SEPTEMBER 4, 2021 - Vol.15 Issue #3


Perform Daily Health Checks

Parents/guardians should keep their children home if they are experiencing symptom(s) associated with any communicable disease. In addition, parents/guardians are to perform daily health checks for COVID-19 symptoms before the student leaves home.

Veterans Elementary School

Robert Bruce, Principal -

Alexcia Redd, Assistant Principal -

Jaime Gittleson, Administrative Intern -

Monday thru Friday 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Please call ahead 410-313-1700


Youmi Jun, Principal Secretary -
Jane Pak, Teacher Secretary -
Maria Martinez, Teacher Secretary -
Dulce Boyer, Teacher Secretary .5 -

Send Student Attendance-related notifications directly to:

Send Student Attendance-related notifications directly to:

when student will be absent due to illness, appointments, religious, or travel obligations.
Submit copies of doctor/appointment excuse note here as well.


For absences of up to 3 days per year, the principal may determine whether the absences will be lawful/excused or unlawful/unexcused. This completed form should be submitted to the principal in advance. For absences in excess of three days, the principal in consultation with the administrative directors will determine if the absences will be lawful/excused or unlawful/unexcused. If the request is for 15 consecutive days or more, the written request should be submitted 2 weeks in advance. Students with unlawful absences of 10 consecutive school days or more will be withdrawn from school and may be allowed to re-enroll, provided they meet enrollment requirements, upon their return.


Para información y apoyo adicionales, por favor, llame al 410-313-1591.

欲知详情或想获得更多支持,请电 410-313-5920.

보다 자세한 문의와 지원을 원하시면, 410-313-1592 로 연락 주시기 바랍니다.

For all other language needs please contact Monica Ranta at 410-313-7102.

Stay Informed:

HCPSS electronic School Messenger

Once you have created an HCPSS Login Account/ ParentVue upon completing the student registration, you will automatically be part of our email communication, School Messenger.

We are “green” and do not send hard copies of newsletters and other notices, so your electronic connection to the school is important even over the summer.

Email & Text Alerts

HCPSS News emails and text alerts keep families up-to-date on news and events, and deliver real-time notices of emergency closings and information. All HCPSS News subscriptions are generated from the information provided in Family File. Parents/guardians of previously enrolled HCPSS students do not need to sign up for, or manage an HCPSS News account. Parents/guardians who are new to the system are automatically enrolled for email notification and must opt in to text alerts.

Emergency Notifications

In times of emergency situations, information will be shared with the community through our website, social media, text, email and weather hotline. All parents automatically receive email messaging and new parents need to opt in to text messaging (see above). Unsubscribing from any school or district email or text will unsubscribe a user from all messaging, including emergency notifications.



6 - SCHOOLS AND OFFICES CLOSED: LABOR DAY (state mandated holiday)
7 -

13 - Back-to-School Night: Grades 2 & 4 at 6:30pm

14 - Back-to-School Night: Grades 3 & 5 at 6:30pm
20 - Back-to-School Night: Grades K & 1 at 6:30pm


15 - NO SCHOOL - PD Day (Professional Work Day)

Weekly Message from our Principal

I hope every student had a great week of school. As we wrap up the first week we know that our school has been impacted by two Co-VID 19 cases. Please understand that if the school has a confirmed Co-VID 19 case, parents will be informed by letter after all close contacts parents have been notified and we have received confirmation that central health services have been informed. Our goal is to inform you as soon as possible. I wish Co-VID was gone and all we had to worry about was whether our children were getting along and they were all learning.

With this in mind, it is now more crucial than ever to ensure that every parent conducts those home health checks every morning on your children. Sending infected children to school puts other children & staff at risk. Please use the link below to stay informed about Co-VID 19 and the Howard County Pub,ic School System. Our staff is also asked to do the same self-health check every morning.

Thank you for your help and cooperation during the first weather emergency of the year. Every family needs to have a plan in case these unexpected closings occur. Since the building is often ordered to close, these plans must include neighborhood & family solutions because school will not be available. We are very proud of our school community in the efforts you took last week to ensure student safety.

The Kindergarten and Grade One Back to School Night was rescheduled for Monday September 20th at 6:30 pm.

Our lunch situation has improved, thanks to county provided plexiglass dividers as well as a tent for outdoor seating when weather and staffing allows that to happen. We are not able to have parents in for lunch due to space concerns, this may change as the year goes on. We are hopeful that our bus dismissal situation will continue to improve. We know that many parents are still hesitant to allow their children to ride the bus. It is helpful if they do but we do understand. The

parent pick up line is very long and we have admitted students five minutes earlier to help speed up that line during morning drop off and we begin afternoon dismissal as soon as possible. The SMS messages about bus departures will be discontinued after next Friday September 10th unless there is a situation that merits such as message such as a very late bus.

Next week we are closed on Labor Day which is Monday September 6th and also on Tuesday September 7th for Rosh Hashanah thus making a long weekend for our staff and students. We look forward to seeing our students again on Wednesday September 8th at 9:15 am.

Please know that the following week we will be closed on Thursday September 16th for Yom Kippur.

Subject: Positive Case of COVID-19

Veterans School Community

Dear Veterans School Community,

The HCPSS Health Services Office has confirmed that an individual in our school tested positive for COVID-19 and has been instructed to isolate for a minimum of 10 days; and must be fever-free for 24 hours without use of fever-reducing medication and have consistent improvement of symptoms before returning to school. Due to reasons of confidentiality, we cannot disclose this person’s name or even whether it was a student or staff member.

In consultation with the Howard County Health Department (Links to an external site.) (HCHD), there are no additional steps at this time and it has been determined that it is safe for all other students and staff to continue to be in the building. In addition, childcare and meals service (Links to an external site.) will continue as scheduled.

Please be assured that local health departments are carefully conducting contact tracing (Links to an external site.) and will directly advise additional individuals within 24-48 hours who may need to self-quarantine. If you are contacted by a contact tracer, they will provide information about the viral progression and offer guidance about quarantining. Custodians will continue to ensure that the entire building is cleaned using protocols recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) posts the definitions of classroom and school-wide COVID-19 outbreaks on their website along with school outbreak data for the state. A state-defined outbreak does not automatically necessitate closure of a classroom or school. HCHD monitors all positive cases and will notify HCPSS if a school or classroom closure is warranted. All outbreak data related to HCPSS schools will be tracked and communicated on the MDH website (Links to an external site.).

Please know that we take the safety and well-being of all of our students, staff and families very seriously, and hope that you are staying safe during this difficult time. Please contact the HCHD (Links to an external site.) if you have any questions related to the COVID-19 virus and how to remain safe.

In order to keep students and staff safe and healthy, we ask parents/guardians to perform a symptom check on their child EVERY DAY before leaving home in the morning. Students should NOT be sent to school with any of the following symptoms:

  • New onset cough or shortness of breath
  • Fever greater than 100.4 or chills within the past 24 hours
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Exposure to an individual that tested positive for COVID-19 or exhibiting COVID-19-like illness for the last 14 days

If your student becomes ill during the day and it is determined that they need to be picked up from school to go home, it is extremely important for that student to be picked up as soon as possible, and definitely within an hour. To make this process easier, we are asking you to do a few things:

  1. Please be sure that your Family File is updated with your most CURRENT contact information. It is imperative that we have a means to get in touch with you in a timely manner.
  2. Also in your Family File, please make sure your emergency contacts are up to date, with current contact information. Please remind those people that you have indicated them as emergency contacts and that if they get a phone call to pick your child up from school, they will need to be able to get there within an hour.

Our school team will continue to provide instruction and supports for students and families. Thank you for your understanding, support and continued collaboration as we stay safe, healthy and able to focus on teaching and learning.


Robert C. Bruce

Principal- Veterans Elementary School

Parent Drop Off and Pick Up Reminders:

  1. Please do not block intersections at traffic lights or at STOP signs. In particular, the STOP sign at school where buses turn to enter the Bus Loop. We need room for buses to maneuver by so we can begin to get our bus riding students here on time and leaving at a reasonable time.
  2. Please make sure that you pull as far down the curb as space allows when you pull up to the school. Our line often extends back to Montgomery Rd. This helps to keep traffic flowing.
  3. Please ensure that school buses and school system vehicles have a way around you. We are asking buses to pull around other traffic if it is safe to do so.
  4. Follow the directions of any staff member directing traffic.
  5. It helps if students exiting or entering vehicles are on the right hand side or passenger side of the car. This allows for students getting in and out of vehicles next to the curb.
  6. Do not block the parent pick up lane or bus circle anytime from 8:45-9:45 am and 3:30- 5:00 pm.
  7. It is crucial that the office is informed of transportation changes before 2:00 pm. Parents arriving at dismissal time to pick up their child without prior notice greatly disrupts the school dismissal process. Buses are held to get children off the bus and children will not be located in their classrooms so the process of getting the student at this busy time is more complicated. Of course, emergencies are understandable but this should not happen often.

We can all help each other by following the rules which should help with Student Pick Up and Drop Off. As soon as you feel comfortable allowing your child to ride the bus, this will help as well. Until that time, patience is key as there is increased traffic at arrival and dismissal times.

BUS TRANSPORTATION: Bus Routes for the 2021-2022

Step #1 Parents of students who will be riding the bus are invited to check the Bus Locator tool on the HCPSS website. To use the tool, type in your home address. The cross on the map represents your child’s bus stop. On the left-hand side of your screen, you will see the bus stop location, contractor information, bus number, and morning arrival/afternoon drop-off times for your child’s bus. This tool will also tell you if your address falls in our walk zone.

Step #2 After you access the HCPSS Bus locator, take that information (bus number) and go to our VES website main page for specific VES Bus Routes/timing.

Families of students who receive specialized transportation will receive information about your child’s bus schedule directly from the bus contractors.



13 - Grades 2 and 4

14 - Grades 3 and 5
20 - Kindergarten and Grade 1

Back to School Nights 2021

Mr. Bruce will post his informational presentation to the school website by Monday morning September 13th. English To Speakers of Other Languages and our Gifted & Talented department will also post presentations to the website. This will be done to minimize whole group meetings as we begin the school year.

In-person Back to School Nights will consist of direct visits to the classroom beginning at 6:30 pm. These nights are curriculum information nights and are not meant for students. Parents will go directly to your child’s classroom. Administration will be available in the front lobby for any questions you may have for them. Schedule is as follows:

Monday September 13 - 6:30 pm Grades 2 and 4

Tuesday September 14 - 6:30 pm Grades 3 and 5
Monday September 20 - 6:30 pm Kindergarten and Grade One

I urge all of our parents to be attentive to the work of our fantastic PTA. They will have a table set up at each Back to School Night and there will be a vote on the budget at our last Back to School Night on Monday Sept. 20th via an outdoor meeting session that evening. Please join and support the PTA, they represent your interests and offer many support activities for our children and staff.

It’s time for Band & Strings Sign-Up!

Band & Strings is back this year and we can’t wait to have you in our in-person classes!

To explore what instruments you can play this year and for program information, visit

Please note: if you participated last year and would like to continue this year, you must still sign-up using our Google form located on the website.

Deadline to register is September 9th and classes start

September 20th, so sign-up today!

See you soon!

- Mr. Viets, Mrs. McLagan & Mrs. Jacobs


News for the Opening of Veterans Elementary School:

General cleaning and disinfecting will be conducted throughout school buildings in compliance with CDC guidelines.

· Universal Masking: All students and staff will wear masks inside unless they are eating or drinking.

· Student Meals: Meals will be provided at no cost to students. Lunch will be eaten in the cafeteria and breakfast will be eaten in classrooms. These meals will continue to be of the “grab & go” variety. Elementary school students will have an assigned seating chart for lunch in order to provide data should a close contact situation arise. We will also use plexiglass

dividers on indoor cafeteria tables.

We are making plans for some ability to have outdoor seating on fair weather days.

These students will also have assigned seats. We will be able to sit approximately 30 children in a tent on the modified recess grounds. Obviously not all students will be able to eat outside, so we will will prioritize our outdoor seating based on the needs of our student population. More details will come on this.

· PPE Supplies:

HCPSS will maintain an inventory of PPE supplies, including face masks and disinfectant wipes, for student and staff needs. o Hand sanitizer stations will remain in place throughout school buildings. o Parents should send their students with face coverings.

· Additional Care: Plexiglass currently in place will remain.
Health Rooms will continue to have a designated isolation area.

· Halls, stairwells, and fountains:
· All traffic patterns will return to pre-closure patterns.
· Water fountains may still only be used for filling water containers. Students are encouraged to bring water containers.

FAMILY FILE: Parent Access to Student Information & Classwork

[Click on image to be directed to the main HCPSS website]

HCPSS utilizes Family File for parents/guardians to complete emergency information. parents/guardians must verify and/or update information for each child. Parents/guardians can complete or update Family File by logging in to HCPSS Connect, selecting the More Options tab on the left and then Family File in the center column. Family File guides are available online.

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Welcome Back To School VES!

We are excited to get rolling with some fun activities this fall!

Parents, please join the PTA using the website below or the QR code. Your membership dues allow us to fund all the activities we run!


PTA MEETING - Tuesday Sept 14 at 6pm in front of school (prior to Back to School Night) - All Members please attend!

We need to approve our budget. Please watch the video below for our budget outline and an update from the PTA.

Membership from last year is good until September 30 of this year.


"I Will Change the World By..." is the 2021-2022 Contest Theme

Veterans Elementary will participate in this year's "Art Reflections Contest led by the National PTA. All students are encouraged to explore and express themselves using the theme "I Will Change The World By...

Categories include: Dance Choreography, Film Production, Literature, Music Composition, Photography, Visual Arts.

Submission deadline and more details to come!

If you would like to participate, but art supplies are a financial burden please reach out to the PTA at

If you would like to join the Reflections Committee, we will need 2-3 more parents to help us judge the artwork and send it into the county level. Email if interested.


Since our Annual Ice Cream Social is not able to happen this year, we are planning an outdoor movie night. Stay tuned! Date TBD! If you would like to help us plan snacks or logistics please reach out to Cara at

Join the PTA:

Follow us on Facebook:

The HCPSS 2021-2022 School Year and HCPSS Help sites provide a wealth of information and answers to dozens of frequently-asked questions (FAQs) on all aspects of the current school year. Check back frequently as new information and FAQs are continually added. Several of the most frequently sought answers are provided below.

More News | Events | Reminders


FARMS Applications: Applications for the Free and Reduced Meals program for the school year 2020-2021 are available online in multiple languages and paper copies are available at all meal sites, effective 9/8/20. Please use this document for strategies for increasing FARMs awareness and participation.

Hello VES Community!! One of our local partners is looking for families to provide food to. Food can be picked up at St. Peter's Episcopal in Ellicott City. If you are interested, please fill out the Pete's Packs Sign Up and we will be in touch with more details. Thank you!!

Julie Chang Wentz, M.Ed, NCC
School Counselor
Veterans Elementary School

HCPSS COUNSELING SERVICES for Students, Families, and Staff

The COVID-19 pandemic has made this an especially stressful time for many, especially those already impacted by mental health concerns. Find information about local and online resources for counseling and mental health supports for you and your family on our website.

COMCAST Internet

To help connect more families to the internet at home, Comcast is offering two months of free internet to new Internet Essential customers. more information


MOVING into VES: FILLABLE_VES RequestforRecords.pdf
We can assist you to obtain student records from their prior school by filling out the

Request for Records form and emailing it back to the registrar.

MOVING AWAY/ Withdraw from VES: FILLABE_Withdrawal form

Please initiate the process by filling out the HCPSS Withdrawal Form and email it back to the registrar.


[Click on image to be directed to the main HCPSS website]

Note: The following forms require completion by the student’s doctor and dentist for well check visits. These will need to be submitted to the school within 60 days from the first day of school:

🔲 Record of Physical Exam Form (student’s pediatrician)

🔲 Dental Health Form

🔲 Lead Test Form

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School’s Out Ninja Day Camps!

HCPSS will be closed Sept 7 & 16, Oct 15, Nov 4, and Dec 23.
Make sure to reserve your child’s spot with our business partner - The Okinawan Karate Dojo! The
OKD’s "School’s Out Ninja Day Camp" has you covered from 9 AM to 4 PM...or...8 AM to 6 PM (with available before/after care)! OKD's year-round camps are action-packed, tons of fun, and will keep your kids happy, entertained, challenged and moving all day! Not only that, they are licensed as a Child Care Provider by the state of Maryland. The staff is highly trained and certified to give your child a safe, enriching, AWESOME, COVID-safe camp experience! Voted #1 Martial Arts School in HoCo and one of the best ChildCare Providers in 2021, this will be OKD's 22nd annual camp season! Find additional information about the camp, online registration, and OKD's COVID safety policy at: Space is Limited. Questions? Call: 443 574 8999 or Email:

Temporary Employee Positions at Veterans Elementary

We are looking for caring and compassionate individuals to assist students with disabilities who require direct adult supervision throughout the school day. The position works under the daily supervision of the school administration and the direction of a special education teacher and/or a classroom teacher. Some experience working with children or individuals with disabilities preferred. Below, please are details regarding the position.

· Temporary Employee (TE) position are with Social Service Consultants, Ltd.

· Compensation is $13.00 per hour

· The hours are 9:25 AM – 3:55 PM Monday-Friday.

To apply, please email Robert Tencher at to request an application packet. Please specify the school you are interested in. You can also apply using this link.
Please contact Alexcia Redd at or at 410-313-1700 when you have competed all parts of the application.

Veterans Elementary Needs Substitute Teachers

We are seeking substitute teachers to work with our students when teachers are absent. Below, please find some details regarding the position.

The Substitute Teacher instructs students during the absence of a regular teacher. Substitute Teachers are expected to maintain a professional attitude toward their work and support the mission and goals of the school system. Substitute Teachers are assigned on an as needed basis and are temporary employees. Substitute Teachers hours are 9:05 AM - 4:10 PM each day.

Daily Rate of Pay
Non-degreed (Minimum of 60 credits) $100.00 per day
Degreed (Bachelors or higher) $110.00 per day
Retired Teacher (Must provide verification) $125.00 per day

Long-Term Pay
Non-degreed (Minimum of 60 credits) $125.00 per day
Degreed (Bachelors or higher) $135.00 per day
Retired Teacher (Must provide verification) $135.00 per day

Communication, initiative, and flexibility are important attributes for those filling the position(s).
Interested applicants can go to the following link below to begin the application process. Contact Alexcia Redd at or Jaime Gittleson at

when you have competed all parts of the application.