VES Newsletter EAGLE EXPRESS

DECEMBER 4, 2021 - Vol.15 Issue #15

INTERNATIONAL AND FAMILY SERVICE LINKS:

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.

Perform Daily Health Checks

Parents/guardians should keep their children home if they are experiencing symptom(s) associated with any communicable disease. In addition, parents/guardians are to perform daily health checks for COVID-19 symptoms before the student leaves home.

NO WALK-IN VISITORS DURING THIS TIME

Robert Bruce, Principal - robert_bruce@hcpss.org

Alexcia Redd, Assistant Principal - alexcia_redd@hcpss.org

Jaime Gittleson, Administrative Intern - jaime_gittleson@hcpss.org


OFFICE HOURS
8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Please call ahead 410-313-1700


Youmi Jun, Principal Secretary - youmi_jun@hcpss.org
Jane Pak, Teacher Secretary - jane_pak@hcpss.org
Maria Martinez, Teacher Secretary - maria_martinez@hcpss.org
Dulce Boyer, Teacher Secretary .5 - dulce_boyer@hcpss.org

Weekly Message from our Principal

Dear Parents,


First of all, thank you for your support of your children and their school program. All parents are reminded that students waiting at bus stops should be supervised by parents or caregivers. While I am on the subject of buses, the afternoon dismissal has continued to improve, this week all buses have usually departed by 4:20 pm.


School Policy Regarding Cell Phones: While we do not recommend cell phones for elementary aged students, we know that some families appreciate the peace of mind that comes with giving their child a cell phone. All families need to understand that cell phones can be a great help in regard to safety but a distraction when it comes to academics. Students are asked to keep their cell phones off when riding the bus and they should be "off" when in class and stored in their backpacks. Cell phones on buses lead to all sorts of problems in regard to inappropriate use of cell phones. While most students use them appropriately, there have been experiences otherwise. The school can not take responsibility for a lost cell phone.


Outdoor Dining Seating- Each day that there is outdoor recess then there will also be an outdoor dining option. If students feel it is too cold to eat their meal outside then they may choose to eat inside at one of the partitioned table spaces. This decision must be made at the beginning of the lunch period. Of course parents may wish to sign their child out for lunch and take them home during the hour long lunch/recess period. The student must be signed back in by the conclusion of the recess period.


On indoor recess days, students will be directed to eat at the partitioned lunch tables inside the cafeteria.



Robert C. Bruce
Principal- Veterans Elementary School
410-313-1700

Every Day Counts !
Connectedness Strategic Responsibility Arranger Intellection

Weather Guidelines/Recess


Exercise outdoors is healthy and is strongly encouraged. It provides a break from the regular school routine, a chance to get some outside air, and an opportunity to burn off excess energy. If conditions preclude the full recess time, even a five minute break can revitalize children and prepare them for more sitting and academic learning. Children are expected to wear clothing appropriate for forecasted conditions when participating in recess or outside activities.

The decision to go out or stay in for recess is the decision of the administrator at individual schools. On rare occasions due to extreme weather, a decision may be made at the school system level.
The following factors are considered in determining if recess is to be held outside:

  • Temperature and humidity
  • Wind chill
  • Heat index and air quality
  • Age of students
  • Length of time outdoors
  • Adequacy of the children’s clothing
  • Condition of the playground
  • Falling precipitation (more than a sprinkle or mist)
  • Thunder and lightning

Generally, it is assumed that students will be outside for recess when the temperature combined with the wind chill is not less than 20 degrees Fahrenheit or the heat index reading is less than 95. Children with certain health conditions may need special accommodations during extremely hot or cold weather. Parents of those children should provide medical documentation and may be consulted to determine if other arrangements are necessary. During hot weather, teachers should provide students a water break before and after recess. Additionally, any student who shows signs of heat exhaustion or overheating should be allowed a water break during recess.

DECEMBER:

6 thru 10 VES Spirit Days: Inclusive Schools Week

6 - Be a HERO for Inclusion

7 - We are UNIQUE!

8 - EXERCISE your right to be different!

9 - Let's "LIGHT IT UP BLUE" for Autism Acceptance

10 - Unity Day: Wear VES colors/ spirit wear

15 - Schools Close 3 Hours Early Dismissal at 12:55 p.m.
17 - Spirit Day: Sweater Day

22 - Spirit Day: PJ Day

23 - Schools and Offices Closed: WINTER BREAK BEGINS


JANUARY:

3 - First Day Back from Winter Break

Spirit Days during Inclusive Schools Week December 6 thru 10

Veterans Elementary will celebrate Inclusive Schools Week

December 6 thru 10.
Throughout the week, staff and students will review the importance of building an inclusive school community where all students feel a sense of belonging. To foster a sense of belonging, please encourage your child to participate in the following Spirit Days.


Spirit Week:​​​​​​​

Monday, Dec 6: Be a HERO for Inclusion. Dress up as someone you look up to or a superhero you admire.

Tuesday, Dec 7: We are UNIQUE! Dress to show what makes you unique.

Wednesday, Dec 8: EXERCISE your right to be different! Wear athletic wear.

Thursday, Dec 9: Let’s “LIGHT IT UP BLUE” or shirt with a kind message for Autism Acceptance.

Friday, Dec 10: Unity Day! We are all INCLUDED in the VES community! Let’s wear our VES colors/spirit wear to show how we are one!

Big picture

SPIRITWEAR DELIVERY

Spiritwear will be sent home with your students. We anticipate the week of Dec 16 for delivery.

Contact Amie if you have any questions amiekhouse@hotmail.com


REFLECTIONS NATIONAL ART CONTEST

Entries are in! Wow we have some creative kids at Veterans! Winners will be announced before Winter break. Their artwork will then move to the county level for the next phase of the contest.


CALLING ALL GAMES!

Anyone cleaning out their game closet before the holidays? Reach out to your teachers. Teachers are in need of games for indoor recess for the winter months. Card games are especially popular. Make sure they have all their pieces!


SIGN UP TO VOLUNTEER!

We have committee openings to help plan events for the kids!

Use this link to see your options.

https://www.signupgenius.com/go/60B0549A5A62EA4FE3-ptacommittee


Follow us on Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/PTAatVES


HCPSS Hiring Fair

HCPSS is hosting an interview fair Tuesday, Dec. 14 from 3-5 p.m. at the Applications and Research Laboratory for anyone interested in immediate employment as teachers, nurses, counselors and speech-language pathologists. Attendees must pre-register in order to interview either in-person or virtually. Walk-in participants are welcome between 3-4:30 p.m. and will be provided with information about the school system and steps to apply, but will not have the opportunity to interview on site.


Health & Safety Reminders

Families are reminded to follow all HCPSS health and safety protocols and conduct daily at-home health checks. Answers to health and safety frequently asked questions are available online.


Special Education Teaching Opportunities Open House

This virtual session, being held Wednesday, Dec. 8, from 4-6:30 p.m., will include an overview of HCPSS special education services, teaching and related service provider job opportunities, and the hiring process. Register to receive the meeting link.


Impact Aid Forms Due Dec. 31

Parents/guardians who work on a federal property in Maryland and/or are a member of a uniformed service can qualify HCPSS to receive additional federal funding by completing an Impact Aid form by Dec. 31. Impact Aid supplements the HCPSS operating budget to enhance the teaching and learning that takes place in Howard County classrooms.

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.

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.

VES REMINDERS: Worth Repeating...

Below are the SY2021-22 standardized testing window dates:

Grade specific dates and testing details are communicated in advance of each assessment. Dates subject to change.

Grades 1-8 MAP Reading/Math: Oct. 18 - Nov. 5

Grades 3 & 5 CogAT: Jan 18 - Feb. 4
Grades K-5 Access for ELLS: Jan. 10 - Feb. 18

Grade 5 MISA: March 14 - 25

Grades 1-8 MAP Reading/Math: April 4 - April 29

Grades 3-5 MCAP ELA/Math: May 4 - June 3

Will attendance be taken when students are quarantining?

HCPSS Update: Nov. 8, 2021


The Maryland State Department of Education recently released additional attendance guidance for students who are required to quarantine but who are otherwise able to participate in academic activities.

Students will be counted as present for the school day if they engage in at least a half day of meaningful academic activities. These activities include synchronous check-ins with teachers, virtual tutoring services via the Evening School program, and access to instructional materials in Canvas, and for elementary students include 20 minutes of work in Lexia Core5 and/or 20 minutes in DreamBox each school day.


HCPSS Link to view other frequently asked questions regarding COVID-19 Student Quarantine

Academic Resources for Quarantined Students

If your child needs to quarantine, we have instructional materials for them to stay engaged in academics while they are away from the classroom. These materials include the following:

  • Robust Instructional Packets - These large packets will be sent home with students are on quarantine. These packets are grade level specific.

  • Synchronous Support Sessions - Each ELA and Math teacher will offer synchronous sessions that quarantine students can access. Teachers will send the dates/times and login information for these sessions.

  • Canvas Materials - There may be activities on Canvas that students can complete. Your child's teacher will communicate this to parents when a student is quarantined.

  • Dreambox, Typing Agent and LexiaCore will be available for students to utilize.

  • Evening School - This program offers academic enrichment for those students who are put on quarantine. If you want your child to participate in this, please email Alexcia Redd. Her email address is alexcia_redd@hcpss.org.


If your child is quarantined and left their Chromebook at school, please call the front office to arrange a pick-up time to get your child's device. This will allow them to access the above supports. If your child does not have a Chromebook assigned to them, a Chromebook will be assigned to them if they need to be quarantined. In the event that your child is not in school when they are placed on quarantine, you can contact the front office to arrange a pick-up time to get a device.

Please contact your child's teacher or the front office if you have any questions or concerns.

Early Dismissals must be prior to 3:30 pm

* Please bring your phone to scan the QR code to sign out student(s) for Early Dismissal.

** Please also be prepared to present your Photo ID


Please plan accordingly. Students are dismissed from class upon parents' arrival after they are signed out from the office.

At this time, we can't allow students to take a different bus other than their assigned bus due to COVID.


After 3:30pm, students will be dismissed at VES normal 3:55pm dismissal with the Car Riders.

No Transportation Changes can be accommodated During Dismissal

*Please reserve any last minute requests for
EMERGENCIES ONLY*

~Help us keep your children safe ~

Making these requests causes confusion and leaves a lot of room for errors during the mass exodus!

Any transportation changes made after 3:30pm is disruptive to the VES dismissal process.

Please do not call or enter the school building requesting a staff member to pull your child from their normal dismissal plan.

* ATTN: PARENTS/GUARDIANS ARE RESTRICTED FROM BOARDING SCHOOL BUSES *

For the safety and security of the children - parents/guardians are not allowed to board and pull their child/children from a school bus at any time, especially during our dismissal.

REPEAT...
PARENTS/GUARDIANS, YOU DO NOT HAVE PERMISSION TO BOARD SCHOOL BUSES.

See an Administrator or Front Office Secretary for assistance!

A Message from the Counseling Office

Holiday gift card drive and raffle

We are going to be doing a holiday gift card drive and raffle this year at VES. We are looking for donations of Amazon, Target, or Walmart gift cards in a suggested amount of $25.
Gift cards that we collect will be given to families in our community who are in need this holiday season. If your family is interested in donating a gift card and have any questions, please contact Julie Wentz (julie_wentz@hcpss.org) or Jessica Wilson-Carr (jessica_wilson@hcpss.org). Please send any gift cards to Youmi Jun in the front office by Monday, December 6, 2021.


If your family is interested in entering the raffle to receive gift cards (to either Target, Amazon, or Walmart), please let us know HERE. While we cannot guarantee that we will be able to support every family who enters the raffle, our goal is to support as many families as we can.

School Rainbow Representatives

Rainbow Representatives ensure that schools are allies and advocates for LGBTQIA+ students, staff, and families. The school Rainbow Representative attends quarterly meetings; receives and disseminates information regarding LGBTQIA+ topics of interest to the school and school community as appropriate; and provides instructional support for educators. If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Veterans Elementary Rainbow Representative Ava Greene at ava_greene@hcpss.org


Safe Space Posters

Around our school, you will see some "Safe Space" posters. Sometimes, for a variety of reasons, a person, or certain group of people, might feel unsafe to show their true colors for fear that others might treat them differently, or refer to them in an unkind way.
At HCPSS, it is our priority to make sure every student not only is safe, but also feels safe to be their authentic and true selves. We hope our Safe Space posters serve as a reminder that there is a trusted adult you can go to who is an ally to the LGBTQ+ community, who will affirm a student's chosen name and pronouns, and who will not disclose information to others about identity and orientation if a student shares that information. Teachers who have this poster in their classrooms have declared their space a safe space for ALL students.

ADDRESS CHANGE FORM: FILLABLE_Change_of_Address.pdf


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.

Stay Informed:

HCPSS electronic School Messenger

Once you have created an HCPSS Login Account/ ParentVue upon completing the student registration, you will automatically be part of our email communication, School Messenger.

We are “green” and do not send hard copies of newsletters and other notices, so your electronic connection to the school is important even over the summer.


Email & Text Alerts

HCPSS News emails and text alerts keep families up-to-date on news and events, and deliver real-time notices of emergency closings and information. All HCPSS News subscriptions are generated from the information provided in Family File. Parents/guardians of previously enrolled HCPSS students do not need to sign up for, or manage an HCPSS News account. Parents/guardians who are new to the system are automatically enrolled for email notification and must opt in to text alerts.


Emergency Notifications

In times of emergency situations, information will be shared with the community through our website, social media, text, email and weather hotline. All parents automatically receive email messaging and new parents need to opt in to text messaging (see above). Unsubscribing from any school or district email or text will unsubscribe a user from all messaging, including emergency notifications.

Volunteer/Observer Vaccine Requirements

All volunteers and chaperones who interact with students, as well as current HCPSS students who attend a field trip or volunteer at a different school during the school day, are required to use the PinPoint platform to show proof of full vaccination at least five school days in advance. This requirement does not apply to HCPSS students who are going to another school as part of their academic schedule. Vaccination and testing requirements for other community stakeholders are outlined online.


COVID-19 Self-Screenings

All parents/guardians are to perform a COVID-19 health check every day before your student leaves home. Students are not to come to school if they are experiencing any symptom(s) associated with COVID-19 or other communicable disease.


COMMUNITY NEWS

Please visit the HCPSS website Community News and Programs site for upcoming events and programs sponsored by non-profit organizations.

LOCAL COMMUNITY RESOURCES & EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITY POSTS