From the Desk of the Principal February 9, 2024

Thu, 02/08/2024 - 6:43pm

Dear Patuxent Valley Families and Community,

Happy Lunar New Year to everyone who is celebrating today and this weekend!

This week was National School Counseling Week. Thank you to everyone who took time to recognize the hard work that each of our counselors put in for our young people.  

The School Counselors at PVMS are Ms. Jamie Kim (Grade 6), Ms. Jamie Glover (Grade 7) and Ms. Gwen Taylor (Grade 8). Each of them are truly valuable members of our school community. In addition to promoting students’ social, emotional, and behavioral well-being, they teach lessons to their grade levels, help with lunch duty, participate on staff committees and support their colleagues in serving students. We can’t thank Ms. Kim, Ms. Glover and Ms. Taylor enough for all they do to celebrate and take care of our Bulldog Family!

Please take a moment to talk with your child about how Ms. Kim, Ms. Glover or Ms. Taylor has made a positive impact on them. You can also email them directly at , , or   to flood their inboxes with positivity!

Report cards are available in synergy as of 4pm this past Monday.  You can find them by following the directions below and can find Honor Roll designation on the report card. 

We will be celebrating our young people on Honor Roll or those nominated as "On a Roll" on February 21.  Parents are welcome at the celebrations at the times listed below!  You do not need to pre-register to attend, but you will need to sign in at the front office.

Q2 Honor Roll Celebration for Grade 8, February 21 at 8:55am

Q2 Honor Roll Celebration for Grade 7, February 21 at 9:50am

Q2 Honor Roll Celebration for Grade 6, February 21 at 1:00pm

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 (


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

2/12 & 2/13: Music Department Fundraiser is with Papa John's at 8851 Gorman Rd Suite 300, Laurel, MD 20723

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 (Priority and New this week)

Report Cards Will be Available For Viewing

February 5th After 4 p.m.

Parents/guardians may view/download report cards by taking the following steps:

        1. Log in to HCPSS Connect Synergy: using parent/guardian credentials
        2. Select More Options from the left panel
        3. Select Report Cards from the middle
        4. Select the report card you wish to access

You may also access these directions online at our HCPSS website by clicking HERE.

Our next Music Department Fundraiser is with Papa John's at  8851 Gorman Rd Suite 300, Laurel, MD 20723 on  February 12-13. There will be a code for folks to use when ordering online to ensure funds are donated back to the Music Department. 

PATUXENT VALLEY MS - 2-12,13-2024.pdf 

Join the HCPSS STARTALK Program and Centennial High School for a spectacular Lunar New Year Celebration on Friday, February 9 from 5:15 to 8:30 pm at Centennial High School. Enjoy an evening filled with authentic Chinese food, student performances, professional groups, cultural activities, and Chinese New Year entertainment. Past and potential HCPSS STARTALK Chinese Language Program participants and their parents/guardians are welcome. Space is limited. RSVP here: Please contact with questions.

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.

2024-2025 Middle School Course Registration, Feb. 1-14, 2024

Middle school course selection for the 2024-2025 academic year will open for current 5-7 grade students Thursday, Feb. 1, and run through Wednesday, Feb. 14.
Beginning Feb. 1, students/families may view teachers’ course recommendations, and submit course requests and alternate requests by selecting Course Request from the left panel, and following directions available online.

General course registration information is available online.

Students or parents/guardians with any questions should contact their school counselor.

Please note:
Guides on how to complete Course Requests and Course Placement Reviews are available online.

Students should use the Middle School Course Catalog 2024-2025 to review course selections, taking careful note of descriptions and prerequisites.
Students will select course requests and alternates.

Rising 6th Grade (Current 5th grade): Please choose one Selected Course Request, and two Selected Alternate Course Requests in priority order. Once you have made your course requests click the button lock course requests. Note that these are course requests and placement is not guaranteed.

Rising 7th/8th Grade (Current 6th/7th grade): Please choose two Selected Course Requests. One of these must meet the fine arts requirements (Band, Chorus, Dance, Orchestra, General Music, Theater, or Visual Arts Studio). Next, choose two Selected Alternate Course Requests in priority order. Once you have made your course requests click the button lock course requests. Note that these are course requests and placement is not guaranteed.

If you do not agree with a teacher’s course recommendation you can complete a Course Placement Review request form. The CPR request must be submitted either electronically through the parent/guardian HCPSS Connect or to your school counselor. If a course option is not available in the drop down menu, students will need to complete the fillable CPR and submit it to their school counselor. Requests received by Feb. 14, 2024 will be given priority; requests received after this date will be accommodated if space is available.

  • Important Dates:
  • Feb. 1, 2024: Course registration opens
  • Feb. 14, 2024: Course registration closes. Requests received after this date will be accommodated if space is available.
  • Feb. 1 - Feb. 23, 2024:
  • Current 5th graders will meet with their school counselors to review student course requests through scheduled counselor/student appointments.
  • Feb. 1 - Mar. 1, 2024:
  • Current 6th-7th graders will meet with their school counselors to review student course requests through scheduled counselor/student appointments.
  • Spring 2024: Students and parents/guardians will have access to their list of registered courses by the end of the current school year.
  • August 2024: Final 2024-2025 student schedules will be available prior to the start of the school year.


PVMS Updates (recurring from previous newsletters)

Hammond High School Community Event:

✨ Calling all parents and children! ✨

Join us for a day filled with eco-friendly fun and education at Hammond High School's 10th Annual Green Fest! Celebrate our commitment to a greener, more sustainable future on Saturday, February 24th, from 10 am to 1 pm.

???? What to Expect:

Exciting eco-friendly activities for kids and adults

Informative displays showcasing environmental initiatives

Prizes and giveaways

A vibrant community atmosphere

???? Special Program by Howard County Library:

The Howard County Library is thrilled to host a special program just for kids during the event! Spark your child's curiosity with entertaining and educational activities that promote environmental awareness.

???? Why Attend?

Foster a love for nature in your children

Learn about sustainable practices for your family

Connect with like-minded individuals in our community

Support Hammond High School's commitment to environmental education

???? Location:

Hammond High School

8800 Guilford Road, Columbia, MD 21046

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.


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.