Clemens Crossing Cougar Comments

March 22, 2019 - Volume 40, Issue 26

Clemens Crossing Elementary School

Edward Cosentino, Principal

Sonia Hurd, Assistant Principal

Upcoming Events


  • 25 - SPIRIT DAY: Wear Maryland Colors
  • 27 - In-School Banking, 9:00 a.m.
  • 28 - Gr.2 Field Trip to Toby's
  • 29 - PTA sponsored DIY Wood Pallet Paint Night Fundraiser, 6:45 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.


  • National Arab American History -and- World Autism Awareness Month
  • 1 - Casey Cares starts - See below
  • 4 - Boy's Night Out
  • 5 - Professional Work Day/End of Marking Period - Dismissal at 12:45 p.m.
  • 12 Casey Cares ends - See below
  • 15 thru 22 - Schools Closed: SPRING BREAK
  • 25 - National Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day
  • 26 - PTA Talent Show (NEW DATE! Moved from the end of March) - 7:00 p.m.


  • 17 - Professional Learning/Articulation Day - School Closes 3-Hours Early, 12:45 p.m.
  • 17 - PTA Spring Carnival
  • 27 - Memorial Day - Schools and Offices Closed

June - Adjusted Final Days of School

  • 17 - Full Day of School
  • 18 - Full Day of School
  • 19 - School Closes 3-Hours Early, 12:45 p.m.
  • 20 - School Closes 3-Hours Early, 12:45 p.m.
  • 21- LAST DAY OF SCHOOL: School Closes 3-Hours Early, 12:45 p.m.

For a complete list of dates and events visit

To subscribe to the CCES calendar on your smartphone, electronic device, or email system click the +Google Calendar icon in the bottom right-hand corner to add our calendar to your personal device. By subscribing to the calendar, school events and activities will always be up-to-date.

From School Administration

Welcome to Spring! Hopefully, we are finally free of the winter weather and snow days!
Thank you for your flexibility as we maneuvered through the winter months.

We can now move forward on to the final quarter and a half of the school year. There are many exciting events scheduled for the spring months both before and after Spring Break. Please pay close attention to the important dates (see above and on our Google calendar) and plan to join us for these exciting events that are planned for you and your children.

Winter MAP Report for Reading and Math for students in Grades 1 through 5 will be going home within the week. The report showed growth from Fall to Winter in addition to historical performance.

Now that we are well beyond the mid-point of the school year, we wanted to share how we discuss student growth and progress at CCES. Discussing student growth and progress is one of the most important things we do as a staff. Beyond the informal talks that happen between teachers, we have formal processes when it comes to discussing student growth. One formal process is data conversations. Every month, grade level teachers and support staff get together to discuss the Reading and Math progress of all students.

We focus on multiple data points including MAP (Measure of Academic Progress) scores. The use of MAP allows for teachers to look at students in similar skill groups to plan and provide instruction according to the skills they are ready to learn. In some cases, we design interventions for students who need additional support. After a period of time, we check on the success of these interventions. This data-driven process has been very successful in helping to ensure students do not “fall through the cracks”. The second process is our Instructional Intervention Team (IIT). IIT is a peer problem-solving approach where two staff members work together to design interventions (academic or behavioral) for a specific student. This, too, is a data-driven model, and data is systematically tracked to see if the intervention is working. We are very proud of our approaches. I wanted to share them with you to let you know that we are regularly talking about your children and working to ensure their education is appropriate and complete.


The Special Education Citizens Advisory Committee (SECAC) is seeking nominations for their annual SECAC Recognition Evening. Families are encouraged to nominate an individual or group of people who have significantly enhanced their child’s educational experience. Nominees may be teachers, bus drivers, guidance counselors, psychologists, administrators, nurses, paraprofessionals, occupational, physical and speech therapists or any other staff member who works with a child with an IEP. SECAC will accept nominations from parents, guardians or students. If you are nominating an individual, please describe in 50-200 words an action, attitude or approach that you feel has made a difference. For team nominations, please describe in 50-400 words how the team has worked together to provide an exceptional educational experience. You must include the first and last name (with correct spelling) of all nominees, the school, and bus company where applicable, or the nominee will not receive the information. The firm deadline is April 5, 2019, no nominations will be accepted after that day. All nominating families, the nominees, and administrators will be invited to join us as we recognize these outstanding individuals on May 1, 2019 at River Hill High School at 7pm.
We believe that all nominees should be recognized for their work. The nomination form is available at:

HCPSS Seeking Members for New Community Workgroups on Supporting Students with Dyslexia

HCPSS is interested in partnering with students, families, staff and community members to collaborate in the development of improved supports for students with dyslexia. Please complete a short interest form if you would like to be involved.

HCPSS staff will reach out to communicate upcoming opportunities for collaboration, beginning in late March 2019.

Arrival and Dismissal Reminders

9:13 a.m.

Students should be entering the school building no later than 9:13 a.m. This gives students two minutes to be in their homeroom class. They should be in their seats and ready to learn at 9:15 a.m.

Right-Hand Turns PLEASE!

Please make right-hand turns in and out of our car loop, especially when there is a long line entering the car loop. The view becomes obstructed leaving oncoming traffic hard to see. We have done our best to ask people to follow the "rule." We witness near misses a lot, and it won't be a problem until someone gets hurt. Please be part of the solution and not part of the potential problem.


Quarterstaff Road and the crosswalk are not drop off locations. If you park on Quarterstaff Road, it is expected you walk your child to the front of the building in the morning and meet your child at the front doors for afternoon pick-up. As adults, we have to create safe and predictable routines for our children. The way we have designed our arrival and dismissal helps to create safe routines. Thank you for your help.

Science Fair Registration

There is plenty of time to sign up for the science fair. Information is located on the main page of the CCES website.

Upcoming Spirit Day

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Casey Cares

Dear Clemens Crossing Families,

My name is Sarah Eber, I am a senior at Towson University working as an intern with Casey Cares Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides uplifting programs for critically ill children and their families. I am a former Clemens Crossing student and also the daughter of Ms. Marybeth DeSantis, the band and string teacher at Clemens Crossing Elementary.

An important part of my internship is developing relationships with communities as well as the families directly involved in the Casey Cares program. Clemens Crossing is a community well known for supporting and nurturing the needs of children and a community of mine as well. Before going into the details of my internship project, I would like to share with you why Casey Cares Foundation and this internship is important to me. When I was 15 years old I was diagnosed with a critical illness spending 3 months in Johns Hopkins and Kennedy Krieger Institute. I not only received medical care, but emotional care as well so my family and I could cope with the challenges and begin healing to move forward. I chose to go into a Family Studies field with an Introduction to Child Life so I can make a difference in the lives of other families with sick children.

I am inviting you to make a difference in the lives of these families by participating in the fourth annual Pajama Party sponsored by the Casey Cares Foundation! I am hosting a drive to collect new pajamas and gift cards to provide cozy at home movie kits that give families the opportunity to spend time together. Have your child wear their favorite pair of pajamas to school on Friday, April 12th! There will be donation bins inside the front door of the school from April 1st through April 12th.

We are collecting:

~ new two-piece PJs (Infant to Adult sizes),

~ $10 gift cards (Fandango, Amazon, Walmart, Target, etc.)

~ Pizza gift cards (Ledo Pizza, Pizza Hut, Little Caesar’s, Domino’s, etc.)

There are also other Drop off locations for donations throughout April, and they, along with information about how the pajama donations began, can be found on their website:

I look forward to working with you to make this program a successful and fun for everyone. I will be at Clemens Crossing Friday, April 12th to participate with Clemens Crossing community. You can reach me at 443-878-5960 or for any questions or to request more information on the amazing programs Casey Cares provides.


Sarah Eber

Family and Human Service Major

Towson University

8000 York Road

Towson, Maryland 21252

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Thank you to those who contribute to our display case in the front of the school!
It ’s time to start thinking about our next display, which will be for National Arab American History Month and World Autism Awareness Month in April.
We are once again encouraging the community to participate by sending in anything that represents the Arab American culture. You may begin sending in your items as soon as possible. Please be sure to label items with your child’s name and homeroom so we may return it.
Thanks in advance!

Cultural Awareness Schedule:

  • April: Arab American Heritage Month/ World Autism Awareness Month
  • May: Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
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Register for DIY Wood Pallet Paint Night Fundraiser

DATE: March 29 from 6:45-9:00 p.m. REGISTER by March 25

Calling all performers!

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The CCES Talent Show is coming Friday, April 26!!

* Acts can be solo or group numbers

* Acts must be three minutes or less

* Mandatory Dress Rehearsal will be the week of April 8-12 (specific dates coming soon)

* Registration Deadline -- Thursday April 4

Please register using this link:

The Talent Show is organized by Christine Porras. Please email with any questions!

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ANGST, the Movie


Parents and guardians are invited to a free documentary screening and panel discussion around anxiety in youth. This 55-minute film features candid interviews with children and young adults who struggle, or have struggled, with anxiety — including Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps. This film explores the causes, symptoms and effects of anxiety and stress, and encourages youth and their families to seek help. Middle and high school students are invited to attend with a parent or guardian. Each film screening will be followed by a discussion with local experts.


Join us at one of four events. Film begins at 6:30 p.m., followed by discussion.

  • Howard High School – Tues. April 2, 6:30 p.m. 8700 Old Annapolis Rd, Ellicott City, MD 21043
  • Hammond High School – Thurs. April 4, 6:30 p.m. 8800 Guilford Rd, Columbia, MD 21046
  • Glenelg High School – Tues. April 9, 6:30 p.m. 14025 Burntwoods Rd, Glenelg, MD 21737
  • Mt. Hebron High School – Wed. April 10, 6:30 p.m. 9440 Old Frederick Rd, Ellicott City, MD 21042

If you need interpreting services, please contact Rashel Taylor at

For more information about the film "Angst," please visit

Register for Angst the Move


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Guest Speaker for PTA Meeting on April 10th

We are very excited to announce that we will be joined by a special guest speaker for our April 10th PTA meeting. Noreen Naroo-Pucci, a leader of the Howard County Chapter of Start School Later, will be speaking to us about the importance of sleep for children and the scientific studies showing the connection between hours of sleep and school start times. She will also discuss the proposals for starting high schools later that were presented to the Howard County Board of Education, most recently in December 2017. Join us at 6:30 in the media center for this informational session. A modified PTA meeting will follow at 7:15. Please be sure to make time in your schedule to attend this great event!

PTA Executive Board Open Seats for 2019-2020

Nominees for all Executive Board positions will be presented at the PTA meeting on April 10.

The following positions have no candidates of yet:

  • 1st Vice President,
  • 2nd Vice President,
  • Recording Secretary
  • Corresponding Secretary

Anyone interested in running for these positions is welcome to do so! For more information, please contact the Nominating Committee: Hyung Chang (, Chris McDonald (, Christy Pine (


The Clemens Crossing Elementary School PTA Nominating Committee is looking for volunteers to chair several positions during the 2019-2020 academic year. PTA position descriptions and contact information can be found below. Most of these positions do not require regular attendance at monthly PTA board meetings. Updates to the board can be communicated through email.

We welcome anyone who would like to be involved. If you have time to help in any capacity, please contact any or all of the Nominating Committee: Hyung Chang (, Chris McDonald (, Christy Pine (


CAC Representative

The CAC is the Community Advisory Council to the Board of Education of Howard County. The CAC meets one evening a month and facilitates communication between the Board and the community on issues of concern and matters involving education. The CAC Representative is a liaison between the CCES PTA and the Board of Education.

PTA Council Rep (2 volunteers)

PTA Council delegates and PTA Presidents are the all-important communication link between the local PTA unit and the PTA Council. Representatives attend monthly PTACHC and relay information at CCES PTA meetings.

SECAC Representative

Under the law, Howard County Special Education Citizens Advisory Committee advises the school system on the needs of students with disabilities. We collaborate with other community disability advocacy groups to improve special education and the lives of our students in Howard County, MD.

SIT Representative

Each school has a School Improvement Team made up of school staff, parents and other community members, which oversees the process of improving instruction and academic performance in that school. The SIT is charged with developing a school improvement plan that serves as a tool for reviewing school progress, appropriately adjusting instruction, and delineating responsibility for implementation. The CCES PTA's SIT representative acts as a liaison between the PTA and the SIT. The SIT representative attends three annual meetings with the SIT and provides updates on the school’s progress against established goals at PTA meetings.

Audit Committee (2 volunteers)

A three-member committee that periodically examines the financial books of the CCES PTA. At the end of the year, or anytime there is a change of treasurers, the audit committee will examine the treasurer's financial report and certify that it is correct.

Bulletin Board

Designs, decorates, and updates the PTA Bulletin Board in the front lobby of the school.


Coordinates welcoming new families to CCES: identifies volunteers at each grade level who would be willing to host playdates and answer questions for new families joining our CCES Community. May choose to host a new families picnic/playdate at the CCES playground in the fall.

Paw Print Press

Coordinates volunteers and production of Paw Print Press books.

Play Coordinator

The play coordinator serves as a liaison between the School House Theater Arts and parents. The coordinator works together with STA in arranging the school play, serving as the liaison between parents and STA, and coordinating the cast party on the final night of the performance.

Special Education Liaison

Individual works w/ Special Education staff to promote, support and recognize best practices in meeting the needs of students receiving Special Education services. This position is fairly flexible depending on the needs of the Special Education team and what the individual would like to emphasize and promote. In the past, we have purchased equipment for the Special Education team (iPad, books), worked w/ Parent Partners, and promoted disability awareness activities.

Spirit Wear

Coordinates sale of spirit wear including identifying merchandise to be included in the sale and working with the vendor, collecting orders and payments, and distributing merchandise.

Staff Appreciation

Coordinates staff appreciation events and activities including, Back to School Luncheon (the week before school starts), November and February conference dinners, and teacher appreciation week luncheon/events (early May). Recruits volunteers. Events are scheduled both during the school day and evenings. This is a great position for two people to co-chair.

Talent Show

Organizes school talent show including creating and distributing flier, overseeing auditions, creating program schedule, advertising event to CCES community, and overseeing activities on event night.

Visiting Author

Coordinates the annual author visit by working with the school media instructor to select author, decide on a date, advertise the event to families, coordinate book orders, and be present on the day of the event.

Web Master

Manages website functionality and design adaptation. Coordinates with Website Chair to present content in the most user-friendly way.

Web Site

Works with Communication Chair and President to manage and post web site content. Coordinates with Web Master to address functionality issues or re-design.

Community News and Programs

In alignment with Howard County Board of Education Policy 10010, Distribution and Display of Materials and Announcements, the following announcements have been approved by the
Public Information Office for distribution. Please visit Distributing Community Information through the School System or contact the Public Information Office at 410-313-6682 if you have any questions.
Community News and Programs

Community notices are neither sponsored nor endorsed by the Howard County Public School System.