VES Eagle Express Newletter

SY2020-2021 SEPTEMBER 19, 2020 - Volume 14, Issue #5

Saturday Weekly Circular

Veterans Elementary

The building is closed to students at this time. The office has coverage from 8:00 am-4:00 pm on days when school is in session. Please call ahead 410-313-1700.


They are available to assist you during this time with attendance, student records, new student registrations/withdrawals:

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.

Virtually Visit Veterans Elementary

Here Is your chance to take a virtual tour!

VES Student Virtual Visit Day


Back to School Nights This Week

This week is Back to School Week at Veterans Elementary School. Tonight there will be no general meeting for the school. Instead, the school community can view the following videos:

Principal's Video Message

PTA President's Welcome Message

We will also send links to two additional presentations this week on our ESOL program offerings and Gifted & Talented program offerings.
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Thank you for a wonderful second week of school. Our teachers, students, and parents have all been working hard to deliver a high quality learning experience for our students. Co-VID pre-cautions are still the norm. I hope everyone is washing their hands often (20 seconds), wearing a mask if around other non-family members, and maintaining at least six feet of social distance when in crowds. Many of our parents have been sitting closely and assisting their children with virtual learning, many are allowing students to SOAR on their own. Unless there is a bonafide reason to sit with your child, I recommend your child beginning to handle signing on and experiencing the lessons more independently. If you have concerns about your child's experience and really feel the need to sit with your child, please email the teacher and chat this out among the two of you. We are entering the third week of instruction and most children are doing wonderfully. Our goal is to have your child taking responsibility for their own learning.

This week is Back to School Week. On Monday September 21st , I will forward some independent power points for parents to review. One will be from the PTA, one from school based administration, and others from our Gifted & Talented program and English as a Second Language programs. Please review these and please email me with any questions you may have. Teachers will remind you of the sign in codes in your student's announcements. Sign-in codes were sent out this week and will be repeated on Monday. These meetings are for you, your children can relax. Remember, you must enter through your child's account. No outside email addresses will be allowed entry to the sessions. This is a security issue. See dates of sessions below.

Parents are reminded that recording of any Howard County School System presentation, lesson or Google Meet is prohibited due to student and staff security and confidentiality issues. Please do not take any pictures that would compromise another individual's security.

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.

Important Current Events


22 - Back to School Night: Grades K thru 1, 6:00p.m. - 7:00p.m.

23 - Back to School Night: Grades 2 thru 3, 6:00p.m. - 7:00p.m.

24 - Back to School Night: Grades 4 thru 5, 6:00p.m. - 7:00p.m.

28- No School - Yom Kippur

29 - PTA General Meeting: VES Main Entry Outside Area, 7:00p.m. (9/30 rain date)

30 - (PTA General Meeting rain date)

30 - UPDATED Deadline to Register for Band and Strings (moved from Sep.18)


16 - No School for Student - HCPSS Professional Work Day

Please Continue to Return Media Books

A bin is located right inside the front door of our school for book drop off. You don't need to go inside the school, just drop the books off in the bin. We would like for all media books to be returned by November 1st, so we can clear our student accounts and make plans for a possible contactless media book check out later on this year. If you have books from another school, you may drop those off in the bin as well and we will send them to your old school.
If you have any questions, please email your media specialist, or

UPDATE: Deadline for Band/Strings Registration is now Wednesday, 9/30!

Have YOU decided what you’re going to play this year? Don’t forget to sign up for band or strings by Wednesday, September 30th.

We want to make sure you’re included in a fun year of learning to play an instrument!


  • If you participated last year, you must register again to attend this year’s classes.
  • Strings is for 3rd/4th/5th graders and band is for 4th/5th graders.
  • The sign up registration form and other program information can be found at

Can’t decide what to play? Maybe we can help… click the link for a surprise video!

- Mr. Viets, Mrs. McLagan, and Mrs. Jacobs

* Please be advised: Outside email addresses will not be allowed into HCPSS BACK-TO-SCHOOL Virtual Meetings

Please enter these meetings from your child’s Canvas page.

This week is Back to School Week at Veterans Elementary School. Tonight there will be no general meeting for the school. Instead, the school community can view the following videos:

Principal's Video Message

PTA President's Welcome Message

We will also send links to two additional presentations this week on our ESOL program offerings and Gifted & Talented program offerings.

2020-2021 HCPSS Back to School Nights will be held via Google Meet.
All dates are subject to change.

Parents/guardians will receive details and information from their child's school. Please check with your child's school prior to the event to verify the event date and time.

Veterans Elementary:

  • September 22 - Grades K-1, 6:00-7:00 p.m.
  • September 23 - Grades 2-3, 6:00-7:00 p.m.
  • September 24 - Grades 4-5, 6:00-7:00 p.m.
Tuesday September 22, 2020

Back to School Night Grades Kindergarten and Grade One

6:00- Kindergarten Back to School Presentation Code, this will be a team presentation.


6:00- Grade One Back to School Presentation Codes, presentations will be made in homeroom/ELA teacher pairs.

Teachers: Code

Alizadeh & Welch ves-alizawelch-BTS

Nguyen & Walker ves-nguywalker-BTS

Stein & Penn ves-steinpenn-BTS

Wednesday September 23, 2020

Back to School Nights for Grades 2 and 3

Please enter these meetings from your child’s Canvas page, no outside email addresses will be allowed into the meet.

Grade 2 will first meet in homerooms then switch to your child’s math teacher. First you will attend in your child’s homeroom from 6:00 pm- 6:30 and then you will exit and then join your child’s Math teacher at 6:40 pm







Grade 3 will meet for a teamwide presentation beginning at 6:00 pm for ELA and Math.

Code: ves-gr3-BTS

Thursday September 24, 2020

Back to School Night for Grade 4 and Grade 5

Please enter these meetings from your child’s Canvas page, no outside email addresses will be allowed into the meet.

Grade 4 will meet for a teamwide presentation beginning at 6:00 pm.

6:00-7:00 Code: ves-gr4-BTS

7:10-7:30 Math Breakout Sessions- Know the name of your child’s math teacher

Gillam- ves-mgillam-BTS

Grady-Johnson- ves-mgrady-BTS

Graves- ves-sgraves-BTS

Shepet- ves-kshepet-BTS

Solla- ves-bsolla-BTS

Cutwright, Lane, Aytona, Gemp : ves-gtmath-BTS

Grade 5 will meet for a teamwide presentation beginning at 6:00 pm.

6:00-7:00 Code: ves-gr5-BTS

7:10-7:30 Math Breakout Sessions- Know the name of your child’s math teacher

Butani ves-pbutani-BTS

Chong ves-jchong-BTS

Oh ves-coh-BTS

Pensiero ves-cpensiero-BTS

Cutwright, Lane, Aytona, Gemp : ves-gtmath-BTS


Student Schedules

All parents/guardians can log in to HCPSS Connect to view teachers and schedules beginning Saturday, September 5.

Information on Related Arts

Information is forthcoming. Please access synchronous Related Arts courses from the

Canvas Calendar.

We realize there may be some confusion with regards to the Related Arts schedule of synchronous and asynchronous assignments. During the first synchronous session for each Related Arts class (i.e. PE, Music, Art, Media, Technology) your child’s Related Arts teacher will communicate with the students how to best navigate the course and identify where students will obtain weekly assignments and lessons.

Students will not be responsible or required to complete asynchronous assignments for any Related Arts until they have their first synchronous class with their Related Arts teacher.
You can find the synchronous Related Arts Class Schedule on the Canvas Calendar along with the link to access the Google Meet live synchronous session.


FAQ - Will 2020-2021 virtual instruction synchronous (live) classes be recorded?: This updated FAQ helps families understand why HCPSS does not allow recordings of live instruction.

Please take some time to go through the Canvas Orientation with your child. Included is a list of topics that will help you use Canvas in their classes. Click on each topic to learn how to use that feature in Canvas. When you are finished, you will have mastered the Canvas basics and be ready to navigate smoothly within their courses. Remember you can always refer back to this guide throughout the school year.

Student Canvas Account Self-Service

Students now have the ability to reset their passwords and manage their accounts independent of Teachers and Staff.

Student Technology Devices

All elementary school students will be provided with a Chromebook. All families may indicate a need for internet access. Full details online.

Virtual Instruction Responsibilities, Expectations and Best Practices

A successful virtual instruction program for the 2020-2021 school year requires collaboration and shared responsibilities among students, educators and families.


As we begin a new school year with all students having an HCPSS issued Chromebook for use at home, we know that our children may encounter some technical difficulties. Some of those difficulties may be logging in, forgetting their username, having trouble accessing assignments in Canvas, or other questions that might arise during this semester. We are here to help! We have a school based technology support team to assist with matters like this when your child’s teacher is unable to provide assistance. Please use this link to complete a form that will go to our team. Once the request is submitted, one of our team members will reach out to you to provide assistance. Please note: our team will not be able to provide technical support to devices other than the HCPSS county issued Chromebook. If you have not yet picked up your HCPSS Chromebook from the school, you can still do so.

Please find below suggestions on how to proceed if your student experiences an issue:
For common issues
Account Self-Service allows families to request a password reset or student’s username
Canvas Orientation – tips for navigating Canvas Chromebook Orientation - a tutorial to assist with using your Chromebook
Google Meet resources

Remember, students must log in with HCPSS credentials in order to access Canvas and Google Meet sessions.

We look forward to working with you this year.

Virtual Instruction Student Tip Sheet: A downloadable tip sheet was created for students and parents or guardians to use for quick access to login information, course meeting codes, and instructions for logging in to platforms. Please share this wonderful resource with your school community and students along with this helpful note from the Instructional Technology Office: Students - Don’t forget to check your “to-do” list area in Canvas for new announcements, Google events and assignments that are due. Once a task/event is complete, be sure to click on the “x” next to the event so that your upcoming assignments/events will appear at the top of the list.

ESOL- English for Speakers of Other Languages

The ESOL team shares the components of our ESOL program with interested parents.

We have a team of people on our staff to help students and families who are learning English. The link below explains how one gets into the program. It also explains how the program works and how students are assessed for the program.


Hello, students! Welcome back to school! We are so excited to have you back!!
If you are new to VES, know that we are so happy to have you. We will be hosting new student welcome lunch bunches to introduce ourselves, get to know each of you, and play a few games. If you are new to VES and you want to come, log into google meet using the code VESNEWSTUDENTLUNCH at 12:00 p.m. on the following dates:

First Grade - Tuesday, September 15

Second Grade - Wednesday, September 16

Third Grade - Friday, September 18

Fourth Grade - Tuesday, September 22

Fifth Grade - Friday, September 25

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.

Greetings from your VES School Psychologists!

Welcome back for the 2020-2021 school year. Our school psychologist team at VES has grown this school year. 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!

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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.

HCPSS to Introduce Small Group, In-Person Supports for Selected Students

Recently, Superintendent Martirano announced that in-person supports and services will soon be offered to small groups of selected students. Following is an overview of the programs and services under consideration and the criteria that will be used to identify students for participation.

HCPSS has developed a virtual instruction program for first semester 2020-21 that replicates as closely as possible what students would experience in the classroom. Educators recognize that virtual instruction is not ideal for most students; however, some students have been especially impacted and more urgently need the kind of support that can best be provided in an in-person model.

HCPSS is preparing to offer a roster of half-day or full-day, face-to-face small group programs that will be phased in over the next several weeks and offered to selected students and families. The programs that HCPSS anticipates offering include:

  • Special education services for children receiving the most intensive services
  • School-Based Learning Centers for students who are experiencing significant barriers to attendance or virtual learning, or who need intensive mental health or behavioral support
  • Family conference opportunities to address barriers to student learning
  • Teen parenting program
  • Homewood Bridges program

A descriptive list of all in-person programs currently targeted for availability is provided online.

Student Identification Process. Each school will identify students who would most benefit from the in-person programs, and will reach out directly to their parents/guardians next week with a survey that will provide detailed information and ask their interest in participating. Schools will also assess the availability of appropriate staff to support each program, based on anticipated student participation. In cases where there are not enough staff available to offer a specific in-person program at a school, eligible students may be able to participate at another school where space is available.

Future Expansion of Small Group Supports. We realize many students would benefit from face-to-face instructional support; however, due to limitations of space, staffing availability, and health and safety requirements, HCPSS is currently only able to offer in-person small group supports for students who most critically need these services. HCPSS will continually assess and refine the programs based on these initial experiences, with the goal of expanding in-person offerings and participation.

Details about the in-person programs under consideration, health and safety precautions, transportation services, answers to frequently-asked questions and additional information is provided on our website, which will be updated as new information becomes available.

School Messengers Worth Repeating...

Expectations During Virtual Learning

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Supply List

ES_Supply_List_2020 (2) (1).pdf

The Howard County School System is acutely aware of how the pandemic has affected family budgets. It has reviewed school supply lists and released one general supply list for families which I am attaching to this special announcement . The number of items have been reduced to the most needed items based on knowledge of curriculum to be covered. I hope you find this helpful.


Welcome back to school from your VES PTA

Special Message from your VES PTA during Back to School Week


One of the best ways to help our PTA is to become a member! Please consider supporting the PTA that does so much to support your child’s experience here at Veterans Elementary. Becoming a member (just $10 per adult) ensures we are an official PTA organization within the national structure and helps support all that we do here at the school.

The membership process is a bit different this year. Please visit to purchase your membership and download your PTA membership cards. Cost is $10 per person.

Our goal is to get 300 PTA members at VES this year - please help us get there!


Due to the pandemic, the PTA was unable to hold its normal election at the end of the last school year. We have now been approved to host an outdoor general meeting in order to facilitate the elections process. This meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 29 outside the VES doors at 7pm. Meeting will be socially distanced and we ask that attendees wear masks. You must be a PTA member to vote, but all are welcome. We will also be voting on the PTA budget at this time.

The Nominating Committee has put forth the following ballot of candidates as officers for the 2020-2021 School Year:

President - Cara Adornetto
Secretary - Nicole Tsang
Treasurer - Tomi Adebo
1st VP - Heidi Potter
2nd VP - Kimberly Davis
Delegate - Ana Maldonado
Delegate - Mai Hall

You may still request to be on the ballot and nominations can be taken from the floor on the night of elections. Please email if you are interested.

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.
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Cub Scout Pack 305 Virtual Open House

Cub Scout Pack 305 invites all families interested in scouting to our Virtual Fall Open House on Sunday, September 20, from 7-8 PM.

This is an informative meeting for parents/guardians of Kindergarten-5th grade youth to learn about all aspects of the Pack 305 scouting program. If you’d like to join, please fill out the simple form located at: and we will send you the zoom link invitation the morning of the meeting.

Please contact Heidi Potter at if you have any questions.

SuperSquads Cheerleading

After school cheerleading (virtual while schools are closed)
starts soon for the Fall Semester! Contact, or 410-796-2244 to join!

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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

2020 Census

Several HCPSS programs rely on funding based on accurate census information. For this and several other reasons, all families are encouraged to participate in the 2020 census, which may be completed online. Learn more.

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.

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.

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THE REGISTRATION PROCESS for the SY2020-2021 BEGINS ONLINE for all new students Grades PK thru 5. Please use the following link:

*Once a new registration is filled out online, a school registrar will be in contact with you.

Our teacher secretaries/registrars are working remotely and available for questions:

*Parents/guardians who have already registered online, please remember that registration is not complete until a registrar reviews/verifies uploaded required documents.
A registrar will coordinate a virtual GoogleMeeting with the parent/guardian to complete the enrollment.

HCPSSConnect Family File Update Directions:

Update your Family File in HCPSSConnect to view Teacher Assignments when they are available!!!

Looking forward to a great year. It will be what we make it !!!

Emergency Card Procedures with Family File
HCPSS utilizes Family File for parents/guardians to complete emergency information. Regardless of virtual or in-person learning, parents/guardians must verify and/or update information for each child. Parents/guardians can complete Family File by logging in to
HCPSS Connect, selecting the More Options tab on the left, and then selecting Family File in the center column. Family File guides are available online.


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.

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Send all attendance notes directly to:

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.)

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

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

Please take the time to review the HCPSS ATTENDANCE POLICY