Clemens Crossing Cougar Comments

October 28, 2022 - Volume 44, Issue 11

Clemens Crossing Elementary School

Edward Cosentino, Principal

Jaime Gittleson, Assistant Principal

Important Upcoming Dates and Events


  • 28 - Fall Festival Trunk or Treat, 5:00 p.m.
  • 29 - Atholton HS Homecoming parade, 9:30 a.m.


  • 2 - End of 1st Quarter - Schools close 3-hours early at 12:45 p.m.
  • 3 - Picture retake and make-up day
  • 7 - Fall Parent-teacher conference scheduling opens, 8:00 a.m.
  • 8 - Election Day, Schools and offices closed
  • 11 - Veterans Day - Wear Red, White & Blue
  • 11 - Report cards issued
  • 14 - World Kindness Day - Wear something with kind words
  • 14 - Fall Parent-teacher conference scheduling closes, 4:00 p.m.
  • 14 - American Education Week 2022 starts
  • 18 - Bingo Night, 6:30 p.m. in the cafeteria
  • 21 - Parent-teacher conferences - Schools close 3-hours early at 12:45 p.m.
  • 22 - Parent-teacher conferences - Schools close 3-hours early at 12:45 p.m.
  • 22 - Parent-teacher conferences - Schools closed for students
  • 24 - Thanksgiving Holiday - Schools and offices closed
  • 25 - Thanksgiving Holiday - Schools and offices closed

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

From School Administration

End of 1st Quarter

Wednesday, November 2, marks the end of the first quarter of the 22-23 school year. Schools close 3 hours early on Wednesday so teachers can work on report cards. Report cards will be available in Family File on November 11. At that time, we will share more information about the report cards and goal setting in the November 11th issue of the Cougar Comments.


Halloween is Monday. We celebrate Halloween after school hours with the PTA at the Trunk or Treat Fall Festival. This is a friendly reminder that students should not come to school dressed in costumes on Monday. We hope to see you at the Fall Festival Trunk or Treat!

American Education Week

We are excited to have the return of American Education Week after two years without it! Be sure to read about American Education Week below, and we hope to see you on November 14.

Preparing for Inclement Weather

Hopefully, we are nowhere close to having inclement winter weather. Below, I've included some information about the new process for repurposing up to three days as inclement weather asynchronous instruction days. There is also information about the different status codes and how the school system decides to close schools or postpone the opening of schools.

Thank you for your continued support!

Mr. Cosentino, Principal


Inclement Weather Asynchronous Instruction Plan

The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) now allows local school systems to repurpose inclement weather days as asynchronous school days. At the discretion of the superintendent, HCPSS will use up to three inclement weather asynchronous days during the 2022-2023 school year. One of two additional codes will be instituted to reflect the decision to transition to an asynchronous instruction day:

  • Code Purple Asynchronous Student Day - School buildings and Office buildings open for staff only
  • Code Pink Asynchronous Student Day - School buildings and Office buildings closed

For each asynchronous inclement weather day, students should:

1. Access the inclement weather asynchronous task options chart via the HCPSS Inclement Weather Asynchronous Instruction Plan website or the hard copy that was sent home to families upon request. K-5 students should complete one task per curriculum area:

  • 1 Math
  • 1 ELA
  • 1 Content (either Science, Social Studies, or Health)
  • 1 Related Arts task for that color day

2. Circle the completed tasks on a hard copy of the task choices chart or make a list of completed tasks on a separate piece of paper.
3. Submit the printed chart or the completed tasks list on a separate paper to their teacher at the end of the month to get marked as present for the asynchronous day attendance.

NOTE: For asynchronous days occurring less than nine days before the end of the month, task completion lists will be collected at the end of the next month. Attendance for asynchronous days will be updated monthly.

For more information, please visit the HCPSS Inclement Weather Asynchronous Instruction Plan.

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HCPSS Inclement Weather Procedure
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American Education Week 2022

Together for Safe, Just & Equitable Schools. #aew2022

What is American Education Week?

During American Education Week, November 14—28, 2022, Americans nationwide will join the National Education Association (NEA) in raising awareness about the need to provide every child with a quality public education. The celebration highlights the importance of bringing together educators, parents, students, and communities in a unified effort to build great public schools. It also reflects NEA's vision of calling upon America to provide public school students with quality schools so that they can grow and achieve in the 21st century.

Invitation to Visit Your Child's Class on November 14

As part of the celebration, we provide parents and guardians the opportunity to visit their child’s classroom. Monday, November 14 is designated as the visitation day. If you cannot make it to visit on Monday, November 14, you are welcome to visit your child's classroom any day during the week, but please contact the teacher ahead of time. Please refer to the CCES Master Schedule below to help you guide your visitation.

What to Expect When You Arrive

When you visit, please be prepared to sign in through the Lobby Guard kiosk in the office. You will need your driver's license to sign in with Lobby Guard. You also need to complete the volunteer and visitation training and show the certificate when you arrive. We do not allow younger children in the classrooms when parents visit. Additionally, we ask visitors to refrain from using their phones in the classroom. Please put your phone on silence or vibrate. If you need to use your phone or device for any reason, please go to the front lobby or outside the building.

We look forward to our continued partnership in your child's education, and we are excited to see you in school during American Education Week.

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Parent/Teacher Conferences

Parent/Teacher Conferences are scheduled for November 21, 22, and 23. Conferences on November 21 will be in-person at Clemens Crossing ES. Conferences on November 22 and 23 will be virtual.

Conferences will be with homeroom teachers and will focus on Language Arts.
To schedule conferences, you will need to log in to HCPSS Connect.

HCPSS Connect will be open for all schools to schedule conferences from Monday, November 7 through Thursday, November 17. Please take the time to schedule your conference while the conference scheduling window is open. It is very difficult to accommodate last-minute appointments once the scheduling window closes.

The directions for parent conference registration is linked here from the HCPSS website. You can also download the directions from the icon below.

If you have any questions, please call the front office at 410-313-6866.

Please note: This is the first of two conference periods for the school year. There will be conferences following the end of the second quarter in February. The focus of those conferences will math where you will be able to meet with your child's math teacher.

Last Week of Read-a-Thon!

Our annual PTA Read-a-Thon is underway and runs through Halloween! Mr. Toland's homeroom has taken the top spot for minutes of reading logged, followed by Mrs. Rausch's and Ms. Alban's! 10 homerooms have submitted minutes with over 2000 minutes logged so far! The homeroom with the most minutes of reading logged will earn prizes plus a $100 gift card for their teacher! Visit the PTA Read-a-thon website ( for more info, to log your student's minutes, donate, and find the secret activity from Mrs. Greene and the Media Center worth a bonus 60 minutes!

How does it work?

Make reading goals--how many minutes can your students spend reading between now and Halloween?!? Log your student's reading at the PTA readathon website. The homeroom with the most minutes logged at the end of the month will earn a $100 gift card (teacher's choice) for their teacher and prizes for each student!


Families, please consider asking friends and family to sponsor your child's reading goals with a donation to the CCES PTA. 100% of the proceeds go back to the school!

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Half-Day After School Camps

Registration is up and live!

Magnus Chess Academy (Silver Knights) has taught chess to 100,000+ children including national champions! An excellent camp for everyone from brand-new beginners to tournament players. Activities include learning the rules, openings, tactics, strategy, endgames, playing games, and outdoor breaks. Students will have two lessons and a bunch of practice games each day. All equipment provided.

Pumpkin Raffle

Check out the pumpkins that the staff decorated! These will be raffled at the Trunk or Treat Fall Festival.
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Atholton Homecoming Parade!

Calling all future Atholton High School Raiders! Atholton High School's homecoming is Saturday, October 29. Current Clemens Crossing students are invited to be part of the homecoming parade!

If you are interested, please join us! We will meet in the Hickory Village Center parking lot between 9:30 and 9:45 a.m. The parade is scheduled to run from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. The parade route takes us down Freetown Road, left on Quarterstaff Road, right on Fair Oaks, and into the Atholton High School bus loop. Parents must accompany children.

Picture Retake and Make-up Day

Students' school individual pictures were distributed this past week. If you missed the picture day or would like a retake, Strawbridge photographers will be back at Clemens Crossing on Thursday, November 3.

Please note, school pictures are the largest fundraiser for the school (separate from the PTA). A portion of the money for school pictures goes directly to the school. When teachers need supplemental supplies and materials, Mr. Cosentino uses funds generated from school pictures for those materials.

The following link allows parents to sign up to receive updates via email regarding their child's school portraits. These updates include promotions, additional deals, and the ability to order more pictures at a later time. When entering student information, parents should be sure to enter the student's name as it is on file at the school.

Trunk or Treat

Friday, Oct. 28th, 5pm

10320 Quarterstaff Road

Columbia, MD

At CCES, our Halloween celebration takes place after school hours. We do not have parties or dress up during the school day. Instead, we have a school-wide celebration after school where you can dress up, participate in games, and walk in a parade. Please join us!

PTA Trunk or Treat & Fall Festival

Friday, October 28th, 5:00-7:00 PM @ CCES

Come one, come all for some family fun this Fall! Wear your costume and participate in any or all of the events below. The Fall Festival is free, and Cougar Pumpkin Raffle tickets will be available for purchase ($0.25/each or 5 for $1.00). If you can help in any way, please sign up here. If you plan to attend, just show up – no sign-up required!

5:00-5:45 - FALL FUN

  • Eat (Bring your own dinner or eat before you arrive)
  • Dance in the Monster Mash
  • Create free Kidz Art crafts under the tent
  • Pose for a smile in front of the photo wall
  • Get your ghoul game on near the blacktop
  • Enter the Cougar Pumpkin Raffle for the chance to win a special pumpkin decorated by CCES staff/grade levels! (Kids will have already voted for their favorites in school the week before the Fall Festival!)



  • Parade will begin on the Blacktop, move past the playground, wind onto the field, and will end near the entrance to the parking lot.
  • Parade is for CCES students/siblings & staff (and their kids) only. All other family members are asked to watch.
  • Kids will reunite with their families at the end of the parade for Trunk or Treating!
  • Games, Crafts, Music, etc. will still be open
  • Cougar Pumpkin Raffle winners will be announced at 6:50 PM!


  • All children can participate in Trunk or Treating, regardless of whether their family is bringing a decorated vehicle
  • Children should bring their own bags or buckets to hold treats.

For those bringing a decorated vehicle…

  • Arrive in the parking lot no later than 5:20 PM. Overflow trunk or treating will occur in the bus loop, but the parking lot will be filled first. Only decorated cars will be allowed to park in these areas.
  • Please supply your own candy or some other treat to hand out (non-edible items such as stickers, pencils, small toys, etc. are also fun!)
  • PTA will supplement your treats with donations from families attending the event, but not bringing a decorated vehicle.
  • Make sure an adult is stationed at your vehicle to hand out your treats

For those not bringing a decorated vehicle, but still trunk or treating…
  • You may not park on campus. Instead, please park at the Clemens Crossing Pool, or on Quarterstaff Road/surrounding neighborhoods.
  • Please consider donating a bag of treats to help the cars who are participating! A bin will be available near the parking lot to drop off your donation. Extra treats will be distributed amongst cars participating in Trunk or Treat.
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PTA - Parent Teacher Association


Don't forget to renew your annual PTA membership, or join if you haven't already:

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National PTA Reflections Creative Arts Recognition Program

The National PTA Reflections Arts Recognition Program is a program designed to inspire and celebrate your kid’s creativity. To participate, students create a piece of art in any of 6 different categories that reflect this year’s theme, Show Your Voice! Every student who enters receives a certificate celebrating their work! Each artwork is evaluated on an interpretation of the theme, creativity, and artistic merit. Reflections is not just for “artsy” kids- it’s for EVERY kid!

HOW TO ENTER: Reflect on the theme “Show Your Voice!” and create an original work in one (or more!) of the following categories (click on the hyperlinks for more information about each):

  1. Fill out an Entry Form, and be sure to include your Artist’s Statement, which is how you feel that your artwork connects to the theme (this is 50% of your score from the judges).

  2. Turn in your artwork and entry form to the office at Clemens Crossing by Tuesday, November 29, 2022! OR, if your submission is electronic, please email it to me:

Artwork will be judged in 3 categories:

Entries will be reviewed by experienced arts and education judges. All participants will be celebrated with certificates of participation, the top three entries will receive ribbons and the first-place entry will receive a medal. The top three entries in each category will move on to the Howard County Reflections Contest; the top three County entries will move on to the Free State Reflections Contest, and State winners in each category will compete in the National PTA Reflections Contest.

EVERY artwork will be celebrated!


Contact Risa Carlson, Reflections Chair




The following announcements have been approved by the Public Information Office for distribution.