Raider Nation Newsletter

Week of October 26, 2020

One Book One Atholton This Week!

Dear Atholton Families,

As I mentioned in the newsletter last week, there are several issues coming before the Board of Education that will greatly affect our school year. You can read about recent developments regarding final exams and other pending decisions here. Board Meetings in November will begin to outline the superintendent’s plan for returning to school in the second semester.

This Thursday, October 29th is the second meeting of One Book One Atholton. We will meet as a community at 6 pm to discuss chapters 1-3 of our book, Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi. The Google Meet code is: OneBookOneAtholton

We encourage you all to join and you can sign up here:

I am thrilled to let you know that seniors Shyam Pillai and Anna Munroe were selected as Atholton’s representatives in the United States Presidential Scholars Program. Shyam and Anna will compete against two seniors from every county high school for the honor of representing Howard County in the national program. Please join me in wishing them the best.

Juniors Mason Murray and Simone Robinson will serve on the Policy 9020- Students Rights and Responsibilities Committee to provide the school system a student’s perspective on this important county policy.

Atholton High School will be offering three-day after-school College Essay Writing Seminar/Workshops twice during the fall of 2020. These workshops are open to the following AHS students who are planning on applying to a four-year college/university that requires a college essay: seniors currently enrolled in second semester English 12, seniors dual-enrolled at HCC for English 12, and juniors who are graduating early and plan on applying for colleges this fall. The dates of the two workshops are:

• SESSION ONE [Must Enroll by 3:15 pm on Monday 10/26]: Tues. 10/27, Weds. 10/28, Thurs. 10/29, 3:15pm - 4:15pm


• SESSION TWO [Must Enroll by 3:15 pm on Monday 11/9]: Tues. 11/10, Weds. 11/11, Thurs. 11/12, 3:15pm - 4:15pm

Enrollment will be on a first-come, first-served basis. There are limited (virtual) seats available.

Sign up at

Lastly, thank you for your ongoing support as we continue to provide instruction virtually. I am proud of the way that our students have persevered and the levels of engagement they have demonstrated.

To maintain a positive, productive learning environment and assure confidentiality for students and teachers during virtual learning, students and parents/guardians are asked to continue following the guidelines and expectations detailed on the HCPSS website.

Again, thank you for your partnership as we navigate this new virtual instructional model.

I would like to wish you all a fantastic week and I hope to see you at the event this Thursday evening!

Warmest Regards,

Robert A. Motley


Advanced Placement (AP) Exam Registration

The Advanced Placement (AP) testing program for the 2020-2021 school year has been modified to allow for the maximum flexibility when registering for exams. Students and teachers are navigating the change to the 4x4 block schedule while dealing with the uncertainty of the health and safety for spring testing. The changes below will hopefully help students feel comfortable registering for exams and demonstrating their knowledge.

Last school year, CollegeBoard implemented an emergency at home testing option. CollegeBoard is currently not planning to offer an at-home option and is expecting students to test in person with health and safety protocols. Due to social distancing requirements, some exams may be administered off-campus. Test site details will be shared as we approach the May test windows.

Critical Changes and Rationale for the 2020-2021 School Year:

  • All students in an AP class will be defaulted to “Yes” for taking the exam

    • CollegeBoard is waiving cancellation fees. This allows a student to decide up until the test date to not take the exam. Only students who take the exam will need to pay the exam fee.

    • Students who select “No” for taking the exam and then decide to change to “Yes”, will be charged a $40 late registration fee. The fee only applies after the Nov 13th deadline for first semester courses and the March 12th deadline for second-semester courses.

  • Students/families will complete an AP Registration Google Form if they plan to take the exam. Submissions will be due Nov 13th for first semester courses and March 12th for second-semester courses.

    • Information on the Google Form will help AP Coordinators generate invoices and begin planning for proctors.

  • Payments for the exams will be due April 16, 2021. Any student who does not pay by this date will not be able to sit for the exam. $95.00 per exam or $15 per exam if the student qualifies for a fee waiver.

    • If students pay early and then change their mind, payments will be refunded.

AP Program Outline for Atholton High School

  • First Semester AP Courses

    • Sept-Oct: Students register for AP Portal using the join codes that AP teachers provide to students.

    • By Nov 13: Students/families complete this AP Registration Form to register for taking the exam.

    • Nov-Apr: AP Coordinators will invoice students/families based on November 13th form.

    • Apr 16: Last day to submit payment to participate in May testing.

    • May 3-14: AP Exams

  • Second Semester AP Courses

    • Feb: Students register for AP Portal using the join codes that AP teachers provide to students.

    • By Mar 12: Students/families complete this AP Registration Form to register for taking the exam.
      Note: Form will be sent in the second semester.

    • Mar-Apr: AP Coordinators will invoice students/families based on March 12th form.

    • Apr 16: Last day to submit payment to participate in May testing.

    • May 3-14: AP Exams

  • Self Study/Exam Only Students
    Students who are independent/self-study students who want to take an exam for a course in which they’re not enrolled need to:

    • Email or to notify the AP Coordinator that they would like to take a specific exam for a course that they are not enrolled in.

    • Due to the steps needed within the AP Portal, the deadline for the exam only requests is November 9th.

If you have specific questions, please contact Nina Dix at or Deborah Sauers at

Big picture

AHS MEDIA CENTER -- Contactless Book Pick Up / Drop Off

  1. Students will place requests for materials using this form, called I NEED A LIBRARIAN/MEDIA SPECIALIST.

  2. Students will receive an email message to their preferred email address when their holds are ready for pick up on WEDNESDAYS.

  3. Books will be placed on the cart outside the front entrance for student pick up. They will be wrapped in brown paper sleeves with the name of the recipient identified on the spine.

  4. All returned books will sit in quarantine for seven days before circulating back out to households. The latest guidance can be found here (Links to an external site.).

  5. Books can be returned ANY DAY to a cart provided outside. PICKUPS will only be outside on WEDNESDAYS.

School Meals

A stopgap U.S. government funding bill signed into law last Thursday, which includes almost $8 billion in nutrition assistance, allows USDA to extend the meal waivers, previously due to expire at the end of December, through the end of the 2020-2021 school year. Thus, HCPSS will be able to provide meals at no cost to any HCPSS student, and all children 18 and under, through the entire school year, assuming continued availability of USDA funding.

Beginning Monday, October 12, HCPSS will add a snack and dinner to each weekday meal, in addition to breakfast and lunch already being served. Additionally, weekend meals will be included with meals provided on Fridays, and in pre-ordered meals picked up on Thursdays.

HCPSS also has adjusted the pre-order process. Meals for multiple days need to be pre-ordered at least two days in advance for pickup on Mondays and Thursdays. Pre-order meal pickups will be offered only on those two days, to enable Food and Nutrition Services to improve service and efficiency while balancing staffing and food resources.

Full details on HCPSS student meal offerings can be found online.

Administrator Assignments

Ms. Nasir -- ALL 9th Grade AND Last Name Sm - Z Grades 10 - 12 (

Ms. Veslany -- Last Name A - H Grades 10 - 12 (

Mr. Richman -- Last Name I - Sl Grades 10 -12 (

School Counselor Assignments

Ms. Wade -- 9th Grade ONLY (

Mr. Cohen -- Last Name A - E / Grades 10 - 12 (

Ms. Meledick -- Last Name F - Kj / Grades 10 - 12 (

Ms. Clearfield -- Last Name Kk - P / Grades 10 - 12 (

Ms. Rogers -- Last Name Q - Z / Grades 10 - 12 (

Mark Your Calendar

November 3 -- NO SCHOOL -- Election Day

November 6 -- School Closes 3hrs Early

November 24 & 25 -- Parent Conferences (more information coming)

November 26 & 27 -- School Closed (Thanksgiving)