Clemens Crossing Cougar Comments

April 21, 2017 - Volume 38, Issue 16

Clemens Crossing Elementary School

Edward Cosentino, Principal

Elizabeth Yankle, Assistant Principal

From Mr. Cosentino and Mrs. Yankle

It is hard to believe we are already in the fourth quarter of the school year. Although we have less than two months of school, we still have a lot of learning ahead of us. One way we learn as an administrative team and as a school is through feedback from our community. We are very proud of the amazing accomplishments of our students and our school so far this year. As we reflect on this year and begin to plan for next year, we would like your feedback. Please take the time to complete this brief survey about how we can continually improve.

To access the survey, click this link or complete the live form below.

Consideration Form for 2017-18 School Year

As the fourth quarter continues, the Clemens Crossing staff is looking ahead to the 2017-18 school year. As part of this process, we would like to give you the opportunity to share some information that you would like for us to consider about your child(ren) as we begin to make class groupings for the next school year. This consideration form is for you, as parents, to relate specific information about your child that you feel would be beneficial as our teachers meet to determine next year's placement.

When placing students, the staff and administration utilize a wide range of criteria, which are supportive of the Howard County philosophy of heterogeneous grouping. Some of these criteria include, but are not limited to:

  • the personality of the child
  • the balance of female and male students
  • racial diversity
  • written output
  • test results
  • reading strengths and needs
  • special education requirements; IEP goals
  • structured versus non-structured needs
  • information from previous teachers and school counselor

There are certain concerns that we cannot consider as part of this Consideration Form: therefore we ask that you not use this form to propose the following:

  • specific teacher requests,
  • grouping based on siblings’ experience,
  • grouping based on friends,
  • grouping based on hearsay.

Your input on this form will be used in our planning for your child rather than a letter requesting a specific teacher. Your response is OPTIONAL but is a very valuable source of information to the school staff and to the next teacher.

The form closes on May 18th. Thank you for your help at this busy time of year. The time, thought, and commitment put into the completion of this forms is appreciated.

To access the consideration form, click this link or complete the live form below.

HCPSS to Hold Community Forums

According to the most recent Feasibility Study in June 2016, Clemens Crossing Elementary School may be part of redistricting plans that will go into effect for the 2018-19 school year. The Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) will hold community forums on school attendance area adjustments (redistricting) and school boundary alternatives. The forums have been scheduled to allow time to incorporate suggestions for improvement of the upcoming elementary school attendance area adjustment process.

In August 2018, HCPSS will open Elementary School #42 in Hanover. Attendance area adjustments are necessary to open this school. Additionally, school boundary adjustments at the elementary school level may be considered in other areas of Howard County.

Two community forums are scheduled:

  • Tuesday, April 25, 7–9 p.m., at Wilde Lake High School, 5460 Trumpeter Road, Columbia
  • Thursday, April 27, 7–9 p.m., at Howard High School, 8700 Old Annapolis Road, Ellicott City

At both forums, HCPSS staff will present the revised Policy 6010: School Attendance Areas, describe the attendance area adjustment process and schedule, and receive comments from community members about the attendance area adjustment process and alternatives for addressing crowding and capacity.

Reservations are recommended. Please RSVP to or call 410-313-1554. Individuals who would like to request a sign language interpreter for any community forum may contact Colleen Rice, interpreter scheduler, at 410-313-7046. A two-week advanced notice is preferred.


In the April 7th edition of the Cougar Comments, we published curricular highlights for each subject in each grade level. This week, we are focusing on highlights for related arts classes by grade level for the fourth quarter.

Art - Curricular Corner

Kindergarten students will be completing a collage based on space and alien robots, using several children’s books on the topic. Afterward, they will begin exploring clay by making pinch pots. Finally, they will finish up by studying Jackson Pollock and abstract painting.

First grade students will be finishing a collage of insects and the outdoors in the style of Eric Carle. Then they will be working with clay by making suns and studying Mexican art and culture.

Second grade students will be starting to work with clay by making sculptures of birds. Students will also be learning about landscapes and Vincent van Gogh.

Third grade students will be finishing paintings about how they help the family unit at home. Next, they will be learning about interior design and using math to help design their own bedrooms.

Fourth grade students will be working on their weavings and also some collages based on their future. They will conclude the year by painting from still life.

Fifth grade students will be finishing their weavings. Then they will learn about compositions using abstraction in glass and clay.

Educational Technology - Curricular Corner

Kindergarten - Kindergartners will expand on their homeroom learning about animals and their basic needs in technology. They will use Pebble Go (an online database) to research a farm animal and Wixie to draw and write about the animal. Their final project of the year will be a memory page in Comic Life.

First grade - In collaboration with content learning in the homerooms, students will study space and complete a project in Wixie with what they’ve learned.

Second grade - In collaboration with content learning in the homerooms, we will begin researching “Ways to be a Good Citizen” in Pebble Go (an online database) and will use our research to create booklets about citizenship in Wixie.

Third grade - In collaboration with ELA in homerooms, students are using Canvas to research carnivorous plants. If time allows this quarter, we will also complete a fun project allowing the students to make “Wanted” posters of themselves using exaggeration about a positive quality they possess.

Fourth grade - 4th graders are learning about what makes a good presentation and creating presentations from their animal research essays to share in their homerooms. Our final unit of the year will be creating and sharing surveys in Google Forms if time allows.

Fifth grade - 5th grade is wrapping up the year creating book trailers in iMovie about their favorite book of the year. We will conclude the year by doing some organization of their GAfE files to prepare for transition to Middle School.

Library/Media - Curricular Corner

All Clemens Crossing students are now voting in the Black-Eyed Susan Book Award program which is a children’s choice award for the state of Maryland. All students will be voting for best picture book. Students in grades 4 and 5 may also vote for best chapter book and best graphic novel. Stay tuned for the titles of the state award winners! We will also be sharing next year’s nominees.

Please mark your calendars that all Media books will be due back on Tuesday, May 30. This will give us time to send home final book reminders and to inventory the Media Center collection. In Media class we will be reviewing how to access free online books through MackinVIA. The Howard County Public Library will also be visiting all classrooms in May to introduce their Summer Reading program. Keep reading all summer long!

Kindergarten - Our kindergarten students will be introduced to the Super 3 problem-solving strategy - Plan, Do, and Review! Curious George will be our guide.

First grade - First grade students will be using the Super 3 strategy to solve problems in stories. We’ll finish our year with trickster tales.

Second grade - During the fourth quarter, second grade classes will be writing stories and constructing tiny books that will be added to the Media Center collection. We will learn how to make call numbers with students’ names as the authors.

Third grade - Third grade students will work on their plant research in Media. They will locate information to use in Language Arts. We will also be finishing our participation with the Library of Congress’ Catalina Neon writing activity.

Fourth grade - Fourth graders will be finishing the school year by looking at different types of codes used through history. We’ll use our skills to solve a literary mystery.

Fifth grade - Fifth grade Media classes will be looking at different types of maps, including physical maps and online maps. We will finish our school year with a game show reviewing everything we have ever done in Media.

Also, good luck to our fifth grade students participating in the Howard County Battle of the Books!

Music - Curricular Corner

Hello from the music room! We just had so much fun with the world drumming cart that circulates around the county. We got to work on rhythm, beat, improvisation, concentration, and story telling. We have a lot of fun activities planned for the 4th quarter!

Kindergarten students will learn their end of the year songs and begin Mallet Madness.

First grade students will begin a Mallet Madness unit.

Second grade students will begin a “Music Around the World” unit.

Third grade students will continue to learn pitch and apply it to their recorder.

Fourth grade students will continue learning musical form.

Fifth grade students will compose their own pieces.

Our fourth and fifth grade chorus concert will be May 30th at 7:00 pm. We hope to see you there!

Physical Education - Curricular Corner

Students in grades K - 2 will begin the 4th quarter working with scoops. This is a modified version of lacrosse that will introduce the skills of scooping, passing, and catching. After using scoops, students will participate in activities that focus on field day. These activities are a variety of previously learned skills that were taught throughout the year.

Students in grades 3 - 5 will begin the 4th quarter learning the fundamental skills of lacrosse. Skills include scooping, cradling, passing, and catching. After lacrosse, students will participate in activities that focus on field day. These activities are a variety of previously learned skills that were taught throughout the year.

Finally, our annual Field Day is Wednesday, May 31. We will be asking for volunteers in early April.

School Starts at 9:15 a.m. Don't Be Late!

Please remember, the late bell rings at 9:15 a.m. Students should be ready to learn and in their classroom at that time. Students must be signed in after 9:15 a.m. in the front office.

Are You Moving and Not Returning to CCES for the 2017-18 School Year?

If you know that you will be relocating over the summer, please notify CCES Front Office as soon as possible at 410-313-6866 or email Mrs. Barnhouse at You will need to sign a release of records form to ensure that your child’s new school receives the records before the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year. During the school year, transfer packets take a minimum of 24 hours to prepare. As we do not have a full registration staff during the summer, transfer packets and records may take longer to get to you and new school(s).

HCPSS G/T Summer Institutes for Talent Development

Are you looking for an engaging learning experience for your children this summer? The HCPSS G/T Summer Institutes for Talent Development still has a few spots remaining in the following courses:

Session I: June 26-July 7

  • Building, Forming, and Inventing: Work in Clay and All Things 3-D (Students entering grades 3-5)
  • Code Crackers: Unlocking Mathematical Secrets (Students entering grades 4 and 5)
  • Mystery Writing Get a Clue (Students entering grades 4 and 5)
  • 3, 2, 1, Blast Off into Outer Space (Students entering grades 4 and 5)
  • The Painter's Studio (Students entering grades 4-6)

Session II: July 10-21

  • Around the World: Exploring Far-Away Lands (Students entering grades 1 and 2)
  • Drawing and Painting (Students entering grades 1 and 2)
  • Construct and Sculpt (Students entering grades 1 and 2)
  • Talking Tangrams: Integrating Geometry and Writing (Students entering grades 2 and 3)
  • Totally Mad About Science (Students entering grades 3 and 4)
  • Building, Forming, and Inventing: Work in Clay and All Things 3-D (Students entering grades 3-5)
  • The Painter's Studio (Students entering grades 4-6)

The registration forms can be found at

Registration Deadline: May 2nd.

PARCC Testing Dates

Welcome back! We hope that you had a wonderful spring break. This is just a friendly reminder that PARCC testing will begin next week for all 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders. Attendance is extremely important for all testing dates. We ask you, if possible, to not schedule doctors’ appointments or other events that will take your child out of school during the testing windows. Please make sure your children have a good breakfast, get lots of sleep, and are here ON TIME! All testing will begin at 9:30am each day and will last for approximately 2 hours. Please call the front office if an emergency occurs and your child will be unable to attend school.

Thank you, in advance, for your support!

The specific dates for Clemens Crossing are listed below:

Third Grade:

English Language Arts: May 3rd, 4th, 5th *Field Test: May 30th

Math: May 18th, 22nd, 23rd, 24th

Fourth Grade:

English Language Arts: April 28th, May 1st and 2nd *Field Test: May 26th

Math: May 12th, 15th, 16th, 17th

Fifth Grade:

English Language Arts: April 25th, 26th, 27th *Field Test: May 25th

Math: May 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th

*In addition to the regular assessment, students will be completing a one-day field test in ELA that tests possible questions to be used for future administrations of the PARCC assessment. Field tests are assigned to schools on a rotating basis.

Parent Information Night #5 - Navigating 529 College Savings Plans

Come join us on Wednesday, May 3 at 7:00 p.m. in the media center to learn about 529 College Savings Plans. This parent information night is sponsored by our business partner, First National Bank.

Change Matters! Donations for Grassroots

Did you know Grassroots is Howard County’s only 24-hour homeless shelter and crisis intervention center?

Did you know that Grassroots is in our community located next to Atholton High School?

Do you know what donation means to Grassroots and the individuals and families staying at Grassroots:

  • $53 will keep a family of 4 from having to sleep in their car by providing them a motel stay.
  • $250 provides one night’s worth of overnight staffing for the shelter.
  • $400 a month provides milk for all the children and adults at the shelter.
  • $500 pays for complete staffing of counselors for an 8-hour shift to respond to crisis calls and walk-ins at Grassroots for one evening.
  • $1,500 pays for a month of prescription medications for 50 homeless individuals at the Day Resource Center.
  • $5,000 provides 4 months worth of food purchased for residents in the shelter.

Again this year, students at CCES will be collecting donations for Change Matters which will be donated to Grassroots. Change Matters is an approved Howard County Public School System program that teaches children about homelessness in Howard County, the services Grassroots provides, and philanthropy. Children will be asked to share with you information learned about Change Matters and ask permission to donate small change/coins. There will be a Change Matters collection jar for each grade.

The small change collected will go directly to Grassroots to provide the essential services needed to help the children and families that are homeless here in our community. Last year, there were more than 600 homeless children attending 75 schools in Howard County.

Clemens Crossing Elementary School is excited to help Grassroots make a difference!

If you are able to donate, please send the change in your child’s lunch bag or backpack during this campaign period between April 28 and May 12.

If you need more information about Grassroots, please visit their website:

For more information about Change Matters, please email Kim Steffens at

Grassroots Community Service Initiative

Be part of National Volunteer Week! Help us put together snack bags to donate to Grassroots. Thursday, April 27th at 6:30 pm in the Clemens Crossing cafeteria. Please sign up to participate and bring an item here. For questions about this initiative, contact Jessica Cade at Thank you!

Memory Books On Sale Now

The 2016-17 Clemens Crossing Elementary School Memory Book is now on sale. To purchase this year's memory book, visit Click purchase yearbook and search for Clemens Crossing. Select Clemens Crossing PTA 2017 and follow the instructions.

Please contact Joy Spies at or call 410-963-9170 with any questions.

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Samsung Galaxy Note7

Please be advised that due to recent recalls of the Samsung Galaxy Note7 smartphone, these phones are no longer allowed on school property, effective immediately. The lithium-ion battery in the Galaxy Note7 smartphones can overheat and catch fire, posing serious fire and burn hazard to consumers.

More information on the Galaxy Note7 recall can be found on the Samsung website and on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission website.

Events Coming Up

For a complete list of dates and events visit This now includes the approved 2017-18 HCPSS calendar.


  • 25 - Report Cards go home
  • 25 - 4th Grade art field trip
  • 25 - Kindergarten field trip to Sharp's Farm
  • 26 - In-school banking
  • 28 - PTA Talent Show, 7:00 p.m.


  • 1 - Screen Free Week begins
  • 3 - Parent Information Night #5 - Navigating the College Savings Plans
  • 7 - PTA Cougarthon 5K and Fun Run
  • 10 - PTA Meeting, 7:00 p.m.
  • 12 - PTA Spring Carnival 5:00 p.m. (rain date 5/19)
  • 17 - Schoolwide Showcase Featuring the Science Fair, GT Enrichment Fair, Artist in Residence Weaving Unveiling, PTA Reflections, and Classroom Displays
  • 17 - Spirit Day - Crazy Hair Day!
  • 19 - School Closed - Professional Work Day
  • 22 - Feeder High Schools Graduations - AHS at 11:00 a.m., WLHS at 2:00 p.m.
  • 23 - 5th grade visits middle schools
  • 24 - Interim Reports issued
  • 25 - Strings Concert, 6:30 p.m. & Band Concert, 7:30 p.m.
  • 26 - 2nd grade - Wildlife Habitat Presentation
  • 29 - School Closed - Memorial Day
  • 30 - Library books are due
  • 30 - Chorus Concert, 7:00 p.m.
  • 31 - Field Day (rain date 6/1)
  • 31 - In-school Banking

Due to the snow day on March 14, a few end of year dates were adjusted on the CCES school calendar for June. Please find those dates below:


  • 2 - 4th grade field trip - Mary's Land Farm
  • 5 - 4th grade - Days of Taste Presentation
  • 6 - Volunteer Breakfast
  • 7 - 5th grade - Simulated Congressional Hearing
  • 7 - Spirit Day - Patriotic Day
  • 8 - End of Year Kindergarten Program, 10:00 a.m.
  • 12 - 5th Grade Farewell Ceremony, 9:45 a.m.
  • 13 - 1st grade Author's celebration and picnic
  • 13 - Early Dismissal, 12:45 p.m.
  • 14 - Last Day of School, Early Dismissal, 12:45 p.m.

COMMUNITY NEWS Wilde Lake Middle PTSA Seeks Volunteers

The Wilde Lake Middle PTSA is looking for individuals to volunteer for various executive board positions and committees. Incoming new families WELCOME!

If you are interested or would like more information, please click the link below and complete the online form. Please have entries submitted by 4/23/17:

Why volunteer for the PTSA?

  • stay informed
  • make your voice heard
  • help build student programs
  • connect with other parents

If you have any questions or need further information, please contact Melanie Facchiano, Nominating Committee Chair