PYTHON PRESS

Pikesville Middle School - September 2022

From The Principals Desk:

We have had a wonderful opening at Pikesville Middle School. Students have spent time getting to know their teachers and classmates, as well as structures and procedures at PMS. As teachers begin to move through the curriculum, it’s important for our students to know that they will encounter productive struggles to ensure they are mastering the content. We want our students to know that we will be there to support them, but they need to take academic risk to achieve at high levels.

Pikesville Middle is identified as a CEP school for breakfast and lunch. CEP is community eligibility provision, which is a USDA regulated federally funded program where schools meet a certain criterion and can offer all students breakfast and lunch at no cost. All students at PMS will receive free breakfast and lunch every day. This year, snacks will also be served, however, students must purchase snacks. Students will need to have money on their lunch accounts to purchase snacks.

Please make sure you join our PTA to support your child. The first PTA meeting will be held on September 21 from 7:00-8:00 pm, the meeting will be held virtually. A link will be sent on Tuesday, September 20 to join the meeting.

Finally, we know that middle school students will have conflict, however, our job is to teach them how to peacefully handle their conflict. Students should not engage in fighting to handle the conflict. Seek out a trusted adult to help you resolve conflict. Be reflective and open to listening to the other person. We care and are here to support you. If you know your child is having a conflict, please contact the school so that we can address the issue.

The connection between home and school is critical. When staff and parents collaborate and effectively work together, student educational practices are heightened. Each student’s academic success and their respective personal responsibility at Pikesville Middle School are heavily dependent on a cooperative triangle encompassed with student-teacher-parent/guardian. Through a close and shared partnership with all stakeholders invested with Pikesville Middle School, I am confident our school will continue to be a successful place for our students to learn and grow! On behalf of the faculty and staff at Pikesville Middle School, we look forward to an exciting and productive academic school year!

IMPORTANT DATES



September 19 - MAP Testing Window Opens


September 21 - PTA Meeting 7:00 - 8:00 p.m. - virtual


September 26 - Systemwide Professional Development Day – Schools Closed for Students – Teachers on Duty – Rosh Hashanah*


September 30 - First Quarter Interim Grades in FOCUS Portal

6th Grade News Flash by Dr. Sullivan

Greetings 6th grade families,

Welcome to the Pikesville Middle School family. At PMS, we are a family and treat each member of our community with respect and kindness. Our goal this year for the 6th grade class is to help each of them develop new relationships, to learn the expectations for students at PMS, and to meet the academic goals that each student sets for themselves. It is important that 6th grade students access resources that are available to them in the school, particularly our experienced and dedicated staff. Our staff will be working closely with our students to ensure that we come together to create a safe and fun experience for everyone. In 6th grade, we have awesome teachers who will undoubtedly guide and nurture our students. Also in 6th grade, we introduce Mr. Koehler and Ms. Getty, our proud Team Leaders. Mr. Koehler and Ms. Getty will be working with our students to promote positive behavior, to help create fun incentives, and to shout out students at our quarterly honors assembly, among other things. Dr. Matthew Sullivan is the 6th grade Assistant Principal and Ms. Kimberly McIntosh is the 6th grade counselor. They are both here to support the 6th grade students. Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions, concerns, or positive feedback. Good luck to everyone on a fantastic school year.

7th Grade Scoop by Mr. Jackson

Greetings!! It is truly exciting to begin the start of grade 7 with you. I have great joy in having the opportunity to work with our students and families. To those students and families new to PMS, welcome! We are PMS! We are Python Pride! Under the direction of Principal Miller, our staff is prepared and eager to start this school year with the very best of intentions. With determination, deliberate action, we hope every student will be on the path to maximizing their potential. Last year was a challenge, and we have been working to be constructively responsive to those issues that deterred our students from success.

Student are still transitioning between social circles, transitioning physically and socially from children into teenagers. And like a lot of transitions, things can get a little challenging from time to time, especially when children are left to navigate the many complexities of middle school on their own. This school year, Advisory was introduced. The Advisory Program is a part of a larger BCPS Middle School Initiative. Advisories are designed to create a strong support system that students need to develop academically, socially, and emotionally. As opposed to being called upon in response to a crisis, as might be the case with a guidance counselor, advisory programs are meant to be proactive, creating a strong support system and safety net that students can turn to before something becomes a crisis. During the first week of school, Advisory was held daily in order to focus on building relationships and SEL related activities. Advisory will now be held every Wednesday and studies have shown Advisory to have a benefit in numerous ways. For example, it supports the tools needed for student success like time management, planning and self-advocacy. Additionally it is a platform for students to navigate social and emotional issues.

Updates:

· BCPS has passed a countywide cell phone policy. This policy aligns with our cell phone policy already in place. Cell phones are only permitted during lunch and at the discretion of Administration.

· Transportation has formulized a code of conduct for students that ride the bus. A progressive discipline chart to inform students and families was created which outlines consequences that include parent contact, temporary suspension and permanent removal from bus transportation.

We look forward to celebrating our students again during our quarterly incentives, recitals, and club activities. For Grade 7, our team is committed to supporting our families in every way. Please reach out to us with questions and concerns.

7th Grade Administrator ajackson@bcps.org

7th Grade Counselor Ms. Daeschner- ddaeschner@bcps.org

7th Grade Team Leader Mr. Hanzelka chanzelka@bcps.org

8th Grade Updates from Ms. Luechtefeld

Welcome Back 8th grade Pythons!!!


First we would like to introduce the 8th grade support team: Ms. Luechtefeld (sluechtefeld@bcps.org) is the 8th grade Assistant Principal, Mrs. Banks (vbanks2@bcps.org) is the 8th Grade school counselor, and the 8th grade team leaders are Ms. Ibbitson (kibbitson@bcps.org) and Ms. Grant (agrant@bcps.org). We are here to provide support to the 8th grade students throughout the year. If you have any questions or concerns please reach out to us at your earliest convenience.


Magnet Schools: Magnet School brochures are now available for 8th graders to review. Baltimore County will be holding a Magnet School Expo on September 17, 2022 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at New Town High School. Applications will be accepted starting on September 13, 2022.



Reminders for at school etiquette:


Cellphones:


Baltimore County Public Schools has recently passed a policy for cell phones to be away and out of view. This means students should not have their cell phones on their desks. They need to keep them silenced and away. The only time students should be on their phones is during lunch per the decision of the administration. If you need to get in touch with your student during the school day, please call the main office (443-809-1207) and they will relay the message to your student. Thank you for assistance in this matter.

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AVID

What is AVID? AVID, which stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination, is a comprehensive instructional system which provides strategies, resources, and support for college and career readiness and success. AVID tools help our teachers here at Pikesville Middle School to implement and refine instructional practices, thus providing the key academic and social support that all of our students need to thrive.

This month our teachers are focusing on building relationships to ensure that each individual student is known and valued. In the classroom, these relationships are developed through the atmosphere created by the teacher. AVID strategies that build relational capacity provide opportunities for students to participate in conversations or team-building experiences and form a community. One example of a relationship building strategy is “Team Huddle.” Students move around the room when they hear music playing. The teacher then turns off the music, and calls out a number. For example, when the teacher calls out, “Four,” students will then create groups of four. Once students are in huddles, the teacher calls out an action and a low-risk topic to share or a question prompt to answer. Once students have had time to discuss as a group; the teacher then turns the music back on and continues calling out huddle groups of different numbers and giving them actions and topics.

Strong relationships help both teachers and students set and maintain high expectations and support each other to reach those goals. AVID is family and we promote accountability of each other's actions. Parent’s if you have any questions regarding the AVID program I can be reached at bthompson6@bcps.org. # WE ARE AVID.

IT'S ACADEMIC

Math

Welcome back! The mathematics department is ready for an exciting new school year. Our teachers for this upcoming school year are Mr. Koehler, Ms. Merritt, Mr. Paules, Mrs. Robinson, Mr. Bahl, Mrs. Gersh, Mr. Ford, Ms. Douglass, and the Department Chair is Ms. Quayhackx. The following are the first units for each course: Math 6 – Area and Surface Area; 6/7A – Areas; 7B/8 – Rigid Transformations and Congruence; Math 7 – Scale Drawings; Math 8 – Rigid Transformations and Congruence; Algebra 1 – One-Variable Statistics; Geometry – Constructions and Rigid Transformations; Algebra 2 – Sequences and Functions. We have a new curriculum this year, read through your child’s syllabus to see the new topics. We will be incorporating some new and fun strategies this year in each class in order to have a great and successful year for all.

Science

Science/ Engineering

Welcome Pikesville Pythons to the Science Department! We are excited for the 2022-2023 school year and look forward to meeting you all! This year our teachers:

- Mrs. Green 6th and 7th grade Science

- Mr. Struder 7th grade Science

- Mr. Lace 7th and 8th grade Science

- Mrs. Stringfield (formerly Ms. Robinson-Hill) 8th grade Science

- Mr. Smith 6th 7th and 8th grade Science (Special Educator)

- Mr. McChesney 8th grade Engineering

- Ms. Porter 7th and 8th grade Engineering

- Mr. Marcellino 7th and 8th grade Communications and 6th grade Engineering

- Mr. Ridley 6th, 7th, and 8th grade Engineering (Special Educator)

- Ms. Felton-Woolcock 7th grade Science and AVID (Department Chair)

We are also excited to welcome Ms. Meye to the 6th grade science team!

Our Science and Engineering teachers have been diligently planning this summer to provide you with exciting, rigorous, and engaging lessons, as we prepare to return to a full year of in-person learning.

Please refer to your students Schoology page to view teacher syllabus , class specific materials/supplies, specific units for each course, and class expectations. Remember if you have any questions or concerns your teachers can be contacted by email and through Schoology.

We look forward to an exciting school year!

English

The Pikesville ELA teachers happily welcome you back to school! We are excited for all of the learning experiences we will share this year. Please welcome Ms. Deshields, Mrs. Gambo, and Mrs. Simpson to our ELA team. We are thrilled to have their talents and warmth present in their classes each day.

The ELA department comprises both reading and language arts. We offer several reading intervention classes. By specializing, we are able to meet student needs in comprehension and phonics to help students reach grade level reading ability. Our amazing reading teachers are Ms. Deshields, Mrs. Ibbitson, Mrs. McCowan, and Mr. Mathias.

In English language arts, all students will develop their skills in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and critical thinking. Sixth grade teachers are Mrs. Grogin, Mrs. Lane, and Mrs. Bynum. Mrs. Bynum also teaches 7th grade and joining her is Mrs. Gambo. Finally, our “senior” middle schoolers will have Mrs. Miller and Mrs. Simpson. Mrs. Hill, our ELA dynamo, teaches all three grade levels!

In language arts, students often are not all reading the same novel, as parents might be used to. Students are able to choose their own independent reading text from class, school, public, and home libraries. Students read for 15-20 minutes in class during language arts and are expected to read for 30 minutes every day outside of school, including days when they don’t have language arts class.


Research shows us that students who read a lot build fluency, comprehension, and vocabulary that will increase their performance in all of their other classes as well. They also grow in empathy and in understanding the world around them. All classes will be going to the library in September, and students will be able to visit the library during their lunches. Please encourage your child to read!


Pikesville Middle School’s ELA Vision Statement:

At Pikesville Middle School, we believe that students have the autonomy to select high-quality books that reflect their lives and experiences, provide different perspectives, and empower them as independent readers. We support the “Reader’s Bill of Rights.” We encourage students to share their reading experiences with their families.


Social Studies

Welcome Back! It is indeed a pleasure to welcome all our returning students and our new students to the 2022-23 school year! We have a talented team of teachers that look forward to working with you on your pursuit to academic excellence. 6th grade Ancient World History will be taught by Mr. Phillips, Mr. Mathias, and Ms. Thomas. 7th grade Medieval World History will be taught by Mrs. Pultorak, Mr. Stump. 8th grade American History will be taught by Mr. Gentile, Mr. Thompson, and Mrs. Winfield. Ms. Wind will be teaching all grade levels. As a department we have set our sights on a common goal of providing rewarding and challenging learning experiences for all our students.

Social Studies in middle school is made up of history, geography, government, civics, economics, and sociology. In addition, we are focused on ensuring our students learn the importance of consistency, maturity, and organization. We will navigate through different sources of information with an emphasis on focused notetaking, source analyzing, building reading stamina, and evidence based written assignments. In the first quarter our content area will focus on the following:

Ancient World 6 – Unit 1 – This unit will start at the beginnings of human history and explore the shift from nomadic to sedentary/agrarian societies. Students will also compare a hunting-gathering society and an agricultural society to analyze similarities and differences in socio-economic structures as well as the environmental impact of each way of life.

Medieval World 7 – Unit 1- This unit will examine the impact of trade and religion on the growth of empires. In addition, how religion and trade influence the development and expansion of Empires in Asia, Africa, and Europe.

American History 8 – Unit 1- In this unit, students will study how the United States transformed from thirteen British colonies to an independent nation. Students will be introduced to the early ideas and principles of government that will set the stage for the new democracy. Students will investigate the events, people, and policies that brought about the American Revolution. Through an analysis of historical writings, students will appraise how the colonists shaped the political and social development of the new nation.

We look forward to working with you and your child throughout the school year to provide a productive and safe learning environment that supports student success.

Foreign Language

Bonjour et Hola! Welcome back to school. We are very excited to start this school year with our World Language students. In our department this year we have Mr. Rivera, who will be teaching Spanish Novice A and Novice B. Mrs. Fung will be teaching Spanish Novice A, Ms. Pendrak will be teaching Spanish Novice B, Mrs. Grant who is teaching Spanish Intermediate and French Novice A and Mrs. Scott who is teaching French Novice B and French Intermediate. We also have an intern, Mr. Simon, who will be working with Mrs. Scott and her French classes. Please welcome him!

Our first unit in Novice A classes focuses on beginning to talk about oneself, and Novice B and Intermediate begin to develop personality vocabulary. We will be listening, speaking, reading and writing in every lesson and students may get homework each night, depending on the topic.

If your student would like extra work at home, try www.flangoo.com, www.quizlet.com, and www.conjuguemos.com. You can also try Duolingo, which is a free app!

Coming soon: Spanish Club, French Jr. National Honor Society and more.

Related Arts

Welcome Back from the Pikesville Middle School Related Arts Department!

Related Arts are your “Specials Area” classes. At Pikesville Middle School they consist of Physical Education, Health Education, Art Education, Chorus, Band, Orchestra, World Music, American Music, Theater and Dance Education. We have so many new and exciting opportunities for our students this school year.

PHYSICAL EDUCATION and HEALTH EDUCATION:

Physical Education and Health are combined together with the same teacher for both courses. All students must take PE and Health class. All students will be in PE for the first two weeks of school in order to collect baseline data for FITNESSGRAM testing. After the first two weeks Mr. Desort’s classes will begin health class while the other classes will remain in PE for the rest of the first Quarter.

Teachers for Physical education and Health Education are Ms. Mary-Jean Britt (Department Chair 8th grade and APE), Mr. Ed Desort (6th & 8th grade), Ms. Catherine Speer (8th), Mr. Craig Hanzelka (7th) and our newest member Mr. David Bentzley (7th & 8th).

PHYSICAL EDUCATION:

ALL students must wear a PE Uniform. The PMS PE uniform t-shirt or sweatshirt is required to be worn during ALL PE class. All purchases are to be made from the Online Store link below. Uniforms will NOT be sold at the school. PMS shorts and sweatpants is an optional purchase from the online store. Students can wear shorts, sweatpants, and/or leggings from home.

Purchasing Information for Physical Education Uniform:

· Timeframe: September – October 3rd

· Cost: Shirt (Required Purchase) - $10.00, Shorts – $11.50, Sweatshirt - $19.50, Sweatpants - $21.00

· Online Store Link: https://pikesvillemiddleschoolpe2022.itemorder.com/shop/home/

HEALTH EDUCATION:

8th grade Health Parent Opt-Out Letter:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1R8kQs-J0Ow1Fa5KaCAOriVBQEqAPNUOko_fH1jS4OTs/copy?usp=sharing

6th grade Health Parent Opt-Out Letter:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1hA6tN2aRnAutsq9vS36uCCIGO-x9x3V6mnwRk4aO7iI/copy?usp=sharing

ART EDUCATION:

Art Education is welcoming a new teacher Mx. Erica Feldenzer is joining the Pikesville family this school year. Mx. Feldenzer teaches 6th, 6th GT and 8th grade GT and Mrs. Payne teaches 7th grade and 7th Grade GT.

My name is Mx. Feldenzer or Mx. F for short. I am the new visual arts teacher here at Pikesville Middle School! This will be my third-year teaching art to middle school students, and I will be teaching 8th grade GT art, 6th grade portfolio preparation, and 6th grade art. I am excited to share my experiences and skills as an artist with my students and learn from my students as well.

The first unit that 8th grade students will start this month involves exploring different facets of identity through the vehicle of portraiture. Students will use drawing materials such as charcoal, colored pencils, and graphite pencils to create a range of values and contrast throughout their work. 6th grade students will focus on the 7 elements of art through drawings that convey different parts of their identities as artists. Students will use pencils, colored pencils, and markers to complete this activity.

Mrs. Payne’s Art Classes:

7th grade will be working on creating Illuminated letters that complement their Social Studies curriculum and the art curriculum unit of Identity.

8th grade will be working on the Identity Unit through looking a street art and creating a graffiti style tag.


*The Art department is in need of plastic bottle caps and empty plastic water bottles for a recycle sculpture unit later in the 2nd marking period.

MUSIC EDUCATION:

Music Education is taught by four different teachers. Mr. Permenter teaches Chorus, World Music and AVID. Mr. Lavallee teaches American Music and Orchestra. Ms. Leggiero teaches World Music, 6th grade Band and the Honors Band classes. Mr. Rauson teaches World Music and the 7th and 8th Grade Band.

Mr. Permenter’s chorus classes are singing their hearts out each day in rehearsals. In addition to refining their musical skills, the chorus students are enjoying learning the following songs:

Let the River Run, Siyahamba, and May Joyful Music Fill the Air.

We’re looking forward to performing for everyone at our Winter concert on January 10th at 7:00 pm at PIkesville HIgh School.

World music 7:

Welcome back 7th grade families, and welcome to world music 7! This year I am very excited to explore different musical cultures with your students. Parents, please make sure that your student has pencils and lined paper with them for world music every day. Syllabi were handed out to students during their class and should be signed and returned by 9/23 (Friday). If you have any questions about your child's progress in world music this semester, please reach out through schoology, email, or google voice. We are starting with the elements of music and then diving into the music and culture of West Africa.



6th grade band:

Welcome to middle school band parents! It has been a pleasure getting to know your students and you the first few weeks of school. Please ensure your child has their signed instrumental handbook by Friday, September 23. If students are using a school owned instrument, they need to have a contract signed and returned to the school before they can bring the instrument home with them. If you are renting an instrument for your musician, please use our music vendor, Menchey, who offers great rent-to-own options. Your students should be bringing their instruments home at least 2-3 times a week and practicing on the days they do not have band class. Each instrumental music student is required to have a method book this year for their band class. 6th grade students can purchase a book through Ms. Leggiero or can order the sound innovations book 1 (for their instrument) on their own. Should you have questions, please reach out to me via email or google voice. (lleggiero@bcps.org, 410-989-1261)



Honor Band

Welcome to the 7/8 grade honor band! I am very excited to work with your musicians this school year. We have already started playing in band class; therefore, all students should be bringing instruments back and forth to school with them. This year, each instrumental music student is required to have a method book for their band class. 7th and 8th graders can purchase this book through Ms. Leggiero or order on their own. The book that the honor band will need this year is Sound Innovations book 2 (for their specific instrument). Should you have any questions going forward, please reach out to me via email or google voice. (lleggiero@bcps.org, 410-989-1261)

DANCE EDUCATION:

Mrs. Harris previously known as Ms. Crockett is the Dance teacher here at Pikesville Middle School. "The dance students at Pikesville Middle School will begin their first dance unit of the school year with ballet. Students are required to come to dance class prepared with their proper dance clothing. The required dance clothing is all black and must be appropriate for school. Devices are used in every class, please be sure to come to dance with a charged device. In the coming weeks students will begin learning choreography to prepare for the Winter Dance Concert"

THEATER EDUCATION:

The Theater Arts classes are taught by Ms. Lancaster, she teaches all grade levels. In Theater class, students have spent time reviewing school rules and procedures by composing skits about everything we have learned about how Pikesville Middle School works! Students are enjoying the creative playwriting process and will be excited to do their first performance. Finally, we will be getting into Theater vocabulary very soon!

Counseling Corner

Welcome back and a warm welcome to our newest Pythons to our Pikesville Middle family!

It is hard to believe we are back for another year of learning. The summer months did go by quite fast!

We look forward to visiting the classroom to introduce our school counseling team to each and every one of our students as well as attending the first PTA meeting to meet our parents and guardians.

We have a new face to our team, Mrs. Kimberly McIntosh. She comes to us from Overlea high school and brings a wealth of knowledge to our program.

This first quarter, our team will be conducting classrooms visits so your students will get to know us. In addition, we will offering individual and small group services and classroom guidance lessons. It is essential for us to provide services that promote personal and social growth, which, in turn, raising student’s self-confidence level which enhances academic standards.

Call upon us at 443-809-6725 should you have any questions or concerns about your child.

Mrs. Banks, school counseling chairperson & 8th grade school counselor- vbanks2@bcps.org

Ms Dorsey Daeschner, 7th school counselor -ddaeschner@bcps.org

Mrs. Kimberly McIntosh, 6th school counselor kmcintosh@bcps.org

Ms. Jordan Bailey, school counseling practicum intern

Special Education

Happy September! Welcome back to school!

We have started out strong and had a good opening. Students have already been working very hard, getting acclimated to being back at school full time, reuniting with old friends, and making new ones. With that there are lots of resources for us to use.

Resources For You!

On bcps.org under the Students & Families Tab (Link - https://dci.bcps.org/department/special_education/special_education_resource_center ) you can be added to a contact list to begin receiving the weekly SERC News & Notes or just click another link and get the Fall edition of the Hand in Hand Newsletter. Or you can find them on @SpecialEducationResrouceCenterBCPS

Please feel free to reach out to the Department of Special Education or us here at Pikesville, as we have just received Resources for Parent Resources & Support, Sports & Recreation, Tutoring, Mental Health, Funding, Social Skills, Equipment, Sign Language, and Respite. Also available to you is the Lending Library https://baltimore.follettdestiny.com located at White Oak School, 8401 Leefield Rd., Baltimore, MD 21234. There all BCPS parents and employees as well as local university students can borrow materials.

We hope you have a wonderful September and will continue to support you will your needs! Come back in October to see what other opportunities might be available.

Health Suite

As we start another school year, we need to remember that COVID is still around. If your son/ daughter has symptoms of COVID, please have them tested for COVID. If the test is positive, please notify Nurse Limmer at jlimmer@bcps.org or 443-809-5000. If their test is negative, please have them wear a mask at school while symptoms persist.

Please make sure that your son/ daughter’s immunizations are up to date and that the health suite has a copy of the completed vaccinations. If you are having difficulty getting an appointment with your pediatrician, please contact Nurse Limmer for assistance.

If your son/daughter needs medication at school such as an inhaler for asthma or an epi pen for severe allergies, please make sure to have your pediatrician complete the appropriate forms and contact Nurse Limmer in the health suite.

Also, if there are any changes in your child’s health status, please let Nurse Limmer know.

For any questions or concerns please contact the health suite at 443-809-5000 or jlimmer@bcps.org.