Clemens Crossing Cougar Comments

December 15, 2017 - VOLUME 39, ISSUE 13

Events Coming Up

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


  • 20 - In-School Banking, 9:00 a.m.
  • 20 - WInter Wonderland School Spirit Day
  • 20 - Winter Chorus Concert, 7:00 p.m. Also Broadcasting Live using Periscope on Twitter. Visit from anywhere to see the concert.
  • 20 - Interim Progress Reports Issued
  • 22 - Pajama Day
  • 23 - Winter Break Begins


  • 2 - School Reopens
  • 10 - PTA Meeting, 7:00 p.m.
  • 15 - Schools Closed - Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • 17 - Family Fit Night, 6:00 p.m.
  • 22 - The Great Kindness Challenge Starts
  • 22 - Change Matters Collection for Grassroots Homeless Shelter
  • 23 - PTA Restaurant Night at Grotto's Pizza
  • 25 - Winter Concert - Strings, 6:30 p.m. & Band, 7:30 p.m.
  • 26 - End of Second Quarter
  • 26 - Early Dismissal, 12:45 p.m.
  • 31 - In School Banking, 9:00 a.m.

From School Administration

As I write this message, more than 1/3 of the school year has been completed. The students and staff members at Clemens Crossing Elementary are working diligently toward their goals and are growing on a daily basis. It is a pleasure to work with your children daily and to see them grow in so many ways. Our winter break is right around the corner, and 2018 will be here before we know it. Our last day of classes will be Friday, December 22, and students will report back to school on Tuesday, January 2.

I would like to wish all of our families a safe and joyous Holiday Season! During the break, I hope that you experience a slower pace with some time to relax and build fond memories that will be treasured in the years ahead. It has been a wonderful year, and the students and staff at Clemens Crossing Elementary are looking forward to making 2018 even better. Our Cougar Comments newsletter will return in the New Year on January 5, 2018. Thank you for all of your involvement and support.

Mr. Cosentino

Artist in Residence Weaving

When you visit CCES, you will see a prominent new piece of artwork displayed in the cafeteria. During the 2016-17 school year, students in third, fourth, and fifth grades participated in an Artist in Residence experience sponsored by our PTA and the Howard County Arts Council. Nancy Charamella, local weaving artist, and a former HCPSS art teacher, worked with our students. Students learned about the cultural significance of weaving. They created individual weavings and the large weaving tapestry that is now on display. A huge thank you goes out to Mr. Schmitt, Mrs. Charamella, our PTA, and the Howard County Arts Council for providing this amazing opportunity for our students.
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Winter Concert on Periscope 12/20 at 7:00 p.m.

If you cannot attend the Winter Chorus Concert in person, we have the next best thing. You can listen to and see our Winter Concert on Wednesday, December 20 at 7:00 p.m. by tuning into our Twitter feed Simply log in to Twitter and follow our feed. You will see the live stream of the concert using Periscope on Twitter. Feel free to share the information with family and friends.

Information for Closing Schools For Inclement Weather

To learn about the decision process for closing schools, please view the Vimeo video below.
You can also visit the section of the HCPSS website listing the many ways you can be informed of weather-related school closings. Clemens Crossing ES will not send any additional email out because that communication comes directly from the HCPSS Communications Office. We will re-Tweet closing or delay information on Twitter.

Unscheduled Emergency Early School Closing

In the event that schools need to close early due to an unexpected weather event, please be sure to share with your child how he/she will go home if it is different than their normal dismissal routine.
All parents were asked to indicate how children are to go home in the event of an emergency/unscheduled closing when they completed their Family File information in August or September.

HCPSS Inclement Weather Procedure

Staff Spotlight - Mrs. Chandler

Mrs. Katherine Chandler is our Staff Spotlight for this week. This is Mrs. Chandler's sixteenth year in education. She taught three years for the DC Public Schools and six years at the St. Coletta Public Charter School before she came to Clemens Crossing. This is her seventh year as a Special Education teacher here at CCES. Mrs. Chandler was initially interested in psychology and child development but was drawn into teaching because she enjoys working with children. She felt working in special education was a great way to continue work in the field of childhood development while working directly with children. Mrs. Chandler earned her BA in Psychology from Clemson University and her MA in Applied Developmental Psychology from George Washington University. She also earned an Educational Specialist Master's Degree (Ed.S). in Special Education from George Washington University. Mrs. Chandler lives in Columbia with her husband, Eli and her son, David. In her spare time, she loves spending time with her family, traveling, watching movies, hiking, and finding new healthy recipes.

Second Quarter Related Arts Curricular Corner

Art - Curricular Corner

Kindergarten- Kindergarteners are studying the structure of trees in order to create a multi-media piece. They are also gathering ideas from multiple books to represent a snowman through objects. There is a focus on practicing strategies and proper use of materials in new mediums like paint, decoupage, printmaking and oil pastels.

1st Grade- First Grade artists journey outside to study the structure of trees in order to create a tree sculpture. This artwork is built through fine motor skills like pinching, ripping, and twisting paper. Then they will be creating 3D collage homes, focusing on building images from large to small shapes.

2nd Grade-Second Graders are completing cityscape collages, working on fine motor skills through cutting/drawing with scissors, and then writing about their experiences during the unit. Afterward, they will then be working on self-portraits through watercolor, practicing observation skills while making personal stylistic choices.

3rd Grade- Third Grade artists are continuing their exploration of space and perspective in art. They are sitting below a tree and looking up to observe what is the foreground, middle-ground and background in a worm’s eye perspective. Then they are experimenting with printing techniques in order to create textures for their tree painting.

4th Grade-Fourth Graders are continuing their exploration of observational skills through looking at the artwork of African-American Artitsts, Amy Sherald and Kahinde Wiley, recently chosen to complete the portraits of the Obamas for the Smithsonian. They will use pencils to create self-portraits then use words and traits to describe themselves using watercolor in the background.

5th Grade-These budding young artists are finishing their Cubist relief self-portraits. They’ve worked really hard studying several artists who were part of the Cubism movement. Afterward, they are also exploring the same subject through 2-D media as well. They will then compare/contrast the two versions in written formats before the next unit.

As always, please encourage your children in artistic endeavors at home as well. As in reading and math skills, any practice at home helps the classroom experience immensely. For the younger children, this could be as easy as coloring and/or drawing. And for the older students, this should be activity based on observational drawing skills while also expressing their own imagination in order to interpret the world around them. Thank you.

Educational Technology - Curricular Corner

All grades will be spending time doing unplugged and plugged coding activities during Quarter 2 as part of the Hour of Code. The Hour of Code is a favorite time of the year in technology for most students. For more information, please reach out to your child’s technology teacher.

K - Kindergarten continues to practice trackpad skills, keyboarding, logging in and logging out.
In addition, we are now learning to use Wixie for drawing, writing, and publishing.

1 – In 1st Grade, we are continuing to practice publishing skills in Wixie. We will begin a Feelings Project in Google slides in the new year.

2 - In collaboration with 2nd Grade curriculum, students have been using Google Earth to learn more about the 3 types of communities. We will also begin working on Digital Citizenship.

3 - In collaboration with 3rd Grade teachers, students have been researching a type of Severe Weather and creating an informational booklet in Wixie.

4 - Students completed the Who Am I slideshows that began in Quarter 1 and we are currently sharing them. We will also be working collaboratively with 4th Grade teachers in their current Waves Science unit.

5 - We started quarter 2 with lessons on digital citizenship. Soon we will begin planning for book trailers in iMovie.

Media Curricular Corner

We are having a great year in our Library Media Center! Our students are continuing to read Maryland Black-Eyed Susan nominee books in preparation for voting in the Spring. All grade levels will be voting for best picture book in April. Students in grades 4 and 5 may also vote for best chapter book and best graphic novel. You can find the lists of nominated titles for all grades at

Students love doing Makerspace activities in the Media Center! What is Makerspace?
It refers to activities and spaces where students can work together collaboratively to design, create, and learn. Our Makerspace centers include Lego Creationary, Keva planks, StickTogether mosaic puzzles, and more.

Fifth Grade - Fifth graders are now learning about information validity. This will help us as we start conducting biographical research at the end of January.

Fourth Grade - Fourth graders will continue studying space exploration and the International Space Station. We hope to take more photos from space with the Sally Ride EarthKAM camera.

Third Grade - Third grade students will investigate different types of genres. We’ll also take a good look at biographies and work on research skills.

Second Grade - Second graders will keep using the Super 3 method of problem-solving to study weather and biographies.

First Grade - First grade students are also using the Super 3 strategy. We’ll become paleontologists and learn about dinosaurs!

Kindergarten - Our kindergarten students will continue to compare Black-Eyed Susan nominees. We’ll also learn about a favorite author - Mo Willems!

Music - Curricular Corner

We are focusing on Holidays Around the World unit in Music in all grades. We are learning about different holidays that are celebrated at this time of year, and songs, dances, and games that go with them.

Next month, students in 4th and 5th Grades will get to learn how to play the ukulele! This is the first year that HCPSS has provided ukulele carts to travel to elementary schools throughout the year.

Physical Education - Curricular Corner

Second quarter PE units Grades 3 - 5:

· Volleyball (Forearm pass, overhead pass, serve, rotation, and game play)

· Gymnastics (Balances, rolls, weight transfer, and routines)

* Volleyball tournament for grades 3-5 on Friday, December 22nd. This is Pajama Day so,
if students would like to participate in the tournament, they must wear or bring in a pair of sneakers to play in for safety purposes.

Second Quarter PE units Grades K - 2:

· Striking with Balloons (Force, striking it with different body parts, creating sequences/patterns)

· Gymnastics (Balances, animal movements, rolls)

Front Office Notes

Current Contact Information

Recently, we have had several incidents where we have been trying to reach parents and found that either their voice mail box was full or not set-up to receive messages. We also had several situations where the emergency number(s) we have on file is/are no longer in service. We would appreciate it if you could take a moment and make sure of the following:

1. Please have a voice mail box in place that can receive messages. If need be, please clear the messages currently in your mailbox so that your mailbox can receive new messages.

2. Please take a moment and update any emergency numbers that may need to be updated. Thank you!

School Starts at 9:15 a.m.

Students are to be in their seats by 9:15 a.m. each morning. Those who arrive at 9:15 a.m. or later are considered Tardy and must be signed in by a parent/guardian. We’ve noticed many more students arriving late recently. Students coming late have a harder time starting their day and may disrupt instruction in the classrooms.

School Closure for Inclement Weather

When there is a forecast for snow/ice, please do not call our school to find out if schools are open. This information is broadcast on all the major television stations, on social media, by email, and on the website. Parents may also call the HCPSS Information Hotline at 410-313-6666 for information on school closings.

Car Loop Request - Right Turn Only

When there is a long line at the car loop entrance during Arrival and Dismissal, we ask to have cars make right turns only into the car-loop parking lot. This means entering the car loop line from Martin Road on to Quarterstaff Road. Making a left turn from Quarterstaff Road backs-up traffic and creates a potential hazard at the intersection. We recommend planning your Arrival or Dismissal trip by entering the line off Martin Road.

If there is no line or an obstructed view, left-hand turns are acceptable.

HELP WANTED: Running Brook Elementary

Are you looking for an exciting opportunity?

Are you great with kids?

Wouldn't you love to help students reach their academic goals?

If you answered yes, then we have a job for you!

We are looking for a few good people to work with some great students as a student aide (temporary employee).

The hours for this position are from 9:00 - 3:45. (flexible)

Don't want to work all day?

Well, have a different job for you!

Do you like playing outside and teaching students new games?

We're also looking for a lunch and recess monitor!

The hours for this position are 11:00 - 2:00.

If you are interested in either of these exciting opportunities or

if you would like more information, please contact:

Running Brook Elementary - 410-313-6893

Troy Todd - or Jayme Brewrink -

Feedback From the CCES Community

We would love to hear your thoughts or feedback on how we can improve your experience!
The electronic feedback form below goes directly to Mr. Cosentino, Clemens Crossing Principal. For any urgent issues, call the school at (410) 313-6866 or email Mr. Cosentino directly at Thank you for your feedback!

FINAL WEEK! Lost and Found

Are you missing a jacket or sweatshirt? There is a very good chance your child's missing clothing is in our Lost & Found.
The Lost & Found is located in the front hallway across from the Music Room. Please be sure to check the Lost & Found soon.
We will donate all items to a local charity on December 22.

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 if 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.

Upcoming School Spirit Days

Periodically, we will celebrate School Spirit Days. The purpose of School Spirit Days is to get kids enthused, supportive, and excited about their school community. In order to maximize full participation, we want to help you plan ahead for School Spirit Days.
Below, you will find information about School Spirit Days in December.
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Fit Family Night

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CCES Community Outreach - January 17, 2018

Please come help put together snack mixes to put in bags to donate to Grassroots. Please sign up to bring an item or two. Date: 01/17/2018 (Wed.) Time: 6:00pm - 7:30pm EST Location: CCES Cafeteria

HCPSS Community News and Programs

This link contains community notices are neither sponsored nor endorsed by the Howard County Public School System.

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