Python Press

Pikesville Middle School Newsletter | December 2018

From the Principal's Desk

Dear Python Families,

We are so proud of our students who made the Principal and Honor Roll for the first quarter! For the first quarter, we had 81 students who made the principal’s honor roll, 20 in 6th grade; 34 in 7th grade; and 27 in 8th grade. In addition, we had 348 students who made Honor Roll, 117 in 6th grade; 115 in 7th grade; and 116 in 8th grade. We are so proud of all our hard-working students who made the Principal and Honor Roll for the first quarter. The goal for the second quarter is to see these numbers double! Let’s keep it going!

Winter break will begin at the end of school on December 21, with school reopening on January 2, 2019. Parent-Teacher conference night for the 2nd quarter will be held on January 3, 2019 from 4:00-6:00 pm. Second quarter will end on January 25, 2018. Please review these dates with your child to ensure academic success for the 2nd quarter.

It is exciting to see the joy on the faces of our middle school students during this holiday season. During this busy time of the year schedules can become hectic with concerts, parties and family visits, which can cause stress. As the holiday season approaches, please give your child the gift of extra time. When students share a memorable time in their life, they don’t talk about gifts, they usually chose to talk about an experience they have had with someone special. On behalf of our staff, we hope you have a great winter break with your children, family and friends. We look forward to continuing to work together as a team with you to provide your child with the best educational experience here at Pikesville Middle School.

The PTA is running a membership drive through December 21. The first homeroom in each grade to have 100% PTA participation will each win a Python water bottle from our community partner, CHAI. Please be sure to join the PTA by December 21 to qualify! Membership forms can be downloaded here. Have your child bring the form in to their homeroom teacher with a check. Sixth grade families are free, but please fill out a form.

There is no greater gift than to have a positive impact on a child’s life. This holiday season, I’m reminded how fortunate we all are with the opportunity to share in this gift. #WeArePikesville #PythonPride


Kalisha T. Miller

Important Dates to Remember

December 12 PTA Meeting, 5:00 p.m. | Band Concerts

December 13 Orchestra Concerts

December 21 Second Quarter Interims | Last day for homerooms to qualify for PTA Membership Drive prizes

December 24-January 1: Winter Break

January 2 School Resumes

January 3 Parent-Teacher Conferences 4:00-6:00 p.m.

Preparing for Parent-Teacher Conferences

Parent-Teacher Conferences are January 3, from 4:00-6:00 p.m.

To get the most out of meeting with your child's teachers, consider reading over these helpful guides.

Questions to Ask at a Conference

A list of questions you may want to ask at your child's teachers.

What Do I Know about My Child's Academics?

Research indicates that students are more successful when parents are involved in their child’s education. Parents are encouraged to think about and set goals for being involved in their child’s education.

6th Grade News Flash by Mr. Sullivan

Hello 6th Grade Families!

Greetings families of 6th grade students! It is the holiday season and the second quarter has officially begun. We are still in the season of thankfulness and have so much to be thankful for here at Pikesville! In the month of November, students discussed thankfulness and gratitude in their classroom community circles. Students helped donate canned goods and other Thanksgiving treats to help families in need. We appreciate all of our sixth-grade students and we are thankful for their diligence with their schoolwork and their attention to our community building here at PMS.

As we reflect on the first quarter, we are amazed at the talents and hard work of our students. It is clear that our 6th grade students are truly immersed in the work, engaged in academic and social conversations with peers, and applying this to the real world. Not only have they had academic successes but they’ve also mastered their A/B day schedule and finally figured out their lockers!

We are excited to celebrate the accomplishments of our students at our first quarter awards assembly, which is now in the beginning of December. At this assembly, we will celebrate students who made honor roll, Principal’s Honor Roll (straight As), perfect attendance, improvement recognition, and awards for students who demonstrate aspects of our Python PRIDE Pledge (Prepared, Respectful, Inclusive, Diverse, and Engaged). There’s also the coveted “All the Way Up” award that goes to the students that have shown the greatest improvement academically and/or behaviorally. We also want to show our appreciation for our parent’s involvement and communication with us. We appreciate you and the support that you have shown as we have been getting to know your children.

6th grade families also get a free PTA membership.The first 6th grade homeroom with 100% PTA participation by December 21 will each win a Python water bottle. Fill out your form today!

On behalf of the entire 6th grade team, we wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season!


Mr. Sullivan

The 7th Grade Scoop by Ms. Luechtefeld

Happy holidays 7th graders! This is an exciting time for our students – most of them are working hard and preparing for their Winter performances. Whether it is Chorus, band, orchestra, or dance, we are looking forward to seeing our students display their talent in front of their families and friends. In addition, Basketball season is starting and we are looking forward to supporting our Python teams!

Parents, please reflect on the first quarter report cards with your students. Interim time for second quarter is coming up soon. As we are headed in to the second quarter we’d like to remind students of a few things: keep checking your grades on Schoology and communicate with your teachers if you need coach class or extra help. Also remember, as the weather gets colder coats and jackets are expected to be left in your lockers, and ID’s must be worn around your neck at all times!

This year has started off great and we are so happy to be working with such an awesome group of kids!

Lastly, the first 7th grade homeroom with 100% PTA participation by December 21 will each win a Python water bottle. Join the PTA today!

Sheila Luechtefeld

Assistant Principal

8th Grade Updates from Ms. Norris and Mr. Laraia

Hi 8th grade families!

Now that it’s cold, please double check the dress code and school policies. Students may not wear hats/masks, hoods, or large winter jackets during the school day. Hoodies are allowed, but the hoods may NOT be up. If your student does not know their locker combination, they need to see their home room teacher or the guidance office.

The 8th grade trip was a great success! 163 8th graders traveled to Towson University to watch a basketball game against Loyola. It was a very exciting day. We had both students and teachers participate in game time activities and Towson won in a tight match, 62-57.

The first quarter awards ceremony is coming soon. We will celebrate the 8th grade’s success in first quarter grades, attendance, and the teacher nominated All The Way Up and PRIDE awards. Keep an eye out for certificates coming home with your students in the next few weeks!

The first 7th grade homeroom with 100% PTA participation by December 21 will each win a Python water bottle. Join the PTA today!

As always, if you have a questions or concerns, please contact us.


Mrs. Hammel, Ms. Norris & Mr. Laraia

It's Academic

English Language Arts

Classroom spelling bees are now taking place. The top two winners from every class move on to the school-wide written spelling bee to be held before winter break. In language arts classes, all sixth graders are studying Greek mythology and finding references to the old myths in everyday life, like Nike! Seventh graders are beginning to read the play A Raisin in the Sun, and advanced seventh graders are reading Hidden Figures before also reading Raisin. All seventh graders will be comparing text to film this quarter. All eighth graders are studying the art of suspenseful storytelling using short stories and choice books. Students in reading are using iReady and independent reading to support their skills. Theater students continue to grow and to learn how to use their bodies and voices to express and to perofrm text while delivering powerful messages. AVID and CCR students are learning strategies to support their executive function and lead to greater success in all classes.


Welcome to 2nd Quarter Historians!

The end of November brought a roll out of National History Day. Students chose and proposed their topics, collected sources, and will begin a new online note-taking strategy through NoodleTools. Research will be completed in school and for homework through the month of December before we begin building projects in January. In between our research we will has be conquering Unit 2 which is reflected by grade level below:

Ancient World 6 – Mesopotamia and Egypt. Where did they settle? What caused them to grow? What were their achievements?

Medieval World 7 – Medieval Europe. How did kingdoms grown socially, politically, and economically during the Dark Ages of barbarians and chaos?

American History 8 – The American Revolution! How did Britain’s parliament and the colonists lead to a new and independent nation?

This month, students will be researching a topic for this year’s National History Day Project theme: Triumph and Tragedy. Visit< for more information.

World Languages

Bonjour et Hola! This year is moving so fast, we are quickly approaching the midpoint of the second quarter soon! All classes are wrapping up Unit 1 assessments this week. Students demonstrated their proficiency in listening, reading, speaking, and writing in the target language.

All teachers offer coach classes for makeup work or extra help. We are having a department-wide coach class for students who struggled during the first quarter on December 6th from 3-4pm. Bus transportation in not guaranteed. Parents were sent a letter this week. If your child had a D or E in World Language for the first quarter and you did not receive an invitation to this coach class, please ask your child to get another copy of the letter from his/her teacher. As always, ask your child’s teacher when they can stay after to help if needed for individual coach classes.

All classes are beginning Unit 2 this month. French and Spanish first year classes will be starting to learn about school subjects, school supplies, and the school systems and lunches in other countries. French and Spanish second year students are learning how to talk about their past and their childhood.

Eighth grade students are already starting to think about what level language they will take next year in high school. Your child’s teacher will suggest the best placement so that your child will have success in high school language class.

If you have any questions, please contact Mrs. Scott, World Language Department Chair at


November was a Steam-tactic month, and we would like to thank all of the families that came out to join us on November 29th! Although December is a shorthand month, we are excited about all the content that we will be covering! Engineering is taking a deep dive into quantitative data to prepare for their final product. 6th grade is getting slimes with physical science as they are studying changes in matter. 7th and 8th graders are both embarking on a trip through the world of life science by analyzing the similarities and differences in living organisms. Please reach out to any of us if we can support you in any way! -Mrs. Miley, Department Chair


The second quarter interims are coming home in a couple of weeks. Please make sure you are reviewing your child’s grades with them and signing up for coach classes where needed regularly. Math 6 is working on Number Operations and next will be Proportionality – Ratios and Rates; Math 6 GT is working on Using Variables, next will be Representing Numbers; Pre-Algebra 7 is working on Ratios and Proportional Relationships, next will be Expressions, Equations and Inequalities; Math 8 is working on Proportional and Non-Proportional Relationships, next is Solving Equations and Systems of Equations; Algebra 1 is working on Exploring Linear Relationships; next is Exponential Relationships; Geometry is working on Geometric Reasoning, next is Parallel and Perpendicular Lines. Remember the textbook is online in BCPSOne – Digit Content.

Counselor's Corner

Six Year plan

Baltimore County Public schools (BCPS) adopted its current Six Year Plan model in 2015. Beginning in 7th grade, each BCPS student will meet with their School Counselor annually to explore their pathways to success. This is an ongoing process that allows students an individualized plan in pursuit of postsecondary pathways.

The 7th grade and 8th grade school counselors will be meeting with your child on an individual basis to talk to them about their Six Year Plan survey and initiate a discussion about their post-secondary goals. This meeting will take place sometime between now until May 2019. We will discuss goal setting, exploring opportunities and course recommendation. We will also conduct classroom visits.

The 6th grade school counselor will continued to visit the classrooms to conduct themed classroom lessons that consistently use restorative practices that build communities within the classroom as well as career exploration.

Contact Info:

Ms. Dorsey Daeschner (Grade 6)

Mrs. Venetia Banks (Grade 7)

Mr. Mike Hess (Grade 8)

You can also call the School Counseling department at 410-887-6725.

Thank you,

Venetia Banks, School Counseling Department Chairperson

Pikesville Middle Winter Concerts 2018

The music and dance departments at Pikesville Middle School would like to invite everyone to our Winter Concert series. All performances will take place in our school cafeteria and everyone is welcome to attend. Concert dates and times are listed below.

If you have any questions, please contact Mr. Permenter at or call the school at 410-887-1207.

Pikesville Middle Winter Concerts 2018

Wednesday December 12 BAND CONCERTS

6 Band 6:30 p.m. A. Auffarth/C. Yadush

7/8 Band 7:30 p.m. C. Yadush

Honor Band 8:30 p.m. C. Yadush

Thursday December 13 ORCHESTRA CONCERTS

6 Orchestra 6:00 p.m. S. Norris

Symphony Orchestra 7:00 p.m. S. Norris

Philharmonic Orchestra 8:00 p.m. S. Norris

The PTA @ Pikesville Middle: It's Never Too Late to Join!

Next Meeting: December 12 at 5:00pm in the Library (note time change due to concert schedule)


Have you visited our PTA website?





Please contact a board member below if you would like to assist with the PTA. We need you!


President: Sarah Palanzo

Vice President: Alicia Danyali

Treasurer: Candice Rodriguez

Secretary: Allyson Simon

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!



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: Mr. M. Sullivan

Grade 7: Ms.Luechtefeld

Grade 8: Mrs. Hammel

Grade 8 Faculty Advisers: Ms. Norris & Mr. Laraia

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