PM KNIGHT 12-02-16

Fri, 12/02/2016 - 2:51pm

From the Principal’s Desk…

Recently, a parent stopped by the front office and reminded me of some suggestions I’d made during our annual New Student Orientation in August. The topic of that advice was about helping students develop self-advocacy and independence. Coincidentally, I’d just read a list of eight life skills all 18-year olds need in order to be successful as they enter adulthood. The time to start working on shaping and honing these skills is yesterday. This list, compiled by the author of How to Raise an Adult and former Dean of Freshmen at Stanford University, Julie Lythcott-Haims, contends our students will need to: know how to talk to strangers; find their way around independently; earn and manage money; contribute to a household; manage academic tasks and assignments; resolve interpersonal issues; utilize coping skills that help deal with the ups and downs of life; and, take appropriate risks. To read about the importance of being equipped with each of these skills upon graduation from high school, and the manner in which we may be hindering our children’s ability to become self-reliant adults, follow this link.


I’ve noticed in the past few weeks an increase in requests for 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. This is part of the reason why we enjoy winter break. 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. Please keep this in mind as you prepare for your summer holiday. The last possible day of the school year is June 20th, so we advise that you do not plan trips until after that date.

This weekend, our band students will be engaging in an adjudication this weekend and we wish them the best of luck as they show what they know!


Have a great weekend,

Cindy Dillon



12/19/16 & 12/20/16 - Winter concert at Mount Hebron High School :  More Upcoming Dates


Speakers and Volunteers Needed for Career Day

Career Day is coming back to Patapsco - and soon! Read more.


Mt. Hebron High School Parent & Guardian Orientation Night 01/05/17

Class of 2021 Mt. Hebron’s Parent & Guardian Orientation Night, January 5, 2017 at 6:00pm in the Mt. Hebron High School Auditorium (Snow Date: January 14 at 6pm). Read more.


Patapsco Performers will be presenting "Peter Pan Jr."

Shows are March 31st, April 1st, and April 2nd and in order to put on a successful show, we need your help. Read more.


Book Fair Success!

Thanks go to everyone who shopped at the book fair and to the many volunteers. We raised $1,200 for our library!   Read more.


From the Wellness Corner - Holiday Shopping Tips

Holidays are fun and exciting, but overspending can add unnecessary stress to our lives. Here are a few money management tips.


Career Academies Information Sessions

Applications and Research Laboratory – 10920 Clarksville Pike, Ellicott City.  For middle/high school students and their families.  For additional information.


2017 yearbooks are available online NOW!

Go to to order.  


Introducing the Canvas Parent Mobile App

HCPSS is excited to share a new mobile app, Canvas Parent, designed to help parents/guardians monitor their children’s progress on the go.  Read more.


HCPSS Connect Text Messages


Volunteer to Help in the Library Media Center

Assist with checking books in and out to students and help with shelving.  Help is most needed mornings from 8:00 – 8:30 am


Parent Volunteer Information

Thank you for your interest in volunteering within the Howard County School System! Read more.



Don't forget to "like" us on Facebook: Patapsco Music Boosters


from Mrs. Mills:

Applications for the Howard County Vocal Solo & Ensemble Festival are posted in Canvas and due no later than Friday, December 16th, including the name of the accompanist that has agreed to work with your child.  Students should set up a time prior to this with Ms. Mills to select a suitable vocal selection.  The event will be held on Saturday, January 28th at MHHS (snow date 2/4).


Concert Reminders:  The Chorus and Orchestra Winter Concert is Tuesday, December 20th at 7pm at MHHS.  Members of Chamber Singers and Treble Chorus have a mandatory dress rehearsal after school on Wednesday, December 14th from 3-4pm.  Concert attire is not required at the dress rehearsal and students must be picked up promptly at 4pm.  The call time for Chamber Singers and Treble Chorus at the concert will be 6:30 PM in the Chorus Room at MHHS.  The call time for 6th Grade Chorus at the concert will be 6:45pm in the Auditorium at MHHS.


Seeking Donations  

The Patapsco Music Boosters are seeking new or gently used donations to our Concert Closet.  Items needed include black dress pants and black knee-length-or-longer skirts, white boys' or girls' long-sleeved oxford (button-up) shirts, and black dress shoes.   Questions?  E-mail Mrs. Mills at  Thank you!


Support the PTA and Music Boosters When You Shop On Amazon

Please remember to use our Amazon link for your purchases...that yields both the PTA and Music Boosters big profits! Read more.



No PTA Meeting in December


International Committee

Interested in celebrating Patapsco’s many cultures?  Patapsco Middle School employs an International Liaison, Ms. Jamie Kim, who is interested in partnering with the PTA to explore ways to celebrate the diverse cultural heritages of our students and their families.  Ms. Kim has already built a committee of teachers and would like to explore working with the PTA as well.  The PTA is looking for interested parents to both lead and be members of a PTA International Committee.  Already the PTA is exploring adding a multicultural theme to the June 2017 Beach Blast event.  If this type of activity interests you, please contact the PTA Volunteer Coordinator, Erin Lanthier, at  

School Spirit Committee Upcoming Events:

* Snow Ball Dance - Thursday, Jan. 26 8-10pm (no school Friday!) DJ, dancing & concessions sales

* Spring Fling Fun Night - Friday, March 24 8-10pm inc. DJ, dancing, open gym, BINGO, prizes & concessions sales

* Beach Blast - June 2017


Interested in helping plan the Snow Ball Dance in January?  Please contact Caroline Bodziak at  A SignUp Genius and more information will come home after the winter break.  


The PTA website is up and running!  Check it out at





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