Veterans Elementary Eagle Express

January 16, 2020 - Volume 13, Issue 17

Soar to Excellence!

School Mission

Veterans Elementary School promotes life-long learning by embracing its diversity, providing students with dynamic classroom experiences and exposing them to the cultural arts in a climate that is rigorous, safe, nurturing and respectful.

Veterans Elementary School

Robert Bruce, Principal

Amy Green, Assistant Principal

Derek Lewis, Administrator

School Start and Dismissal Times: 9:25 a.m. - 3:55 p.m.


Effective Tuesday January 21st- We certainly allow children to bring water bottles to school in order to hydrate. We have noticed an increase of injuries from accidents involving metal water bottles. Effective Tues. January 21st metal water bottles are not allowed in school. Students must use plastic water bottles when bringing water into school. We know the metal water bottles are sturdy but that is the problem. Children are getting injured by accident or on purpose. Your help and support are appreciated.

Budget Approval Season Has Started:

Last Thursday Dr. Martirano presented to the Board of Education his proposed Operating Budget for the 2020–2021 school year (FY 2021). The Board began its deliberation on the budget, and they will be holding six Work Sessions.

Dr. Martirano's budget proposal totals $964.1 million and provides for 773 new staff members to serve enrollment growth while maintaining class sizes within target ratios. It includes funding for negotiated salary increases and provides for additional positions to address severe understaffing in special education. It demonstrates fiscal responsibility and our effort to realign and reallocate existing resources to advance critical needs in a budget neutral manner – including accelerating our diversity, equity and inclusion work, improving data security, and upgrading our failing telephone system. It includes funding to fully fund projected health care costs and reduce the Health Fund deficit, with a plan for its elimination over the next two fiscal years. Our recent redistricting process has moved us forward in balancing student needs among schools; Capital planning gives us the tools for providing an equitable learning environment; and by eliminating the deficit in our Health Fund, we will open resources in our Operating Budget that we may then apply to improving instruction and student supports.

I encourage you to visit the county FY 2021 Budget webpage, where you can find his budget proposal and all related documents, overviews of the process and the Health Fund deficit, and a timeline and opportunities for public input.

Once the Board has completed its deliberation, the Board's requested budget will be submitted to the County Executive. The County Executive will then submit his budget proposal to the County Council, which will hold a series of public hearings and work sessions, culminating with a final decision in late May 2020. The public will have several opportunities to provide feedback to the Board of Education, the County Executive, and the County Council. A list of dates for these public hearings andall public work sessions is provided on the HCPSS FY 2021 Budget webpage.

Thank you for your collaboration in helping to ensure that every Howard County student has a bright and prosperous future.

Teacher Hired to Replace Mrs. Kim:

Mrs. Kelly Shealer has been hired to replace Mrs. Kim in Grade 3. Mrs. Shealer has a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education PK-Grade 3 from Towson University. Mrs. Shealer proudly carried a 4.0 GPA while at Towson. She also has a Bachelor’s Degree from Mount St. Mary’s College in English where she graduated Magna Cum Laude. Her minor was in Communication Studies and Philosophy. She was a member of the George Henry Miles Honor Program as well as a member of Lambda Iota Tau, the National Literature Honor Society from 2006 to Present. Mrs. Shealer completed her internship here at Veterans Elementary School. We welcome Mrs. Shealer to our staff.

Mrs. Neilon Moving On to EMMS

We want to thank Mrs. Patricia Neilon for her excellent service to our children. Mrs. Neilon was promoted to the position of Teacher's Secretary at Ellicott Mills Middle School. Thankfully she will still be of service to the students in our Veterans/Ellicott Mills community. We will miss her tremendously. We wish her the very best in her new assignment.

We welcome Mrs. Pamela Vaughn as our new Special Education paraeducator.
She will replace Mrs. Neilon. We wish her well in her new position.

Important Upcoming Dates and Events

  • 20 - SCHOOL CLOSED - MLK Day
  • 21 -Redistrict Orientation for VES Students going to Northfield Elementary, 7:00 p.m. at NES
  • 23 - Redistrict Orientation for Waterloo and Hollifield Students coming to VES, 7:00 p.m.
  • 27 - NO SCHOOL - Profressional Development Day
  • 30 - SPIRIT DAY: Kindness Rocks - Dress like a Rockstar
  • 31 - SPIRIT DAY: Dream of Kindness - Wear Pajamas


  • 3 - Q2 Report Card Issued
  • 4 - SCHOOL CLOSED - Primary Election Day
  • 13 - 3-Hour Early School Closure: Parent-Teacher Conferences (Math)
  • 14 - 3-Hour Early School Closure: Parent-Teacher Conferences (Math)
  • 17 - SCHOOL CLOSED - President's Day

2019-20 HCPSS Calendar - Monthly Format

Click to download and print the HCPSS calendar in a monthly format. The calendar will no longer be distributed in first day folders. The 2019-2020 School Calendar is available to be printed online:

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Redistricting Orientation Meetings:


Redistricted Veterans Students to Northfield Orientation

Northfield Elementary on January 21st at 7:00 p.m.

Redistricted Waterloo and Hollifield Students Orientation

Veterans Elementary on January 23rd at 7:00 p.m.

Redistricted Veterans Students:

Students that have been redistricted to Northfield Elementary School for next school year (2020-2021) are invited to an Open House and Orientation at Northfield Elementary School on Tuesday January 21st starting at 7:00 p.m. The address of Northfield Elementary School is 9125 Northfield Rd. in Ellicott City, MD. From Route 29 South you take St. John's Rd. and make a left onto Columbia Rd. then a right onto Northfield Rd. and follow that road to the school. We are so sorry to see so many of our friends preparing to leave us but we hope meetings like this will make it a little bit easier on your family.


2020 Day of Service

This event is a great opportunity for students to get engaged in a wonderful community event and to log service hours.

We are excited about working together to make a positive difference in our community!

Thank you,

Mary Ellen Conley, Ministry Admin Asst.,
Glen Mar Church

HCC 2020 Kids On Campus Summer Enrollment Available Now!

The programs run from June 22 through August 14 with half-day and full-day options.

More Than Karate

"More Than Karate" after school at Veterans. Fun and Structured...these classes are the perfect way to introduce your child to the benefits of martial arts training! All classes will be held at VES, beginning Wednesday Jan 22nd...4pm -5pm! Led by adult Instructors from THE OKINAWAN KARATE DOJO, students leave classes smiling, focused, more respectful, and skilled with sound self-defense basics!! Flyers have been sent home.
REGISTER ON-Line at - by Jan 21st. Call 443-574-8999 or email for more info on our AFTER-SCHOOL TRANSPORTATION and CAMP services!

HCYC Cricket League


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New HCPSS Website and System for Emergency Closings:

Effective December 1, HCPSS is launching a color-coding notification system for emergency and other non-scheduled school closings, including for inclement weather. The new system standardizes the school system’s operational status to five possibilities to enhance consistency while promoting the safety of HCPSS students and staff, and adhering to negotiated agreements on staff availability.
If Howard County public schools open two hours late, there is no morning Pre-Kindergarten/RECC.

The HCPSS operating status will be identified on a new website: The HCPSS operational color code options are:

  • Code Green – Normal Operations (in accordance with the HCPSS calendar)
  • Code Red – Schools and Offices Closed
  • Code Orange – Schools Closed; Offices Open with Liberal Leave in Effect
  • Code Blue – Schools Open Two Hours Late
  • Code Yellow – Schools Dismiss Early

All notifications regarding emergency closings will include both the code and operating status.

The emergency notification sources are:

  • HCPSS status website
  • HCPSS homepage
  • Email/text alerts
  • HCPSS Information Hotline (410-313-6666)
  • Twitter
  • Facebook

Please note: HCPSS cable TV is no longer a source for inclement weather closings.

Inclement Weather Information:

I am sure that inclement weather puts a strain on most of our families as we try to ensure that our children are cared for during needed times. Please understand that the school system determines closings based on weather forecasts and the safety of children is our number one concern. If we are closed, that is self-explanatory, we are simply not open for business. When we delay opening by an hour or even two hours like Wednesday, then all business is delayed by one or two hours. Therefore if the announcement is a Code Blue and we are delayed in opening for two hours then school opens at 11:15 a.m. Bus pick up is delayed by two hours as well. So if your child is picked up normally at 8:45 a.m. then a two hour delay moves this to 10:45 a.m. Refer to your bus normal pick up time and delay by the announced delay. If we are one hour late then delay it to one hour. If we are two hours late then delay it by two hours.

Early closings can occur as a two hour early closing or a three hour early closing. Count on your child arriving home two hours earlier or three hours earlier than the usual time. When school closes early, there is no after care program because their use of the building would also be unsafe. When school closes early everyone must leave the premises and after school activities are canceled. Any delay in picking up your children delays my ability to send all staff home. It is crucial we get students home before the conditions of the roads get worse.

These decisions are made as soon as possible and sometimes the night before. During the winter months, it is crucial that as parents we listen closely to pending weather conditions and we check the news stations or the Howard County website to verify whether school is open, closed, delayed, or closing early. Howard County does have communication mechanisms in place to ensure you get a text if you wish about whether school is in session.