Posted December 1
Greetings as we mark the beginning of a new church year as we began the holy season of Advent. Part of our preparation as a school community is helping others in need. Under the direction of SoJuCo, advisory groups in Upper School will be assigned a family from the Johns Hopkins Pediatric Oncology Unit. They will be asked to provide gifts and food to these families for the holiday. This tradition is led by faculty member Laura Hanna, who lost a son to cancer many years ago. She continues to educate our community about the many needs of families struggling with a life-threatening illness. Middle School students will be collecting gifts for children at the Marian House.More
It is amazing to see the generosity of our students as these gifts are brought forward during our Candy Cane Social Prayer Service. Our students are living the true meaning of Christmas.
Holiday Homework and Exams/Tests
I have again asked the teachers not to assign any homework over the holidays so that everyone can enjoy time to be with family and friends. When we return from break, we will have two short weeks before midterm examinations begin. Upper School exams start on January 21 and Middle School students will be engaged in their Mini-mester.
It is a good idea for students to clean out their folders and organize their papers in preparation for exams. The exam/test schedule will be posted on Edline by January 1. Hopefully this will give students time to create a study schedule in order to review for exams.
Teachers regularly review study and test taking skills in individual classes, and, this year, during Advisory. Exams count as 20% of the student’s semester grade but individual exam grades do not appear on the transcript. As a college preparatory school, I must underscore the importance of studying and being prepared for exams. A good night’s sleep and healthy breakfast are a must during exam week. Often on exam days students are running around looking for calculators and/or batteries. Being prepared with pens, pencils, paper and calculators is also a help before the day of the exam. Although this sounds minor, being prepared and in the right frame of mind can help a student be more successful on exams/tests.
You may recently have heard about the tragedy of a young woman in Florida who took her own life as a result of cyberbullying on a website called Ask.fm. As you know, we do not tolerate or condone any kind of bullying at Maryvale, and we work each day to teach all of our students respect for one another. As our students navigate the internet on a daily basis, it is important for adults to be up-to-date on the latest trends on the internet. Ask.fm is the newest social media site that your daughters may be talking about and visiting. I have included two links with information that you will find helpful. One explains Ask.fm and the other describes the dangers of using this site. Hopefully this information will spur a conversation between you and your daughter and the importance of coming to adults with concerns if she feels bullied or threatened. If you have questions about what you see on your daughter’s iPad, please feel free to contact Mrs. Cohen, Ms. White, Mrs. Cunnane, Mrs. Belz or myself.
What is Ask.fm? http://www.webwise.ie/AskfmGuide.shtm
What parents should know about Ask.fm: http://www.chicagonow.com/tween-us/2013/10/facts-about-ask-fm-parents/
Posted November 1
As November begins, the first quarter has closed and report cards will be on the way next week. Tradition holds that November is the month we focus on all that we are thankful for in our lives. At Maryvale we have many things for which to be grateful, especially the wonderful work of our faculty each day with your daughters. This month you have the opportunity to meet with them to discuss your daughter’s academic success and needs as reflected on her report card.More
Parent-Teacher Conferences are scheduled for Wednesday, November 13 from 1 to 8 p.m. Each conference will last 15 minutes. This year, we will be using an online site to register for conferences. Use the following link to access the site: http://www.ptcfast.com/schools/Maryvale. Once you click on the link, you will be prompted to select your daughter's teachers and complete registration information. Next, a link will be emailed to you in order to finalize the registration process. Therefore, it is important to enter a valid email address when registering. When you click on the link in your email, you will be directed to a page where you will select teachers and available times. A confirmation email will be sent to you and you will also receive information in order to review or change your conferences. Please remember that the sign up is a two-step process: choose teachers and register, and use the email link to select times. If you do not have access to the internet or a computer, you may contact Mrs. Maguire in the Main Office at 410-252-3366 so she may assist you with conference registration.
Posted October 1
We have successfully completed one month of school and everyone has settled into their routines. Here is what is happening in October: ACRE
During the week of October 7, students in grades 8, 9 and 12 will take the Assessment of Catechesis/Religious Education (ACRE) during their Theology classes. All students in the Archdiocese take this standardized test annually. We do not see individual student results but look at the individual class’ results as a whole. We use the data from the test to continually evaluate our Religious Education Program and make changes when necessary. PSAT on October 16
The PSAT is proctored to students in grades 9, 10 and 11. Students have received a practice test booklet and have been working on during their English and Math classes. Students in grades 10 and 11 have also had direct instruction during their Advisory/Resource periods this past month. Students should get a good night’s sleep before the test and eat a healthy breakfast in the morning, and they should have a working calculator and pencils with them for the test. The calculator on the iPad is not an option as it has not been approved by the College Board. Dismissal on this day is appoximately 11:30 a.m. Middle School faculty have special activities planned for the Middle School students that day. Uniforms
Please take some time to check your daughters’ uniform. Socks should NOT have any designs or writing on them. Also, blazers will be required on Monday, October 7 and should be in good condition. Please check that pockets and sleeves are not torn. Your help with this is greatly appreciated. Homecoming Dance
Friday, October 25 is our annual Homecoming Dance for Upper School students. This is a good time to start or continue the conversation with your daughter about underage drinking. Maryvale has a very clear policy on drinking and bringing alcohol to our school campus. We strive to create an atmosphere of safety for all of our students and we have security on campus during dances. Please take some time to review our policy on pages 37 and 38 of the handbook, which may be found on our website under both the student and parent sections. End of the Quarter
Wednesday, October 30 marks the end of the First Quarter. Often this can be a stressful time as students have projects due and teachers give that one final quiz or test. Hopefully students are using the time management skills they are learning in advisory to navigate through these days. Planning also helps to set priorities so that students can reach the academic goals they have set for themselves. Report cards will be mailed November 8. Halloween
The month ends with our annual Halloween celebration on Thursday, October 31. The Student Council will announce guidelines for costumes. If students have questions, they may talk to Ms. White or Mrs. Belz. November: Parent Teacher Conferences
At least one progress report has been sent via Edline by your daughter’s teachers. Please confirm that you have an Edline account to view these. It is important to have a valid email address in your account so you may receive notices through Edline. Conferences are scheduled for Wednesday, November 13 from 1-8 p.m. I will send directions on how to register for conferences in late October. Early dismissal days in October:
- Friday, October 4: 12:35 p.m. dismissal
- Monday, October 14: School closed
- Wednesday, October 16: 11:30 a.m. dismissal
- Monday, November 4: School closed
Welcome to the New School Year!
Posted September 1
It is so great to have our faculty and students back on campus! The faculty began their school year attending the Archdiocesan Convocation on Monday, August 19 with a liturgy celebrated by Archbishop William Lori. The following Maryvale faculty members were recognized for their years of dedication and service to Catholic Education.
- 5 Years: Veronica Sok
- 10 Years: Melissa Conaway and Nataliya Goodman
- 15 Years: Mike Vogrin
- 20 Years: Andrea Jacobs
- 35 years: Mark Lund.
Carol Malone received the Teaching Excellence Award for her more than 35 years of dedication and commitment to the education of young women. Drop Off and Pick Up
In order to make traffic move smoothly in the drop off/pick up circle, students should be dropped off on the passenger side of the car because cars move in the inside lane. If you are parking or are a student driver, you should use the road that leads to the parking lots. Students should continue to park on the far student lot. If students are driving with their learner’s permit, and need to switch driving roles with a parent, we ask that this be done on the parking lot side of the building. Students arriving late should be dropped off on the parking lot side of the Rodriguez Center for a late pass. Students will not be admitted to class without a late pass. All Middle School students should wait in the Dining Room if they arrive before 7:40 a.m. Middle School students will be dismissed at 7:40 a.m. to the Locker Room. The Dining Room will be open in the morning until 7:50 a.m. for breakfast. Lastly, incoming Maryvale traffic has the right of way at all times. Edline
We will continue to use Edline as our online internal school communication tool for faculty, students and parents. It is imperative that parents register to receive Progress Reports and have the ability to view other school information. Teachers are asked to send at least three progress reports each quarter, and at least one will be sent mid-quarter. Parent-Teacher conferences are November 13 from 1 - 8 p.m. Information regarding how to sign-up for conferences will be posted on Edline mid-October. Please make sure your email is current and you allow Edline to send you emails. As we begin this new school year, may our good God continue to bless you and your families as we continue our partnership in the education of your daughters. Donna Bridickas
Posted August 1
I trust everyone has been enjoying a restful and relaxing summer. Orientation for all students is Tuesday, August 27 beginning at 8:30 a.m. Upper School students should report to the Auditorium and Middle School students to the Dining Room. Students should wear their school uniform and bring their blazers. Galeone will be here to take school and ID pictures. Information about ordering pictures was mailed home.
Much has been done this summer to ready the campus for your daughter’s arrival in a few weeks. The faculty has also been working over the summer, many taking classes and/or working on their curriculum to ensure a successful academic program for your daughter. The new year also brings changes in personnel. The following faculty and staff made a difference in the Maryvale community and will be missed. We wish much success in their new endeavors to Nancy Burkhart, Elizabeth Hazen, Lee Knox and Alysa Porter.
At this time we would like to welcome the following new faculty members:
Melissa Beljous, Director of Multicultural Affairs, holds a BA in English from the State University of New York at Old Westbury and a Masters in Literacy K-12 from Touro College in Manhattan. Ms. Beljous is a candidate for a second Masters in Educational Leadership and Administration from the College of St. Rose. She has served in various positions in the New York City Department of Education, including faculty member, Assistant Supervisor, After School Program Supervisor, and Instructional Leader for English teachers in the implementation of Common Core standards.
Victoria Matter, Spanish, is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Sweet Briar College and the language immersion program at Middlebury College. Ms. Matter also holds a J.D. She taught for several years before practicing law in Buenos Aires, Argentina and now looks forward to returning to the classroom. Her real-world Spanish knowledge and expertise will add value for her students.
Jennifer Morris Nicholas, St. Julie Billiart Program, has a BS in Secondary Education and a Masters in Leadership in Teaching. Ms. Nicholas is also trained in Orton Gillingham and Executive Functioning. She has been a member of the Wright Academic Team where she taught and mentored students from many area independent schools. She also served as a teacher and coach at Notre Dame Preparatory where she was awarded the Kirby Medal, honoring the middle school faculty member who best embraces the Catholic and social teaching of the school.
Glenda Snavely, Middle School Religion, is an experienced educator who holds a BS in Social Work from Indiana State University and a Masters and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana. She has taught on every level from elementary school through college. Most recently, she served as Spanish and religion teacher at Our Lady of Perpetual Help School. Prior to that, she was a professor at both the University of Southern Colorado and NC State.
Richard Tilley, Music Education and Music Director, has a BM in Music Education from the University of Delaware and is a candidate for a Masters in Music Education at The Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. Mr. Tilley plays the trumpet and piano and has been teaching choral and instrumental music in Anne Arundel County schools. In college he was a member of Delaware’s Fightin’ Blue Hens Marching Band and toured China and Europe as a performer.
Emily Vitrano Waugh ’03, Biology, graduated from Maryvale in 2003 but has remained involved in the community since she left her alma mater. Last December, she led seven Maryvale students on a VISEDAL volunteer service trip to Nicaragua. Mrs. Waugh attended and graduated from the College of William and Mary. She completed her Masters in Teaching Secondary Education at Notre Dame of Maryland University. Most recently, she taught biology and environmental science and served as a varsity coach at Oldfields School.
We are also happy to announce that Lisa Cohen has been named Director of Faculty Professional Development, in addition to serving as Director of Academic Technology. Jessica Vitrano Randisi '01 was named Theatre Director. She will also continue as an English department faculty member and coach.More