Hello Cougar Families!
Welcome back to 2023! We hope you and your child had a great break that included time with family and an opportunity to rest up for the second half of the school year.
Our CMS students continue to do amazing things. From our Art Show winners, to our girls and boys basketball and bocce ball teams, to our musicians in our Winter Concert Series, and beyond - our Cougars are excelling in and out of the classroom. We continue to strive to provide a well-rounded middle school experience that is focused on building the academic foundation for success in high school and beyond - whether that is college, trade, the military, or another career path. As we enter the second half of the school year, I would like to please implore all of our families to continue to partner with us to ensure we can protect our academic environment, keep the focus in school on school, and limit distractions. To provide this environment, it is important that we look at a couple reminders:
- Attendance: It is important that your child attend school every day and on time. Our school day begins at 8:00 AM every day - and that means students should be in class at 8:00 AM, not walking in the school doors. Please help us by having your child attend each day and on time. If your child is sick, they should stay home; however, otherwise they should be in school so they don't miss any valuable content - especially as we head for testing season.
- Cell Phones: Please continue to have conversations about cell phone usage with your child. If your child absolutely needs their phone at school for family reasons, we would ask that you kindly block access to all non-essential content on his or her phone during the school day. In order to do this, please see the resources below. Your child having or needing a cell phone on them is a family decision and we have no control over that; however, we are asking as the person that does that you please help us continue to protect our academic environment by using the resources provided to ensure your child cannot access this content during the day as there is no academic purpose for things like Tik Tok, Instagram, or YouTube the way our students are consuming it. This is also a reminder for all those students who received new AirPods for the holidays, under no circumstances should a student have AirPods out at school.
- Bullying/Harassment: I would also like to point everyone to my email last week regarding the term "bullying" and clarification on what it means. Bullying is a word that obviously - and rightly - raises red flags among parents and families as well as our staff; however, it is vital that we understand what constitutes bullying so we can partner together to help our students navigate conflict appropriately. Our investigations are very thorough at CMS - but often times it may come up that not everyone involved is telling the entire truth or omitting certain details from you. Please trust that we are navigating each bullying/harassment complaint as quickly and in depth as possible. Remember, to start the investigation, please make sure that you fill out the appropriate Bullying and Harassment Form on the BCPS website.
As always, let's please keep the lines of communication open between the school and all of our families. Only by being true partners in this work can we ensure that your child reaches their fullest potential. Thank you all and have a great January!
Resources for Monitoring and Controlling Your Child's Phone Time
Cougar Pounces (Things to Know This Month)
- Please Make Sure that your child has a water bottle, their fully charged device, charger, and school supplies each day.
- WINTER ATHLETICS TICKETS: Our Winter Athletics season has begun! Tickets are available on Ticket Spicket for all games. Remember: ALL STUDENTS who want to attend any basketball game (home or away) MUST be accompanied by an adult. Students not accompanied by an adult will not be admitted. Tickets must be purchased online, no tickets available at the door. Concessions will be sold by our Robotics Club.
- COFFEE AND CONVERSATION WITH CARNEY: On Tuesday, January 17th will be our next Coffee and Conversation with Carney session. Please feel free to come ask questions about all things CMS or BCPS, as well as if you want to just have a great conversation about educational issues in general. It is informal and refreshments are provided by our amazing PTA.
- UPCOMING IMPORTANT SCHOOL DATES:
- Thursday, January 5th: Money Collection/Sign-up Begins for Bowlero Field Trip in PE
- Friday, January 6th: Cockeysville Rec Presents CYC
- Monday, January 9th: PTA Meeting @ 7:00 PM in the library and on Zoom
- Thursday, January 12th: Middle School Boundary Study Meeting
- Friday, January 13th: Student Career Speaker Series (Advisory)
- Monday, January 16th: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day - Schools & Offices closed
- Tuesday, January 17th: Coffee with Carney 8:00 AM - 8:30 AM
- Tuesday, January 17th: End of 2nd Quarter, 3 Hour Early Dismissal for Students
- Tuesday, January 17th - Wednesday, January 25th: ACCESS testing for ELL students
- Thursday, January 19th: Bowlero Field Trip (First come, first served up to 175 students - students with multiple cell phone and lateness infractions may not attend)
- Monday, January 23rd: Staff Professional Development Day, No School for Students
- Tuesday, January 24th: CMS Food Pantry Open from 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
- Wednesday, January 25th: Middle School Boundary Study Meeting
- Wednesday, February 1st: 6th Grade Field Trip to Goucher College
- Thursday, February 2nd & Friday, February 3rd: MAP Testing
- PE BOWLERO FIELD TRIP: Our PE staff will be sponsoring a field trip to Bowlero as an incentive for our students. It is first come, first served, and any students with excessive technology or lateness issues will not be allowed to attend.
- TESTING SEASON: This month we will have ACCESS Testing as well as MAP on February 2nd and 3rd. Please make sure your child comes prepared to do his or her best on those days.
- CYC: Cockeysville Rec is bringing back CYC to our community. Please be aware that this is a Cockeysville Rec event, not a CMS event. All questions should be directed to Cockeysville Rec. Please see flyer below for more information about your child attending CYC. If your child wants to attend, please register online: https://form.jotform.com/222566680267160. Please remember that CYC is a Baltimore County Rec event completely run by parents and not a BCPS or CMS sponsored event. The next event is on Friday, January 6th.
January Calendar of Events
Grade Level Team Information
6th Grade Team
6th Grade CMS Parents,
Thank you for supporting and assisting us in implementing our cell phone policy. We ask that cell phones are powered down and placed into lockers before going to homeroom. All students have access to the technology they need for instructional purposes with their school laptop. If you have an urgent message for your child, please call the school office at (443) 809-7626. Students will be able to utilize the main office phone if they need to make a phone call.
Attendance and timeliness are crucial to academic success. Our current is excellent and is one of the top marks in the county. Still, we can improve this and need to work together to maintain our great attendance rate.
Lastly, we want to encourage our parents to ensure that your child is reading at home each night. Middle school students should aim to read one enjoyable book on their reading level per month. Check out the Cockeysville Library for great selections or search Amazon for a childhood favorite of your own and share it with your child! There are also a huge selection from the BCPS online catalog.
As the second quarter draws to a close and the third quarter begins, we are reminded that our sixth graders are growing older and being expected to take on more responsibility. They understand our expectations and are routinely using their agenda books to record homework and plan their time. The agenda book is a required item at CMS and we thank our PTA members for supplying them. If your child has lost his/her agenda book, he/she can purchase a new one from the guidance office. As you can imagine, student achievement is higher for those students who have the supplies they need. The same can be said for students who get enough rest at night and come to school on time on a regular basis. Here are some important dates for you:
Be sure to check out the school website for more details on school events!
7th Grade Team
Welcome to 2023! Here are some resolutions to make 2023 a success:
- Having a charged and updated device: Students should be charging their devices every evening. Leaving their device on the charger overnight allows updates to be sent from BCPS. These updates allow devices to run faster and without issues. It also means that your student has a device that will have enough power for the next school day..
- Missing work has been completed: When students are absent it is their responsibility to make up the work that they missed. They should be contacting their teacher to ask about classwork, notes and assessments that were given while they were absent. When students return from an absence they need to bring a note to their Advisory teacher.
- Students are on time to school: Students are most successful when they are on time for school. Students may enter the building at 7:45 and classes begin promptly at 8:00am.
- Students have supplies: Although students are provided with devices, there are still many times throughout the day when they need pencils or pens. Start the year off right with a new box of pencils and pens for your student to keep in their locker.
8th Grade Team
Happy winter! As we head into the remaining quarters of the year, it’s a perfect time for the students to reflect on their goals for the rest of the 8th grade year. Many students are excited about the recent and/or upcoming events surrounding their transition into high school. While this is a very exciting time, we must remain focused on the present. Has your child visited a teacher for additional help in an area where he/she is struggling? Have they completed a Redo on a less-than-satisfactory assignment? These are just two examples of little steps that can lead to big change.
Our 8th grade field trip to Washington D.C has been postponed until March. With multiple 8th grade staff members out of the building and the unpredictable weather, we felt it was best to reschedule. This is a tradition at CMS and both teachers and students are excited to get this trip back on the calendar. In the meantime, we will need chaperones to be trained. Chaperones are reminded that BCPS requires that all parent volunteers, including field trip chaperones, complete a volunteer training session each year. If you are planning to chaperone our trip and have not yet been trained, please follow the instructions below.
Visit www.bcps.org, click the parent drop down, click on Family and Community Engagement, click on BCPS volunteers. After you click on the BCPS volunteers link, there are step-by-step instructions for completing the paperwork. We appreciate our parent chaperones since we cannot hold trips like this without you. Stay tuned for more information about our Washington D.C trip and 8th grade t-shirt orders in the next couple of weeks.
School Counseling & Social Work Corner
Mrs. Blackert, School Social Worker
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / Phone: (443) 809-5003
As we return from a break that hopefully helped rejuvenate you, I first want to thank everyone who helped contribute gifts and food this holiday season to our CMS families. It was such a joy to see the giving and receiving taking place in this wonderful community. Many people enter a new year thinking about new goals and things they want to change in their lives. While this can be positive, I also think it’s important to reflect on all the things we’re grateful for and the goals we’ve already achieved. Be gentle with yourselves and your family members – raising a middle schooler is hard! This month’s pantry distribution will be on Tuesday, 1/24/23. Please feel free to contact me with any questions.
Mrs. Evert-Brown, 6th Grade School Counselor
Email: email@example.com / Phone: (443) 809-4996
January 17th marks the end of the 2nd quarter and that means we are halfway through the school year! With that being said, watch out, and know when you need to help your tween who may be having trouble in school. As we know, tweens are good at keeping secrets. They may not let you know they’re in academic trouble until it is too late. Watch for warning signs. This will help you in the long run when you apply these same warning signs to other areas of life.
Here are some signals for you to get involved:
- Change in grades - even in subjects in which they normally do well.
- Change in behavior - tweens in trouble are less likely to talk about friends and school. Quick, one word, answers about school.
- Change in confidence - suddenly having doubts about their ability even where they used to be confident.
- Change in habits - more time in front of the TV or computer or phone and less time reading or working on projects.
- Change in attitude - tweens in academic trouble often show a negative attitude, first at school and then at home.
- Change in school communication - is there an increase in notes from teachers (email, phone call). Do you see that grades have slipped?
If you see the warning signs, know that we are here to help and support you. Ask for a conference with your child’s teachers. Working together we can head off trouble!
Mrs. Sueta, 7th Grade School Counselor
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / Phone: (443) 809-4998
I hope everyone had a restful winter break and enjoyed your family time. It’s hard to believe it is already 2023. In December, students learned about time management and its importance during my lesson in their Social Studies classes. We discussed Time Management strategies, and students were very engaged in the lessons. Each student walked away with one strategy they chose to try to implement on their own. In November, I started meeting individually with students to start their 6 Year Plans. I plan to pull even more students each day to have this important meetings. During our sessions, we will review their grades, identify if there are areas of need, discuss their interests, hobbies, possible future careers, magnet schools, and higher education. As always, please reach out to me if you need help or have questions.
Mrs. Schlenoff, 8th Grade School Counselor
Email: email@example.com / Phone: (443) 809-4997
The Dulaney High School registration forms were due on Friday, 01/06. Please ask your child if they turned in their registration form. If they have not, I will still accept them even though the deadline has passed. If your child has lost their registration form, they can message me through Schoology, or you can email me directly. I can give them another copy of their registration form. Don’t let your child miss out on an opportunity to choose their electives for 9th Grade!
In December I started meeting individually with students to review their 6 Year Plans. I will continue these planning sessions throughout the rest of the school year. During these sessions, we will discuss topics such as interests, hobbies, aptitudes, possible future careers, and higher education.
With the new year, we are wrapping up the second quarter of the school year. In Language Arts classes, the end of the quarter means end-of-unit assessments, including our Performance Based Assessments (larger writing assignments) and our Periodic Assessments (standards-based assessments issued by Baltimore County Public Schools). Ample class time is given to complete these assessments, but it is very important that your student be aware of deadlines for pacing for each of them. If your student needs to miss class for any reason, please be sure your student speaks with their ELA teacher to be sure that assignments are completed in time to be counted toward the end of the quarter grade.
As we wrap up quarter 2 and unit 2 in ELA classes, we look ahead to Unit 3! You should be seeing a new novel assignment for your student in the coming weeks. Reading time will be provided in class but students are still expected to stay on the reading schedule suggested by their teacher. Audio versions of the novel are available on Schoology, as posted by the teacher. If you need help locating additional supports for novel study, reach out to the teacher.
We are looking forward to Unit 3! Happy Reading!
One of our focuses in our math classes is learning how to communicate mathematically orally and in written form. “This means creating a classroom culture in which students need to talk to each other about math ideas, know what it means to have a respectful mathematical conversation, and have tasks that require them to write for real communication with a real audience”. What does this look like in the classroom? Students are listening to other students, comparing solutions, justifying, collaborating, organizing their thoughts, etc. When your child at home says “I don’t get it”, below are some prompts to help your child communicate about where they are stuck.
- What is the problem about?
- What’s making this problem hard for you?
- What’s one thing you noticed when you read the problem? What stood out to you?
- What are you wondering about the problem?
- Can you tell me one thing you do get about the problem?
- If I could tell you one thing to help you get started, what would you ask for?
(Powerful Problem Solving by Max Ray)
PE & Health
The Physical Education department will be sponsoring a bowling field trip to Bowlero this month. This gives students an opportunity to practice their bowling skills in an authentic setting, while socializing with peers. Unfortunately, there are only 200 spots on the trip, so not every student can attend. If your child does not get the opportunity to go on this field trip, please have them continue to do their best, in class, and more opportunities will present themselves!
As far as class goes, students will be participating in Handball this month. This is a team sport that incorporates throwing and catching skills, along with the application of offensive and defensive strategies. As always, students are encouraged to do their best and demonstrate sportsmanship behavior.
This month, quarter two will end, which means some students will be leaving PE class and heading to Health class for 3rdquarter. Students that were in Health class, during quarter 2, will come back to PE class. Please encourage your child to check their schedules to be aware of the changes.
Welcome Back! As we wrap up 2nd quarter all grades are working on their 2nd units of study.
6th graders are learning about matter- what is matter, what are the different types of matter, how to describe and identify matter, and how can matter change physically and chemically. We are almost ready to make ice cream!
7th graders are focusing on how cells combine to form tissues, organs, and organ systems. The goal is not to know every bone, muscle, and organ of the body but rather how the human body systems work together so we can perform everyday tasks such as running, writing, singing, etc.
8th graders are studying the connections between extinct and modern-day organisms by examining and interpreting evidence from anatomical features, homologous structures, and embryos. In their culminating event students will create a display to show the evolutionary path from 1 extinct animal to a modern-day animal.
In Social Studies, the 6th grade is working on Ancient Egypt- Looking at Ancient Egyptian Religion, Pharaohs and will be starting the DBQ on the Nile river soon. Our 7th graders are studying the power structures of Feudalism and daily life of people in Medieval Europe. In 8th grade, our students are finishing up our study of the Early National Period where we learned about the development of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. We will be moving onto how the country expanded west shortly. If they have not done so already, the 8th graders will be taking their Unit 2 exam.
- Chorus: Wednesday, May 10th
- Orchestra: Wednesday, May 17th
- Band: Wednesday, May 24th
And also for our Spring Art Show on May 4th!
All French students will be presenting a slide show about what they do (Novice A) or what they were doing or did (Novice A and Intermediate) during our Winter Break. This activity incorporates writing, speaking, and listening skills. Novice A students will then begin our journey into verbs and use them to describe dozens of activities that other people are doing. They’ll use these skills to recreate yummy French dessert recipes after watching some French cooking videos. Novice B students will learn to write and speak in the conditional tense – what someone would do – and listen to some French pop songs that use this tense. They will learn some fun facts about French-speaking Québec, and begin our next zany novel, which takes place there! Intermediate students will take a virtual tour of the world-famous Louvre art museum in Paris, then begin our next novel about a mystery long associated with the Louvre.
Spanish Novice A Students have been busy wrapping up a full unit on foods and drinks and reading our first chapter novel, Edi el Elefante. Our next unit, which will start in mid-January, will be all about school! Students will learn how to describe their schedules, state what supplies they need for their each of their classes, what extra-curricular activities they are involved in, and what the different areas of the school are called.
Spanish Novice B students are putting all their quarter 1 and quarter 2 content together to create a brochure to a Spanish speaking country. Students will create a five-day itinerary filled with cultural dishes and activities unique to their country of travel. They will suggest clothing be packed based on the weather and activities of their trip as well as locate a hotel and flight to their destination! All work will be done in the target language! Later, students will share their brochures with their classmates. Ask your student to share their hard work with you!
Intermediate Spanish students participated in a digital escape room for El Año Nuevo (New Year's). Students learned cultural traditions associated with Spanish Speaking and Non-Spanish speaking countries. Also, students will learn about the significance of Jan. 6th (3 Kings Day) en El Mundo hispano. Shortly thereafter, students will finish out Unidad 2 - Animales en Peligro de Extinción by advocating for endangered species.
BRILLA scholars learned about the unique traditions that Ecuadorians do to celebrate the new year. Each student created their own monigote to get rid of their troubles and create wishes for 2023. Up next students will begin to further explore their bilingual identities and read the novel Me llamo Maria Isabel, written by
Alma Flor Ada.
AVID scholars were busy in December. They had their second quarterly visit with Padonia International Elementary School to work with 3rd grade students on reading and sequencing. Students used the book series “If you give a Mouse a Cookie” and designed activities to practice summarizing and sequencing which is a 3rd grade standard. This has become a quarterly partnership and something both the 8th grade and 3rd graders genuinely look forward to. Our next partnership will be in February for Read Across America Week.
AVID also spent a lot of time building community and critical thinking. Students refined their focused note taking skills by using notes to build gingerbread houses, problem solved with a winter murder mystery challenge and refined their debating skills with Philosophical Chairs.
This next month students will be exploring the various types of colleges and entrance requirements. Students will also be preparing to take a full PSAT exam as practice and exposure to the rigorous requirements in high school.
AVID’s impact goes beyond the AVID Elective class. AVID is supporting staff and students with organization and goal-setting through Advisory Classes. This year students are getting a taste for AVID in their classrooms through the teachers’ use of collaboration strategies designed to allow students opportunities to work with others, have student voice and build leadership capacity. Ask your student about Socratic Seminars, World Cafe, Four Corners and Philosophical Chairs Debates! This month students and staff will be trying Numbered Heads as a new collaborative strategy in the classroom!
CMS WINTER ATHLETICS SCHEDULE
Basketball (Girls Coach: Emily Gill Boys Coach: Jason Epps)
- 1/10 Cockeysville @ Deer Park (Girls 4PM, Boys 5PM)
- 1/12 Pikesville @ Cockeysville (Boys 4PM, Girls 5PM)
- 1/19 Woodlawn @ Cockeysville (Girls 4PM, Boys 5PM)
- 1/24 Cockeysville @ Franklin (Boys 4PM, Girls 5PM)
- 1/26 Catonsville @ Cockeysville (Girls 4PM, Boys 5PM)
- 1/31 Sudbrook @ Cockeysville (Boys 4PM, Girls 5PM)
- 2/2 Hereford @ Cockeysville (Girls 4PM, Boys 5PM)
- 2/7 Cockeysville @ Windsor Mill (Boys 4PM, Girls 5PM)
- 2/9 Cockeysville vs Ridgely @ Dulaney High School (Girls 4PM, Boys 5PM)
Allied Bocce Ball (Coach: Mallory Cicchino)
- 1/10 Cockeysville @ Deer Park
- 1/24 Cockeysville @ Franklin
- 2/2 Hereford @ Cockeysville