Panther Post

December 2022

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Happy Winter Break

It's hard to believe but we are already approaching Winter Break. We have had a great start of the year and are gearing up to enter the second half of the second quarter. We are really trying to be purposeful in acknowledging student and adult accomplishments and efforts this school year. Each month teachers have been nominating students for Panther Scholar of the Month and handing our Panther Pride Tickets when finding students just doing the "right thing". Students receive small prizes when they turn in those tickets. We had an awards ceremony for 120 students who received a 3.8-4.0 for their 1st quarter report card. Thank you Chik-Fila for the gift cards! We also had over 300 students make the Honor Roll with a 1st quarter GPA of 3.0 or higher. Their names are proudly posted in our front lobby. We have also dedicated space around the school to celebrate and showcase our students being "Pawesome"! We have amazing students doing amazing things every day. We will be having several in-school events to celebrate the Winter Break season in the next few weeks to remind students that we are a family and coming together is important. We will also have several concerts and performances in the evening as we approach break - starting with a dance recital on Thursday, December 8th at 6:30 PM in the auditorium. Come out and support our Fine Arts!

A successful Fall sports season concluded on December 2 and we are about to officially start our Winter sports season. There is no health limits regarding attendance in our gym this year so please come out and support our student athletes. Check out our website for game schedules.

Please take time to scroll down to see all the great things that are happening at PHS. Pride. Honor. Success. can be seen throughout our school each and every day.


Interim grades for the second quarter are finalized on Friday, December 9th. Please continue to check your child's progress in Schoology and reach out to their teacher and/or counselor if you need to talk further regarding how we can offer greater support.

We have a half day (3 hrs early) of school on Thursday December 22 for Winter Break.

Please get involved- the PTSA and Athletic Booster Club meet monthly and continue to do great things for our students and staff. Check our website for details.

Congratulations to our November Teacher of the Month- Ms. Sara Reisner

Congratulations to our AVID Teacher of the Month- Mr. Matt McDunnell

Congratulations to Mr. Somlare- he and his wife welcomed a baby boy on on December 6!!!


November Students of the month!

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Teacher of the month - Mrs. Reisner

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Social Studies Department Happenings

The Social Studies Department at PHS would like to recognize the following students as our Proud Panthers of the Month:

Malik Karembe (from Mr. Lambert)

FEbechukwu Di-ibor (from Ms. Johnson)

Michelle Joseph (from Mr. Goodman)

Jordan Cauthorne (from Mr. Babcock)

Dorian Burney (from Mr. Ohara)

Ryan Koppel (from Mr. Smith)

Javon Brown (from Ms. Bartkowski)

Kaliyah Nowlin (from Ms. Bush)

Congratulations to each of you that have worked hard to show that Pride, Honor and Success are what we do here at PHS!

2nd Quarter Interim Grades are upon us. We are just about halfway through this marking period. Many students have improved their effort and work, but we have several that are continuing to struggle. If your student is among the struggling, please reach out to their teacher. Each and every one of us is here to help your student succeed through opportunities for extra help, making up missing work, tutoring sessions after school, etc. Students must take advantage of the resources available to them in class as a first step to success and then they can access the additional opportunities. Most social studies courses are required for graduation. We know and believe that every student can achieve if we all work together!

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It’s December and that means registration for the 2022-23 school year is almost here. Later this month students will be meeting with the school counselors to select classes for next year. Please talk with your student(s) about what courses they would like to take next year. The science department has several electives available for interested students. Below is a summary of our course sequence and elective offerings for the 2022-23 school year. If you have any questions about our offerings or about the graduation requirements for science, please come to the PHS Information Night on Tuesday December 13.

Updated MSDE Graduation Requirements – Students must earn 3 credits in science courses that meet the requirements of all 3 Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS): Earth Sciences (Earth Systems or AP Environmental Science), Life Science (Living Systems or Biology), and Physical Science (Integrated Physics & Chemistry OR Chemistry OR Physics). Students must also meet the Science MCAP testing requirement for graduation.

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Science Electives – Students may enroll in any science elective once they have completed their MSDE science course requirements OR are concurrently enrolled in their 3rd science course. Students may Paramedical Biology in 9th or 10th grades when paired with Health 9/10.

Science Electives

Paramed Biology (0.5 cr)

Honors Anatomy & Physiology

Honors Forensic Science

AP Biology

AP Environmental Science

AP Physics C

Students of the Month for November in the Science Department

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Here is a rundown on what is happening in many of the science classes…

  • Earth Systems - Students have been learning about the history of Earth and its formation as part of LC1 of Unit 2: Our Complex Crust. They have created several models (including one of the layers of Earth and one of sea-floor spreading) in order to observe enormous and slow geological processes from in the classroom. They will be moving on to current events related to natural disasters and how they influence the location of human populations around the world as part of LC2. This will also lead to analysis of resource availability prior to the final learning cycle about the energy resources around the world in general and in Maryland specifically. The culminating event will have students creating a plan to reduce Maryland’s non-renewable energy usage in the near future.
  • Integrated Physics and Chemistry - IPC students are in their second unit where the theme is disasters. Students are learning about gravity, forces, momentum, and energy and how they all are involved in collisions. Students will be applying these concepts for our egg drop challenge where they have to design a “vehicle” for an egg to survive a drop from a height greater than 30 feet. Students will have an opportunity to refine their initial design using what they learned from the results of their first drop.
  • Chemistry - Our chemistry classes are currently in their Forensic Chemistry Unit. They have been learning about how chemical bond and form compounds and the properties of different compounds. Recently, they did a paper chromatography lab where they examined how to analyze and compare different inks using paper chromatography. In their upcoming learning cycle, they will be learning how to name and write the formulas for various chemical compounds.
  • AP Biology - Students are tying up their learning of biochemistry, which focused on the properties of water, structure and function of macromolecules, and enzyme dynamics. The unit started with a study of transpiration and water potential (as a result of the properties of water), progressed to a study of the organic molecules important to living things (with a focus on the molecules in foods), and ended with analysis of how enzymes are affected by environmental conditions. Students completed two virtual labs (one on environmental factors affecting transpiration rate and one on how pH affects digestive enzymes) and a wet lab (on how substrate concentration affects reaction rate for the enzyme catalase). The next unit will be about cells and how they communicate.
  • AP Environmental Science - Students are finishing up their study of Unit 3: Populations. In this unit, students learned the concepts and terms applied to individuals within a population (about relationships with others, ecological niches, and adaptations) and to populations as a whole as they change over time. This unit corresponded with the 8 billionth person being born on planet Earth, allowing students to analyze the immediate effects of exponential growth on global resource availability. Additionally, they have conducted multiple labs gathering data on survivorship (in ideal and actual populations) and created life tables and graphs of survivorship curves based on this data. In Unit 4, students will be analyzing the interactions of Earth’s systems and their effects on each other.
  • Electives: Anatomy & Physiology, Forensic Science, and Paramedical Biology
    • Anatomy & Physiology - Students just finished the third unit, Scientific Terminology. In this unit students learned and identified scientific terms and directional planes of the human body while in anatomical positioning. As a project to end the unit out, students were to create their own board game with questions that used the correct terminology. Moving forward to Unit 4, Body Tissues, students are learning about the tissues that are found in the Human Body. Epithelial, Connective, Nervous, and Muscular Tissue.
  • Special Education
    • Living Systems - Students recently finished up their LC2 summative for Unit 1. We just finished a documentary “Food Inc” to segway into our next unit, you are what you eat. The documentary explored the United States’ food production and the harmful ways. Students will create a brochure on specialized diets as per the culminating event.
    • IPC - Students are currently in Unit 2, LC1. We finished Lesson 7 and before we move onto Lesson 8, we are learning how to balance out chemical equations. Students are in the process of taking detailed notes on balancing chemical equations.
    • Earth Systems - Students are finishing up their Unit 1 LC2 summative on The Sun and Other Stars. Students will participate in a marshmallow experiment to demonstrate their understanding on nuclear fusion after finishing up the exam. Next, we will begin LC3 Orbiting Objects.

Math Department

MCAP Winter Administration: Students who were enrolled in Algebra 1 in 2021-2022 and did not participate in the MCAP (Maryland Comprehensive Assessment Program) in the spring of 2022 will make up this graduation requirement later this month. Students will be notified of their assigned testing dates in advance.

Student Devices: Please remind students to bring their BCPS-issued Chromebook with their charger to school each day. They will need to use their device to access learning resources and assessments. Cell phones do not have the same capabilities as the Chromebook. Common math resources students may access with devices include Desmos Graphing Calculator, Delta Math, and Illustrative Mathematics.

PSAT Scores Lesson: This month school counselors will be presenting a lesson to students in Algebra 1, Geometry and GT Algebra 2 to learn how to access and understand their PSAT scores from this fall. This lesson will connect them with resources in Khan Academy and Collegeboard in order to prepare for future administrations of the PSAT and SAT. PSAT scores may also be used to set goals for high school and make post-secondary plans. Resources from the lesson will be available through the students math course in Schoology.

STEM Feature of the Month: Computer Science Completer Program

Pikesville High is well-known for it’s PLTW Engineering Program, but did you know we also offer an excited Computer Science Completer Program as well? Three courses make up the program, with a fourth course (Linux) offered online via BCPS central office or via CCBC (variety of courses). We have Foundations of Computer Science, AP Computer Science Principles, and AP Computer Science A, all in-house. Students learn the basics of the internet, networking, and data management, as well as coding languages HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Java. Any student who completes all four courses will receive an honor cord and a certificate of completion from the BCPS CTE Office. A great skill and resume builder for college.

Computer Science careers are accelerating world-wide, let’s keep the pace!

The Pikesville Pawdcast

The Pikesville Pawdcast is back with an interview of Mrs. Yadush and a roundtable discussion amongst PHS students sharing why they love to participate in fantasy football. We hope that you enjoy it!

For those new to PHS, the Pikesville Pawdcast is a student-produced podcast focusing on Pikesville High students, staff, and alumni. This is our 3rd year, so there is a back catalogue of episodes that you can listen to on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and many other podcast services.

December marks the holiday season in American culture. Fresh off Thanksgiving, the Christmas and Chanukkah holidays are often quite close together. However, this year’s calendar provides some separation between the two. Regardless of their differences, both cultures use these holidays to show appreciation to its adherents through the giving of material gifts. Not all persons are able to give as generously as they would like, so throughout the month of December your student will be encouraged to give what they can to whom they can in a non-material manner.

Staff at Pikesville High School will also focus on equity practices in their teaching, much like students will be encouraged to think of others differently in their perceptions of the holiday season. The heavy emphasis on the Christmas holiday in the United States omits those celebrating Chanukkah. This year the festival of lights begins on December 18th and ends on December 26. Kwanzaa, an annual celebration of Black American culture, proceeds during the week following the Christmas holiday until the New Year.

Meltzer’s Media Minutes (news from your school library)

Here’s what November looked like in the library:

54 physical books checked out
26 eBook and audiobooks checked out
449 Student visits over 16 school days

Congratulations to our November Sit for Lit winners!

Get ready for our next Sit for Lit dates in December:
12/9/22 and 12/22/22 during period 4.

Book Club Update:

The PHS Book Club is reading Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes now through December 15th. Please see Mrs. Meltzer if you’d like to access a copy of this title and read with the book club!
When a Connecticut teenager inherits vast wealth and an eccentric estate from the richest man in Texas, she must also live with his surviving family and solve a series of puzzles to discover how she earned her inheritance.

Updates from the school counseling department:

Here is our most recent college & career newsletter:

The annual BCPS HBCU College Fair will be on Saturday, December 10, 2022 at New Town High School from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

The BCPS HBCU Fair was first launched at Milford Mill Academy in 2017 and we are proud to continue providing this opportunity for Baltimore County students to meet representatives from HBCUs throughout the nation again this year. In addition to presentations from HBCU representatives, students and families will also participate in workshops related to the college selection process, financial aid, student life and more


Here's what we need from you (students and families):

· Register for the college fair by December 1st, using this registration link.

· Seniors - Complete your CBCA/Common App for your HBCU's by November 23rd! Many colleges/universities will offer on-site admission (you will know immediately of an admissions decisions) and other opportunities for students that have already applied to their institutions.

· GET EXCITED! This is a great time to learn more about our HBCU's and all they have to offer!

As of December 1, the school counselors have met with 100% of our seniors, and 81% of the ninth graders. We will start the six-year plan meetings for juniors after we finish course registration, and then the sophomores will be after that.

And as of December 1, 70% of our seniors have applied to college! We keep a wall across from the school counseling office to celebrate our students when they share their acceptance letters with us, email them to

Reminders have been going out every few weeks to the remaining 67 seniors and their parents who have not requested transcripts.

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And on December 12, science teachers will help students access the course registration information at as students will need to enter their requests by December 22. To help families learn about programs and opportunities, and get questions answered, Pikesville HS will host an Academic Programs Showcase on the evening of December 13. School counselors will then meet individually with every single student in January, during their required science classes, to review and approve of their course requests. The website above has a “Questions and Answers” document where you can review FAQ’s and submit new questions if you don’t see anything relevant to your concern.
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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 recently visited Wellwood Elementary to read to 2nd graders.

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10th Grade Update

AVID 10 Scholars have been refining their tutorial skills. They recently participated in a philosophical chairs activity that allowed them the opportunity to use articles to support their stance. They are looking forward to participating in a Socratic seminar this month. They have been working weekly on SAT vocabulary!

11th Grade Update

AVID 11 students have been participating in a Socratic seminar on effective altruism. Using Costa’s levels of questioning to increase the level of inquiry and rigor in the conversation. AVID 11 students continue to work on their weekly SAT vocabulary.

12th Grade Update

During this time, AVID 12 scholars recently participated in a field trip to see Till, a movie that tells the story of Emit Till’s murder and the activism of his mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, that followed.

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

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Student Council

Student Council will be sponsoring several winter spirit activities and contests.

  • Building Community by Building a (Gingerbread) Village will be held December 12. PHS Club Sponsors must RSVP to this event for students to participate.
  • Homeroom Door Decorating will take place over the next couple of weeks. The deadline for completed doors in Dec 13. The winning homeroom will receive a doughnut breakfast.
  • Winter Spirit Dress Up Days December 19- Character Day, December 20- Ugly Sweater Day, Dec 21- Elf Yourself

Key Club

Key Club will be assisting with the Toys for Tots Concert on Sunday, December 11 and the Mount Washington Pediatric Hospital Toy Shop on December 18. We are gathering donations of new unwrapped toys from students and community members that are unable to attend these events but would still like to contribute. Please bring any donations to Mrs. Johnson in room 208 by December 16.

Important Dates:

12/5 Testing Window opens

12/11 Toys for Tots Concert

12/22 Holiday/Winter Break begins at the end of the school day; Schools and Offices close 3 hours early.

1/3 Schools Reopen

The Giving Tree

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Please help us fill up our giving tree with gloves, scarfs, hats, small stuffed animals and warm blankets. The tree is displayed in the front office. All donations will go to the women's shelter before the winter break.

Department of VPA

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Toys for Tots Concert

The Music Department at Pikesville High School will be sponsoring the Ken Ebo Jazz Orchestra’s annual Toys for Tots Benefit Concert on Sunday, December 11 at 7:00PM in the auditorium. Admission is a new, unwrapped toy which will be donated to the United State Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots program.

We are challenging all clubs and co-curricular activities sponsors and their members to help us support this worthy cause. Mr. Eiswert has kindly offered to provide a pizza party for the club or group that has the most members show up for the concert with a new, unwrapped toy. Please consider getting behind this worthwhile activity and let’s pack our school auditorium for this wonderful event.

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Congratulations to our very own, Ms. Julie Odar, WL Department Chair on her recent publication of Coral Couldn't Stay. What an accomplishment! We can't wait for her next book. Available on Amazon.

When Momma and Daddy find out they are expecting, they think they have everything under control. Little did they know that life has other plans! Daddy gets creative. Momma is nervous. But ultimately, Little Coral ends up right where she belongs!

How do you keep your loved ones close to your heart when distance separates you? Follow Coral and her family on a journey of loving, letting go, and finding the courage to move forward. Inspired by true events, Coral Couldn’t Stay is for everyone who has said goodbye to someone they love--for a little while or a lifetime.

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