Veterans Elementary Eagle Express

January 30, 2020 - Volume 13, Issue 19

Soar to Excellence!

School Mission

Veterans Elementary School promotes life-long learning by embracing its diversity, providing students with dynamic classroom experiences and exposing them to the cultural arts in a climate that is rigorous, safe, nurturing and respectful.

Veterans Elementary School

Robert Bruce, Principal

Amy Green, Assistant Principal

Derek Lewis, Administrator

School Start and Dismissal Times: 9:25 a.m. - 3:55 p.m.


I know that all of our parents send their children to school to learn. You do not send them to get in arguments with other children or their teachers. Our expectations are that they spend the day wisely making decisions that allow them to learn in a nice environment. The world is such an unpredictable place that having children that focus on everything they can learn while they are young will pay off for them in the future. The same is true for bus rides to and from school. You expect for that simple 15-20 minute ride that students would appreciate one another so that when they get home, they can reflect on their day and do their homework. There is not enough time in this life to argue with or tease your schoolmates. Most of our children do focus on what matters. They focus on their studies and even challenge their teacher to take them further in their studies. Most of our children also know that following their parent's and the school's expectations will help them to achieve success. I would love to say "All of our children..." but we are still working on this being the case. I truly appreciate your efforts, as parents, to help your children become great learners and civil individuals.

Solving problems by discussion is a skill we continue to work on at school. We will also continue the effort to educate the children you send to us with thought and compassion but always with the intent to help them grow as individuals.

Math Conferences:

On January 30th, HCPSS Connect will open for you to sign up for a Math Conference for Grades 1-5 and General Conference if your child is in Kindergarten. Please make sure you know who your child's Mathematics teacher happens to be. This is the teacher that you should schedule your conference with if you wish to have one. Once again, if Math grades look great then you probably do not require a conference. Most teachers will only schedule conferences on Thursday afternoon and evening. If a teacher conferences on Thursday evening then they will leave school on Friday when students are dismissed.

Tuesday February 4th:

Public schools will be closed in Baltimore City, Baltimore County, and Howard County all day on Tuesday February 4th to enable voters to elect a replacement for the late Congressman Elijah Cummings of the 7th Congressional District. This is a primary election. The general election for this position will be held on Tuesday April 28th during the Maryland Presidential Primary.

Important Upcoming Dates

  • 30 - SPIRIT DAY: Kindness Rocks - Dress like a Rockstar
  • 30 - Conference Scheduling Opens for Parents in Family File via HCPSSConnect
  • 31 - SPIRIT DAY: Dream of Kindness - Wear Pajamas


  • 3 - Q2 Report Card Issued
  • 4 - SCHOOL CLOSED - Primary Election Day
  • 11 - Conference Scheduling Closes
  • 11 - PTA Board Meeting: Media Center, 7:00 p.m.
  • 12 thru 14 - PTA sponsored Spring Book Fair (Save the date!)
  • 13 - 3-Hour Early School Closure: Parent-Teacher Conferences (Math)
  • 14 - 3-Hour Early School Closure: Parent-Teacher Conferences (Math)
  • 17 - SCHOOL CLOSED - President's Day

2019-20 HCPSS Calendar - Monthly Format

Click to download and print the HCPSS calendar in a monthly format. The calendar will no longer be distributed in first day folders. The 2019-2020 School Calendar is available to be printed online:


Register for Parent/Teacher Conferences - Open!

  • Parent/Teacher Conferences are scheduled for February 13 and 14.
  • Conferences will be with your child's Math Teacher.
  • In order to schedule conferences, you will need to login to HCPSS Connect.
  • HCPSS Connect will open to schedule your conferences on Thursday, January 30.
  • Conference scheduling will be open until Tuesday, February 11.
  • The directions for parent conference registration linked here from the HCPSS website. You can also download the directions from the icon below.
  • If you have any questions, please call the front office at 410-313-1700.
  • Please note: This is the second of two conference periods for the school year.


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The VES Staff Social/Wellness Committee invites students to join in a few activities

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Wellness Wednesdays

We invite students to join their teachers in wearing athletic clothing on Wednesdays to help promote movement into our school day.

Thoughtful Thursdays

On Thursdays in February, please send your child wearing shirts with positive sayings on them. Please join us in spreading encouraging words and good vibes all around our school!

School Spirit Fridays

Starting Friday, February 28th, we will have school spirit days on the final Friday of the month. Please send your kids wearing red/white/blue or in any spirit wear you have purchased.

Mark your calendars for Feb 28th, March 27th, April 24th, and May 29th.


Columbia Center for The Arts (CCTA): Program ~ Beauty and The Beast Jr.

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HCYP Spring Registration for Softball & Baseball

HCC 2020 Kids On Campus Summer Enrollment Available Now!

The programs run from June 22 through August 14 with half-day and full-day options.

HCYC Cricket League

CA Summer Camps Registration:


Wilde Lake Middle School - Cafeteria

10481 Cross Fox Lane
Columbia, MD 21044

Upcoming meetings this school year will be:

February 12, March 11, April 15, May 13, June 10, 2020

All are held at Wilde Lake Middle School from 7-9:00pm

The topic for the SECAC meeting was IEP 101, presented by SECAC Co-Chairs Stephanie Carr and Mai Hall. Attendees learned IEP basics as well as some tips and tricks for navigating the IEP process. Anyone involved in Special Education in Howard County is invited to attend and participate in our meetings including parents, students, caregivers, educators, community partners, service provides and school administrators. We welcome your contribution and meaningful input. For more information contact or visit


New HCPSS Website and System for Emergency Closings:

Effective December 1, HCPSS is launching a color-coding notification system for emergency and other non-scheduled school closings, including for inclement weather. The new system standardizes the school system’s operational status to five possibilities to enhance consistency while promoting the safety of HCPSS students and staff, and adhering to negotiated agreements on staff availability.
If Howard County public schools open two hours late, there is no morning Pre-Kindergarten/RECC.

The HCPSS operating status will be identified on a new website: The HCPSS operational color code options are:

  • Code Green – Normal Operations (in accordance with the HCPSS calendar)
  • Code Red – Schools and Offices Closed
  • Code Orange – Schools Closed; Offices Open with Liberal Leave in Effect
  • Code Blue – Schools Open Two Hours Late
  • Code Yellow – Schools Dismiss Early

All notifications regarding emergency closings will include both the code and operating status.

The emergency notification sources are:

  • HCPSS status website
  • HCPSS homepage
  • Email/text alerts
  • HCPSS Information Hotline (410-313-6666)
  • Twitter
  • Facebook

Please note: HCPSS cable TV is no longer a source for inclement weather closings.

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Inclement Weather Information:

I am sure that inclement weather puts a strain on most of our families as we try to ensure that our children are cared for during needed times. Please understand that the school system determines closings based on weather forecasts and the safety of children is our number one concern. If we are closed, that is self-explanatory, we are simply not open for business. When we delay opening by an hour or even two hours, then all business is delayed by one or two hours. Therefore if the announcement is a Code Blue and we are delayed in opening for two hours then school opens at 11:15 a.m. Bus pick up is delayed by two hours as well. So if your child is picked up normally at 8:45 a.m. then a two hour delay moves this to 10:45 a.m. Refer to your bus normal pick up time and delay by the announced delay. If we are one hour late then delay it to one hour. If we are two hours late then delay it by two hours.

Early closings can occur as a two hour early closing or a three hour early closing. Count on your child arriving home two hours earlier or three hours earlier than the usual time. When school closes early, there is no after care program because their use of the building would also be unsafe. When school closes early everyone must leave the premises and after school activities are canceled. Any delay in picking up your children delays my ability to send all staff home. It is crucial we get students home before the conditions of the roads get worse.

These decisions are made as soon as possible and sometimes the night before. During the winter months, it is crucial that as parents we listen closely to pending weather conditions and we check the news stations or the Howard County website to verify whether school is open, closed, delayed, or closing early. Howard County does have communication mechanisms in place to ensure you get a text if you wish about whether school is in session.