Posted March 1
As I write this, the Polar Vortex has returned. Even though meteorological spring began March 1, we are still talking about snow in the forecast. Adjustments to the Schedule
Due the snow, March 21 will be a day of school. Other adjustments may need to be made if more snow occurs. The third quarter will now close on March 28. Another progress report will be sent out by March 17. Please take the time to discuss these with your daughter and encourage her to make the necessary changes to be successful. Teachers are free when students have study halls, free periods and resource time. Encourage your daughter to make an appointment to see her teacher if necessary. Teachers are also available before and after school. Course Selections for 2014-2015
Planning for the next school year is under way. Each family should have received its reenrollment materials by now. During the week of March 10 rising ninth through 12th graders will begin to sign up for courses they would like to take next year. The Course Description Booklet will be available online beginning March 10. Students will be able to down load the pdf to their iPads. I will be meeting with each class to review the procedure for courses sign-up. The faculty, under the direction of the department heads, has taken great care to update and modify courses for the next school year. Please take time with your daughter to read and review the posted course materials as she prepares to select courses for the next school year. They will have until March 21 to sign up and request courses. Students will receive a course selection request sheet that they will fill out and have approved by their advisor and their parents. Rising freshmen and sophomores also have the opportunity to select electives in Fine Arts and Technology. Rising juniors and seniors have some very exciting and challenging electives from which they can select courses for next year. There are several ½ credit courses available to juniors and seniors that are taught at a college level. These courses are vey content-specific and often use a college textbook. The faculty’s goal is to give students a small experience of college before graduation. Juniors and seniors also have several AP courses and an online course they can select. All of these courses have prerequisites that students should make sure they meet before signing up. If students have questions about individual courses, they should see the teacher of that particular course. Most courses have prerequisites and students must meet them to take the course. Student placement in all courses is under the direction of the faculty. Placement in most courses is based on standardized test scores, grades and teacher recommendations. If a student has a question about her placement, I advise her to see her teacher first. Students’ advisors are also available to help students with the selection process and questions. Both Mrs. Cunnane and I are also available to students and parents if you have any questions about courses or placement. If you have any questions during the course selection process, please do not hesitate to call me at 410-308-8505 or send me an email. Health Forms
Health forms for next school year will be posted on the website and mailed to current families with the third quarter report card. A physical exam must be completed after March 1 for all new students to Maryvale, including current Maryvale eighth graders entering ninth grade next fall. A new physical is also required each year for ANY student who will try out for interscholastic sports. The deadline for returning the health forms and physicals is Aug. 1. No student may attend classes, tryouts, rehearsals or practices until forms have been received and reviewed by the school nurse. Realizing that appoints are often dependent on insurance, I want to make you aware of the dates so that each family can plan accordingly. Exciting events in March:
- Today: Ash Wednesday
- March 6: “Meet the Coaches” Night
- March 10-11: Senior Retreat
- March 14: Pi Day, Sophomore Quinceanera’
- March 20: Maryvale Talent Show
- March 21: Full Day of School
- March 28: Third quarter ends/ Multicultural Day
- March 31: Sophomore Retreat
- April 4: Report Cards will be mailed.
Posted February 1
Well, it is back to winter today as I write my message for the newsletter. Hopefully, you noticed that the short days of light are becoming a little longer each day and spring will be here soon. Who knew the Polar Vortex would cause such a disruption in our lives this year? As I shared in the report card letter, Maryvale has one snow day remaining. If we receive significant weather and are off for several days, I will ask teachers to post assignments for students on Edline. This will help with continuity in the classroom and keeping students on task. February is the shortest calendar month, but always seems to be filled with the most activities. On Tuesday, February 4,, Upper School students attended an assembly about the dangers of Distracted and Impaired Driving that was arranged by Mrs. Giuffrida. Students listened to a speaker from Maryland's Shock Trauma Center, along with a trauma survivor, who spoke about her incident regarding Distracted Driving. On Friday, February 14 and Monday, February 17, school is closed for students. On Friday, the Faculty and Staff will have a professional day, where they will focus on curriculum development and writing. The month ends with our annual Spirit Week and the 100 Days celebration for our seniors. Under the direction of our Physical Education Department, students will pick themes for each day to show their school and class spirit. These days are meant to strengthen our bonds as a community and to have fun. And yes, we do continue with our school work. On February 26 we will rejoice with our seniors as they celebrate 100 Days until graduation. Mrs. White makes the day special for them. Please remember the Class of 2014 in your thoughts and prayers as they enter this special time. The 100 days will go quickly for our seniors and their parents. Students are invited to experience what it is like to be without electricity and to become aware of the Fuel Fund and how it helps our neighbors in need on Friday, February 28. This is the annual Fuel Fund lock-in. We have been hearing about how to conserve energy all year during Community Homeroom. This will allow students to experience firsthand the hardship felt by many in our community, especially during this very cold winter. I trust you are all staying warm and may God continue to bless all of you and your families. Donna Bridickas Principal
Happy New Year
Posted January 1
I trust everyone had a blessed Christmas and a relaxing New Year. Here is what is happening in January. Exams We have a week until the second quarter ends and exams begin on Tuesday, January 21. The exam schedule is posted on Edline. Faculty have distributed, or will distribute, study guides and/or hold in-class review sessions to discuss what material will be covered on the exams. Students should study for exams for short periods of time over the next week rather than for hours the day before the exam. Additionally, an in-class review day has been scheduled for Friday, January 17 for students to ask questions on material they have studied. Make-up exams will only be given on Friday, January 24 with a doctor’s note if a student is out due to illness. Classes resume on Monday, January 27 when the second semester commences. Middle School students will have mini-mester activities during this time. The eighth grade will have their exams on January 15, 16 and 17. They will follow a special schedule for those days. As always, students should be on time and in proper uniform for their exams. We will use the IRIS system and our website to share any weather-related announcements. Please make sure that you have a current telephone and email address in IRIS. Please call the Main Office and someone will assist you with this. Maryvale follows Baltimore County Public Schools (Hereford Zone) announcements, so listening to WBAL radio and TV is a second option. PSAT/SAT During December, all ninth, tenth and eleventh graders received their PSAT results. Ms. Cunnane met with each class to distribute their scores and went over how to interpret their results. The College Board website offers a wealth of resources for students and parents in the college planning process. It is never too early for students to start looking at their options and interests. Please visit www.collegeboard.com. We will continue to use Resource time at the end of the day for PSAT/SAT practice with tenth and eleventh grade students during second semester. The good news is that we have seen an increase in the students’ scores as they move from ninth to eleventh grade. Their hard work and commitment to the practice classes is paying off! Catholic Schools Week The week of January 27 begins the national celebration of Catholic Schools Week. This year’s theme is Catholic Schools: Community of Faith, Knowledge and Service. We have several activities planned for the week as outlined below. Wednesday, January 28 is our Movie Day for students. Students will enjoy a movie on a big screen in the gym in the morning. Students may come out of uniform that day in jeans or nice sweatpants and sweatshirts. The faculty and staff will be enjoying breakfast provided by the Mothers’ Club while students enjoy the movie. Thursday, January 30, I invite all parents to come and spend the day with your daughter. The day will begin with Community Homeroom and then you can travel with your daughter to her classes. At Community Homeroom we will celebrate our special heritage with the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. If you cannot come for the entire day, I invite you to come for one or two classes or maybe enjoy lunch with your daughter and her friends. It is a wonderful way for you to see what is happening on a daily basis. You will see how our faculty works to set and raise our academic standards here at Maryvale. The day will end with a Pep Rally to celebrate our Winter Sports Teams. Friday, January 31 is Maryvale Appreciation Day. Students may wear their favorite Maryvale sweatshirt, shirt or athletic gear with nice jeans. May God continue to bless your families in the New Year, Donna Bridickas
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.