VES Eagle Express Newletter

May 21, 2020 - Volume 13, Issue #37

Veterans Elementary

The building is closed due to the State Superintendent's decision regarding the COVID-19 virus. We can still be reached by contacting our principal at

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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.

From the Principal

I appreciate the effort from all of our families to ensure that students continue to practice their skills and learn new material during the Co-VID closures. This is a challenging situation. Some of our parents are trying to work, some are laid off from working, and others are working from home. Working and balancing supervising your children's school work takes great patience and perseverance. I salute each and every one of you.

I also salute our teachers who also struggle to deliver their instruction while addressing the needs of their families. This virus has thrown all of our families into uncharted territory and we all are trying to restore some sanity to our lives and to the lives of our children. I admire both my teachers and parents who have kept our children focused and at the same time balanced in their approach to this pandemic. In the scheme of a pandemic, with economic and health issues to be concerned about first, our approach to schooling has to take its proper place. Continue to do what you can to help children stay focused. Use this weekend to do something fun as a family. Celebrate the fact that even though things are not what they were, we can still find things for which to be thankful. I am thankful for each of you!

Adjustments to Distance Learning Schedule: Week of May 25

Schools and offices will be closed on Monday, May 25, 2020 in observance of Memorial Day. The following adjustments have been made to the distance learning schedules to accommodate this school closure:

  • All teachers will publish required weekly assignments by 9:15 a.m. on Tuesday, May 26, 2020.

  • Students will only be expected to engage in Dreambox and Lexia Core four days this week.

The regular distance learning weekly schedule will resume June 1, 2020.

Important Calendar Dates:

  • School Calendar Revisions: The Board has approved changes to the 2019-2020 school system calendar. HCPSS is now scheduled to be open on Tuesday, June 2, 2020, as the elections on this day will take place almost entirely by mail and schools will not be used as polling places.

25 - Holiday: Memorial Day


23 - Last Student School Day

A Salute to Mrs. Barbara Bowers

May 29th will be the last work day for Mrs. Bowers as she retires from being the Principal's Secretary at Veterans Elementary School. Barbara has been at Veterans for about eight years and she has served us well, Barbara is extremely loyal to our school and has always served with the highest of ethical standards.

Her refreshing smile and strong work ethic will be hard to replace. We admire all she has done for our school. In her nineteen years with the Howard County School System everyone she has encountered tells me she is a wonderful person.

She validated that to us every day she walked into the office at Veterans. The staff, students, and parents of our school will miss her reassuring presence.

Optional Office Hours for Teachers:

Teachers, including related arts teachers, may elect to offer optional synchronous “office hours.” These are optional opportunities to provide additional support or connection with students. These opportunities are also NOT required for teachers or students. The term “office hours” should be used to distinguish these optional live meetings from the scheduled class check-ins. Office hours are not required for teachers AND cannot be required for students to participate. The purpose of office hours is to make additional connections with students and provide additional support.

Please understand that many teachers juggle heavy responsibilities for their own families’ care and learning while delivering continuity of learning. This means that some teachers may decide that they cannot offer additional office hours. If your child’s teacher decides that he/she will offer “office hours”, they may do this either at the end of a virtual check in or at a time that does not conflict with other instructional groups for their grade level.

If you missed Veterans Elementary School's Virtual Student Visit Days...

VES Virtual Student Visit Day

If your student was not able to make the

Virtual Student Visit Days

(May 18 & 19) , here's your chance to take a virtual tour!

Dunloggin Middle School Student Virtual Visit Day June 8, 2020 @ 9:00 am

The Google Meet link for our student visit day is:

Meeting ID

Phone Numbers (US)+1 608-879-0592

PIN: 514 617 782#

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May is Mental Health Awareness month

Hello VES families!

May is Mental Health Awareness month! Please consider joining us in completing the

VES 31 Day Mental Health Awareness Challenge.

A Message from the Student Services Team

Hello VES! If you haven't already seen it, please check out our video on coping with uncomfortable feelings. You can check out the video through your School Counselor's canvas page and find the video titled 'Make a Coping Jar'.

Also, a reminder that May is Mental Health Awareness month! Please consider joining us in completing the VES 31 Day Mental Health Awareness Challenge. We would love to hear how you are doing with the challenge!!

VES School Counselors are available for virtual student check-ins by appointment daily from 9:30am - 11:30am and from 12:00pm - 1:00pm. Please email us at the addresses below to request an appointment with us.

Julie Wentz (Grades 1, 2, 3, & 5) -

Jessica Wilson (Grades K & 4) -

Tabitha Brown (Counseling Intern) -

* Please note that Mrs. Wentz will be joining Ms. Brown’s chats.

School Psychologists are also available during the times listed below:

Ms. Moniodis (School Psychologist RECC and I&T): Monday - Friday 12:00pm - 1:00pm

Ms. Boyars (School Psychologist Intern RECC): Monday - Friday 1:00pm- 2:00pm

Dr. Burkhouse (School Psychologist K-5) and Ms. Gosnell (School Psychologist Intern K-5): Monday - Friday 1:00pm - 2:00pm for staff, student, and parent appointments.

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.

Placement for 2020-2021

The staff will begin classroom placement discussions for next school year. It is possible that staff may decide to maintain classroom placements for next year. It is also possible staff may decide to make some adjustments. If you have anything you would like considered in the placement of your child for next school year, please send that information to Mr. Bruce in an email no later than May 30, 2020. We will make every attempt to honor your request but please understand that this may not be possible. Placements are considered based on many factors including but not limited to; benchmark reading level, writing level, social considerations, and special needs among others. Remember, if there is anything you would like us to consider, please send this consideration to Mr. Bruce no later than May 30, 2020.


  • Attendance: Teachers at all levels will document student attendance during Continuity of Learning using a point system based on student participation in learning activities each week. More information, including specific indicators that will be used for each level is provided online.
  • New Continuity of Learning Website and Help Function: The HCPSS Continuity of Learning website has been restructured to provide an even more user-friendly and easily navigated information resource, including pages with schedules and information dedicated to high school seniors and students at each level. The new HCPSS Help site is grouped by subject to allow quicker and easier navigation, and includes a convenient new keyword search function, making it easier to quickly find answers to their most frequently-asked questions.

Google Classroom Sessions

We are excited about beginning Google Check In sessions. Please make sure your child signs into their sessions through their teacher's Canvas page. Teachers have been advised not to allow anyone to enter the Check In Session from a private email address, this is for everyone's safety and security. My expectation is that students will be on their best behavior during screen time with their classmates and teacher(s). Please be advised that if any student does anything inappropriate during a class session, then the teacher may eliminate the student from instruction. Further violations will result in a phone call to parents from an administrator.
We are hopeful that everyone will take advantage of this learning time.

worth repeating...

2020-21 School Enrollment

REGISTRATION of all new students for next school year Grades PK - Grade 5, should be started online. Please use the following link:

ADDRESS CHANGE: FILLABLE_Change_of_Address.pdf

Order a SY2019-2020 Veterans Yearbook!

Place your order by going to the following link:

This will get you to the Veterans Elementary account page. You will need to create an account if you do not already have one, but it opens to the page where you can login with an existing account or sign up.Then feel free to order your yearbook.

community news

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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.

Meals & Nutrition Assistance Program

  • The Maryland Department of Human Services (DHS) recently expanded its Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). It is possible that families may qualify now for SNAP benefits, based on the economic downturn due to COVID-19. Visit the DHS website to learn more. All children in households already receiving benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) can get free meals regardless of income, and students from households that meet federal income guidelines are eligible to receive free or reduced-price meals.
  • All Maryland students who qualify for FARMs are eligible for the new P-EBT program, or Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer, which provides benefits on a debit-style EBT card to help families with children purchase healthy food during the school closure. Families can apply for the Free and Reduced-Price Meals (FARMs) program until June 1, 2020. Visit the HCPSS web site to learn more about the opportunities and how to apply.

Message from the Media Center

Do you have VES Media Books that are currently checked out that are with you at home?

Please take good care of the books and return them to VES as soon as school reopens.

Thank You!

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.

School Supplies

Limited quantities of pens, pencils and notebooks will be available at the Hammond, Long Reach and Oakland Mills high school Technology Distribution sites, which students/families may pick up if supplies are needed for continuity of learning at home. Prepare for Success has donated its inventory of school supplies, which will soon be available at meal distribution sites. Please stay tuned as we gather this inventory this week and prepare for a wider distribution beginning next week.