Veterans Elementary - Eagle Express
April 9, 2020 - Volume 13, Issue #30 ~ Week of Spring Break
Mr. Bruce and Spirit say Hello!
From The Principal
I want to wish each of you a Happy Spring Break ! This week our teachers received training on additional components for distance learning. They also continued setting up their Language Arts and Mathematics pages on Canvas. Homeroom pages will be eliminated this week.
Any information that needs to be communicated for homeroom will be communicated on the Language Arts page for your homeroom teacher. This includes any messages and assignments for your related arts teacher(s).
I hope all of you are taking care of each other. Hopefully, all of you are remaining at home as much as possible. This is a good time to remind all of you to make sure if you leave your home that you maintain a six feet distance from anyone else. If you go into a crowded area wear a face mask or covering. Sneeze and cough responsibly and discard of any tissue used. Remember to wash your hands with soap and warm water for twenty seconds. Lastly, appreciate each other at this time. Now is a good time to let your family know how much they mean to you.
Best wishes for a great Spring Break !
County making Technology Acquisition a priority to facilitate Virtual Learning
Technology. Last week, HCPSS ordered 20,000 new Chromebooks and directed staff to begin gathering over 15,000 Chromebooks from our schools so that we can equip as many students as possible who may not have a device at home. The new purchases are backordered and we do not expect to receive them all until mid-May. There is a needs survey currently underway and additional information regarding device distribution is included in the plan detailed below. These purchases were not funded in our current budget so we will be looking for savings in other areas of our budget, redeploying existing funds where possible, and continuing to monitor the possibility of state reimbursement for these purchases. It is also likely that we may need to use funds from the HCPSS unassigned fund balance. These savings were intended to reduce our historic Health Fund Deficit and we have informed the Board and the County of this possibility.
We also ask that you help us prepare by completing the online HCPSS Student Technology Survey so that we can assess where we are as a community, and how to best distribute the limited devices we have available for student use. More information on student technology and device distribution is available online. Starting Monday, our student services staff and school administrators will begin reaching out to families, with a specific focus on families who may require interpretation services or may not have internet access to complete the survey online. We also plan to provide print copies at meal distribution sites and have staff available to assist families in survey completion.
International Families: Interpreter Services & Student Technology Survey Support Available
Starting this past Monday, our student services staff and school administrators began reaching out to families, with a specific focus on families who may require interpretation services or may not have internet access to complete the survey online. The county will have print copies at meal distribution sites available, if needed.
Please complete the Student Technology Survey in English, using the Chinese, Korean and Spanish language translations as reference. If you need support in filling out the survey, please contact the Call Center:
- Chinese: 410-313-5920
- Korean: 410-313-1592
- Spanish: 410-313-1591
For assistance in all other languages, please contact Monica Ranta at 410-313-7102.
Message from Media Center:
Do you have VES Media Books that are currently checked out that are with you at home?
Please take good care of the books and return them to VES as soon as school reopens.
Message from the VES Counseling Office
We hope you’ve been doing well and look forward to reconnecting with you!
Starting Tuesday, April 14, VES School Counselors will have office hours available by appointment daily from 9:30am - 11:30am and from 12:00pm - 1:00pm. Counselor chats will happen virtually, via google meet or over the phone. Please email us at the addresses below to request an appointment with us.
We look forward to talking with you in the upcoming days and weeks. Please know that we are still here to talk with you. Stay safe and well.
Julie Wentz (Grades 1, 2, 3, & 5) - email@example.com
Jessica Wilson (Grades K & 4) - firstname.lastname@example.org
Tabitha Brown (Counseling Intern) - email@example.com
*please note that Mrs. Wentz will be joining Ms. Brown’s chats.
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.
Update: Veterans School Concerts
As we get closer to our April 27th date for school to resume, we must come to the realization that school may or may not resume on that date. Even if we did resume on April 27th, we would have to postpone any concert dates to allow adequate rehearsals for our students and staff. Therefore, the Orchestra Concert scheduled for April 29th , Band Concert scheduled for April 30th , and the Vocal Chorus Concerts scheduled for May 7th have been postponed. These concerts could be rescheduled if school resumes, more information will be forthcoming as the year goes on. We do expect our students to continue practicing and to keep their skills sharp. If school does resume it is entirely possible that concerts could occur before the end of the school year. Please direct any questions to Mr. Bruce.
Limited quantities of pens, pencils and notebooks will be available at the Hammond, Long Reach and Oakland Mills high school Technology Distribution sites, which students/families may pick up if supplies are needed for continuity of learning at home. Prepare for Success has donated its inventory of school supplies, which will soon be available at meal distribution sites. Please stay tuned as we gather this inventory this week and prepare for a wider distribution beginning next week.
Continuity of Learning Website:
I want to remind families to access the learning resources that are provided for each grade level on the HCPSS Continuity of Learning website for the period between March 30 and April 10 for high school students and for the period between March 30 and April 17 for middle and elementary students. These resources were developed to ensure continuity of learning for our students while our teachers, administrators and staff complete professional development training to prepare to provide the next phase of distance learning.
Access to Learning Fund
Bright Minds Foundation has launched an emergency Access to Learning Fund to raise money for critical education access supports for HCPSS students during the extended COVID-19 school closure. Find more information on the Bright Minds website.
Student Registration for the 2020-2021 School Year
Parents/guardians of new incoming students and those entering Kindergarten in the 2020-2021 school year (who are not already enrolled) can begin the enrollment process online, then complete the final steps of the enrollment process once schools reopen.
Online registration is not required and parents may elect to complete the full registration in person at the time of reopening. Guidelines for Kindergarten registration, Kindergarten and 1st Grade early admission, and Pre-K applications are provided online.
Parents who have already registered online, please remember that registration is not complete until you come to school and meet with one of our secretaries. We will need to check the parent’s photo i.d. and student’s original birth certificate, so please be prepared to bring that with you along with all of the documents that were not uploaded during your online registration process.
This will be facilitated once our school buildings reopen. We look forward to meeting you!
HCPSS FREE GRAB-N-GO MEALS
Note to our International Families:
The county will have print copies at meal distribution sites available, if needed.
Expanded Meal Distribution
HCPSS is providing free Grab-N-Go meals through April 24 to anyone age 18 and under and/or any HCPSS student, regardless of age, at locations countywide.
Deep Run Elementary will be added to site locations beginning Thursday, April 2. Meals are available from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., weekdays. Participants receive a snack, lunch, and dinner for that day as well as a breakfast for the following day, and are encouraged to bring a bag to carry home meals each day. Friday distributions at school locations also will include weekend meals. Parents have the option of collecting meals for their children, who do not need to be present.
**There will be no meal service Friday, April 10 or Monday, April 13. Meals for those days will be distributed Thursday, April 9, with instructions for storage and preparation.
A list of additional food distribution locations, not sponsored by HCPSS, is available online (Links to an external site.).
Additional Food Distribution Sites began Monday, March 30 (please share with your community):
- Wilde Lake Middle School
- Talbott Springs Elementary School
HCPSS is pleased to announce the following expansions of our meal distribution program:
- Beginning March 30, HCPSS food distribution is expanding from nine to 12 locations, and now will include snacks in addition to three meals per day.
- Beginning April 3, meals to sustain children through the weekend will be provided on Fridays at all locations except Forest Ridge and Monarch Mills apartments, and Bethel Christian Academy.
There is no application, enrollment, or fee for this program. This meal service extension replaces HCPSS' previously scheduled spring break meal program, as those locations are now closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
HCPSS Free Meal Service:
- Ongoing, weekdays through Friday, April 24**
- 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
- Locations (Links to an external site.)