TMS Community ROAR Report

August Newsletter

Be the Change

Greetings Panther Families,

The start of the 22-23 school year has been filled with excitement, engagement, and high expectations. We are proud of the way our students have started this school year; all have been adhering to our new TMS Norms. In every classroom, students are expected to adhere to the following expectations:

  • Respect yourself
  • Respect others
  • Respect the task at hand

Please reinforce with your student these expectations; together we can ensure that each and every student reaches their full potential.

Thanks for your continued support and please reach out if you are ever in need of anything.

Be the Change,

Janine Smith~Principal

Chris Bittner~Assistant Principal

Anita Shank~Assistant Principal

Important Dates and Upcoming Events

Important Calendar Date Reminders

  • Thursday, September 1st-Community Food Drop 3:30-5:00pm
  • Monday, September 5th-School Closed-Labor Day
  • Friday, September 9th-Fall Picture Day
  • Wednesday, September 15th-PBIS Fundraiser-Roy Rogers
  • Friday, September 16th-2 Hour Early Dismissal-Midterm
  • Friday, September 23rd-3.5 Hour Early Dismissal-Fair Day
  • Monday, September 26th-School Closed-Rosh Hashana
  • Tuesday, September 27th-Interims Issued
  • Wednesday, October 5th-School Closed-Yom Kippur

Assistant Principal Caseload

Mr. Bittner: 8th Grade & 6th Grade A-L

Ms. Shank: 7th Grade & 6th Grade M-Z

Counseling Caseload

Emergency Preparedness at TMS

The safety of our students and staff is top priority. Our staff has been trained in specific protocols in order to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and then recover from any type of situation. During the first couple of weeks of school, we plan to practice the safety drills. Establishing protocols for the required safety drills is important to do at the beginning of the year. This year we have practiced silent drills. Our students have done a fantastic job implementing silent drills. Please continue to encourage your student to invest in each drill so we are prepared for any situation that arises.

We will practice the following safety drills with our students:

  • Fire Drill (We are required to complete eight fire drills with three being completed within the first 45 days of school.)
  • Lockdown
  • Evacuation
  • Reverse Evacuation
  • Severe Weather
  • Drop, Cover and Hold
  • Shelter in Place
  • Active Assailant (Avoid, Deny, Defend)
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22-23 School Year Updates

Grade Level Syllabus:

Please make sure you ask your child to see the grade level course syllabus for their classes. They are located on their Gateway Schoology Course. If you have any questions, please reach out to your child's teacher.

Students Reporting Security Concerns:

"See Something, Say Something" and "Don't repost it. Report it" - Encourage students to report security concerns to a trusted adult (parent, school staff member, school administrator, SRO, or a local law enforcement agency). Students may also anonymously report concerns using the Safe Schools Maryland Tip Line at 833-MD-B-SAFE. In an emergency, call 911. Additional resources can be found on each school's website and the FCPS website.

Student Firearm Possession:

Schools are required to share the following information at the start of each school year: "It is unlawful for students to possess or use any weapon on school property. Students who have or use a weapon on school property will be suspended from school, and the police will be notified of the incident. A weapon is any object designed to harm another physically or an object which is used in a way that can physically harm another. This school is committed to providing each of you with a safe environment, and we will do all we can do carry out that responsibility, including, if necessary, conducting searches of student lockers."

One Call Now:

In the coming weeks, the person designated on your child’s emergency contact form as primary caregiver, will receive One Call Now messages if your child has been marked absent for the first 2 or more periods of the school day. This call is automated and it is possible that if a child enters school later in the day or doesn’t check-in with their first and second period teachers, the call could occur in error.

As always, please feel free to call our front office if you feel you have received a phone call in error.

Attendance Information:

If your child is unable to attend school due to an illness or doctor's appointment, or any other reason, please email a note to our attendance secretary, Ms. Shannon Ingram at

For early dismissals:

  • Parent/Guardian will come to the office to sign student out
  • Please bring your ID
  • Allow adequate time to locate student for an early dismissal
  • If you allow someone else to sign your student out, please note the name you authorize in your note to the school. They will be required to show ID to pick up student.

Don’t forget, when going to a medical appointment, remember to get a doctor's note from their office. We will update your student's attendance accordingly.

FCPS Bus Delay Information:

A quick and easy resource to check if your child's bus is delayed is to visit This site is updated in real-time to reflect any bus delays.

Volunteering at TMS:

Are you interested in volunteering at TMS? If so, all volunteers must complete the virtual training linked here. Please note this must be completed to chaperone field trips. Please reach out to Shannon Ingram with questions/concerns.

8th Grade Field Trip

We are taking 8th grade students to Catoctin Furnace. The 8th graders will learn more about their local history and the role of Thurmont in the Iron industry. We need about 25 volunteers to make this trip successful. If you are interested, please email

Student Cell Phone & Earbud Use at TMS

In an effort to work together to ensure appropriate use of cell phones for students, we wish to take this opportunity to remind parents and students of the rules for having a cell phone at school. Our FCPS Regulation is linked if you would like to review it. Regulation 400-18 Electronic Devices - Student Use.

Please reiterate with your child that the use of cell phone/ear buds is prohibited for unsanctioned purposes such as: cheating, harassing or bullying others, taking photos or videos of others without permission, checking personal social media accounts, or sexting. At TMS, the rule for cell phones and earbuds is Off & Away. If a student violates this cell phone and/or ear bud policy, for the first offense, the student will be asked to bring the device to the front office where they can sign for/pick it up at the end of the day. If a student violates the policy more than once, they will be asked to bring the device to the front office and a parent/guardian will need to sign for/pick up the device. If a student violates the policy more than twice, disciplinary action may be taken by administration.

Please keep in mind that some violations of the cell phone rules may have consequences not only related to student discipline, but legal action as well. In the past, victims have pursued legal action against both the student and the parent/guardian. Those outcomes are best avoided when schools and parents partner together. Please remind your child to keep their earbuds and cell phone Off & Away. We thank you for all that you do to help us reinforce good digital citizenship.

Tutor Me, a new, free student online tutoring and homework help service, is now available in any subject for students in grades 6-12. is a secure, online resource easily accessible through the FCPS Clever Portal and offers on-demand assistance. The service provides assistance that aligns with the FCPS curriculum, including knowledge of new curriculum tools being implemented. The service maintains rigorous standards, providing high-quality, diverse tutors, screened for excellence (including a criminal background check). The service is available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. More information is available at the vendor website, and this Student Support Document.

Recording Volunteer and Community Service Hours:

TMS students can earn a meritorious certificate for completing 25 or more volunteer/community service hours during middle school. Information about volunteer and community service hours are available HERE on our FCPS website. The RECORDING FORM HERE should be completed and turned in to Ms. Desonier through email or Schoology messages at the conclusion of each volunteer project. There are specific guidelines about the types of projects that qualify as service learning projects so please contact Ms. Desonier at or 240-236-5185 if you have any questions!

TMS Daily Schedule: Doors Open at 7:00AM

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FCPS Regulation Review

All schools are required to share the following FCPS Regulations:

Regulation 500 - 32: Replacement of Lost or Damaged Instructional Materials

Regulation 400 - 73: Responsible Use of Digital Technology

Regulation 400 - 48: Bullying, Harassment, Intimidation Complaint Process for Students

Regulation 500 - 05: Grading, Reporting, and Intervention-Secondary

Car Rider Information

TMS Car Rider/Walker Information:

If your student is a walker or a bicycle rider, we ask that students follow all traffic laws and if they need to cross the street, they use the crossing guard at the corner of Main Street and Summit Avenue. Bicycles should not be ridden, but walked on the Summit Avenue sidewalk as this sidewalk is very congested at dismissal and arrival times.

If your student is a car rider in the morning, arrival "drop off" occurs in the front of the school. Please drive your car to the flag pole and allow students to exit the vehicle. Students will enter at the side entrance with blue doors that can be seen from the parking lot. Please do not drop off students between cars in the parking lot.

For car rider dismissal at the end of the day, student pick-up will be in the parking lot off Summit Avenue. There will be two different locations to park and wait for students. The first is the staff parking lot. Cars will form two lines in the parking lot. If this location is full, you can park along Summit Avenue. Please see the diagram.

To help ensure safety, TMS staff will be in the parking lot helping students cross into the car pick up line. Students need to cross in marked crosswalks. Cars will be allowed to leave the parking lot once the buses leave. Please pay close attention to school staff guidance in the parking lot for everyone's safety. Please have your student picked-up no later than 2:40pm.

Finally, please note that the Town of Thurmont prohibits U-turns on Summit Avenue. If you park on Summit Avenue you will need to drive to the end of Summit Avenue and turn onto Woodland Avenue. Please do not wait and block traffic on the opposite side of the street.

As we adjust to the new routines, thank you for your patience and understanding. We appreciate your cooperation to ensure students are safe.


2022-23 PTA Board of Directors:
Christy Donnelly-President

Danielle Bloxham-Treasurer

Amanda Knott-Secretary

PTA Meetings 5:00-6:00pm

September 1st Board Meeting

October 6 General Meeting

November 3 Board Meeting

December 1 General Meeting

January 5 Board Meeting

February 2 General Meeting

March 2 Board Meeting

April 6 General Meeting

May 4 Board Meeting

We need YOU to become a member of our PTA! Your student was given a printed PTA Membership form and you can also pay for your membership online. Please click the MemberHub link below.

Your membership dues help pay for activities for the students, donations to the school, and help pay for costs of field trips to keep your cost down.


Become a member today!! Thank you for your support~

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