Clemens Crossing Cougar Comments

October 18, 2019 - Volume 41, Issue 8

Clemens Crossing Elementary School

Edward Cosentino, Principal

Sonia Hurd, Assistant Principal

Important Upcoming Dates and Events

For a complete list of dates and events visit


  • 18 - Schools Closed for Students
  • 21 - National School Bus Safety Week
  • 24 - Spirit Day - Hat Day
  • 25 -Field Trip - Gr.4 to Annapolis
  • 29 - Flu Clinic
  • 30 - Spirit Day - Wellness Wednesday (Workout Clothes)
  • 30 - Pumpkin Run (Gr.3, 4, & 5 during Related Arts times)
  • 30 - In-School Banking
  • 30 - Field Trip - Gr.1 to HoCo Conservancy
  • 30 - PTA Restaurant Night - Chick-Fil-A Restaurant Day (Johns Hopkins Rd Location)
  • 31 - Halloween Parade, 2:45 p.m.


  • 1 - Schools Close 3 Hours Early for Students
  • 8 - Student Picture Make-up Day
  • 11 - Q1 Report Cards Issued
  • 11 - PTA Restaurant Night - Common Kitchen
  • 15 - PTA Bingo Night (moved from 11/8), 6:30 p.m.
  • 18 - American Education Week Begins

To subscribe to the CCES calendar on your smartphone, electronic device, or email system use the calendar ID

From School Administration

Updated HCPSS Attendance Procedures

Research is clear that showing up for school has a huge impact on a student’s academic and social success starting from kindergarten and continuing through high school. Absences can be a sign that a student is losing interest in school, struggling with school, or even facing social challenges.

  • Missing 10% (or about 18 days of a school year) can drastically affect a student’s academic success.

  • By the 6th grade, absenteeism is one of three signs that can indicate if a student is at risk for dropping out of high school.

  • In the 9th grade, regular and high attendance is a better predictor of graduation rates than 8th grade test scores.

Student attendance is a major point of focus for the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE). Starting in school year 2018-2019, MSDE lowered the chronic absenteeism rate from 20% to 10% which means that at 10% a student should be receiving support and interventions to improve their absenteeism.

Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) believes that attendance is key for student success. Per Policy 9010, HCPSS defines exemplary attendance as a final attendance rate of 96% or more of the student year.

In support of achieving Exemplary Attendance for all students, we are sharing with you a comprehensive approach for attendance supports and interventions.

  • If a student has missed 5% of their monthly attendance days (as few as 1-2 days a month), parents will receive a Care and Concern Phone Call and letter from their school. This step will allow staff members to coordinate with families to determine how the student can be supported for better attendance.

  • If a student has missed 10% of their monthly attendance days (this is defined as chronic absenteeism by MSDE), parents will receive a 10% Chronic Absenteeism Attendance Letter. Parents and students may be scheduled for an attendance conference. Other interventions and supports may also be used in an effort to assist the student.

  • If a student has missed 15% of their monthly attendance days, in addition to the interventions and supports at 5% and 10%, these students may require an attendance support plan. Students may also be referred to the Central Attendance Team.

  • If a student has missed 20% of their monthly attendance days, parents will receive a 20% Emergency Chronic Absenteeism Letter or Habitual Truancy Letter. Students may be referred to Project Attend and may be referred to the State’s Attorney’s Office for habitual truancy.

With the collaborative effort of HCPSS parents, staff and students, we are confident that all students can have successful attendance. This will improve student success in school and in future life.

New Information

Bus Evacuation Drill Was A Success!

Each school year, Maryland regulations require that schools perform bus evacuation drills. All students who ride a bus to school, including those using specialized transportation, must participate. CCES conducted this drill with all bus riders this past Tuesday. Our students did very well during our drill! Next week is National School Bus Safety Week. For more information about National School Bus Safety visit their website here.

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From the Health Room

There is a support group for children newly diagnosed with Diabetes. They meet every 4th Monday of the month from 7 - 8:30 pm. The point of contact is Monta and Wade Whitney, 410-740-7378.


If you have completed and returned a Flu Vaccine Consent Form for your child to receive the injectable vaccine on October 29th, please consider the following suggestions to help prepare them and minimize distress.

    1. One or two days before, speak with your child about what will happen:
      • “You will get a medicine called a vaccine in the arm with a needle.”
    2. Tell them why they will receive it:
      • “It will keep you healthy, which helps keep your baby sister/grandparent/others healthy.”
    3. Be honest about how it will feel:
      • “You will feel a pinch and some pressure, but it will be very quick.”
    4. Reassure them confidently:
      • “It will hurt a little bit, but you will be ok.”

    We will have plenty of support staff in place to assist the nurses from the Maryland Partnership for Prevention (Howard County Health Department) in administering the vaccine. You will receive a letter to inform you whether we were able or unable to administer it.
    We will not physically restrain children for the vaccine. Children who are extremely hesitant will NOT be vaccinated. If you turned in a consent form for the school clinic and your child already received the vaccine elsewhere, please email the School Nurse at If you would like a blank consent form, please contact the School Nurse at 410-313-5609.

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    Information Worth Repeating

    In case you missed it... National Digital Citizenship Week was this past week

    Digital citizens think critically about what they see online, understand the benefits and risks of sharing information, and balance screen time with other activities.

    Throughout our school, we are highlighting the importance of being a smart digital citizen. Announcements are being made daily, discussion within our community circles, and during technology classes for all grade levels. It is our goal to ensure that all students understand the benefits and risks of sharing information online.

    Please ask your child about what they have been doing at school to learn more about being a good digital citizen.

    Let’s work together to spread the importance of creating well informed digital citizens in our digital world!

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    Halloween Celebration - 10/31/19

    The Annual Halloween Parade and Parties are scheduled for Thursday, October 31.
    The parade will begin at 2:45 p.m. with our Kindergarten students leading us out the Kindergarten side doors onto the blacktop. We will proceed through the blacktop to the sidewalk in front of the school building and then back into the school through the 5th-grade doors.
    Parent viewing areas will be in the center of the blacktop or the bus loop area.
    Please see the Halloween Parade Route & Viewing Area map below.

    Each grade level will communicate their party times and needs through their room parent.
    Due to space limitations, only two predetermined parent volunteers per class will be permitted in the building during classroom parties.
    Parents/visitors will not be permitted in the school building after the parade.

    We ask that you avoid any costumes that perpetuate violence, have any blood, gore, scary masks, or contain any type of weapons. Props that come with costumes that are play weapons are not allowed in school. This includes, but is not limited to, toy guns, knives, swords, sickles, pitchforks, etc. Please send costumes in a bag for the students to put on independently over their clothing before the parade.
    Students are not allowed to wear their costumes to school.

    Parking will be limited. Please park at the Clemens Crossing Pool or walk to the parade. Parking will be permitted in the bus loop until 3:10 p.m.
    All cars must be gone from that area by 3:10 p.m. so our buses can park when they arrive for dismissal.

    If there is rain, there will not be a rain date for the parade, but the classroom parties will proceed.

    As always, if you prefer that your child does not take part in the Halloween Parade and/or party, please send a note to your child’s teacher or contact Mr. Cosentino or Mrs. Hurd.

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    HC DrugFree Updates for Parents/Guardians

    Free Parenting Classes for Parents/Guardians of 9-14 Year Olds:
    HC DrugFree and the Howard County State's Attorney's Office, partnering with the Howard County Public School System and the Howard County Health Department, will once again provide the evidence-based series Guiding Good Choices for parents to gain skills and knowledge to reduce the risk that their children will use drugs. This 4-week series will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Tuesdays, October 22, 29 and November 5, 12 at Wilde Lake Middle School in Columbia. Parents are expected to attend all 4 sessions. To register, go to or see attached flier. Free workbook included. If you have questions, email Joan Webb Scornaienchi, HC DrugFree’s Executive Director at or call 443-325-0040.

    Drive-thru EpiPen, Medication and More Collection:
    Howard County's next convenient drive-thru collection for over-the-counter and prescription medication and “sharps” (needles, syringes and EpiPens) will be held on Saturday, October 26 between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. in the Wilde Lake Village Center parking lot near the Swim Center and The UPS Store.
    HC DrugFree and the Howard County Police urge you to clean out your medicine cabinets. Teams, clubs, students, PTAs/PTSAs, families, scouts, etc. are welcome to volunteer at the event and receive community service hours. Please visit HC DrugFree’s website at and go to the Events/Drug Take Back Day page for more information about medication disposal, or let us know if you plan to volunteer by emailing or calling 443-325-0040.

    Community Service Hours:
    All students (elementary through college) may receive Community Service Hours for volunteering during any HC DrugFree event. For information, please email or call 443-325-0040.

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    Turn in Read-a-thon forms and donations, please

    The PTA Read-a-thon ended. Please complete form below and turn in donations.

    pace Telescope Science Institute's Youth for Astronomy & Engineering (YAE)

    Registration is now open for Space Telescope Science Institute's Youth for Astronomy & Engineering (YAE) Program annual “Parent and Son Evening Under the Stars”, which will be held on Friday, November 1, 2019 and “Parent and Daughter Evening Under the Stars”, which will be held on Friday, November 15, 2019. Both events will take place from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

    Come join us for a dinner reception, followed by an opportunity to:

    • Learn more about astronomy
    • Engage in night star observation through JHU Offit Telescope
    • Planetarium viewing
    • Hands-on STEM demonstrations

    To register online, click HERE

    You can also complete the attached registration form and mail it to the address indicated on the form. Please feel free to make as much copies as needed to distribute to your students. Or you can contact us at and request copies to be mailed to your school or organization. Scholarships/Financial aid is available for students who would like to attend but have financial hardships. Large groups/classes are welcome.

    For more information about the YAE Program, please visit

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