VES Eagle Express Newletter

FEBRUARY 20, 2021 - Vol.14, Issue #25

SY2020-2021: Saturday Weekly Circular


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.


We are in the process of developing plans for a phased in reopening of our school. Of course, many of you will remain in the virtual setting as you feel this is the safest way for your children to receive instruction. Effective March 1st , our learning schedules will return to a more traditional timing sequence. Some of our students with identified learning needs will return on March 1st.

As your children return they will notice some changes to a traditional school building. There will be markers to assist with social distancing, some halls will be for one way traffic, eating at desks instead of tables in the cafeteria, desks that socially distanced in the classroom, playing recess games that do not require touching, and of course, students must wear masks properly at nearly all times except when eating or drinking in the school. These changes are all an effort to reduce exposure to Co-VID for any student or staff member. There are many more changes that have been made to make the school environment safer.

Please remember that all individuals must wear masks properly during the school day ! Individuals who have a medical diagnosis that prevent the wearing of masks must have a doctor's note on file in the health room. Every staff member and student will be issued face masks and face shields. We will have extra for replacement needs. We ask that all students follow directions of the adult staff now more than ever. This is crucial for everyone's safety and well-being.

In some cases, when your child returns, their classroom may be supervised by a classroom monitor because their teacher has been granted an ADA accommodation to teach virtually. The teacher will teach from home for various medical reasons. The students will be supervised by our staff but our expectations remain the same in regard to learning and behavior expectations. Parent meetings such as IEP and 504 meetings will still occur virtually.

All of us are anxious to have instruction begin returning to the environment we had prior to March 13, 2020. We want to this to happen safely for our students and staff. We live and work in an incredible community. We can make this all work if we are able to work collaboratively within the confines of a Co-VID 19 experience. It is our hope that vaccination efforts underway will help us to return to a time when all we worried about was how high we could SOAR.


Black History Month


20 - PTA Virtual Trivia Night - 7:00 p.m.

25 - Schools Close 3-Hours Early Dismissal

26 - Schools Close 3-Hours Early Dismissal


1 - Phase 1 Hybrid: Group E Students Begin In-School Hybrid

8 - Begin SY2021-22 Online Registration for NEW HCPSS and VES Students Grade K&1

9 - PTA Meeting - 7:00 p.m.

15 - Phase 2 Hybrid: Grades PK, K, 1, 2 Students Begin In-School Hybrid

29 - Phase 3: Grades 3, 4, 5, 6, 9,12, and ARL Students Begin In-School Hybrid

MARCH Phase-In Model (see below)


2 thru 6 - SPRING BREAK Schools and Offices Closed

12 - Grades 7, 8, 10, 11 Students Begin In-School Hybrid

14 - Schools Close 3-Hour Early Dismissal for Students: End of Q3 Marking Period

22 - Q3 Report Cards Issued




New VES Student Registration kickoff for the 2021-2022 school year begins March 8, 2021.

Children must be 5 years old by September 1 in order to enroll in kindergarten. Every child who is 5 years old by September 1 must be enrolled in a kindergarten program this fall or have an approved waiver. HCPSS kindergarten is a full day program.

Helping Your Child Get Ready for Kindergarten

Kindergarten teachers are prepared for children to enter school with varying abilities, strengths and needs. Each child is taught at their appropriate level through differentiated instruction. Learn more what your child will learn in kindergarten.

Review the 2021 Road to Kindergarten slideshow for information about kindergarten readiness, the kindergarten program, and registering your child for school. Prior to kindergarten there are many things parents can do to support their child’s transition to school. From making sure appropriate documentation is gathered, to playing with, reading with and listening to their child, the year before kindergarten is a great opportunity to develop school readiness!

Learning Together Program (LTP)– Prekindergarten

Learning Together Program – Prekindergarten

The Veterans Regional Early Childhood Center (RECC) prekindergarten programs are making preparations for classes for the upcoming 2021-22 school year. These classes include children with and without disabilities. The program’s focus is helping all children develop communication, literacy, math, problem solving, motor, and social skills. Parents of children who will be 3 by September 1st or are already 4 may learn more about the program by reviewing the Learning Together Program (LTP) Flyer (English).
Online applications will be accepted starting February 22, 2021 and priority will be given to applications received by April 1st. Link to application:

If you need assistance to complete the application, please contact Early Intervention Services at or at 410-313-7017.

HCPSS is committed to providing instruction based on the statewide Early Learning Standards which are in alignment with Kindergarten Readiness. The fees listed in the application will be collected monthly regardless of the learning model determined by HCPSS throughout the upcoming school year (virtual, hybrid, or in person). If you have any additional questions , please contact Mary Jens at (410) 313-1700 or .

New Chromebook Care Webpage:

Please be aware of a new webpage for students, Chromebook Care, which includes tips on caring for and transporting Chromebooks, as well as student mobile technology duties and obligations and additional resources.

Opt-In Update:

Dear Families,

The purpose of this message is to update you on the availability of digital tools on HCPSS Chromebooks. Recently an Opt-In letter was sent home requesting parent/guardian consent in order for students to have access to the HCPSS authorized set of digital tools used for virtual instruction.


The following digital tools do not require consent because they are already available to students in HCPSS computer labs: Book Room, Word Work, Scratch BluBot, Scratch JR, Sketch-Up, Collector Classic, JamBoard, and Google Earth.

These supplemental digital tools are approved by HCPSS and comply with federal, state and Howard County Board of Education student data privacy policies.

Please note that your student(s) will have access to these digital tools when the second semester starts through the Google Play Store icon on the Chromebook when logged in with an HCPSS account.

If your elementary school aged child has not been issued a Chromebook, one can be picked up at a Technology Support Center.

Please note:

  • HCPSS cannot guarantee that apps are available on devices other than HCPSS Chromebooks.

  • Teachers may or may not choose to use any or all of these apps during instruction. Students will be notified when a particular app will be used for instruction.

  • In addition to these Google tools, HCPSS has approved a robust set of supplemental digital tools. Your child’s teacher will notify you of the particular supplemental digital tools being used in each class via email or on their Canvas course page.

For more information, please contact Mrs. Webb at

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Changes to 2020-2021 Academic Calendar

The Howard County Board of Education approved changes to the 2020-2021 academic year calendar during its February 11, 2021, meeting. Thursday, February 25, and Friday, February 26 are now scheduled as 3-hour early dismissal days for students at all levels, rather than full academic days as previously designated.

The changes are made in preparation for HCPSS' phased transition to a hybrid model of in-person and concurrent learning, which is scheduled to begin March 1. Designating February 25-26 as early dismissal days will provide school-based staff with additional time needed to complete classroom setup and other preparations necessary to ensure a smooth transition for students and staff.

Additionally during the Board meeting, Superintendent Michael J. Martirano announced flexibility for all staff assigned to begin reporting to school buildings in advance of each phase of student return.

The revised 2020-2021 calendar can be viewed online. Early dismissal schedules are available online for elementary, middle and high schools.



Family Fun Virtual Trivia Night - February 20

We will be using Zoom to play some fun Kahoot Trivia!

How well do you know the related arts teachers and administrators? See you on the 20th to find out! Staff is welcome to join with their families too!

Click the link below to sign up:

Questions? Email Cara Adornetto at

Join a PTA Meeting - March 9, 7pm

We meet once a month to discuss community building events, fundraising, and county wide school updates. If you are interested in learning more about the PTA, please join us. You must be a member to attend meetings. Need to join, here is the link

Our next meeting is via Zoom.

Tuesday March 9 - 7pm

Meeting ID: 920 5952 2426
Passcode: 169051

Kindergarten Playdates Chairperson Needed

This summer we hope to be able to host playdates again for our incoming kindergarteners. We typically have between 3-5 playdates each summer. You would work with the past chairs to help you plan dates and topics to chat about. We will host virtual playdates if needed. Contact Cara Adornetto for more info.

For Parents of Children with an IEP - Advocate Opportunity

On February 17th, in place of the regular SECAC General Meeting, they will be hosting their 3rd Annual Advocate Night. This year the event will be virtual.

Families will be able to have a free 15 minute session with a special education advocate. The advocate is a person that represents the best interest of the student in the education process. At these free sessions, the advocate will be able to answer questions and give advice about the student's services. Use the link here to fill out the form to reserve an appt.

The sessions will be conducted via Zoom using breakout rooms. The parent/guardian, advocate and SECAC board member will be moved to a breakout room at the appointment time and given 15 minutes to discuss the parent/guardian's concerns. After that time the breakout session will end and all participants will be put back into the main meeting. We will allow 5 minutes for transition and then the next session will begin. Please give yourself enough time in case there is an issue logging into Zoom. It is better to be early than late. Early arrivals will be in the main meeting and will not interfere with other sessions going on. Please plan on logging onto Zoom 5 minutes early.

This year the advocates are:

Beth Nolan from Education Team Allies -

Eva Queen and Barbara Johnson from Community Advocates for You -

Ronetta Stanley from Loud Voices Together -

Jessica Williams from Education Due Process Solutions -

SECAC will try their best to pair you with the best advocate for your student's needs as well as schedule at one of your preferred times. We will send an email with the time, Zoom link and any other instructions by Monday Feb 15th.

Please reach out to Mai Hall if you have questions.


Council of Elders/BSAP Workshops:

TCOE Workshops: (The Council of Elders)

  • March 13 9-10:30 a.m. – TCOE Community Academy– Suicide Prevention & Substance Abuse
  • March 20 9-10:30 a.m. -Family Financial Education Series
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BSAP Workshops: (Black Student Achievement Programs)

  • March 6 6:30-8:00 p.m. – Re-Entry to School (more details to follow)
  • March 20 6:30-8:00 p.m. - BCAP CCON Webinar – Virtually Expanding Your Horizons – Jumpstart (more details to follow)

If you have any questions regarding any of these TCOE/BSAP events, please contact
Nicole Brown,

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We would like to make our community aware of several temporary positions that will be available.

CLASSROOM MONITOR- If a teacher is unable to return to teaching in person due to health issues, a monitor would be hired to supervise the classroom of 6-7 students while the teacher continues teaching virtually.

LUNCH/RECESS MONITOR- These individuals supervise students at lunch and/or recess, under the supervision of VES staff.

These are temporary employment positions with no benefits except for Sick and Safe Leave. The normal rate is $11.75 but this will be increased during this hybrid period to $14.25 per hour for LRM's and Classroom Monitors.

If interested please file an application at the Human Resources,

Employment – HCPSS

Application Process. Individuals applying for positions must complete all sections of the online employment application and submit a completed application before the closing date (if applicable) in order to be considered for the position.

While an application must be on file, please email Mr. Bruce if you are interested or have any questions.

BOOKS and "BUNDTS" Reading Program 1/15 thru 3/31/2021

Who: Pre-K thru Elementary School Students

What: Students will receive a FREE Bundtlet for each month that they read for 400+ minutes.

When: January 15, 2021 - to - March 31, 2021

Why: Reading at an early age enriches children's brains, increases vocabulary and test scores, introduces readers to the world around them, and helps develop their imaginations.

A Youth Reading Program by Nothing Bundt Cakes

Columbia, MD Location

10730 Little Patuxent Pkwy

Columbia, MD 21044

(410) 587-0670

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.


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FEBRUARY 2021 Meal Service Adjustments

February 2, 2021

Howard County public schools will not be in session Friday, February 12 for a professional work day and Monday, February 15 for Presidents Day. There will be no meal service either of these days and additional meals may be picked up in advance of the closures.

The following adjustments will be made to meal services:

  • There is no meal service Friday, February 12.
  • Meals that were pre-ordered for pickup Thursday, February 11 will include meals for Thursday-Monday.
  • Meals that will be picked up via walk-up service on Thursday, February 11 will include meals for Thursday-Monday. Pre-ordering is not required.
  • Lunch for Monday, February 15 can be pre-ordered for pick-up on Thursday, February 11.
  • There is no meal service Monday, February 15.

Meals are provided at no cost to any HCPSS student or any child under age 18. More information about 2020-2021 meal services is provided online.

Grab-and-Go meals are served every day school is in session, Monday through Friday from 8-9 a.m. and 10:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m., and are free of charge for all students and any child under age 18. All meals include breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner. Find details about pre-ordering, weekend meals and more information online.

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

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.

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 School Psychologists

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!

VES School Counseling Department

School Counselors:

Ms. Wilson (K and 4th):

Ms. Wentz (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th):

We are available to support the school community.

Please reach out to schedule consultation time.

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