The Falcon Flier

Vol 51, Issue 5 - September 15, 2023

Phelps Luck Elementary School

Edward Cosentino, Principal

Sandra McGraw, Assistant Principal

Jennifer Stairs, Assistant Principal

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دوسری زبانوں کے لئے ، نیوزلیٹر کا ترجمہ کریں پر کلک کریں اور اپنی پسند کی زبان کا انتخاب کریں۔

From School Administration

Although this was a short week, I am pleased to share that we are all settling into excellent routines to start off our school year. Emergency preparedness is one of the many routines we take care of at the beginning of the year. We work hard to teach our students the importance of being prepared for any emergency situation at school. Teachers share emergency procedures and instructions in a student-centered manner that is developmentally appropriate for that age group. Last week, we had our first evacuation drill (fire drill). This week, we had our first modified lockdown drill. We will continue to have emergency drills throughout the school year.

September is National Emergency Preparedness Month. We all must be prepared at any time for the challenges an emergency might cause. How we prepare for and react to situations as adults will help reassure and keep our children safe. As stated last week, please be sure to keep your Family File up-to-date and communicate your instructions to your child.

We encourage you to visit and take advantage of the many planning resources for families. Their theme this year is Take Control in 1, 2, 3. Additionally, please review how we prepare for a variety of emergency situations below as a school community.

Important Upcoming Dates and Events

For a complete list of dates and events visit


  • 15 - Rosh Hashanah - Schools and Offices Closed
  • 15 - National National Hispanic Heritage Month begins
  • 20 - Standards Based Instruction and Reporting Information Session, 6:00 p.m. (Virtual)
  • 25 - Yom Kippur - Schools and Offices closed


  • Down Syndrome Awareness Month starts
  • National Bully Prevention Month
  • 9 - Schools closed for students - Professional Learning Day
  • 11 - PTA Meeting (Hybrid)
  • 12 - First Food Pantry Night, 6:00 - 7:30 p.m.
  • 12 - ESOL Parent Information Night, 6:30 p.m.
  • 19 - Field Day
  • 19 - Watch D.O.G.S. Kick-off
  • 20 - Schools closed for students - Professional Learning Day
  • 24 - Picture Day for Individual Student Pictures
  • 26 - PTA Trunk or Treat
  • 31 - Schools close 3 hours early - End of 1st Quarter

To subscribe to the PLES calendar on your smartphone, electronic device, or email system, click the plus sign + at the bottom right-hand corner of the Google Calendar or click this link.

New Information

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Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from September 15th to October 15th each year in the United States. This celebration honors numerous people from Spanish-speaking backgrounds who have come to the United States. We celebrate their cultures and traditions during this month. September 15th was chosen as the starting point for the celebration because it is the anniversary of the independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Also, Mexico celebrates its independence day on September 16th and Chile celebrates its independence day on September 18th.

Check out these websites for more information about Hispanic Heritage Month and how you can celebrate virtually and at home!

Adjusted School Hours Starts Sept. 20

On September 13, Superintendent Martirano notified the Howard County community that school hours would be adjusted to respond to the countywide bus transportation challenges.

The announcement affects Phelps Luck Elementary School by pushing our school hours by 5 minutes. Please see the graphic below. The new school hours go into effect on Wednesday, September 20.

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Protective actions below are used in times of emergency.

Shelter-In-Place – The purpose of a shelter-in-place emergency response is to protect the inhabitants of a building from dangerous fumes or other environmental poisons that are outside the building. This means moving students into the school building if they are outside. In some situations, the school’s HVAC system would be shut down, and doors and windows would be sealed and locked.

Shelter-in-place emergency procedures would be initiated in the event of a hazardous materials spill in the area (especially with our close proximity to MD Route 29 or 32) or in the event of some type of bioterrorism in the region.

Modified Lockdown – This command would be given if there were a potential for violent or criminal activity but not an imminent threat to our school. The day-to-day operation of the school would continue but with modifications. Students would not be permitted to go outside for recess or physical education, and classes in the portable classrooms would be relocated.

Lockdown – This emergency command would be given in the most extreme and threatening situation, such as violence or criminal activity inside the school or in the surrounding area. All doors in the building are locked during a lockdown. Students, staff, parents, and any visitors to the building are expected to stay where they are and follow the instructions given.

Duck, Cover, and Hold On - The “Duck, Cover, and Hold On” command would be given in the event of an explosion (bomb, mechanical malfunction), severe winds (tornado, extreme weather), earthquake, or other situations that might cause significant structural damage to the school. Students, staff, parents, and any visitors to the building should drop to the ground where they are and cover their heads until the extreme activity subsides.

Off-Site Evacuation – In the event that our building is no longer safe, we may determine that we need to evacuate the students. We have designated locations for our off-site evacuation. If necessary, transportation to those sites may be provided by HCPSS. Students will be released to parents or other individuals listed on the student's emergency form.
Please keep in mind that no student is released to any individual who is not specifically listed on the student's emergency form including an older sibling.
All adults must show photo I.D. when picking up a student.

Parents can help by:

  • Giving and updating the most accurate, up-to-date health and emergency information on your child to our school office and your child’s teacher.
  • Ensuring your own safety.
  • Do not call the school during an emergency situation; it jams the phone lines.
  • Do not rush to the school to pick up your child in the event of an emergency. It creates congestion, which can delay the tasks of emergency responders and school staff in responding to the emergency.
  • Tuning in to local radio and television stations and checking the HCPSS website.
  • Keep your Family File up to date throughout the year, especially when information changes.

Back-to-School-Night Presentations

Thank you to all those who joined us for our Back-to-School Nights this past week. The presentations will be posted under "School Resources" on the PLES website if you need to reference them again.

Standards Based Instruction and Reporting - Parent Information Nights

Wednesday, Sep. 20th, 5pm

This is an online event.

K-2 - Standards Based Instruction and Reporting Information Night

Wednesday, September 20 · 5:00 – 5:30pm

Time zone: America/New_York

Google Meet joining info

Video call link:

Or dial: ‪(US) +1 575-342-8739‬ PIN: ‪811 680 947‬#

More phone numbers:

Standards Based Instruction & Reporting Information

The purpose of this page is to provide students, families, and the community with information and resources about Standards Based Instruction and Reporting (SBIR).

Gifted and Talented Seminars

Our Gifted and Talented Resources teachers, Mrs. Fleck and Ms. Jones, offer many GT recess seminars for the fall. Permission slips are coming home and can be returned by Friday, Sept 22, 2023. Recess seminars are offered to all interested students in grades 2-5 and occur during the recess block once a week.

  • Second grade: Paper Airplanes and Origami
  • Third grade: Maze World and Learn to Play, Play to Learn
  • Fourth grade: Weather Watchers, Dash, Green Team
  • Fifth grade: Weather Watchers, Scrabble, Green Team

For questions, please reach out to or

Nothing Bundt Cakes - Books & Bundts

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The following are summaries of policies related to student responsibilities and behavior and can be found in the HCPSS Student Handbook - Student Responsibilities and Behavior/Policies

The most current copies of the policies are available at or through the Policy Office at 410–313–8954.

Alcohol, Drug, and Tobacco-Free Environment (Policy 1050)

The possession, use, or distribution of alcoholic beverages and other drugs on school premises or at school-related or school-sponsored activities is prohibited. Prescription medication and over-the-counter products require written medication orders and are to be administered in accordance with school system Health Services procedures. Legal searches and seizures related to this policy may be conducted on school property. Confidentiality is guaranteed for students who seek counseling for drug or alcohol abuse problems.

OMHS Food Pantry Needs Donations

Last week, the OMHS Food Pantry served 96 families. As a result, our shelves are quite bare. If you can, please consider picking up an extra item (or three) when you go shopping. We accept any UNEXPIRED non-perishable food items, but are particularly in need of:

  • Peanut butter
  • Jelly
  • Canned protein (tuna, chicken, salmon)
  • A variety of canned fruit
  • A variety of canned vegetables
  • Canned soups and/or gravy
  • Canned beans
  • Macaroni & cheese
  • Shelf-stable milk
  • Juice
  • Dry cereal
  • Oatmeal
  • Baking mixes
  • Dry beans
  • Rice
  • Ramen noodles
  • A variety of snack foods (including raisins, nuts, granola bars, chips, fruit snacks, cookies, crackers, etc.)

We also happily accept monetary donations to help us purchase fresh produce and bread each month. And, if you have any friends or relatives outside the area who would like to donate, we also have an Amazon wish list with some of our most needed items.

Any donations can be brought to the OMHS Front Office between 7:45am and 3:00 pm. If you have a large donation and need assistance bringing it in, please reach out to me directly, and we can arrange for someone to meet you with a cart.

You can find more information on the OMHS website.

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Howard Lions' Pride Third Annual Craft Fair:


Howard Lions' Pride Third Annual Craft Fair: Saturday, October 21st from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm at Howard High School. Our 100+ vendors will be selling crafts, books, candles, kitchen goods, jewelry, home decor, clothing, accessories, and much more! General Info link:

We are still accepting craft and food truck vendors, so please spread the word and this link:

Information Worth Repeating

National PTA School of Excellence

The Phelps Luck PTA knows that a strong partnership among our families, school leaders, and community members is important to the success of our students and school. As a school, we feel that families should feel welcomed and empowered to support student success, and the PTA is a key partner for continuous school improvement. We feel Phelps Luck Elementary School and the Phelps Luck PTA can achieve that together—and the result will be national, state, and community-wide visibility for the positive impact we are making together at Phelps Luck Elementary School.

We need your help! As part of the process, the National PTA requests feedback from families, administrators, and teachers at two points in the school year—the beginning and the end. Your feedback will help us improve our family-school partnership and achieve excellence.

Please take 5-10 minutes to reflect on your experience at this school and complete the survey below. Choose from the drop-down menu for each question. The survey will be open through Thursday, September 21.

Does this sound like a PTA program you’d really like to help with? Join us! Contact either of us to learn more.


Karen Mattingly, PTA President &
Ed Cosentino, Principal

News From PTA


Support PLES by joining the PTA! Our memberships help sustain PTA programming from fun events like the “Trunk or Treat” to staff appreciation efforts. Join here:


Our fun events like Bingo Night, Trunk or Treat, Staff Appreciation Week, and more can’t be successful without the help of our amazing PLES families!! Looking to get involved at PLES? Any amount of time you can contribute is greatly appreciated! Sign up here:

Join the PLES PTA in the Howard High School Homecoming Parade

This year's parade will be on Saturday, October 7th, from 9:30 am to 12:00 pm. Families from PLES can join the PLES PTA group and walk the route. Email for more information.

Clothing to Cash Fundraiser

In August we collected 1,488 lbs of clothing and raised $148.80 for our PTA programs! Way to go families! Please donate any cloth items to the clothing bin in our school parking lot. This is an easy way to support our PTA. Please place all items in a closed trash bag before placing the bag in the bin. Thank you!

Raise Right E-Gift Card Fundraising Program

Support the PTA when shopping at your favorite stores! You can earn fundraising dollars for Phelps Luck PTA by participating in our RaiseRight (formerly Scrip) program! This easy-to-use program means you earn fundraising dollars by purchasing electronic gift cards to an extensive list of large businesses (Target, Amazon, Giant, Old Navy, Lowes, etc.) and a percentage of that sale is returned to the PTA as fundraising dollars. This program will be ongoing throughout the year. Visit and look for “Join an existing program”. Enter our Enrollment Code: BRWAATM9HK7P and click “Join a Program”.

Follow the PTA on Facebook

Stay up-to-date on events and news:

PLES is a School-Based Wellness Center

The Howard County Health Department, in partnership with the Howard County Public School System, has selected Phelps Luck ES to be one of the eleven schools to have a school-based wellness center. Phelps Luck ES has a telemedicine program in addition to a nurse practitioner on-site a few days a week. The nurse practitioner provides school entry physicals, the co-management of chronic health problems along with your child’s pediatric provider, health education, and treatment of acute illnesses and injuries. The wellness center hopes to offer routine childhood vaccinations in the near future. When the nurse practitioner is not at the school, telemedicine services will still be offered for illnesses and injuries. The Health Department will only bill Medical Assistance or your child’s MCO. The family is never billed or charged a co-pay or any fee. Children must be enrolled by their parent or guardian to receive services. The enrollment forms are below. Please call our Health Room with any questions!

Free and Reduced Meals Application

HCPSS participates in the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs, which provide families with significant benefits to help save money. Qualification is based on family size and income, and enrollment is confidential. All children in households receiving benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) can get free meals regardless of income, and students from households that meet federal income guidelines are eligible to receive free or reduced-price meals.

Free and Reduced Meals eligibility provides discounts for summer programs, SAT, recreation programs, Maryland Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and internet programs. Other discounts are listed below. FARMs eligibility also may provide your school with much-needed Federal funding. Visit the HCPSS Food & Nutrition Site for more information.

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Membership in PTA

Support PLES by joining the PTA! Our memberships help sustain PTA programming from fun events like the “Trunk or Treat” to staff appreciation efforts. Join here:

Calling for Watch D.OG.S. Leaders!

Watch DOGS University is one of the nation’s largest and most respected school-based, family, and community engagement organizations in the country. Since the program’s creation in 1998, more than 6,450 schools across the country have launched a WATCH D.O.G.S. program of their own. Each school year, hundreds of thousands of fathers and father figures make a positive impact on millions of children by volunteering millions of hours in their local schools through this amazing one-of-a-kind program. Who are Watch D.O.G.S.? Fathers, grandfathers, stepfathers, uncles, and other father figures who volunteer to serve at least one day a year in a variety of school activities as assigned by the school's administrators.

In partnership with the PLES PTA, we are excited to move into our sixth year! As we plan for the upcoming year, we are putting together our Watch D.O.G.S. Leadership Team of volunteers to plan for our Kickoffs. If you are interested, please email Sandra McGraw by Friday, August 18, 2023. Please either click on the name to email or call the school at 410-313-6886. Once we establish our team, we will contact you for the date and time of our first Watch D.O.G.S. Leadership meeting. Thank you!

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Help Beautify PLES

PTA is collecting money to help fund a special beautification project. Please consider donating money to help purchase banners for the front of the school.

In alignment w/ Policy 10010, the following announcements have been approved by the Public Information Office for distribution. The below community notices are neither sponsored nor endorsed by the HCPSS.