Panther Post

April 2020, Volume Six

Pride . Honor . Success

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Message from the Principal

Sandra G. Reid

Greeting Panther Parents

This is the first edition of the Panther Post since PHS has embarked on our new educational paradigm - a full digital transformation - resulting from the still-looming safety threat of the COVID-19 pandemic. Be assured that you and your family's well being, during this challenging time, is of paramount importance to us. We are all working diligently to ensure a smooth and user-friendly school-wide transition for you and your child(ren)

Going forward, as always, we will deliver the highest-caliber instructional programming possible, regardless of the circumstances that surround us. The digital content, across all disciplines, that we provide to our Panthers will be accessible and tailored to their diverse learning styles and abilities. Our teachers are modifying and making appropriate interventions to ascertain that the curricula is appropriately challenging for all, while supporting optimal outcomes.

We are SO immensely proud and honored of the way our "educational heroes" have rallied, trained, shared effective practices, and shown compassion to our deserving Panthers pupils during remote learning. Our essential and irreplaceable professionals instill a sense of normalcy and calm by delivering quality, standard-based instruction. They have all risen to the occasion and wholeheartedly support the vital home-school connection we have forged.

Collectively, we developed new and interactive ways of learning together, sharing knowledge, and overcoming obstacles in making this quantum leap to assure student achievement during the "Continuity of Learning" initiative. Our teachers have leveraged their competence in technology to dive into new-to-them virtual video conferencing so that our students, under their tutelage, can be seen, heard, and taught via innovative platforms. In this era of social distancing, we are excited about the opportunity for our Panthers, who we so dearly miss, to reconnect and interface with their peers and educators.

In our inception week of Continuity of Learning, we are elated that a noteworthy 98% of our students actively participated and engaged with teachers/lessons. We remain highly encouraged by this promising statistic. We recognize that there are extenuating circumstances that arise with the unpredictability of technology. Know that we will continue to be understanding and helpful to get ALL students on track and contributing in the virtual learning process that will remain in place until our eventual return to the schoolhouse.


Although much has changed over the last month; attendance/engagement remains a crucial component to student success during online learning this quarter. As of last week, 899 students logged into Schoology to access their education. As previously shared, new lessons are provided to your child(ren) every Monday morning at 8:00 a.m. Please make EVERY effort to ensure that he/she is taking advantage of the opportunity to connect with teachers/classmates during the scheduled Google Meets sessions. Office hours for teachers/administrators/support staff have been provided and are posted on our school's webpage. I ask that, at the very least, EVERY THURSDAY night, you check in with your child to ensure that they have all the completed work assignments that will be due the next day (Friday) by 11:59 p.m. Thank you for making this weekly "check in" a regular routine - it will academically benefit them.

We will navigate this new and uncharted educational terrain together as a united learning community. Changes, new situations, and directives are ever-present in this dynamic situation in which we find ourselves. I will keep you apprised of the most up-to-date information available that impacts PHS/BCPS. Please be patient with the process and remain flexible and understanding as we work in conjunction with each other to meet the academic/emotional needs of our students.


No matter WHAT the situation, Pikesville High ALWAYS has something PAWsome occurring that gives us pause to celebrate! PRIDE HONOR SUCCESS continues to abound:

  • Congrats to our one-and-only Theresa Bates- PHS' Beloved Professional Development Teacher, our 2019-2020 Teacher-of-the Year (TOY), and BCPS TOY Nominee!!
  • Ms.Jaderborg , business educator, is back from her maternity leave and we congratulate her on her new "bundle of joy" - Kennedy!!!!
  • Congratulations Mr. White, PE Department Chair, on the birth of his first son, Collin Jace!!
  • Congratulations to Sam Suchin, an 11th grade PHS PLTW student, who created and face shields he manufactured with this 3-D technology as part of his altruistic work.
  • MAJOR KUDOS -The APA Education Directorate and the APA Committee of Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools (TOPSS) recognized Brad Wray, one of three recipients of a NATIONAL 2020 APA TOPSS Charles T. Blair-Broeker Excellence in Teaching Award.
  • Thanks to Jen Meltzer, our Library Media Specialist , webmaster, and an amazing resource for our learning community, as we celebrate her and National School Library Month!!!!!
  • We simply have THE BEST APs in BCPS -hands down!!! Thank you Allison Seymour, Erin Haroth, and Mike Banach for all amazing contributions to our School of Excellence. Enjoy this video tribute to you!! (Thanks to our IMP instructor (and PHS Alum Atom Zerfas for creating it in conjunction with our staff.)
  • Our Impressive It's Academic Team, under the direction of Ethan Goodman, won its competition and we were poised to move onto the semi-final "Battle of the Brains" when our closure took place. Congrats to our brilliant team members Jacob, Ben, Nathan!

  • Major KUDOS are in order for our Teacher of the Month, Ms. A. DeCarlo, Dance instructor, and Sam Suchin, 11th grade PLTW student, is recognized as our Student of the Month.

  • Congratulations to Ferdinand Virtudes, a senior and National Honor Society (NHS) member. He was selected from nearly 7,000 applicants as one of 575 NHS Scholarship semifinalists and will receive a $3,200 scholarship toward his higher education.

  • We just had a highly "Spirited Spirit Week" to GENERATE ENTHUSIASM and CELEBRATE our noteworthy and abundant SUCCESSES! Continue to follow us on Twitter/FB/Instagram to see the amazing things happening at our PAWsome school.

Your tangible support and advocacy continue to mean a great deal to us! We are TEAM PHS and together we will overcome this most unfortunate global upheaval, for the good of our Panthers.

Your showcase of PANTHER LOVE and commitment remains warming - on every level. #PANTHERPRIDEHONORSUCCESS



Principal Reid

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Congrats to the It's Academic Team for its amazing playoff win this past weekend. The team made it to the Semi-Finals this year. Just in case you missed it, the match will eventually be available online at

Setting Norms in a Virtual Environment

Limit distractions so we can best use our time together in our community meeting. Mute or turn off all other electronics around you. ❖ Keep yourself on mute unless you are sharing; be aware of background noise. ❖ The chat box should be used only when directed by a teacher (use the directions provided by the teacher on whether they want you to use abbreviations/acronyms). ❖ Think about what you are going to share before you say it: Is it kind, helpful, and appropriate? Keep in mind the schools’ rules for internet safety. ❖ Think about your school’s Code of Conduct…Our virtual classroom should still follow school and classroom rules and expectations. ❖ Engage in respectful conversation even if you disagree with what someone else is sharing. ❖ Be mindful of what you are wearing and consider your surroundings. ❖ Stay on topic and share just enough. Remember that your classmates want to have time to share as well. ❖ Be an active listener. Look at the speaker on the screen if you can. ❖ Have fun! Be yourself! Support your classmates who may be having a tough day.


Seniors should have received a link via Schoology to vote for this year's Senior Superlatives. They are encouraged to log in and vote. If you have any questions, contact Mr. Goodman at


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Virtual College Tours!

Even though high schools and colleges across the country are closed, it doesn’t mean that your child’s inquiry about different colleges and universities has to stop! Use this time to help your child engage in virtual college tours! Let them explore websites to “visit” colleges! Use to get started!

AVID Elective Updates by Grade Level

9th Grade Update

AVID 9 students are currently exploring virtual colleges, museums, and other interactive websites to help hone in their interests in order to draft a post-high school path. Over the next four weeks, students will be involved in a book study where they will be having online discussions that culminate in a final essay.

10th Grade Update

AVID 10 Scholars have been trying to make the best use of this extra two weeks we've off so far! During the week of 3/09, we began this assignment in school with students deciding which topic they had an interest in, researching to find evidence supporting and contradicting their view, and then creating an outline off of which to base their essay. The students have been submitting their rough drafts through Schoology for Ms. Cryan to edit and return with feedback in order for the students to complete their final drafts. All of the information and resources about the assignment, MLA formatting, citing resources, etc. can be found in the "Writing and Editing" folder in Schoology.

11th Grade Update

While schools are closed our AVID 11 scholars are steadily working on their college essays. They have each selected a prompt from the Common Application and are working on their rough drafts! Students are using Schoology to submit drafts to Mrs. LaBricciosa, receive feedback, and edit accordingly. The prompts they could choose from are:

1. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, please share your story,

2. The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?

3. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?

4. Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma — anything of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.

5. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.

6. Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?

7. Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you’ve already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.

We continue to work on weekly SAT vocabulary, as well! All assignments are posted on our Schoology page under the folder "Lessons While School is Closed" for their convenience. Please reach out to Mrs. LaBricciosa at with any questions!

12th Grade Update

During this time, AVID 12 scholars are focused on easing the transition to college. They are engaged in a book study of The Naked Roommate: And 107 Other Issues You Might Run Into in College and have daily assignments to help them keep up with their reading and discuss topics like living on campus vs. off campus, getting involved in clubs and activities, Greek life, academic expectations, etc. All assignments are posted on our Schoology page under the folder "Lessons While School is Closed" for their convenience. Please reach out to Mrs. LaBricciosa at with any questions!

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram to see our featured PHS AVID Senior of the Day as we COUNTDOWN TO COLLEGE SIGNING DAY!

Follow us on Twitter: @PikesvilleAVID Follow us on Instagram: @ PikesvilleHighSchoolAVID

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National Honor Society News

Students who are eligible to apply for National Honor Society have been identified and have received letters to attend a meeting regarding the requirements. Unfortunately, the meeting was to take place the week after we were asked to shelter at home. If your student received one of these letters, I will be sending a link to the application with instructions this week. Students can email completed applications to me using my email, Parents, you may sign off on their required volunteer/school/community application piece in lieu of the usually required sponsor signature. The due date will be April 21 to allow ample time for completion and writing of the essay as well as vetting by the faculty. I plan on completing this process by Thursday, April 2. Depending on decisions regarding the rest of the school year we will either have an induction ceremony at school or we will complete one virtually. Students will receive certificates when we return to the physical school building if we must revert to option 2. If you have any questions, feel free to email me.

In addition, we would like to congratulate Ferdinand Virtudes for qualifying as a national semi-finalist for the National NHS scholarship award. He will be receiving a substantial scholarship, certificate, and NHS pennant. We are very proud of Ferdinand for qualifying and for being our First Pikesville NHS student to receive this award. Ferdinand, you are the pawsomest.


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April Coping Skills

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