Raider Nation Newsletter

Week of February 8, 2021

Busy Week Ahead!

Dear Atholton Families,

Happy Super Bowl Sunday! I hope you are ready for the big game this evening and enjoying the snowfall this morning.

It was nice to see families at Back To School Night this past week as I "popped-in" various classes.

There is a lot taking place on our campus this week:

  1. Second-semester textbook distribution (for selected classes only -- list and directions below) -- pick up in bus lane (WEDNESDAY)
  2. 9th - 11th-grade pictures (auditorium entrance) -- information below (WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY)
  3. Class of 2021 In-person cap & gown registration (Wednesday & Thursday from 2 pm - 4 pm)
  4. Athletics moving forward! Tryouts for fall sports begin on FEBRUARY 13!

We continue to prepare for the arrival of students back to the building and the implementation of the HCPSS hybrid model. Our preparations are hugely reliant upon your feedback as to whether or not your child(ren) will be returning to school for our in-person hybrid mode. HCPSS has extended the deadline for families to respond until this Wednesday, February 10. Once again, here is all of the information:

To notify HCPSS of your decision, follow the instructions provided at the end of this message to complete a two-question survey Wednesday, February 10, indicating:

  1. The type of instructional model – hybrid or fully virtual – that you choose for your child

  2. Whether bus service will be used (if your child is eligible)

  • If your child is designated as a walker, transportation will not be provided. If you are unsure if your child is eligible for bus service, search for your address on the School Bus Locator (Links to an external site.) to find your child’s transportation eligibility. (At this time, the School Bus Locator should only be used to determine if your child receives transportation services, because pickup times and bus stop locations are being updated and are subject to change.)

This information may be helpful in making your decision:

  • Week of March 1: Students identified for the 5-days-per-week program

  • Week of March 15: Students in Pre-K, Kindergarten, and grades 1-2

  • Week of March 29: Students in grades 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 12, and students attending programs at the ARL

  • Week of April 12: Students in grades 7, 8, 10 and 11

  • HCPSS is striving to offer students two days per week of in-person learning. However, if the number of requests exceeds capacity, due to social distancing requirements, HCPSS may offer only one in-person day per week.

  • For families that opt to send students back in-person, HCPSS will make every effort to group siblings together. However, the school system cannot guarantee that siblings will be in the same grouping. Please take this into consideration when making your decision.

  • If you choose for your child to remain fully virtual, you may later request to switch to the hybrid in-person model at any time during the 2020-2021 school year. However, approval of that request is dependent on available space, social distancing guidelines, and other factors.

  • Additional information on HCPSS spring planning (Links to an external site.) can be found online.

Follow these instructions for completing the survey form, by Wednesday, February 10:

  1. Log in to HCPSS Connect

  2. Select More Options from the left panel

  3. Select “In-Person Commitment” from the middle of the page

  4. Complete the questions in the form for each child and select “Save”

If you need assistance in completing the form, or have any questions, please call our school office at 410-313-7065 or reach out to me at

I hope many of you had the opportunity to view our Virtual Dance Concert and Winter Music Concert. Please take some time to support our students and fine arts department. I promise you will not be disappointed. Our students are so very talented and I cannot stress enough how grateful we are to Ms. Haffey and our outstanding music department (Ms. Meloro, Mr. Posner, and Mr. Woomert). ENJOY!

Congratulations to all of our PTA Reflections (I Matter Because) participants. The following students have advanced to the State level of the contest:

  • Stephen Sullivan, 2nd Place, Outstanding Interpretation, Literature

  • Stephen Sullivan, 1st Place, Outstanding Interpretation, Music Composition

  • Sara Rose Lefors, 3rd Place, Award of Merit, Photography

  • Angela Chou, 1st Place, Outstanding Interpretation, Visual Arts

  • Joyce Chou, 2nd Place, Award of Excellence, Visual Arts

  • Danielle Okotcha, 3rd Place, Award of Merit, Visual Arts

There will be a virtual awards ceremony on Tuesday, February 23 at 8 p.m. Once again, CONGRATULATIONS!!

Lastly, it is time to nominate an outstanding staff member for the PTSA Above and Beyond Award. The PTSA would like to recognize those faculty & staff members who have made a real difference and have gone “Above and Beyond” the normal call of duty.

Every year the PTSA presents “Above and Beyond Awards” to staff/faculty members who go out of their way and make the extra effort to support students. Nominees are recognized in three categories: Academic, Extracurricular, and Student Services/Support (e.g., office staff, Student Services, custodians). You can nominate one staff member in each category

To submit your nomination(s):

Send an email to Michelle Maslan ( indicating:

  • Name of staff member you are nominating

  • The category for the nomination (Academic, Extracurricular or Student Services/Support), and

  • A few sentences explaining/supporting the nomination

Nominations will be accepted through Friday, February 12, 2021, the winners will be announced and then recognized at the end of the school year.

Have a fantastic week! With everything happening at school, I look forward to seeing you! It has been a while!

Robert A. Motley


Big picture

Map Breakdown for Wednesday / Thursday

YELLOW -- Distribution of second-semester textbooks -- bus lane

BLUE -- Cap & Gown -- park in the front school parking lot and enter the lobby

GREEN -- 9th - 11th-grade pictures -- AUDITORIUM AREA

Big picture

Distribution of Second Semeter Textbooks

On Wednesday, February 10th from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm, Atholton High School will be distributing materials for a limited number of courses or programs listed below. Please come to Atholton during the distribution window with the student's name clearly written (in LARGE PRINT) posted in the window for Atholton staff to see. As you pull up to the front doors, staff will hand the materials to you. Please stay in your vehicles.

Courses or Programs receiving materials:

  • Art (all courses as discussed in Art classes)
  • Calculus C-Advanced Placement (AP)
  • Calculus AB - Advanced Placement (AP)
  • Astronomy
  • Biology Advanced Placement (AP)
  • Government & Politics Advanced Placement (AP) -- Mrs. Shelley's PERIOD 1 ONLY
  • Psychology Advanced Placement (AP)
  • Modern World History Advanced Placement (AP)
  • ALL English Language Learners (ELL) ESOL students

Feel free to bring back any remaining semester books and materials when you arrive from the first semester!

Class of 2021 Information

Seniors and Families of Soon-to-be Graduates:

Below, you will find links to important information such as cap and gown orders, outstanding teacher nominations, and more. If you have any specific questions, please see the graduation resources on the Atholton Website or email Mrs. Krista Bopst,

Cap and Gowns as well as other graduation memorabilia can be ordered directly through Balfour. You can view their brochure or order directly online. Balfour will be at Atholton on Wednesday and Thursday, February 10 and 11 from 2:00pm to 4pm to collect in person orders if needed. The deadline for ordering is Saturday, May 1. Please take care of placing orders as soon as possible after the meeting, as the price of the cap/gown/tassel package will increase by $10 on April 1.

Students should visit the voter registration website for the state of Maryland. If a student is not eligible to vote at this time, there will still be valuable information about registration in the future. In order to register, eligible students will need a driver’s license number, learner’s permit number, or social security number (last four digits only). Students should also be prepared to make a choice of affiliation at the time they register.

Graduation performance auditions will be completed by submitting an online application through google forms. Performances are not limited to speeches. We encourage not only speeches but musical performances, dance, or any other creative performance highlighting students' time at Atholton. The due date for all submissions is Tuesday, February 16 by 8am. Submissions will then be evaluated by a panel of staff judges. Students who have been selected will be notified in early March.

Finally, there is a form to complete for parents who are permanent, Howard County Public School System employees. Each employee is offered the opportunity to present the diploma to his/her senior on stage at the commencement ceremony (if both the parent and student agree to this). If you are an HCPSS employee and interested in this opportunity, please complete the form no later than Monday, March 29, 2021.

Information regarding senior activities will be updated during the year, so please check out Graduation News on the Atholton website [].

School Pictures (9th - 11th Grade)

Lifetouch Studios will be taking pictures for any 9th, 10th, and 11th grade student who would like their picture taken on February 10th, 11th, and 16th in the auditorium of Atholton High School. Students will need to use the Sign-Up Genius link to register for pictures. Our number one priority is to ensure the safety and well-being of every student and staff member. Please abide by the procedures identified below.


Wednesday, February 10, 2021, from 8:30 am-4 pm

Thursday, February 11, 2021 from 4pm-8:45pm

Tuesday, February 16, 2021 from 4pm-8:45pm

Location: Auditorium

Link to register for pictures: Sign Up Genius for Underclass Pictures


• Students can only signup for one spot and must adhere to this reservation.

• Only students will be allowed in the school to take pictures.

• Students must wear masks at all times, except for when taking the picture.

• Students must adhere to social distancing guidelines throughout the process by remaining at least 6 feet apart at all times. Distances will be noted with blue tape marks in the hallway and in the auditorium.

• Parking for pictures will take place in the junior lot (auditorium area).

• Entrance for the pictures will take place at the auditorium side doors- closest to the math hallway. Entrance will be marked ENTRANCE TO SENIOR PICTURES.

• Students must arrive at their designated picture time. Any students who arrive early will be asked to wait in their cars.

• No Walk-Ups, confirmed appointments only.

• Atholton staff will check students in by the auditorium.

• Sanitizing wipes and sprays will be used on all setup materials and equipment.

• During photography, equipment used or touched by staff/students will be sanitized.

• Pre-moistened alcohol wipes will be used on the cameras.

• Hand sanitizer will be frequently used by photographers’ throughout the day.

• The picture process will take less than 1 minute for each student.

• EXIT: Signs will be posted for students to exit the auditorium. Students will exit the auditorium through the doors marked EXIT.

• Students must go to their cars and vacate the parking lot immediately.

If you have any specific questions, please contact Mr. Senisi at

Administrator Assignments

Ms. Nasir -- ALL 9th Grade AND Last Name Sm - Z Grades 10 - 12 (

Ms. Veslany -- Last Name A - H Grades 10 - 12 (

Mr. Richman -- Last Name I - Sl Grades 10 -12 (

School Counselor Assignments

Ms. Wade -- 9th Grade ONLY (

Mr. Cohen -- Last Name A - E / Grades 10 - 12 (

Ms. Meledick -- Last Name F - Kj / Grades 10 - 12 (

Ms. Clearfield -- Last Name Kk - P / Grades 10 - 12 (

Ms. Rogers -- Last Name Q - Z / Grades 10 - 12 (

Mark Your Calendar

February 10 -- Second Semester Textbook Distribution Day

February 10 -- 9th - 11th-grade pictures

February 10 -- Class of 2021 Cap & Gown sales (2pm - 4pm)

February 11 -- 9th - 11th-grade pictures

February 11 -- Class of 2021 Cap & Gown sales (2pm - 4pm)

February 12 -- School Closed for Students

February 15 -- SCHOOL CLOSED