Raider Nation News

Week of January 28, 2019

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New Semester

Dear Atholton Families,

The end of midterm exams marks the end of the second marking period. As a result, Monday will be a three hour early dismissal to allow teachers to close out grades and prepare for the start of the third marking period on Tuesday. Report cards will be issued next week (February 6). Next week also is the opening of registration for Advanced Placement (AP) exams. Please see below.

As we have officially reached the half-way point of our school year, I ask that you pay particular attention to the information in this newsletter regarding selected populations. There will be more information this latter part of the year relating to seniors, AP students, students taking state-mandated tests, ARL students, and other groups as well. The newsletter links may be found on our school website.

Finally, I spent a lot of time with our students this weekend. First, I had the honor to spend a part of this past Saturday with Atholton’s Robotics Team (Space RAIDers) as they prepared for the FIRST competition. While we can all agree that the level of engineering and computer programming these students perform is remarkable, what was more impressive was the strategy and project management aspects that are just as integral to the team’s success. Our students are engaged in real-world problem-solving that will undoubtedly give them a leg up on other students as they transition beyond high school. If your child has even the smallest interest in engineering and/or computer science, I encourage you to have them take a look at this club. Thank you to the entire Robotics Team for taking time explain your work to me. I cannot wait for your competition in March. Best of luck!

This morning, I had the honor to attend the MLK Memorial Breakfast sponsored by the Alpha Foundation of Howard County and the Kappa Phi Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. With me were young men from Atholton High School who are members of our Alpha Achievers Program. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen delivered remarks along with County Executive Dr. Calvin Ball. The keynote speaker was Dr. David Thomas, President of Morehouse College. In a room full of young men from all twelve HCPSS high schools, their families and community members, the message of not only service but service with sacrifice was the emphasized.

Wishing everyone a fantastic week!


Robert A. Motley


Important Information

Maryland Integrated Science Assessment (MISA)

The pilot Maryland Integrated Science Assessment (MISA) will be administered to identified Juniors this week on January 29 and 30, 2019. For those juniors who did not take the Bio HSA as a freshman, taking the MISA Pilot is the science test requirement for the current Junior class. In 2019/20, passing the MISA will be a junior level test requirement (for the current Sophomore class).

Next week, we will be posting testing groups so students can see if they test in the morning or afternoon. The MISA consists of five sections which will be administered over the period of two days. Students who attend ARL in the morning (and test in the morning) will remain at school. Students testing in the afternoon should eat A lunch and then report to the testing rooms.

If you were wondering about the timing....we identified after mid-term exams as a best practice. The County has suggested the testing window as now since it is a Pilot year and will not interfere in our Spring testing calendar (more good news!)

More information on the MISA can be found at Please contact your student's school counselor or Mrs. Lisa Veslany ( for specific questions.

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Mark Your Calendar

January 28 -- School Closes 3 hours Early

January 29 -- First Day of Second Semester Courses

February 5 -- School Closed for Students

February 6 -- Report Cards Issued