• March News

    Posted March 1, 2014

    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.


    Donna Bridickas

  • February News

    Posted February 1, 2014

    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


  • Happy New Year

    Posted January 1, 2014

    I trust everyone had a blessed Christmas and a relaxing New Year. Here is what is happening in January.


    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.


    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 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

  • December News

    Posted December 1, 2013

    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.

    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 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. 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 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
    What parents should know about

  • November News

    Posted November 1, 2013

    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.

    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: 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.

  • Happy Autumn!

    Posted October 1, 2013

    We have successfully completed one month of school and everyone has settled into their routines. Here is what is happening in October:

    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.

    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.

    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

    Seniors have college visit days on October 14, 15 and 16.

    In Christ’s peace,
    Donna Bridickas

  • Welcome to the New School Year!

    Posted September 1, 2013

    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.

    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

  • Dear Parents,

    Posted August 1, 2013

    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.

  • Summer Message

    Posted July 1, 2013

    Our seniors had a beautiful graduation and we are looking forward to the 2013-2014 school year!

    Although the summer is a time for renewal and relaxation, we encourage our students to keep their minds engaged through summer reading and math assignments. Information may be found on Edline. Please ask your daughter to avoid waiting until the last minute to start her reading and math work. Teachers will collect assignments or test when students return in September.

    Summer also presents students with the opportunity to work, take drivers education classes, or continue with their community service. There are many opportunities for students to engage in Christian service activities. Our goal with community service is to call each student to go beyond her comfort zone, cultivate awareness of societal needs, and to develop relationships with individuals in our society with whom they would not otherwise interact in daily life. This is a reminder that all service hours and agencies must be approved by Mr. Vogrin, Christian Service Coordinator, and he may be reached at

  • May Messages

    Posted May 1, 2013

    As May approaches we know that the school year is quickly coming to an end. I hope and trust you will encourage your daughters to stay focused during the last few weeks of the school year. Teachers are asked to post a final Progress Report for the fourth quarter no later than Wednesday, May 17. Please review these with your daughter and contact any teachers if necessary.

    There are many activities that take place between now and the end of the school year:

    Archbishop’s Holiday
    I am sure many of you heard that we had a wonderful celebration and dedication of our new athletic fields. We were very blessed to have Archbishop Lori preside over our celebration. The Archbishop very generously granted our school a special holiday to be used at the discretion of the administration. As I shared in an email last week, I am happy to announce that we will take this holiday on Monday, May 20. The Art and Talent Shows originally scheduled for that evening have been moved to Tuesday, May 21. We hope that all of our faculty, staff and students enjoy this holiday.

    Announcements for Graduation will be distributed to seniors during Advisory during the week of May 6. Each senior receives 15 announcements. If you need a few more, please contact Trish Miller at

    Gym Meet
    An exciting event every year, Gym Meet will take place on Friday, May 24 at Oregon Ridge. We will ask that students be dropped off at Oregon Ridge at 8:30 a.m. and picked up no later than 3:00 p.m. It is important that students be picked up by 3:00 p.m. because we must be off the grounds by this time.

    Sports Boosters will be selling lunch beginning at 10:45 a.m. Students should bring money for lunch, and leave their iPads home for the day. Marches will begin at noon. Please bring a blanket or chair and join us for an afternoon of fun. For the safety of students and guests, we ask that you do not bring any pets with you.

    Traffic in the morning around Shawan Road can be challenging, such as cars turning left from Shawan Road onto Beaver Dam Road to access Oregon Ridge. An alternate route is to travel Padonia or Warren Road north on Beaver Dam Road. You would then turn left directly into Oregon Ridge. This will help with the intersection at Shawan and Beaver Dam Roads. The address of Oregon Ridge is 13555 Beaver Dam Road, Cockeysville for those using GPS. We are working to make the day safe and ensure that everyone has a good time. The purpose of the day is to have fun and build community spirit. Please stress with your daughters that it is important to be "good sports" whether they win or lose the Gym Meet Banner.

    Teachers will be finishing course content and preparing students for exams. The exam/test schedule will be posted on Edline. Teachers will be giving review guides or outlines to students later in the month. Exams count as 20% of the semester grade. Students often do not perform as well on final exams because they do not spend as much time preparing and studying for these important tests as they do in January. This is often due to thoughts of summer vacation and other activities. Limiting schedules and helping students set priorities can help them stay focused and do well on their exams.

    Used Books
    The course selection process has concluded and the next step will be selling and buying used books for next year. Students will receive a copy of their course selections from their advisors during the last week of school. Scheduling for the next school year will continue through the summer. Sometimes conflicts occur and books may need to be exchanged. I strongly encourage you to participate in the Mothers’ Club used book collection and sale. The Mothers’ Club will exchange books if conflicts occur. Important dates to remember:

    • May 17: Used Book list posted on Edline.
    • June 5 from 10:00-11:00 a.m.: Senior books will be collected prior to Graduation practice.
    • June 5: Middle School books will be collected after exams/tests.
    • June 6: Upper School books will be collected after exams.
    • June 10: Used Book Sale in the Dining Room.

    A list of new books will be posted on Edline later this summer.