From the Desk of the Principal, November 10, 2023

Fri, 11/10/2023 - 5:19pm

Dear Patuxent Valley Families and Community,
Today is the HCPSS observance of Veterans Day and I want to echo what we shared both with our staff and student body this morning that we are grateful for the service of all who have served our nation.  There are more than 30 military connected families here at Patuxent Valley and we hope that all of them feel connected and supported through our school.  Please let us know if there is anything we can do to better honor and serve those who give so much for our nation.

Next week is American Education Week.  We’d love to see you on Tuesday for our Honor Roll Celebrations and on Wednesday for Coffee with the Principal and class visits from 7:50am to 11:00am.  See below for more information and a survey to complete so that we know who to expect on each day and can prepare seating, and schedules, so that you can get the most out of your visit.

Conference Scheduling will be re-opening on Monday morning (November 13).  See below for more information from HCPSS and our school to help you set up meetings with our staff between November 20 and November 22.  We can’t wait to see you in person and online.

This week we also celebrated our November Students of the month.  Look out below for the amazing young people who were recognized for their hard work and service:

6th Grade: Abigail H, Kayden S, Carrigan M, Quintin L, Callie G and Madison P
7th Grade: Taramisore O, Govind A, Kevin J, Noelle W, Kaylee D, Philip J, Chloe L, Chloe M, and 
Lia K
8th Grade: Rohan P, Elijah N, Eunice N, Eliu P, Tara S, Prince N, Safia F, Eva H

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 (


11/13: Conference Sign Ups Open

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)


Quarter 1 report cards are available in HCPSS Connect Synergy. Instructions on how to access report cards are available online. 

American Education Week is 11/13-11/17.  

American Education Week is an exciting opportunity for our students and staff to show off all the great things happening here at Patuxent Valley.  While you are welcome to visit any time during the week, specifically between the hours of 7:50 am and 2:35 pm, we have chosen Tuesday, November 14 and Wednesday, November 15 to highlight a variety of opportunities our students have here at PVMS.  

On Tuesday, November 14 we are holding our quarter 1 Honor Roll and On a Roll Celebrations.  Parents are welcome to join us in the Cafeteria and take photos with our students!

  • Report cards will list students from the Honor Roll who are being celebrated, and Students who are being celebrated as "On a Roll" will be notified by Friday of this week (November 10)

  • The Grade 8 Celebration will be at 8:55am

  • The Grade 7 Celebration will be at 9:50am

  • The Grade 6 Celebration will be at 1:00pm

On Wednesday, November 15 we will be hosting a number of activities to highlight learning and student experiences at PVMS.

  • There will be Coffee and Pastries with the principal from 7:50am to 8:20am in the Library.

  • Staff will be expecting parents in classes during periods 1-3

Important Procedures:

  • Please fill out this survey to let us know if you are attending any of the activities during the week to help us to prepare seating, schedules, and coffee and snacks.

  • Please make sure your Family File is updated.  Only those on the emergency card will be allowed to visit students/classrooms.

  • Limited parking available, please park in any available spaces.

  • Please check-in with the main office to sign in on Lobby Guard and sign a visitor's confidentiality form.  Please remember to bring your identification.

  • While in the building please wear your visitors badge at all times and ensure it is visible for staff to see. 

  • While in the building, please put your phone away and/or on silent and no photography/videography is allowed.

  • Please sign-out prior to leaving. Should there be an emergency we need to account for all visitors in the building.

Conference Scheduling to Reopen Monday, Nov. 13

Thank you for your patience as we worked with our vendor to resolve an issue with parent/teacher conference scheduling. Conference scheduling will reopen Monday, Nov. 13 at 8 a.m., and will close Friday, Nov. 17 at noon.

If you did not previously schedule your conference, beginning Nov. 13, please follow the instructions below:

  1. Log in to HCPSS Connect Synergy using parent/guardian credentials
  2. Select Conference from the left navigation pane, and click the Parent Scheduled Conferences link in the top right corner.
  3. Select a time option for each class listed. The conference will be saved automatically. 
  4. To select a different day or time option, select a new time from the drop down menu or select the blank option at the top of the time slot drop down menu to remove the conference for that section.
  5. If you have more than one child, select the next child in the top left corner.

If you scheduled a conference or attempted to schedule a conference on Monday, Nov. 6, please follow the guidance below: 

Prior to the conference window re-opening, view your conference schedule as it appears in the system and consider what may need to be updated. 

  1. Login to HCPSS Connect.
  2. Select More Options from the left navigation menu and then Conference Schedule from the middle of the screen
  3. The page displayed will show the conference slots currently saved in the system for you. We understand that the selections shown may not be the one you ultimately wish to keep and families will be able to update them once the window opens. Please note:
    1. Some parents may have attempted to schedule a conference appointment slot that was already taken by another family. Due to the issue, we suspect they did not receive the notification that the selected time was not available. Those appointments will not appear in the list.  
    2. Some parents attempted to schedule a conference and then changed their selection either once or several times, likely due to the issue. The appointment time that is viewable on the conference schedule page is the one saved in the system.

Beginning Monday, November 13 at 8 a.m., modify your selections, as needed:

  1. Login to HCPSS Connect and select Conference from the left navigation menu.
  2. Select Parent Scheduled Conferences from the top right corner of the screen.
  3. Review the conferences days and times selected for each student.* Please follow the below guidance to adjust your schedule, if needed.
    1. Add Additional Conference Selections - Select a time option for each class listed that you wish to schedule a conference.
    2. Double Booked - If you have a conference scheduled unintentionally for different classes but the same day and time, update one of the classes to a new time slot. Additionally, families should only schedule one time slot per teacher. 
    3. Update a Conference Selection - Use the time slot drop down menu to update a conference to a new time.  
    4. Remove a Conference Selection - Select the blank option at the top of the time slot drop down menu to remove the conference for that section.

*Toggle between students in the top left corner. 

HCPSS staff worked diligently to identify and correct the unforeseen vendor issues. We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your patience.

If you need assistance with scheduling a conference, please contact your child’s school



PVMS Updates (recurring from previous newsletters)

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. (

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.


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.