Raider Nation Newsletter

Week of April 19, 2021

Graduation Dates Set!

Dear Atholton Families,

It is hard to believe that our school year is quickly winding down. Monday marks the beginning of the fourth and final quarter of the 2020 - 2021 school year. Last week marked the arrival of our last group of students to hybrid learning. Between our Group A and Group B students, we have about a third (just under 500) of our students in-person. Moreover, graduation dates have been released for the Class of 2021!

Yesterday was the start of our spring sports season and tryouts. I am looking forward to another exciting sports season as our fall athletes led the way as we navigated a return to competition with new parameters in place to keep everyone safe.

I am thrilled to announce that The Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) received a grant from the Maryland State Department of Education to enter a partnership with Equal Opportunity Schools (EOS) for the purpose of assisting HCPSS schools in narrowing the participation and performance gaps in advanced courses on the high school level.

EOS comes to our district with a proven success record along with partnerships in 51 schools across Maryland in 10 different counties. You are receiving this letter because your school was selected as one of the pilot schools for this project, and to notify you that as part of the partnership, EOS will be given access to student data.

Here is more information on EOS --Opportunity precedes achievement. Our partnership is designed to increase the number of underrepresented students who enroll in AP classes next fall. We know that students have college aspirations and that they look to adults for important decisions about their academic trajectory. Our work in schools across the country demonstrates that proactive, high quality and focused advocacy by adults on behalf of students increases AP access, while also ensuring that students succeed once they enroll. We hold a fundamental belief in the capacity of students to achieve at advanced academic levels. We commit to working closely with you through this outreach process to ensure it is both transformative and effective. Besides reversing the trend of inequitable participation in AP, outreach creates an opportunity for students to build meaningful relationships with advocating adults who help them align their coursework with their educational and professional goals. These are powerful formative relationships where students’ “Advocates” are identified through our survey process. Their Advocates play a pivotal role in encouraging them to enroll in advanced classes for the first time.

Because student data is involved, you have the option of notifying the school and opting out of giving access to your student’s data to EOS. If you do not wish for HCPSS to allow EOS to view your student’s data, please notify Ms. Kim Wade at by 5 pm on Friday, April 23, 2021.

If you have any questions regarding Equal Opportunity Schools, please contact the HCPSS contact person, Dr. Kevin F. Gilbert, at

There are a couple of important items you need to know. First, there are upcoming Dual Enrollment Information Sessions. The JumpStart Dual Enrollment teams from HCPSS and HCC will be hosting a series of information sessions to inform students about opportunities for students to enroll in HCC-based JumpStart courses for the Fall 2021 semester. The sessions will provide an overview of the JumpStart program, cover considerations specific to HCC-based courses, and provide the opportunity for students and families to receive support to facilitate successful completion of the HCC application and course registration. The sessions will be held at the following dates and times.

  • Tuesday, April 27th at 3:30pm (Google Meet Code: JumpStartInfo)

  • Tuesday, April 27th at 5:30pm (Google Meet Code: JumpStartInfo)

  • Wednesday, May 5th at 1pm (Google Meet Code: JumpStartInfo)

Second, a message will go out to students and families via School Messenger and the HCPSS website on Wednesday, April 21 regarding the Digital Education Center priority enrollment form. If your school gets a call requesting more information, please have them review the information posted on the DEC webpage. For questions, please contact

Last but not least is the exciting news about graduation! Atholton will celebrate its in-person graduation at Merriweather on Tuesday, June 1 at 7 p.m. The HCPSS Graduation website is up and ready! As we prepare to close out the year for the Class of 2021, please make note of the following important dates:

Friday, May 7 -- Senior Awards Ceremony (1 p.m.)

Friday, May 7 -- Senior Celebration (5 p.m. - 8 p.m.)

Tuesday, June 1 -- Class of 2021 Graduation (7 p.m.)

Here is a recap of the important information sent last week:

Atholton High School will hold commencement at Merriweather Post Pavilion on Monday, June 1 at 7:00pm. Graduation will be held in person with a simultaneous live broadcast of the event for those who wish to participate virtually.

Each student attending in-person will be issued a very limited number of guest tickets (at this time, that number is 2 per family). Students who opt to attend virtually will still be acknowledged at the ceremony: names will be read and their senior photo will be shown on the screen. More information and specifics will be sent to you in a few weeks.

To begin planning for seating and other logistics, we need to know your intentions for attending the event. Please complete the survey below by noon on Tuesday, April 20.

All students who do not submit this form by April 20 will be recorded as an in person participant. For those who wish to participate virtually, videos of the graduate must be submitted no later than April 30. Again, we will provide more information on virtual guidelines in the next week.


Please feel free to email our Graduation Coordinator, Ms. Bopst at with any questions AND please refer to our website for information.

I am so excited for the Class of 2021!

Have a fantastic week everyone.

Robert A. Motley


Class of 2021 Information

Big picture

Atholton will hold its senior awards ceremony on May 7 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and the senior celebration will take the same day (5/7) from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Graduation is Tuesday, June 1 at 7 p.m.

A few housekeeping items for the Class of 2021:

  • Graduation chords

    • Honor cords for JumpStart Dual Enrollment participants (any student who earned college credit from Howard Community College while they are still in high school) are available to be ordered from Balfour this year. Students will order the cords using this link ( select the second link, Howard County Dual Enrollment Honor Cords) and the cords will be shipped to the students home. For any questions, please email

    • Other chords (NHS and other honor societies) are handled by the teacher sponsor. Please contact them for information on obtaining chords.

  • Cap and Gown

    • Cap and Gowns as well as other graduation memorabilia can be ordered directly through Balfour. You can view their brochure or order directly online.

      • If you wish to purchase ONLY a cap/gown follow these instructions:

  • Select this link

  • Select Atholton High School

  • Enter your email as a guest

  • Create a password

  • Then you can purchase a cap/gown for $57.24.

ALL GRADUATION INFORMATION may be found on our website. Click here.

Changing from Virtual to Hybrid or Hybrid to Virtual?

The selection process to return to in-person instruction has officially ended. We are now in the process of reviewing all of the data to determine how many of our students have elected to return to a hybrid model and how many have elected to remain in a fully virtual model. As we prepare for the safe return of students, we will use the data to determine how many students we can accommodate and make any necessary adjustments in our classroom and cafeteria set-up. For this and other logistical reasons, we cannot accommodate any changes that add to our in-person learning model. If for some reason you would like to move from the fully virtual model to the in-person hybrid model, OR you would like to move from the hybrid model to fully virtual, you will need to complete a form. You may access the form here: Atholton High School Hybrid Learning Waitlist.

Student Parking @ AHS for Hybrid Students

Parking on campus at Atholton is a privilege, not a right, that the school provides to students. These policies are in place to help keep the parking lot safe and provide the opportunity for students to drive to school. These policies have been modified for the 2020-2021 school year.

  • All permitted drivers must possess a valid Maryland driver’s license
  • Vehicles must be tagged and registered
  • Vehicles may only be parked in one of the student parking areas
  • Vehicles may not be parked along curbs, in the grass, reserved or teacher spaces, bus lane, or visitor spaces
  • Students may not go to the student parking lot or to their cars without administrative permission.

Ability to park on campus may be revoked temporarily or permanently for the following:

  • Parking in unauthorized areas (see above)
  • Unsafe driving or violating traffic laws while on school property or entering school property
  • Having items in a vehicle that violate HCPSS drug, alcohol, and/or weapons policies
  • Other violations of HCPSS or Atholton regulations

HCPSS Parking Policies:

  • Howard County Public Schools is not responsible for vehicles or contents of vehicles while parked on school property
  • Student vehicles parked on school grounds may be subject to search per HCPSS and Howard County Police Department policies and procedures

Student Parking Application for Spring 2021

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

May 7 -- Senior Awards Ceremony (1 p.m.)

May 7 -- Senior Celebration (5 p.m.)

May 13 -- School Closed for Students

May 31 -- School Closed -- Memorial Day

June 1 -- Atholton HS Graduation (7 p.m.)