Pikesville Middle School - March 2022
From The Principals Desk:
We are quickly progressing through the 3rd quarter. I would like to say THANK YOU to our students and parents for hearing the call about cell phones. Since we have implemented our new policy about cell phones, students have done a good job not using their cell phones, expect for lunch. Students are more focused in class and in the hallways, which improves academic achievement and safety. Let’s keep up the good work as we continue through the 3rd quarter. Part of our mission statement at Pikesville Middle School is to establish strong values and citizenship within and beyond the school community. Every student’s experience should be as the result of being educated in a safe and strong community. At Pikesville Middle School, we believe that all students should be active participants in making the community a better place to live, learn, grow, and raise a family. As scholarship is engaging in the work of a scholar, community-ship is engaging in the work of the community. As an important part of our community, students must learn to display positive attitudes, respect the rules/expectations, and participate in the work of developing a strong and safe community.
The 3rd quarter ends on April 1, 2022. I challenge our students to review where they are academically in all their classes and develop a plan of action to improve their grades. I know that when our students challenge themselves and put forth their best effort, there is nothing that they can’t accomplish, so let’s finish the 3rd quarter strong!
We are excited to announce our first art show. Our art show will be held on March 22, 2022, from 6:00-8:00 pm in the gym. Please come out to support our students as they put on their first art show. Thank you all for being an amazing community, and as always, please call or email with any issues or concerns - we are happy to hear from you.
25 (F) Maryland Day
6th Grade News Flash by Mr. Jackson
Spring is almost here and as a new season is upon us, hopefully genuine optimism about the second half of the school year awaits. Second quarter historically is difficult for many students but many of our students our gaining traction academically. To help keep the focus on improvement, we are having another monthly “pop-up” incentive to recognize our PMS students that are demonstrating the consistency that is the Python Way. Also during the month of March, PMS students can try out of the tennis and track and field team. These opportunities are a great way to help build student confidence and learn teamwork. Studies continue to show that student athletes perform higher and have a more positive perception of school than students that are not. The Pros and Cons of Sports for Middle School Students (publicschoolreview.com)
A few key concerns to keep in mind.
· Reinforcing PMS H2O policy. No hats, no hoods, no offensive language.
· To support the safety of all students, the code of conduct should be followed in the classroom, in the hallway, in the cafeteria and on the bus. Students should walk during transition between classes and follow the directional flow to ensure safety for all students.
· There is new cell phone enforcement policy. Please remind students that cell phones and earbuds are only to be used during lunch and should not be visible in the halls or within the classroom.
· Check Schoology regularly. Send messages to teachers directly through Schoology or send teachers an email.
· The end of the third marking period is less than 5 weeks away, please pay close attention to due dates from teachers and if possible, seek out establish communication.
7th Grade Scoop by Ms. Luechtefeld
Howdy 7th grade!
We have made it to March, meaning there is only one month left in 3rd Quarter. This means it is time for our students to really push their academics efforts so they can reach their quarterly goals. We are almost done winter and about to enjoy longer days and the nice Spring weather. Reminder that schools and offices close 3 hours early on March 18th. Exactly, one week after that on March 25th is Maryland Day!
At the beginning of March Pikesville Middle School is reemphasizing our cellular device policy. It is essential to the classroom environment and our student’s focus that students only use their device during lunch and/or afterschool. This means students should not be using their cellular device in class or the hallway. Principal Miller sent out a reminder to parents and has been reminding students of our expectations including outlining consequences for not following the PMS procedures.
Along with phones remember that leaving during dismissal when you are called is vital for the safety of all students. Some students are creating poor habits and attempting to leave early from class. This is not acceptable for PMS students. If you plan on having your child leave school early, it is required that they bring a note so that they can dismiss at the proper time.
Here is what we can look forward to in March - WHO LIKES GAMES!?! Our next incentive is 'Game Day' and will occur on the dates below.
March 15- period 2- grade 6
March 16- period 2- grade 7
March 17- period 2- grade 8
The criteria to attend is that the student has no major or minor referrals during the 3rd quarter. They must also have no grades below a C- during the 3rd quarter. If your student has passed both of those criteria then they can expect a fun filled incentive on their scheduled day.
Finally, a quote to remember why education is so important.
Education breeds confidence. Confidence breeds hope. Hope breeds peace.
Always feel free to reach out to the 7th grade team so we can support you and your student. Ms. Luechtefeld (Assistant Principal), Mr. Hanzelka (Team Leader), and Mrs. Banks (School Counselor) are here to provide support at anytime as well as our 7th grade teachers.
8th Grade Updates from Dr. Sullivan
In February we had a wonderful awards ceremony to celebrate the hard work of our Pythons during the second quarter. Currently, we are in the middle of the third quarter. Students need to be on top of their grades and make sure they have their assignments submitted. The end of the third quarter is April 1st and will be here before we know it. Make sure your student contacts their teacher if they have any questions regarding assignments, make up work or content.
As we draw closer to the end of the year, we are beginning to plan events for our eighth grade closing activities. In order to attend these events, students must consider their behavior in classes, the cafeteria, in the hallway and on buses. More information about these events will be forthcoming.
At the end of the day, we do a staggered dismissal for buses. If your student is going to be taking an alternative form of transportation home, it is important for your student to bring a note from home or contact the main office so we are aware. Too many students have not been leaving at the correct time and are wandering the halls.
If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to reach out to us. We are here to provide support to the 8th grade students throughout the year. Dr. Sullivan (email@example.com), Ms. Grant (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Ms. Britt (email@example.com).
AVID, which stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination, is a comprehensive instructional system which provides strategies, resources, and college readiness support for all students
In February, Pikesville Middle celebrated Black History month by participating in a HBCU Fair. Students in the AVID elective classes researched Historical Black Colleges and Universities and then created presentations which included tri-fold boards and 60 second speeches. On February 28th, all eighth graders were invited to participate in the Fair, gathering information, asking questions, and reflecting on their top choice of colleges. Our AVID scholars worked hard over the course of the month to complete their projects. It also showcased the staff members who graduated from HBCU’s! Another opportunity to show our students school pride. What an exciting event!
Please make sure you are checking Schoology regularly to see how your student is performing in their mathematics class, only a few more weeks in the third quarter. Students have taken the Winter MAP Assessment, please ask your student about their progress. Math 6 is working on Equivalent Expressions; Math 6 GT is working on Multiplication in Geometry; Pre-Algebra 7 is working on Expressions, Equations, and Inequalities; Math 8 is working on Linear Equations and Linear Systems; Algebra 1 is working on Quadratic Functions; Geometry is working on Congruence. Remember the textbook is online and can be found in the course resources folder.
Happy March Pikesville Family!
Cool Fact: Did you now that March 2nd marks the day that Astronaut Scoot Kelly returned to Earth from his 340 consecutive days stay at the International Space Station!
In 6th grade Science our students are finishing their lessons on speed, velocity and acceleration, and preparing to move into Newton’s Laws of Motion. During the lesson on speed and velocity, students had fun making paper airplanes. In 7th grade Science, students are nearing the end of the Form Follows Function unit, where students have learned cells, tissues, and organs systems. During the tissue’s lessons, students were able to explore the four types of tissues (epithelial, nervous, connective and muscle) while dissecting a chicken wing. As students continue to learn about the various body systems, they will ultimately complete the culminating event, where they will explain how two body systems work together to help the body function. In 8th grade, our students our wrapping up the mutations lessons and preparing to learn about sexual and asexual reproduction.
In Mr. McChesney’s 8th grade Engineering class, students are currently learning how to render an object in the virtual world as a 3D model. Using software called TinkerCAD, students are modifying and combining simple forms to create very complex, realistic 3D models. Currently students are creating accurate 3D models of a smartphone. In the future, barring technical difficulties, students will make 3D prints of their own 3D model creations.
Mass communications - Students will be composing short narrative video projects that showcase editing and continuity editing techniques. We will also be writing and producing public service announcements for the Morning Announcements.
Computer Science - Students are learning the basics of computer coding be designing programs that respond to light meters, accelerometers, thermometers, and other input sensors.
As we continue to move through the 3rd quarter, please encourage your student(s) to seek coach class when needed. Coach classes are listed on teacher schoology pages and appointments must be scheduled at least 48hours in advance unless discussed with the teacher. Also, please encourage our students to remember to bring a fully charged device, a pencil/pen and highlighter daily. Thanks for all your parental support and have a wonderful winter!
Students have just finished their MAP reading assessments and we are pleased by the growth they've demonstrated in vocabulary attainment, analyzing informational text, and analyzing literature. Students in Reading have also completed their mid-year assessments, showing off their growth as well.
Congratulations to our two finalists of the Pikesville Middle School spelling bee. They will go on to compete in the (sadly, virtual) Maryland Sports Spelling Bee on March 17th. We wish them the best of luck!
It's almost time to vote for the Student Member of the Board (of Education) or SMOB! Every secondary student in BCPS gets to have a hand in electing their student representative. In language arts classes, students will listen to speeches from the two candidates, analyze their arguments for why they should be the SMOB, and post questions for the candidates to answer. Then, voting will take place on Thursday, March 17th from 8:00am - Midnight. If students vote during homeroom, they will receive and "I Voted" sticker!
As always, please encourage your students to read the book of their choice for at least 30 minutes per day. Reading students should also try to go on the Read180 app each day. Readers are leaders!
This month the Social Studies Department is celebrating Women’s History Month by implementing lessons to highlight the achievements of leaders in Politics, Academics, Law, Science, and the Arts.
Ancient World 6 – Unit 3- Emerging Civilizations- Students will be analyzing and exploring the relevancy and utility of historical sources dates in place of origin and constructing arguments using claims. in addition, they will examine the roles of individuals and societies based on social class gender and ethnicity. Students will also be discussing the works of Socrates Plato Aristotle, and Alexander the Great. furthermore, students will examine how resources contributed to the need for expansion and the growth and development of world powers.
Medieval World 7 – Unit 3- Times of Change -During this unit 7th grade students will analyze the development and role of government in shaping early societies. In addition, they will explore physical and human characteristics and how societies developed in concert with religious customs, along with government and social structures. In this unit students will learn about the significance of the Crusades, cultural diffusion, the black plague, the Silk Road, and the establishment of nation states in Europe.
American History 8 – Unit 3- Nationalism and Sectionalism -In this unit 8th grade students will
examine and explore geographic and economic growth political shifts and changing social structures that led two divisions within the United States. In addition, students will be required to construct arguments using reasoning correct sequence examples relevant information and data. Furthermore students will discuss the causes of the War of 1812, the Embargo Act, the policies of Andrew Jackson, slavery, the Civil War and the Dred Scott decision. lastly students will examine perspectives of people in the women's movement and also explain multiple causes and effects of the events that led to conflict during the 19th century.
In addition to exploring historical content, the social studies department will be administering the Maryland school survey to all students during the month of March.
Bonjour et Buenos Dias! As third quarter is upon us, our students are going to be getting ready for the next level of language learning. Eighth graders are choosing a language for High school, 7th graders are preparing to take the AAPL language assessment, and 6th graders are preparing for next year. If your child is in 8th grade this year, he or she should be moving on to the next level of language. For example, if your child is in Spanish or French Novice A, he or she should be moving on to Spanish or French 2 in High school. If the child is in Novice B, he or she should move on to French/Spanish Language and Culture (French/Spanish 3). If your child had a language all three years at Pikesville Middle, he or she should be moving on to either French/Spanish Language and Culture OR Special Topics depending on teacher recommendation. Students must have two consecutive years of a World Language in High School; we encourage you them stay with the same language from Middle School unless it is not offered at your zoned school.
French Junior National Honor Society “Les Jeunes Amis du Francais” is meeting on Thursdays and the second round of nominations will go out after the 3rd quarter report cards. Spanish and Latinx Culture Club will also be meeting on Thursdays with Ms. Pendrak in room 16. This club is open to any student who is interested in learning more Spanish and more about Latinx traditions, food, music and culture.
This month, we welcome Mr. Francis Simon, a French teacher intern from Towson University. Mr. Simon will be teaching some of Mrs. Scott’s classes for the next few weeks! Please welcome him warmly.
Remember, 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 www.flangoo.com and https://conjuguemos.com/ for extra practice with tricky grammar rules.
Welcome to the Pikesville Middle School Related Arts Department! At Pikesville Middle School Related Arts consists of Physical Education, Health Education, Visual Arts, Chorus, Orchestra, Band, and Dance Education.
Physical Education & Health Education – Students are expected to be prepared for Physical Education with appropriate athletic clothing. This may consist of a Pikesville Middle School PE uniform or athletic clothing from home. If your student elects to participate in Physical Education with clothing from home, they must wear a t-shirt/sweatshirt (white or gray) and shorts/sweatpants (blue or black). Students are using the Physical Education Locker Rooms to secure their belongings. Students should ensure all valuable items are locked in their personal PE lockers. This includes but is not limited to cell phones, devices, earbuds, wallets, and jewelry. Finally, it is recommended students bring a water bottle to class to stay hydrated! Mr. Hanzelka and Ms. Speer’s classes are currently working through the 7th and 8th Grade Health Curriculum.
Visual Arts – Hello Artists! Our students are up to all kinds of awesome things! Ms. Silverman’s 6th Grade Art classes are working on their Identity Unit. In this unit, students study American Gothic artwork and learn about parody artwork. This will prepare them to create their Kehinde Wiley inspired Self Portraits. 6th Grade Portfolio Prep is working on their Maryland inspired Native and Endangered Animal Clay Projects! Students are going to learn hand building techniques after researching and sketching their animals! 8th grade GT Art students are working on creating Clay Vessels inspired by the artist Roberto Lugo, featuring historical figures or cultural icons that are important to them. They are exploring all the different hand building techniques, and hopefully experimenting with the pottery wheel! Mrs. Payne's 7/ 8th Grade Art classes are still working in the Identity Unit. Students will create Graffiti style lettering name designs and Cartoon Self-Portraits. 8th Grade GT Art classes are designing clay bowls inspired by origami art.
Keep an eye out for announcements about our upcoming PMS Art Show!
Important Update: Pikesville Middle School Winter Concerts
Our Winter Concerts and Performances have been recorded and edited. We are happy to share the Winter Concert Videos below. Congratulations to all the students who performed. A special thank you to Mr. Permenter, Mr. Lavallee, Ms. Leggiero, Mr. Rauson, Ms. Crockett, Mr. Marcellino, and his Film Crew for making this possible!
Winter Concert Recordings
Pikesville Singers - https://vimeo.com/674645861
6th Grade Chorus - https://vimeo.com/674645790
6 Strings, 7/8 Strings, and Honors Strings - https://vimeo.com/675583988
Mr. Rauson’s 7/8th Grade Band - https://vimeo.com/675597714
Ms. Leggiero’s 6th Grade Band & Honors 7/8th Grade Band - https://vimeo.com/675678283
Honors Dance - https://vimeo.com/675581843
6/7/8th Grade Dance - https://vimeo.com/675599956
Chorus – Mr. Permenter’s Chorus classes are singing their hearts out each day in rehearsals. In addition to refining their musical skills, the chorus students are enjoying learning the following songs: “O Music,” Siyahamba,” and a medley of famous Motown Tunes! Our Winter Chorus concerts were a huge success. Congratulations to all the students who participated in the filming process.
Spring Musical, “Fame, Jr.” – Auditions for the spring musical, “Fame Jr.” took place on February 15th. We are looking forward to presenting this program later in the semester.
If you have any questions regarding Pikesville Chorus classes or the Spring Musical, please message Mr. Permenter on Schoology or send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Orchestra – Mr. Lavallee’s Orchestra classes sound fantastic! After successful Winter Concert recordings, our Orchestra students are moving forward with preparation for their Spring Concert. The 6th, 7th, and 8th Grade Orchestra classes are working on learning new bow articulations along with more complicated rhythmic figures and applying to their new music. The Honors Orchestra is working on new and more challenging music to get ready for Spring Music Assessment. All-County Orchestra nominations and seating auditions are well underway. Students who have been nominated (7/ 8th Grade students only) will be submitting a video of them playing a selected piece for placement. Stay tuned for student selections!
Orchestra students must have the following items:
· Method Book (This can be purchased from Mr. Lavallee for $10.00)
· Rosin (This can be purchased from Mr. Lavallee for $5.00)
· One-inch Black Binder with clear protective sheets for their music
Please, contact our Orchestra Director, Mr. Lavallee (email@example.com) or Mr. Long (firstname.lastname@example.org), our Related Arts Department Chair should you have any concerns obtaining the items listed above.
Band – Our General Music classes are continuing to explore all different styles of music! Students in grades 6th and 7th grade are exploring music from around the world! Classes are working with various musical concepts and instruments. In our 8th grade General Music classes, students are studying music throughout American History. As we continue, please remind your students of appropriate classroom conduct to ensure everyone has a positive experience.
For our Band classes, please remind students their instruments should be brought home at least twice a week. Additionally, please wash the playing masks, so they come to school fresh and clean for students to use. In March, 6th grade students will participate in March Madness where we have a bracket of famous March music. Students will listen and vote each day in class, and we will announce our 2022 winner at the beginning of April! Students have completed Honors Auditions and will find out their band placement by the end of this month. Our 7/8th Grade Band is currently working on intonation. Students are working diligently to practice music in preparation for their Spring Concert. Honors Band students will participate in March Madness as well. Students will listen and vote each day in class, and we will announce our 2022 winner at the beginning of April! We are gearing up for our Spring Assessment in Honors Band. This year, each school will be getting a music coach that will visit them and give feedback about their performances. This is a great opportunity for students as it is an extra performance during the school year. I look forward to working with this year’s Honors Band to bring something great for Spring Assessment.
If your student still does not have an instrument for class, please reach out to the following staff members:
· 6th Grade Band/Honors 7/8th Grade Band – Ms. Leggiero (email@example.com)
· 7/8th Grade Band – Mr. Rauson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
· Related Arts Department Chair – Mr. Long (email@example.com)
Dance – Currently, our Dance students are working diligently on choreography in preparation for their Spring Concert. This is a reminder that appropriate dress for Dance class is all black. Students are also encouraged to bring a water bottle with them as this is a physical class. Dancing with a mask can be very challenging.
Challenges Middle School Students Face and How to Help
Any parent who has survived their middle school years will be able to help navigate their own child’s way through too. 😊
Middle school is supposed to be about making mistakes and bouncing back from disappointments. Some students navigate turbulence with spunk, some struggle with self-awareness and assertiveness. Don’t expect them to figure everything out for themselves with little adult supervision.
Middle-schoolers are embarking on a three-year journey, and they will come out transformed. Whether they are changed for the better is largely up to you, the parents.
Parents, here are some of the challenges middle school students face and how to help:
Expressing Individuality. Sit down with your child and make a list of words that describe them. Do this every year to remind your child that they have interests and allowed to like whatever they choose. This list will evolve over the years, and you will see how great this will become!
Expanding Learning Abilities. Middle school is an opportunity to try new ways of learning. They are doing science labs for the first time, peer editing each other’s writing, working on projects with partners or in groups, and presented powerful presentation boards. Talk to your child about how they are adjusting to these new learning modes.
Dealing with Social Pressures. Tons of social pressure exist in middle school and parents should be ready to troubleshoot. Middle school is a great time for students to learn how to say, “You do things your way and I’ll do things mine.” If someone says something that is not nice on social media or in a classroom, let the teacher know and share your concerns with us. Monitor their cellphone use and please encourage them to turn their phones during school until after school. This is a major distraction in the classroom and hallways. We will be happy to allow them to use the phone in the main office, if they need to reach out.
Keeping Up with School Assignments and Project Deadlines. Students tend to procrastinate. Some have trouble understanding that projects and papers must be worked on incrementally. Checking Schoology together with a little bit of planning support helps students get the hang of due dates. Let teachers know if your child is having difficulty keeping up. The teachers will work with your child.
Navigating the social media world. Giving students too much responsibility too soon can lead to extra expenses and shaken confidence. Trust your instincts – you will know when your child is ready for a cell phone.
Communicating with Teachers and School Counselor. Let your child step up and converse with their teachers and support staff. You can encourage your child, so they learn how to ask for help.
Bouncing Back from Failure and Disappointments. Perhaps the toughest days in middle school are the not-making-the-cut days or the performing-poorly-on-the-test days, however, how your response is important. Students need to process their feelings before they can bounce back and do the right thing. Be calm and patient as you help your child figure it all out.
Prioritizing Needs. Students have needs and those needs matter even as we continue in this pandemic. As much as you can, try to have a regular plan-the-week meeting on the weekend to avoid last-minute crunches that create needless stress and bickering.
Learning About the World. Your child is old enough to start learning about the world’s complexities. It is a great time to teach your child about respecting diversity, tolerating differences, and envisioning a more peaceful world.
Remembering to Rest. Growing kids need to unwind sometimes, but they may have trouble recognizing this. When this happens, give them a nudge to decompress as well as having a regular bedtime routine that requires at least 8 hours of sleep.
Shining Despite Speedbumps. Students will stumble and make mistakes but will still have plenty of shining moments. If your child is not having enough moments like these, look at ways of working together as a family and come up with some strategies to look for new opportunities where your child is likely to succeed.
Quick tips you can help your child in Middle School.
· Be there.
· Talk with them.
· Appreciate them.
· Relax with them.
· Encourage them.
· Set clear limits.
· Help them prioritize.
· Discuss expectations.
· Touch base daily.
· Monitor social media activity.
· Keep them active.
· Applaud progress.
· Check Schoology and grades together.
· Tackle tough topics.
· Be approachable.
· Hug them often.
· Celebrate proud moments.
When Issues Arise
If your child makes a poor decision, try your best to stay calm and work together for a viable solution.
If your child is not performing well academically, contact your child’s teacher, grade level administrator or school counselor for assistance. Work with them to make sure your child has all the academic and creative outlets they need.
Keeping students engaged, challenged, and in healthy routines can ensure they stay safe and productive in the middle school years.
Excerpts from Atlanta Parents 2017
Always know that the school counseling staff is available to help.
Mrs. Banks, 7th grade/ 8th grade(L-Z) school counselor & Department Chair
Ms. Daeschner, 6th grade// 8th grade (A-K) school counselor firstname.lastname@example.org
School Counseling Intern- Mrs. Gabrielle Harris email@example.com
We are almost three quarters through the school year and 3rd quarter interims will be posted soon. We are diligent here at Pikesville and working hard; and usual we are here to help! With that there are still many resources available for us to use.
Resources For You!
On bcps.org under the Students & Families Tab (Link - https://dci.bcps.org/department/special_education/special_education_resource_center ) you can be added to a contact list to begin receiving the weekly SERC News & Notes. Or you can find them on @SpecialEducationResrouceCenterBCPS.
The Department of Special Education or us here at Pikesville, continue to provide Resources for the following: Parent Resources & Support, Sports & Recreation, Tutoring, Mental Health, Funding, Social Skills, Equipment, Sign Language, and Respite. Also available to you is the Lending Library https://baltimore.follettdestiny.com located at White Oak School, 8401 Leefield Rd., Baltimore, MD 21234. There all BCPS parents and employees as well as local university students can borrow materials.
We also have tons of other resources that we can provide you links to and help you out with such as:
Parents Guide to Understanding an IEP
Lastly there is the SERC Parent Webinars. There is one offered this March and you can register through Eventbrite:
ABLE Accounts: A Savings tool to Promote Independence and Financial Stability for your Child’s Future
Wednesday, March 2, 2022 12:00-1:30PM
We hope you have a Great March and will continue to support you with your needs!
COVID rates are slowly dropping, and the weather is starting to get warmer, Spring is right around the corner. However, this is not the time to become lax in our vigilance against COVID. Please continue to practice the mitigation strategies put in place by BCPS. With masking now optional, it’s especially important to do a daily screening with your son/daughter every day before coming to school. Below is the daily home screening that needs to be done before coming to school each day. If you answer yes to any of the below questions, please keep them home:
· 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 tested positive for COVID-19 or had close contact with a person with confirmed Covid-19?
· Are you waiting to get tested or waiting for COVID test results?
Also, if you are eligible, consider getting a booster shot. Below is a table from the CDC with information stating who can get a booster and when.
For more information visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/booster-shot.html.
For questions or concerns, contact the health suite. Let’s keep our community safe and healthy!