Hello Cougar Families!
Welcome back to the 2023-2024 school year! This is our first edition of the Cougar Connect newsletter. It will always have information specific to grade level and content, as well as any vital information for families for the month.
For example, this month, in our Counseling section, it talks about magnet schools and the magnet application process. We send many of our Cougars to private and magnet schools every year, and it is vitally important if you or your child are interested in one of these institutions that you work with us early on so we can ensure we meet all deadlines.
This month we welcome students back and start getting into our routines around academics. You can all help us out immensely by stressing for your child to keep his or her phone off and away, as well as be on time and ready to learn every day. Attendance/lateness and distractions from cell phones are the two most significant negative impacts on your child's GPA - and that's not national or Maryland state or BCPS data - that's Cockeysville Middle School specific data. Please make sure your child is in school by 8:00 AM, getting to class on time, and keeping their distracting electronics away all day. You will see improved performance in both their grades and their test scores if they can improve in these two areas.
Our athletics season is just around the corner with interest meetings for Cross Country and Badminton this week. These and Allied Soccer are the only "official" CMS sports - boys and girls soccer and field hockey are all offered by the Cockeysville Rec Council.
We also are inviting all of our families to join us for our ESOL Welcome event on September 13th. We will have a variety of activities and the BCPS CTE food truck will be on hand to sell food to our families who attend. We hope to see our families there!
Last, but certainly not least, I want to say that the parent-school partnership is vital to me as the Principal at CMS. We may not always agree - but we all want the best for our students and to help them be the best version of themselves. Please continue to be positive partners and we will do the same so that your child benefits. One of the best ways for you to be involved as a parent is by joining our PTA and attending our hybrid PTA meetings or coming to one of my Coffee with Carney morning coffees. Parents will tell you I am very transparent and have no issue answering questions about all things CMS/BCPS that I am informed about - or asking for answers if I do not know. Let's keep the lines of communication open and have an excellent 23-24 school year.
Thank you all for being an amazing community to represent and partner with to make sure the Cockeysville Middle School experience is one where our students cultivate their gifts, are motivated by all of us to do their best, and demonstrate well-rounded success.
Resources for Monitoring and Controlling Your Child's Phone Time
Phone, Lateness, and Tech Violation Notification
How will I know if my child is receiving a phone violation, tech violation for not appropriate use of technology, or late to class prior to them receiving a consequence? Here is our protocol at CMS. Please bear in mind these consequences are not optional. We are not asking much of our students - to keep his or her phone off and away so as not to be a distraction to him or herself or others and to be in class on time and ready to learn and be attentive. If we can do these things we see significant improvement across ALL achievement metrics.
- 1st Violation: You will receive an email from our Messenger system to your email address.
- 2nd Violation: You will receive a call/text from our Messenger system letting you know that the next violation will result in a lunch detention.
- 3rd Violation: You will be called and told your child has been assigned a lunch detention for frequent lateness, tech, or cell phone violations.
- 4th Violation: You will be called and told your child has been assigned a lunch detention with an administrator for frequent lateness, tech, or cell phone violations.
- 5th Violation: You will be called and told your child has been assigned an after school detention with his or her grade level Team Leader.
- 6th Violation: You will be called and told your child has been assigned an after school detention with his or her grade level administrator
- 7th Violation: You will be contacted and told your child has been assigned ALC for frequent insubordination regarding the cell phone/technology acceptable use/lateness policy
- 8th Violation: There will be a required parent conference regarding cell phone usage during class time, appropriate technology usage, or lateness to class.
Cougar Pounces (Things to Know This Month)
- Students should have a charged device, charger, water bottle, paper, and a writing utensil with them EVERY DAY to be considered prepared for school.
- CMS ATHLETICS: Interest meetings for CMS Badminton & Cross Country are being held briefly after school on Wednesday, September 6th. Have your child see Ms. Wong (Badminton) or Mrs. Brewster or Ms Scott (Cross Country) for more information.
- COCKEYSVILLE REC ATHLETICS: Cockeysville Rec sponsors girls and boys soccer as well as field hockey at CMS in the Fall. These are run through Cockeysville Rec, but practices are at CMS. Try-outs for soccer have been moved to next week on Monday 9/11 and Tuesday 9/12. Please refer to the Field Hockey flyer below for more information regarding Field Hockey.
- PTA EVENTS:
- 9/11: PTA Meeting in the CMS Library and on Zoom. Zoom information is below.
- 9/27: PTA Bertucci's Restaurant Night fundraiser.
- ESOL WELCOME EVENT: Please join us for our ESOL Welcome and Hispanic Heritage Month kick-off event. We will have several activities including our BCPS CTE Food Truck for families to purchase food. Come on out and welcome our families back to the CMS community.
- COFFEE WITH CARNEY: Please feel free to come visit with Mr. Carney for some casual conversation about all things CMS. All are welcome.
- TEACHER PD DAYS: 9/15 and 9/25 are Teacher Professional Development Days - there is no school for students on either day.
September Calendar of Events
Grade Level Team Information
6th Grade Team
We are so excited to work with your children as they begin the journey of middle school. While it is year of transition to a new school, new teachers, and new friends, we are confident that it will also be a year of personal and educational growth. Please encourage your child to get involved. From Chess Club to Badminton to Basketball to SADD Club, there are numerous opportunities to make the most out of their first year of middle school. A list of clubs can be found at the link below.
Please know that parents are a key component of our success. We welcome you to call, email, or visit whenever you have concerns. Even more so, keep lines of communication open on a regular basis just to check in. Our conference nights and other evening events are a great time to catch up on academic success. With the BCPS One System, you have unlimited access to your child’s grades. Please remember that teachers are expected to enter their grades every two weeks. Therefore, grades are not always up to the minute; but it is still a great tool for home-school communication. As we progress through the year, we will keep you up to date about major assessments, school-related events, and opportunities for parent involvement.
If you have any questions, Please feel free to email teachers directly.
7th Grade Team
7th grade had a great first week of the 23-24 school year. Remember that students are most successful when they are in school every day and prepared with necessary materials such as a charged device, pencils and binders. Looking forward to October, we are planning a trip for 7th graders to be visiting the National Aquarium on Thursday, October 12. It is free for students to enter the Aquarium but there will be a fee for busses. We will also need chaperones who are willing to drive themselves and pay for their own parking and entrance to the Aquarium. Be looking for more information that will be shared in the next few weeks.
8th Grade Team
Our 8th graders are adjusting to another school year! Students were quick to learn their schedules, find their classrooms and reconnect with friends. Parents, thank you for purchasing the necessary supplies for our students to be successful this year. The materials on the supply list help your child to stay organized and be prepared for each class every day. THANK YOU!
8th grade is an exciting year for our students. They are finally the “oldest” in the building! Not only does this come with more responsibilities but activities reserved just for our 8th graders! Students will tour Dulaney High School in November, Washington DC and a canoe trip in the spring.
Teachers continue to encourage students to be respectful and kind to each other. Thank you for your continued support with our technology, cell phone and lateness to class policy. This procedure has proven to be very effective. 8th graders have incentives each marking period tied to these violations.
We would like all our students to be able to participate in the incentives and appreciate your support from home.
School Counseling & Social Work Corner
Mrs. Watson, School Counseling and Records Secretary
Phone: (443) 809-7630
This summer, our new Counseling and Records Secretary, Mrs. Watson, joined the Cockeysville MS family! Moving to a new residence? Need records sent to a private school? Want to update your phone number we have on file? Mrs. Watson can help you and she’s just a call or email away!
Mrs. Schlenoff, 6th Grade School Counselor & Counseling Department Chair
Phone: (443) 809-4997
Welcome to Middle School! I will be your child’s School Counselor during the next 3 school years. As a School Counselor, I am here to support the social, emotional, and academic development of your child. During the month of September, I will be visiting classrooms to share with 6th graders my role as a Middle School Counselor and discuss strategies for academic success. They will also learn about Student Service-Learning Hours and how to earn these hours. Lastly, they will complete a Needs Assessment that will help me identify student needs and develop a program plan. I’m also here to support parents and guardians! Please reach out to me with your concerns and questions.
Mrs. Evert-Brown, 7th Grade School Counselor
Phone: (443) 809-4996
I am so excited to have the opportunity to work with your child again this year. I am looking forward to a fantastic year of growth and learning. Do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns. I am here for you and your child. In the coming weeks, I will be heading into the classroom to review Service-Learning hours, High School Magnet opportunities, how students can reach me when the need arises, and to discuss what to expect in the next 6 years. We call this 6 Year Planning. In 6 short years, your child will be graduating from high school and moving on to the next, very important, chapter of their lives!!!!!! Remember, we are in this together, we’ve got this:)TTFN, Mrs. Evert-Brown
Mrs. Sueta, 8th Grade School Counselor
Phone: (443) 809-4998
Welcome back! It is so amazing to see how much our 8th graders have grown both physically (so tall now!) and emotionally over the past 2 years. This year I am going to focus my classroom lessons on Magnet Program deadlines, transition to high school, identifying learning styles and how to develop effective study habits, healthy relationships, stress, and self-care. I look forward to continuing to work with your children to help them become their best selves! If you have any questions or concerns, I am just a call or email away to help.
Also, I am happy to announce that I have an intern named Keith Brock from Loyola University who will be working with me and under my supervision on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. He will be shadowing me but also meeting with students, running a group, and helping me with my classroom lessons.
BCPS High School Magnet Programs
From September 5th to 8th, I will be going into the Language Arts classes to talk about BCPS HS Magnet Programs. Student will learn about programs offered at Towson HS, Carver Center for Arts and Technology, and many of the other schools. Students will also learn about the application and assessment process. Last year, many students expressed interest in applying and now is the time. Please take a moment to chat with your student about this amazing, free High School opportunity by visiting the BCPS Magnet website. The deadline to apply is November 3rd. Please reach out to me if you have any questions.
For students who are going to be applying to Private School(s), next week, I am going to share general information with students about the application process (application deadlines, placement testing, shadow days, etc.). Please keep in mind that requests for teacher recommendations should be sent to Mrs. Watson, our new School Counseling Secretary, not directly to the teacher. Also, for a recommendation to be completed and for our school to send transcripts, a consent release form must be completed by the parent/guardian and sent to Mrs. Watson.
"The reader lives a thousand lives before they die; one who doesn't lives only one."
In ELA, we love stories! We intend to utilize those stories as a casement through which your learner will hone analytical tools, become more perceptive to the world and people around them, and develop strong writing skills.
The first quarter should build a great foundation for your student's ELA success. Whether finding new meanings in old myths in sixth grade, learning to face challenges fearlessly in seventh, or discovering how writers manipulate their audience and build suspense in eight, your learner will find themselves challenged and engaged by their ELA readings and classes! The ELA team can't wait to share our love of stories and all that go with them with your student.
In our math classes, our teachers and students have been working hard! We have been learning how to solve problems, work in teams, communicate ideas, use creativity, and manage tasks – as well as build self confidence and take responsibility.
“Problem solving is not the precise application of a known procedure. It is not the implementation of a taught algorithm. And it is not the smooth execution of a formula. Problem solving is a messy, non-linear, and idiosyncratic process. Students will get stuck. They will think. And they will get unstuck. And when they do, they will learn – they will learn about mathematics, they will learn about themselves, and they will learn how to think”
You will find your child’s course with Illustrative Mathematics at https://im.kendallhunt.com/ We highly encourage families to visit the site. In each course and each unit is family resources to help you build background on what is happening in our classrooms daily.
PE & Health
Students had a great first week in PE and Health! The first week was spent getting oriented and participating in team building activities. As we enter September, graded units will begin. Units for the next few weeks will include badminton, frisbee activities, hockey, rope jumping, soccer, and sport stacking. Students are reminded to be prepared for movement with sneakers and comfortable clothing. Crocs, sandals, flip flops, boots, and slides are not appropriate for physical education.
We look forward to a productive and enjoyable month in September, with lots of learning and movement! If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to your child’s teacher or department chair, Ms. Green at: firstname.lastname@example.org
All students have spent the first week of school getting to know each other, collaborating to complete STEM challenges, and reviewing science safety procedures and expectations. Students must return a signed safety contract in order to participate in lab. If your child has not asked you to sign their safety contract, please ask them about it! By the end of week 2 all students will have put together their interactive science notebook for their first unit. Please continue to send in folders and loose leaf so your child has the supplies they need for the entire year (4 folders and 1 pack of loose-leaf paper total). Students in all grades will be completing projects the first quarter that require materials from home: in 6th grade we are in need of empty 2 liter bottles, 7th grade needs materials for s’more cookers such as cereal, pizza, and other boxes, foil, plastic wrap, baggies, etc, and 8th grade needs thin cardboard boxes such as cereal, pop tart, popcorn, and empty toilet paper rolls to use to build their hurricane proof houses.
Welcome Back to Social Studies at CMS! This week all of our students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade reviewed important skills that we use during history class, such as identifying locations on a map and analyzing primary sources. Please check your student's binder, many of our social studies teachers have sent home a course syllabus, while others posted their syllabus on Schoology. In sixth grade during Unit 1 our students will be learning about geography and the earliest human societies. In seventh grade during unit 1 our students will be learning about religious and trade empires. In eighth grade during Unit 1 our students will be learning about the American Revolution. We are so excited to dive into history with your student.
Mrs. Marian Garven, Fine Arts Department Chair, Strings - email@example.com
Mr. James Carlson, Band - firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Vincent Sandroni, Chorus - email@example.com
Welcome to a new year in the CMS Music Department! See below for a few important announcements and reminders:
- All Band and Orchestra students need an instrument in proper working condition for the year, as well as all appropriate accessories. Please be sure your child has this as soon as possible and speak to your child's music teacher with questions.
- Students have music on either A days or B days. Be familiar with the BCPS A Day/B Day calendar and help your child remember what class they will have each morning (especially if they are in band or orchestra).
- Ordering information for concert uniforms will be sent home in a few weeks. If your child is a returning band, chorus, or orchestra student, please be sure they still have their uniform and that it still fits!
- Please put our upcoming concert dates on your calendar:
Orchestra: Wednesday, December 6th
Band: Wednesday, December 13th
Chorus: Wednesday, December 20th
Orchestra: Wednesday, May 8th
Band: Wednesday, May 15th
Chorus: Wednesday, May 22nd
- Cockeysville Public Library FALL Show CMS Artist will have featured artwork at the Cockeysville Public Library starting in October. The show will stay up through Fall and into the Winter.
- Painting Club The CMS Painting Club will be starting at the end of September. Painting club meets most Wednesday's afterschool from 2:45-4:00. See Mr. Georgieff for details.
Spanish Novice A is off to a great start! Students have been busy learning about what proficiency looks like in Spanish and what their proficiency goal is for the end of the year. Students have learned how to say their names and how they feel. Soon they will be learning to communicate many more things about themselves including their ages, birthdays, where they went to elementary school, things they like to do and sone personality traits that describe them. Students will need a section in their binder dedicated for Spanish or a folder dedicated for Spanish. Next week as we really start adding to their vocabulary, students should be reviewing their notes for a few minutes each night!
Spanish Novice B - We have started off the school year reviewing concepts from last year like expressing one's likes and dislikes. We will continue to expand on personal preferences and students will learn how to compare their likes and dislikes currently from when they were younger.
Intermediate Spanish- We are starting the year off strong in Intermediate Spanish with a review and then we will begin learning about the environment. From there, we will start to read our first book of the year called Los piratas del Caribe y el triangulo de Bermuda.
BRILLA is kicking off the year learning about myths and legends from El Salvador and Guatemala. So far, we have investigated the validity of El Chupacabras! Students will begin their first novel, La Llorona de Mazatlan, later this month. Please make sure you are receiving messages vias Talking Points about our program.
French Novice A: Students will begin their French-speaking journey by learning how to describe things using various adjectives, how to describe the weather, and how to say the date and time. We will be playing lots of games on the computer to review all the new vocabulary, so please be sure students bring their devices to school fully charged and ready to go!
French Novice B: Students will strengthen their present tense verb conjugations by talking about their everyday life (such as household chores, going to and from school, etc.). We will be playing lots of games on the computer to review all the new vocabulary, so please be sure students bring their devices to school fully charged and ready to go!
Intermediate French: Students will strengthen their present tense verb conjugations and broaden their vocabulary by exploring and discovering francophone cultures across the globe. Please make sure students bring their fully charged computers to school every day! They will need it to access Schoology content and to explore francophone cultures digitally.
The main focus for students in ELA 1 for this school year will be Reading and Writing. In September students start reading leveled texts on topics like their new school and their community.
ESOL 1 will focus on student speaking and listening skills. Students will learn new vocabulary and work collaboratively to encourage their English language acquisition.
September 13th, all ESOL families are invited to join us at CMS from 5:30-7:30 for a Back to School and Kick off to Hispanic Heritage Month event! We are looking forward to having the Mobile ESOL Welcome Center, Food Truck, Soccer Games, Children’s activities, school information and more!
AVID Elective 7 & 8
AVID Elective classes have started the year by building community with a series of problem-solving team challenges. Students have explored the College and Career Framework and learned about what it means to be college and career ready. Additionally, students learned about the importance of making a good first impression and setting their year up for success. AVID students organized their AVID binders, set up agendas, found study buddies for their classes and formally introduced themselves as an AVID student to each of their teachers. In September, students will learn about the focused note taking process and how notes can support them in their classes. Students will also dive into AVID tutorials and become AVID trained tutors.
Save the date-- October 6, AVID students will be inducted into the AVID family by signing their AVID contracts. Invitations for AVID families are forthcoming.
Students are getting to experience AVID in their content classes through AVID schoolwide strategies and advisory. In September students will learn about the importance of relational capacity and getting organized in advisory. Students will also learn how to analyze using the Says Means Matters strategy to break down complex ideas and text.
September Update from CMS PTA
CMS PTA thanks our families and staff for a great start to the school year, and for your generous Cougar Commitment donations, PTA memberships, and volunteer time. CMS PTA looks forward to supporting our CMS students, staff, and families many ways: field trip funding, club support, Reflections art contest, teacher & staff appreciation, advocacy, volunteering, and so much more. Your PTA membership ($8) and Cougar Commitment donation ($50/student suggested – any amount appreciated!) will make a difference for every CMS student. Thank you!
Join PTA &/or donate online here:
Spiritwear sale online here – now through September 10:
September 27 Fundraiser at Bertucci’s of Timonium
Thanks to all who came out for our last spirit night and fundraiser at California Pizza Kitchen! Our next spirit night will be at Bertucci’s in Timonium – a flyer with our code will be shared soon.
Our next CMS PTA monthly meeting will be Monday, September 11, 7pm, in the CMS Library and virtual*. These meetings are open to all CMS parents/guardians - your perspectives and feedback are appreciated! Visit https://cockeysvillemiddlepta.org/ to learn more and view our calendar.
*Join CMS PTA Zoom Meeting – September 11 at 7:00pm:
Meeting ID: 840 2459 8338
- Volunteers appreciated for language interpretation and translation – especially Spanish. Assist at PTA meetings and with other PTA communications. Contact: Karen Sober – firstname.lastname@example.org
- More volunteer opportunities will be shared soon, including CMS Copy Room.
- Please complete the annual BCPS volunteer application and training here prior to volunteering at school, and give your completed application and training certificate to the CMS office when you arrive (or email to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org).
- September 6, 3pm: CMS Badminton Interest Meeting in Rm. 8; CMS Cross Country Interest Meeting in Rm. 37 (CMS Athletics info here)
- Now till September 10: CMS PTA Spiritwear Sale – buy online here
- September 11, 3-4:15pm (rescheduled from September 6-7): Tryout for CRC Girls After School Soccer at CMS
- September 11-12, 3-4:30pm (rescheduled from September 6-7): Tryout for CRC Boys After School Soccer at CMS
- September 11: 7-8PM CMS PTA Meeting – CMS Library & virtual – all are welcome
- September 13: 5:30-7:30pm ESOL Welcome Event at CMS
- September 14: Mum distribution to students (if able) (info here)
- September 15, 9am-2pm: Mum pickup at CMS (info here)
- September 15: School Closed for Students - Rosh Hashanah
- September 20: 8:15-9:15am Coffee with Principal Carney (bus loop)
- September 25: School Closed for Students - Yom Kippur
- September 27: Bertucci’s of Timonium – Spirit Night and Fundraiser for CMS PTA
- October 1: LTRC Snow Club registration opens (info here – a bus will pick up at CMS this season)