Clemens Crossing Cougar Comments

October 6, 2017 - VOLUME 39, ISSUE 4

Clemens Crossing Elementary School

Edward Cosentino, Principal

Elizabeth Yankle, Assistant Principal

Events Coming Up

For a complete list of dates and events visit


  • 11 - PTA Meeting, 7:00 pm
  • 12 - Interim Progress Reports Issued
  • 13 - 3rd Grade Ellicott City Day
  • 18 - 2nd Grade Fire Safety House
  • 19 - 4th Grade Annapolis Field Trip
  • 19 - PTA Family Fun Night, 6:30 pm
  • 20 - Schools Closed for students
  • 24 - JA in a Day Parent Volunteer Training, 4:00 p.m. or 6:30 p.m.
  • 25 - In-School Banking
  • 27 - 1st Grade Field Trip Howard County Conservancy
  • 31 - Halloween parade, 2:45 pm


  • 1 - National American Indian Heritage Month starts
  • 1 - Pumpkin Run during PE for grades 3-5
  • 3 - Bingo Night, 7:00 pm
  • 8 - 5th Grade Field Trip - Living Classroom (Haube/Lee)
  • 9 - 5th Grade Field Trip - Living Classroom (Halvorson/Greenlee)
  • 10 - End of Marking Period
  • 10 - Veterans Day Celebration, 9:30 am

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

From School Administration

With recent news events involving natural disasters, attacks, and violence, we want to take a moment to remind each of our CCES families how very appreciative we are for the loving care and guidance you give your children each day to help them feel heard, valued, nurtured, and safe.

With goals of maximizing learning and having students feel secure, we are pleased that student conversations at CCES have NOT been particularly elevated with regard to national/international news involving natural disasters and/or senseless violence. (If this were a concern, we'd be implementing supports with a different lens).

For now, here are some quick reminders from the National Association of School Psychologists:

  1. Reassure children that they are safe.
  2. Make time to talk.
  3. Keep your explanations developmentally appropriate.
  4. Review safety procedures.
  5. Observe children's emotional state.
  6. Limit television (and social media) viewing of these events.
  7. Maintain a normal routine.

And one last addition from us:

#8. If you have any specific concerns, please don't hesitate to contact your child's teacher or various support staff to talk things through and determine next steps.

If you'd like to read further about the above the recommendations from the National Association of School Psychologist, feel free to click here.

Update on Redistricting

On Tuesday, October 3, Interim Superintendent Dr. Michael Martirano presented his recommendations for attendance area adjustments to the Board of Education. This is only a recommendation at this point. Between now and mid-November, the Board of Education will hold two public hearings and conduct four work sessions before they make a final vote on redistricting. The final vote will take place on November 16. Changes due to redistricting will begin in September 2018.

The current plan impacts Clemens Crossing Elementary as it will send 192 students to Pointers Run Elementary. Students who live south of Freetown Road (egress off Cedar Lane and Harriet Tubman Road) and the neighborhood of River's Edge would be affected. Additionally, students who would be redistricted to Pointers Run Elementary would also matriculate to Clarksville Middle after elementary school.

For students who remain at Clemens Crossing Elementary, the plan calls for our school to be a 100% feed to Wilde Lake Middle.

If you are interested in learning more about this process along with the various plans, please visit the School Planning section of the HCPSS website.

Additionally, the Board of Education is now accepting testimony in writing and in person on the Superintendent's redistricting plan.

For testimony to be considered official, email the Board of Education by using this email address - Emails sent to individual board members are not required and will not be considered as official testimony.

All written testimony will be uploaded to the Board Docs on the Board of Education's section of the HCPSS website and become publicly available.


  • In written testimony, include your name only - no other personal information such as a residential address.
  • If sending email, include testimony as an attachment with your name only (no other personal info). If testimony is included in the body of the email the entire email including your email address will be posted.

Pre-registration for the first hearing on October 26 opens on Thursday, October 5 at 8:00 a.m. Call the Board of Education office at 410-313-7346 to schedule testimony.

HCPSS School Planning

This button is a link to the HCPSS School Planning web site. Various plans including the annual Feasibility Study, the Attendance Area Committee results and the Interim Superintendent's recommendation to the Board of Education are all published here.

Halloween Celebration - October 31

The Annual Halloween Parade and parties are scheduled for Tuesday, October 31. The parade will begin at 2:45 p.m. with our kindergarten students leading us out the kindergarten side doors onto the blacktop. We will proceed to the blacktop, to the sidewalk in front of the building, and then back in through the 5th-grade doors.
Parent viewing areas will be in the center of the blacktop or the bus loop area. Please see the Halloween Parade Route & Viewing Area map below.

Each grade level will communicate their party times and needs through their room parent. Due to space limitations, only two predetermined parent volunteers per class will be permitted in the building during classroom parties.
Parents/visitors will not be permitted in the school building after the parade.

We ask that you avoid any costumes that perpetuate violence, have any blood, gore, scary masks, or contain any type of weapons. Props that come with costumes that are play weapons are not allowed in school. This includes but is not limited to toy guns, knives, swords, sickles, pitchforks, etc. Please send costumes in a bag for the students to put on independently over their clothing before the parade.
Students are not allowed to wear their costumes to school.

Parking will be limited. Parking will be permitted in the bus loop until 3:10 p.m.
All cars must be gone from that area so our buses can park when they arrive for dismissal.
Please park at the Clemens Crossing Pool or walk to the parade.

If there is rain, there will not be a rain date for the parade, but the classroom parties will proceed.

As always, if you prefer that your child does not take part in the Halloween parade and/or party, please send a note to your child’s teacher or contact Mr. Cosentino or Mrs. Yankle.

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Staff Spotlight - Ms. Roxann Morstein

Ms. Morstein knew that she wanted to be a teacher when she was ten years old and in the fourth grade. She attending Arizona State University where she earned her degree in teaching. After teaching for ten years in Arizona, Ms. Morstein moved to Maryland and started at CCES. She has been teaching at Clemens Crossing for the past sixteen years!

Outside of school, she enjoys working out, riding her bike, and watching the Orioles and Capitals play. Additionally, she loves spending time with her adult children, Jason, Megan, and Collin.

Siblings During Lunch, Recess, and Classroom Visitation

We strive to be a welcoming place for parents and visitors. At the same time, we have to maintain a safe environment conducive to learning.

While we do allow siblings to accompany parents during lunch, we do not recommend it. Younger children should be closely monitored by the parent at all times and they should not interfere with the operations of the lunch shift.
Siblings are not permitted at recess or in the classrooms.

Toys in School

We've had a number of students bring spinners and other "fidget" items to school recently. These are classified as toys and should not be brought to school. Students needing the support of this type must have a specific need documented on an IEP or 504 plan. Teachers will provide "fidgets" to students needing them at school.

As a reminder, students are not to bring to school anything such as toys, electronic games, sports equipment, trading cards, iPods, MP3 players, etc., unless their teachers have instructed them to do so for a specific purpose. If an item is brought to school, the student and parent/guardian assume all responsibility for that item.

Upcoming School Spirit Days

Periodically, we will celebrate school spirit days. The purpose of school spirit days is to get kids enthused, supportive, and excited about their school community. In order to maximize full participation, we want to help you plan ahead for school spirit days.
Below, you will find information about school spirit days through the end of December.

Are You Set-up to Receive Attendance Notifications?

Did you know you can get an e-mail notification when your child is tardy or absent? To turn on this important notification follow these steps:

  • Log into HCPSS Connect
  • Locate and click "Attendance" from the menu on the left
  • Click "Attendance Notification"
  • Check the box next to the word "Attendance"
  • Click the "Submit" button to update your notification.

NOTE: To change the primary email, go to the tab "My Account" and update your primary email address.

Reminders for Physical Education Class

To ensure student safety and quality motor learning, HCPSS physical education students must adhere to the following safety protocols:

• Wear tennis shoes or sneakers that remain tied or strapped for proper execution of skills.

• Remove all jewelry except stud earrings and medical ID bracelets and necklaces.

• Remove dangling clothing, scarves, and lanyards prior to the beginning of class.

• Remove sharp objects from pockets and hair.

• Pull long hair out of the face, depending on activity.

• Wear play clothes in Grades K–5.

Page 31 of the Parent & Student Handbook

No Animals on School System Property Including Arrival and Dismissal

The Office of Safety, Environment, and Risk Management informed all schools about the restriction of animals on school property. Animals in schools or offices, leashed or not, present safety, environmental, and liability issues. Students and staff may be exposed to potential physical hazards, such as bites, and/or allergy-related health problems. As a result, animals are prohibited within HCPSS buildings. Animals are also prohibited on school system property during arrival, dismissal, recess, or other HCPSS sponsored outdoor activities.

The Great Pumpkin Run for 3rd, 4th, and 5th Grades

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JA In a Day Training

Each volunteer for JA In a Day needs to attend a parent volunteer training. The training date is October 24 at either 4:00 p.m. or 6:30 p.m.
If you've volunteered in the past for JA in the Day, you are not required to attend the training again.

Save the Date - JA in a Day is November 2

What is JA in a Day?

JA stands for Junior Achievement. JA in a Day is a common core-aligned program that introduces K-12 students to a lifetime of learning about finance and career success.
The program aims to inspire and prepare students to succeed in our world’s economy by delivering grade appropriate real-world experiences and material to the classroom.

What types of skills can students learn from JA?

The JA program helps students to explore, experience, and realize both opportunities and realities of work life. Students can begin to develop skills in work readiness, entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and how to face real-world challenges.

When is JA at Clemens Crossing?

JA In a Day is scheduled for November 2, 2017 for grades K-5.

Who teaches Junior Achievement?

The JA program is solely reliant on school/community volunteers to teach the program in classrooms. The idea is to attract parents and/or work force volunteers (past or present) to deliver the JA material from their own unique and diverse perspectives. Any adult can be a JA volunteer, because the program focuses on real world skills.

What exactly does a JA volunteer need to do?

Volunteers receive a comprehensive lesson plan that they are responsible for reviewing and then teaching to the class. All lessons, materials, and activities are provided in the instructional material provided by the JA program. Volunteers are also given an in-person training meeting at the school. JA volunteers teach in the classroom for the day, with the classroom teacher there for support as needed.

What are the time commitments?

Volunteers need to attend a training meeting, pick up their teaching packets, and prepare to teach the material prior to the actual JA day. Our goal is to have at least two volunteers per classroom to share the responsibility. Grade specific information is provided below, but JA volunteers ARE the teachers for the day, and need to accept the responsibility as such.

What can I expect to gain from volunteering?

Being a JA volunteer is so rewarding! The material is easy to follow and the activities are all set up and planned out. This is a fantastic opportunity to support your kids, your school, and the students love seeing parents in their classroom. The experience last year was very positive and the program is just invaluable to the students. You are almost guaranteed to walk away with not only some personal satisfaction but some smiles and some laughs as well!

How can I get more information?

You can read more about Junior Achievement by going online to:

You can also feel free to ask more detailed questions by contacting Dani Garner or
Ed Cosentino directly.

How can I volunteer?

More information will be coming out soon. We need two parents per classroom!

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Volunteers and Visitors Print and Turn in Certificate ~ Including Lunch Visits

We appreciate all you do to support our school in so many ways! According to HCPSS Board Policy, all parent volunteers must complete a Confidentiality Training Course about protecting the privacy of our students, staff, and schools.

Those who volunteer or visit in the school, whether helping with lunch or working in classrooms, must complete the online training course EACH school year.
At this time, we have very few completed certificates.

Please click HERE for the link to the training. Once you have completed the course, please print the certificate of completion and bring it to our front office.

Your participation in this process helps make CCES a safer place to learn.

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PTA Read-A-Thon Fundraiser

Today, Friday, October 6, was the last day to count reading minutes. Now it's time to get those forms and money turned in! Some fun incentives:

  • Every student who turns in their read-a-thon form gets a $1 coupon to spend at the Book Fair!
  • The grade with the most participation in the read-a-thon will get a popsicle party at recess!
  • If we make our $10,500 goal (direct donation and read-a-thon combined),
    Mr. Cosentino will take a pie in the face! Delivered by Mrs. Yankle!

Reminder: Send in those Box Tops!

Clemens Crossing receives cash for your Box Tops! Remember to cut them out and send them in with your child. Each grade level has a collection bin -- the more Box Tops your grade brings in, the more cash your child's class receives! Box Tops are collected all year-round.
The first shipment will go out in mid-October, so please send in what you have by Oct. 10 and then keep sending them in as the year goes on for the next one.

Questions? Contact Angela Stark,

PTA Meeting - 10/11/17 at 7:00 p.m.

The next PTA meeting will be Wednesday, October 11 at 7:00 pm in the Media Center. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend. Mr. Cosentino will be discussing the redistricting proposal and how it affects our school.

Giant Food Stores A+ Rewards - Register Your Giant Card - Earn Cash for CCES!

Clemens Crossing Elementary earns cash every time you shop at Giant Food Grocery Stores and use your Giant card. All you need to do is register your card online and designate CCES as your school of choice (school ID: 01008) through Giant's A+ School Rewards Program. Follow the steps below to register your card and designate CCES as your school today:

  1. Visit and select the purple box that says "Log in to get started."
  2. Log-in or follow the prompts to create your online account. You will need your 12-digit Giant Card number.
  3. (If you don't know your Giant card number, call 1-877-366-2668, Option #1)
  4. Under the "Rewards and Savings" tab, follow the prompts to designate Clemens Crossing Elementary as your school. You will need the School ID # for CCES, which is 01008.
  5. If you need assistance selecting your school, call or email the A+ Hotline at 1-877-275-2758 or

NOTE: If you registered your Giant card last year, you do NOT need to re-register. CCES will automatically start earning money from your purchases once the program begins this school year!

CCES starts earning money October 6, so register today! Last year this program earned more than $4,600 for our school!

Don't forget to encourage your friends and family members to register their cards for CCES, too!

If you have questions about this program, contact CCES's Giant A+ Rewards Coordinator Angela Stark at

Register Your Harris Teeter Card - Earn Cash for CCES!

In addition to the Giant A+ Rewards Program , Clemens Crossing Elementary also earns cash every time you shop at Harris Teeter and use your VIC card. You can link your HarrisTeeter VIC card to Clemens Crossing using one of two ways:

1. Next time you are at Harris Teeter, give the cashier your VIC card and Clemens Crossing Elementary's Together In Education number during checkout: 7655. They can link it for you.


2. Visit Click the green "Link Your School Today" box and follow the prompts to set up your account and link your card to Clemens Crossing Elementary.

NOTE: If you linked your card to CCES last year you MUST re-link your Harris Teeter VIC card every year. Register today!

Only Harris Teeter brand (including Harris Teeter, H.T. Traders, Harris Teeter Farmers Market, and Harris Teeter Organics) purchases qualify for cash-back to the school. Pharmacy purchases also qualify.

Don't forget to encourage your friends and family members to register their cards for CCES, too!

If you have questions about this program, contact CCES's retail promotions coordinator Angela Stark at

PTA Coat and Winter Accessory Drive

October 1st to October 25th

The CCES PTA (along with Personnel Pupil Workers (PPW) of HCPSS) will be conducting an annual coat drive from October 1st to October 25th. PPW provides supplies, clothing and other necessities to at risk children in the county. Please consider donating your gently used coats and cold weather accessories and help keep some needy children warm this winter. Adult sizes accepted too. The drop off box will be at the front entrance of the school.

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Clemens Crossing PTA Family Mentoring Program

If you are new to Clemens Crossing and would like to be paired with a more established Clemens family, please contact the Family Mentoring Committee at Your mentor will arrange a playdate for your child with a child in the same class and will help your family adjust to the school and the area. More information and an information form can be found by clicking the link below.

We are also looking for established Clemens Crossing families willing to mentor a new family. Volunteers are needed for every grade and every class, so please contact the Family Mentoring Committee at if you would like to participate. Additional information about the program can be found by clicking the link below.

HCPSS Community News and Programs

This link contains community notices are neither sponsored nor endorsed by the Howard County Public School System.

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Adding the CCES Google Calendar to Your Personal Online/Email Calendar

Did you know you can subscribe to the CCES Calendar and see events on your computer and/or smartphone?
Why subscribe to the calendar? You will have all of CCES's events embedded in your calendar. If events change, the calendar will be updated immediately.

The calendar ID is: There are many "how to" tutorials online you can view to learn how to properly sync your calendar. It depends on your email provider, computer platform, and brand of smartphone.