From the Desk of the Principal, February 16, 2024

Fri, 02/16/2024 - 6:02pm

Dear Patuxent Valley Families,
We have had a great week at school this week including many memorable moments, from the group pictures for yearbook yesterday to class visits beginning to our HCBU museum in the library, to the beginning of Spring 8th period activities, to the excellent field trip to the BEYA Conference Field Trip today where 15 students had the opportunity to explore pre-college programs and hands-on workshops centered around engineering and STEM.  Student life at Patuxent Valley Middle School is vibrant!

I want to take a moment to acknowledge and celebrate all students who participated in National History Day this year and especially to those who are moving on the county competition.  We are so proud of them and thankful to Mr. Williams, Ms. Siepel, Ms. Chelidona and Ms. Gallagher for their mentorship.

In addition we have a number of students who are being published in the Howard County Middle School Creative Works Magazine.  We are so proud of them and can’t wait to see their work in the electronic publication!

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 (


2/19, Presidents Day – Schools and offices closed

3/7 - Rhythm and Flow PVMS BHM Celebration, 6:30pm in the Cafe

3/15, 3/16 & 3/17 - Spring Musical - High School Musical Junior

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

3/14 - PTA Meeting - 7pm in the PVMS Library

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

4/9- End of third Marking Period

4/10- Professional Work Day- Schools closed for students

4/17- Reports cards issued via Synergy

PVMS Updates (Priority and New this week)



2024 Summer Programs Registration Opens February 15 at 6 p.m.

Synergy online enrollment requests for currently enrolled HCPSS students will open Thursday, February 15 at 6 p.m. for the Innovative Pathways High School (math and Science courses only), STARTALK Chinese Language Summer Camp, and Summer Math Scholars programs.

Families can find up-to-date course information and enrollment directions on the Summer Programs web page (

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.

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.