October 19th  Weekly e-Newsletter for the Village of Harper's Choice.
Save The Date: Pizza With Santa

Pizza with Santa will be held on Sat, Dec. 16 from 11am - 1pm at Kahler Hall. This holiday tradition is especially for Harper's Choice residents. Space is limited. The event is free, but tickets are required. Tickets are available now at Kahler Hall.

Guests will enjoy pizza, special holiday crafts, and hearing Santa read 'Twas the Night Before Christmas.' Bring your camera and enjoy a special family photo opportunity with Santa!

We encourage attendees to bring one non-perishable food item per ticket on December 16. Donations will be given to the Howard County Food Bank.
Great American Smokeout

The Great American Smokeout is Thursday, November 16th! Please join the Howard County Health Department in raising awareness and providing supportive resources for smoking cessation by participating in a free social media campaign!
Join our Thunderclap for the Great American Smokeout!
Thunderclap allows all who join a campaign as supporters to automatically post the same message at the exact same time, creating a viral BOOM! If you have a personal or business Twitter, Facebook or Tumblr account, you can add your voice to the social media thunder! Your message will help share important support and resources for people who want to quit smoking.
It's easy! Just follow these steps to sign up TODAY:
2.  Click on Support with Facebook, Twitter and/or Tumblr.
3.  Sign into your personal or businesses Facebook, Twitter and/or Tumblr account and authorize         the Thunderclap. (This authorization will allow for a one-time post of our Great American                 Smokeout message).
4.  Share the link with others and invite them to join in!
5.  You're done! The Thunderclap will automatically go out on November 16th at 9 am to                       recognize  the Great American Smokeout!
Click here if you have any questions or call  Amy Skaggs at 410-313-6273.

Pack 61 Spaghetti Dinner

HC DrugFree Empowering The Community

HC DrugFree'sConvenient Drive-Thru "Sharps"* and Medication Collection will be held on Saturday, October 28 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Wilde Lake Village Center parking lot near The UPS Store and Slayton House.*(Sharps: needles, syringes and EpiPens)
Looking to get rid of old, unwanted, or recalled EpiPens, needles, syringes and medications all in one quick trip without getting out of your vehicle? Join your friends at HC DrugFree's quick and convenient drive-thru collection held twice a year. Just look for volunteers directing traffic around the parking lot. Howard County Police will receive and secure your medications for proper disposal and medical staff will handle your sharps for proper recycling.

Parents and grandparents, are you your child's drug dealer? Will your child's first experimentation be with legally prescribed pain medication found in your home? Keep medications away from your children (and adults visiting or working in your home). Three out of four people using heroin began with the use of prescription medication found in their own home or the home of a family member or friend. Be sure to secure your medications to keep them out of the hands of everyone for whom they are not prescribed. To further understand the importance of this event, view HC DrugFree's video at https://vimeo.com/231604408.

For more information about this event or to learn how to safely store or dispose of medications throughout the year, visit the Events-Take Back Day page at www.hcdrugfree.org or contact HC DrugFree at 443-325-0040 or Admin@hcdrugfree.org.

HC DrugFree's Teen Advisory Council (TAC) will meet on Monday, November 6 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. TAC is open to all Howard County high school students and community service hours are available. Monthly meetings are held at The Barn (Teen Center) in the Oakland Mills Village Center. Free pizza is provided. Teens and parents must complete the registration form found on the Teen Advisory Council page at www.hcdrugfree.org and teens must RSVP to Admin@hcdrugfree.org before each meeting.

HC DrugFree Is Looking for Parent/Adult Volunteers, so whether you have an hour a month or 10 hours a week to volunteer, please email only to Admin@hcdrugfree.org to let us know your availability. Be sure to say if you can type, are willing to drive, and if you have any special skills or interests.

HC DrugFree is located in the Wilde Lake Village Center at 5305 Village Center Drive, Suite 206, Columbia, MD 21044  Phone: 443-325-0040 * Website:www.hcdrugfree.org * Email:Admin@hcdrugfree.org

Wilde Lake High School Wildcats Fundraiser

Click here to purchase tickets online: 

Howard County Shredding Events 

Howard County has two  Shredding   Event s scheduled for October:


October 28, 10am-2pm (or until trucks are full) at the Gary Arthur Community Center, 2400 State Route 97.

HC residents can bring up to 3 bags or boxes of paper. Both  events are rain or shine. For more information, visit  https://www.howardcountymd.gov/Departments/Public-Works/Bureau-Of-Environmental-Services/Recycling  or call 410-313-6444. 
Historic Oakland Holiday Craft Fair

Harper's Choice Middle School Student of The Month 

September 2017
It is an HCMS tradition to recognize some of our outstanding students each month as students of the month. Each grade level and our Related Arts and World Language Teams select two individuals for this distinction. The criteria on which the selection is based for each team are listed below

6th grade students of the month consistently demonstrate the 3 R's and work hard. They are chosen for their positive contributions to the school and for being caring, energetic students who are good role models. They have a "can-do" attitude and persevere through obstacles. These students are polite, courteous and treat others the way they would like to be treated. They are self-motivated and go beyond basic expectations.

Kelly Buuza
Jenna Wilson

7th grade students of the month exhibit great work habits, participate in class discussions, and have a desire to do their best on the tasks that they are given in their classes. These students are polite, respectful and helpful to others. They are also responsible and positive role models for their peers.

Joseph Soriano
Cassandra Montgomery

8th grade students of the month go above and beyond showing the 3 R's everyday! They are students who go through their day building positive relationships, showing responsibility, and are always respectful.

Kavari Phillips
Sandra Stachel

Related Arts students of the month are individuals who go above and beyond in demonstrating Harper's Choice Middle School's three R's of Respect, Responsibilities, and building Relationships.  They set the example by being leaders in the classroom with the quality of their assignments and working cooperatively and in a positive manner with their classmates. They are role models for every student in the school.

Kai Headlam
A'tijsa Jones

World Language students of the month participate actively and volunteer frequently in class using the target language (French or Spanish). They are students who demonstrate respect, responsibility, and an eagerness to learn. These individuals maintain positive relationships with their teachers and peers. We appreciate their contributions in helping to make our class a positive language-learning environment. Merci! ¬°Gracias!

Alexander Ringerud
Maria Betz
Find Out About CA's Sister Cities High School Summer Exchange 2018

Students interested in spending two weeks of cultural and linguistic immersion in one of CA's sister cities in Europe - Cergy-Pontoise, France, or Tres Cantos, Spain - are invited to attend one of the five information sessions held at CA Headquarters, 6310 Hillside Court, from 7-8pm on the following dates: 

Monday, Nov. 6
Wednesday, Nov. 15
Tuesday, Dec. 5
Thursday, Jan. 11 
Wednesday, Jan. 17

Teen participants will spend approximately two weeks with a host family in France or Spain at the end of June 2018 and, upon return to the U.S., host a French or Spanish student for two weeks. We are accepting sophomores, juniors and seniors in Level III and above of Spanish and French (and native speakers).  

The program fee is $700 for CA residents and $850 for non-CA residents, excluding airline tickets. Airline tickets in 2018 will range from $1,100 to $1,400 per participant. There are excellent scholarships available for Columbia residents who qualify.

The application deadline is Friday, Feb. 16. The application packet will be online at ColumbiaAssociation.org/teenexchange by early November. For more information, contact Laura Smit at 410-715-3162 or  International@Columbiassociation.org.
Potential Weather Impact on Spring Break

Dear HCPSS families,
As we look ahead at this school year, I know that many families are already speculating the number of inclement weather days we might have. While my personal and professional preference would be to not have any inclement weather dates this winter, we know that weather can be unpredictable.  I wanted to remind families that certain days during spring break in April 2018 may need to be used to makeup inclement weather days.

Based on State rules, the school calendar must have several days within the school year that can be used as weather make-up days.  In the calendar adopted by the Board of Education, these days were identified as: Monday, February 19, Wednesday, April 4, Thursday, April 5, Friday April 6, and Friday, June, 15. The potential inclement weather makeup days of Wednesday, April 4 through Friday, April 6 take place during spring break. I recognize spring break is an important time for families to spend time together and so I encourage you to consider flexibility when making your spring break plans in the event one or more of those days are needed for make-up days. For example, you may want to wait to make non-refundable bookings or purchase travel insurance.
We are one of five school systems in Maryland to preserve spring break with the new State rules on the school calendar, however, we were unable to avoid scheduling potential inclement weather make-up days during the break. Please note these days will be used as a last resort to make up for lost instructional time. If at all possible, we will use Presidents' Day, on Monday, February 19, and Friday, June 15 as the first two inclement weather make-up days. However, the timing of inclement weather may make it impossible to use February 19. Under any circumstances, if we have more than two closings for inclement weather, the days over spring break will be needed to make up school. To see our current SY17-18 calendar, please visit the  HCPSS school calendar page.

The safety of our students and staff is my top priority, and all inclement weather decisions will be based on safety, not calendar impact. When a weather event is predicted, I work collaboratively with the HCPSS Director of Pupil Transportation, the Grounds Department, the state and county road departments, transportation staff in surrounding school districts, the Howard County and State Police Departments and others to determine if schools should close for inclement weather. To learn more about the inclement weather decision process, visit our  emergency closing page.

Thank you for your understanding and should you have any questions, please contact Mr. James LeMon, Director of Community, Parent and School Outreach ( james_lemon@hcpss.org or 410-313-6607).

Michael J. Martirano
Interim Superintendent
Covenant Corner

While lawn care and leaf removal is important for curb appeal, don't forget there are other exterior maintenance chores that need your attention before the winter weather sets in.

Maintain your gutters. 
Remove debris from your gutters so water can properly drain. Clogged gutters can cause damage to existing landscaping, lawn and shrubbery; walls, foundations, basements, crawl spaces and existing gutter systems damage.

Trim your bushes, trees and remove dead branches. 
Inclement weather can cause even healthy tree branches to break which can damage your home, car, or someone just walking by. Keep an eye out for large dead branches, detached branches dangling, cavities, or rotten wood along trunks or major branches, etc. If you see any signs of hazards, call a professional tree service.

Maintain your steps, walkways and handrails. 
Assess your steps, walkways and handrails for needed maintenance to prevent falls and injury.

Drain garden hoses and check valves in advance of winterization. 
Garden hoses will freeze and thaw making them brittle and ineffective if water is left inside. Water valves should be leak-free to prevent them from the freeze-thaw cycle.

Inspect your home's exterior walls. 
Look for possible weather-related damage, like cracks and loose or crumbling mortar. Wood trim and siding can suffer from deteriorating paint or become loose. Windowsills may be cracked, split or decayed.

Now is the time to make the necessary repairs before the weather turns cold. Delayed repairs often become more costly due to additional damage over time or with extended periods of bad weather.

Have you visited us on Facebook lately?
Please join us on Facebook for up-to-date information about what's happening in and around the Harper's Choice Community.

Architectural Committee Meetings

Please check the calendar on our website for the latest meeting dates.
Changes made to the exterior of homes in Harper's Choice require approval of the Village Architectural Committee (AC).
The AC will meet on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month at 7:30 PM to review applications. 

The deadline to submit applications for approval is two weeks prior to the next meeting date.
Village Board Meetings

The next meeting of the Village Board is scheduled for November 7th at 7PM. Approved Agendas and Meeting Minutes are/will be available on our website.
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Village Manager
Facility Manager
Covenant Advisor
Melanie Jeffers
Event & Community Outreach Coordinator

Your Village Board
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Village Board Member
Erik Avant**
Village Board Member
Alan Klein *
Columbia Council Rep

Village Board Member

* Term expires 4/30/18
** Term expires 4/30/19

5440 Old Tucker Row  Columbia, MD | 410.730.0770 | Email | Website