Raider Nation Newsletter

Week of September 14, 2020

A Great First Week!

Dear Atholton Families,

This year, the first day of school took on a new meaning for students, parents, and teachers for all very different reasons. As I popped into various classes to welcome students back, there was both excitement and disappointment on most faces. Excited to be back in a school arena (albeit virtual) and disappointment that they are not back in the building. I encouraged them to stay positive and to look forward to our hybrid return the second semester. Parents -- I say the same thing to you!

Last Wednesday, administrators met with 9th - 11th graders virtually to discuss expectations for the year, provide guidance on new virtual expectations, and certain HCPSS policies (please review here). As I shared with students, our virtual environment is very different from the spring. I provided parents with those modifications in the last newsletter. I have attached the presentation once again below. We will be meeting with seniors tomorrow during the Flex/RaiderTime. We will discuss senior pictures and other relevant senior issues. Please review and continue to help our students make the adjustment to our new virtual reality. I have attached the HCPSS virtual schedule form to help students and parents stay organized. I hope this helps! Also, if you have an HCPSS Chromebook and are experiencing issues with the technology, please complete this form.

After the first week of school, there may be some issues with classes and schedules. HCPSS has been very clear about requests for schedule changes. The 2020-2021 High School Schedule Change Form must be completed (email your child’s guidance counselor) and include the appropriate signatures and grades for a schedule change to be considered. It is critical that the schedule change request meets one of the below schedule change considerations and that the schedule change request form is received by September 23, 2020, prior to the W date to allow time for review and processing.

School Counselors are committed to providing students with a complete 4x4 schedule for the 2020-2021 school year. Due to the complexities of this year’s new semester-based schedule, school counselors may not be able to move classes from one semester to another. It is important to note that due to schedule constraints your identified alternates may not have been possible course options. Below are the reasons we can adjust a student’s schedule.

Schedule changes can be considered for the following reasons:

  1. A course is required for graduation and missing from the schedule.

  2. A student completed a summer course for credit and needs to update the schedule.

  3. A student completed a packet for a 2019-2020 4th Quarter “I” and is scheduled for that same course in 2020-2021.

  4. A student is requesting release time for work, college, or other approved reasons.

  5. A student is missing one or more courses from the 8 credit schedule.

  6. A student would like to change a course level

Please note that it may not be possible to transfer out of a course due to scheduling limitations. In addition, we cannot honor a schedule change request for different periods or teachers. Level changes (using the CPR form) will only be permitted until the mid-point of the course per Policy 8020.

This past Friday marked the 19th anniversary of 9/11. During all first period classes, a brief message was read and a moment of silence was observed. Here is the message that was read:

September 11 Remembrance -

Nineteen years ago, on September 11, we witnessed unthinkable acts of terrorism within the boundaries of the United States. Since that day in 2001, September 11 has been designated as Patriot’s Day and serves as a time to remember those who were lost on that day, to honor those who continue to fight for our freedoms, and as a day of service for our nation. Please join me in a moment of silence to honor. . .

  • Those who lost their lives in the plane crash in Pennsylvania, at the

  • Pentagon, and in the World Trade Center;

  • The heroic firefighters, police officers, and Port Authority officers who lost

  • their lives while saving the lives of others;

  • The families and friends who lost loved ones;

  • The courageous spirit of the men and women in our Nation’s Armed

  • Forces stationed around the world;

  • And, finally, the firefighters, police officers, government workers, and

  • military personnel who have dedicated their lives to ensuring our freedom and protecting our democracy. (PAUSE FOR A MOMENT OF SILENCE)

As we have done on this day for the past 19 years, let us send a message to the world, that we, the people of the United State of America, stand united as a nation celebrating democracy in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Lastly, there are a couple of virtual events taking place this week that require your attention. The first is for seniors and their parents -- College Info Night for Seniors (tomorrow at 6:30 pm). See the details below. This Thursday, September 17, we are hosting a Virtual Activities Fair at 3:20 pm. For those students interested in joining a club or learning more about various clubs, this is a great opportunity to learn more and get involved!

Thank you all for a great opening to the school year under these virtual conditions. I enjoyed getting to see parents as I popped in classrooms during our Back to School Night.

As always, I appreciate your flexibility and understanding as we navigate this new norm. Wishing you all a fantastic week!

Warmest Regards,

Robert A. Motley


Virtual Learning Organizer

College Night for Seniors

Big picture

Administrator Assembly Presentation

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 (

Big picture

HCPSS 2020 Seasonal Flu Vaccine Clinics

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, obtaining a vaccine for seasonal influenza (flu) is even more important this year than ever. HCPSS Health Services is continuing its partnership with the Howard County Health Department (HCHD) and the Maryland Partnership for Prevention (MPP) to offer several regional seasonal flu vaccine clinics for HCPSS students and staff during the month of October. The clinic dates are October 7-14. The clinics will be held at 24 school sites, outdoors, from 4:00-6:00 pm, and ANY HCPSS student or staff may attend any clinic they wish; pre-registration with appointments will be required.

The dates and sites are as follows:

Wednesday, October 7 – AHS, CHS, DLES, SFES

Thursday, October 8 – GHS, WLHS, JHES, ARL

Friday, October 9 – MRHS, HOHS, LWES, HMS

Monday, October 12 – RHS, MHHS, BWES, CRES

Tuesday, October 13 – OMHS, HCMS, LES, DRES

Wednesday, October 14 – RHHS, LRHS, GCES, LES

Mark Your Calendar

September 14 -- Administrator Session with Seniors (Raider/Flex Time)

September 14 -- College Night for Seniors -- 6:30 pm

September 15 - October 15 -- National Hispanic Heritage Month

September 17 -- Virtual Activities Fair -- 3:20 pm

September 23 -- Last day to request schedule change (parameters above)