Clemens Crossing Cougar Comments

March 16, 2018 - VOLUME 39, ISSUE 24

Events Coming Up

For a complete list of dates and events or to subscribe to the CCES Calendar,


  • 21 - World Down Syndrome Day - Wear Blue and Yellow
  • 22 - Boys' Night Out
  • 23 - Grade 1 Field Trip to Toby's Dinner Theater
  • 27 - Grade 4 Art Field Trip
  • 28 - In-School Banking
  • 30 - Schools Closed (State mandated holiday)


  • 2 - Schools Closed (State mandated holiday)
  • 3 - Schools Closed
  • 4 - Schools Reopen - Inclement Weather Make-up Day #1
  • 5 - Schools are Open - Inclement Weather Make-up Day #2
  • 6 - Schools are Open - Inclement Weather Make-up Day #3
  • 12 - Kindergarten Field Trip to B&O Museum Baltimore
  • 13 - End of Third Quarter - Early Dismissal at 12:45 p.m.
  • 17 - PTA Restaurant Night - Chipotle in Fulton
  • 18 - PTA Meeting, 7:00 p.m.
  • 20 - PTA Talent Show, 6:30 p.m.
  • 23 - Report Cards Issued
  • 25 - In-School Banking


  • 1 - Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month begins
  • 7 - Teacher/Staff Appreciation Week Begins
  • 9 - National School Nurse's Day
  • 9 - Visiting Author: Chris Barton
  • 9 - PTA Meeting, 7:00 p.m.
  • 10 - Kindergarten Field Trip to the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore
  • 10 - Spring Strings Concert, 6:30 p.m.
  • 10 - Spring Band Concert, 7:30 p.m.
  • 14 - Volunteer Appreciation Celebration, 2:30 p.m.
  • 15 - Rube Goldberg Celebration
  • 17 - Interim Progress Reports Issued
  • 17 - Spring Carnival, 5:00 p.m.
  • 18 - Schools are Open for a half day- Inclement Weather Make-up Day #4
  • 18 - CCES dismisses at 12:45 p.m.
  • 21 - Schoolwide Showcase (Science Fair, Enrichment Fair, PTA Reflections, and Classroom displays), 6:30 p.m.
  • 22 - Middle School Visitation, 9:30 a.m.
  • 23 - Spring Chorus Concert, 7:00 p.m.
  • 24 - Field Day (Rain date on 5/25)
  • 28 - Memorial Day - Schools Closed
  • 30 - 5th Grade - Simulated Congressional Hearing


  • 15 - Last Day of School
  • 15 - Schools are Open for a half day- Inclement Weather Make-up Day #5
  • 15 - CCES dismisses at 12:45 p.m.

From School Administration

This past Wednesday, Mrs. Yankle and I shared a Safety and Security presentation during our monthly PTA meeting. Unfortunate events dominate news headlines all of the time. Each time a school shooting or natural disaster occurs, we often think about how we would respond to that type of event if it happened here. We, as a community, all need to be prepared at any time for the challenges that an emergency situation might cause.
How we prepare for and react to situations as adults will help reassure and keep our children safe.

As a school, we take emergency preparedness seriously. In addition to ten fire drills a year, we conduct six emergency drills to prepare for an emergency situation.

Our Clemens Crossing Emergency Preparedness Team meets regularly to review our school-based emergency plan. During those meetings, staff members have an opportunity to learn their roll in our plan. Furthermore, different scenarios were discussed so we can respond in a coordinated manner in the event of an emergency. Our primary goal is to keep all students and staff safe.

There are four types of emergency scenarios: 1) duck, cover and hold-on, 2) shelter-in-place, 3) lockdown, and 4) modified lockdown.
Each scenario requires a different response from the emergency team.

Duck, Cover, and Hold On - The “duck, cover, and hold on” command would be given in the event of an explosion (bomb, mechanical malfunction), severe winds (tornado, extreme weather), earthquake, or other situations that might cause significant structural damage to the school. Students, staff, parents, and any visitor to the building should drop to the ground where they are and cover their heads until the extreme activity subsides.

Shelter-In-Place – The purpose of a shelter in place emergency response is to protect the inhabitants of a building from dangerous fumes or other environmental poisons that are outside the building; this means moving students into the school building if they are outside. In some situations, the school’s HVAC system would be shut down, and doors and windows would be sealed and locked. Shelter-In-Place emergency procedures would be initiated in the event of a hazardous materials spill in the area (especially with our close proximity MD Route 29 or 32) or in the event of some type of bioterrorism in the region.

Modified Lockdown – This command would be given if there were a potential for violent or criminal activity but not an imminent threat to our school. The day-to-day operation of the school would continue, but with modifications. Students would not be permitted to go outside for recess or physical education. Classes in the portable classrooms would be relocated.

Lockdown – This emergency command would be given in the most extreme and threatening situation such as violence or criminal activity inside the school or in the surrounding area. Students, staff, parents, and any visitor to the building are expected to stay where they are and follow instructions given.

Off-Site Evacuation – In the event that our building is no longer safe, we may determine that we need to evacuate the students. We have designated three locations for our off-site evacuation. If necessary, transportation to those sites may be provided by HCPSS. Students will be released to parents or other individuals listed on the student's emergency form. Please keep in mind that no student is released to any individual who is not specifically listed on the student's emergency form, including an older sibling.
All adults must show photo I.D. when picking up a student.

Parents can help by:

  • Giving and updating the most accurate, up-to-date health and emergency information in your Family File. You can also contact our school office or your child’s teacher.
  • Ensuring your own safety.
  • Do not call the school during an emergency situation; it jams the phone lines.
  • Do not rush to the school to pick up your child in the event of an emergency. It creates congestion which can delay the tasks of emergency responders and school staff in responding to the emergency.
  • Tuning in to local radio and television stations and checking the HCPSS website.
  • In the event of an emergency, and when it is safe, a request gate and release gate could be initiated to pick up children from school. As always, you must have identification to pick up a child. Only adults on the emergency card in Family File will be permitted to pick a child.

We hope we never have to initiate our emergency plan. Our frequent drills help us continually evaluate our plan in case we do need to initiate our emergency plan.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact us.

Staff Spotlight - Mrs. Ritchie

Mrs. Kate Ritchie is our Staff Spotlight for the week. Mrs. Ritchie has been teaching for twelve years. She taught at the St. Louis School for five years prior to coming to the Howard County Public School System. She was drawn to music at an early age. She always had a passion for vocal music, and she wanted to share that passion with others. She earned her bachelor's degree from St. Mary's College in Notre Dame, IN. Mrs. Ritchie recently got married. She enjoys spending time with her husband, Steve and her dog, Avis. She also loves to cook, sing, and spend time with her family.

Class and Individual Pictures on March 20

Reminder: Class and individual pictures will take place on Tuesday, March 20.
Information went home last week.

Boys Night Out - March 22 at 6:30 p.m.

Boys Night Out is a chance for 3rd – 5th Grade boys and an adult male mentor to spend time with one another. We will have games, challenges, and discussions. The night kicks off with a keynote speaker from the Howard County Police Department. As a reminder, wear comfortable clothes and shoes as you will play games in the gym. The night goes from
6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. on March 22nd. RSVP is required.
If you have any question, please contact Mr. Fischer at

Measures of Academic Performance (MAP) Reports and Upcoming Testing

The Winter 2018 administration of the Measures of Academic Performance (MAP) assessment has ended and performance will go home on Friday, March 16.

Students in Grades 1 and 2 will participate in a Spring administration of the assessment between May and June. Students in Grades 3, 4 and 5 will not take the MAP assessment during the Spring as they will be participating in PARCC assessments. Additional information regarding Spring assessments will be shared in the coming weeks, but you can learn more about the MAP assessments and PARCC assessments by visiting the respective websites. If you have any questions, please contact Mrs. Yankle.

Math Night 2018

Family Math Night was a huge success last night! Thank you to all who attended! We have some of the activities available to download and print at home.

We always welcome feedback after our events. If you attended, please complete our feedback form to let us know your thoughts. Thank you!

International Night 2018

Our annual PTA International Night was an incredible success last week. Families shared information and food from countries around the world. In addition to the country tables, the Johns Hopkins University Bhangra Group shared their dance and music with our students. Thank you to the PTA for organizing such a wonderful event.

Gifted and Talented Parent Academy - March 21 at 7:00 p.m.

Parent Academy, From Philosophy to Logic: Ideas to Support Curiosity, Creativity, and Analytical Reasoning in Young Children

The meeting will be held at Wilde Lake Middle School on Wednesday, March 21st at 7 p.m. The presenter is Kathy Gregory, my counterpart in Prince George's County.
She has great ideas to support young learners.

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CHOOSE CIVILITY Poster and Video Contest - Entries Accepted March 1-25, 2018

All HCPSS students in Grades K–12 are encouraged to enter the countywide Choose Civility poster and video contest. This year’s theme is choose2Bkind, focusing on how the little things we do everyday can make our community stronger and inspire others.

Entries will be accepted March 1-25. Students may work individually or in groups. Submitted pieces will be on exhibit at the Columbia Art Center April 4–25. Winners will be honored and announced during a reception and awards ceremony on Wednesday, April 25.

The Choose Civility Poster and Video contest is presented in partnership with HCPSS, the Columbia Association Art Center, and the Howard County Library System. Full details, including entry criteria and submission information, are available online.

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Wear Blue to Recognize World Down Syndrome Day - March 21

Clemens Crossing ES will recognize World Down Syndrome Day on March 21. We ask students to wear blue and yellow that day. Teachers will discuss compassion and how important it is to focus on our similarities instead of differences.
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Science Fair 2018

Your child is invited to participate in this year’s Science Fair on Monday, May 21 from 6:30-8:00 p.m. during the Clemens Crossing Elementary School Showcase.
The Showcase will highlight the remarkable things our extraordinary students have done this year at Clemens Crossing Elementary School. The Science Fair, GT Enrichment Fair, PTA Reflections, and Classroom Displays are all part of the annual showcase.

If your child is interested in doing a Science Fair Collection, Investigation, or Invention at home, please download the attachments below or visit the Clemens Crossing Elementary School website to download documents for one of the three different types of science fair projects. Students may work individually or in groups. Once your child has identified a project, please complete the online form titled, “Intent to Participate.” That form is also included below. Students who elect to participate will have their name read on the morning announcements and their name printed and hung on a hallway wall display. Directions on where and when to bring in the projects will be shared individually with participants and in future Cougar Comments and by email correspondences. We are excited to highlight the commitment shown and the hard work done by the CCES students this year. Many thanks for all of your support at home and in the building this year.

Types of Science Fair Projects

· Students in Kindergarten, First, or Second Grade may submit a Science Collection.

Students will collect and organize something of interest answering questions related to observations made while exploring their world.

· Students in any grade may conduct a Science Investigation to answer a question/problem. Students will use The Scientific Method to learn the systematic approach to solving a problem.

· Students in any grade may submit a Science Invention. Students will use the engineering design process to create an invention that will solve a problem or answer a question.

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PTA Talent Show

The CCES Talent Show is coming up Friday, April 20! More information (and a way to sign up!) will be coming soon.
For more information, contact Andrea Nelson

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HCPSS Community News and Programs on the HCPSS website

Announcements of upcoming events and programs sponsored by non-profit organizations.

Note: The Public Information Office encourages all community organizations to distribute notices electronically through this online resource. However, organizations may choose to distribute printed documents, such as the 2018 Parent Guide, through student backpacks, etc. per the provisions of HCPSS Policy 10010. For more information, please refer to Distribution Guidelines for Schools. Contact the Public Information Office with any questions, at 410-313-6682 or