EMMS Eagle News - December 4, 2020

Fri, 12/04/2020 - 2:16pm
Ellicott Mills Middle School  
Friday, December 4, 2020


  • December 24th through January 3rd: WINTER BREAK
  • January 4th: Students Return to Virtual Classes
  • January 6th: Virtual PTA Meeting @ 6:30 p.m. (details coming)
  • January 18th: Schools and Offices Closed
  • January 28th: End of Second Quarter / End of First Semester
  • January 29th: Professional Work Day / No School for Students
  • February 1st: Beginning of Third Quarter / Beginning of Second Semester
  • February 3rd: Virtual PTA Meeting @ 6:30 p.m. (details coming)
  • February 5th: Report Cards Issued


Good Afternoon EMMS Community,
I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving break and were able to disconnect and recharge with your family. It is hard to believe, but we are almost halfway through the 2nd quarter. If you have not done so already, please take some time to log into Canvas with your child to review their grades and assignments. It is vital that you remain an integral partner in ensuring your child’s academic success. I want to take a moment to highlight three areas to consider for ensuring greater levels of virtual schooling success.
If you had to guess, what percentage of students do you think turn on their cameras during instruction? We are finding that better than half of our students choose to keep the camera off in some or all of their classes. More interestingly, the majority of parents we spoke to during parent-teacher conferences assumed that their child had their cameras on during instruction and were shocked to find out otherwise! While we understand that turning one’s camera on is optional, we do know that the data suggests it is important for the learning process in the virtual setting. Have you ever spoken to a group of people in-person or virtually? If you have, you know that reading the room and picking up on social cues is an important component to engaging our audience. When cameras are off, it is hard for teachers to gauge engagement and determine if you have to change something in your delivery or give the group a break. I challenge you, if the opportunity is available given your circumstances, to stealthily find the answer to that question. You may be shocked at what you find out.
Beyond turning the camera on, it is also imperative to ensure that your child is engaging in the learning activities their teacher has designed for them. Regardless of whether they have their camera on or not, interacting with questions, polls, discussion boards, and other interactive activities or assessments may be the only way teachers can assess their engagement and mastery of the subject during synchronous instruction.
If a parent asked me what the best way for the school to support my child is, I would unequivocally say, attending the synchronous support sessions! You are essentially getting free tutoring. When has a child ever had that consistent of an opportunity to meet with a teacher almost one-on-one and receive that level of support? So many of the virtual teaching challenges can be mitigated or solved by cutting out all of the technology and clicks and just connecting with their teacher directly. I urge you to take advantage of those invaluable sessions. Take advantage of them!
Please continue to support your child’s schooling by providing them with a conducive environment for learning as best as you can, remaining involved in their school by asking questions and checking Canvas, and communicating with teachers whenever you need assistance. We are here to help! Thank you for your partnership
Peter Gaylord
Principal, EMMS


Dear 8th Grade Students and Parents,
We are entering an exciting time of the school year when we begin the process of registering for high school. For many of you this is a new experience, and for those of you who have done this with older children, some things have changed. Between now and January 15th, when your high school registration is due, you will receive a lot of information that will help guide you through the process. Below is a PowerPoint with links and information needed to register for the 2021-2022 school year. 
Here we go!
Rachel Schwaab, Counselor for Last Names A-G: rachel_schwaab@hcpss.org
Shanté Owens, Counselor for Last Names H-O: shante_owens-young@hcpss.org
Grace Burnett, Counselor for Last Names P-Z: grace_burnett@hcpss.org


Teachers and Staff at EMMS and Elliott the Eagle are proud to announce the Eagle Eye Drawing Winners for this week!
Grade 6: Claire Sivitz
Grade 7: Lauren Jensen
Grade 8: Tavon Curtis
Thank you for Making Great Things Happen at The Mill!

EMMS General News 

[NEW] EMMS Spelling Bee: Would your student be interested in participating in this year’s EMMS school-wide Spelling Bee? If so, please have your student fill out this interest form by December 18th. If you or your student has questions, please contact Ms. Dana Riley at dana_riley@hcpss.org.
[NEW] FLEX Reminder for Students:

Please Return EMMS Media Books/Materials: Students, please take some time to locate overdue library books and play-a-ways that you borrowed either from our EMMS Media Center or from your elementary schools last year. You may return all media items to the permanent return bin in front of EMMS any time of day! If you have any questions about library items, please reach out to our EMMS Media Center staff: donna_monger@hcpss.org or christina_batelka@hcpss.org. Thank you for your cooperation!

Distribution of 2020/2021 Student Materials: EMMS is reaching out DIRECTLY to families as we have items to distribute to their student(s) based on request and class registration.

Family Technology Support: Before contacting the Technology Support Team, please make sure that you have checked all of the resources available to you @ hcpss.me. If you still have a Canvas or Synergy technology-related question, please complete this form, and a member of our support team will be in touch with you within 2 school days.
  • If you recently received a Dell device from EMMS, please check out the following links:


[NEW] HCPSS 2020-2021 Inclement WEather Protocols: The implementation of virtual instruction has changed the way the Howard County Public School System will manage inclement weather days. Read More.
HCPSS to Remain Virtual Through 3rd Quarter: During its November 16 work session, the Board of Education voted to continue the school system in a virtual instructional model through the third academic quarter, which ends April 14, 2021. Learn More.
To our current 8th Grade Families - JROTC Applications: The JROTC program for high school students supports citizenship, character, and leadership development. Students who do not attend a school where JROTC is offered may apply to participate for the 2021-2022 school year by scheduling an interview with JROTC officials through January 5, 2021.
Do you have a child with an IFSP or IEP? The HCPSS Family Support and Resource Center (FSRC) offers a weekly email just for you! FSRC communications include helpful workshops, resources, and community information specifically geared to supporting your journey. As a parent of a child with an IFSP/IEP, you should already be receiving the email, but if not, let us know so we can include your contact information in our database. You can also email specific questions to FSRC@hcpss.org.
Environmental Forum: Discussion Series for Middle and High School Students:
Wednesdays, December 2 through January 20, 3 p.m., virtual sessions on Google Meet
Middle and high school students are invited to participate in a free discussion series on environmental topics, offered in partnership with the Howard County Conservancy. Each week, participants will hear from experts on an environmental topic, then join in a discussion on how the topic relates to everyday life at home and in our community. Learn more and register.

HCPSS Translations: Regarding information for the 2020-2021 school year, the HCPSS website is updated regularly with new information and remains the repository of all information related to HCPSS’ coronavirus response. Many of the most important documents and resources have been translated and can be found online. Please visit the link below for access to translated files:  https://www.hcpss.org/2020-2021/translations/.

Free Student Meals: Grab-and-Go meals are served every day school is in session, Monday through Friday from 8-9 a.m. and 10:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m. and are free of charge for all students and any child under age 18. All meals include breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner. Find details about pre-ordering, weekend meals, and more information online.
Google Meet Expectations for Students and Parents/Guardians: To ensure a positive and productive virtual learning experience, it is important that all students and parents/guardians adhere to these Google Meet expectations, and review the virtual instruction responsibilitiesexpectations, and best practices provided online.


HCPSS Community News / Events: Please visit the Community News and Programs page on the HCPSS website for announcements of upcoming events and programs sponsored by non-profit organizations.
[NEW] Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Howard County Association of Student Councils (HCASC) Meeting:
Wednesday, December 9, 7 p.m., Virtual session
All middle and high school students interested in getting involved in student leadership and service are invited to the monthly meetings of the Howard County Association of Student Councils (HCASC). The December meeting will focus on diversity, equity and inclusion, including discussions with HCPSS staff. Students should pre-register to receive the meeting link. For more information, please email cindy_drummond@hcpss.org.
[NEW] Virtual Public Hearing: 2021-2022 Proposed Academic Calendar:
Tuesday, December 22, 7 p.m., Virtual session
The public hearing on the 2021-2022 Proposed Academic Calendar will take place on Tuesday, December 22 at 7 p.m. Board meetings are currently held virtually, live on the HCPSS website and on Comcast 95/Verizon 42. Learn about pre-registration and testimony. Register online to testify by Friday, December 18. Specific instructions on testifying virtually will be emailed to each registrant prior to the public hearing.
FREE HOMEWORK HELP! ACHIEVE SUCCESS TOGETHER is offering free middle school homework help. All middle schoolers are welcome to get matched to an experienced high school tutor! AST is a student-run community organization now celebrating its fifth year. Our tutors are carefully vetted, flexible, and love teaching! Sign up at achievesuccesstogether.org          Questions? Email astofficers@gmail.com.

Howard County Association of Student Councils (HCASC): HCASC welcomes all middle/high school students to their next virtual meeting on December 9 from 7:00-8:30pm. Click Here to Read More About HCASC.

HCPSS / HELP   https://help.hcpss.org/technology

There are links to many resources at HCPSS Connect and additional resources available within the Canvas LMS and the Synergy SIS. For additional support, please contact your child’s school. To report a Login issue, visit HCPSS Connect Help. For resources on using HCPSS Connect, visit HCPSS Connect Guides.
If a parent/guardian is not receiving emails and/or texts, please complete EMAIL / TEXT HELP FORM and HCPSS Tech Staff will look into the issue. The majority of the time, the user has unsubscribed or marked us as spam, and we can quickly add them back in to restart communication. Occasionally there is a break in the system, and we need a deeper dive into the issue.
Need to Get in Touch with Someone at EMMS?
We highly encourage you to email our staff due to the decrease in on-site staff availability (click here for staff contact information).

Connect with Us:

4445 Montgomery Road
Ellicott City, MD 21043


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