AES Panther Press

Thu, 12/29/2022 - 10:56am

AES Panther Press

January 20, 2023


From the Principal’s Press Box….


Today marks the end of the second quarter and the end of our first semester.  We are so proud of our students and how much growth and progress they have made.  We want to thank all of our AES staff, families, and the entire school community for continuing to partner with us to help each child reach his/her potential.


Please remember that on Monday, January 23rd, school is closed for students.  Teachers will be preparing report cards for the second quarter.  Just a friendly reminder that the scheduling window will open next Friday, January 27th for math conferences.  Our teachers are excited to share the successes with you about your child’s progress.  Please be sure to sign up!


We want to give a special shout out to two of our AES fourth grade artists, Brooks Wytko and Sam Jones, who have their artistic talents on display at the Columbia Art Center this past month.  The art show is “Finding the Center: Embracing Transformative Experiences through Collage”.  We are so proud of their accomplishments and hard work!  Thank you for representing our school!  


Lastly, for our 5th grade families, students received information about Middle School Fine Arts Registration in today’s Friday Folder. Please review the information with your student at this exciting time of registering for middle school.



Ms. Malcotti

Ms. Tracy




  • January 20: End of 2nd Marking Period

  • January 20: 5th Grade Families- Students received information on Middle School Fine Arts Registration in today’s Friday Folder

  • January 23: Schools Closed for Students

  • January 24: HMS – Rising 6th Grade Orientation at 6pm

  • January 24: Grade 5, MAP Reading, 10:20am

  • January 25: Yearbook Groups & Candid Photos

  • January 26:Grade 1, MAP Reading, 9:30am

  • January 27:Grade 2, MAP Reading, 11:45am

  • January 27:Grade 4, MAP Reading, 1:45pm

  • January 27: Math Conference Scheduling Window Opens

  • January 27: PTA present STEM Night 6-8PM in the cafeteria

  • January 30: Grade 5, MAP Math, 11:45am

  • January 30: Grade 3, MAP Reading, 1:45pm

  • January 31: Report cards available in HCPSS Connect at 4pm

  • February 2: Grade 4, Math, 9:15am

  • February 2: Grade 1, Math, 12:35pm

  • February 3: Grade 3, Math, 9:15am

  • February 7: Grade 2, Math, 9:30am

  • February 8: 3rd Grade Field Trip to the Baltimore Museum of Industry

  • February 9 and 10: Schools Close 3 Hours Early 

  • February 9 and 10: Parent Teacher Conferences- MATH

  • March 1: AES Chipotle Fundraiser (more details to follow)

Related Arts Color Schedule


Safety Concerns During Arrival

We need your help to ensure that all of our students, staff, and families remain safe during our morning arrival.  We understand the frustration that families have about not being able to utilize the bus loop and continue to problem solve with central office staff about alternatives.  However, some of the choices that families are making during drop-off are unsafe and unacceptable.


  • The ONLY cars allowed through the bus loop during arrival are those with a RECC sign on the dashboard.  

  • Cars in the bus loop should ALWAYS DRIVE SLOWLY and cautiously as individuals may be exiting the cars parked within the loop.  Please follow the directions of the staff members posted at the bus loop.

  • Cars SHOULD NOT be parking along Seneca Drive, especially right before or right after the entrance and exit to the bus loop.  When cars are parked or pulled over in these areas, buses are not able to enter and exit the bus loop safely.

  • Cars SHOULD NOT enter the bus loop going the wrong way.  Each day, several cars pull into the exit of the loop, let their children out, and then back out onto the road.

  • Cars SHOULD NOT pass other cars or buses in the bus loop.

  • If you choose to park on one of the side streets and walk your child to the front of the building, please be sure to use the sidewalks and crosswalks.  We have had close calls with students walking through the grassy area where the flagpole is and trying to cross the bus loop when cars and buses are moving through that area.


Maintaining student, staff, and family safety during arrival is our highest priority.  Please be patient, cautious, and courteous during this high-traffic time.  Anticipate that there might be delays and plan accordingly to ensure that your children are in the building by 9:15am when instruction begins.


MAP Testing Window

Students in Grades 1 - 5 will be participating in the winter administration of the MAP assessment beginning on January 24th.  The dates that each grade will be testing are listed below and also included in the Important Dates section at the top of this document.  Results will be available to parents after the testing window closes on February 24th.  Please contact Heather Tracy, School Test Coordinator, with any questions regarding MAP.



MAP Reading

MAP Math


Thursday, Jan 26 @ 9:30am

Thursday, Feb 2 @ 12:35pm


Friday, Jan 27 @ 11:45am

Tuesday, Feb 7 @ 9:30am


Monday, Jan 30 @ 1:45pm

Friday, Feb 3 @ 9:15am


Friday, Jan 27 @ 1:45pm

Thursday, Feb 2 @ 9:15am


Tuesday, Jan 24 @ 10:20

Monday, Jan 30 @ 11:45am



HMS – Rising 6th Grade Orientation 1/24/2023 at 6pm

HMS invites all parents/guardians of 5th-grade students who will be attending Hammond Middle School for the 2023-2024 school year to join us for our Rising 6th Grade Welcome and Information Night on Tuesday, January 24th at 6:00 pm. We will meet in the HMS Cafeteria. 

During the presentation, we will provide information on the transition to middle school and an overview of the course registration process. We hope to see you on 1/24/23 at 6:00 pm!



Notes from our January Coffee and Conversation

Thank you to the parents who were able to join us at our most recent Coffee and Conversation on January 13th.  We wanted to summarize for the community the topics that were discussed and information shared.


Someone asked through the google survey if it would be possible to list the color day for related arts in the Panther Press.  In response, it has been listed under the important dates at the top of this document.  The schedule is also linked on our website:


Another parent submitted a question about where the AED (defibrillator) is in our building and if it is accessible to community groups and during PTA events.  Yes!  The AED is mounted on the wall outside of the cafeteria.  We also have a Narcan Emergency Kit mounted on the wall in the same location.  They are absolutely there for community use in the event of an emergency.


The final question submitted was about the difficulty of having full chorus rehearsals due to a lack of space.  We are absolutely busting at the seams here at Atholton!  The addition of a third 5th grade teacher caused a domino effect of room changes.  We are so appreciative of the flexibility of our staff members and their willingness to support one another as boxes were packed and moved from room to room.  Administration is working with Mrs. Dinning to find a space that can accommodate our 4th and 5th grade chorus members so that they can have scheduled full ensemble rehearsals.


Please continue to submit your questions and concerns and we hope to see you at one of our upcoming Coffee and Conversation meetings!



Howard County Recreation & Parks Before/After School Winter 2023

Please click here for the Howard County Recreation & Parks Winter 2023 Before/After School Classes flyer for students at Atholton ES.These classes provide fun, structured, educational and enriching activities for Atholton ES students, benefitting both the child(ren) and parents!



The Columbia Center for the Arts from January 5th – January 30th

The art show is being held at The Columbia Center for the Arts from January 5th – January 30th. The show is titled “ Finding the Center: Embracing Transformative Experiences through Collage.” The show features artwork from all the schools all over the county. 


Congratulations to 4th graders Brooks Wytko (Ayers) and Sam Jones (Schoenhut) who had their work chosen for the show. Click the invitation for more information. 



The Road to Kindergarten 

The Road to Kindergarten information sessions will be held for families of children who will begin kindergarten in Fall 2023. Sessions are 6:30-7:30 and are offered on the following dates:

  • Tuesday, January 24 (Wilde Lake High School)

  • Thursday, January 26 (Oakland Mills High School)

  • SNOW DATE: Thursday, February 2 (Oakland Mills High School)

Click the link for more information Road to Kindergarten Flyer



Coffee and Conversation

Ms. Malcotti and Ms. Tracy will continue to offer Coffee and Conversations throughout the school year on the dates and times below.  A google link will be provided prior to each meeting for parents to submit questions or topics of conversation that they would like to have included.  All meetings will take place in the AES cafeteria.

February 22 at 6pm

March 30 at 9:45am

April 24 at 6pm



Information Worth Sharing Again


HCPSS Inclement Weather Asynchronous Instruction Plan

The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) now allows local school systems to repurpose inclement weather days as asynchronous school days. At the discretion of the superintendent, HCPSS will use up to three inclement weather asynchronous days during the 2022-2023 school year. One of two additional codes will be instituted to reflect the decision to transition to an asynchronous instruction day:


Code Purple Asynchronous Student Day - School buildings and Office buildings open for staff only

Code Pink Asynchronous Student Day - School buildings and Office buildings closed


For each asynchronous inclement weather day, students should:

  1. Access the inclement weather asynchronous task options chart via the HCPSS Inclement Weather Asynchronous Instruction Plan website or the hard copy that was sent home to families upon request. K-5 students should complete one task per curriculum area:

  • 1 Math

  • 1 ELA

  • 1 Content (either Science, Social Studies, or Health)

  • 1 Related Arts task for that color day

  1. Circle the completed tasks on a hard copy of the task choices chart or make a list of completed tasks on a separate piece of paper.

  2. Submit the printed chart or the completed tasks list on a separate paper to their teacher at the end of the month to get marked as present for the asynchronous day attendance.


NOTE: For asynchronous days occurring less than nine days before the end of the month, task completion lists will be collected at the end of the next month. Attendance for asynchronous days will be updated monthly.


February’s Asynchronous Task Option sheet was sent in your children(ren)’s Friday folder on 1.20.23.


For more information, please visit the HCPSS Inclement Weather Asynchronous Instruction Plan.



Access to Building Before and After School Hours

We have been noticing that parents and/or students have been coming back to the building after school hours to retrieve forgotten items.  Teachers have reported coming back to their classrooms after their afternoon duty to find students or parents there.  Please remember that access to the building must go through the main office which is open from 8:00am - 4:00pm.  The only exception is for those dropping off or picking up for before and after care.  Columbia Association has its own procedures for accessing the building.  However, when parents enter the building to drop off or pick up their students for before and after care, they are not to go into other areas of the building.  These procedures are in place for the safety of our students and staff.


If a student leaves something behind, they will need to retrieve it the following day.  If there is something that you, as a parent, feel is absolutely necessary for your child to retrieve, you are welcome to call the main office and we will do our best to accommodate you.  



AES Bus Riders to Ride Assigned BUS

If your child is a bus rider, it is very important that they ride the bus to which they are assigned.  We have had instances where students have missed their assigned bus and gotten on another bus that also goes through their neighborhood. The Office of Student Transportation has assigned students to buses to ensure that buses are not overcrowded.  In addition, if there were to be an emergency or accident, we need to have an accurate listing of which students we need to account for.


To confirm the bus your child should be riding, please visit the HCPSS Bus Locator site and enter your child’s grade and address.  The search results will provide you with both the bus number and bus stop information for your child.


Please contact Heather Tracy, Assistant Principal, with any questions!


Behaviors on the Bus

There have been multiple reports of inappropriate and unsafe behavior by students who ride our buses.  These behaviors are occurring on several different buses.  Incidents include students standing or moving around the bus while it is moving, excessive screaming and shouting, eating on the bus, throwing items within the bus or out the windows, blocking the aisles so students cannot pass, pushing students onto or off of the bus, and physical contact. These behaviors are unacceptable and unsafe.  Several of our buses have assigned seats for students.  However, some students are refusing to sit in the seats assigned to them.  The bus drivers are only able to manage so much behavior while also focusing on driving the bus safely.  We need to be able to count on our students to follow directions and remain seated and respectful for the 10-12 minutes they are on the bus.


If your child is a bus rider, please talk with them about behavior expectations on the bus.  When we return from winter break, all bus riders and their parents will be sent a written copy of the bus expectations and be asked to sign and return a form to indicate that they understand these expectations.  Any behaviors that follow will result in days of suspension from the bus.



Help Accessing Community Resources

Our school's Pupil Personnel Worker, Mr. Lee, works to help connect families in need to a variety of resources in the community.  If you would like to be added to a confidential mail list to receive updates about food pantries, clothing giveaways, or other events throughout the year that may be of help to your family, simply send Mr. Lee an email at and let him know you'd like to be on his mailing list.  Mr. Lee works with families at Atholton ES, Atholton HS, Hammond MS and Hammond ES.



After School Programs Notes

If your child is participating in an after-school program like Abrakadoodle or Girls on the Run, etc. please send a note with your student on the day of the program of their attendance in that program. Your student’s homeroom teacher will send the note to the office about the dismissal change for that day.