Raider Nation Newsletter

Week of December 7, 2020

Important Announcements This Week

Dear Atholton Families,

The newsletter this week will focus on the several systemic announcements made that over the last week. All of the information is below. The information, ranging from inclement weather closings, athletics postponement, senior graduation requirements, ARL Virtual Nights, and junior PSAT details.

Please read carefully and feel free to reach out to those identified for more information.

Wishing you all a safe and productive week!

Warmest Regards,

Robert A. Motley



On November 30th HCPSS announced that due to the increase of COVID-19 infection rates across the county the winter athletic season, previously scheduled to start on December 7, 2020, is postponed until January 4, 2021. Virtual athletics sessions will continue and online registration for winter athletics will remain open via HCPSS Connect. Directions can be found online.

The athletic department will keep the community aware of updates as they become available. Please contact Mike Senisi at for any questions and/or concerns.


Parents....please help us in assuring that our seniors complete this VERY important graduation requirement:

One of the requirements to graduate is the World of Workpiece (resume and mock interview). As you may remember, seniors completed the resume through their English 11 classes last year. They were not able to complete the mock interview as it was supposed to take place last March. Instead of an interview this year, ALL SENIORS will need to complete a post-secondary statement.

  • Open up the attached google slide with your HCPSS Account-

  • Save a copy. Name the slide with the senior's name.

  • Answer the question on the slide.

  • Share as a google slide to Mrs. Beneski by February 1st.

Don’t delay in doing this. This is a graduation requirement.

JUNIORS ONLY -- PSAT Information

On Tuesday, January 26th, Atholton High School will be offering the PSAT to 11th graders.

The primary purpose of this administration is to give students the opportunity to qualify for the National Merit Scholarship Program. Participation is not required by HCPSS and students can qualify for the National Merit Scholarship Program without a PSAT score. Information on the National Merit Scholarship Program and how to apply without a PSAT score can be found here:

Key January 26th PSAT Details:

  • The exam starts at 8:30 AM and ends around 12:30 (arrival and dismissal details will be sent in January)

  • Transportation will not be provided.

  • Students will test in small groups of 10 or less.

  • Classroom desks will be arranged to provide 6ft of clearance between students at all times.

  • Face coverings will be worn at all times by students and staff.

  • Students will miss their synchronous classes during the PSAT. Absences will be marked as excused.

  • No exam cost to HCPSS students.

  • Scores will be sent by the College Board in mid to late-March.

  • Cancellations are possible due to county-level COVID metrics or school level COVID cases.

Please complete the form below to sign-up for the January 26th administration. Only students who complete the form will be allowed in the building to test.

Forms must be completed by 12/23. Please send any questions you may have to

ARL Virtual Nights

Virtual ARL Info Sessions: December 8 and January 7

The ARL will be hosting a Virtual ARL Info Night to provide an opportunity for students, parents, and community members to learn more about the career academies offered at the ARL. Attendees may attend one session or two sessions each night. Attendees will need to register to attend each session of interest so that the link to the meeting can be sent to the attendee. Registration information is included in the news post link given below.

Virtual ARL Info Night News Post:

Inclement Weather Policy Changes

For the 2020-2021 school year, while in virtual, small groups or hybrid instructional models, HCPSS will transition to fully virtual instruction during inclement weather days. This will allow the school system to make a decision earlier when inclement weather is expected and provide families with earlier notice so they may make necessary adjustments. The Maryland State Department of Education has approved the inclusion of virtual instruction days among the 180 minimum required academic days each school year, so these days will not have to be made up at the end of the school year.

It is important to note that the primary purpose of closing schools is for safety. Canceling all instruction on inclement weather days would require make-up days to be used in the summer. By being able to use virtual instruction during inclement weather days, HCPSS will be able to follow the academic calendar as scheduled. This will allow staff better flexibility to implement summer interventions without disruption for students requiring additional academic support.

The full list of weather status codes is available on the HCPSS Status website.

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PTSA Reflections Program

Entry Deadline: December 11, 2020

Please consider participating in the PTSA Reflections Program.

Use the arts to share your personal Reflections on this year’s theme: I Matter Because…

Entry Form:

Reflections participant form_AHS_2020.pdf

Your work will be judged for interpretation of theme, creativity and technique. Choose one or more of the methods below:

Dance Choreography: Solo and ensemble works of all dance styles are accepted. The entrant must be the choreographer and may also be the performer, or one of the performers. If background music is used, cite it on the entry form. Video file must not exceed 5 minutes in length and 1,000 MB (1,000 megabyte) in file size and be in MP4 or AVI format.

Film Production: Accepted short film styles include: Animation, narrative, documentary, experimental or media presentation. Use of PowerPoint is prohibited. Entrant must be the screenwriter, cinematographer, editor and producer. If background music is used, cite it on the entry form. Video file must not exceed 5 minutes in length and 1,000 MB (1,000 megabyte) in file size and be in MP4 or AVI format.

Literature: Accepted forms of fiction and nonfiction include: Prose, poetry, reflective essay, screen play and play script, narrative, and short story. Entrants may write in their primary language as long as an interpretive English translation is also attached. Use of copyrighted material is prohibited. Writing must not exceed 2,000 words and may be handwritten or typed. Accepted formats: Single-sided print on 8 ½x11” paper, PDF file.

Music Composition: All music styles and combinations of instrumentation are accepted. Entrant must be the composer and may also be the performer, or one of the performers. Use of copyrighted material is prohibited. The audio recording must not exceed 5 minutes in length and 1,000 MB (1,000 megabyte) in file size. Accepted audio file formats include: MP3 and WAV. Notation (score/tablature) in PDF format is only required for middle and high school divisions.

Photography: Photo must be a single print/digital image. Collages and collections of photos are not accepted. Entrant must be the photographer and may use a variety of digital editing techniques including but not limited to, multiple exposure, negative sandwich and photogram. Use of copyrighted material is prohibited. Print image dimensions must be no smaller than 3x5 inches and no larger than 8x10 inches. Accepted print formats:

Mounted on mat or poster board no larger than 11x14 inches. Framed prints are not accepted.

Digital image dimensions must be at least 640x960 (pixels) and 300 dpi (resolution). Accepted file formats: JPEG, JPG, and PNG.

Visual Arts: Works of both fine and design arts are accepted, including but not limited to: architectural drawing and models, ceramics, collage, computer generated images and graphics, crafts, drawing, fashion clothes and jewelry, fiber work, mixed media, painting, printmaking and sculpture. Use of copyrighted material is prohibited. 2D artworks must be mounted on sturdy material and no larger than 24x30 inches with matting.

Framed entries are not accepted. Include one digital image of artwork with your submission. 3D artwork submissions must contain 3 digital images of artwork at different angles. Image(s) are used for artwork identification, judging and exhibition purposes. Accepted file formats: JPEG, JPG, and PNG.

Special Artist: Students who identify as having a disability and may receive services under IDEA or ADA: Section 504 may enter in the Special Artist Division or grade division most closely aligned to their functional abilities. See Official Rules for details.

AHS Yearbook STILL Needs Your Pictures

Now that we are not going to be back in the building until APRIL, we need your photos and voice more than ever. If we are going to create a yearbook this year, we need you? For the past 53 years, we have put out a yearbook. Don’t be the reason there is no yearbook this year.

We are putting together pages and stories on:

1. Students during FLEX Time -What are you doing between 10:45 and 1:10 each day?

2. How are you socializing during this time?

3. How do you practice self-care or relax?

4. Show us your Work Area -We want to see where you work, we are going to do a spread on Home Offices/Work Areas.

5. Show us your Pets -Who are the fury friends you are spending time with?

6. What are you doing outside?

7. Have you traveled at all? -Have you gone to a park, hiking trail, the beach, or some other place?

A survey will come out shortly with various questions, please answer any questions you can. We are using your responses for stories and quotes.

Please see the attached info for details and instructions to upload photos.

If you have any questions please contact Mr. Mackechnie at


Go to

Enter User ID: 415465128

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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

December 24 - January 3 -- Winter Break

January 4 -- School Reopens