Clemens Crossing Cougar Comments

December 14, 2018 - Volume 40, Issue 14

Clemens Crossing Elementary School

Edward Cosentino, Principal

Sonia Hurd, Assistant Principal

Upcoming Events


  • 17 - Spirit Day #1: Wacky Tacky Day
  • 17 - PTA Holiday Shoppe, 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • 18 - Spirit Day #2: Blizzard Day
  • 19 - Spirit Day #3: Holiday Sock Day
  • 19 - In-School Banking
  • 19 - Interim Reports Issued
  • 19 - Winter Chorus Concert, 7:00 p.m.
  • 20 - Spirit Day #4: Holiday Hat Day
  • 21 - Spirit Day #5: Pajama Day
  • 24 - Schools and Offices Closed through January 1


  • 2 - School Reopens
  • 9 - PTA Meeting, 7:00 p.m.
  • 10 - Makers Faire, 6:30 p.m.
  • 12 - PTA Roller Skate Night at Supreme Sports Club
  • 17 - Strings Concert, 6:30 p.m.
  • 17 - Band Concert, 7:30 p.m.
  • 21 - Schools and Offices Closed
  • 22 - Restaurant Night: Zoe's Kitchen at the Mall in Columbia
  • 24 - School Play
  • 25 - School Play
  • 28 - The Great Kindness Challenge Begins
  • 28 - Schools close 3 hours early, 12:45 p.m.
  • 30 - In-School Banking, 9:00 a.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

As we write this message, more than 1/3 of the school year has been completed. The students and staff members at Clemens Crossing Elementary are working diligently toward their goals and are growing on a daily basis. It is a pleasure to work with your children daily and to see them grow in so many ways. Our Winter Break is right around the corner, and 2019 will be here before we know it. Our last day of classes will be Friday, December 21, and students will report back to school on Wednesday, January 2.

We would like to wish all of our families a safe and joyous Holiday Season!
During the break, we hope that you experience a slower pace with some time to relax and build fond memories that will be treasured in the years ahead. It has been a wonderful year, and the students and staff at Clemens Crossing Elementary are looking forward to making 2019 even better.
Our Cougar Comments newsletter will return in the New Year on January 4, 2019.
Thank you for all of your involvement and support.

Mr. Cosentino and Mrs. Hurd

Traffic Safety at Arrival and Dismissal

We have previously shared information relating to traffic safety in order to ensure our students are safe coming to and from school each day. We want to continue reiterating to families to be patient and the importance of adhering the laws of the road, the recommendations from our school, and HCPSS transportation office. Now that we approach the midpoint of the school year, it is important to be diligent about safety.

Right Turns ONLY In and Out of Car Loop:

  • We highly recommend no left turns into and out of our car loop during arrival and dismissal especially when the sightline is obstructed. School staff frequently witness near accidents.
  • Additionally, people making left-hand turns cause a back-up and result in students being late to school.

Loading and Unloading Cars:
  • Only load and unload students into the car on the passenger side of the car and where the star indicates on the map below. Do not drop off students at any other location in the parking lot. We have noticed parents letting students unload and walk through the parking lot. Other drivers do not expect nor anticipate children walking between cars.
  • Additionally, dropping students off along Quarterstaff Road without parking is not permitted. You are risking the safety of your children. The only drop-off and pick-up location is in the car loop. If you park legally along Quarterstaff Road, students are expected to be accompanied by an adult to and from school.

Please remember, students should be in the building no later than 9:13 a.m. and in their classrooms ready to learn by 9:15 a.m. when the bell rings.

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Next Week is CCES Spirit Week

Our Cougar Council and PBIS have collaborated to bring a little fun and excitement during the final week before Winter Break. They have planned the following Spirit Days for the week leading up to Winter Break from December 17 through December 21.

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Eliminating Stigmas Associated with the Free and Reduced Meals Program

HCPSS participates in the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs which provide families with significant benefits to help save money. Qualification is based on family size and income, and enrollment is confidential. All children in households 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. Those eligible for reduced-price meals pay $0.30 for breakfast and $0.40 for lunch.

More information about Free and Reduced Meals is located on the HCPSS website here.
Apply Now

Free and Reduced Meals Application

Winter Break Meals Program Will Serve Howard County Children, December 27-28, 2018

The Howard County Public School System is collaborating with the Howard County Department of Community Resources and Services, the Howard County Library System and the Community Action Council of Howard County to provide nutrition for children in need during the winter school break. Free meals will be offered at two Howard County locations on Thursday, December 27 and Friday, December 28.

Lunches will be served from 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. on both days at the following locations:

“The number of Howard County families that qualify for the Free and Reduced-Meals Program is rising each year,” said HCPSS Superintendent Michael Martirano. “Hunger doesn’t take a vacation, so it was imperative that we replicate our summer meals program to serve our children during their winter break.”

All children under 18 years of age will receive a free meal. There are no application requirements or cost to families.

Keep Family File Up-To-Date

Recently, we have had several incidents where we have been trying to reach parents and find that either their voice mailbox was full or not set-up to receive messages. We also have several situations where the emergency number(s) we have on file is/are no longer in service.

We would appreciate it if you could take a moment and make sure of the following:

1. Please have a voice mailbox in place that can receive messages. If need be, please clear the messages currently in your mailbox so that your mailbox can receive new messages.

2. Please take a moment and update any emergency numbers that may need to be updated. Thank you!

Claim Lost and Found Items

Are you missing a jacket or sweatshirt? There is a very good chance your child's missing clothing is in our Lost & Found.
The Lost & Found is located in the front hallway across from the Music Room. Please be sure to check the Lost & Found soon.
We will donate all items to a local charity on December 21.

In-School Banking - December 19

CCES teamed up with First National Bank to provide banking opportunities for our students. In-School Banking takes place once a month on the last Wednesday of each month between
9:00 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. in the cafeteria. You can find all of the dates on our school calendar.

Students can start banking at any time during the year. Here is the letter from First National Bank as well as the Banking Information Sheet needed to open an account:

First National Bank Letter

In School Banking Form

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Winter Concerts

If you cannot attend the Winter Concerts in person, we have the next best thing. You can listen to and see the concerts live on Periscope through our Twitter feed. Simply visit at the respective times to listen and see the concert. Feel free to share the information with family and friends.

  • Chorus - December 19 at 7:00 p.m.
  • Strings - January 17 at 6:30 p.m.
  • Band - January 17 at 7:30 p.m.

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Makers Faire is Coming Soon

Calling all Makers!

We are looking for Makers to display items at our 1st Annual Maker Faire on January 10, 2019!

What is a Maker Faire?

A Maker Faire is a gathering of people interested in Science, Technology, Math, Art, Sustainability, Creativity, and Innovation. The Faire will consist of hands-on activities centered around unique solutions, creativity, and construction.

Who is a maker?

Anyone can be a maker! All you have to do is use your creativity and skill to make something that solves a problem.

We are looking for student makers interested in displaying and sharing items they have created!

Items could include, but are not limited to:

  • A model using Lego
  • A handmade musical instrument
  • A tool to solve a problem
  • Crochet/knitting project
  • Origami
  • Handmade toy

If your student/family is interested in sharing items at the Maker Faire, please complete the information below.

Makers Faire Sign-Up

If you would like to participate in our Makers Fair, please complete this form.

Why Read for 20 Minutes A Day

At Clemens Crossing ES, we highly recommend less screen time and more time reading. Why read? Please review the article below.

Starting in Kindergarten, if a student reads 20 minutes a day at home, they will hear 1.8 million words per year. They will have read for 851 hours by 6th grade and on standardized tests, they will likely score better than 90% of their peers.

This is compelling data on the benefits of encouraging your child to read.

Helps in language development

From the time your child is born, reading out loud is a positive influence. As your child grows, daily reading will help the brain make connections between the written and spoken word, widening vocabulary in the process.

Adding to that benefit, vocabulary knowledge equates to masterful spelling. In fact, reading, spelling, and vocabulary are critically important to a child's lifelong achievement.

Promotes brain development

Educators have long said reading makes people smarter, and there’s research backing them up. A recent study conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics found reading to children of any age wakens a number of regions in the left part of the brain. The areas in the brain that become active involve understanding the meaning of words and concepts tied to memory.

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Attendance Matters

Chronic School absenteeism is now a part of our school report card. Please make sure your child is in school every day!!

As of December 13, here is the breakdown of attendance for CCES for the 2018-19 school year:

Schoolwide: YTD: 96.63%

Kindergarten: 95.84%

First Grade: 96.8%

Second Grade: 96.48%

Third Grade: 97.6%

Fourth Grade: 96.45%

Fifth Grade: 96.8%

Good attendance results in students having a better chance of reaching their full potential, according to the US Department of Education.

Sleep for #gr8suCCESs

Children benefit from sleep. Each night, children need 9-11 hours of sleep for healthy growth and development.

When people of any age don't get enough sleep they often have trouble paying attention. Lack of sleep can cause mood swings from one extreme to the other--low energy to hyperactive. For more information about resetting sleep behavior, check out:

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Holiday Shoppe Now Through Monday

The CCES PTA Holiday Shoppe is returning on December 13th, 14th, and 17th from
4:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. in the CCES Library. The Holiday Shoppe provides kids with the opportunity to purchase gifts for their family and friends that cost between $0.25 and $12. Please note that the gifts are not specific to the holidays and can be given for any occasion like birthdays or just because. The PTA can also provide assistance so that children with a financial need are able to shop. For more information about financial assistance, please contact Mr. Cosentino at If you are interested in volunteering at the Holiday Shoppe, there are several slots available to assist the shoppers with their purchases and help wrap their gifts:

Also, if you have spare wrapping or tissue paper that you no longer have a use for, please consider donating it to the Holiday Shoppe so our kids can spruce up their wrapping. You can drop it off in the school office or contact Nicole Bellows at to arrange for pickup! If you have questions or suggestions, please contact Nicole.

While the kids are shopping the Holiday Shoppe, Parents can wait in the hallway as not to spoil your surprises! Thanks in advance! We apologize to our families celebrating Hanukkah; scheduling complications made it impossible to hold the Holiday Shoppe before Hanukkah this year (Hanukkah is very early this year!).

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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.