Clemens Crossing Cougar Comments

March 9, 2018 - VOLUME 39, ISSUE 23

Events Coming Up

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


  • 14 - PTA Meeting and School Safety Presentation, 7:00 p.m
  • 15 - Family Math Night, 6:30 p.m.
  • 16 - Green Day - Wear Green for St. Patrick's Day
  • 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

Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is an important aspect of Clemens Crossing and our students. PBIS is an approach to student discipline that is a proactive instead of reactive.

The staff of Clemens Crossing Elementary School is committed to working with students and their families to promote a safe and nurturing environment in all school settings.

What is a PBIS Program?

Below are the guiding principles of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS):

  • PBIS is a behavioral support system to promote and recognize positive behavior.
  • The program rewards students for exhibiting positive behavior.
  • Expectations, language, and consequences concerning behavior are consistent throughout the school.
  • The program promotes the development of intrinsic motivation.

Part of a successful schoolwide PBIS program is to have a school-based committee. Our PBIS committee monitors data related to any consequences (see below) to determine if there are trends associated with any misbehavior (location, time of day, or type of misbehavior). If there are trends, the committee and administration discuss interventions to change the behavior. Additionally, the committee discusses areas of improvement and how to celebrate students' positive behaviors.

Please take some time to read about the components of our PBIS program at Clemens Crossing below. Our PBIS program has been part of Clemens Crossing since 2006. We are one of 840 PBIS schools in Maryland and one of 66 schools in Howard County. Additionally, our PBIS program has been recognized by Maryland PBIS as a PBIS Gold School for the past ten years.

Daily Pledge... Be a ROARing student!

We have four school expectations which are reinforced daily. Each morning we say our pledge:

Today I will be: Respectful, Organized, Achieving, and Responsible. I will be a ROARing Student!

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ROAR Tickets

Students who are following the school rules and displaying appropriate behavior may be recognized for their efforts by receiving ROAR Tickets from any member of the school staff.

  • Staff members distribute tickets to students to recognize their positive behavior.
  • Once received, the students collect their tickets to trade in for various rewards.
  • Rewards are special privileges the students can earn. A few examples are sitting in a special seat for the day, being first to pick classroom jobs, or lunch with a staff member or administrator.
  • Students are also recognized when they earn 50, 75, and 100 ROAR tickets. At 50, they receive a certificate and have their picture taken and displayed on the bulletin board. At 75, they earn a coupon for the school store, and at 100, they earn a wristband and are recognized at a PEP rally.
  • Students with exemplary behavior will participate in quarterly celebrations!

Consequences for Inappropriate Behavior

Students have been taught the school rules for classroom and non-classroom settings. All students are told what the expected behaviors or tasks are in each classroom. If a child does not exhibit the expected behavior, any of the following strategies may be used to help redirect and reteach that behavior:

  • Individual verbal warning with an explanation of expected behavior.
  • Timeout in the classroom.
  • Timeout in a different classroom or the pod area.
  • Students are given an opportunity to calm down and reflect on their behavior by completing a “Cool Out” form.
  • Minor Incident Report (MIR) completed and sent home to parents/guardians to be signed and returned the following day.
  • If the behavior still does not improve, an administrator will be called in to intervene.

*Certain actions, such as fighting, using inappropriate language, harassment and threats warrant immediate administrative involvement and can follow-up with a formal Disciplinary Referral Form.

How Can You Help at Home?

Please review the information on this page with your child.

  • Ask your child to tell you the school rules.
  • Ask your child to discuss ways that he or she can use these rules to help them to learn and participate in school.
  • Ask your child how his/her behavior affects others.
  • Discuss ways that your child can be a helpful and kind classmate.
  • Discuss ways that these rules can be used at home and in the community.

If you have any questions about our PBIS program, please ask your child's teacher, Mrs. Rogers, Mrs. Yankle, or Mr. Cosentino.

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Staff Spotlight - Mrs. Vazquez

Nikol Vazquez is our Staff Spotlight this week. Mrs. Vazquez is our Occupational Therapist with our special Education Department. In addition to working at CCES, she also works at Bryant Woods and Atholton Elementary Schools. She was interested in working in education mainly to help children with disabilities. She attended SUNY Buffalo and D'Youville College for her undergraduate and graduate studies respectively. She lives in Columbia along with her husband, 14 year old son, 11 year old daughter, and two dogs. Outside of school, she enjoys spending time with family and friends. She is also an avid Words with Friends player!
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Family Math Night - March 15

Please join us for a fun evening of Math on Thursday, March 15. The evening runs from 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm. It is an Open House where you can come and go as you please. There are no start and end times for the activities. There will be hands-on activities for all grade levels - Kindergarten through Fifth Grade. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Students will be given a No Homework Pass for attending. We are also giving away door prizes. We look forward to an exciting evening!

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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.

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.

Maryland Integrated Science Assessment

In March, our Fifth Grade students will be participating in MISA (Maryland Integrated Science Assessment). This is a computer based, state mandated assessment.

The dates of this assessment are:

March 5, 6 (10:45 am - 11:45 a.m.)

March 13, 14 (12:00 pm - 1:00 p.m.)

Kindergarten & New First Grade Registration Starts Ongoing

Kindergarten Registration is ongoing daily between 9:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.

Children who will be five years old as of September 1, 2018 must enroll in Kindergarten for the 2018-2019 school year.

Registration will take place daily from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

You will need to bring the following original documents:

  1. Birth certificate, birth registration, or passport with proof of parental relationship.
  2. Current immunization record - must be a print out from the pediatrician and signed.
  3. Deed or lease to your home
  4. Current utility bill
  5. Photo ID of parent/guardian registering the student

Please visit the Howard County Public School System website for complete information about enrollment and registration.

PLEASE NOTE: Families in the River's Edge neighborhood will need to go to Pointers Run Elementary School to register for Kindergarten. Information about their registration is on the Pointers Run ES website.

Online Kindergarten Registration Option

There is a new online option for the kindergarten registration process this year. The online process replaces the registration form itself and allows parents to complete the form online. This process establishes an account for that child in Family File. Part of the registration process permits registrants to upload documents.
In addition to doing the online registration and uploading of documents, parents/guardians must come to the school to meet with the secretary in order to verify their identity and pick up our school-specific information.

If you are interested in taking advantage of this option, please download the directions below.

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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.

Siblings During Lunch, Recess, and Classroom Visitation

We strive to be a welcoming place for parents and visitors. At the same time, we have to maintain a safe environment conducive to learning.

While we do allow siblings to accompany parents during lunch, we do not recommend that. Younger children should be closely monitored by the parent at all times, and they should not interfere with the operations of the lunch shift.

Siblings are not permitted at recess or in the classrooms.

Animals on School System Property Including Arrival and Dismissal

The Office of Safety, Environment, and Risk Management informed all schools about the restriction of animals on school property. Animals in schools or offices, leashed or not, present safety, environmental, and liability issues. Students and staff may be exposed to potential physical hazards, such as bites, and/or allergy-related health problems. As a result, animals are prohibited within HCPSS buildings. Animals are also prohibited on school system property during arrival, dismissal, recess or other HCPSS sponsored outdoor activities.
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PTA School of Excellence - Whole Child, Whole Health

The Clemens Crossing Elementary School PTA knows that a strong partnership among our families, school leaders, and community members is important to the success of our students and school. That’s why we are participating in the National PTA School of Excellence program, which grows partnerships between PTAs and schools to enrich the educational experience and overall well-being of all students.

Earlier in the school year, the PTA issued a baseline survey to help identify areas of need to address with our community. The area of focus identified in the survey was to distribute and provide information on community resources that serve the needs of families within our community. Over the next few months, the PTA will share important resources for our whole health initiative which includes social-emotional well-being, nutrition, sleep health, and physical health.

The PTA School of Excellence Committee includes Joanna Lake, Karen Pang, Jennifer Molinari, Andrea Nelson, Jennifer Aballo, and Ed Cosentino.

PTA Meeting - March 14 at 7:00 p.m.

In addition to our regular PTA meeting, Mr. Cosentino and Mrs. Yankle will share information about the school's emergency plan.

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