From the Desk of the Principal, February 2, 2024

Fri, 02/02/2024 - 3:10pm

Dear Patuxent Valley Families and Community,

Yesterday was the beginning of Black History Month and we want to announce to our community today how we are planning to celebrate and honor the contributions of Black and African American people to the history of the United States of America. Our amazing Black Student Achievement Program Liaison, Tiffani Peguese has been working with our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion team to create opportunities for all students and staff in our school to participate, and to include our community too.  Check out the announcement below including the history behind Black History Month itself.


This week we held our National History Day Adjudication and I can tell you that I was truly impressed and educated through reviewing student work and talking with students about their scholarship.  Look out for our list of winners next week!


On Monday we also held our annual Spelling Bee.  All students who participated should be commended for their hard work and willingness to challenge themselves.  I am delighted to announce that our Patuxent Valley winner is Rishi K, and our runner up is Deanna B.  Good luck to Rishi as he moves forward to the next competition!


Today at Patuxent Valley we took time to recognize the efforts of our January Students of the Month!  Each of these young people demonstrated our #BulldogStrong values through their hard work, caring and excellence.  Please take time to congratulate them if and when you see them!


6th Grade: 

7th Grade: 

8th Grade: 


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 ( )


Black History Month Announcement


Background: Negro History Week originated and was announced in 1925 by Dr. Carter G. Woodson, mostly in response to the “lack of information of the accomplishments of Black people available to the public.” Dr. Woodson’s aim was to extend and deepen the study and scholarship on African American history, all year long. Over 50 years later – in 1976 – it was expanded to what we now know as Black History Month. 


Black History Month is a time to honor and celebrate the rich tapestry of African American heritage that has shaped the course of United States history. It serves as a poignant reminder of the struggles, triumphs, and enduring resilience of Black individuals and communities. This month is not only a time to reflect on the contributions of iconic figures like Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr., and Harriet Tubman, but also to recognize the countless unsung heroes who have fought for justice, equality, and freedom. 


By acknowledging and amplifying Black voices, experiences, and achievements, Black History Month fosters greater understanding, empathy, and solidarity across cultures and generations. It's a time to educate, uplift, and empower, inspiring us to continue the journey towards a more inclusive and equitable future for all.  


2024 BHM at PVMS: This year we have planned ways for our students to show what they have learned as a result of visiting the HBCU Museum. There will be several opportunities for students to answer trivia questions, to put their creativity to the test, and to test their geographical knowledge, among other things. Some activities will include:


Who am I? (ongoing)

Where am I? (ongoing)

Sneaker Design Contest (2/5 - 2/15)

Jacket Design Contest (2/19 - 2/29)

Door Decorating Contest (2/1 - 2/23)

Location, Location: African and Caribbean Diaspora (ongoing)

Student Voice: Listen and Learn (Date: TBD)


In addition to the contests and trivia, there are mini-lessons embedded within the HBCU Museum. When they visit, students will be given a small packet to complete as they explore the museum. They will have the opportunity to complete the HBCU packet and submit it for a chance to win a prize.  


Finally, as a culminating activity, the PVMS school community will host our first Rhythm & Flow: The Ties that Bind Us program on March 7th. An intra-county collaboration between PVMS and its feeder schools, where students will perform routines in celebration of the sounds, movements, and spoken word of the African and Caribbean Diaspora.