VES Eagle Express Newletter

DECEMBER 19, 2020 - Vol.14, Issue #18 *Final Circular 2020

SY2020-2021: Saturday Weekly Circular


Robert Bruce, Principal -

Amy Green, Assistant Principal -

Kelly Ryan, Administrative Intern -

    The Howard County Board of Education voted to continue HCPSS in a virtual instructional model through the third academic quarter, which ends April 14, 2021.

→ Full Statement

The office has coverage from 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. on
days when school is in session.
Please call ahead 410-313-1700


They are available to assist you during this time:

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.


The next few months will be a very difficult time in regard to Co-VID 19. While certainly there is reason for hope with the various vaccines being approved, it is still a time of uncertainty. Now more than ever we must safeguard our families and as tough as it has been it is crucial to ensure that we are socially distanced from friends and loved ones outside of our homes. Of course, wearing a mask when out and washing hands regularly are necessary components to our day to day lives.

The work of the school system is pressing forward. The Board of Education will develop a budget for next year realizing that revenues are projected to be down. However, the needs of our students continue to grow. As the year closes we wish the Board of Education well in their deliberations to create a budget that can be approved that will meet the needs of our community.

All of our students are working within their capabilities to achieve in these pressing times. All of our families have made difficult adjustments to ensure their children are getting the best education they can under the circumstances. Our staff has been collaborating on how best to meet the needs of our students under less than ideal conditions. For 2021, I am hoping that our government, health services, and our families will find an improving situation. I am a public educator and nothing would please me more than to have Veterans Elementary full with close to 1000 students learning from each other and their teachers. I have come to appreciate each and every staff member, each and every family, and each and every student now more than ever. My New Year's wish is for our world to return to some sense of normalcy so we can work on getting everyone back on track. I know this community did not ask for Co-VID 19 but the community has rallied together to make things work.


Make sure you know important dates on the 2020-2021 Academic Calendar. There are no printed calendars; you may view the online calendar and/or download printable calendar PDFs on our website. The calendar is subject to change.

SY2020-21 HCPSS Calendar list view of Event Dates


24 thru 31 - Schools and Offices Closed: WINTER BREAK (State Mandated Holidays)


1 - Schools and Offices Closed: New Year's Day 2021 (State Mandated Holiday)

4 - Return to Virtual School from Winter Break

18 - Schools and Offices Closed: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (State Mandated Holiday)

29 - Schools Closed to Students: Professional Work Day


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Eagle Express Newsletter

Eagle Express- This edition of the Eagle Express will be the last of 2020. We wish everyone a very restful winter break. If you celebrate any holiday this time of year, please celebrate it happily with renewed purpose​. The next edition of the Eagle Express will be a special edition on Saturday, January 2nd. The next full edition of the Eagle Express will be on Saturday, January 9, 2021.

Instruction the Week of December 21:

During the week of December 21, no asynchronous assignments in content, ELA, math, or related arts should be assigned to students. This includes Dreambox and LexiaCore. Students will have synchronous related arts as scheduled but no asynchronous related arts assignments. Synchronous social studies instruction will occur on Monday, December 21 for grades K, 2, and 4 and on Tuesday, December 22 for grades 1, 3, and 5; however, there will not be social studies asynchronous follow up lessons.

Annual Celebration of Academic Achievement 2019-20 by TCOE of Howard County

Celebration of The Council of Elders of the Black Community of Howard County (TCOE) in partnership with the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) hosts an annual Celebration of Academic Achievement to acknowledge and honor students of African and African-American heritage across the county.

  • This year’s Celebration of Academic Achievement will honor approximately 2,813 students who are currently in grades 4 - 9 and have achieved the following levels of academic success during the 2019-2020 school year:

    • Grades 4 – 6: Students must earn As or Bs in all areas under language arts AND mathematics for all four marking periods. Students cannot earn Ds or Es in any of the following subjects: language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, and health education for all four quarters.

Here at Veterans Elementary School, we are proud that ten of our students will be recognized for their achievement and hard work on January 19, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. via a Zoom meeting. Honorees and their families will receive sign up information for the event.

The students to be recognized from Veterans Elementary School

on January 19th include the following Fourth Graders:

Oluwatobi Adebo

Lauren Bolling

Amna Iqba

Ava Wynn

The following Fifth Graders will also be recognized:

Trinity Brown

Deborah Ikoghode

Adekemi Otolorin

Justin Rogers

Rezena Russom

Rayka Service

These students have worked hard and deserve our recognition for their continued commitment to their future.


AST Tutoring - Chinese American Parent Association of Howard County

AST is offering free one-on-one homework help for all students of grades 3-9 in a similar model to the high school honor society tutoring programs. Students may receive free assistance with homework assignments in the 4 core subjects: Math, English, Science, or Social Studies. These help sessions occur at designated times during the week. AST is a student-led program established 4 years ago.
It won the 2020 Governor’s Service award. For more details and registration, please go to the link

From The VES Counseling Department

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

Greetings from your 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!


Special Thank You to all the families who contributed gift cards and toys to Student Support Services. Our wonderful counselors were able to help 30 kids! So heartwarming to see families helping families.

Coming Soon from your PTA...

Whooos Reading Read-a-Thon - January 2021

Who can read the most in the whole school?? Who will!

Zoom Family Trivia Night - February 2021

We will be using Kahoot to run a family trivia night for the school via zoom. Fun for the whole family!

Any questions or want to volunteer, contact
Cara Adornetto, PTA President, at

Follow us on Facebook:

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Please visit the HCPSS website Community News and Programs page for upcoming events and programs sponsored by non-profit organizations.

Impact Aid Forms

Impact Aid Forms

Parents/guardians who work on a federal property in Maryland and/or are a member of a uniformed service can qualify HCPSS to receive additional federal funding by completing the Impact Aid form online by December 31. Impact Aid supplements the HCPSS operating budget to enhance the teaching and learning that takes place in Howard County classrooms.

Learn more

HCPSS Launches New COVID-19 Dashboard

The dashboard reflects positive test results that are newly reported to HCPSS each week of students, staff or visitors in school or office buildings during their contagious period. The data is non-cumulative and is displayed by individual location and by school level, for each of the prior three weeks. An archive of data dates back to July 15, 2020.

Learn more

Student Preferred Names Settings

Students may log in to Synergy to request a preferred name that will replace their displayed name in Google and Canvas only. Requesting a preferred name does not impact students’ legal names in HCPSS systems. All preferred names will be approved by school staff prior to becoming live in Google and Canvas in early January.

Read more

HCPSS Metric Color Bands

    The Board of Education in October approved metrics and color bands for moving to a virtual environment that apply to instructional programs within HCPSS buildings, but not to the status of the building and other services provided within the buildings.
    HCPSS buildings remain open to for staff and for Food Services to maintain meal service.

  • → Updated Metrics Color Band


Virtual Public Hearing: 2021-2022 Proposed Academic Calendar

Tuesday, December 22, 7 p.m., Virtual session

The public hearing on the 2021-2022 Proposed Academic Calendar will take place on Tuesday, December 22 at 7 p.m. Board meetings are currently held virtually, live on the HCPSS website and on Comcast 95/Verizon 42. Learn about pre-registration and testimony. Register online to testify by Friday, December 18. Specific instructions on testifying virtually will be emailed to each registrant prior to the public hearing.

Nominate an Outstanding Principal or Teacher

Nominations for the HCPSS 2020 Principal of the Year and Teacher of the Year awards are now open and are due no later than Friday, January 8, 2021. HCPSS will publicly announce its principal and teacher nominees in the spring. Read more


Online Safety

While HCPSS continues to invest in information security efforts, upgrade equipment and ensure that the network is secure, it is critical that all students, staff and parents/guardians do their part to maintain a safe virtual learning environment. View safety guidelines and additional resources.

2020-2021 Inclement Weather Protocols

For the 2020-2021 school year, while in virtual, small groups or hybrid instructional models, HCPSS will transition to fully virtual instruction during inclement weather days. View the four possible inclement weather decisions.

Winter Break Meals Adjustments

Schools will be closed for winter break from December 24 through January 1. To ensure children have access to essential nutrition during the holiday period, families may pick up additional meals in advance of the break. Pre-ordering will not be available for meals picked up December 21-23 or January 4-6. See all service and schedule adjustments.

HCPSS News Subscriptions: HCPSS News emails and text alerts keep families up-to-date on news and events, and delivers real-time notices of emergency closings and information. All HCPSS News subscriptions are generated from the information provided in Family File and have been automatically updated for the 2020-2021 school year.
Parents/guardians new to the system are automatically enrolled for email notification, however must opt in to receive text alerts.

2020-2021 School Year Information

Find updated information about the 2020-2021 school year on the HCPSS website, now
with a spring planning page. Answers to frequently-asked questions are provided on the HCPSS Help site, including a recent topic on handling connectivity or logon problems during virtual instruction.


46th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Breakfast:

We hope that you will join us for the official launch of our 46th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Breakfast on Sunday, January 10, 2021 from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. ​
Due to the pandemic, the event will be virtual. The proceeds from the event help fund our educational and scholarship programs. ​This year’s theme is to Keep Moving Forward: The Struggle Continues. The keynote address will be provided by our fraternity brother, Jeff Johnson, famed journalist, communication specialist, and non-profit executive (NAACP, Hip Hop Summit Action Network, Black Entertainment Television). Ticket patrons will retain access to the recorded event following the launch date.

For ticket information​, please visit the following link: 46th Annual Dr. MLK Jr. Memorial Breakfast Ticket (Links to an external site.). For any additional questions/inquiries, please email K​appa ​P​hi ​L​ambda​ Chapter President, Bruce ​E. ​Nelson at


HOLIDAY TOY DRIVE - Sponsored by Reservoir High School Young Activists

With the end of the year holidays approaching and the COVID-19 pandemic surging across the country, Young Activists is holding a toy drive for families and children in need this winter season. See the posters provided for information, and please consider donating to one of our eight locations across Howard County! For a list of accepted items, see the poster at the top of the page!

During the Day!! The solution for virtual schooling assistance for your kids! Now Enrolling for 2021! Our business partner, The Okinawan Karate Dojo, is a fully-licensed ChildCare Center by the Maryland State Department of Education. Voted as the #1 Martial Arts School and (one of) The Best ChildCare Facilities in Howard County, they are excited to provide your kids (kindergarten thru 8th grade) a healthy, safe, and enriching environment where they can receive virtual schooling assistance, spend time with peers, stay physically active, AND have fun! Most important, the dojo's COVID-cautious practices and reviews from current parents who use this service are - EXCELLENT!!
Program hours are 8 am to 4 pm, Monday through Friday.
After Care is available from 4 to 6 pm. Partial week and partial day options are available...see the attached flier or contact them for details. In order to keep group sizes small, enrollment is limited. Secure your child’s spot NOW!

Call: 443 574 8999


Winter Break Meals Adjustments:

Schools will be closed for winter break from Thursday, December 24, through Friday, January 1.
To ensure children have access to essential nutrition during the holiday period, families may pick up additional meals in advance of the break. Pre-ordering will not be available for meals picked up December 21-23 or January 4-6. See all service and schedule adjustments.

Meal Service Closures at Gorman Crossing ES and Wilde Lake MS Extended until January 4, 2021:

The current suspension of meal services at both Gorman Crossing Elementary and Wilde Lake Middle School has been extended through the HCPSS winter break meal closures, and will resume on January 4, 2021. Students and families may pick up meals at any other school meal location.

  • Meals that were pre-ordered for pickup at Gorman Crossing Elementary during this period may be picked up at Murray Hill Middle School.
  • Meals that were pre-ordered for pickup at Wilde Lake Middle School during this period may be picked up at Wilde Lake High School.

The suspension of meal services at these locations has been extended due to insufficient staff availability to operate the food site. The school buildings remain open for all other operations, as scheduled.

Meal Service at Mayfield Woods MS Closed December 14 until January 4, 2021:

Meal service at Mayfield Woods Middle School is suspended effective Monday, December 14 and will resume Monday, January 4. Students and families may pick up meals at any other school meal location. Meals that were pre-ordered for pickup at Mayfield Woods during this period may be picked up at Waterloo Elementary School.

Meal service was suspended because of insufficient staff availability at this time to operate the food site. The school building remains open for all other operations, as scheduled.

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.

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.

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

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.

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,

Send all attendance notes directly to:

During Virtual Learning, attendance will be taken daily by teachers for

Homeroom/ELA (.5 day) and Homeroom/Math (.5 day)
to account for a full school day.

Each HCPSS school now has an attendance email for parents to send notes pertaining to their child missing any time out from school, even during virtual learning
(ie. sick, appointment, travel, etc.)

Please take the time to review: HCPSS ATTENDANCE POLICY


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.

NEED VES TECH ASSISTANCE? Fill out this VES Student Device and Tech Support Request Form

HCPSS Google Meets:

Students are reminded that they may not participate in a google meet unless a staff member set it up and is present. If you enter a google meet and staff are not present, leave immediately. Our students have worked hard to use technology appropriately and we applaud this. There are a few students that have abused technology. Please remember that an abuse of HCPSS Technology is a discipline issue, even virtually. Please use the technology as intended. Please know that our Technology department has the ability to trace usage to specific IP addresses.

Asynchronous Assignments:

Families, particularly of primary students, have expressed concerns about the virtual elementary workload including the complexity of asynchronous lessons, the number of content areas taught, and the number of weekly asynchronous assignments. In order to support elementary students with successfully navigating during virtual instruction, the following adjustments have been made:

  • Students will only have asynchronous assignments in social studies, science, or health during a given week. There will not be an overlap of instruction or assignments for these content areas.
  • Health lessons will be taught for one week during the marking period and include two synchronous lessons and two asynchronous lessons instead of five asynchronous lessons as assigned in the first quarter.
  • The length and complexity of social studies, science, and health asynchronous assignments have been reduced.
  • Related arts asynchronous assignments have been streamlined.