VES Eagle Express Newletter

NOVEMBER 21, 2020 - Volume 14, Issue #15

SY2020-2021: Saturday Weekly Circular

Veterans Elementary

Robert Bruce, Principal -

Amy Green, Assistant Principal -

Kelly Ryan, Administrative Intern -

The office has coverage from 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. on
days when school is in session.
Please call ahead 410-313-1700


They are available to assist you during this time:

Youmi Jun, Principal Secretary -
Jane Pak, Teacher Secretary -
Maria Martinez, Teacher Secretary -
Dulce Boyer, Teacher Secretary .5 -

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.


At Monday's Board of Education Meeting, the Board voted to reject the hybrid model proposed by Dr. Martirano. Further they extended the time under which we will virtually learn to the end of the third quarter or April 15th. This was based on the current increasing cases as well as the difficulty it would pose for teachers to adequately instruct and students to adequately learn in a hybrid environment. All of us want students to return to a safe environment.

My staff will continue to provide instruction virtually to our students. We know that instructing virtually is not ideal for our students. Right now, it appears to be the safest way to instruct for students and staff. Our thoughts are with our families as you try to maneuver this virtual world with your children.

I hope you attend your child's parent teacher conference. This is an opportunity to discuss what skills your child needs to focus on and what progress they have made so far this year. Please use this as an opportunity to set new goals for the coming quarter with your child(ren).

Lastly, we sincerely wish all of you a wonderful Thanksgiving. In this virtual world brought on by C0-VID, we hope each of us find reasons to be thankful. We know this time of the year is tough for so many of our families, we wish you a time of renewed focus on how to make it through this tough time. All of our families are in our thoughts as we enter this season.

School Calendar

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.

SY2020-21 HCPSS Calendar list view of Event Dates

November Early Dismissal Schedules

The HCPSS 2020-2021 calendar includes several upcoming 3-hour early dismissal days on: Friday, November 6, Monday, November 23 and Tuesday, November 24. Click on the above link for more detailed information.


National Native American Heritage Month

23 - 3-Hour Early Dismissal for Students: Parent/Teacher Conferences

24 - 3-Hour Early Dismissal for Students: Parent/Teacher Conferences

25 - School Closed to Students: Parent/Teacher Conferences

26& 27 - Schools and Offices Closed: THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY (State Mandated Holiday)


24 thru 31 - Schools and Offices Closed: WINTER BREAK (State Mandated Holidays)


1 - Schools and Offices Closed: New Year's Day 2021 (State Mandated Holiday)

4 - Return to Virtual School from Winter Break

18 - Schools and Offices Closed: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (State Mandated Holiday)

29 - Schools Closed to Students: Professional Work Day

Important Current Events

The link below will help you keep track of a number of things your child experiences on Canvas. One important piece is a way to keep track of assignments due to his or her teacher. Please download and make use of this app.

Parent Canvas Mobile App

From the VES Counseling Department:

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We are currently in the process of updating our database for families in need.
Please submit all information by Friday, November 20, 2020.

Please let us know if you are interested in receiving food by filling out the google form below. We will try our best to honor your request, however it is not guaranteed. The food pickup location is at St. Peter’s Church in Ellicott City.

Please fill out the Pete’s Packs Sign Up form to receive more information.

Please fill out the google form below if you are in need of gift cards for the holidays. We will put all names in a raffle and you will be notified if you are selected.

Please fill out the Holiday Gift Card Raffle form to be entered.

Mensaje del consejeros escolar:

Nos gustaría saber si su familia necesita apoyar. Por favor envie toda la información antes del viernes 20 de noviembre de 2020.

La iglesia de San Pedro en Ellicott City está proporcionando alimentos a las familias. La familia recogería la comida en la iglesia. Si está interesado en recibir alimentos, completa la encuesta.

Vamos a tener una rifa de tarjetas de regalo para las navideñas. Para una oportunidad para ganar, completa la encuesta.

If you have an immediate need for help with depression, suicidal thoughts, or other serious

mental health issues, please contact:

Grassroots Crisis Intervention at 410-531-6677

The Maryland Crisis Hotline: Dial 211 and then choose option 1

The Crisis Text Line: Text 741741 and a trained counselor will respond.

The National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255

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HCPSS Community News

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

HCPSS to Remain Virtual Through Third Quarter

During its work session on Monday, November 16, 2020, the Howard County Board of Education voted to continue the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) in a virtual instructional model through the third academic quarter, which ends April 14, 2021. Additionally, the Board instructed the Superintendent and staff to explore possibilities for expanding and enhancing in-person small group program offerings, with consideration for staff preferences regarding participation. Small group in-person programs serve the needs of students who most benefit from face-to-face instruction and support.

On October 22, the Board adopted the health metrics that would indicate when students and staff could safely begin to return to school buildings in a hybrid format. After extended discussion during yesterday’s work session, the Board elected not to approve the proposed hybrid model, which had been targeted for implementation for the second semester, pending acceptable health metrics at that time.

Separately from this decision, HCPSS had previously announced the suspension of all in-person small group opportunities due to the rapidly rising number of COVID-19 cases in Howard County. The decision will be reevaluated on November 30 and, assuming health metrics are more favorable, small groups may resume on or after December 3. Once in-person programs resume, HCPSS will consider opportunities for expanding and enhancing these programs, taking into consideration health metrics and staff availability. Currently, the number of face-to-face program offerings is limited by the availability of staff, which is not sufficient to meet the level of interest among families.

During the work session, HCPSS Superintendent Michael J. Martirano reiterated HCPSS’ commitment for providing a robust virtual instructional model and expanding in-person small group opportunities for our most vulnerable students.

Additional information can be found on the HCPSS website at

Spring Planning

Find updated information about the 2020-2021 school year on the HCPSS website, now with a spring planning page. Answers to frequently-asked questions are provided on the HCPSS Help site.

HCPSS In-Person Opportunities Suspended Beginning Thursday, November 19, 2020

Dear HCPSS Parents/Guardians,

Due to rapidly increasing health metrics across the county, and in consultation with the Howard County Health Department (HCHD), all current HCPSS in-person opportunities will be suspended and students will return to a fully virtual environment beginning Thursday, November 19, 2020. There will be no change to meal services, which will continue at all school meals locations. All in-person special education assessments and appointments are suspended. The December 5 administration of the SAT and the December 12 administration of the ACT are also canceled at HCPSS locations.

Today, the County Executive announced that Howard County has surpassed a 5% COVID-19 test positivity rate and has a case rate of more than 19 per 100,000. These metrics push HCPSS into a much higher risk of COVID-19 being spread in our school buildings and it is the opinion of the HCHD that the current trends will continue for the foreseeable future.

The county’s health metrics will be reevaluated on Monday, November 30. HCPSS will communicate a plan for resuming in-person opportunities as soon as the health environment allows. The first day that in-person opportunities may possibly resume is Thursday, December 3.

Please know that we take the safety and well-being of all of our students, staff and families very seriously, and hope that you are staying safe during this difficult time. Please visit the HCHD website for more information about the COVID-19 virus and how to remain safe.

Our school teams will continue to provide instruction and supports for your child and we encourage you to reach out to your child’s teachers, counselors or school administrators with any questions or if additional support is necessary. Thank you for your understanding and continued collaboration as we stay safe, healthy and able to focus on teaching and learning.

Thank you.

COVID-19 Positive Case Communication and Parent/Guardian Expectations

COVID-19 Positive Case Communication and Parent/Guardian Expectations

As Howard County Public School System staff continue to prepare for, and work toward the return of students to our physical classrooms, it is important that parents/guardians understand when they will be notified of positive cases in their child's school community, as well as the expectations for parents/guardians to promptly notify school staff if a family member tests positive or is displaying symptoms.

Positive Case Communications

When a confirmed case of COVID-19 impacts a school community, parents/guardians can expect that the school or school system will inform them of the positive case. These notifications will include any implications for the instructional delivery model and information on how to help ensure your child remains healthy. Additionally, if your child is considered to be a close contact, as defined below, to a student or staff member who has tested positive or is displaying COVID-like symptoms, you will receive notification with instructions on how to respond.

If a classroom or school must close due to an outbreak, parents/guardians will be notified and provided with information on how instruction will continue. Additionally, parents/guardians will receive notification when the classroom or school is scheduled to reopen.

Please note that in accordance with laws protecting the confidentiality of students and staff, the name of a person who has contracted or is displaying symptoms of COVID-19 will not be released, nor will any other information that could lead to their identification. The Howard County Health Department is the health authority on all matters related to COVID-19 and will guide HCPSS and lead the response to positive cases and all identified close contacts.

Parent/Guardian Notification Expectations

The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) requires HCPSS to provide the following guidance regarding the identification, reporting and quarantining of people exhibiting COVID-like symptoms and close contacts.

COVID-19-like illness is defined as:

  1. Any 1 of the following: cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, new loss of taste or smell, OR
  2. At least 2 of the following: fever of 100.4-degrees or higher (measured or subjective), chills or shaking chills, muscle aches, headache, sore throat, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, and congestion or runny nose.

MDH defines close contacts as: Persons within 6 feet for 15 or more cumulative minutes within a 24-hour period during the last two days before the onset of symptoms of a person identified as testing positive for COVID-19 or a person experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.

If you believe your child has symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or your child has been in close contact with someone with COVID-19 symptoms, including anyone who lives in your home, please keep your child home from school and contact your child's school nurse or principal immediately.

In alignment with guidance from MDH, should your child become symptomatic during the school day, they will be evaluated by the nurse and sent home, if needed, with direction regarding isolation and quarantine. If your child is determined to have been in close contact with a symptomatic child or staff member, they will be sent home and parents/guardians will be provided with guidance regarding quarantine. In addition to phone contact, parents/guardians of students sent home from school may receive letters from the Howard County Health Department regarding their particular situation.

Parents/guardians will be notified and when needed, provided with instructions when a student or staff member in their child's school displays COVID-like symptoms or tests positive. Specific details will not be provided to ensure confidentiality. Parents/guardians will also be provided with guidance if your child is considered to be a close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 or is displaying symptoms.

If your student becomes ill during the day and it is determined that they need to go home, it is extremely important that the student be picked up as soon as possible, and within one hour. To make this process easier, we are asking all families to:

  1. Please be sure that your Family File is updated with your CURRENT contact information. It is imperative that we have a means to get in touch with you in a timely manner.
  2. Also in your Family File, please make sure your emergency contacts are updated with current contact information. Please notify everyone that you have designated as emergency contacts, that if they get a phone call to pick your child up from school, they will need to be able to get there within one hour.

There is nothing more important to us than the safety and health of our students, our staff, and their families. These guidelines were developed in conjunction with the State of Maryland and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Thank you for working with us to keep our students safe.


Residency Reminder: HCPSS SCHOOL LOCATOR

Even though HCPSS is currently operating in a virtual learning environment, families need to alert their school if they move, especially if they move to another attendance area. While in the spring transfers between schools were minimized, it is now the 2020-2021 school year and all students should be enrolled at the school for their assigned attendance area.

Google Meet Expectations

To ensure a positive and productive virtual learning experience, it is important that all students and parents/guardians adhere to these Google Meet expectations, and review the virtual instruction responsibilities, expectations and best practices provided online.

2020-21 School Year Updates

Find updated information about the 2020-2021 school year on the HCPSS website. Answers to frequently-asked questions are provided on the HCPSS Help site.

HCPSS News Subscriptions

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.



HOLIDAY TOY DRIVE - sponsored by Reservoir High School Young Activists

With the end of the year holidays approaching and the COVID-19 pandemic surging across the country, Young Activists is holding a toy drive for families and children in need this winter season. See the posters provided for information, and please consider donating to one of our eight locations across Howard County! For a list of accepted items, see the poster at the bottom of the page!

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Read-A-Thon Coming Soon!!! Whooos Reading Online Read-A-Thon

Starting in December, the PTA will launch our kids favorite fundraiser and reading challenge! Who can read the most minutes in their grade? How about the whole school? Get ready!

Volunteer Opportunities with PTA

Outreach Coordinator - help PTA organize collection and distribution of donations and look for outreach opportunities for future

Family Fun Coodinator - help PTA organize virtual fun nights, serve as host for the events.

Restaurant Night Coordinator - Call local restaurants to organize a night for Veteran's Families to visit to support both the school and the business.

Email Cara Adornetto at if interested in learning more about these opportunities.

Spirit Wear

And that's a wrap! 139 Spirited items were ordered! We will email about pick up once the order is in. Thanks to all who ordered and those who donated to the staff appreciation efforts as well by ordering an extra item!

Email Amie House with any questions:

Membership still open!

Follow us on Facebook:

Reflections Art Contest Chair Needed

Do you love art and want to manage the annual Reflections contest participants from Veterans Elementary School? Reflections is an annual contest run by the National PTA.
Students enter at their local PTA level and submit entries in the categories of Dance, Film, Literature, Music, Photography, and Visual Arts. There is a handbook to guide you.
This year's theme is "I Matter Because...". Email Cara at if you would like more info about this opportunity.

Thanksgiving Break Meal Service Adjustments

There is no meal service Wednesday, November 25-Friday, November 27.
Families may pick up meals in advance to cover the holiday break. Pre-ordering will not be available for meals picked up on Monday, November 23 or 30. See all service and schedule adjustments.

* Meal Service at Long Reach High School Closed Thursday, November 19 through Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Meal service at Long Reach High School will be closed from Thursday, November 19 through Tuesday, December 1, and will reopen on Wednesday, December 2. Students and families may pick up meals at Phelps Luck Elementary School or any other school meal location. Meals that were pre-ordered for pickup at Long Reach during this period may be picked up at Phelps Luck Elementary School.

Meal service was suspended because staff at the site who were identified as close contacts are being directed to quarantine, leaving insufficient staff availability to operate the food site. However, the building remains open and safe for other staff to enter. Students and family members who recently visited the Long Reach High School meal site are not considered potential close contacts to anyone who tested positive for COVID-19.

Custodians will ensure that the entire building is cleaned using protocols recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Please contact the Howard County Health Department or your primary care provider, if you have any questions or concerns related to the COVID-19 virus and how to remain safe.

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.

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

Greetings from your VES School Psychologists!

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!

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.


After School Art Classes - Winter 20/21 - Abrakadoodle

Offered via Zoom

email Marianne at or 410-381-5566

Action Howard County Sponsoring free events:

"Eradicating Racism: A Path Forward" (Dec 3, 10, 17)

Eradicating Racism: A Path Forward is a series of three 90-minute Zoom sessions with the goal of assisting individuals to eradicate racism in their community through creating safe, healing learning environments to understand the complexity of racism and develop implementable strategies to address/repair the harm it has caused. Book Club

In July 2020, we started with "Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?" by Beverly Daniel Tatum, PhD. The goal is to tackle difficult subjects through literature and small group discussion via Zoom. By being completely virtual, we've had participants from almost all U.S. states and some international.


Are you a girl looking to have fun and adventures with new friends? VES Girl Scout troops have openings in all grade levels, and a new kindergarten troop is forming!

For more information, contact Lauren Oviatt at

Cub Scout Pack 305

For information, please contact Heidi Potter at

Message from Media Center


Your child will be able to check out from our Media Center with no contact.

You can request books from the VES PAC and pick them up on
Wednesdays 11AM - 3PM.
All the information about the procedures, how to set up your child's account, how to request books, and how to see if books are ready for pick up are in your child's Canvas Media Course in the module named Check Out.

If you have any questions, please email your media specialist,

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.

Send all attendance notes directly to:

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

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

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.)

Please take the time to review: HCPSS ATTENDANCE POLICY


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.

Privacy Guidelines for Parents/Guardians

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To maintain a positive, productive learning environment and assure confidentiality for students and teachers during distance learning, all parents/guardians are asked to follow the following privacy guidelines.

  • Google Meet virtual instruction is designed for students. To prevent disruptions to the learning environment, parents/guardians should not actively participate in check-in sessions, although parents/guardians may assist their child with technology and/or remain nearby.
  • Do not video record, audio record, photograph, live stream, or transmit in any other way any part of a Google Meet, including not posting on any social media platform.
  • Any confidential or personally identifiable information related to students participating during Google Meets should not be collected, discussed or shared.
  • Parents/guardians should not engage with students during Google Meets. If you need to speak with your child during a check-in session, first mute your child’s microphone.
  • If a parent/guardian has a question, please email your child’s teacher.

Parents/guardians should email your child’s principal with any questions or concerns regarding privacy or virtual classroom expectations.

Thank you for your support and cooperation in ensuring that distance learning is a positive, productive and enjoyable experience for all participants