Clemens Crossing Cougar Comments

September 20, 2019 - Volume 41, Issue 4

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


  • 23 - Start With Hello Week
  • 24 - Corner Bakery PTA Restaurant Night
  • 25 - In-School Banking, 9:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.
  • 27 - Student Picture Day
  • 30 - Schools and Offices Closed


  • 8 - Interim Progress Reports Issued
  • 9 - Schools and Offices Closed
  • 11 - PTA Family Fun Night, 6:30 p.m.
  • 16 - PTA Meeting, 7:00 p.m.
  • 18 - Schools Closed for Students
  • 29 - Flu Clinic
  • 30 - Pumpkin Run (3rd, 4th, 5th Grades during Related Arts times)
  • 30 - In-School Banking


  • 15 - PTA Bingo Night (moved from 11/8)

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

From School Administration

Attendance is key to suCCESs!

Over the past three years, Clemens Crossing Elementary has maintained a 95-96% attendance rate. While this is good overall, a 5% schoolwide absence rate at CCES represents over 5,000 days missed by our students.

The state of Maryland considers chronic absenteeism at 10% or 18 days of school. To stay on track in school, students need to be present every day. Missing 18 or more days of school in a year puts a child’s high school graduation at risk according to, a national chronic absenteeism prevention campaign. Being absent for just two days every month of the school year can put a child behind academically. Students with regular attendance are more likely to read well by third grade and score higher on tests. They also tend to be more engaged in school and feel better about themselves.

Put your child on the path to success with these attendance strategies.

Make school a priority. Every absence (excused or not), can impact a child’s academic achievement. Talk to your child about how important their education is. Make daily routines for homework and waking up on time for school.

Maintain communication with teachers and keep an eye on your child’s academic progress.
If your child seems disconnected from school or is prone to skipping class, try signing him or her up for an after-school activity. A report by the University of Minnesota found that students in an after-school program attended 18 more days of school and missed nine fewer days than their peers.

Make a plan. If your schedule or transportation situation makes getting your child to school a challenge, ask for assistance. Make a carpool or transportation plan with other parents or family members.

Report In. Know your school’s attendance policies. If an absence or early dismissal is unavoidable, contact your school. If your family’s religious observances fall on school days, let teachers know early in the year which days your child will miss.

The Maryland State Department of Education has defined full and partial day attendance as follows:

  • A student is counted present for a full day if the student is in attendance for four hours or more of the school day.
  • A student is counted present for half-day if the student is in attendance for at least two hours of the school day, but less than four hours.
  • A student scheduled for less than a full day is to be counted present based on the amount of time he/she is scheduled.

A note from the parent must be submitted to the school within two school days of the student’s return, indicating the date and reason for tardiness or absence from a regular school session. A doctor’s certificate is required in cases of long-term absence due to illness. A note should also be submitted to request early dismissal or exclusion from activities (e.g. physical education). Chronic absences are referred to our Student Services Team at CCES.

Carefully weigh sick days. If your child is sick, they should stay at home. Students should be fever-free for 24 hours. If the doctor or nurse recommends that your child stays home, find out exactly how long and on what conditions he or she can return to class (for example, after 24 hours of antibiotics). Before keeping your children home, make sure they aren’t faking symptoms. Regularly feigning sickness may be a sign that your child is anxious about facing a challenge at school.

Schedule wisely. Know your school’s calendar, and arrange doctor and dentist appointments after school, on weekends, or during holiday breaks, if possible. Resist the urge to schedule vacations when students will miss school. This gives students the impression that school is not a priority.

We hope this helps you and your family plan to make every school day count.

New Information

School Picture Day is Coming - September 27

Friday, September 27 is the fall individual picture day. Order forms will be coming home in Friday Folders.

Orders may also be placed online at Use the code FM313231 when ordering.

Howard County G/T Program Parent Academy

Wednesday, Oct. 16th, 7-8:30pm

6101 Old Dobbin Lane

Columbia, MD

HCPSS families interested in the Gifted and Talented (G/T) Program are invited to come learn about the advanced-level offerings available through the G/T Education Program and how their students can become involved.

The evening will begin with an overview of G/T Education Program offerings at the elementary, middle, and high school levels.

Following the general session, parents and community members will have an opportunity to meet by school level for a question and answer session.

Full Schedule:

7:00 – 8:00, G/T Education Program Overview Presentation – Auditorium

8:05 – 8:30, Question and Answer Sessions:

  • Elementary G/T Program Offerings: Auditorium
  • Middle G/T Program Offerings: Classroom A127
  • High School G/T and AP Courses: Classroom B115

For more information, please email or or call 410-­313­‐6800.

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Community Conversation on Restorative Justice

Monday, Oct. 7th, 6-9pm

5460 Trumpeter Road

Columbia, MD

More information

The HCPSS Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, in sponsorship with the Howard County Education Association and the Restorative Justice Partnership, will be hosting a community conversation on restorative justice. The event will take place October 7 from 6:00 pm-9:00 pm in the Rouse Theater. Refreshments will be served from 6-6:30 pm.

To RSVP, click here.

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This year's school Flu Vaccine Clinic will be on Tuesday, October 29. If you would like your child to receive the flu vaccine, you may sign and return the paper consent form that will go home with your child OR you may register online at

Please do NOT do both the paper and the online registration. Thank you!

Information Worth Repeating

Got Books?

Do you have any books that your child does not read anymore? Please consider donating your child’s gently used books to our Little Free Library. Our Little Free Library is located near the front entrance of the school building. The Little Free Library works on the philosophy of “take a book, leave a book”.

Media Center Volunteers Needed

Clemens Crossing students love to read and they borrow hundreds of books each week from the Library Media Center. We rely on adult volunteers to help reshelve those books. If you could spare an hour or two on a weekly or biweekly basis, please email Thank you!

Start With Hello

We are pleased to inform you that during the week of September 23rd Clemens Crossing students will be taking part in Start With Hello Week. Start With Hello teaches students the skills they need to reach out and include those who appear lonely and create a culture of inclusion and connectedness within their classroom and school.

Last year, over 12,000 schools from across the United States participated in Start With Hello week to highlight and spread the message of the power of Start With Hello’s three simple steps:

  1. See Someone Alone
  2. Reach Out and Help
  3. Start With Hello

Social isolation is the overwhelming feeling of being left out, lonely, or treated like you are invisible.

It is a growing epidemic in the United States and within our schools. According to a 2018 survey of 20,000 adults, nearly 50% of Americans reported sometimes or always feeling alone while feelings of loneliness are the worst for younger generations. Young people who are isolated

can become victims of bullying, violence and/or depression. The positive news is that there are cures for disconnection and loneliness if we reach out and help one another.

We encourage you to talk to your child about the Start With Hello program and ask them to share what they have learned. Not only will that help you learn how to support your child to identify isolation and to reach out and be connected, but it also demonstrates to your child that you take this subject seriously and can support them in their actions to create a more connected and inclusive home, classroom, school, and community. Fundraiser

This year we will be participating in to help raise funds for CCES. With SchoolStore our school can earn cash through online shopping with over 400 stores including Target, Kohls, Walmart, Old Navy and Best Buy. You can also purchase magazine subscriptions, food items, and home décor items which our school will receive a percentage of sales. information packets will be coming home with students this Monday, September 23rd. These packets will include an introduction letter to parents and information on ways your student can win prizes. If you are interested in participating, you can do so by visiting and entering Clemens Crossing as you school of choice. Our school ID number is 151709.

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Market Day Returns

Market Day has been the premier fundraising partner for schools and non-profit organizations for over 30 years. With new leadership and dedication, we are excited to bring Market Day online, and we look forward to continuing to be your trusted partner in fundraising.

Market Day remains committed to donating 10% of every purchase with the designated school or non-profit organization.

After a five year absence, Market Day has returned. The company was purchased and relaunched to provide families with meal options. Market Day used to require pick-up at school on a designated day. Now, Market Day ships directly to your home or office.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at

Market Day School Fundraiser

Register by creating an account and selecting Clemens Crossing Elementary. Start Shopping! You can also share with family and friends all over the country.

Upcoming HCPSS Boundary Review Process

This past January, the Board of Education directed that HCPSS initiate a systemwide school boundary review, which could potentially impact any or all of the 74 comprehensive schools in our county beginning in the 2020-2021 school year. This review officially began on June 13 with the presentation of the 2019 Feasibility Study and is critical due to population growth that has resulted in crowding at many schools while schools in other areas are underutilized.

Families are encouraged to remain informed and engaged throughout the process and there will be multiple opportunities for you to participate. As Superintendent Dr. Michael Martirano has said that a successful outcome for this process depends directly on the level of respect, empathy, and careful listening that we as adults model for our children. We must remember that they will follow our lead in responding positively to the challenges and changes that are inevitable throughout life. I ask our community to practice civility during what can be an emotional process.

Please be sure to visit the boundary review page on the HCPSS website for more information, resources, a timeline, and ways to participate and provide input.

2019 The Great Pumpkin Run Volunteer Form

We are preparing for the 23rd Annual Pumpkin Run. This year's run will take place on Wednesday, October 30th during Related Arts block of time for 3rd, 4th and 5th Grades (see below). We need approximately 30 volunteers to assist us this year. We ask that volunteers are available for the duration of the entire event (9:00 a.m. -12:20 p.m.).

If you are available to volunteer, please fill out the form below.

  • Grade 5: 9:20-10:20
  • Grade 3: 10:35-11:35
  • Grade 4: 11:35-12:35

Thank you for all the ways you support physical education at Clemens Crossing Elementary School.


Mr. Robinson and Mr. Griffis

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Clemens Crossing Bank

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 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:

CCES First National Bank Letter.pdf

CCES In-School Banking form.pdf

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PTA School of Excellence Survey

The Clemens Crossing Elementary School PTA knows that a strong partnership among our families, school leaders, and community members is important to the success of our students and school. That’s why we are participating in the National PTA School of Excellence program, which grows partnerships between PTAs and schools to enrich the educational experience and overall well-being of all students.

At a National PTA School of Excellence, families feel welcomed and empowered to support student success, and PTA is a key partner for continuous school improvement. We feel Clemens Crossing Elementary School and Clemens Crossing PTA can continue to achieve that together—and the result will be national, state and community-wide visibility for the positive impact we are making together at Clemens Crossing Elementary School.

We need your help! As part of the process, National PTA requests feedback from families at two points in the school year—the beginning and the end. Your feedback will help National PTA generate a customized Roadmap to Excellence for us, which will provide specific recommendations for improving our family-school partnership and achieving excellence.

Please take 5-10 minutes to reflect on your experience at this school and complete the survey below using Google Forms. This survey is completely anonymous. Please complete the online survey to by Monday, October 7, 2019.

Does this sound like a PTA program you’d really like to help with? Join us! Contact either one of us to help out.


Dani Gardner, Clemens Crossing PTA President

Edward Cosentino, Clemens Crossing Elementary School Principal

Thank you for your continued support and collaboration as we work toward becoming a National PTA School of Excellence!

PTA Parent Partner Program

Would you like to be a volunteer for CCES? We are seeking volunteers for our Parent Partner program. We ask our volunteers to meet one on one with a student for 20mins once per week to assist with reading, math or handwriting. We may find additional ways to help our teachers with classroom preparations as well. This year we hope to find ways to use volunteers who cannot accommodate a rigid schedule. There may be opportunities to assist inside or outside of the school at varying times. We have an immediate need afternoon help 2:35+ if you are interested!

If you would like to be more involved in the school and have some spare time to give, we would love to hear from you! Please contact Christy Pine at for more information. And if you have little ones at home, we are looking into forming a group of parents to participate in a childcare swap allowing more families to participate.

Thank you for your consideration!

Just Added! Corner Bakery PTA Restaurant Day

Please find below the confirmation link for our PTA Restaurant Day/Night at the Corner Bakery scheduled for NEXT TUESDAY, September 24th from 7:00am-7:00pm.

Families will need to show they are with CCES by either printing the below form or showing it on their device.

Corner Bakery PTA Restaurant Day

Tuesday, Sep. 24th, 7am-7pm

10000 Town Center Avenue

Columbia, MD

Please find below the confirmation link for our PTA Restaurant Day/Night at the Corner Bakery scheduled for NEXT TUESDAY, September 24th from 7:00am-7:00pm.

Families will need to show they are with CCES by either printing the below form or showing it on their device.

Don't Delay, Join Your PTA

After trying a lot of different fundraisers over the years, the CCES PTA’s major fundraiser is a direct donation program (and later in the fall, a Read-a-thon). Rather than sell candles or other merchandise, we ask each family to contribute $50 (or whatever you can afford) in addition to their membership dues to support the programs we sponsor throughout the year.

Our PTA membership rates are $15 for a family and $10 for an individual.

Consider all the programs your PTA brings to the school -- Cultural Arts assemblies, after-school classes, field trip support, the Science Fair, International Night, Visiting Author, Talent Show, Spring Carnival, etc., etc., etc. Support your PTA!

You can sign up online at

Or, you can print the membership form attached below and write a check payable to CCES PTA.
Send the form and check back to school with your child.

Thank you so much!!


For PTA Membership Payments or Direct Donations

After School Activities

Mondays - Abrakadoodle Art, K-5, Starts 9/23

Join Abrakadoodle as we begin our journey across America by exploring the United

States! Our art will be inspired by California Redwoods, Washington, DC monuments and more! Register today for this 10- week program at:

Mondays - Silver Knights Chess Club, K-5, Starts 10/7

Learn chess from a Silver Knights Chess coach! We teach more than 4,000 children each week.

State and national champions have come from our programs, but most of our students are just looking to have fun! Class time is split between lesson and play. Lessons range from learning the rules to advanced tournament strategies, depending on the children. Playtime is structured to pair each student against an opponent of similar skill. All grades and skill levels are welcome. Silver Knights will supply all the equipment during chess club, but there's an option to purchase a chess to take home. Students will have the opportunity to play in tournaments. To request financial aid, please contact us with the student's name, grade, and school.

Tuesdays - Kid Empowerment (PET smashing ANTS), 2-4, Starts 10/1

Kid Empowerment: P.E.T. Power! Want your children to Reach their Full Potential,

Realize their Self-Worth and Gain the Leading Edge!? If so, enroll them in Kid Empowerment P.E.T. Power today! Children will unleash their P.E.T. Power at this fun and hands-on program! They will learn P.E.T.s, (Positive Empowering Tools) that chase away A.N.T.s

(Automatic Non-supportive Thoughts)! Through charming animations and experiential activities, children learn valuable life strategies that build resilience, confidence and a success mentality. Kids get their own stuffed pet and earn special P.E.T. tags for each of the important skills they learn. P.E.T. Power is for all children who would benefit from learning adult life strategies sooner than later, (i.e. ALL children).

Tuesdays - Silver Knights Robotics, 1-5, Starts 10/1

Build, code and have fun with LEGO

WeDo 2.0. Enhance kids’ curiosity and science skills with Silver Knights Robotics. Students will explore robotics with LEGO bricks, easy-to-use coding software, and engaging STEM challenges. Kids work in pairs with a tablet and a LEGO

WeDo 2.0 kit that includes over 250 pieces, a SmartHub, motor, and motion and tilt sensors. ZooBots is a unit filled with animal bots that roll, waddle, walk and talk. Create the penguin on your first day of the club and progress to crocodiles, mudskippers, and gorillas. Each week students make something new and learn how gears, simple machines, and LEGO code work together to make something FUN!

Wednesdays - Kaizen Karate, K-5, Starts 9/18

This Karate program offers safe, structured training that teaches students the proper form, style, and technique. Classes are tailored to student’s individual needs and help them to grow to their fullest potential. Karate not only focuses on instruction but also provides valuable lessons related to respect, discipline, motivation, self-control, confidence and continual improvement.

Thursdays - KidzArt, K-5, Starts 9/26

KidzArt is a FUN, art-enrichment program designed to enhance drawing skills and build each child’s confidence. By using our simple drawing method and specialized format, students will learn to focus, relax and think creatively. Our Certified Instructors help students create original works of art, take risks and think outside of the box. Within each session, students will explore a variety of artist-grade materials, such as oil and chalk pastels, watercolor, charcoal, clay, copper, textured papers and much more. Younger children practice following directions and using fine motor skills. Older children love having creative freedom and guidance to further their skills. KidzArtists will bring home a new masterpiece each week with a kid-tested and educationally rich curriculum that NEVER REPEAT!

Thursdays - Spanish After School, K-4, Starts 10/17

CCES PTA in partnership with The Language & Cultural Club is offering next fall,

this exciting After-school Spanish Program for novice learners. Students will learn the Spanish language and culture through immersion, music, and play-based activities. Classes are taught 90% in Spanish. 8-week Fall Session 2019 Two groups: Grades K to 1,

and Grades 2nd to 4th

Fridays - Silver Knights Coding, 2-5, Starts 10/4

In Silver Knights Coding Club, children learn to create stories, games, and animations using a visual programming language called Scratch. It’s as easy to use as snapping together building blocks! With Scratch, children learn to think creatively, work collaboratively, and reason systematically. Scratch is designed and maintained by the Lifelong

Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab. Our curriculum teaches new coders the basics while challenging more experienced coders to create a wide variety of more complex programs. Silver Knights provide a laptop for every child. At the end of the session,

each child takes home a USB with all their programs on it!

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Shop Amazon and Help CCES

Amazon will donate a percentage of the price of eligible AmazonSmile purchases to CCES! Last school year, Amazon donated $200 to CCES!

Simply go to and select Clemens Crossing Elementary School as your charity or click on the link The same products and prices are available through this portal but every purchase you make will deliver .5% of the purchase price to the CCES PTA to help fund our programs. Only purchases at (not ) support charity.

Remember to use this link each time you make an Amazon purchase and tell your family and friends!

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Box Tops for Education

Thank you for sending your Box Tops for Education into school. Last year, CCES earned over $700. This money is divided so individual grade levels have extra funds to purchase items that they need.

The Box Tops for Education program is changing this year. There are two ways we can earn cash for our school!

Clip: If your package has a traditional Box Top clip, cut it out and send it to school (each grade level has a collection bin). We earn cash for all clipped Box Tops until they expire.

Scan: If your package has the new Box Tops label, use the Box Tops app to scan your store receipt within 14 days of purchase. The app will instantly add Box Tops to our school's earnings online.

Questions? Contact Julia Griffiths,

Grade Level Closed Facebook Groups

Did you know that each grade at Clemens Crossing has a class Facebook page? PTA helps facilitate these pages. The pages are "closed" groups (requiring approval to join the group) and intended only for parents of children in that particular grade. It's a great way to converse and interact with other parents and hear about activities and events in your child's grade.

These pages are supplemental to the schools Twitter feed and Facebook page, so please be sure to use those social media tools as well.

Class of 2025 Kindergarten

Class of 2024 1st grade

Class of 2023 2nd grade

Class of 2022 3rd grade

Class of 2021 4th grade

Class of 2020 5th grade