From the Desk of the Principal, January 19, 2024

Fri, 01/19/2024 - 12:48pm

Dear Patuxent Valley Families and Community,
I hope that everyone is enjoying the snowy day and keeping safe in our 2nd winter storm of the week!  We were only able to have one day of school this week but I was truly encouraged to see students and staff engaged in important work yesterday, and I’m thankful that we were able to host our Rising 6th Grade Family Night last night.

It was great to see so many new and familiar families and young people pack our cafeteria to begin our journey to the 2024-2025 school year.  I’m grateful to our staff and students who helped provide the presentation and tours of the building. 

A special shout out to these amazing students from NJHS who gave tours and shared about their experiences at Patuxent Valley.  We are fortunate to have such an engaged student body and parents willing to pick them up from school late on a wintry evening:

Damus A, Erin G, Kris G, Lucy K, Pari P, Luke B, Colin M, Alina T, David O, Hailey F, Aishwariya S, Saanvi V, Dubem A.

I want to take a moment to shout out our amazing custodial team and especially Day Chief Alfred Amonoo and Night Chief Joseph Asum for their hard work this week clearing snow and ice and ensuring that our students, staff and families can be safe on school grounds.  I am daily amazed by their dedication to our school and community.  Thank you!

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 (


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

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

2/9: Countywide Professional Learning Day – Schools closed for students

2/19, 2024 Presidents Day – Schools and offices closed

PVMS Updates (New this week)

PTA Update:

We are officially in the middle of our school year and approaching the cold months of the year. The PTA is asking for the support from our PVMS families to help restock the classrooms of some the most used supplies! A sign up genius is attached with what the teachers have said they are currently in most need of. Items can be dropped off at the PVMS front office during school hours Monday, January 29th - Friday, February 2nd. 

Thank you for your support! 

PVMS Rising 6th Gr Family Orientation

Thank you so much to everyone who came to the Orientation on January 18 from 6:00-7:00 PM. 

See linked below for the presentation from the event:

PVMS Rising 6th Grade Family Night Presentation January 18, 2024

Review the presentation to learn about middle school, the academic schedule, and the Gifted and Talented program.

If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact:

Next Steps:

  • Look for information from the 5th grade counselor

  • Review Course Recommendations in Synergy (between 2/1-2/14) 

  • Enter Fine Arts course request in Synergy (no later than 2/14)

Important Dates:

  • 2/1/24 - 2/14/24: Course Recommendations for rising 6th graders available in Synergy for parents to review. Parents will enter student course requests in Synergy no later than 2/14/24. 

  • 5/30/24: Rising 6th Grade Visit

  • August (Date TBD): 6th Grade Orientation and PTA Block Party


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!

PVMS Updates (recurring from previous newsletters)

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

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

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.