From the Desk of the Principal, January 26, 2024

Fri, 01/26/2024 - 3:39pm

Dear Patuxent Valley Families and Community,
Today was the first day of Quarter 3 and my eyes are squarely focused on the future and the hope that comes with the fresh start of a new semester.  It was encouraging to see students reconnecting with teachers who had taught them before in their new classes today, and to see others engaging with staff who are new to them and seeing those new connections form.

Next week we have our rescheduled Spelling Bee on Monday, National History Day judging throughout the week, and our rising 7th and 8th grade course selection night on Thursday.  We have amazing students and staff doing amazing things and supporting each other - I can’t think of anything that gives me more hope.

It’s also true that this time of year with many complicated events at local, regional, national and international level, and the short days of winter can make it hard for us to find that hope consistently.

You won’t be surprised to hear that my response to situations like this is to try to remember the power of community and connection.  I’ve shared Maya Angelou’s poem “Alone” with a number of people this past week, and I offer it to each of you regardless of your particular circumstances.  I hope that everyone in the Patuxent Valley community experiences connection and has the gift of providing it for others.

“Now if you listen closely
I'll tell you what I know
Storm clouds are gathering
The wind is gonna blow
The race of man is suffering
And I can hear the moan,
'Cause nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.”
Maya Angelou, “Alone”

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 (


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

2/5- NEW DATE Report Cards will be available online after 5pm

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

2/19, Presidents Day – Schools and offices closed

3/13, 2024 -Professional Work Day-3 hr early dismissal  for students

3/25 - 4/1, 2024 - Schools Closed for Spring Break

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! 

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!

Recognizing and Reporting Bullying

As we approach the second half of the school year, we wanted to remind you that HCPSS is dedicated to providing a safe and supportive environment that focuses on student well-being. We are taking this time to uplift the importance of reporting any type of bullying that has occurred. We will be reviewing this with our students and staff as we start the second half of the school year, and we hope that you, too, can uplift this at home. 

For children facing the emotional toll of bullying, a supportive individual can make all the difference. Please encourage your children to reach out to a trusted staff member at school should they need to report anything. As parents and guardians, you will use the same reporting form as students by following the steps outlined below. 

How do I report bullying?

  1. When you believe bullying has taken place, you should report it through the Bullying, Cyberbullying, Harassment, and Intimidation (BCHI) reporting form.  Reporting can take place in one of three ways:
    1. Complete a BCHI online reporting form
    2. BCHI paper reporting form (available in the main office, staff workroom, school counseling office, media center, and health services office
    3. An oral report to a staff member 
  2. It is important to note that the policy states “In the event the reporting party does not complete a BCHI Reporting Form, school administrators/supervisors will take the appropriate steps to address and document the incident.”  Therefore, if you or someone else makes an oral report, it then must be documented (i.e. through a BCHI reporting form) by the administrator.

Thank you for your partnership and attention to this important topic.

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.