Clemens Crossing Cougar Comments

November 5, 2021 - Volume 43, Issue 12

Clemens Crossing Elementary School

Edward Cosentino, Principal

Sonia Hurd, Assistant Principal

Important Upcoming Dates and Events

For a complete list of dates and events visit


  • 8 - Conference Scheduling Opens
  • 10 - Report Cards Issued
  • 10- PTA Meeting, 7:00 p.m.
  • 15 - American Education Week
  • 18 - Conference Scheduling Closes
  • 22 - School Closes 3 hours early for Parent/Teacher Conferences
  • 23 - School Closes 3 hours early for Parent/Teacher Conferences
  • 24 - School Closed for Parent/Teacher Conferences
  • 25 - School Closed for Thanksgiving
  • 26 - School Closed for Thanksgiving Weekend


  • 8 - PTA Meeting, 7:00 p.m.
  • 14 - PTA Restaurant Day - Chick-Fil-A (Johns Hopkins Road location).
  • 15 - School Closes 3 hours early for a Professional Work Day - JUST ADDED
  • 16 - Winter Chorus Concert
  • 23 - Winter Break Begins

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


Wednesday marked the final day of the first quarter, and Friday, November 5, is the beginning of the second quarter. First Quarter Report Cards and Fall MAP Progress Report will be available on Wednesday, November 10. You will be able to access the report card through HCPSS Connect and Family File.

Students in Grades 1-5 recently participated in the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) in mathematics and reading. MAP is an untimed computer-adaptive assessment that measures student growth and achievement independent of grade level or age. Please see the instructions below in order to access report cards and MAP reports.

Over the next few weeks, teachers and administrators will review all of the important data and information collected during the first quarter in order to make important instructional decisions for individuals and groups of students.

With all of this information, it is a great time to sit down with your child, discuss their report card, and MAP results. It is a great time to set goals for the second quarter and beyond. Focus on the positives and set goals for areas in need.

If you have any questions about your child's overall academic performance, please be sure to share your questions during parent-teacher conferences. On that note, please be sure to sign-up for a parent-teacher conference starting Monday, November 10. Instructions for signing up can be found in the "Information Worth Repeating" section below.

Thank you so much for your continued support and partnership in your child's education and our school!

Mr. Cosentino, Principal


Trunk or Treat and Fall Festival Success

Thank you to our amazing PTA for organizing the first annual PTA Trunk or Treat and Fall Festival. It was an amazing community event!

Accessing Report Cards Starting November 10

Access the Family File
  1. Launch your Internet browser, e.g., Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, or Safari. NOTE: Ensure that your browser is set to allow for pop-up windows.
  2. In your browser’s Address Bar, type
  3. Enter your HCPSS Connect Login ID and Password in the fields provided.
  4. Click Log in.
  5. Click the last icon on the left-hand side panel list titled, More Options (Family File, Report Cards, etc.)
  6. Click the Report Card link to access this quarter's report card.

Accessing MAP Reports for grades 1 through 5

MAP test results are entered in Synergy the Friday after a student takes the test. It can take up to 24 hours to become visible for an individual student.

To access previous test scores:

  1. Log in to HCPSS Connect
  2. Select More Options from the left panel
  3. Select Standardized Test Scores from the middle

Detailed PDF home reports are available in Synergy. To access home reports:

  1. Log in to HCPSS Connect
  2. Select More Options from the left panel
  3. Select Report Cards from the middle
  4. Select the applicable report from the Student's MAP Reports section.

Measure of Academic Progress (MAP)

Measurements of Academic Progress Assessments (MAP)
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November is Native American Heritage Month

November is Native American Heritage Month, or as it is commonly referred to, American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month.

The month is a time to celebrate rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native people. Heritage Month is also an opportune time to educate the general public about tribes, to raise general awareness about the unique challenges Native people have faced both historically and in the present, and the ways in which tribal citizens have worked to conquer these challenges.


American Indian images, names, and stories infuse American history and contemporary life. Pervasive, powerful, at times demeaning, the images, names, and stories reveal the deep connection between Americans and American Indians as well as how Indians have been embedded in unexpected ways in the history, pop culture and identity of the United States.
Explore the online exhibition »


Native American Heritage Month

NAHM For Teachers

National Congress of American Indians (NCAI)

National Museum of the American Indian

Diwali: Festival of Lights

Thursday, November 4 marks the beginning of Diwali. Learn about India's biggest holiday of the year.

Diwali, a five-day celebration, is India's biggest and most important holiday of the year. The festival gets its name from the row (avali) of clay lamps (deepa) that Indians light outside their homes to symbolize the inner light that protects from spiritual darkness. This festival is as important to Hindus as the Christmas holiday is to Christians.

Over the centuries, Diwali has become a national festival that's also enjoyed by non-Hindu communities. For instance, in Jainism, Diwali marks the nirvana, or spiritual awakening, of Lord Mahavira on October 15, 527 B.C.; in Sikhism, it honors the day that Guru Hargobind Ji, the Sixth Sikh Guru, was freed from imprisonment. Buddhists in India celebrate Diwali as well.

Source: Kids National Geographic

Cultural Diversity Committee Needs Your Help

Hello families! This year Mrs. Haube (1st grade teacher),
Mrs. Antunez (5th grade teacher), and Mrs. Hodgins (Kindergarten teacher) are working together to celebrate the cultures from around the world as part of our Cultural Diversity Committee. One way we are doing this is by displaying books, photos, artifacts, jewelry, artwork, etc. This month is Native American Heritage Month.

If your family has any objects, books, etc. you'd like displayed for our various national months of awareness or honor, please feel free to send them into school with your student.
Mrs. Megan Hodgins will collect and display the items as needed. If you are sending things in, please email to let her know to collect them for the month.
We look forward to working together to celebrate our school and our greater world as a whole!

Weather Guidelines for Outdoor Recess

Exercise outdoors is healthy and is strongly encouraged. It provides a break from the regular school routine, a chance to get some outside air, and an opportunity to run off excess energy.

If conditions preclude the full recess time, even a five-minute break can revitalize children and prepare them for more sitting and academic learning. Children are expected to wear warm clothing to protect them during cold weather when participating in recess or outside activities.

The decision to go out or stay in for recess is the decision of the Administrator at individual schools. However, the following are to be considered in determining whether recess is to be held outside:

  • Temperature and Windchill
  • Age of students
  • Length of time outdoors
  • Adequacy of the children’s clothing
  • Condition of the playground
  • Falling precipitation (more than a sprinkle or mist)

Generally, it is assumed that students will be outside for recess when the temperature combined with the wind chill is not less than 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Children with certain health conditions may need special accommodations during extremely cold weather. Parents of those children should provide medical documentation and may be consulted to determine if other arrangements are necessary.

Unscheduled Weather-Related Late Openings and Early Closings

Now that we are approaching the colder weather part of the year, it is important to be ready for unscheduled early closings and later openings. There may be occasions when unscheduled closings or delays take place. If you have subscribed to HCPSS School Messenger, you will receive official school system notifications of school closings, delayed openings, or early closings. Please review the phone numbers attached to your School Messenger account to ensure that they are up to date. Be sure to OPT IN to text messaging by providing your mobile phone number. To check your account settings on School Messenger, click here.

Our students’ safety is tremendously important. Although early dismissals rarely occur, it is important that plans for this type of dismissal be updated as they change. Please check your child's Family File found in HCPSS Connect to make sure that the information that you have entered is correct. To access Family File on HCPSS Connect, click here. In addition to checking for updated unscheduled early dismissal plans (located under the Arrival/Departure section), please be sure that phone numbers and emergency contacts are current. This extra step on your part will provide assurance to us that we may follow your directives knowing that you will have discussed this with all parties involved.
Please share these procedures with your child(ren) so that they are aware of the plans for unscheduled early dismissals.

For more information on HCPSS emergency/weather closings, click here.


Fall Parent/Teacher Conference Instructions

Parent/Teacher Conferences are scheduled to take place on November 22, 23, and 24.

Conferences will be with homeroom teachers and will focus on Language Arts.
To schedule conferences, you will need to login to HCPSS Connect.

HCPSS Connect will be open for all schools to schedule conferences from Monday, November 8 through Thursday, November 18. Please take the time to schedule your conference while the conference scheduling window is open. It is very difficult to accommodate last-minute appointments once the scheduling window closes.

To access the instructions, click the button link below or download the instructions below.

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

Please note: This is the first of two conference periods for the school year. There will be conferences following the end of the second quarter in February. The focus of those conferences will Math where you will be able to meet with your child's math teacher.

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The National PTA Reflections Arts Recognition Program

The National PTA Reflections Arts Recognition Program is a program designed to inspire and celebrate your kid’s creativity. To participate, students create a piece of art in any of 6 different categories that reflect this year’s theme, “I Will Change the World By...”. Every student who enters receives a certificate celebrating their work! Each artwork is evaluated on the interpretation of the theme, creativity, and artistic merit. Reflections is not just for “artsy” kids- it’s for EVERY kid!

And this is a great year for kids to think about how they will change the world! Click here for a video about Reflections at CCES this year.


  1. Reflect on the theme “I Will Change the World By...” and create an original work in one (or more!) of the following categories (click on the hyperlinks for more information about each):

  1. Fill out an Entry Form, and be sure to include your Artist’s Statement, which is how your artwork connects to the theme (this is 50% of your score from the judges).

  1. Turn in your artwork and entry form to the office at Clemens Crossing by November 29, 2021! OR, if your submission is electronic, please email it to me:

Artwork will be judged in 3 categories:

Entries will be reviewed by experienced arts and education judges. All participants will be celebrated with certificates of participation, the top three entries will receive ribbons and the first place entry will receive a medal. The top three entries in each category will move on to the Howard County Reflections Contest; the top three Howard County entries will move on to the Maryland State Reflections Contest, and State winners in each category will compete in the National PTA Reflections Contest.

EVERY artwork will be celebrated!


Contact Risa Carlson, Reflections Chair


Thankful Thursdays

The PTA would like your help saying “Thank You” to our teachers and staff by signing up to provide snacks on Thursdays for the months of October and November. Use the Sign-up Genius below to be 1 of 5 volunteers per week to send in a snack big enough for about 15 people.
It could be salty or sweet, but store-bought/pre-packaged items only at this time, please. You or your child can drop it off in the main office on Thursday or earlier in the week. Don’t have time but still want to participate? Donate money to our PTA PayPal account and we will pick something up for you! (Indicate using Sign-up Genius what week the donation is for and write “PayPal” in the comments.) Questions? Email Rachael Kelly at

Reporting Absences

Absence Notes

All students are required to have a note explaining why they were absent. Please send an email to your child's teacher as well as

CCES Breakfast and Lunch Menus

This will take you to the nutrislice website.

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Community News and Programs

The Howard County Public School System's policy has a process for non-HCPSS community organizations to distribute information and announcements. These organizations are typically located in the Howard County Community and are focused on serving students, parents, and families in our county community.

Please click the Community News and Program button link below to access a wide range of programs based in our area.

Programs on the HCPSS website are grouped in the following way:

  • Academic Enrichment
  • Afterschool and Camps
  • Arts & Music
  • Child Care
  • Culture/Diversity
  • Environment/Nature
  • Health
  • Sports/Recreation
  • Tutoring/Mentoring
  • Volunteering
  • Other

The website lists the activity or event, the organization's sponsor, and the ages that the activity or event is geared to serve.

This link will remain in our Cougar Comments newsletter throughout the school year. Programs and events expire and are added regularly. Feel free to check it regularly to learn about area programs and events.