PM Knight Newsletter 12-15-17

Fri, 12/15/2017 - 1:14pm

PM KNIGHT 12-15-17


From the Principal’s Desk…

This winter weather and associated early dismissal is interfering with my newsletter composition time, but let’s see what I can make of the shortened school day. Related to this topic, I want to remind everyone of the provisions of our school calendar for making-up full school days that are canceled as a result of inclement weather. There are six days built into the master calendar for this purpose. The first designated make-up day is February 19 (Presidents’ Day). The next three days set aside occur during Spring Break: April 4-6. If we have any school closures prior to these dates, the School Board will make a decision about whether or not school will be in session on these dates. The final set of days are at the end of the year (June 15 & 18). Please keep this in mind as we head into the snowy season here in Maryland.

As mentioned in our last newsletter, Progress Reports are being prepared and sent home on Wednesday, December 20. Please use these as a way to troubleshoot problem areas and identify solutions that will help students meet the level of success you and I both know they can reach. In reviewing Canvas reports this month, I noted that homework completion, and accordingly daily review of school materials, is an area where our middle schoolers need to focus. As you plan your winter break activities, please set aside time for your student to review and study class notes, assignments, and texts in order to be prepared for the school day, and all it entails, when we return. It is vital that students ‘interact’ with work products (notes, readings, & graded assignments) on a daily basis – especially while school is not in session. [Real talk: I know this probably will not happen, but I have to make some effort. If you can’t get them to review school work, at least make them read!]

I’ve noticed in the past few weeks an increase in controllable absences from school.  We certainly understand that family is a strong value in our community and we appreciate the desire to be nearer to those we love and care for during the holiday season. Please be aware that parents may hold students out from school for a total of three days per year: these are called ‘Discretionary Absences’.  We do not encourage or support the idea of extended trips during the school year. The state expects each school to maintain an attendance rate of 96% or better. We can not hope to meet that standard if students are absent for controllable reasons. Missed instruction can never be fully recovered no matter how many pages a child reads in a textbook. Once your son or daughter gets to high school, accumulated absences may result in loss of credit.

Finally, as the winter break approaches, I would like to send the warmest of wishes for a safe and happy holiday season on behalf of the staff of Patapsco Middle School. We would like to thank each student, parent, and community member who has honored our staff with well wishes, kind words, and tokens of appreciation. We are sincerely appreciative of your thoughtfulness and, more importantly, your support. This business of education is only possible with the help of our parent base. Thank you for all you do to support our school community.

Don’t miss our winter concerts: Bands on Tuesday, December 19 and Chorus & Drums on Wednesday, December 20. ( 7pm at Mount Hebron High School)

Our next regular newsletter will be posted in 2018. 

Warmest Regards,

Cindy Dillon



12/20/17 - Interim progress reports issued   12/25/17 - Winter Break begins    01/02/18 - Schools reopen    :  More Upcoming Dates

School Emergency Closing Information Sources


Weather Guidelines/Recess

Doors Open at 8am

Exercise outdoors is healthy and is strongly encouraged. It provides a break from the regular school routine, a chance to get some outside air, and an opportunity to run off excess energy.  Read more.


Spirit Week December 18-22

Patapsco Middle School Spirit week will begin Monday, December 18. Read more.


Book Fair - Thank you!

Many thanks to all our parents and students that supported the annual book fair.  We raised a thousand dollars!  The money will be used to purchase a new computer for students to use in the library media center. 


From the Health Room

There has been an increase in the number of students texting parents and asking to be picked up for minor ailments such as sore throat, headache, stomach ache, etc..  Students are texting parents prior to coming to the health room.  Students should report to the health room when they are not feeling well.  The RN and/or Health Assistant will assess the student.  Based on the assessment, it will be determined if the parent should be contacted and if the student should go home.  

Questions or Concerns please call the Health Room at 410-313-2574


Career Day 2018

Patapsco Middle School is looking to showcase a variety of careers and to show students that there are many paths to success. Read more.


Lost and Found

Students misplace an amazing amount of personal items.  Please take a moment to write your child’s name on items that he or she brings to school.


2018 yearbooks are available online NOW!

Go to to order.


To ALL Students

Howard County Student Member of the Board of Education (SMOB) Anna Selbrede will be holding an open forum for any and all HCPSS students to voice any questions, concerns, or just talk.  Read more.



PTA Meeting Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Chipotle PTA Fundraiser - January 9, 2018

Join us for a fundraiser to support Patapsco Middle School PTA.  Read more.


Snow Ball Fun Knight - January 19

Mark your calendar for the second of the PTA’s student social Fun Knights on Friday, January 19 from 7:00-9:00pm.  There will be a DJ (and a surprise!) in the cafeteria, basketball and games in the gym, BINGO with prizes in the media center, plus pizza, candy and drinks for sale.  As always, we need plenty of parent volunteers to pull this event off from selling tickets during lunch to chaperoning the event.  You can check out the SignUp Genius here: .  Questions?  Contact Caroline Bodziak at


School Spirit Committee

The current chair of the School Spirit Committee who organizes all the Fun Knights is graduating from Patapsco this year.  We are looking for someone interested in shadowing her and picking this great committee up next year.  Contact Caroline Bodziak at for more information.

PTA Membership

Like us on Facebook – search Patapsco Middle School PTA.



Come join us at our next meeting on Tuesday, January 9th at 7pm in the Media Center. (02/13, 03/13, 04/10, 05/08). There is no meeting scheduled for December.

Band and Chorus Winter Concerts: The Band and Chorus Winter Concerts are December 19 and December 20 respectively.  We still need volunteers to help out! Please take a moment to review the Sign-Up Genius at the following link to volunteer:   Thank you!

Concert Closet:  The PMS Music Boosters are accepting donations of gently used long-sleeved, button-down, collared white oxford dress shirts, black dress pants, black skirts, and black dress shoes for our Concert Closet.  We are in desperate need of size 14 & 16 oxford shirts, and girls pants and skirts of any size.  If you're having trouble finding the concert attire your child needs, please e-mail their Music Teacher so they can set up a time to browse the closet.  Thanks to so many of you who have already sent in donations this school year!

Chorus Ride Share

The Music Boosters are starting a "Give a Ride" program, so students whose parents are in need of transportation to and from rehearsals and concerts can access information for other parents who are willing to give rides.   Sign up here to help another family:

Don’t’ forget to check out our Patapsco Music Boosters website .  Come check us out!  You can also always reach at or on Facebook at




“Community Notices” events are neither sponsored nor endorsed by the Howard County Public School System."





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