VES Eagle Express Newletter

APRIL 1, 2021 - Vol.14, Issue #31

SY2020-2021: Saturday Weekly Circular

Veterans Elementary Student Day Hybrid Schedule 9:45a.m - 4:15p.m.


Robert Bruce, Principal -

Amy Green, Assistant Principal -

Kelly Ryan, Administrative Intern -

Office Hours: 9:00 a.m. - 4:25 p.m.
Please call ahead 410-313-1700


Youmi Jun, Principal Secretary -
Jane Pak, Teacher Secretary -
Maria Martinez, Teacher Secretary -
Dulce Boyer, Teacher Secretary .5 -

Send Student Attendance-related notifications directly to:

(i.e. student will be absent due to illness, appointments, religious, or travel obligations)


Para información y apoyo adicionales, por favor, llame al 410-313-1591.

欲知详情或想获得更多支持,请电 410-313-5920.

보다 자세한 문의와 지원을 원하시면, 410-313-1592 로 연락 주시기 바랍니다.

For all other language needs please contact Monica Ranta at 410-313-7102.


Here we are at Spring Break already ! We want all students, staff, and families to have a restful Spring Break. Please remember to take some time and appreciate all that you hold near and dear to your heart. We are so thankful for our supportive community and for all of the efforts of our students. It was wonderful to see those bright eyes enter the building this week and at the same time listen and watch the participation of our virtual learners. All of you are so awesome. We will see you next week in-person or virtually. Thanks for SOARing at VES!

Robert Bruce

Principal- Veterans Elementary School



2 thru 6 - SPRING BREAK Schools and Offices Closed

8 - PTA Meeting - 7pm (see PTA info below)

12 - Grades 7, 8, 10, 11 Students Begin In-School Hybrid

14 - Schools Close 3-Hour Early Dismissal for Students: End of Q3 Marking Period

22 - Q3 Report Cards Issued

Send all Absence notifications directly to:

Please take the time to review: HCPSS ATTENDANCE POLICY

UPDATE: Attendance will be taken daily by HR, ELA, & MATH teachers:

* Class begins 9:45 a.m. by Homeroom for In-School students only
All student groups for ELA (.5 day) and Math (.5 day) sections
to account for a full school day.

Dismissal at 4:15 p.m.

Perform Daily Health Checks

Parents/guardians should keep their children home if they are experiencing symptom(s) associated with any communicable disease. In addition, parents/guardians are to perform daily health checks for COVID-19 symptoms before the student leaves home.


Carloop Etiquette

If you are choosing to drive your child to school and participate in the carloop, we ask that you adhere to the following in order to keep our students safe and keep the line moving along:

· Pull all the way forward

· Parents are to remain in the vehicle at all times

· Children are to exit and enter the vehicle from the passenger side (closest to the curb)

· Children should be able to buckle and unbuckle themselves from car seats/ seatbelts (practice having your child do this at home). If your child is unable to do so, please park in a parking space to unbuckle your child and walk them to the portico

· Stay in line – do not pass to jump in front of other cars while waiting or make a u-turn out of the line

· Avoid blocking the intersection where buses turn into their loop

Thank you for following these guidelines in order to have our carloop run efficiently and safely.

Message to 3rd Grade Families Regarding Placement Reviews:

On Friday, March 26, elementary schools mailed or emailed the 4th grade GT Math placement letters to families. Unlike in previous years when we have administered CogAT, families of students not placed in GT Math will not be receiving a letter, since there were no test scores to share. Schools should send the following communication to 3rd grade families so that all families are aware of the process for requesting a Placement Review:

Recently, all 3rd grade students were reviewed for placement in the 4th Grade G/T Math class for 2021-2022 using multiple data points related to student performance, including MAP assessment data and class performance. Families of students who have been placed in G/T Math will be receiving communication from the school by U.S. Mail or email.

If your child was not placed in G/T Math at this time, you may request that the school conduct a placement review with additional information that you provide.

Placement Review Process:

Please send an email to your school's G/T Resource Teacher by April 16, 2021 with details supporting your child's strengths and advanced-level achievement in mathematics. Documentation of advanced-level achievement may include:

  • Highlights of related strengths and interests of the student outside of school in the area of mathematics
  • Demonstration of abstract thinking and problem-solving ability
  • Evaluations from consultants and test data from standardized tests administered outside the school system.

The G/T Placement Review Committee will meet to review your child's performance data and the provided documentation. Results of the review will be communicated by April 30, 2021. Placement recommendations will continue to be re-evaluated throughout elementary school.

Teacher Accommodations:

We have informed parents of cases where teachers received an accomodation to teach virtually. We are working hard to find classroom monitors for most of these positions. The teacher will still teach from home but a classroom monitor will cover the day to day needs of students. Until we secure classroom monitors our existing staff will cover these classes. If you did not receive a letter than your child's teacher is not affected. We did send them out by grade level in case the child had the teacher for another subject. If your child did not have the teacher in question, please disregard the communication.


New Chromebook Care webpage:
Please be aware of a new webpage for students, Chromebook Care, which includes tips on caring for and transporting Chromebooks, as well as student mobile technology duties and obligations and additional resources.

The following digital tools do not require consent because they are already available to students in HCPSS computer labs:

Book Room, Word Work, Scratch BluBot, Scratch JR, Sketch-Up, Collector Classic, JamBoard, and Google Earth.

These supplemental digital tools are approved by HCPSS and comply with federal, state and Howard County Board of Education student data privacy policies.

Please note that your student(s) will have access to these digital tools when the second semester starts through the Google Play Store icon on the Chromebook when logged in with an HCPSS account.

If your elementary school aged child has not been issued a Chromebook, one can be picked up at a Technology Support Center.

Please note:

  • HCPSS cannot guarantee that apps are available on devices other than HCPSS Chromebooks.
  • Teachers may or may not choose to use any or all of these apps during instruction. Students will be notified when a particular app will be used for instruction.
  • In addition to these Google tools, HCPSS has approved a robust set of supplemental digital tools. Your child’s teacher will notify you of the particular supplemental digital tools being used in each class via email or on their Canvas course page.

For more information, please contact Mrs. Webb at

Student Headphones

Headphones- The school has a limited supply of headphones. If you can, send in any pair the system has already secured for your child if they are hybrid students. If you bought a pair that your child is comfortable with, please send these in for your child’s use, well labeled.
These may go back and forth to home with the child.

Virtual Q & A - How to support Social/Emotional Needs for our 3-8 year olds

Virtual Q & A - How to support Social/Emotional Needs for our 3-8 year olds

With changing times, many families are looking for new strategies! JOIN US for an open Q & A with one of Veterans psychologists and behavior interventionists. They'll help help tailor tried-and-true strategies for routines, emotional needs, and behavior for your specific family. This event will focus on strategies that help all children from ages 3-8.

Time: Thursday April 8th, at 6:30 p.m. Children are welcome to attend with their parents.

Google Meet Link:

Contact: Feel free to bring your questions or email them in advance to


Find Answers to Questions Online

HCPSS’ Help site provides answers to hundreds of questions about hybrid learning, health and safety, transportation, and more.

Big picture

Happy Spring Break!

Schools are closed April 2-6 for Spring Break. We hope everyone is able to unplug, rest, relax, and recharge. Please note that there will be no meal service during Spring Break, but adjustments have been made to ensure students have access to food during that time.

Learn more

Board to Recognize Kiwanis Club of Ellicott City with Friends of Education Award

The organization will be honored for its longstanding and extensive support for HCPSS students.

Early Admission to Pre-K

Applications for early admission to pre-kindergarten will be accepted starting April 1. Children must be 4 by September 1 and meet other eligibility criteria.

Learn more

State Reporting of School COVID-19 Outbreaks

The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) posts the definitions of classroom and school-wide COVID-19 outbreaks on its website along with school outbreak data for the state. A state-defined outbreak does not automatically necessitate closure of a classroom or school. HCHD monitors all positive cases and will notify HCPSS if a school or classroom closure is warranted. All outbreak data related to HCPSS schools is being tracked and posted on the MDH website.

Log In to Express Your Interest in the HCPSS 2021-2022 Digital Education Center, Through April 14, 2021

Español / 中文 / 한국어

The Howard County Public School System is planning for a virtual school option for students entering grades K-12 who wish to learn virtually for the 2021-2022 school year. Once finalized, the Digital Education Center (DEC) program will give students the opportunity to take all classes and earn credits virtually, while receiving support services from the student’s designated home school. The DEC is intended to function as an additional, separate K-12 center, which will continue to operate even after fully in-person learning resumes throughout the county. The final DEC scope and options are subject to funding, staffing and final Board of Education approval. If the program is not funded, students who enroll in the DEC instead will access instruction through their designated home school.

The Digital Education Center is scheduled to begin in the 2021-2022 school year. Any student entering grades K-12 during the 2021-2022 school year will have the opportunity to enroll in the Digital Education Center. Students must commit to the DEC for the full school year to participate. Students who want to return to in-person learning at a HCPSS school location during the 2021-2022 school year should not sign up for the DEC. Decisions on the 2021-2022 academic year—in terms of students returning in person, hybrid or virtually—have not yet been determined, and will be communicated as soon as possible.

Via HCPSS Connect Synergy, HCPSS is seeking to understand families’ intentions regarding enrolling their children in a virtual school option (if that option becomes available) or having their children attend their traditional HCPSS school. This form is separate from the hybrid survey that families received earlier this school year and is not a commitment for the 2021-2022 school year. Parents/guardians will be asked to commit to enroll their children in the DEC at a later date. Your interest at this time will help facilitate planning.

Please complete this form no later than 4 p.m., Wednesday, April 14. Contact your child's school if you require assistance completing the form.

To complete the form:

  1. Log in to HCPSS Connect Synergy
  2. Select More Options from the left panel
  3. Select Digital Education Center Interest Survey from the bottom of the menu
  4. Complete the question in the form for each child. Families may select different school options for each child.

Details on the Digital Education Center can be found online. Additionally, answers to frequently asked questions regarding the DEC can be found online and are being continually updated as new information becomes available.

HCPSS Summer Programs Registration

HCPSS Summer Programs Registration: Online enrollment requests for currently enrolled HCPSS students will open at 6:00 p.m., Monday, March 15 for BSAP Summer Institute, Gifted and Talented Summer Institutes for Talent Development, Innovative Pathways High School (Math and Science only), and STARTALK Chinese Language Summer Camp. Please reference the HCPSS News posting. Families can find up-to-date course information and enrollment directions on the Summer Programs web page ( Please contact the summer program lead with additional questions.


Effective Monday, March 22, the HCPSS Technology Support Center site at the ARL will be closed for device exchanges, returns and support. In addition to a location at Old Bushy Park Elementary School, a new support center will open at the nearby Old Cedar Lane building in Columbia.

Full details

Health and Communications Protocols

HCPSS has developed protocols for responding to positive cases in schools in conjunction with the Howard County Health Department. These protocols outline how parents should communicate with school staff in instances of suspected or confirmed exposure, as well as how staff communicate with their school communities in those instances.

Hybrid Reopening Update

Learn the latest information about updated health protocols, building readiness, athletics spectator guidelines, graduation plans, the role of all stakeholders in keeping students and staff safe and healthy in schools, and more in Dr. Martirano’s recent update to the community.

Kindness Pantry Partnership

HCPSS’ new partnership with The Kindness Pantry will increase access to school supplies for teachers and students. The non-profit organization will coordinate the collection and distribution of school supplies and snacks by establishing online wish lists, working with community members and organizations to fulfill school requests, conducting school supply and snack drives, and organizing and distributing donated supplies.

Learn more

More News | Events | Reminders


Hi, 5th Grade Families!

This is a friendly reminder to purchase your 5th grade T-Shirt.

The Fifth grade T shirt is a long standing VES 5th Grade tradition. Please consider purchasing one for your child, as it is a great way to commemorate their last year of Elementary School. We have extended the order deadline Friday, April 23rd and most likely will not be able to extend it after that. Teachers who work with 5th graders will be sporting these shirts later this Spring!

Also, please consider donating a few dollars to help support the 5th grade PTA, so we have funds to plan some possible special end of year treats/activities for our 5th graders.

All form and payment submission information can be found on these links.

T-shirt link:

Donation Link:

Thank you and we are looking forward to a great rest of the year!

The 5th Grade PTA Committee

Join a PTA Committee!

Wondering what committees the PTA has here at Veterans? Want to inquire more about one of them? Take a peak and email us if you want to learn more.

Our next meeting is via Zoom.

Thursday April 8 - 7pm

Meeting ID: 922 2540 1436
Passcode: 321002

We meet once a month to discuss community building events, fundraising, and county wide school updates. If you are interested in learning more about the PTA, please join us. You must be a member to attend meetings. Need to join, here is the link:

Follow us on Facebook:


Mobile Testing Sites

Howard County is dedicated to expanding COVID-19 testing to residents in our community who many not have adequate access. First Call Urgent Care and Centennial Medical Group are implementing four mobile testing units in the following locations:

  • Long Reach Village Center (Monday, 3pm-7pm)
  • North Laurel Community Center (Tuesday, 3pm-7pm)
  • Recreation and Parks Headquarters (Thursday, 3pm-7pm)
  • The Elkridge 50+ Center (Friday, 3pm-7pm)

Rapid testing and PCR testing will be available to residents at no cost. These new testing sites will help us promote more equitable healthcare and ensuring our most vulnerable populations have access to COVID-19 testing.

Still Hiring Classroom Monitors and Classroom Substitutes

Classroom Monitors and Classroom Substitutes- We are still in the process of hiring classroom monitors and classroom substitutes for our classrooms. If interested please go to this site and apply:

Employment – HCPSS

Seeking Substitute and Temporary Employees. In preparation for students and staff returning to hybrid in-person instruction beginning March 1, 2021, the Howard County Public School System is currently hiring substitute teachers, classroom monitors, and lunch and recess monitors.

If you apply, please inform Mr. Bruce so he can keep an eye on your application process.

Message from Media Center:


Your child will be able to check out from our Media Center with no contact.

You can request books from the VES PAC and pick them up on
Wednesdays 11AM - 3PM.
All the information about the procedures, how to set up your child's account, how to request books, and how to see if books are ready for pick up are in your child's Canvas Media Course in the module named Check Out.

If you have any questions, please email your media specialist,

Howard County Library Resources

  • Created While Isolated: Students ages 13 and up and adults are invited to share photographs, art, music, creative writing, and personal stories from this unprecedented time in acollaborative creativity journal.
  • TumbleMath is a fun and engaging way to learn math concepts through stories. Students can access this and many other learning resources with their A+ student accounts by selecting HC Library.

Summer Camp?? You BET!!

Every summer, our business partner - The Okinawan Karate Dojo - hosts their very popular Fitness Ninja Camps. THIS summer will be no different--Fitness Ninja Spring/Summer Camps 2021 are happening, COVID-safe and in and/or outdoor. Voted #1 Martial Arts School in HoCo and one of the best ChildCare Providers in 2021, this will be OKD's 21st annual camp season! These weekly camps are a great way for your kids, ages 5 to 13, to stay active, entertained and educated on health, wellness,sports, fitness, and karate this summer. As a licensed childcare provider, OKD will meet/exceed all state, local, and CDC recommendations related to COVID-19.

Dates: Spring Break Apr 2,5,and 6...and June 21st to August 27th, from 9am to 4pm each day. Before/After care available. Find additional information about the camp, online registration, and OKD's COVID safety policy at: Space is Limited. Questions? Call: 443 574 8999 or Email:


2021 Meal Service Adjustments

Meals are provided at no cost to any HCPSS student or any child under age 18. More information about 2020-2021 meal services is provided online.

FARMS Applications: Applications for the Free and Reduced Meals program for the school year 2020-2021 are available online in multiple languages and paper copies are available at all meal sites, effective 9/8/20. Please use this document for strategies for increasing FARMs awareness and participation.

COMCAST Internet

To help connect more families to the internet at home, Comcast is offering two months of free internet to new Internet Essential customers. more information


MOVING into VES: FILLABLE_VES RequestforRecords.pdf
We can assist you to obtain student records from their prior school by filling out the

Request for Records form and emailing it back to the registrar.

MOVING AWAY/ Withdraw from VES: FILLABE_Withdrawal form

Please initiate the process by filling out the HCPSS Withdrawal Form and email it back to the registrar.

HCPSS COUNSELING SERVICES for Students, Families, and Staff

The COVID-19 pandemic has made this an especially stressful time for many, especially those already impacted by mental health concerns. Find information about local and online resources for counseling and mental health supports for you and your family on our website.

VES School Psychologists

We are here to help you!

Debra Moniodis (School Psychologist, Infants and Toddlers):

Michal Boyars (School Psychologist, RECC):

Katie Burkhouse (School Psychologist, K-5):

Kristen Marsico (School Psychologist Intern, K-5):

School psychologists are available for parent and staff consultation by level. Please reach out via email to schedule an appointment!

VES School Counseling Department

School Counselors:

Ms. Wilson (K and 4th):

Ms. Wentz (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th):

We are available to support the school community.

Please reach out to schedule consultation time.

If you have an immediate need for help with depression, suicidal thoughts, or other serious

mental health issues, please contact:

Grassroots Crisis Intervention at 410-531-6677

The Maryland Crisis Hotline: Dial 211 and then choose option 1

The Crisis Text Line: Text 741741 and a trained counselor will respond.

The National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255

Learning Together Program (LTP)– Prekindergarten

Learning Together Program – Prekindergarten

The Veterans Regional Early Childhood Center (RECC) prekindergarten programs are making preparations for classes for the upcoming 2021-22 school year. These classes include children with and without disabilities. The program’s focus is helping all children develop communication, literacy, math, problem solving, motor, and social skills. Parents of children who will be 3 by September 1st or are already 4 may learn more about the program by reviewing the Learning Together Program (LTP) Flyer (English).
Online applications will be accepted starting February 22, 2021 and priority will be given to applications received by April 1st. Link to application:

If you need assistance to complete the application, please contact Early Intervention Services at or at 410-313-7017.

HCPSS is committed to providing instruction based on the statewide Early Learning Standards which are in alignment with Kindergarten Readiness. The fees listed in the application will be collected monthly regardless of the learning model determined by HCPSS throughout the upcoming school year (virtual, hybrid, or in person). If you have any additional questions , please contact Mary Jens at (410) 313-1700 or .

Helping Your Child Get Ready for Kindergarten

Kindergarten teachers are prepared for children to enter school with varying abilities, strengths and needs. Each child is taught at their appropriate level through differentiated instruction. Learn more what your child will learn in kindergarten.

Review the 2021 Road to Kindergarten slideshow for information about kindergarten readiness, the kindergarten program, and registering your child for school. Prior to kindergarten there are many things parents can do to support their child’s transition to school. From making sure appropriate documentation is gathered, to playing with, reading with and listening to their child, the year before kindergarten is a great opportunity to develop school readiness!