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Pikesville Middle School Newsletter | November 2018

From the Principal's Desk

Dear Pikesville Middle School Families,

On November 12, 2018, the second quarter of the 2018-2019 school year will begin. Students should reflect on the first quarter and determine areas of growth for the 2nd quarter. Students should challenge themselves to improve each quarter to ensure their academic success.

The Python PRIDE motto is one that we need students to observe daily. The Python PRIDE motto states that students are Prepared, Respectful, Inclusive, Diverse, and Engaged! I encourage you to remind your child daily that embracing the Python PRIDE motto will ensure he/she is a successful student at Pikesville Middle School.

Part of our mission statement at Pikesville Middle School is to establish strong values and

citizenship within and beyond the school community. Every student’s experience should be the result of being educated in a safe and strong community. At Pikesville Middle School, we

believe that all students should be active participants in making the community a better place to live, learn, grow, and raise a family. As scholarship is engaging in the work of a scholar, community-ship is engaging in the work of the community. As an important part of our community, students must learn to display positive attitudes, respect the rules/expectations, and participate in the work of developing a strong and safe community. Being part of a school community, includes the community being an active member of the school. American Education Week is November 12-16, we invite the community to join us and be an active part of our school.

The schedule for American Education Week:

Tuesday, November 13-6th Grade Visitation Day

Wednesday, November 14-7th Grade Visitation Day

Thursday, November 15-8th Grade Visitation Day

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.

If you haven't done so already, please join the PTA. We have one of the fastest growing PTAs in the area. Membership for sixth grade families is free, and the first homeroom in each grade to have 100% PTA participation will each receive a Python water bottle.


Kalisha T. Miller

Important Dates to Remember

November 9 First Grading Period Ends

November 12-16 American Education Week

November 14 PTA Meeting 6:00 p.m.

November 16 Magnet Applications Due

November 22-23 Schools Closed for Thanksgiving

November 26 Report Cards Distributed

6th Grade News Flash by Mr. Sullivan

Hello 6th Grade Families!

It has been a great first quarter with a lot of excitement, new learning, and relationships built. As the first quarter comes to a close and a new quarter begins, we want to reflect on our accomplishments. Coming up in November, we will have an assembly that will give us the opportunity to celebrate the wonderful accomplishments of our students. 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). We are proud of their hard work, which was truly evident in September and October.

We wanted to take this opportunity to acknowledge three events that were held this past month to recognize our 6th grade students. We were very pleased with the turnout for our 6th Grade Induction Night, which was held at Sudbrook Magnet Middle. It was a great opportunity to watch our students shine and to be welcomed into the Pikesville Middle family. We also wanted recognize our newest 6th Grade AVID scholars who were inducted into our AVID program just a few weeks back. Thank you to all of our parents, family, and friends who helped make the night memorable for our newest AVID students. We look forward to watching our student leaders grow. Lastly, many of 6th grade students were invited to participate in our first quarter incentive. Students participated in a pep rally, which included music, dancing, and a lot of fun! Congratulations to those students.

As we look forward to the month of November, we want to encourage our students and their families to remain focused on their academic goals. As our students are thinking about the next phase of 6th grade, they must make sure that they are setting themselves up for success by staying focused in class and putting forth maximum effort on assignments and assessments. Don’t forget that all of us must continue to demonstrate each aspect of the Python Pledge (Prepared, Respectful, Inclusive, Diverse, Engaged) on a daily basis. Practicing these will enable our students to be ready for the rest of the journey.

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!


Mr. Sullivan

The 7th Grade Scoop by Ms. Luechtefeld

October was an exciting month for our students! Our students were finding their groove with their 7th grade schedules and teachers AND we held our First Quarter Incentive with Raven and Porkchop from 92Q. We had more than 220 7th grade representatives at the incentive and had a great time celebrating our successes. Criteria for our next incentive will be on the way soon, so as a reminder, students should be on time to class, focused on instruction, and following the county wide dress code which includes wearing ID badges throughout the day.

Parents, this is a reminder as the quarter comes to an end – please review the re-do policy with your student to make sure they are submitting their work in a timely manner. In addition, make sure you are connected on Schoology so that you can keep up with your students’ progress online. There is a Schoology app that can also be downloaded on your phone so you can get notifications from teachers as well. As always, we appreciate your support.

Again, this has been a great start to the year! Encourage your child to keep up the good work!

Sheila Luechtefeld

Assistant Principal

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

Hi 8th grade families!

We are almost to the end of the First Quarter… it ends on a ½ Day on November 9th. Please start checking your grades NOW in order to get make-up work or re-dos!

We had the Quarter 1 Incentive on 10/26/2018! 92Q (yes, the radio station!) came in to entertain Pikesville students. It included a talent show, give aways and tons of fun! We had over 200 8th graders meet the Incentive requirements and join in on the celebration! Keep a look out for information on the Quarter 2 Incentive. Follow school rules and keep on top of your grades!

As the weather changes, please be aware of the school rules.

  • H20- Hats and Hoods are not allowed in the school building. Please keep hats in backpacks/lockers, and hoods down throughout the school day.
  • Winter jackets are not allowed to be worn through the day, so stop by your locker every day upon arriving to the building. Can’t remember your locker combination? See your homeroom teacher!

Thank you, and as always, feel free to contact us for any questions or concerns!


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, sixth graders will begin their study of Greek mythology, seventh graders are beginning to read the play A Raisin in the Sun, and eighth graders are studying the art of suspenseful storytelling. Students in reading are using iReady and independent reading to support their skills. Theater students have just finished interpreting poetry using tone, facial expression, body language, and stage movement. AVID and CCR students are learning different techniques to support their executive function and lead to greater success in all classes.


The harvest season is in full swing in the science department. In 6th grade science we are finishing our study of how organisms interact with each other and developing an action plan to protect the environment. Our 7th graders have experienced the tastier side of science as they construct a “solar cooker” that will collect heat through radiation to melt their s’mores. And our 8th graders are continuing their travels into Earth’s Past by exploring the evolution of organisms over time. In Engineering, our 6th graders are working as teams to build a candy dispenser which will maximize store profit but minimize store cost. 7th grade Engineering Students are working on design modifications to a toy puzzle that they dissected. The design modification should benefit a student with cerebral palsy. Students are researching cerebral palsy to learn how a person is affected and then they are applying their knowledge to design a change to a single part of the toy or a change to the overall toy and how it is assembled. 8th Grade Engineering students are hard at work with communicating design ideas through isometric art.

World Languages

Bonjour et Hola! As second quarter begins, español and français are moving full steam ahead! In classrooms this month you will find students speaking, listening, reading and writing in French and Spanish. For all students, there are resources and notes on Schoology for review and reference. You should see written homework at least once a week in WL classes, and if none is assigned, students should study notes for at least 10 minutes per night. All students take notes in class and have resources. If they don’t have written notes, they are not doing the work in class. Language acquisition takes practice! In Schoology, you will see both practice and minor grades for drills, small speaking assessments, reading activities, and written work. All teachers are posting work in the course Schoology folders for students to use during class, so it is very important to have ear buds for listening activities and charged devices daily. Remember that students should have devices charged and earbuds EVERY DAY. We use various technology in language classes – video, audio, recording, and more. When students do not have devices charged and earbuds, they miss out on instruction.

All teachers offer coach classes for makeup work or extra help. Ask your child’s teacher when they can stay after to help if needed.

In the curriculum, all teachers are currently finishing Unit 1. French and Spanish 6th grade students have learned how to greet each other and ask and answer personal information questions. They can say their name, age, nationality, origin, and are working on talking about their personalities and other characteristics. They can talk about their families, things they do in their free time, and a little bit about their physical appearance. Spanish 7th, and French 7th and 8th grade students are reviewing skills from last year and are beginning to talk about things from their childhood in the past tense. 8th grade French students are going to write to pen pals from Douai, France starting the first week of November. Eighth grade Spanish classes are busy talking about summer vacations and using advanced tenses in their speaking and writing. End of unit assessments will be given before Thanksgiving break.

French students are using edpuzzle to watch videos and do listening activities in French. Ask your child to show you how it works! Spanish students are using Flipgrid and Voicethread to record videos. Great tech tools!


The first quarter ends November 9th, please make sure you are looking in Schoology with your child and checking their current grades. All contents are finishing up an unit at this time and will be giving a County Assessment before the quarter ends. Math 6’s next unit is Number Operations, GT 6 is Using Variables, Pre-Algebra 7 is Ratios and Proportional Relationships, Math 8 is Proportional and Non-Proportional Relationships, Algebra 1 is Exploring Linear Relationships, Geometry is Geometric Reasoning.

Coffee, Cookies & Chat with the Counselors during American Education Week!

Please stop by to the school counseling office to meet the new School Counseling department chairperson, Mrs. Venetia Banks as well as chat with your child’s school counselor.

Ms. Daeschner, 6th

Mrs. Banks, 7th

Mr. Hess, 8th

Middle school years are often challenging for both student and parents. We will be happy to discuss the following topics:

  • Time Management: Balancing social media time, video gaming time and homework
  • Anxiety
  • Social and peer relationships
  • Getting proper rest
  • Navigating Schoology, etc.
  • College& Career Readiness, 6th
  • Naviance & Planning the Year for 6, 7, 8

The school counselors are looking forward to seeing you.

Baltimore County Magnet Programs Attract Talented High School Students

Each year, Elementary, Middle, and High School Magnet Programs provide an additional option for students. Although many Pikesville Middle School students will be attending their home high schools at Pikesville High School, Milford Mill Academy, Owings Mills High School, or Woodlawn High School, some students may opt to apply to one of the High School Magnet Programs, particularly if they are interested in pursuing a specific interest, dream, or passion. Students who already have career goals in mind might also decide to apply to these programs. The deadline for Magnet applications is Friday, November 16, 2018 at 1:00 PM.

If you have additional questions or you would like to learn more about this exciting educational opportunity, please see Mr. Hess, 8th grade school counselor, in the School Counseling Office. You can also call the BCPS Magnet Office (443-809-4127) or check out the BCPS website:

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

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

Next Meeting: November 14 at 6:00pm in the Library


Have you visited our PTA website?

2018 Meeting Schedule

Meetings are at 6:00 PM in the Library

Raffle Prizes at Every Meeting!

November 14

December 12




American Education Week is in November--we are looking for volunteers to great parents in the library all week (in shifts). Please contact a PTA board member to help!


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!

American Education Week is Next Week!

What is American Education Week?

For 95 years, American Education Week (AEW) has celebrated the hard-working men and women who work on behalf of America’s students, and this year’s reveling was on full blast, elevating and championing the outstanding work and contributions of teachers, bus drivers, paraeducators, cafeteria workers, school nurses, school secretaries, and custodians—plus countless others! The week-long celebration honors students and parents, too, and rededicats the community at large to a quality public education for every student.

Meet and Greet Parents and PTA Members

The PTA will host light refreshments in the library during this week so parents can take some time between classroom visits to catch up on email, meet other parents, and write a thank you note to your child's teachers. Teachers deeply appreciate these notes!

Donate a Book for the Little Free Library

Have some gently used, age-appropriate books for middle schoolers? Bring them in during this week for Pikesville Middle's Little Free Library program. Children can pick up free books (and donate books) anytime!


Community Events

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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