Raider Nation News

Week of March 23, 2020

Entering Week Two of School Closure

Dear Atholton Families,

Tomorrow will mark the beginning of our second week out of school due to the preventive measures taken by the State Superintendent of Schools regarding COVID-19. I hope you and your family have followed the guidelines for staying healthy which includes social distancing. I want to remind everyone of the HCPSS COVID-19 webpage for information regarding school closure and updates. Please bookmark this page!

Before students left last week, I implored them NOT to use the entire two weeks to binge watch on Netflix. I hope you have encouraged them to review the instructional materials sent home and found online. I cannot stress enough the importance of maintaining some sort of routine during this unprecedented time. I have been in contact with several of our teachers and they would love to hear from students. Each of them expressed to me how much they miss their students and cannot wait to return to school. Make a teacher’s day and reach out to say hello and wish them well.

I have some important information to share with you:

  • Advanced Placement (AP) Exams
    • Traditional AP Face to Face paper exams will not take place this year. Students will take a 45-minute online free-response exam at home. To be fair to all students, some of whom have lost more instructional time than others, the exam will only include topics and skills most AP teachers and students have already covered in class by early March. The exam questions are designed and administered in ways that prevent cheating; AP uses a range of digital security tools and techniques, including plagiarism detection software, to protect the integrity of the exams. In addition, AP is trying to figure out ways to assist students who need help accessing technology resources.
    • If students wish to withdraw from testing, they will be able to do so with no fee. Specific testing details will be available April 3, but the current plans are available at
    • Beginning on Wednesday, March 25, College Board will be providing free, live AP review courses, delivered by AP teachers from across the country. These courses:
      • Are optional, mobile-friendly, and can be used alongside any work that teachers may give students.
      • Will be available on-demand, so they can be accessed any time.
      • Will focus on reviewing the skills and concepts from the first 75% of the course. There will also be some supplementary lessons covering the final 25% of the course.

  • Naviance Resource
    • This is a reminder that Naviance is a wonderful online resource for our students and families. Naviance offers learning style inventories, career surveys, college info, and test prep. The Department of Program Innovation and Student Well Being continues to update Naviance with scholarship information. The week ahead would be a great time for students and families to explore this useful learning tool.

I have received several emails regarding our seniors (Class of 2020) in regards to prom and graduation. Unfortunately, I am unable to provide any details regarding these two events. However, I want you to know that I, along with those of our central administration, recognize the importance of these events and whatever decision is made has taken considerable deliberation and consultation with all groups impacted.

I would like to end on a lighter note this week. Given all of the commotion last week, I did not have the opportunity to share with you some of the great things that took place. It seems so long ago, but on March 10th, I had the pleasure to accompany Mr. Rosen and his Advanced Theatre class to Washington D.C. for the Folger Shakespeare Library Secondary School Shakespeare Festival. The ensemble performed a scene from Richard III. The performance was outstanding. In fact, the group earned the Brian Cade Spirit of the Festival Award. The award, normally given to an individual for their performance, was given to our entire group for their performance. I was so thrilled to be there and share in this experience with our students. Congratulations to Mr. Rosen and all who participated. I’ve included some photos below.

Lastly, you may have heard about the Prom Fashion Show that took place during lunch shifts on Wednesday, March 11. Our AfterProm Committee sponsored the event to get our students excited about prom and the AfterProm event (being held at Main Event at the mall). They even managed to get me to be one of the models! Tuxedos have certainly changed since my prom! LOL! A huge thank you to Dede Metrangola and Linda Chory for making this possible and to all of our models who participated. A special shout out to Dr. Martirano who stopped by to witness the show! We are all keeping our fingers crossed regarding the May 2 event. Enjoy the photos from the show here.

Stay healthy and I look forward to seeing you soon!

Remember to send your teachers a nice note!


Robert A. Motley


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