Raider Nation News

Week of April 29, 2019

Busy, Busy, Busy

Dear Atholton Families,

This week marks the beginning of the busy months of May and June. Over the next two months, there will be several events celebrating our seniors, state mandated testing, AP testing, and let’s not forget athletics! Please refer to our school website to stay informed about the many activities that will take place during this busy season.

I had the opportunity to celebrate with several groups of students and their families this past week. To begin, I had the opportunity to attend the HCPSS Black Student Achievement Senior Recognition Program. It was a great evening celebrating not only our seniors but those from all over the county. Congratulations to Rahel Petros for winning the Sankofa Award. This award recognized Rahel for her high academic achievements, leadership, and good character. Next, I was honored to attend the Army JROTC Outstanding Cadet Awards Ceremony. The evening recognized cadets from both Atholton and Howard High Schools for their outstanding contributions both in and out of the classroom. As principal, I was so proud to see our cadets be recognized for their outstanding work. Moreover, I was impressed by the number of senior cadets that are going on to pursue a career in the armed forces. I thank each of them for their commitment to serve our country! Friday morning was spent at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory at the Student Learning Conference. Several of our students presented about the college-level academic research they are engaged in through our Gifted and Talented (G/T) program. What an impressive display of knowledge. The work our students are doing is mind-boggling! Friday evening, I spent a windy and chilly evening at Howard High School supporting our boy’s lacrosse team. What a game! Our boys fought hard in their 9-7 loss to Howard. In spite of the loss, I was thrilled to see the perseverance displayed on the field—nice job boys. Lastly, yesterday evening I had the opportunity to see several student-directed one act plays entitled One Night Only. From a play dealing the with the aftermath of a school shooting to King Lear, the students of Mr. Rosen’s Advanced Theatre class did an outstanding job of acting and directing.

This coming weekend is PROM! On Thursday, our School Resource Officer, Officer Kane, we will hold a Pre-Prom Assembly to talk to students about some of the dangers of alcohol and drugs during this prom season. We will also use this opportunity to review school policies and expectations for before, during, and after prom. If your child has not already done so, please encourage him or her to consider our After Prom, taking place at the Columbia Gym. It is a safe, fun alternative to the many pitfalls that may exist after prom. Please visit our PTSA website to purchase tickets. We are still in need of volunteers to assist as well.

As I mentioned early, we are entering the state-mandated testing window. This week begins the first of several weeks of testing for our students. Please find below the dates for the particular exams. We encourage a good night's sleep and a good breakfast on the days of the exams. Students will test for 90 minutes on each of the following days.

  • English 10 PARCC - April 30, May 1, 2
  • Algebra 1 PARCC - May 3, 6, 7
  • Algebra 2 PARCC - May 8, 9, 10 (ninth grade only)
  • Government HSA - May 29, 30, 31

On another note, I was contacted by representatives from HCPSS to ask if Atholton would host two bus load of prospective teachers on Wednesday. These recent college graduates are seeking possible teaching positions in Howard County and taking a tour of our building to witness some of the outstanding teaching taking place.

Finally, as the 2018-2019 school year comes to an end, it is time to begin thinking about new leadership of our PTSA. Our current president, Kim Lowe, has done an outstanding job leading this year, but as the parent of a senior, we need to find someone to take her place. We have several senior parents and need others to take over for next year! Please contact our PTSA if you are interested or know someone interested.

Have a fantastic week!


Robert A. Motley


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Graduating students attended a meeting on Wednesday, April 24, at which they received important information regarding graduation and other senior activities. The packet distributed at that meeting, which includes the full senior schedule for their last week of school, can be found here:, along with answers to frequently asked questions. The packet and webpage will be updated as changes or additional details, e.g. event times, are confirmed.

A few important items to highlight are as follows:

1. The deadline to submit a written request to Mrs. Adkins in the front office for additional graduation tickets, beyond the standard allotment of 10, is Thursday, May 16.

2. The deadline to pay student obligations, in order to receive graduation tickets, is Friday, May 17. Caps and gowns may also be held for those students who have outstanding obligations. Debts should be paid in cash (no personal checks) to Mrs. McIntyre in the Front Office.

3. All seniors are required to attend school through Wednesday, May 22, 2019, attending all classes each day, unless they provide a written early dismissal request from their parents or guardians.

4. Timely attendance at all rehearsals is mandatory for those students who wish to participate in the graduation ceremony.

5. Participation in the graduation ceremony is not required to receive a diploma. If a student will not participate in the ceremony, the student’s parent must submit a written request for non-participation to Mr. Motley by Friday, May 17, 2019.

Graduation announcements ONLY—not caps and gowns—were also distributed this week to those students who had ordered them from Balfour. Any students who did not receive their ordered announcements should first check with their English teacher before calling Balfour. Please note that items that were not ordered on time may arrive later. This is also the case for caps and gowns, which will be distributed next week. Upon receiving the cap and gown, students should immediately write their names inside both items and then hang the gown up! Wrinkles do not come out when the gowns stay in the bags. Gowns cannot be ironed or tumble dried. To steam out stubborn wrinkles, hang the gown up while a hot shower runs.

With questions about commencement, please email Ms. Bonomo-Thomas, Commencement Coordinator, With questions about other senior events, please contact the appropriate sponsor. With questions about caps/gowns/announcements/etc., please call 1-800-BALFOUR.

Atholton HS Values -- Your Input Is Needed

Mark Your Calendar

May 2 -- Pre Prom Assembly

May 3 -- Senior Shadow Day

May 3 -- 3rd Quarter Honor Roll Ice Cream

May 4 -- Prom

May 24 -- School Closes at 9:45am for ALL students

May 24 -- GRADUATION @ 12 noon

May 27 -- School Closed -- Memorial Day