PM Knight 08-15-16

Mon, 08/15/2016 - 10:05pm

At this point, there’s no use denying it: summer is over. We’re so excited; this could not come at a better time. We have been lonely without you! It’s going to be an awesome year, too. I promise!

This summer has seen some changes in our staffing.  Some of our friends have moved on to new chapters while others are joining us in newly created positions.  Please join me in welcoming our new Knights:

  • Regina Kempic, Math 6
  • Morgan Kempthorne, Counselor
  • Ashley Moultrie, ELA 8
  • Fath Monah, Speech/Language Pathologist
  • Patrick Spliedt, Physical Education
  • Edwin Cooper, Temporary Employee
  • Jimmy  Gallman, Para Educator
  • Veronica Murphy, Student Assistant  
  • Raja Natajarian, Temporary Employee

This back-to-school newsletter contains information you may need to prepare for the 2016-2017 school year. Please take some time to review it as you prepare to report back to school bright and early on Monday, August 29, 2016. Additionally, on August 22nd, we need you to log on to Synergy and update your Family File (Emergency Form) for the new school year. This is one of the most critical updates you need to make and it should be completed prior to the first day of school.

Now, get out there and enjoy the last few days of summer. Buy supplies, sharpen pencils, and start going to bed a little earlier starting today so you’re ready to go on August 29th!

Make these last few days count!

Cindy Dillon, Principal


8/22 Update Family File in Synergy; 8/26 New Student Orientation, 8am; 8/29 Opening Day; 9/5 Schools and Offices Closed; 9/8 ODE Parent Information Night; 9/15 BTSN; More Upcoming Dates



The official school hours for Patapsco Middle School for the 2016-2017 school year, as set by the  HCPSS Board of Education, will be 8:05am to 2:50pm. We will open our doors at 8:00am daily and students are expected to be in their seats by the opening bell.  

Students will wait outdoors prior to the opening bell unless we experience heavy precipitation or extreme temperatures. Parents who chose to transport their children to and from school should not drop students off any earlier than 7:45am.


Bus schedules will be posted on the HCPSS website any day now and published in local newspapers no later than Thursday, August 25th. Please consult these resources for information regarding anticipated bus pick-up and drop-off times. In order to ensure your student catches the bus on the first day, we recommend they arrive 15 minutes before the scheduled pickup time. Each year, it takes about a week or two for these times to be completely adjusted.  Please bear with the Transportation Department as they make these changes and refine the schedule.  Questions or concerns about transportation can be directed to that office by calling 410-313-6727 or by visiting the HCPSS Transportation webpage.  


We believe that the safest way for students to get to school is by accessing the bus transportation provided by the school system.  However, we do understand that there may be occasions when it is necessary to drive your student to school. When that happens, please follow the procedures listed below to help ensure the safety of all students during school arrival time:

  • Follow the traffic arrows at the end of the driveway to make a circular loop into the drop off area.   
  • Only busses, staff, and county vehicles will be permitted to enter the parking lot during drop-off and pick-up times.  
  • Seek assistance from the staff member stationed by the drop off area.  They will be happy to help you in any way possible.


In order to ensure the safety of all students and staff, all visitors must press the buzzer located on either set of main doors to gain entry to our building.  When we greet you, please provide us with your name and the reason for your visit.  For example: “I'm Mrs. Ryan and I'm picking up my daughter, Tracey, for early dismissal.” -or- “I'm Mrs. Dillon and my daughter, Cindy, forgot her lunch - again.” get the idea.  We will buzz you right in and direct you to report to the main office, student services, or the health room, as indicated.  

As a gentle reminder, please remember to bring in a valid form of identification (e.g. Drivers License) if you are picking up one of our students. It's also a good idea to double check your Emergency Procedure information to ensure the list of individuals authorized to pick up your student during the school day is up to date.


If you spent part of your summer vacation cleaning your room and you found some PMS Textbooks or Media materials, you should bring them to school as soon as you get a chance.  Any fines that were previously paid will be refunded in full.


Students who require medication to be administered during the school day need to have new forms completed for next fall.  Summer hours book fast and some physicians require a wait time for medical forms to be completed so schedule your appointments now!  For your convenience, you can find these forms on-line at the HCPSS website by clicking on the link for Physician’s Orders (  


The State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has issued a list of immunization requirements for students. In addition to the current requirements, students entering 7th grade on the first day of the school year will need to have:

  • 1 dose of Tdap vaccine will be required for student entry into 7th grade
  • 1 dose of Meningococcal vaccine will be required for student entry into 7th grade

If your student requires additional immunizations, parents should contact their healthcare provider as soon as possible to make an appointment for the student to obtain the required vaccines. Please provide the school with an updated copy of your child’s immunization record, (complete with the provider’s signature) once vaccinations have been completed. Failure to provide proof of updated immunizations by the first day of the school year will result in your student being excluded from school.  If you have questions, please contact, RN, Cluster Nurse, or, Health Assistant, at 410-313-2848.


The 6th Grade class will once again travel to North East, Maryland to participate in a very exciting outdoor educational experience.  To prepare for this trip, parents are encouraged to review the materials and forms sent home in May. Of particular interest are the medication forms.  Some of these require the signature of a pediatrician or health care provider.  If you haven’t done so already, you should consider dropping them off at your health care provider's office during these last few weeks of summer.  Visit to view and download forms and information as needed.  A parent information meeting is scheduled for September 8th at 7:00 pm.  We hope to see you there!

The Howard County Health Department requires attendance and illness documentation from each school on a monthly basis.  This report requires parental contact.

If your child is absent from school because of illness, please contact the school on the first day of the absence and provide the following information:

  • Student name
  • Date of absence
  • Symptoms of influenza-like illness  (i.e. fever greater than 100° F, cough, sore throat)

You may contact the school using one of the following options:

Phone:             410-313-2850             Email:

When your child returns to school, a written note from the guardian is still required within two school days or the absence will be recorded as a ‘truancy’ (not excused). For your convenience, look for the quick link on our website on the right hand navigation pane.


School lunches are available for $3.25 per meal.  Milk may be purchased separately for $.50.  Breakfast will also be offered to any interested student this year from 7:45-8:00am.  A full breakfast is $2.00 (.30 for reduced meal plans).  Items will also be sold a la carte.

The Food & Nutrition Services Department is very pleased to announce that they will continue to offer an Online Processing System for Free and Reduced Price Meal Applications.  This will allow parents privacy in completing the application and receiving notification of status.  

The school system will continue to distribute paper applications that can be filled out and submit as desired.  

All students must complete an application Free or Reduced Meals benefits annually. For more information about school meals and programs, please visit the HCPSS website at:


The Student Services staff are here to help your student get the most out of school and life. Sometimes barriers arise which make it difficult for students to learn. Learning difficulties, peer relationships, or family crises are a few examples. Student Services staff assist students in meeting challenges such as these through programs to assist in learning better problem solving skills and cultivating a deeper understanding of themselves and others. You and your student are invited and encouraged to speak with a member of our Student Services team whenever you have questions or concerns by calling 410-313-2850.

Ms. Kathy Ivey                        Last Names A-L         

Ms. Morgan Kempthorn           Last Names M-Z

Mrs. Vanessa Hooks              Student Services Secretary

Dr. Nicole Meshbesher            School Psychologist

Mrs. Catherine Chapman         Pupil Personnel Worker




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TARGET, or 1-800-316-6142, or visit the gift registry kiosk. PMS ID#58051

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