August Letter from the Principal and RHHS

Thu, 07/27/2017 - 11:24am

August 1, 2017

Dear Parents and Students:

We all know that summer vacation begins to simmer down as soon as information about BACK-to-SCHOOL begins to heat up.  I hope you and your family members have been enjoying summer’s carefree time to rest, relax, and play.  Here at the school we have been busy with the continued installation of new roofing and a new sidewalk at the front of the school. Staff members have been interviewing to hire new teachers and planning to kick-off the 2017-18 school year.  This year we are excited to continue to support our students’ achievement, opportunities for student voice and HAWK PRIDE!

As we partner with RHHS families, we want to make sure you can access critical information that will keep you up to date and generate your excited for the start of a great year.  Be sure to connect digitally to find news about current events and activities.

HCPSS News powered by School Messenger: Through email and text alerts, HCPSS News will help keep you informed about weekly news and real-time information on weather-related closings and emergency details.  Parents and guardians are automatically enrolled in an HCPSS News account through the emergency information process.  Community members or non-HCPSS parents must sign up to receive these messages at

Twitter: Follow us on Twitter @hcpss_rhhs and @AthleticsRHHS where you will find the latest and greatest from about activities and athletics, #HAWKPRIDE.

The RHHS Website and the RHHS Student Canvas Community: All students can access the Student Canvas Community which is updated by students; we continue to prioritize calendar and announcements as the best way to share student news.  The school website is a dynamic site and you should be sure to bookmark it.  The calendar on the website is powered by County Sports Zone and will be updated regularly; last minute atheltics and activities changes will be shared through Canvas announcements and/or School Messenger alerts.  We will keep you posted with key news highlights weekly: Monday-school calendar and events; Tuesday-Updates from Student Services; Thursday-RHHS Newsletter; and Friday-Highlights from PTSA and Boosters. These communication tools will provide you with staff contact information, school calendar for athletics and activities, and weekly information about academics and student life at RHHS.  

Facebook: RHHS also manages a River Hill High School Facebook page. Families and community members can like us at or by searching for RHHS-Go Hawks.  Facebook is one tool to share our community pride with pictures, comments, and your likes.  Please be sure you are viewing our school page and not an imitation.

The August mailing will include the student schedule and important dates to help make back-to-school a smooth transition for all.  I look forward to a great school year as we strive to be better and better every day in every way.  Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.


Kathryn S. McKinley, Principal


Student Schedules

Your student’s 2017-18 schedule will be mailed August 14-16, so please look for it in your mail.  It is a good idea to note the procedures, dates, and times for requesting schedule adjustments.

Once school begins, schedule changes can be made only for the following reasons:

  • The schedule is missing a class.
  • The student passed a summer school course and needs to update the schedule.
  • The student needs a course to graduate and it is not included in the assigned schedule.
  • The parent and/or student is requesting a course level change.

Seniors who may be requesting release time must produce documentation to the RHHS Student Services Office no later than September 15, 2017.

First Day Expectations

School begins for students on Tuesday, September 5, 2017 at 7:20 AM.  Students arriving by car should plan to arrive early to avoid traffic jams.  Students dropped off in the circle should have their backpack loaded and be ready to exit the vehicle as soon as it is safely stopped at any spot in the drop-off circle.

Emergency student information should be completed through the Parent Portal and/or student access by September 1, 2017. Information about this process will be available through HCPSS News or the HCPSS website.

New Student Orientation

RHHS hosts a 9th Grade Orientation and a New Student Orientation on Thursday, August 31, 2017 from 8:30 AM-12:00 PM.  Parents are invited to the auditorium for a welcome and overview of how to be involved in high school. 9th grade students should report to the Cafeteria with a copy of their schedules; new 10th, 11th, and 12th grade students may report to Student Services for an upperclassmen orientation.  Students will receive a tour, learn about school procedures and traditions, and make a practice run through their individual schedules.  The orientation will conclude with a pep rally and a pizza lunch for students.  Parents, please plan to drop off (8:15 AM) and pick up (12:00 NOON) on time.

Transportation and Permits for Student Parking

Bus schedules are published the week prior to the first day of school.  RHHS Seniors, RHHS Mentorship/Internship students, and out-of-district students will receive permits to park on site, once they have completed the Safe Driving requirements.  As remaining space permits, Juniors may receive a parking permit based on the order that they submitted a request.  

Parents and students must attend the Teen Driving Seminar on August 29, 2017, or may attend one of the other county schools prior to parking at RHHS. A listing of all seminars is available on the Boosters website (; please note that parents and students must attend a seminar each school year.  Additionally, all student obligations must be met prior to application.  

Parking permits may be obtained in the front office two weeks prior to the safe driving seminar.

Back-to-School Night

Back to School Night  is scheduled for September 6, 2017.  Parent/Grade Level meetings will present information about student life and academics and will begin at 6:30 pm. Parents may begin classroom visits at 7:20 pm.  Parking is limited, so we encourage you to carpool and arrive early.


The following is a list of all head coaches for the fall season. Please refer all questions to the coaches and/or the Athletics/Activities Manager:

Allied Soccer     Danny Ives

Cheerleading     Katie Hyrowski

Boys Cross Country     Paul Hugus

Girls Cross Country     John DiFato

Field Hockey     Shelly Chamness

Football     Brian Van Deusen

Golf (Boys & Girls)     Matt Graves

Boys Soccer     Matt Shagogue

Girls Soccer     Brian Song

Volleyball     Lynn Paynter

Help make RHHS Parent Teacher Student Association the best in Howard County!  Visit to join today and learn how your membership supports the Post Prom Party, SAT Prep Classes, Staff Appreciation Events, College Scholarships, Parent Seminars, and much, much more.

Support our RHHS BOOSTERS with your community spirit and membership. Join today to support all of the activities and athletics at RHHS: