From the Desk of the Principal, October 27, 2023

Fri, 10/27/2023 - 4:30pm

Dear Patuxent Valley Families and Community,
Yesterday was our Pink Out Day for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and since we raised over $500 I allowed the team planning this to provide me with a silly costume for the day -  I love how our school comes together to support other people, and it was fun to see our young people surprised by my pink wig and tutu!

As many of you may be aware there was a fire at an apartment complex in our school community on Wednesday of this week.  We are deeply saddened and want to stand with those who have been affected.  PTA and our School PPW, Ms. Mercer, are collaborating to support those families.  Look out for information soon for how you can support them.  If you were impacted, and have not been connected to Ms. Mercer or some one at the school, please reach out to us.

This weekend our Theater Program is performing “The Wizard of Oz Goes Wrong.” This play is a comedic look at what might go wrong when a theater company only has two weeks to rehearse a show. We invite everyone, not just relatives of the actors, to enjoy the show and support our PVMS students. The performances are Friday (Oct. 27) and Saturday (Oct. 28) at 7 pm, and Sunday (Oct. 29) at 3 pm. Cash only tickets can also be purchased at the door 30 minutes before the show. Credit cards can only be used online at Please join us!

The quarter ends on October 31 and there are only a few days left.  We encourage you to take time to review grades with your young person (they can show you on their canvas page or you can login through  If you have any questions, reach out to their teacher first, and to their counselor or admin if needed.

October 31 is a half day and we will be doing a “Pajama Day” to celebrate the end of the quarter.  Please remember, as in all HCPSS schools, and to ensure an inclusive environment for all, Patuxent Valley will not be doing Halloween activities generally or during instruction, and students or staff should not wear Halloween costumes.

Check out the information below for items we’ve been sending out this week, and a number of new items. Let us know if you have any questions or if there is something you’d like to see in the newsletter.  All of this information is also posted on our website at

There is nothing too big or too small for us to work on together, so don’t hesitate to reach out.

Richard Smart, Principal (


10/27, 10/28, 10/29: PVMS Fall Play - The Wizard of Oz Gone Wrong

10/31: End Quarter 1

11/8: PTA Chipotle Resaurant Night (Market Pl, Fulton)

11/13-17: American Education Week

11/20: Schools Close 3 Hours Early/Parent Teacher Conferences

11/21: Schools Close 3 Hours Early/Parent Teacher Conferences

11/22: Schools Closed for Students/Parent Teacher Conferences

11/23 & 24: Schools and Office Closed

PVMS Updates (New this week)


MAP Test Results

MAP scores have been entered into Synergy. Parents can access their students’ scores through the parent portal.  Please click on the link for directions.  Student PDF reports will be available to view at the same time as reports cards.  Please contact LaVerne Porter with any questions. (

Parent Teacher Conference Information:

Parent Teacher Conferences are coming up! On Monday, November 6th, the conference scheduling window will open for all parents wishing to meet with their students' teachers.

Monday, 11/20 - all conferences will be held IN PERSON

Tuesday, 11/21 & Wednesday, 11/22 - all conferences will be held VIRTUALLY via Google Meet

Parents will need to register for conferences using their account through HCPSS Connect. Instructions on how to register for conferences can be found here: Parent/Teacher Conference Registration

PVMS Well-Being Survey

The Howard County Public School System is committed to student achievement and well-being. During SEL Student Enrichment Time (SET) on November 6th, we will be asking all students in Grades 7 and 8 to take a brief survey to tell us about their social-emotional skills and access to supportive relationships. The survey should not take more than 10-15 minutes to complete. Make-up sessions will be provided as needed.

PVMS Updates (recurring from previous newsletters)


MLK Jr. Holiday Commission Contest

On behalf of the Howard County Office of Human Rights & Equity and the Howard County Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Commission, we are inviting your students, their families, and staff to participate in several exciting contests. Please click here for the contest application.

Each year the MLK Holiday Commission recognized students, individuals and organizations with several contests and awards, including a Poster, Essay, and Oratory competition for grades K-12 and the “Living the Dream Award for individuals and organizations whose outreach efforts align with Dr. King’s message and vision. The theme for the year is “Make a career of humanity. Commit yourself to the noble struggle for equal rights. You will make a better person of yourself, a greater nation of your country, and a finer world to live in.” The closing date for all contests is October 31st, 2023.

Contest winners will be recognized at the Celebration on January 14, 2024, at Howard Community College Horowitz Visual & Performing Arts Center.

Please join us January 15, 2024, at the Harriet Tubman Cultural Center for our Day of Service activities. 

Please click here to view the flier. 

Carson Scholars Fund

The Carson Scholars Fund awards $1,000 college scholarships to students who excel academically and are dedicated to serving their communities.  Any interested student must be nominated by the principal at his or her school to be able to compete for a Carson Scholarship. Only one student from each school can be nominated. Carson Scholars must have a GPA of 3.75 or higher and display humanitarian qualities through community service. Scholarships are awarded solely on the basis of academic achievement and humanitarian qualities. Please review this information if you are interested in participating in this year’s process.  

Fan Behavior and Safety at HCPSS Athletics Events

High school athletic events serve as a wonderful opportunity for students, friends, families, staff and community members to come together in support of their favorite teams. To ensure these games are able to be safely enjoyed by all in attendance, it is imperative that everyone adheres to the rules, expectations and laws in place to ensure safety.

All children who are in 8th grade or younger must be accompanied by an adult or will be turned away from entry.

Athletic contests are considered extensions of the school day, and behaviors that violate the HCPSS Student Code of Conduct or Board of Education policies are subject to the same disciplinary measures as those that occur during the school day. Any students found to engage in inappropriate, illegal or dangerous behavior, including verbal and physical abuse at games, are subject to discipline up to the forfeiture of the game itself. Non-student spectators who violate event rules may be asked to leave the premises and may be banned for the remainder of the season. Additionally, the Howard County Police Department maintains a presence at games and will be sure all applicable laws are adhered to.

Please note that substances such as tobacco, marijuana, and alcohol are illegal to have on school grounds. Furthermore, no spectators are permitted to be under the influence of these substances upon entering school grounds.

HCPSS schools are welcoming environments for our friends around the county and state. All spectators are expected to display good sportsmanship to the athletes, coaches officials, members of the marching band, cheerleaders and poms, dance teams, opposing fans, and anyone in attendance. Please show respect for all those around you.

National Bullying Prevention Month

October is the start of National Bullying Prevention Month! We wanted to use this opportunity to share with our students, parents, guardians, and families some information and definitions to better help you understand bullying. It is important that you understand what bullying is to ensure you are able to report it when you see it or are told about it. Thank you for helping to ensure our school a safe place for all students! 

Transportation Updates: The morning bus drop off time has been changed to 7:35am beginning on October 2.  Pick up times have been adjusted in bus locator.  See HCPSS Transportation Page for more bus locator information: 

HC Drug Free Updates

Free parenting class and Medication and Sharps Disposal Take Back Day 


PVMS Attendance Procedures 23-24

Please review for comprehensive attendance procedures.



HCPSS utilizes Family File for parents/guardians to complete emergency information. All parents/guardians must verify and/or update information for each child each school year.  Parents/guardians can access their student's Family File by logging into HCPSS Connect, selecting the “More Options” tab on the left and then selecting “Family File” in the center column.

Please be sure to read each section carefully and answer all of the questions.  You can contact us here at school if you have any questions or concerns.


Please be aware of the following procedures for any visitor to a school/office:

  • The front door is the only entrance point for all visitors.

  • Please ring the bell and look into the camera.

  • Be prepared to state your name and purpose for visiting.

  • All visitors must walk directly into the front office with a valid photo I.D. and sign in using our LobbyGuard system.

  • A visitor’s sticker will be given to visitors following the above procedures and must be worn and prominently visible.

  • Any visitor in the school without a visitor sticker will be escorted directly to the front office by a staff member.


HCPSS no longer will use Nutrislice for school menus or MySchoolBucks for meal payments. LINQ Connect is a secure, online portal that allows families to view breakfast and lunch menus, make online meal payments, monitor their child’s account, schedule automatic recurring payments, set up low balance alerts, submit a Free and Reduced Meals program application, and more. Details and information. are available online.


The Patuxent Valley Middle School-Based Wellness Center is a partnership between Howard County Health Department and Howard County Public School System. School Wellness Centers do not replace students' regular health care providers in the community. By providing some health care at school we can help parents stay at work and help students stay at school or more quickly return to school. There is no co-pay or fee for visits at the Wellness Center. Read more

Please visit the Community News and Programs page on the HCPSS website for announcements of upcoming events and programs sponsored by non-profit organizations.