Clemens Crossing Cougar Comments

October 29, 2021 - Volume 43, Issue 11

Clemens Crossing Elementary School

Edward Cosentino, Principal

Sonia Hurd, Assistant Principal

Important Upcoming Dates and Events

For a complete list of dates and events visit


  • 31 - PTA Halloween Family Fun Night: Trunk-or-Treat & Fall Festival 12:00 noon to 2:00 p.m.


  • 1 - National American Indian Heritage Month Begins
  • 1 - PTA Fundraiser: Taharka Bros. Ice Cream - place orders Nov.1 thru 3
  • 3 - First Quarter Ends
  • 4 - Schools Closed for Students - Professional Work Day
  • 5 - Fall Picture Make-up Day
  • 8 - Conference Scheduling Opens
  • 10 - Report Cards Issued
  • 10- PTA Meeting, 7:00 p.m.
  • 15 - American Education Week
  • 18 - Conference Scheduling Closes
  • 22 - School Closes 3 hours early for Parent/Teacher Conferences
  • 23 - School Closes 3 hours early for Parent/Teacher Conferences
  • 24 - School Closed for Parent/Teacher Conferences
  • 25 - School Closed for Thanksgiving
  • 26 - School Closed for Thanksgiving Weekend

To subscribe to the CCES calendar on your smartphone, electronic device, or email system use the calendar ID


The incredible involvement and collaboration between parents and our school is what helps to make Clemens Crossing such a special place. This week, I met with the PTA School of Excellence Committee to review the survey data that we administered last month. Overall, the responses were quite favorable. Out of the 20 questions, question number 8 generated the greatest room for improvement. Question 8 read, "Our school involved parents/families in planning for student transitions." The responses were: 53% always, 10% frequently, 3% sometimes, and 33% unknown. As a result, the committee decided to focus on this area.

Our new PTA School of Excellence initiative will be called, "Ages and Stages: Helping Families Navigate Transitions Throughout the Elementary School Years." The committee will submit the formal application to the National PTA early next month. Once the application is submitted, the committee will focus on ways to support families through traditional elementary school milestones. At the same time, the committee will pay attention to the unique period of time that we have all experienced and how we adjust to normalized instruction (post-pandemic and post-redistricting).

Please be on the lookout for information as we implement this initiative.

Mr. Cosentino, Principal

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New Date and Time for Trunk or Treat and Fall Festival

Trunk or Treat/Fall Festival is moving to SUNDAY, OCTOBER 31 from 12:00-2:00, avoiding potential inclement weather & the conflict of AHS Homecoming on Saturday. If your car is participating in Trunk or Treat, please arrive between 11:30-12:15. If your car is not participating (but your child will still be trunk or treating), please consider donating a bag of candy to help cars that will be handing out treats! A bin for donations will be available on the blacktop. See you there!

NEW DATE AND TIME First Annual PTA Trunk or Treat & Fall Festival

Sunday, Oct. 31st, 12-2pm

10320 Quarterstaff Road

Columbia, MD

Trunk or Treat & Fall Festival Information

Come one, come all for some family fun this Fall!! Wear your costume and participate in any or all the events below. The Fall Festival is free, but Cougar Pumpkin Raffle tickets will be available for purchase ($0.25/each or 5 for $1.00). If you can help in any way, please sign up here. If you plan to attend, just show up – no sign-up required!

12:00 – 12:45: FALL FUN

  • Eat (Bring your own dinner or eat before you arrive)
  • Dance in the Monster Mash
  • Create free Kidz Art crafts under the tent
  • Pose for a smile in front of the photo wall
  • Get your ghoul game on near the blacktop
  • Enter the Cougar Pumpkin Raffle for the chance to win a special pumpkin decorated by CCES staff/grade levels! (Kids will have already voted for their favorites in school the week before the Fall Festival!)



  • Cougar Pumpkin Raffle winners will be announced before the parade
  • Parade will begin on the perimeter of the Blacktop and playground.
  • Parade is for CCES students/siblings & staff (and their kids) only. All other family members are asked to watch.
  • Kids will reunite with their families at the end of the parade for Trunk or Treating!
  • Games, Crafts, Music, etc. will still be open


  • All children can participate in Trunk or Treating, regardless of whether their family is bringing a decorated vehicle
  • Children should bring their own bags or buckets to hold treats.
  • For those bringing a decorated vehicle…
  • Arrive in the parking lot no later than 12:15 PM. Overflow trunk or treating will occur in the bus loop, but the parking lot will be filled first. Only decorated cars will be allowed to park in these areas.
  • Please supply your own candy or some other treat to hand out (non-edible items such as stickers, pencils, small toys, etc. are also fun!)
  • PTA will supplement your treats with donations from families attending the event, but not bringing a decorated vehicle.
  • Make sure an adult is stationed at your vehicle to hand out your treats
  • For those not bringing a decorated vehicle, but still trunk or treating…
  • You may not park on campus. Instead, please park at the Clemens Crossing Pool, or on Quarterstaff Road/surrounding neighborhoods.
  • Please consider donating a bag of treats to help the cars that are participating! A bin will be available near the parking lot to drop off your donation. Extra treats will be distributed amongst cars participating in Trunk or Treat.

Fall Parent/Teacher Conference Instructions

Parent/Teacher Conferences are scheduled to take place on November 22, 23, and 24.

Conferences will be with homeroom teachers and will focus on Language Arts.
To schedule conferences, you will need to login to HCPSS Connect.

HCPSS Connect will be open for all schools to schedule conferences from Monday, November 8 through Thursday, November 18. Please take the time to schedule your conference while the conference scheduling window is open. It is very difficult to accommodate last-minute appointments once the scheduling window closes.

To access the instructions, click the button link below or download the instructions below.

If you have any questions, please call the front office at 410-313-6866.

Please note: This is the first of two conference periods for the school year. There will be conferences following the end of the second quarter in February. The focus of those conferences will math where you will be able to meet with your child's math teacher.

Community Connections

In alignment with our Ages and Stages initiative, we are working to create parent outreach and community connections. We will be hosting conversations geared toward supporting our students, parents, and staff as we embark on this new school year together.

This is a great opportunity for you to connect with other families and staff members. Additional topics will be gathered from our community.

Some topics will include:

  • empowering our kids
  • creating structure and routines
  • building resilience
  • embracing diversity in our community
  • growth mindset
  • well-being

We want to hear from you! If you are interested in this opportunity, please click on the link below. Thank you for your ongoing support. Community Connections

Taharka Brothers Ice Cream PTA Fundraiser

CCES PTA arranged a unique fundraiser. Taharka Brothers Ice Cream is located in Baltimore, and they will deliver ice cream to your home. Portions of the profits will go to the CCES PTA.

Be sure to use the coupon code Clemens2021. Use the link button below to make an order.

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CCES PTA Reflections 2021 2022

The National PTA Reflections Arts Recognition Program

The National PTA Reflections Arts Recognition Program is a program designed to inspire and celebrate your kid’s creativity. To participate, students create a piece of art in any of 6 different categories that reflect this year’s theme, “I Will Change the World By...”. Every student who enters receives a certificate celebrating their work! Each artwork is evaluated on the interpretation of the theme, creativity, and artistic merit. Reflections is not just for “artsy” kids- it’s for EVERY kid!

And this is a great year for kids to think about how they will change the world! Click here for a video about Reflections at CCES this year.


  1. Reflect on the theme “I Will Change the World By...” and create an original work in one (or more!) of the following categories (click on the hyperlinks for more information about each):

  1. Fill out an Entry Form, and be sure to include your Artist’s Statement, which is how your artwork connects to the theme (this is 50% of your score from the judges).

  1. Turn in your artwork and entry form to the office at Clemens Crossing by November 29, 2021! OR, if your submission is electronic, please email it to me:

Artwork will be judged in 3 categories:

Entries will be reviewed by experienced arts and education judges. All participants will be celebrated with certificates of participation, the top three entries will receive ribbons and the first place entry will receive a medal. The top three entries in each category will move on to the Howard County Reflections Contest; the top three Howard County entries will move on to the Maryland State Reflections Contest, and State winners in each category will compete in the National PTA Reflections Contest.

EVERY artwork will be celebrated!


Contact Risa Carlson, Reflections Chair


Thankful Thursdays

The PTA would like your help saying “Thank You” to our teachers and staff by signing up to provide snacks on Thursdays for the months of October and November. Use the Sign-up Genius below to be 1 of 5 volunteers per week to send in a snack big enough for about 15 people.
It could be salty or sweet, but store-bought/pre-packaged items only at this time, please. You or your child can drop it off in the main office on Thursday or earlier in the week. Don’t have time but still want to participate? Donate money to our PTA PayPal account and we will pick something up for you! (Indicate using Sign-up Genius what week the donation is for and write “PayPal” in the comments.) Questions? Email Rachael Kelly at

Fall Picture Makeup Day - Friday, Nov. 5

Reporting Absences

Absence Notes

All students are required to have a note explaining why they were absent. Please send an email to your child's teacher as well as

CCES Breakfast and Lunch Menus

This will take you to the nutrislice website.

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Community News and Programs

The Howard County Public School System's policy has a process for non-HCPSS community organizations to distribute information and announcements. These organizations are typically located in the Howard County Community and are focused on serving students, parents, and families in our county community.

Please click the Community News and Program button link below to access a wide range of programs based in our area.

Programs on the HCPSS website are grouped in the following way:

  • Academic Enrichment
  • Afterschool and Camps
  • Arts & Music
  • Child Care
  • Culture/Diversity
  • Environment/Nature
  • Health
  • Sports/Recreation
  • Tutoring/Mentoring
  • Volunteering
  • Other

The website lists the activity or event, the organization's sponsor, and the ages that the activity or event is geared to serve.

This link will remain in our Cougar Comments newsletter throughout the school year. Programs and events expire and are added regularly. Feel free to check it regularly to learn about area programs and events.