Python Press

Pikesville Middle School Newsletter February 2018

From the Principal's Desk

Dear Pikesville Middle School Families,

With the third term well under way, we want to thank everyone for their continued support of our students, teachers, and school as we collectively strive to provide optimal opportunities for learning each and every day. The Pikesville Middle School administration and faculty value the important contributions families make towards a student’s success in school. There is no question about it—success at school starts at home. Families are the most significant influence in a student’s education. One of the great hallmarks of a great school is the partnership between the school and families who work together for the best interest of all PMS students. We encourage every family to join and participate in our PTA. This month we will continue our Parent Focus groups on the topic of school uniforms. Your dialogue is critical to this topic as we look to make the best decision for our students at PMS. So please join us on February 21 from 5:00-6:00 pm for our next Parent Focus group and then stay for our PTA meeting from 6:00-7:00 pm.

The connection between home and school is critical. When staff and parents work together, student educational experiences are enhanced. Student academic success and personal responsibility at Pikesville Middle School are dependent on a cooperative triangle comprised of student-teacher-parent/guardian. Through a close and shared partnership with all stakeholders associated with Pikesville Middle School, I am confident our school will continue to be a successful place for our students to learn and grow. Thank you for the privilege of serving your children and thank you to all of the families and teachers for your hard work and dedication to the school community each and every day. #WeArePikesville #Python Pride


Kalisha T. Miller

Important Dates to Remember

February 1 Second Quarter Reports Cards Distributed

February 19 President's Day, School Closed

February 21 Parent Focus Group (School Uniforms) 5:00 pm

February 21 PTA Meeting 6:00pm

February 21 Northwest Area Education Advisory Council Meeting 7:00pm, Pikesville High

February 22 Third Quarter Interims Distributed

March 2 Last day to take the BCPS Stakeholder Survey

Parent Focus Groups: School Uniforms

Join school leaders and other parents/guardians on February 21 at 5pm in the Library to discuss the possibility of school uniforms. All parents and guardians are encouraged to attend. We want your input!

6th Grade News Flash by Ms. Luechtefeld

Hello 6th Grade Families! This month students were tasked to complete the Winter administration of the MAP assessment in their language arts and math classes. Many students were able to meet their goal and some greatly surpassed their score! These students will be invited to an ice cream social which will take place later in the month if they reached their goal in either Reading or Math.

Also, Second Quarter report cards were distributed on February 1st. On February 6th, 6th graders will participate in an award ceremony to showcase students who earn Honor Roll, Principals Honor Roll, Perfect Attendance, the Python PRIDE award for students who continuously exemplify the characteristics of a model Pikesville student, and the All the Way Up award for students who have shown great improvement. Please emphasize with your student the importance of coming to school every day prepared to learn and engaged in the lesson.

Lastly, NorthBay is around the corner! We currently have over 100 students participating and are happily making arrangements for this exciting field trip at the end of March. All permission slips and medical forms must be turned in no later than Friday, February 16th. If you have been making installment payments, your second payment is also due on this date. We are looking forward to this trip and other fun events that we can plan for our 6th graders!

Ms. Sheila Luechtefeld

The 7th Grade Scoop by Mrs. Hammel

Greetings 7th Grade Family and Friends,

Welcome to Third Quarter! As we move towards the end of MAP testing, we want to applaud the 7th grade students for their attendance and the efforts they put forth during this time. Kudos! Remember to continue to remind students to remain focused and on task during your classes as we move towards 3rd quarter interims. Please reach out to your teachers when necessary for coach class, to ensure that you they successful this quarter.

In continuing with our school vision of building relationships in the classroom, the teachers have also been participating in collaborative learning activities to promote team building as a grade level TEAM. During our most recent team meeting, teachers worked together to build spaghetti towers!

Also with moving forward with the vision of building relationships, we will be holding our first 7th grade “I Heart 7th Grade VALENTINE’S DAY Social”, on Wednesday, February 13th during 2nd period. This event will be a fun way for students to mingle, team build and share nice thoughts about one another. In order to attend, students must have no minor or major referrals, so please continue to do your best in class. And remember NO REFERRALS! As always, we look forward to an awesome quarter!

Mrs. Anne Hammel

8th Grade Updates from Mr. Sullivan

January has brought the start of the second half of the school year and our 8th graders are that much closer to high school. As February begins, so does the start of much excitement as the final push to high school is on the mind of students and teachers alike. Some of the excitement surrounding the end of middle school is about the special events and celebrations that are held closer to the end of the year. In the coming weeks, students will learn about the events planned to celebrate the successful completion of this milestone. Letters outlining these events and the criteria will be coming home. We ask that parents review the letters with their child and remind them that these events are earned by meeting the criteria that will be discussed with the students.

Students completed MAP testing in their language arts and math classes. Students were challenged to improve their fall scores. Those that meet their target growth score will be invited to a special incentive. Congratulations to all that met their target growth score.

A highlight of the end of the quarter is our spirited awards ceremony which will be held in February to recognize students that have achieved straight A’s, honor roll and perfect attendance. Teachers also nominate students for two special awards, the Python PRIDE and All the Way Up in recognition for most improved in academics or behavior. This assembly is an exciting event where students cheer each other on for their accomplishments. It definitely contributes to our focus on academic achievement and the respect for our school and our community.

As always, we look forward to your continued support of Pikesville Middle School and our 8th grade team.

Mr. Sullivan

It's Academic

English Language Arts

In Spelling Bee news, the final bee was to take place on one of our many inclement weather days this month and has been rescheduled for early February. Stay tuned! Theater classes had a special guest actor visit in late January and they are currently working on individual monologues. Reading students just concluded their I-Ready mid-year assessments, and most students have just finished MAP testing. We are proud of all of our students for their focus, effort, and growth shown during testing. In language arts, we are excited to begin brand new units for both sixth and seventh grade GT. They will be reading One Crazy Summer and Hidden Figures, respectively. All students this quarter will be reading historical fiction or narrative non-fiction representing some of the most compelling moments in our nation’s history: President Lincoln’s assassination, the Space Race, the Harlem Renaissance, the Great Depression, and the Civil Rights Movement. Be sure to engage your child in conversation about what they are learning in language arts!

Social Studies

For classes participating in the National History Day Project, we just finished submitting and presenting our National History Day Projects on a Conflict and Compromise in History. Be on the lookout for student Exhibit Boards, Websites, Documentaries, and Research Paper. We will be showcasing student projects all month long. Also, congratulate the following students for entering into the National History Day Competition:

6th Grade

Gregory M – Salem Witch Trials - Exhibit Board

Sirtaj D – The French Revolution – Exhibit Board

Carli L – The Korean Split – Exhibit Board

Reuben D - Unity and Modernity: Germany and Its Influence on Europe - Documentary

7th Grade

David K – Thirteen Days: The Story of the Cuban Missile Crisis – Research Paper

Gerard J -

Jane Z – Galileo Galilei: Fact VS. Faith - Website

William F– The Berlin Wall – Exhibit Board

Sophia C – The War of the Roses – Website

Nathan K – The War of 1812 – Website

6th Grade Ancient World is researching Ancient Greece where students investigate the geography, achievements, and decline of their city-states then move into Ancient Rome.

7th Grade Medieval World will be entering Medieval Europe where students will be learning about all aspects of life during Medieval Times. Feudalism, Manors, Charlemagne, Guilds, Jousting and much more! HUZZAH!

8th Grade American History is starting Unit 3 will begin with the challenges America faced once it became a new nation post Revolution. The Articles of Confederation, compromises, and the Bill of Rights!


Third Quarter has begun, please make sure you are checking BCPSOne regularly to see how your student is performing in their mathematics class. Students have taken the Winter MAP Assessment, please ask your student about their progress. Math 6 is working on Ratios, Rates, Percent and Proportions; Math 6 GT is working on Representing Sets of Numbers and Shapes; Pre-Algebra 7 is working on Expressions, Equations, and Inequalities; Math 8 is working on Solving Equations and Systems of Equations; Algebra 1 is finishing working on Data Analysis, and Systems of Equations/Inequalities then will be working on Geometric Sequence and Exponential Functions; Geometry is working on Properties and Attributes of Triangles. Remember the textbook is online in BCPSOne – Digit Content.

World Languages Welcomes a New Spanish Teacher!

Bonjour et Hola! We have some exciting news in the World Language Department. We were able to add a teacher to our staff to help reduce class sizes, and are pleased to introduce Mrs. Jennifer Books as a fabulous addition to Pikesville Middle School. She started the 3rd quarter teaching Spanish 1 and 2 classes. Mrs. Books was born in Baltimore and earned a BA in Modern Language and Linguistics from UMBC and attended the University of Salamanca, Spain. In her spare time, she tutors struggling students and is also a musician. She teaches Kindermusik courses to toddlers on the weekends. Her mission is to embrace the 21st century instructional methods to reach the 21st century learner with determination, deliberation and care. Please make sure you welcome her if you see her in the building or hear your child talking about their new Spanish teacher. Bienvenidos!

In our classrooms this month you will find students have already learned how to discuss their school day, and are currently talking about food and healthy lifestyles using some real-world sources and websites. Spanish and French 1 students will soon begin discussing activities and hobbies as well as what to wear. Level 2 students are also talking about healthy choices relating to activities and how to keep their bodies healthy. They will learn how to explain their symptoms if they are sick and articulate what they need to feel better. French 2 students are also beginning to correspond with their pen pals from Douai, France. They will be writing letters about how they spend their time, where they live, and what kinds of things they used to do when they were younger. They’ll also be discussing chores they have to do in the home and describing their dream homes. It’s a great opportunity to see how French teens live and think. Very exciting things happening in World Languages in February!

For additional practice and enrichment at home, your child can use to review vocabulary, we also like to track progress and for extra practice.

If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.
‒Nelson Mandela

The PTA @ Pikesville Middle: We need you!


  • Valentine's Day Chocolate Bar (February 14): We need parents to donate chocolate and candy for a Valentine's Day Chocolate Bar for the faculty and staff. Please send in or drop off non-perishable donations to the office by Friday, February 9. We need a few parents to volunteer to set up the Chocolate Bar on Tuesday, February 13. Please contact Adrienne Gordon.
  • Teacher Appreciation Week (May): We need 2-3 parent chairs to help organize this event. We are in need of raffle donations for teachers. This can include gift certificates, gift cards, salon services, food, bling--all appropriate gift items accepted! Please contact Adrienne Gordon if you are interested in chairing, organizing, or donating.

Next Meeting: February 21 at 6:30pm in the Library


Everyone who attends gets entered to win a raffle prize! December raffles: Sephora sample bag; Pikesville Discount Card; Arbonne make up!

It's never too late to join the PTA!


President: Adrienne Gordon

Vice President: Alicia Danyali

Treasurer: Chava Elgamil

Secretary: Regina Gee

Google Phone Number: 443-738-4660


Would you like text reminders for upcoming PTA meetings? If so, click HERE to enroll. Your cell phone number will remain private, and you will receive text reminders before meetings.

DON'T FORGET TO like us on Facebook and check your news feed for important updates!

Local Parenting Seminars

CHADD Support Group

Wednesday, February 7

ADHD vs Executive Functioning

Led by Richard Silver, M.D. from the Thrive Center

8:00 - 9:15 p.m. | Weinberg Park Heights JCC, Board Room

Please contact Gila Haor for more information at or 410-843-7588.

A Baltimore Parents' Night: "What Kids and the Rest of Us Need Now: Positive Behavior Management at Home"

Wednesday, February 14

Featuring Dr. Ross Greene

7:00 - 9:00 p.m. | Weinberg Park Heights JCC

Fee: $10 in advance/$15 at the door

Light refreshments will be served

Please register HERE


If every family brings in 10 boxtops by February 16, we will raise $1,000 for our school. Bring your boxtops to the main office. Print out a collection sheet here. Boxtops are often found on name-brand items like cereal, sandwich bag boxes, food boxes, kleenex boxes, etc. Thank you for your support! Want to know what products have box tops? Click boxtops. Questions? Contact Yesenia Alsina, our Box Tops Coordinator.


Parents, please remind your child to charge their laptop each night. Students should arrive to school with their device fully charged. Don't forget the cord!

Pikesville Middle School Vision

Pikesville Middle School students will develop excellence in academics, character, and habits of mind by participating in student-centered learning experiences that promote 21st century skills.

Pikesville Middle School Mission

Pikesville Middle School aims to promote a safe, equitable, learner-centered environment for all students. In order to prepare our students for high school, college and careers, we will:

  • Provide rigorous, relevant, and responsive instruction to all students.
  • Establish supportive respectful relationships that encourage responsive behaviors.
  • Instill healthy habits to support positive social, emotional, physical, and academic development.
  • Establish strong values and citizenship within and beyond the school community.

About Us

Principal, Mrs. Kalisha Miller

Assistant Principals

Grade 6: Ms.Luechtefeld

Grade 7: Mrs. A. Hammel

Grade 8: Mr. M. Sullivan

To report an absence, please send a note in with your child upon their return to school.

FAX 410-887-1259

Other Important Numbers:

Guidance: 410-887-6725

Cafeteria: 410-887-1209

Library: 410-887-1272

Nurse: 410-424-9347