Clemens Crossing Cougar Comments

Mid-Summer News and Information - August 6, 2019

Clemens Crossing Elementary School

Edward Cosentino, Principal

Sonia Hurd, Assistant Principal

Welcome to the 2019-20 School Year!

Welcome to the 2019-20 school year! There is so much to be excited for as we begin our 41st year. School starts four weeks from today! Now that we are within four weeks from the first day of school, we thought this would be a good time to send out some information and updates 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.

The Cougar Comments will be published weekly throughout the school year through email and social media. Be sure to look for this newsletter on Friday mornings at 7:00 a.m. in your email inbox starting in September. PTA has a section in the weekly newsletter. They do not publish their own newsletter, so please be sure to scroll to the bottom of each newsletter for PTA information. If you ever miss an edition of the newsletter or need to review a previous edition of the newsletter, all Cougar Comments will be available on the main page of the CCES website. We hope you find the information helpful. Additionally, be sure to follow CCES on Facebook and Twitter. We often post information and reminders there in addition to fun posts sharing what's going on in our school.

We hope you enjoy the next few weeks of summer, and we look forward to seeing you later this month.

Important Upcoming Dates and Events

For a complete list of dates and events visit


  • 28 - Class Assignments open in Family File
  • 29 - Open House - Kindergarten, 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
  • 29 - Open House - Grades 1-5, 2:30 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.


  • 2 - Labor Day - Schools and Offices Closed
  • 3 - First Day of School
  • 4 - Gifted & Talented Information Session, 6:00 p.m.
  • 4 - Back-to-School Night for Grades 3, 4, & 5 at 6:30 p.m.
  • 5 - AHS & WLHS Back-to-School Night
  • 6 - PTA Welcome Back Family Picnic, 5:00 - 8:00 p.m.
  • 9 - Back-to-School Night for Grades K, 1 & 2 at 6:30 p.m.
  • 10 - Band/Strings Information Night, 6:30 p.m.
  • 11 - PTA Kick-Off Meeting, 6:30 p.m.
  • 12 - WLMS Back-to-School Night
  • 13 - RAIN DATE for the PTA Welcome Back Family Picnic, 5:00 - 8:00 p.m.
  • 15 - National Hispanic-Latino Heritage Month begins
  • 25 - In-School Banking, 9:00-9:30 a.m.
  • 30 - Schools and Offices Closed

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

HCPSS Calendars

There will be no printed 2019-2020 calendars. Staff, students, and families may add our online calendar to their own mobile/online calendar by

  1. Going to
  2. Scrolling down to Subscribing to a Calendar
  3. Right-clicking on the calendar you wish to subscribe to
  4. Selecting Copy Link Location/Address/Shortcut
  5. Adding to your calendar of choice (See your calendar for specifics on adding a new calendar)

You also may view and/or download printable PDFs of the full calendar and/or important dates only. Updates to the PDFs will be noted on the HCPSS calendar page.

PLEASE NOTE! The calendar is subject to change. The online calendar reflects the most recent version.

Staffing Updates

Farewell and Thank You!

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. Benaiah Lee (former 5th grade teacher) - Mr. Lee and his family relocated to Florida this summer. We thank Mr. Lee for his dedication to CCES and wish him well in Florida.
  • Mrs. Ann Barnhouse (former Principal's Secretary)- Mrs. Barnhouse decided to transfer to Running Brook Elementary where she will continue to serve as a principal's secretary.
  • Mrs. Josie Shipske - (former ESOL Teacher) - Mrs. Shipske's position was reduced at CCES. She was moved to Laurel Woods and Worthington Elementary Schools to continue in the role as an ESOL teacher
  • Mrs. Marisa Kavka - (former kindergarten and special education paraeducator) Mrs. Kavka took a position at Reservoir High School as a paraeducator.
  • Mrs. Lisa Lang (former media paraeducator) - Mrs. Lang is taking a year off to take classes to become a teacher. She hopes to return to the HCPSS in a year.
  • Ms. Kelly Turner - (former cafeteria manager) Ms. Turner is now the cafeteria manager at Atholton Elementary School.
  • Mrs. Theresa Thaler - Mrs. Thaler served as our speech language pathologist last year. She came out of retirement to work three days a week last year. She will be retired full time this year.

Welcome new staff to CCES

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:

  • Ms. Melanie Matthews - Ms. Matthews is joining our staff as one of our special education teachers. Most recently, she was a special education teacher and instructional team leader at Running Brook Elementary School.
  • Ms. Moon Kim - Ms. Kim is joining our staff as our ESOL teacher. She used to be a paraeducator at Elkridge Elementary School.
  • Ms. Stacey Wells - Ms. Wells is our new principal's secretary. She started her job at CCES in July. Most recently Ms. Wells was the principal's secretary at Elkridge Elementary School.
  • Mrs. Rachel Gelinas - Mrs. Gelinas will be our new technology teacher on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. We will share Mrs. Gelinas with Hollifield Station Elementary School, where she has been a teacher for 15 years.
  • Mrs. Melissa Grady - Mrs. Grady is our new Pupil Personnel Worker. We share Mrs. Grady with other schools in our area and cluster.
  • Ms. Meiling Chin - Ms. Chin will be our new cafeteria manager. She is joining our staff from Atholton Elementary School.
  • Ms. Lisa Townsend - Ms. Townsend will be our new Speech Language Pathologist for three days a week. She also works at West Friendship Elementary School.

Internal Moves within CCES

  • Mrs. Amanda Rausch - Mrs. Rausch will be joining our fourth grade team. She is quite familiar with our school. She was our former Educational Technology teacher.
  • Mrs. Hallie Greenlee - Mrs. Greenlee will be teaching fifth grade again. Mrs. Greenlee taught fifth grade for two years before spending last year on the fourth grade team.
  • Mrs. Kelly McKim - After teaching second grade for four years, Mrs. McKim is returning to the fifth grade team.
  • Mrs. Leah Halvorson - Mrs. Halvorson is joining the third grade team. She taught fifth grade for many years, and she is looking forward to a new opportunity this year.
  • Miss. Joanne Addy - Miss Addy is joining the third grade team this year. This will be her third year looping with this group of students. Miss Addy has been at CCES for nearly 30 years, and she has taught all grades except 4th grade.
  • Mr. Hakim Jones - Mr. Jones is joining the second grade team after spending two years on the third grade team.
  • Mrs. Kristi Seamonson - Mrs. Seamonson will be our media paraeducator. She most recently served as our fourth grade paraeducator.

CCES Family Guide - The ABCs of CCES

Click below to download the CCES Family Guide. The guide is also located on the main page of the CCES website.
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Family File Emergency Form is Open in HCPSS Connect

It is time to update your child's emergency contact information in HCPSS Connect! This is the most important step as we prepare for the start of the 2019-2020 school year. Your Family file needs to be updated every school year.

Families that update and complete their Family File will be able to view teacher assignments for the upcoming school year beginning August 28, 2019. In addition, having this information is critical to us as soon as the first day of school.

HCPSS Connect is open to update your Family File. This information is very important! Please take time to do this now. It is very important to have your Family File information complete prior to the first day of school.

You will be asked to update or provide the following information:

  • Parent/guardian contact information. Please provide the most current contact information.
  • Emergency contacts. Who do you want to pick up your child in case you cannot?
  • Medical information
  • Arrival and dismissal procedures. How will your child arrive to school and be dismissed on a daily basis? Additionally, provide what procedure your child should follow in case of an unscheduled early closing of schools.
  • Media coverage. This includes students being photographed for ACE awards.
  • Data confidentiality.
  • PTA directory. What information do you want to be included in our CCES PTA Directory?

You can access HCPSS Connect here

Changes of address may not be made through Family File. If you have recently moved, please contact our CCES office at 410-313-6866 as soon as possible.

Parents who have forgotten their login credentials for Family File may click the “Forgot Password” link on the sign-in page. If you need additional assistance, please fill out this Connect Help Form.

Who is my child's teacher?

We are not sending classroom placement postcards this year. Teacher notifications will be through Family File this year. You will be able to see your child's teacher on August 28. In order to access your child's teacher, you need to complete Family File. You will need to do this prior to Open House on August 29.

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.


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.

Arrival and Dismissal Information

With 500 students at Clemens Crossing Elementary, it is important to be patient during arrival and dismissal. The carefully planned logistics of arrival and dismissal help us keep our students, staff, parents, and visitors safe.

Please follow the posted signs along Quarterstaff Road. Traffic engineers studied the road and placed signs to help maximize sightlines for drivers. This helps to reduce risks and provide the safe crossing of Quarterstaff Road for walkers who live on the other side of the road.

Car Riders - All car riders are dismissed on the parking lot side of the building. Car riders are expected to be dropped-off and picked up in the car loop (school parking lot). We do not allow students to cross the bus parking lot and load into their car along Quarterstaff Road. Please do not tell your children to meet you along Quarterstaff Road.

  • During arrival and dismissal, we expect car traffic to enter the car loop from the Martin Road side of Quarterstaff Road (right turn into the parking lot). Exiting the car loop is right-turn only as well. Please plan your trip accordingly. Left-hand turn traffic creates back-ups in addition to making it difficult to see blind spots.
  • If you do park legally along Quarterstaff Road, your child is considered a walker and will be dismissed with walkers.

Walkers - We dismiss walkers last. We do this so our walkers can walk home safely with a reduced number of cars and buses on property and along Quarterstaff Road. Walkers who cross Quarterstaff Road must cross the street with the crossing guard.

It is everyone’s responsibility to be safe during arrivals and dismissals.

Below, you will find a helpful graphic for arrival and dismissal.

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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.


  • We use Instagram periodically. We do post pictures and information there.


  • 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

Back-To-School Nights

Please save the dates for our annual back-to-school nights.
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Supply List for 2019-20

The supply list for the 2019-20 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 29. 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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2019 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's students made great improvements compared to the 2018 administration of the test.

  • In ELA, the number of student who scored a 4 (met expectations) or 5 (exceeded expectations) made a significant increase from 65% to 72% compared to 2018.
  • In math, students made similar improvements. Students who scored a 4 or 5 increased from 60% to 66%.

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 all are having a wonderful summer. The PTA has been working hard this summer to plan activities for you once school begins. 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. You do not even have to be at school in order to volunteer. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with questions or suggestions throughout the year. I would love to hear from you!

Dani Gardner, CCES PTA President

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 Monday/Tuesday, August 26th/27th, 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 Debasmita Patra at

Thank you!
Debasmita Patra, PTA Volunteer Coordinator

Welcome Back Breakfast for the Staff: Friday August 23 at 8:20am

The PTA needs your help! Every year parents at CCES provide a “Welcome Back” Breakfast for the whole staff. It is our way to show our appreciation for all the hard work that they put into our children weeks before school even starts. Please review the Signup Genius link below and help any way you can. If you are going to be out of town the day of the breakfast, there are even options to buy gift cards and we can pick up the stuff for you. We can also arrange for early drop-offs for non-food items. Questions? Rachael Kelly ( or Raghavi Patel (

Prepare for Success Supply Drive

Prepare for Success is a local school-supply drive that ensures that all Howard County students head back to school with the tools they need to succeed.

There are more than 13,000 students in Howard County who qualify for free and reduced lunch—an indicator of poverty. We all know that school supplies are expensive. Having school supplies is a critical first step to help a student feel at ease, achieve higher literacy levels, improve academic performance, and graduate.

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Back to School Picnic

Friday, September 6 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.

NOTE: Rain Date is September 13

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PTA Kickoff Meeting and Dinner

Wednesday, Sep. 12th 2018 at 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.