PYTHON PRESS

Pikesville Middle School - March 2021

From The Desk of the Principal:

Pikesville Middle School Community,

We are excited to start the process of welcoming students back in a Hybrid Learning Model. Our Hybrid Learning Model will consist of students returning to school 2 days a week in a cohort model. Students in cohort A, will have in person learning on Monday and Tuesday, with virtual learning on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Students in cohort B, will have in person learning on Thursday and Friday, with virtual learning on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. While our teachers will have some students in person and some virtual, our goal will continue to be building community within our classrooms by continuing to practice social emotional learning strategies to engage our students. As students return to Pikesville Middle, things will look and feel different. We held a virtual parent night to showcase what our new look will entail. In addition, students were provided an opportunity to watch a presentation, to ensure they understand the expectations when they return to the building. As we start this Hybrid Learning Model, I want to take time to remind you that the physical walls of the school building do not define the classroom. Our awesome students and dynamic teachers make the classrooms; so, as we continue in our Hybrid Learning Model, with in person learning and virtual learning, our students will continue to help our community grow both academically and socially. During this Hybrid Learning Model, as the principal, it is my mission to promote a safe, equitable and learner-centered environment that will inspire and propel our school family to places of continual growth and excellence.

The new Hybrid Learning Model will present new hurdles to overcome, however, we will overcome them as a Pikesville Middle School community. We are excited to welcome our students back in a cohort model for in-person learning. Our goal is to work together to support our students, families, and staff during these challenging times. Please go to our website and download our Hybrid Family Handbook as a resource to answer questions and a directory of staff to contact when you have questions. Please continue to provide ongoing feedback to teachers, counselors and school administrators about your child’s experience and needs throughout the remainder of the school year.

Important Dates:

3/26 Spring Break Begins at the end of the School Day

6th Grade News Flash From Ms. Luchtefeld:

Happy March 6th Grade Families! Our second semester classes are off to a fast start! Friday March 5th marks the half-way mark through the quarter! Sixth graders are doing an excellent job of building a sense of community in the classroom as teachers are continuing to encourage students to participate and turn on their cameras. Remember, asynchronous Wednesdays are a day that students meet with their classes to ask questions, get some extra practice, redo assignments, and complete missing work. Wednesdays are such a powerful day to keep our Pythons' successful and our community strong.

Please reach out to teachers about concerns for conferences to be held on March 11th. Sixth graders are doing an excellent job. As we continue to plan for our change to a hybrid approach to learning, we are excited to welcome some 6ht graders back into the building while staying committed to teaching those students whose families have chosen to remain at home. Be on the lookout for new details regarding some upcoming changes to the schedule.

Lastly, please remember we are all here to support you!

Ms. Luechtefeld – 6th Grade Administrator: sluechtefeld@bcps.org

Mrs. Banks – 6th Grade School Counselor: vbanks2@bcps.org

Mr. Koehler – 6th Grade Team Leader: ckoehler@bcps.org

Mr. Lavallee – 6th Grade Team Leader: llavallee@bcps.org

7th Grade Scoop From Mrs. Hammel:

Hello again, from the 7th Grade Team. We are so proud of the seamless transition our students made into their new classes to begin the 2nd Semester of the 2020-2021 school year. Our students have shown an enormous amount of flexibility and determination to keep up the great work in new classes with new teachers and peers. Moving forward, we encourage our students to continue to grow. Do not be afraid of making mistakes. Our Chorus Teacher, Mr. Permenter, says it best: "In music, making a mistake is part of the learning process. The more mistakes you make, the more you learn and the better you will sound!" The same can be said for any subject at Pikesville Middle School.

The time between Winter and Spring Break can seem long and treacherous; however, with a little perseverance anything is possible. 7th Grade Guidance Counselor, Mr. Hess, wanted to share a few words of wisdom. He states, “Resilience is a process. It is the result of hard work, self-awareness, perseverance, and being patient with yourself as you learn from your mistakes.” The 7th Grade Team at Pikesville Middle challenges our amazing students to consider Mr. Hess’s words through the next month to ensure we continue to be successful in school.

Until next time, remember TEAMWORK MAKES THE DREAM WORK, and always show your #PythonPride!

8th Grade Updates From Dr. Sullivan:

Hello Awesome 8th Graders!

Springtime is approaching and we are halfway through the third quarter already. We are getting closer and closer to saying farewell, but we still have a lot of time left in the school year. The eighth-grade team wanted to take this time to remind you how proud we are of your accomplishments through this unprecedented school year. Your resiliency and dedication to your own success has not gone unnoticed. We are proud of every one of you. We are “Pikesville Strong”. As you look at your interim reports, we hope everyone did as well as they anticipated up to this point. If you are not satisfied with the results commit to making the necessary changes to ensure your success for the remainder of the quarter.

It is important that you are checking your Schoology messages and the Pikesville MS Schoology feed where we include updated information on high school registration, magnet school applications, and other information. If you have missed any of the registration meetings, we encourage you to reach out to the counseling department at the high school they are expected to attend.

As we head into the second half of the school year be reminded that each one of you are scholars and will achieve greatness. Please continue to demonstrate PRIDE daily by, attending your classes on time, participating in class, submitting assignments when due, and asking questions when you do not understand. Remember to advocate for yourself in your classes. If you are having problems understanding or keeping up with the work be sure to message your teachers. Attend coach when available. If you need help with time management or organization; remember, your teachers, team leaders, Mr. Daeschner and Dr. Sullivan are here to support you with anything you need. Do not hesitate to reach out! Now go and be GREAT!!!!!!

Matthew J. Sullivan, PhD

Assistant Principal

Baltimore County Public Schools

Pikesville Middle School

443-809-1207

Social/Emotional Learning:

As we begin welcoming students and staff back into the building, the months of March and April will focus on making us all feel like a community family, again, with virtual and in person students. We will work on activities to assist students with making each other feel supported and heard. These lessons will give students an opportunity to heal from the trauma of the last year and come out stronger with a toolbox of skills to navigate the world.

It's Academic

Math

The third quarter is well underway, please make sure you are checking Schoology frequently to check for missing work and to look at grades. All courses have taken or are about to take the Unit 1 Assessment. Math 6 is working on Number Operations, 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 the Real Number System, next will be Ratios and Proportional Relationships; Math 8 is finishing Solving Equations unit and moving into the next unit Systems of Equations; Algebra 1 is working on Linear Functions and Models; next is Exploring Linear Relationships; Geometry is working on Extending Transformational Geometry, next is Geometric Reasoning. We have an online textbook for all the courses, read through your child’s syllabus to see how to access their textbook. There are also other helpful resources through Schoology links. We will be incorporating the use of DESMOS into instruction periodically to help give the feel of being in the classroom together and the ability to view student work live during instruction for feedback. Class attendance is important due to the pace of the courses, please reach out to the teachers if your child is experiencing technical issues.

Science

In 6th grade science, students are learning about ecosystems, honeybee life cycles and the connections between all organisms using food chains, food webs and relationships between organisms. Our 7th grades are learning about heat transfer and how heat moves through conduction, convection, and radiation. Next students will move into the Form Follows Function unit and focus on cells, tissues, organs, and organ systems. Finally, our 8th graders are studying natural disasters and the systems that cause various disasters.

In Mr. McChesney’s 8th grade Engineering class, students began the Automation & Robotics unit by examining open-loop and closed-loop systems in machines as well as the role of these systems in first- and second-generation robots. This understanding will prove most valuable in the weeks to come as students write code in order to program virtual VEX robots to complete very specific tasks. In 7th grade Engineering, students began the Magic of Electrons unit by investigating everyday “circuits” that don’t involve electricity (such as running a lap on an outdoor track or going food shopping and coming back). The key here is to understand that for electrical circuits to work, the same kind of continuous loop is required. Students then identified the four main components in every circuit. Currently, students are examining the relationship between voltage, current and resistance (Ohm’s Law) in order to explain how these are affected by the type of virtual circuit (series, parallel, or combination) that they will create.

6th grade students in the Flight and Space engineering course are exploring how flight is possible. Students are investigating Newton's Laws of Motion and how they apply to flight. Students will be learning how the four forces: lift, drag, thrust and weight affect flight. Students will apply the laws of motion and the forces of flight when designing and testing airfoils for a model jet.

7th grade students are learning how to accurately use the tools of an architect in their Green Architecture course. Students are learning to measure in the customary system and are applying their measurement skills to design, build and test a Skimmer that travels the farthest distance

Please continue to encourage students to complete all assignments daily and discuss coach class days and times with their teachers when necessary. We look forward to a wonderful year of learning Science and Engineering!

Social Studies

Pikesville Historians,

March is here and the Social Studies Department would like to remind students to charge those devices, participate in Google Meets, and keep your Google Drive organized. Please remember to study your vocabulary and your notes. Your research notes are the practice that you will use to take tests, create essays, posters, comics, and all the other awesome products you make to demonstrate your learning in the Show What You Know. Please communicate with teachers through Schoology messages anything that you may need such as Coach Class or how we can best support you.

Up Next:

Ancient World History 6 - Unit 2: River Valley Civilizations. Mesopotamia and Egypt

Medieval World History 7 - Unit 2: Medieval Europe

American History 8 - Unit 2: Early Nation

English

Language arts, reading, theater, and college & career teachers are wrapping up Unit 1 at this time and gearing up for our return to the building. Along with their schoolwork, we encourage all students to read independently for pleasure. To support that goal, our media specialist, Ms. Getty, has been visiting our language arts classes for a digital library orientation. Ms. Getty has shown students three platforms for them to access free e-books. We know students are getting a lot of screen time, so please know the public libraries offer curbside pick-up to keep your family safe! Books are quarantined for at least 72 hours after being returned per CDC guidelines for safety. You can feel safe and confident using our public library. We are excited for students to be able to use our Pikesville school library if they come back as hybrid students!

We welcome Ms. Thomas to sixth grade reading as Mrs. Haugrud-Barton begins her maternity leave. We also welcome three interns from Towson University who are learning from the best – our Pikesville ELA teachers!

Foreign Language

Bonjour et Buenos Dias! Already a month into the new semester and we have been learning so much in World Language classes. Not only have students been learning how to talk to each other and about themselves, they also have been learning new ways to communicate. We have made FlipGrid videos, Padlets, completed work in Wizer.me, Gimkit and Quizlet Live. Students and teachers have been using Google docs to track progress and submit work as well. So much new technology but so much fun!

Please welcome Ms. Gee to our team. She will be teaching Spanish B classes and helping Ms. Scott with French A classes while Ms. Whiten is on leave. Please reach out to teachers if you have any questions.

Now that we are back to hybrid learning, make sure students are charging devices each night so they are ready as needed in class. Also, please make sure that students are actively participating from home and asking questions. Each teacher also provides extra help from 2:30-2:45 and will schedule personal coach classes if requested. All teachers have multiple graded assignments in the gradebook, so make sure you check Schoology regularly.

It’s a great idea to have a notebook for World Language class, especially when we are virtual. Taking notes on paper, making flashcards, and writing vocabulary by hand can really help retention. For extra practice, your student can also use https://quizlet.com/ to review vocabulary and then make old fashioned flash cards on index cards! We also like https://www.duolingo.com/ to track progress and https://conjuguemos.com/ for extra practice with tricky grammar rules.

We are so happy to see many of you in person. It’s great to be back in the building!

Related Arts

Welcome to the Pikesville Middle School Related Arts Department! Related Art are your “Specials” classes. At Pikesville Middle School they consist of Physical Education, Health Education, Art Education, Chorus, Band, Orchestra, World Music, American Music, and Dance Education. We have so many exciting opportunities for our students outside of the core four classes here at Pikesville Middle School.

Physical Education and Health Education are taught in a combined setting. You will have PE class for 1 marking periods (Quarter 4) and Health for 1 marking period (Quarter 3). Both classes will be taught by the same teacher.

Physical Education is a class that students are required to take. It encourages psychomotor learning in a play, or movement explorations setting to promote overall wellness.

At Home Fitness Activities:

Home Fitness - Towel Activities Link (Video) - https://www.wevideo.com/view/1614597216

Home Fitness - Balloon Challenge Link (Video) - https://www.wevideo.com/view/1614427122

Home Fitness - Tabata Link (Video) - https://www.wevideo.com/view/1614233931

At Home Daily Activities - https://www.shapeamerica.org/uploads/pdfs/2020/resources/activity-ideas-calendar_english.pdf

SuperDeck - Fitness Workout - https://www.shapeamerica.org/uploads/pdfs/2020/resources/SuperDeck-Color-Your-Own.pdf

Wheelchair workout - https://youtu.be/TogQwHLCIgw

At Home Workout Workbook -https://na3.documents.adobe.com/public/fs?aid=CBFCIBAA3AAABLblqZhCIvmSHqIv4_wbu3Pwn18449L7T9U1F0FuFECOF7BV8Y7YDpZqctxruGsK80nLUnTU%2A

Current Units of Study:

Health 6: Mental an Emotional Health. Growth and Development, Substance (Ab)use and Prevention, and Safety and Injury Prevention

Health 7: Mental and Emotional Health, Substance (Ab)use and Prevention, Safety and Injury Prevention and Healthy Eating

Health 8: Substance Abuse/Use and Prevention, Mental and Emotional Health, Safety and Injury Prevention, Human Sexuality and Disease Control and Prevention

Health Education is a class that students are required to take. It is any combination of learning experiences designed to help individuals and communities improve their overall health, by increasing their knowledge or influencing their attitudes. Health Education will begin Quarter 3.

Health Education Classes End April 16th, 2021.

Health 6th and 8th grade Human Development Lesson Opt Out Letter.

6th Grade Health Letter:

6th Grade Health Human Development Lesson Opt Out Letter - https://docs.google.com/document/d/1hA6tN2aRnAutsq9vS36uCCIGO-x9x3V6mnwRk4aO7iI/copy

8th Grade Health Letter:

8th Grade Health Human Development Lesson Opt Out Letter - https://docs.google.com/document/d/1R8kQs-J0Ow1Fa5KaCAOriVBQEqAPNUOko_fH1jS4OTs/copy

February Health and Fitness Calendar

English Mind & Body Calendar: file:///C:/Users/mbritt2/Downloads/Mind-Body-Calendar-March2021-Secondary-English.pdf

Spanish Mind & Body Calendar: file:///C:/Users/mbritt2/Downloads/Mind-Body-Calendar-March2021-Secondary-SPANISH.pdf

Fine Arts is a collection of classes such as Visual Art Education, Music Education and Dance Education.

Visual Arts is an area of learning that is based upon only the kind of art that one can see, visual arts- drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, and designing jewelry, pottery, weaving, fabrics and design applied to other fields such as commercial graphics and home furnishings. I

Announcement: 6th, 7th and 8th grade Students - Art supplies can be picked up at Pikesville Middle School, your Art teacher gives you a date and time to pick up your supplies.

Music Education incorporates music training and education in multiple areas of music because involvement in music is considered a fundamental component of human culture and behavior. At PMS it is made up of many different courses, chorus, band, orchestra, world music and American music.

Chorus and American Music

Mr. Permenter’s chorus classes have been singing their hearts out each day in rehearsals. In addition to refining their musical skills, the chorus students are enjoying learning the following songs: “A Million Dreams” from the movie, The Greatest Showman and music from the Broadway show, Hamilton.” They finished the semester by hosting a sing-a-long with Ms. Britt’s class and sharing slides they made of their favorite songs. Go Chorus!!!

In American Music, students have been studying the following styles of music: Jazz, Blues, Protest, and Hip Hop. In addition to singing and listening to various recordings of these styles, the students have been looking at the role this music played in the Harlem Renaissance. To celebrate and reflect on the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, students rehearsed and sang the beautiful anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”

Congratulations to all of the students who auditioned for and were cast in the spring musical, “Frozen, Kids.” Rehearsals have started and I am looking forward to working with our cast on our first virtual show. Let’s make the hit song, “Let It Go” our theme song for the year!



***Attention: Semester 2 Instrumental Music Students: If you will be taking a band or orchestra class during semester 2 please reach out to one of the following instrumental teachers as soon as possible. We need to know what instrument you play, if you have your own instrument or have your BCPS provided instrument from the previous year or if you do not have an instrument at home and need the information to rent. Please email the following teachers for information.

Subject – Teacher – Email address

All Orchestra Students Email Mr. Lavallee – llavallee@bcps.org

6th Grade Band Students Email Ms. Leggiero – lleggiero@bcps.org

7th and 8th Grade Band Students Mr. Rauson – drauson@bcps.org

Instrumental Music (Band and Orchestra) – School owned instruments are still not available for students. Students and Families are encouraged to obtain an instrument on their own by renting or purchasing. Pikesville Middle School’s approved vendor is Menchey Music in Timonium, MD - https://www.mencheymusic.com/stores/timonium-md/

Music Update: Quarter two brings Smart Music into full swing in all our classes. This platform is allowing students to self-pace as well as challenge them on many levels of music. The string students are making the transition with limited technology issues. Students will be expected to complete class assignments using this program from now on. A working microphone, along with a quiet place to work are essential for students to maximize the grade they earn. They may play as many times as possible until they are satisfied with the results. This is enrichment and does not replace synchronous instruction. Students are still expected to come to class on time, turn cameras on to participate, and answer and ask questions in the chat, as well as verbally.

· If your child’s computer is having tech issues such as microphone or Camera, it is expected that parent or caregiver contacts the help desk for them to remedy the issue. Both are needed for performance classes. BCPS Tech Support/ Help Desk Phone Number 443-809-4672

Smart Music: As we look ahead and get into second quarter, we will be starting a new virtual platform called Smart Music. It is an inclusive platform that will allow us to expand our offerings into many different genres and allow more interactive playing between our students. We’d like to thank Mrs. Miller for finding the funds to do this. All of us are very excited to get started with this. WE will let your children know when this will begin as soon as we do.

Instrumental Music Club: Meetings are every Tuesday from 2:45-3:45, Ms. Leggiero and Mr. Lavallee are having an Instrumental Music club. This is open to any grade 6-8 student who plays and instrument (band or strings). We will be doing many different activities in this club and having the first (full orchestra) experience here at Pikesville. You may still sign up by contacting Ms. Leggiero or Mr. Lavallee. Even if you don’t have band or strings until second semester, you can still be a part of this. Hope to see you there!!!

American Music

We just finished up a unit on song writing using Hip- Hop and Rap music as our basis. We explored their origins and compared the similarities of the two. We learned about how one genre would not exist without the other.

7/8 Standard Strings

We continue to explore more challenging note and rhythm reading and had a chance to apply our skills to a new piece of music. Seventh graders in the class will have the option of auditioning for Honors Orchestra next year as well. They have all the materials and have been working on them in class as well as during asynchronous time. Please encourage your 7th grader to audition.

Dance Education:

The dance students at Pikesville Middle School will be exploring Modern Dance technique. Students will have the opportunity to research and perform different techniques based on dancers such as Martha Graham and Alvin Ailey.

Students will be preparing for their movement assessments based on Alvin Ailey’s Revelations. The Honors Dance students will begin preparing a performance for BCPS-TV in collaboration with other dance students in the county from the middle school and high school levels.

It is so wonderful to see the students participating and enjoying every moment of dance at Pikesville Middle School. We dance every day, and this is a great opportunity for the students to release their energy and show their expressive movements.

Counseling Corner

Challenges Middle School Kids Face and How to Help

Any parent who has survived the middle school years will assure you that you can navigate them, too. 😊

Middle school is supposed to be about making mistakes and bouncing back from disappointments. Some kids navigate turbulence with spunk, some struggle with self-awareness and assertiveness. Don’t expect them to figure everything out for themselves with little adult supervision.

Middle-schoolers are embarking on a three-year journey and they will come out transformed. Whether they are changed for the better is largely up to you, the parents.

Parents, here are some of the challenges middle school kids face and how to help:

Expressing Individuality. Sit down with your child and make a list of words that describe them. Do this every year to remind your child that they have interests and allowed to like whatever they choose. This list will evolve over the years, and you will see how great this will become!

Expanding Learning Abilities. Middle school is an opportunity to try new ways of learning. Even in the virtual learning world, kids will get to do science labs for the first time, peer edit each other’s writing, work on projects with partners or in groups via breakout rooms on google meet. Talk to your child about how they are adjusting to these new learning modes.

Dealing with Social Pressures. Tons of social pressure exist in middle school and parents should be ready to troubleshoot. Middle school is a great time for kids to learn how to say, “You do things your way and I’ll do things mine.” If someone says something that is not nice on social media or in a classroom chat box, let the teacher know and share your concerns with your parent.

Keeping Up with School Assignments and Project Deadlines. Kids tend to procrastinate. Some have trouble understanding that projects and papers must be worked on incrementally. Checking Schoology together along with a little bit of planning support, helps tweens get the hang of due dates. Let teachers know if your child is having difficulty keeping up. The teachers will work with your child.

Navigating the social media world. Giving kids too much responsibility too soon can lead to extra expenses and shaken confidence. Trust your instincts – you will know when your child is ready for a cell phone.

Communicating with Teachers and School Counselor. Let your child step up and converse with their teachers and support staff. You can encourage your child, so they learn how to ask for help.

Bouncing Back from Failure and Disappointments. Perhaps the toughest days in middle school are the not-making-the-cut days or the performing-poorly-on-the-test days however, how you respond is important. Kids need to process their feelings before they can bounce back and do the right thing. Be calm and patient as you help your child figure it all out.

.Prioritizing Needs. Kids have needs and those needs matter even during this pandemic. As much as you can, try to have a regular plan-the-week meeting on the weekend to avoid last-minute crunches that create needless stress and bickering.

Learning About the World. Your child is old enough to start learning about the world’s complexities. It is a great time to teach your child about respecting diversity, tolerating differences, and envisioning a more peaceful world.

Remembering to Rest. Growing kids need to unwind sometimes, but they may have trouble recognizing this. When this happens, give them a nudge to decompress as well as having a regular bedtime routine that requires at least 8 hours of sleep.

Shining Despite Speedbumps. Kids will stumble and make mistakes but will still have plenty of shining moments. If your child is not having enough moments like these, look at ways of working together as a family and come up with some strategies to look for new opportunities where your child is likely to succeed.

Quick tips you can help your child in Middle School.

· Be there.

· Listen.

· Talk with them.

· Appreciate them.

· Relax with them.

· Encourage them.

· Set clear limits.

· Help them prioritize.

· Discuss expectations.

· Touch base daily.

· Monitor social media activity.

· Keep them active.

· Applaud progress.

· Check Schoology and grades together.

· Tackle tough topics.

· Be approachable.

· Hug them often.

· Celebrate proud moments.

When Issues Arise

If your child makes a poor decision, try your best to stay calm and work together for a viable solution.

If your child is not performing well academically, contact your child’s teacher, grade level administrator or school counselor for assistance. Work with them to make sure your child has all the academic and creative outlets they need.

Keeping kids engaged, challenged, and in healthy routines can ensure they stay safe and productive in the middle school years.

Excerpts from Atlanta Parents 2017

Always know that the school counseling staff is available to help.

Mrs. Banks, 6th grade school counselor & Department chair

vbanks2@bcps.org

Mr. Hess, 7th grade school counselor

mhess@bcps.org

Ms. Daeschner, 8th grade school counselor

ddaeschner@bcps.org

Health Suite

With COVID 19 rates increasing and flu season upon us, here are a few tips from the CDC and the State of Maryland for good health and wellness:

HANDS – Wash your hands often with SOAP AND WATER. It is not so much the

temperature of the water as it is the washing. The friction of scrubbing your hands helps

remove bacteria and dirt from your skin. If soap and water is unavailable, use hand sanitizer

that is at least 60% alcohol. (Check the label)

FACE – WEAR A FACE MASK!!! Avoid touching your face. Research has shown that

wearing a face mask will protect others and also will protect you. If using a cloth mask, it

should have at least 2 layers of breathable material. It should fit securely to your face and

cover your mouth and NOSE. Ideally it should be washed daily. Don’t use the type of mask

that wraps around your neck (gator type)

SPACE – Maintain a distance of at least 6 feet. Gatherings with more people pose more of

a risk. What is important is the ability to distance safely at least 6 feet and avoid physical

contact.

VENTILATE- If possible, any activities should be outdoors. When inside open your

windows every hour or two for a few minutes to allow fresh air to circulate.

Above all PLEASE GET A FLU SHOT*****

Many of the symptoms are of COVID 19 and the flu are similar. I have re-posted the chart to help you identify your symptoms. It is important to be aware and contact your Health Care Provider if you have any concerns.


Stay safe and healthy,

Ms. Limmer

School Nurse

Jlimmer@bcps.org

443-809-5000