education We are thrilled to start our first dance program ever at Pikesville Middle School. The class will be taught by Ms. Stephanie Crockett. She is very excited to join us and wants all her students to be ready to dance right in to the swing of things when they get back!
Service Learning is a teaching method that combines meaningful service to the community with curriculum-based learning. Students improve their academic skills by applying what they learn in school to the real world; they reflect on their experience to reinforce the link between their service and their learning – Learning in Deed.
All students receiving a Maryland high school diploma are required to complete 75 hours of service–learning (or a determined pro-rated amount) prior to graduation from high school.
Students can earn hours through course projects (curriculum infusion), school wide projects, or through independent service projects that address community needs. Most community projects are direct service, giving students the opportunity to interact with the population being served. Some examples of appropriate independent projects may include: tutoring younger students, volunteering at a soup kitchen, helping with a community clean-up, raising money for charitable causes, etc. A good source for discovering places to volunteer in your neighborhood can be found at www.baltimorecountymd.gov , click on Volunteer Today. You can also find a good resource guide for volunteering at the Baltimore County Office of Student Service Learning http://www.bcps.org/offices/service_learning/pdf/Resource-Directory.pdf and under the Guidance tab on Edline.
For more information and to have the required pre-approval for independent service projects, please contact Richard Hecht, Counselor and Service Learning Coordinator. All projects must have Ms. Huemmer's prior approval.
Ms. Roxanne Huemmer (Grade 6) firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Mike Hess (Grade 7) email@example.com
Ms. Dorsey Daeschner (Grade 8) firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also call the Counseling department at 410-887-6725.
The Counseling Department
THE HEALTH SUITE
To the parents of all students in the sixthgrade: Baltimore County Health Department requirements are that all incoming seventh grade students have two additional vaccines. These vaccine include the Tdap and Meningitis. We will be mailing a letter home this month to only 6th graders who do not currently have these vaccines.
The PTA @ Pikesville Middle
WE ARE OFFERING 300 FREE PTA MEMBERSHIPS FOR 2017-18!
SIGN UP AT BACK TO SCHOOL NIGHT!
The PTA at Pikesville Middle is proud to launch our new website! Bookmark us!
You will find membership forms, calendar dates for meetings, BCPS resources, and volunteer sign up. Please check it out! In the coming weeks we plan to monetize the site so that parents can make purchases online (for spirit wear, for example). Stay tuned!
2017-18 PTA MEETING DATES
6-7pm in the library
PTA BOARD FOR 2017-18
President: Adrienne Gordon
Vice President: Alicia Danyali
Treasurer: Chava Elgamil
Secretary: Regina Gee
NEVER FORGET A MEETING AGAIN!
Would you like text reminders for upcoming PTA meetings? If so, click HERE to enroll. Your cell phone number will remain private, and you will receive text reminders before meetings.
DON'T FORGET TO like us on Facebook and check your news feed for important updates!
Greater Pikesville Rec Council: Fall Registration is now open!
Pikesville Schools Coalition
Join the Pikesville Schools Coalition by going to our Facebook page. The Coalition meets 2-3 times a year to work with parents, community members, and educators to secure a bright future for our youth attending Pikesville schools. Please join us! We will announce our spring coalition meeting in the next newsletter. Questions? Email Beth Rheingold
Pikesville Middle School Vision
Pikesville Middle School students will develop excellence in academics, character, and habits of mind by participating in student-centered learning experiences that promote 21st century skills.
Pikesville Middle School Mission
Pikesville Middle School aims to promote a safe, equitable, learner-centered environment for all students. In order to prepare our students for high school, college and careers, we will:
- Provide rigorous, relevant, and responsive instruction to all students.
- Establish supportive respectful relationships that encourage responsive behaviors.
- Instill healthy habits to support positive social, emotional, physical, and academic development.
- Establish strong values and citizenship within and beyond the school community.
Grade 6: Ms.Luechtefeld email@example.com
Grade 7: Mrs. A. Hammel firstname.lastname@example.org
Grade 8: Mr. M. Sullivan email@example.com
To report an absence, please send a note in with your child upon their return to school.
Other Important Numbers: