Clemens Crossing Cougar Comments

March 3, 2017 - Volume 38, Issue 13

Clemens Crossing Elementary School

Edward Cosentino, Principal

Elizabeth Yankle, Assistant Principal

From Mr. Cosentino and Mrs. Yankle

Recently, you received your child's Winter MAP report for reading and math for students in grades 1 through 5. The report showed growth from Fall to Winter in addition to historical performance.

Now that we are beyond the mid-point of the school year, we wanted to share how we discuss student growth and progress at CCES. Discussing student growth and progress is one of the most important things we do as a staff. Beyond the informal talks that happen between teachers, we have formal processes when it comes to discussing student growth. One formal process is data conversations. Every month grade level teachers and administrators get together to discuss the reading and math progress of all students.

We focus on multiple data points including MAP (Measure of Academic Progress) scores. The use of MAP allows for teachers to look at students in similar skill groups to plan and provide instruction according to the skills they are ready to learn. In some cases, we design interventions for the students who need additional support. The following month we check on the success of these interventions. This data driven process has been very successful in helping to ensure students do not “fall through the cracks”. The second process is our Instructional Intervention Team (IIT). IIT is a peer problem-solving approach where two staff members work together to design interventions (academic or behavioral) for a specific student. This, too, is a data-driven model, and data is systematically tracked to see if the intervention is working. We are very proud of our approaches. I wanted to share them with you to let you know that we are regularly talking about your children and working to ensure their education is appropriate and complete.

March is Youth Art Month

The Council for Art Education (CFAE) administers Youth Art Month. Youth Art Month encourages support for quality school art programs and promotes art material safety. The Council for Art Education (CFAE) administers the program at the national level. The program provides a medium for recognizing skills developed through visual arts experiences unlike any other curriculum subjects, including:

  • Problem solving
  • Creativity
  • Observation
  • Communication

We are fortunate to be part of a school system that values the arts! Here at CCES, we have a student-based Youth Art Month Committee. Congratulations to our YAM Committee Members, 5th Graders: Heather Bell, Zakkary Bellows, Amalia Castro-Espinoza, Kai Droettboom, Maria Emmons, Hallie Getty, Eleanor Gomez, Musa Haider, Abraham Jamal, Kristin Janvier, Brenda Jaramillo, Ian Martinson, Kiet Murphy, Johanna Shin, and Neve Shulmeyer. YAM will be celebrated in two major ways. The first being a banner that the committee designed and painted that is hung outside of the Art Room in the hallway. The second is daily “Artist of the Day” announcements given by each student celebrating the life and work of an artist they’ve chosen to highlight. Along with the announcement, students will create posters featuring those artists that will line the hallway outside of the Art Room as well. Come on by, check out the hard work of this fabulous group of students, and join in on the celebration.

Parent/Teacher Conferences March 9 & 10

Parent/teacher conferences are scheduled for March 9 and 10. Parents will be meeting with their child's mathematics teacher. In order to schedule conferences, you will need to login to HCPSS Connect. Click the Synergy icon to access your child's conference schedule.

HCPSS Connect is already open. The program will be open until Wednesday, March 8 at 9:00 a.m. Reference guides are available on the HCPSS Connect website if you need help.

If you have any questions, please call the front office at 410-313-6866.

International Night is Tonight, March 3

Gymnasium doors open at 6:30 pm! Come join us for a cultural evening filled with fun, food, and enriching entertainment. We are excited to have tables representing Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Canada, China, Colombia, Denmark, Germany, India, Israel, Japan, Moldova, Nepal, Pakistan, Puerto Rico, Romania, South Korea, and Taiwan! Families have the opportunity to view different country displays, sample foods, do crafts, participate in a Parade of Nations, and experience a live taiko drumming performance by Mark H Rooney at 7:30 pm in the cafeteria. We hope to see you there!

CCES & HCPSS 2017-18 Calendar

The Howard County Board of Education approved the 2017–2018 academic calendar.

The next school year will begin on Tuesday, September 5, 2017, for students. Winter break will be December 24–January 1, with schools reopening on Tuesday, January 2, 2018. Spring Break will run from Friday, March 30 through Friday, April 6, 2018. The last day of school is scheduled for June 14, 2018.

Five days are designated for potential use if needed for inclement weather makeup days including Presidents’ Day, three Spring Break days, and June 15.

The 2017–2018 academic calendar is in alignment with Governor Hogan’s order to begin and end the school year between Labor Day and June 15.

The full 2017–2018 HCPSS academic calendar is part of the CCES calendar and is located at

Keep Family File Current

Did you get a new cell phone? Did you change jobs and get a new work phone number? Do you have a new email address? If you said yes to any of these questions, we need you to update your Family File information in HCPSS Connect. To change information, login to HCPSS Connect and select the "My Account" tab. That will direct you to update or change phone numbers and email. Click the "Update Account" button to save the information. It is very important to have the most up-to-date information in your Family File.

Lost and Found Is Overflowing

Please be sure to check out the lost and found in the front hallway. We will have lost and found items folded on tables in the front vestibule during conferences on March 9 & 10.

Unclaimed items in the lost and found will be donated to charity on March 31.

Allergy Season - Message from the Health Room

It appears that Spring Allergy season has started early this year. If your student takes daily allergy medication for tree and grass allergies you may want to consider starting their medication at this time. We have been seeing many students who have already started having allergy symptoms (itchy - watery eyes, nasal congestion etc) and it would greatly benefit their ability to learn and fully participate in school activities without the bothersome symptoms of seasonal allergies.

If you wish to have allergy medication for breakthrough symptoms available at school please contact the health room at 410-313-5609 to make arrangements.

Choose Civility Poster or Video Contest

Design a poster or create a video illustrating the theme of how kindness creates community. Use your imagination, creativity, and artistic talent to show others how the little things we do everyday can make our community stronger and inspire others.

Start by asking yourself a few questions:

  • How can you be kind to others?
  • How has someone been kind to you?
  • What does it mean to be kind or part of a community?

For more information about the contest, #Choose2BKind

Help CCES Win WTOP's Click for Kids

Please be on the look-out for an email on March 6 to help CCES win WTOP's Click for Kids Contest. Clemens Crossing ES has a chance to win a grand prize of $15,000, a first place prize of $10,000, or a second place prize of $5,000.

The three schools that win are based simply on the number of votes received during the voting period. Voting begins at midnight Monday, March 6 and continues through 5 pm Friday, March 17.

CCES Storify for February 2017

In case you missed it, please find our Twitter feed on Storify for the month of February. Follow us on Twitter at @hcpss_cces.

Safety First for Arrival and Dismissal

Please review the arrival and dismissal procedures below. Following the procedures helps to ensure a safe arrival and dismissal for our children. Safety needs to take priority of convenience. If everyone follows the procedures, our arrivals and dismissals will run smoothly and efficiently in a reasonable amount of time.
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Events Coming Up

For a complete list of dates and events visit


  • 3 - PTA International Night, Gymnasium 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
  • 8 - Third Quarter Interims Issued
  • 8 - Spirit Day - Literary Day - Dress like your favorite literary character
  • 8 - PTA Meeting, Media Center 7:00 p.m.
  • 9 - Schools close 3 hours early - Parent/teacher conferences
  • 10 - Schools close 3 hours early - Parent/teacher conferences
  • 15 - JA in a Day
  • 17 - 5th-grade field trip to Washington D.C.
  • 17 - Spirit Day - Green Day - Wear green
  • 20 - Class and Spring Pictures Day 1 (teachers will notify parents their child's day)
  • 21 - Class and Spring Pictures Day 2 (teachers will notify parents their child's day)
  • 24 - Spirit Day - Maryland Day - Wear Red, Gold, White, Black or the Maryland Flag
  • 29 - In-School Banking
  • 31 - 1st & 2nd Grade Field Trip to Toby's Dinner Theatre
  • 31 - 3rd Grade Bread Making, Cafeteria