Clemens Crossing Elementary School

Summer Update - July 25, 2018

Clemens Crossing Elementary School

Edward Cosentino, Principal

Sonia Hurd, Assistant Principal

Welcome to the 2018-19 School Year!

Welcome to the 2018-19 school year! There is so much to be excited for as we begin our 40th year. Now that we are close to the half-way point of the summer, we thought this would be a good time to send a mid-summer update to our school community. Please take the time to review the information in this summer newsletter. The information will help you as you plan for the upcoming school year.

Events Coming Up

For a complete list of dates and events visit


  • 16 - Popsicles with the principals, 2:00-2:45 p.m.
  • 27 - Postcards mailed for class assignments
  • 30 - Open House - Kindergarten, 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
  • 30 - Open House - Grades 1-5, 2:30 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.


  • 3 - Labor Day - Schools and Offices Closed
  • 4 - First Day of School
  • 5 - Gifted & Talented Information Session, 6:00 p.m.
  • 5 - Back-to-School Night for Grades 3, 4, & 5 at 6:30 p.m.
  • 7 - PTA Back-to-School Family Picnic, 5:00 - 8:00 p.m.
  • 10 - Schools and Offices Closed
  • 11 - Back-to-School Night for Grades K, 1 & 2 at 6:30 p.m.
  • 17 - PTA Kick-Off Meeting, 6:30 p.m.
  • 19 - Schools and Offices Closed

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

Staffing Updates

We thank the following staff members for their service to our Clemens Crossing learning community and wish them well as they begin a new chapter in their lives.

Mr. Andrew DiMaggio - Mr. DiMaggio and his family relocated to North Carolina this summer. We thank Mr. DiMaggio for his dedication to CCES and wish him well in the North Carolina.

Mrs. Laurie Downin - Mrs. Downin transferred to Elkridge Landing Middle School and Hammond Elementary School where she will continue to serve as a School Psychologist.

Internal Moves within CCES

Mr. Jason Fischer - Mr. Fischer will now be the G/T Teacher at CCES on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesday. The other half of the week, Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays, Mr. Fischer will be at Atholton Elementary School.

Ms. Michelle Alban - Ms. Alban was on the surplus list at the end of the school year and was placed at Pointers Run ES. She will return to CCES and will be back on the fourth-grade team.

Mrs. Leah Halvorson - The two moves with Mr. Fischer and Ms. Alban allowed Mrs. Halvorson to move back to fifth grade.

Mr. Joshua Griffis - Mr. Griffis was placed at another school at the end of the year. That assignment changed shortly after the end of school. He will remain at CCES on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. He will be at Hanover Hills ES on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Please join us in welcoming the following individuals to the Clemens Crossing Elementary family. These new staff members bring a variety of experiences that will only enhance what we offer our students:

Dr. William Eng - Dr. Eng is our new school psychologist. He will be at Clemens Crossing on Wednesdays and Fridays. He is also the school psychologist at Forest Ridge ES.

Mrs. Megan Friedman - Mrs. Friedman is our new math support teacher. We share her with Longfellow ES. She will be at CCES on Thursdays throughout the school year.

Ms. Kellie Frey - Ms. Frey is our new reading support teacher. We share her with Bryant Woods ES. Ms. Frey will be at CCES on Tuesdays throughout the school year.

Mrs. Susan Peck - Mrs. Peck is joining our staff as a student assistant with our special education department. She has over 12 years experience and most recently worked at Lisbon ES in western Howard County.

Ms. Melanie Matthews - Ms. Matthews is a part-time paraeducator. She will be working mornings at Clemens Crossing in our special education department and afternoons at Pointers Run ES.

Are Kids Staying Sharp During the Summer?

What can children do during the summer to sharpen their skills for school? The goal is not to make the summer turn into school at home, but rather to give students a variety of opportunities to continue learning and growing while still enjoying themselves.

  • All current CCES students will have access to their iXL account through the end of the summer. This includes fifth graders and students in kindergarten through fourth grade who are moving to new schools next year. Students returning to CCES for the 2018-19 school year will have continuous access to their iXL account without interruption. We encourage students to practice iXL Language Arts and Math throughout the summer! If you forget your iXL login information, please email Mr. Cosentino and/or Mrs. Rausch.
  • Nothing is more important than reading, and a visit to the public library is the best way to help your child find books that (s)he will like. The library has books at all reading levels, including leveled books for beginning readers. The Howard County Public Library offers a wide variety of activities during the summer too. Visit the HCPL website to learn about what they have to offer.
  • When students write, they are practicing so many skills. Encourage your child to keep a summer journal and document some of the things that happen this summer.


The best thing about summer is having plenty of time to read….
This year we are encouraging summer reading by inviting CCES students and families to take photos of themselves reading with our Clemens Crossing Cougar.
Download and print out the Cougar of your choice, then read with it and take a photo from interesting places. Photos can be emailed to Mrs. Marshall at, so we can share them in the fall. All are welcome to participate, including fifth graders and students heading to other schools. You can also Tweet your summer reading with the Cougar and include our CCES Twitter handle @hcpss_cces and the hashtag, #SummerReadingCougars. We will retweet summer reading Tweets from all over!

So download below, print a Cougar, grab a book, and enjoy your summer reading.
Read at the pool! On vacation! In your kitchen! We can’t wait to see your photos.

More Summer Learning

Summer Reading Lists

As part of the A+ Partnership with the Howard County Library System, summer reading lists developed by HCPSS library media specialists and Howard County Library System Children’s Instruction and Research staff are available for students in all grade levels. Books included are just a sampling of what students may enjoy reading during the summer. Students are encouraged to check out other books by the authors included as well as explore additional book topics at the library.

Recommended lists for all grade levels are available both in schools and online. Don’t forget to sign up for the library system’s Summer Reading Club online or at your nearest branch.

A+ Student Card

All HCPSS students received an A+ Student Card account number at the beginning of the 2017–2018 school year. With it, they have access to all HCLS eContent by using their account number to login via Using their A+ Student Card, students can place holds and check out physical materials, as well as take advantage of all the library’s digital resources.


All students have access to their school’s digital MackinVIA eBook and audiobook collection all summer long by logging in through with their active directory credentials.

Students continue to have access to all the digital tools they used during the school year. This includes databases available from the “Databases” tab in MackinVIA, such as:

  • CultureGrams, which offers country reports on over 200 cultures of the world.
  • World Book Online Reference Center, which includes encyclopedia, multimedia, e-book and primary source databases.

Summer Activities

Students can use their digital tools, available at, to document and celebrate their summer activities. Elementary students can use Wixie to create a summer postcard or travel journal. All students can utilize G-Suite to create a slideshow of their favorite summer day.

Contact Melissa Daggett at with questions or for more information.

Kindergarten, Here We Come

This annual Howard County Library System program will help incoming kindergartners ease into school with stories and activities, including boarding a real school bus. Registration is required. Each session lasts one hour. Check the HCLS website to register and for additional details.
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Connect with CCES and Stay Informed

Listed below are the many ways to stay informed at Clemens Crossing Elementary School.


  • Follow us on Twitter at
  • We use Twitter to inform, celebrate, and engage our community.
  • Twitter is used to share what is going on in our school, our community, and throughout the Howard County Public School System.
  • Turn on notifications to get information the second it is tweeted.
  • We live-stream our concerts on Periscope through Twitter.


  • Like us on Facebook at
  • We have found that Facebook is the social media most used by our parents so we are now on Facebook, too!
  • Our Facebook page is updated automatically from our Twitter feed.
  • Please use Facebook to share the good news from CCES with your friends and families.


  • Our website,, is updated regularly.
  • Important news and information is located on the main page of the site including an archive of our weekly newsletter, Cougar Comments.
  • Staff information and email is located under the "Our Staff" tab.
  • A subscribable google calendar is located on the "Calendar" tab.


  • Email is our main form of communication.
  • You will receive news and information automatically to the email address you provide in your Family File. We will not inundate your inbox with email. Look for the weekly Cougar Comments on Friday mornings.
  • If you would like email sent to different email addresses, update your email in Family File with the email address you prefer.
  • You can subscribe additional email addresses by visiting the HCPSS News site here.
  • Weekly announcements, important information and updates, and more will primarily be sent through email.
  • You also have the opportunity to opt-in for text messaging.


  • Wakelet is a storyboard that pulls social media content together into one story. If you do not want to be on Twitter or Facebook, you can still see the content from those social media platforms at We will send storyboards through email periodically.

Popsicles with the Principals

Mr. Cosentino and Mrs. Hurd are hosting a get together on August 16 so our community can meet our new assistant principal, Mrs. Sonia Hurd.
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Back-To-School Nights

Please save the dates for our annual back-to-school nights.
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Classroom Placement Postcard

Class groupings is an ongoing process throughout the summer and into August. With new students registering throughout the summer, and some students moving out of Clemens Crossing, we have to adjust our initial class groupings.

Please be on the lookout for your Classroom Placement Postcard. Postcards will be mailed no later than August 27.

Supply List for 2018-19

The supply list for the 2018-19 school year can be found on the main page of our school's website.

We encourage you to drop off your school supplies during Open House on August 30. Please be sure to clearly label your child's supplies with his/her name.

Arrival and Dismissal Procedures

If you are in a non-transportation zone (walker or car rider) it is extremely important to familiarize yourself with our routines for arrival and dismissal.

As adults, we must follow predictable patterns and routines, because children can be unpredictable. Parking in a wrong or illegal place creates unpredictable situations, and those types of situations can put students at risk during arrival and dismissal.

Arrival and dismissal safety is everyone's responsibility. Please review the map below and listen to our staff members who are outside to assist your children when they enter and leave school daily.

Please note: Do not park along Quarterstaff Road where signs state "No Parking or Standing". Howard County Police will ticket drivers who park or drop-off/pick-up students where no parking signs are posted.

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2018 PARCC Reports

Parents of current fourth and fifth grade students have access to their child's English/Language Arts and Math PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness of College and Careers) test scores from this past spring in Family File. Paper copies will go home in September.

Overall, Clemens Crossing Elementary School did well on the 2018 administration of PARCC. In ELA, the number of student who scored a 4 (met expectations) or 5 (exceeded expectations) decreased slightly compared to 2017 but was higher than in 2016. In math, the number of students who scored 3 (approached expectations) increased by 7%. We had a significant number of students who were very close to meeting expectations. As we move forward, we plan on helping all students perform well throughout the school year.

We are very proud of all our students for their hard work. The data and information from this year's administration of PARCC will help teachers and administrators plan for the upcoming school year.

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Message from the PTA President

Hello Clemens Crossing Families!

I hope you are having a wonderful summer vacation! When we go back to school, the PTA helps the school feel like home by having many community-building events planned throughout the school year. We hope to see you at all of our school events this year!

The PTA has several open positions for the upcoming year. New Families, younger families, even older and wiser families – don’t be shy – please volunteer!

If you are interested in helping out in any way, on any level, please email me at We understand that people are able to be involved at different levels and appreciate any support you can provide – big or small. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with questions or suggestions throughout the year. I would love to hear from you!

Karen Pang, CCES PTA President

Planning for the 2018-19 School Year

The Clemens Crossing PTA needs your help! The PTA is looking for volunteers to fill several open positions for the 2018-2019 school year. Many committees are short-term commitments (planning one event) and several can be done on your own time, without having to come to regular meetings or events. In fact, many positions are filled by several people who work as a team to plan the event. We warmly welcome all who may be interested -- it can be lots of fun to be more involved! Currently, the PTA is looking for volunteers for the positions/events described below.

If you have questions about any of the positions, please contact a member of our nominating committee (Risa Carlson --, Hyung Chang --, or Dani Gardner --

  • Bingo Night – Coordinates Bingo night in the fall -- organizes volunteers and staff member mystery callers, purchases refreshments and prizes.
  • Bulletin Board - Designs, decorates and updates the PTA Bulletin Board in the front lobby of the school.
  • CAC Representative - The CAC is the Community Advisory Council to the Board of Education of Howard County. The CAC meets one evening a month and facilitates communication between the Board and the community on issues of concern and matters involving education. The CAC Representative is a liaison between the CCES PTA and the Board of Education.
  • Career Day - Supports the guidance counselor during Career Day for grades 3 to 5. Needs to be on-site for the entire career day (8:15 am to 2:00 pm). Guidance counselor recruits speakers and develops the schedule for the day. Committee chairperson organizes volunteers for the day, orders and sets up breakfast and lunch for the speakers, helps volunteers check in speakers and direct them to the appropriate classroom, and cleans up at the conclusion of the event.
  • Communications - Oversees communication of PTA information to parents, teachers, and community including creating/editing PTA new for Cougar Comments, helping update PTA bulletin board, coordinating the management of content with Website and Social Media chairs. Creativity and writing skills are great skills for this position.
  • Diversity - In collaboration with school staff, maintains the showcase at the entrance of the school with displays for National Hispanic-Latino Heritage Month (Sept), National Indian Heritage Month (Nov), Black History Month (Feb), National Women's History Month (March), Arab American Heritage Month (Apr), and Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (May). Creates opportunities to involve and support the diverse international backgrounds and religions in our CCES community.
  • JA in a Day - Assists the assistant principal in organizing and finding volunteers for the JA in a Day program at school.
  • Newcomers - Coordinates the Family Mentoring Program: identifies volunteers at each grade level who would be willing to host playdates and answer questions for new families joining our CCES Community.
  • Parent Partners - Recruits parent volunteers who are available during the school day to work with individual students once a week throughout the year. Work closely with the assistant principal to set up volunteer schedule at the start of the year. Serve as a liaison between CCES and parent volunteers as needed.
  • Play Coordinator - The play coordinator serves as a liaison between the School House Theater Arts and parents. The coordinator works together with STA in arranging the school play, serving as the liaison between parents and STA, and coordinating the cast party on the final night of the performance.
  • Policy - Advises the PTA on policies and legal issues and facilitates bylaw update process (bylaws are updated every three years).
  • Spring Carnival - Coordinates annual school carnival which includes securing food/entertainment vendors, purchasing prizes, coordinating games and mobilizing volunteers (parents and local high school students) to run the games.
  • Talent Show - Organizes school talent show including creating and distributing flier, overseeing auditions, creating the program schedule, advertising event to CCES community, and overseeing activities on event night.

First Day Folder Help

Greetings! I hope everyone is having a wonderful summer! We are already planning for the assembly of first-day folders and are in need of volunteers to help! For those new to the school, PTA volunteers fill the folders with forms and other important information that your child will bring home on the first day of school.

We’ll be assembling folders on Wednesday, August 29th, in the school cafeteria. The more volunteers we have, the faster we finish. Kids are welcome to attend this event and we will have a movie for them to watch and some snacks. Middle and high school children can also help and can receive credit for community service hours. If you are able to volunteer, please RSVP by sending an email to Joy Spies at

Thank you!

Joy Spies, PTA Volunteer Coordinator

Back to School Picnic

Friday, September 7 from 5:00 to 8:00 pm on the school grounds. We will have playground games for the kids. You can pack a picnic dinner or buy food from our food vendors. This fun event is for both families and staff.

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PTA Kickoff Meeting and Dinner

Monday, Sep. 17th, 6:30pm

10320 Quarterstaff Road

Columbia, MD

Clemens Crossing Elementary School Media Center.

Please come and share your knowledge and ideas!

Adding CCES's Google Calendar to Your Personal Online/Email Calendar

Did you know you can subscribe to CCES's 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.