From the Desk of the Principal, January 12, 2024

Sat, 01/13/2024 - 1:09pm

Dear Patuxent Valley Families and Community,
This week was an interesting week at Patuxent Valley as we experienced four different bell schedules on the first four days of the week.  I’m proud of our students and staff for making the necessary adjustments to their days to ensure that as many people as possible were able to get what they needed, being #Bulldog Strong is about being able to adjust to all the changes that our environment brings us.  As the winter season is upon us, we might have a chance of wintery weather this year. Please make sure to check the HCPSS status webpage for the daily status of the school system. You can find that information here:  Hopefully we won’t have to try four bell schedules this coming week! 

Monday is the annual remembrance of Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday and an opportunity to reflect on the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King.  His work still has resonance today, both in terms of his challenge to systems of racial oppression and his work against poverty in the USA and beyond.  Each year The Howard County Office of Human Rights and Equity hosts two events: The MLK celebration takes place on the third Sunday of January and the Day of Service takes place the next day on the third Monday of January. The Day of Service provides a variety of service opportunities throughout the community that is representative of Dr. King’s dedication to servant leadership.  Check out their website for more information and consider attending, I know that a number of families from our PTA will be participating: 

This week at Patuxent Valley we took time to induct more students into the Patuxent Valley chapter of the National Junior Honor Society.  Each of these young people demonstrated our #BulldogStrong values and in the words of Ms. Chelidona: 

“Our Induction ceremony is not just about a formal recognition for the hard work you have already accomplished. It is also about creating a strong foundation for the success you will see in the future. Our past NJHS members have gone on to be well prepared in school and careers but most importantly, they are inspirations to their families, friends and community. Success has its foundation in the pillars of the National Honor Society: Leadership, Scholarship, Service, Citizenship, and Character.” 

Please join me in congratulating these amazing young people and Ms. Chelidona and Ms. Langan for sponsoring this important organization at PVMS:

7th Grade: Jordan B, Luke B, Robel B, Aubrey C, Kinley C, Norah C, Taramisore O-A, Hailey F, Erin G, Kris G, Ellie H, Rishi K, Lucy K, Colin M, Ayaan M, Genevieve O, Pari P, Aishwariya S, and Noelle W

8th Grade: Damus A, Dubem A, Christel A, Heran B, Robert B, Logan M, Omolade O, Tolu Olawuyi, Ayanna R, Halimat S, and Shane W.

Also this week on Thursday and Friday our Dance students performed at the Hammond High School winter Dance concert.  They did a phenomenal job showing their hard work and passion.  A huge thank you to Ms. Gum for her leadership and advocacy for our dancers. 

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 ( )


1/15: No School - Martin Luther King Jr. Day

1/17: 3-hour Early Dismissal

1/18: Incoming 6th Graders Parent Night, 6pm @PVMS

1/19: End of Second Marking Period

1/22: Professional work day- School closed for students

1/30: Report cards issued

2/1: Rising 7th and 8th Grade Scheduling Night, 6pm @PMVS

PVMS Updates (New this week)

Patuxent Valley Rising 6th grade Family Orientation

Save the date if you have a current 5th grader or let your neighbors know. We have our rising 6th grade student Parent Orientation on January 18 from 6:00-7:00 PM. Families can learn about middle school, the academic schedule, and the Gifted and Talented program. We cannot wait to meet our future Bulldog families!


6:00pm - Welcome

6:10pm - GT Presentation from Ms. Chelidona

6:35pm - Main Presentation about Middle School Life and Scheduling

7:15pm - Tours of the building with NJHS Students

Mobile Dental Clinic will be held January 18th, 2024. Parents should check for the forms which will be sent home with the students this week. 

Patuxent Valley Rising 7th and 8th grade Scheduling Night

Save the date if you have a current 6th grader or 7th grader. We have our rising 7th and 8th grade Parent Scheduling Night on February 1 from 6:00-7:00 PM. Families can learn about the academic schedule, and get all their questions answered!

HCPSS and The Council of Elders (TCOE) Community Academy - Processes for Parent Empowerment: 

HCPSS and The Council of Elders (TCOE) Community Academy - Processes for Parent Empowerment:The next HCPSS and The Council of Elders (TCOE) Community Academy will take place on January 27 from 9:00 – 10:30 a.m. Parents and families are invited to attend a virtual session regarding parent advocacy topics include: Bullying, Parent Concerns, Special Education, Advanced Placement. Representatives from HCPSS will provide resources. This session is for families of students at the elementary, middle, or high school levels and will be held virtually. To register, please complete the registration form linked here.

More information can be found in the TCOE Processes for Parent Empowerment Flyer.

National Pan-Hellenic Council of Howard County Black History Expo 2024:

National Pan-Hellenic Council of Howard County Black History Expo 2024: The annual Black History Expo sponsored by the National Panhellenic Council of Howard County and the Howard County Public School System will be held on February 17 at Long Reach HS from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The theme of this year’s event is “African Americans and the Arts.”
HCPSS student organizations are invited to participate with exhibits that speak to the theme"African Americans and the Arts" (exhibit fee is waived), as assistants in various areas, or provide program performances.  Students can receive community service hours for their participation. Registration forms for exhibitors, vendors and program performances are included in the Black History Expo packet. The deadline to register to participate is January 20,
For more information please contact Muriel G. Mitchell, Black History Expo Coordinator at (410) 461-4717 or

PVMS Updates (recurring from previous newsletters)

Registration for BSAP Saturday Math Academy

The HCPSS Black Student Achievement Program Saturday Math Academy Spring Session is approaching! This year, the BSAP Saturday Math Academy will offer an in-person enrichment program for Howard County Public School System students in all levels of math for grades 3-12 based on course availability. Registration will take place online Saturday, January 6, 2024 from 9:00 a.m.- until capacity is reached. Class space is limited. Families can register by accessing the HCPSS Connect Website  

For more information, please visit: 

This is a friendly reminder to our community that per HCPSS Policy 8080, middle school students “will not use personal technology devices during non-instructional time, to include but not limited to transition between classes, lunch, recess, or in bathrooms.”  Please remind your students that their cell phones should be off and away during the school day. Students are always welcome to use an office phone to reach out to a parent during the school day. If you need to contact your child at school, please call 410-880-5840.

Cold Weather Reminder

As we are approaching the cold winter weather, we wanted to remind you that students will still be going outside for recess. Please make sure you send your child to school with warm clothes. All clothing needs to be labeled with your child's name to prevent it from being lost.

Below you will find the HCPSS criteria we consider when having outdoor activities:

  • Temperature and humidity
  • Wind chill
  • Heat index and air quality
  • Age of students
  • Length of time outdoors
  • Adequacy of the children’s clothing
  • Condition of the playground
  • Falling precipitation (more than a sprinkle or mist)
  • Thunder and lightning

Generally, it is assumed that students will be outside for recess, physical education, or any other outdoor activity when the temperature combined with the wind chill is not less than 20 degrees Fahrenheit or the heat index reading is less than 95.

We appreciate your help to ensure all our students stay healthy and safe

Free Parenting Classes - As educators, we are well aware of the ever-increasing pressures placed on students. The academic demands, social challenges, and rapidly changing world can be overwhelming. Our parenting classes can equip parents and/or grandparents with the knowledge and skills to reduce the risk that their children will use drugs and alcohol or engage in other dangerous behaviors. These classes are for families with children 9 - 14 yrs. old and held over Zoom.

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.

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.