Clemens Crossing Cougar Comments

November 17, 2017 - VOLUME 39, ISSUE 10

Clemens Crossing Elementary School

Edward Cosentino, Principal

Elizabeth Yankle, Assistant Principal

Events Coming Up

For a complete list of dates and events or to subscribe to the CCES calendar visit


  • 20 - 3-hour Early Dismissal - Parent-Teacher Conferences
  • 21 - 3-hour Early Dismissal - Parent-Teacher Conferences
  • 21 - Book Fair Ends
  • 22 - Schools Closed - Parent-Teacher Conferences
  • 23 - Schools Closed - Thanksgiving Day
  • 24 - Schools Closed - Thanksgiving Weekend
  • 29 - In-School Banking, 9:00 a.m.


  • 1 - 2nd Grade Field Trip to Toby's Dinner Theater
  • 6 - PTA Meeting, 7:00 p.m.
  • 7 - Holiday Shoppe, 4:30 p.m.
  • 8 - Holiday Shoppe, 4:30 p.m.
  • 11 - Holiday Shoppe, 4:30 p.m.
  • 20 - In-School Banking, 9:00 a.m.
  • 20 - Interim Progress Reports Issued
  • 20 - Winter Chorus Concert
  • 22 - Pajama Day
  • 23 - Winter Break Begins

From School Administration

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is almost here and our school year is moving along quickly. At this time each year, we often reflect on all of the things that we are thankful for. We are grateful for all of the wonderful people at Clemens Crossing Elementary School. We have wonderful students, an amazing staff, and supportive parents. Our school is such a wonderful place because all of these people are willing to work together towards achieving the goal of success.

American Education Week was a huge success this past week. We had so many parents visit our classrooms to see first-hand how hard students and teachers work each day. We were so pleased with the level of participation this year. More importantly, your children were so happy that you could take part in their school day. We appreciate the compliments shared by so many of our guests. Our students are working hard in our thriving environment.

Parent Conferences will be held next week. School will dismiss three-hours early on Monday and Tuesday. We are very pleased with your response in scheduling these important meetings with your child’s teacher. We are eager to describe our programs of instruction and provide information about your child’s progress.

On behalf of the entire Clemens Crossing Staff, we wish you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Report Cards and MAP Reports

You will find a lot of information in your child’s backpack on Friday. First Quarter Report Cards and Fall MAP Progress Report will be included in your child’s report card envelope.

Students in Grades 1-5 recently participated in the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) in mathematics and reading. MAP is an untimed computer-adaptive assessment that measures student growth and achievement independent of grade level or age. On the back of your child’s MAP progress report is a quick reference that provides more details about the information on the report. For more information about MAP, please visit the main page of the CCES website.

Over the next few weeks, teachers will be meeting with each student to review a variety of performance indicators, including their MAP progress report, in order to establish academic goals. By establishing goals, students have the opportunity to take greater ownership of their education. When they meet their goals, they raise their grades and build greater self-esteem. We hope this will help students feel successful in school.

With all of this information, it is a great time to sit down with your child, discuss their report card, and set goals for the second quarter and beyond. Focus on the positives and set goals for areas in need. Keep the conversation going.

If you have any questions about your child's overall academic performance, please contact your child's teacher.

Staff Spotlight

Mr. Benjamin Schmitt is our staff spotlight for the week. This is his 20th year teaching Art at Clemens Crossing ES. Mr. Schmitt graduated from Towson University and later earned a Master's Degree from The Maryland Institute College of Art.

From an early age, he always enjoyed working with children. His experiences with many dynamic teachers growing up helped shape his interest in becoming a teacher. Two specific teachers, Mrs. Golden and Mr. Sweet, helped hone his skills and talent in art and inspired him to become an art teacher.

In his spare time, he teaches art to senior citizens on Sundays. During the summer,
Mr. Schmitt also enjoys opportunities to take classes from teachers in various parts of the United States to learn more about the culture and history of those areas of the country in relation to art and teaching.

Mr. Schmitt resides in Howard County with his wife, Melissa, and two children, Jessica age 11 and Jackson age 8.


The Howard County Board of Education is seeking public input as it moves forward with the process of selecting a permanent superintendent who will be appointed to a four-year term to commence on July 1, 2018. Community members are invited to submit desired leadership characteristics and priorities by completing a survey. The survey responses will be shared with the Board of Education and will inform the superintendent search process.

The Board of Education will host two forums for the public to attend and provide direct input on the superintendent search process. These forums will be held on:

  • November 30, 2017 from 4 p.m.-5 p.m. at Centennial High School,
    4300 Centennial Lane, Ellicott City, MD 21042
  • December 5, 2017 from 7 p.m.-8 p.m. at Wilde Lake Middle School,
    10481 Cross Fox Lane, Columbia, MD 21044

In May 2017, the Board appointed current Interim Superintendent Dr. Michael J. Martirano to a one-year term which extends through June 30, 2018. The Board voted on August 17 to move forward with the process to select a permanent superintendent, and a public hearing was held September 28.

We Serve Breakfast Too!

Did you know we also serve breakfast at CCES? The cafeteria is open from 9:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. for students so they can eat breakfast before class starts. Breakfast is only $2.00 (free or reduced for eligible students). Daily breakfast and lunch menus are located at

Lost and Found

Are you missing a jacket or sweatshirt? There is a very good chance your child's missing clothing is in our Lost & Found. The Lost & Found is located in the front hallway across from the music room. Please be sure to check the Lost & Found soon.
We will donate all items to a local charity on December 22.

Weather Guidelines for Outdoor Recess

Exercise outdoors is healthy and is strongly encouraged. It provides a break from the regular school routine, a chance to get some outside air, and an opportunity to run off excess energy.
If conditions preclude the full recess time, even a five-minute break can revitalize children and prepare them for more sitting and academic learning. Children are expected to wear warm clothing to protect them during cold weather when participating in recess or outside activities.

The decision to go out or stay in for recess is the decision of the Administrator at individual schools. However, the following are to be considered in determining if recess is to be held outside:

  • Temperature and Windchill
  • Age of students
  • Length of time outdoors
  • Adequacy of the children’s clothing
  • Condition of the playground
  • Falling precipitation (more than a sprinkle or mist)

Generally, it is assumed that students will be outside for recess when the temperature combined with the wind chill is not less than 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Children with certain health conditions may need special accommodations during extremely cold weather. Parents of those children should provide medical documentation and may be consulted to determine if other arrangements are necessary.

CogAT Testing for Grades 3 and 5

The CogAT (Cognitive Abilities Test) is a reasoning and problem-solving test used by schools to help identify students for gifted and talented programs. The test is published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and is comprised of a verbal battery, quantitative battery, and nonverbal battery. Each battery consists of three different subtests that require a focus on specific areas of cognition.
Clemens Crossing will administer CogAT for Third Grade on December 5, 6, and 11 at 9:20 a.m. Students in Fifth Grade will take the CogAT on December 5, 6, and 8 at 10:45a.m. Results will be available in February. If you have any questions please contact Mrs. Yankle.

Early Dismissal Reminder

Due to the busy nature of Dismissal, we request early dismissal pickups take place
3:15 p.m.

Upcoming School Spirit Days

Periodically, we will celebrate School Spirit Days. The purpose of School Spirit Days is to get kids enthused, supportive, and excited about their school community. In order to maximize full participation, we want to help you plan ahead for school spirit days.
Below, you will find information about School Spirit Days in December.
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Holiday Shoppe

The CCES PTA Holiday Shoppe is returning this year on December 7, 8, and 11 from 4:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. in the CCES Library. The Holiday Shoppe provides kids with the opportunity to purchase gifts for their family and friends, (while their parents/guardians wait in the hall), that cost between $0.25 and $12. Please note that the gifts are not specific to the holidays and can be given for any occasion like birthdays. To make this a successful event, we are in need of parent and middle/high school volunteers who can assist the shoppers with their purchases and help wrap their gifts. Student volunteers are eligible for community service hours. If you are interested in volunteering and for more information, please visit the following link: Also, if you have spare wrapping or tissue paper that you no longer have a use for, please consider donating it to the Holiday Shoppe so our kids can spruce up their wrapping. If you have questions or suggestions, please contact Katy Petty at Thanks in advance!

Vendors for Holiday Shoppe

CCES Parents! Do you have a business where you sell items -- Art Work? Jewelry? Clothing? Kitchen supplies? Would you be interested in selling your items to CCES families for the Holidays? Your PTA has an opportunity for you!

The CCES PTA is sponsoring a Holiday Shoppe on December 7, 8, and 11 in the Media Center from 4:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. each night. This is for students to purchase gifts for their families. While the students are shopping for small, kid-friendly trinkets (like mugs, stickers, bouncy balls, etc.), the PTA is offering parents the chance to shop also at a Vendor Showcase in the First Grade and Third Grade Pods during the Holiday Shoppe hours.
All vendors must sell family friendly items/goods, but they cannot be similar in nature to what is sold in the Holiday Shoppe.

2017-18 CCES Spirit Wear

The CCES Spirit Wear Sale began Friday 11/3 and continues through 11/17. Purchases made will be available for the holidays. Flyers were sent home last Friday/Monday.
Purchases may also be made online at

Calling All Singers!

This is for grown-ups, not kids. Did you sing in a choir in high school or college? Do you miss singing with other people in 4-part harmony? We are looking to find a group of singers who want to rehearse once before the holidays and perhaps go caroling around Clemens Crossing neighborhoods (or sing to residents of a nursing home or patients in the hospital). We will rehearse on Monday night, December 11 at 8:00 p.m. (most likely in the music room of CCES -- Mrs. Ritchie will be singing, too!) and "perform" on Friday evening, December 22. Please contact Karen Pang,, if you are interested!

PTA Book Fair is Coming

The Book Fair is coming to CCES November 13-21! It will run every day after school in the Media Center. We need volunteers to help with set-up, to bring in food for the Teacher Preview on 11/10, and to help work the Fair each afternoon. Please sign up to help here: Even if you can't volunteer, please come shop (with or without your children - the holidays are coming!).
All sales will benefit CCES students. Contact Dani Gardner ( if you have any questions.

HCPSS Community News and Programs

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