PYTHON PRESS

Pikesville Middle School - November - 2021

From The Principals Desk:

Part of our mission statement at Pikesville Middle School is to establish strong values and citizenship within and beyond the school community. Every student’s experience should be as the result of being educated in a safe and strong community. At Pikesville Middle School, we believe that all students should be active participants in making the community a better place to live, learn, grow, and raise a family. As scholarship is engaging in the work of a scholar, community-ship is engaging in the work of the community. As an important part of our community, students must learn to display positive attitudes, respect the rules/expectations, and participate in the work of developing a strong and safe community. A lesson learned throughout history has shown that a nation or community which has a strong set of moral values and solid citizen participation will flourish at a high level. As such, students should apply this lesson of history to life at Pikesville Middle today.

The connection between home and school is critical. When staff and parents work together, student educational experiences are enhanced. Student academic success and personal responsibility at Pikesville Middle School are dependent on a cooperative triangle comprised of student-teacher-parent/guardian. Through a close and shared partnership with all stakeholders associated with Pikesville Middle School, I am confident our school will continue to be a successful place for our students to learn and grow. We Are Pikesville!


This is a reminder that each day your child should make sure they have a water bottle and mask in addition to their BCPS device and school supplies. The mask is mandatory in all BCPS schools, and their own mask will fit better and last longer than the paper masks that we must give them. Students must wear the mask over their nose and mouth throughout the day. We are seeing students who are pulling their mask down to talk to each other in the hallway, which is not safe and against COVID-19 protocol.



Lastly, I cannot stress enough to monitor your child's cell phone and social media usage. Students should NOT have any electronics - phones, airpods, earbuds, or headphones on or out throughout the day except for lunch. We ask that you please do not call or text your child during the school day unless you know he or she is at lunch - if you need to get them a message or have them call you, we can quickly and easily deliver that message for you in the front office. In addition, please monitor your middle schooler's social media usage, as many of our day-to-day non-school related issues often stem from social media posts or challenges. It truly takes a village to support all our Pythons, and we want to continue to work together to make sure our students are being safe and responsible on social media.

IMPORTANT DATES

Nov. 5 (F) - First Marking Period Ends – All Schools Close 3 Hours Early for Students – Grade Reporting and Data Analysis** – Teachers on Duty


Nov. 11 (Th) - Veterans Day*


Nov. 15-19 (M-F) - American Education Week


Nov. 22 (M) - Report Cards Distributed


Nov. 23 (T) - Preschool-3 and Pre-K Conference Day – No Preschool-3 or Pre-K sessions – Elementary, Middle, and High Schools in Session Full Day – Teachers on Duty


Nov. 24 (W) - Preschool-3 and Pre-K Conference Day and Elementary Conference Day – No Preschool-3 or Pre-K sessions and Schools Closed for Elementary Students – Middle and High Schools in Session Full Day – Teachers on Duty


Nov. 25-26 (Th-F) - Thanksgiving Holiday – Schools and Offices Closed

6th Grade News Flash by Mr. Jackson

“And all at once, summer collapsed into fall.” -Oscar Wilde. The beginning of the fall season is a reminder that school has begun in earnest and PMS is moving forward with P.R.I.D.E. As the first marking period has end, it is important to take in account how difficult the transition has been for many of us getting back into a routine. In October, PMS recognized the importance of mental health which coincided with Anti-Bullying week. This was an opportunity to reinforce two important aspects of our school code of conduct. “I am Respectful of others.” and “I am inclusive of others.”. PMS has been increasing its efforts to support these statements and encourage our families to reinforce the value of self-respect and respect for others has in a school community.

The start of November for our students can be an important reset. Students, please take this opportunity to start with a renewed sense of focus. Check Schoology daily, build positive relationships with students and teachers, and work consistently to increase your understanding. Teachers have begun advertising coach class so please take advantage if you believe it can be helpful. Parents, if you have not obtained access to Focus and Schoology, please take time to get set up to increase your support for your child’s academic success. The following link may be of help to obtain access. Parent Portal Registration - Baltimore Focus (focusschoolsoftware.com)

Please email Mr. Jackson ajackson@bcps.org (Grade 6 Administrator) or Ms. Daeschner ddaeschner@bcps.org (Grade 6 Counselor) if you have questions/concerns/difficulty with access.

7th Grade Scoop by Ms. Luechtefeld

Hello 7th grade!

We have made it! One quarter down and in the books. I hope you were able to be successful whatever that means to you - whether you wanted straight A’s, perfect attendance, or making a new friend in each class. If you were or were not able to reach your goal that is okay because we are starting a new quarter, which is another chance to make new goals! Make sure you start this quarter off right. Remember to check Schoology, staying on top of homework, and network with friends to keep up with all of your classes. Below are 10 successful habits of successful students:

  1. Stay Organized
  2. Do not try to multitask
  3. Divide work into manageable portions
  4. Proper rest
  5. Set a Schedule
  6. Take notes
  7. Study
  8. Find a place at home with minimal distractions
  9. Find a friend in your class to clarify class material
  10. Ask questions

( https://opportunity.org/learn/lists/10-habits-of-successful-students#.YYHWoZ7MI2w )

7th Grade good news: We celebrated over 250+ students at our very first Quarterly Incentive! More incentives and activities are coming!

Lastly, a quick reminder. Many students are getting thirsty during the school day which is understandable. It is quite important for students to have water bottles (Hopefully reusable but does not have to be) when they come to school. There are several stations where students can refill it throughout the day. Not only will this keep the students hydrated but it will keep students from missing valuable class time. As always, please reach out to the 7th grade team if you need any support or assistance.

8th Grade Updates from Dr. Sullivan

It is hard to believe that we are getting ready to end the first quarter and move into the second quarter. We are so proud of the accomplishments of our 8th grade students and can’t wait to celebrate them at our awards assembly in December.

As we move into the new quarter, we are encouraging students and parents to message teachers to set up coach class or to get additional support in class. Now is the time to also reorganize binders and notebooks to be ready for the next marking period.

If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to reach out to us. We are here to provide support to the 8th grade students throughout the year. Dr. Sullivan (msullivan2@bcps.org), Ms. Grant (agrant@bcps.org) and Ms. Britt (mbritt2@bcps.org).

Now is the perfect time for your student to set goals for themselves regarding the second quarter.

Some possible goals could include:

  • Participate more frequently in class
  • Practice taking Focused Notes
  • Review grades on a regular basis
  • Review what you learned in your classes for 10 minutes
  • Read one book for enjoyment
  • Read one chapter of a book per night
  • Learn a new scale on their instrument
  • Learn new words in a different language

AVID

AVID, which stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination, is a comprehensive instructional system which provides strategies, resources, and college readiness support for all students.

All teachers have been trained and are using AVID’s focused note-taking process in their classes this year. AVID’s focused note-taking process embodies research-based best practices for note-taking and using notes for learning. The five stages in the process apply to a number of formats for notes. The process includes:

1. Taking Notes: teachers or students will select a note-taking format and students will take notes based on an information source.

2. Processing Notes: students will revise notes—by underlining, highlighting, circling, chunking, questioning, adding, deleting—to identify, select, sort, organize, and classify main ideas and details.

3. Connecting Thinking: students will analyze the notes using inquiry to make connections and deepen content knowledge by asking questions and adding their own thinking.

4. Summarizing and Reflecting on Learning: students will pull together the most important aspects of their notes and their thinking about them to create a summary.

5. Applying Learning: Students will demonstrate what they have learned and apply it to a new situation such as an assessment, experiment, project, or essay.

Our AVID scholars also took part in the annual AVID induction ceremony. The ceremony was truly a success as it was led and run by our AVID scholars. Each and every one of the AVID scholars are to be commended for their role and commitment to excellence. Looking forward to seeing what AVID has next. Parent’s if you have any questions regarding the AVID program I can be reached at bthompson6@bcps.org.
# WE ARE AVID.

Big picture

IT'S ACADEMIC

MATH

We are now beginning the second quarter, please make sure you are checking Schoology frequently to check for missing work and to look at grades throughout the quarter. 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 Ratios and Proportional Relationships, next will be Expressions, Equations, and Inequalities; Math 8 is working on Proportional and Non-Proportional Relationships, next will be Statistics; Algebra 1 is working on Exploring Linear Relationships; next is Exponential Functions; Geometry is working on Foundations of Geometry, Transformations, Geometric Reasoning, next is Congruence. Remember the textbook is online the link can be found in Schoology under course resources.

Science

Happy Fall Pikesville Family! As we enter into a new season, we are also preparing to enter a new quarter and, in most classes, new units. In Mr. McChesney’s 8th grade Engineering class, students are currently learning about the parts and function of the band saw, drill press, and belt sander. Students will safely use these power tools as they construct the air-powered Dragsters that they designed. Once constructed, the Dragsters will be tested to maximize speed in preparation for the class-wide competition called “Dragster Madness 2021.”

In Ms. Porter’s Engineering classes students in the 7th grade Engineering classes will be learning about electromagnetism and how electromagnetism works in motors and generators. Students will make a simple electric motor to demonstrate their understanding of electromagnetism. Students in the 6th grade Engineering classes will investigate how scientists and engineers play a vital role in space travel, space discovery, and living in space. They will explore launch, orbit, landing and maintaining health in space and maintaining a stable environment for astronauts. Students will continue to use the engineering design process as they design, build, and test an improved prototype of a system.

In Mr. Marcellino’s computer science class, students are programming using conditional statements and various input sensors such as an accelerometer, light meter and pressure sensor. In mass communication students are creating surveys to collect data, and designing graphics that help us report on that data within the morning announcements.

In Mr. Smith’s 6th grade class, students will learn about animal relationships (symbiosis), dissect owl pellets, and then finish with the culminating event. In 7th grade, students are learning about conductors/insulators as they prepare to make smores, before moving onto the Form Follows Function unit. In 8th grade , students are learning about factors that affect climate, the water cycle, and then finish building hurricane houses.

In Mr. Lace’s 8th grade classes, students will be finishing up the first unit on weather and climate by testing out their hurricane houses against rain, wind, and flooding. Students will then begin the next unit on Mastodons and Megalodons, which will cover fossils and geological time.

In all 7th grade science classes, students are finishing up unit 1 and preparing to make their solar cookers. Students will begin the next unit, Form Follows Function which covers cells, tissues, organs, and body systems.

In 6th grade, classes are finishing up our Ecology Unit and are very excited to begin chemistry this month!!

As always, we encourage our students to do their best and come to class prepared. Please encourage our students to bring highlighters, pencils/pens, and crayons or color pencils regularly.

English

As we wrap up the first quarter of the school year, students in all language arts classes are working on their Final Projects, or PBAs. Teachers are excited to for students to show what they’ve learned first quarter!

In Reading and Just Words, students have completed their initial assessments and are working on growing their skills each day! Please ensure your student is working on their Read180 app – yes, they can work on this at home! Every 10-20 minutes of time on the app can measurably build their skills!

Theater students continue to grow and to learn how to use their bodies and voices to express and to perform text while delivering powerful messages. AVID and CCR students are learning strategies to support their executive function and lead to greater success in all classes.

Classroom spelling bees will soon be taking place. The top two winners from every class move on to the school-wide written spelling bee to be held before winter break.

Please encourage your students to read for pleasure! Do audiobooks count? YES! Do graphic novels count? YES! Does Manga count? YES! Traditional novels are not the only way to read, please help your student find what they love to read. Middle school is the time when we create lifelong readers!

Social Studies

As the temperature changes and the leaves turn from green to brown and gold, the History department is now transitioning to Unit 2. Many of our students are completing the final assignments in Unit 1 and are preparing for the Unit 1 assessment. We are extremely proud of the hard work our students have demonstrated during the first nine weeks of school and we expect and demand the same high levels of academic achievement as we transition through the remaining weeks of the first semester.

Ancient World 6 – Unit 2 - River Valleys & Foundational Civilizations- In this unit 6th grade students will focus on constructing arguments using claims and evidence from multiple sources, examining the roles of individuals and societies based on characteristics such as class gender and ethnicity, exploring physical and human characteristics and the development of societies and civilizations, and determining how and why cultures develop both unique and shared characteristics. During this unit students will gain a better understanding of the civilizations that began near the Tigris, Euphrates, and Nile River valleys and how the civilizations of ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt were able to develop into empires.

Medieval World 7 – Unit 2 - Medieval Europe – In this unit 7th grade students will analyze multiple factors that influenced perspectives different historical eras, construct explanations using reasoning, sequence, examples, and details, examine the rules of individuals within societies based on characteristics such as social class gender and ethnicity, and will examine how the feudal system provided structure and stability in medieval society.

American History 8 – Unit 2 - Early Nation In this unit 8th grade students will cover America's 1st government, The Compromises/Constitution/Bill of Rights and will explore the presidencies of Washington, Adams, and Jefferson. In addition, students will examine the structure and function of the United States government, explore the impact of expansion, settlement patterns and the ideological foundations of American culture including political, social, and economic influences.

In addition to exploring historical content, history teachers will also be working with students on before, during, and after reading strategies, focused notetaking and writing essays.

Foreign Language

Bonjour et Buenos Dias! So far this year, Novice A students are finishing up Unit 1, and they are learning about activities they enjoy and their families. December will bring some culture lessons and activities on how holidays are celebrated in other countries. Novice B classes are beginning personality traits and will be speaking and writing a lot about themselves and their personality types and comparing then and now. Intermediate students will also review personality types and discuss future professions. We’ve been very busy. In all classes, students are encouraged to have a notebook and a section in their binder for resources. World Language classes do not have a regular textbook, so it’s important for student to keep their notes to stay organized. Using Google drive to stay organized is a great tool as well!

This year all students will have access to “Flangoo”, which is an online reading program for French and Spanish. Students will be able to read and listen to articles, stories and books in the target language. We are excited to begin using this great program! Students in some classes have already begun using Flangoo. Encourage your child to log in at home and read in French or Spanish!

Nominations will be sent out soon for French Junior National Honor Society “Les Jeunes Amis du Francais”. This is an academic honor society which meets on Thursdays. Students must have A’s in French for 2 consecutive quarters in order to be inducted formally and be willing to complete the requirements of membership! It’s a great organization for students who excel in French. This is not a traditional club, your student can still do another Thursday club if they would like!

Remember, 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 www.flangoo.com and https://conjuguemos.com/ for extra practice with tricky grammar rules.

Related Arts

Welcome to the Pikesville Middle School Related Arts Department! At Pikesville Middle School Related Arts consists of Physical Education, Health Education, Visual Arts, Chorus, Orchestra, Band, and Dance Education.

Physical Education & Health Education – Students are expected to be prepared for Physical Education with appropriate athletic clothing. This may consist of a Pikesville Middle School PE uniform or athletic clothing from home. If your student elects to participate in Physical Education with clothing from home, they must wear a t-shirt/sweatshirt (white or gray) and shorts/sweatpants (blue or black). Currently, the Physical Education Department is finishing the distribution of PE uniforms purchased during the first online store. An additional online store will be offered later in the school year and information will be provided at that time. Students are using the Physical Education Locker Rooms to secure their belongings. Students should ensure all valuable items are locked in their personal PE lockers. This includes but is not limited to cell phones, devices, earbuds, wallets, and jewelry. Finally, it is recommended students bring a water bottle to class to stay hydrated! Mr. Desort’s classes will be returning to Physical Education from Health and Mr. Long and Ms. Britt’s classes will be entering Health for 2nd quarter.

Visual Arts – Students have let their creativity shine! In Mrs. Payne’s classes, 7th grade students are creating cartoon self-portraits and 8th grade student are working on their realistic self-portraits. In Mrs. Silverman’s classes, 6th grade students have been working on their World as A Picture assignment and her 8th Grade GT students are finishing the self-portrait.

8th grade GT Art students, the Magnet School application deadline is quickly approaching. It is November 5th, 2021. Please check out the information that is posted on Schoology and listen for the announcement about after-school coach class to prepare your portfolios for auditions! Here is the link to the Magnet brochure: https://dci.bcps.org/cms/One.aspx?portalId=9047042&pageId=31811586

FINE ARTS – CONCERT UPDATES:

Our Fine Arts classes consist of Chorus, Orchestra, Band and Dance. Students are working hard in each course to prepare for upcoming concerts and performances. Please ensure you mark the following dates in your calendar:

· Chorus & Orchestra Concert – January 18th, 2021 (7:00p.m. – 9:00p.m.)

· Band Concert – January 19th, 2021 (7:00p.m. – 9:00p.m.)

· Dance Concert – January 20th, 2021 (7:00p.m. – 9:00p.m.)

Chorus – Mr. Permenter’s Chorus classes are singing their hearts out each day in rehearsals. In addition to refining their musical skills, chorus students are enjoying learning the following songs that will be performed at their Winter Concert:

· “Seasons of Love”

· “Good Job”

· “Siyahamba - Python Pride.”

· “Like a Mighty Stream”

· “Shine On Me”

· “Come Join in Singing”

Orchestra – Mr. Lavallee’s Orchestra classes sound fantastic! 6th grade students are continuing to work hard to develop the basic posture, skills, and techniques to become excellent musicians. 7th/8th grade students are continuing to refine their craft and are working diligently to produce an exceptional sound. Our Honor’s Orchestra students are using their method books and practicing concert music.

Orchestra students must have the following items:

· Method Book (This can be purchased from Mr. Lavallee for $10.00)

· Rosin (This can be purchased from Mr. Lavallee for $5.00)

· One-inch Black Binder with clear protective sheets for their music

Please, contact our Orchestra Director, Mr. Lavallee (llavallee@bcps.org) or Mr. Long (blong3@bcps.org), our Related Arts Department Chair should you have any concerns obtaining the items listed above.

Band – Our General Music classes are continuing to explore all types of music! Students in grades 6th and 7th grade are exploring music from around the world! Classes are working with various musical concepts such as rhythms and patterns. In our 8th grade General Music classes, students are studying music throughout American History.

Our students have been working hard in Band as well. Students who have returned instrument loan agreements or have their own personal instruments are expected to bring their instruments home at least twice a week. If your student still does not have an instrument for class, please reach out to the following staff members:

· 6th Grade Band/Honors 7/8th Grade Band – Ms. Leggiero (lleggiero@bcps.org)

· 7/8th Grade Band – Mr. Rauson (drauson@bcps.org)

· Related Arts Department Chair – Mr. Long (blong3@bcps.org)

Ms. Leggiero’s 7th/8th grade Honors Band is continuing to develop an amazing sound. Again, all students are expected to be bring their instruments home at least TWICE a week. Stay tuned for updates from your students about performances and auditions. If any 8th grade Honors student wishes to audition for magnet music programs, have them see Ms. Leggiero for additional information. The deadline for applications is quickly approaching. It is November 5th, 2021. Ms. Leggiero can also be contacted by email at lleggiero@bcps.org .

Here is the link to the Magnet brochure: https://dci.bcps.org/cms/One.aspx?portalId=9047042&pageId=31811586

Dance – Ms. Crockett’s Dance classes have been working hard to perfect their skills. As we move into the month of November, it is still important that students are dressed properly for class. Appropriate dress for Dance class is all black. Students are also encouraged to bring a water bottle with them as this is a physical class. Dancing with a mask can be very challenging.

Counseling Corner

Virtually Chew & Chat with the Counselors during American Education Week!


Parents and Guardians,

Please log in to Google Meet to chat with your child’s school counselors!

Dates: November 17th, 18th, & 19th

Time: 9:00am- 11:00am

Google Meet code: meetthecounselors

Ms. Daeschner, 6th ddaeschner@bcps.org -November 17th

Mrs. Banks, 7th vbanks2@bcps.org - November 18th

Mr. Hess, 8th mhess@bcps.org - November 19th

Mr. Nwokocha School Counseling Intern anwokocha@bcps.org



Middle school years are often challenging for both student and parent.


We are always willing to discuss the following topics:

Time Management: Balancing social media time, video gaming time, and homework

Anxiousness

Social and peer relationships

Getting proper rest

Magnet School applications (deadline date is Nov. 5th)

Navigating Schoology, etc.

College& Career Readiness, 6th

6 -Year planning for grades 7th/8th


The school counselors are looking forward to seeing you on Google Meet

Special Education

September and October have brought us to the end of eight weeks of Hard Work, the end of 1st quarter, and a lot of accomplishments. Students have been working very hard, getting acclimated to being back at school full time, reuniting with old friends and making new ones. We are gearing up for a successful second quarter and with that there are lots of resources for us to use.


Resources For You!

On bcps.org under the Students & Families Tab (Link - https://dci.bcps.org/department/special_education/special_education_resource_center ) you can be added to a contact list to begin receiving the weekly SERC News & Notes or just click another link and get the Fall 2021 edition of the Hand in Hand Newsletter. Or you can find them on @SpecialEducationResourceCenterBCPS


If that’s not enough for you, please feel free to reach out to the Department of Special Education or us here at Pikesville, as we have just received Resources for Parent Resources & Support, Sports & Recreation, Tutoring, Mental Health, Funding, Social Skills, Equipment, Sign Language, and Respite. Also available to you is the Lending Library https://baltimore.follettdestiny.com located at White Oak School, 8401 Leefield Rd., Baltimore, MD 21234. There all BCPS parents and employees as well as local university students can borrow materials. Lastly there is the SERC Parent Webinar “Is Your Child a Picky Eater?” Learn What is Typical and When You Should Seek Help: Wednesday, November 10th 12:00-1:30PM https://sercisyourchildapickyeater.eventbrite.com


We hope you have a Happy November and will continue to support you will your needs!

Health Suite

Flu season is upon us. Please remember the best way to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated. Good health habits like avoiding people who are sick, covering your cough and washing your hands often can help stop the spread of germs and prevent respiratory illnesses like flu and COVID 19.

Good health and hygiene tips:

1. Wash hands frequently with soap and water; use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water is not available.

2. Practice good health habits: wash/disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home and work; get plenty of sleep; stay physically active; drink plenty of fluids; eat nutritious meals; and manage stress.

3. The CDC recommends all people 2 years of age and older wear a mask in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. Masks should be washed after each use. Be careful not to touch your eyes, nose, and mouth when removing and wash hands immediately after removing.

If there are any changes in your child’s health status, please let Ms. Limmer know at 443-809-5000 or jlimmer@bcps.org.