Clemens Crossing Cougar Comments

Mid-Summer News and Information - August 2021

Clemens Crossing Elementary School

Edward Cosentino, Principal

Sonia Hurd, Assistant Principal

Welcome from School Administration

Welcome to the 2021-22 school year! This is our first Cougar Comments newsletter of the school year. We have been waiting to send this out until all former CCES families and last year's 5th graders were removed from the email system and new families and kindergarten families were added to the email system. Some people received this newsletter early through Twitter and Facebook.

There is so much to be excited about as we begin our 43rd year. Now that we are less than a month from the first day of school, we thought this would be a good time to send out some information and updates to our school community. Please take the time to review the information in this summer newsletter. The information will help you as you plan for the upcoming school year.

The Cougar Comments will be published weekly throughout the school year through email and social media. Be sure to look for this newsletter on Friday mornings at 7:00 a.m. in your email inbox starting in September. Please be sure not to mark email from CCES or HCPSS as junk or spam. We find out that a number of people get blocked from all CCES and HCPSS communication when you mark the email as spam or junk. In addition to our school information, our PTA has a section in the weekly newsletter. They do not publish their own newsletter, so please be sure to look for PTA information in each newsletter. If you ever miss an issue of the newsletter or need to review a previous issue of the newsletter, all Cougar Comments will be available on the main page of the CCES website. We hope you find the information helpful. Additionally, be sure to follow CCES on Facebook and Twitter. We often post information and reminders there in addition to fun posts sharing what's going on in our school.

We hope you enjoy the next few weeks of summer, and we look forward to seeing you later this month.

Mr. Cosentino, Principal

Mrs. Hurd, Assistant Principal

Important Upcoming Dates and Events

For a complete list of dates and events visit


  • 26 - Class Assignments open in Family File
  • 27 - Open House - Kindergarten and First Grade, 11:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
  • 27 - Open House - Grades 2 through 5, 2:30 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.
  • 30 - First Day of School
  • 31 - Gifted & Talented Information Session, 6:00-6:30 p.m.
  • 31 - Back-to-School Night for Grades 4 & 5 at 6:30 p.m.


  • 1 - Band/Strings Information Session, 6:00 p.m.
  • 1 - Back-to-School Night for Grades 2 & 3 at 6:30 p.m.
  • 5 - AHS & WLHS Back-to-School Night (feeder high schools)
  • 6 - Labor Day - Schools and Offices closed
  • 7 - Rosh Hashanah - Schools and Offices closed
  • 8 - PTA Kick-Off Meeting, 6:30 p.m., social and 7:00 meeting
  • 9 - WLMS & HCMS Back-to-School Night (feeder middle schools)
  • 10 - PTA Welcome Back Family Picnic, 5:00 - 8:00 p.m.
  • 14 - Back-to-School Night for Kindergarten & 1st grade at 6:30 p.m.
  • 15 - National Hispanic-Latino Heritage Month begins
  • 16 - Yom Kippur - Schools and Offices closed
  • 22 - Fall Individual Picture Day

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

HCPSS Calendars

There will be no printed 2021-2022 calendars. Staff, students, and families may add our online calendar to their own mobile/online calendar by

  1. Going to
  2. Scrolling down to Subscribing to a Calendar
  3. Right-clicking on the calendar you wish to subscribe to
  4. Selecting Copy Link Location/Address/Shortcut
  5. Adding to your calendar of choice (See your calendar for specifics on adding a new calendar)

You also may view and/or download printable PDFs of the full calendar and/or important dates only. Updates to the PDFs will be noted on the HCPSS calendar page.

PLEASE NOTE! The calendar is subject to change. The online calendar reflects the most recent version.

Calendars in Spanish, Chinese, and Korean

Calendario en español


스페인어로 된 달력

Staffing Updates

Farewell and Thank You!

We thank the following staff members for their service to our Clemens Crossing learning community and wish them well as they begin a new chapter in their lives.

  • Ms. Renee Holdefer - (former 1st grade teacher) Ms. Holdefer retired.
  • Dr. William Eng - (former School Psychologist) Dr. Eng is four days a week at Forest Ridge ES and one day a week at Waterloo ES.
  • Mrs. Amber Naden - (former kindergarten teacher) Mrs. Naden went back to Worthington ES where she was before she came to CCES.
  • Ms. Ellissa Lawrence - (former music teacher) Ms. Lawrence took a full-time music position at Cradlerock ES.
  • Mrs. Jamlia Denkeli - (former art teacher) Mrs. Denkeli's other school increased to full-time, so she will be full-time at Hollifield Station ES.

Welcome new staff to CCES

Please join us in welcoming the following individuals to the Clemens Crossing Elementary family. These new staff members bring a variety of experiences that will only enhance what we offer our students:

  • Mrs. Samantha Antunez, Grade 5 teacher
  • Mr. Ryan Toland, Grade 5 teacher
  • Miss Brittany Atkins, Grade 1 teacher
  • Miss Sarah Isacoff, kindergarten teacher
  • VACANCY (.4 Art)
  • Mrs. Bailey Jo Oehler, (.4 Music)
  • Ms. Samantha Nichols, School Psychologist
  • Ms. Grace Potkovac, Speech Language Pathologist
  • Ms. Lindsay Reibach, Special Education teacher
  • Mrs. Jane Choi, .5 Reading Specialist.

Internal Moves within CCES

  • Mr. Hakim Jones moved from 2nd grade to 3rd grade.
  • Miss Joanne Addy moved from 3rd grade to 1st grade.

CCES Family Guide - The ABCs of CCES

Click below to download the CCES Family Guide. The guide is also located on the main page of the CCES website.

Back-To-School Nights

Please save the dates for our annual back-to-school nights.
Big picture
Big picture

Family File Emergency Form is Open in HCPSS Connect

It is time to update your child's emergency contact information in HCPSS Connect! This is the most important step as we prepare for the start of the 2021-2022 school year. Your Family file needs to be updated every school year. This must be done for new and returning families.

Families that update and complete their Family File will be able to view teacher assignments for the upcoming school year beginning August 26, 2021. In addition, having this information is critical to us as soon as the first day of school.

HCPSS Connect is open to update your Family File. This information is very important! Please take the time to do this now. It is very important to have your Family File information complete prior to the first day of school.

You will be asked to update or provide the following information:

  • Parent/guardian contact information. Please provide the most current contact information.
  • Emergency contacts. Who do you want to pick up your child in case you cannot?
  • Medical information
  • Arrival and dismissal procedures. How will your child arrive to school and be dismissed on a daily basis? Additionally, provide what procedure your child should follow in case of an unscheduled early closing of schools.
  • Media coverage. This includes students being photographed for the Cougar of the Week awards.
  • Data confidentiality.
  • PTA directory. What information do you want to be included in our CCES PTA Directory?

You can access HCPSS Connect here

Changes of address may not be made through Family File. If you have recently moved, please contact our CCES office at 410-313-6866 as soon as possible.

Parents who have forgotten their login credentials for Family File may click the “Forgot Password” link on the sign-in page. If you need additional assistance, please fill out this Connect Help Form.

Synergy - Connect Video Orientation

Bus Routes... Coming Soon

Bus routes and transportation information will be included in our next newsletter.


The PTA has planned the following play dates for kids & families to connect before the school year begins. Siblings are always welcome, but grade levels are separated to allow kids to connect with more friends in their grade levels. We are looking forward to seeing new and returning friends!! Make sure you’ve joined the class Facebook groups for updates (search for your Child’s class “CCES Class of….2022, 2023, 2024, 2025, 2026, or 2027)! Please contact Lisa Scata if you have any questions (

Gr. K-2

Tuesday, August 3rd at 3:30 PM @ CCES Playground

Wednesday, August 11th at 10:30 AM @ CCES Playground

Gr. 3-5

Thursday, August 5th - 3:30 PM @ CCES Playground

Thursday, August 12th - 10:30 AM @ CCES Playground

Big picture

“Welcome Back” Lunch for Staff

The PTA needs your help throwing a “Welcome Back” lunch for our amazing staff on Thurs. August 19. Use the Sign-up Genius link below to donate items for the lunch. Thank you for your support in this CCES tradition! Questions: email Rachael Kelly at

Who is my child's teacher?

We are not sending classroom placement postcards this year. Teacher notifications will be through Family File this year. You will be able to see your child's teacher on August 26. In order to access your child's teacher, you need to complete Family File. You will need to do this prior to Open House on August 27.

Kindergarten, Here We Come

This annual Howard County Library System program will help incoming kindergartners ease into school with stories and activities, including boarding a real school bus. Registration is required. Each session lasts one hour. Check the HCLS website to register and for additional details.

Supply List for 2021-22

The supply list for the 2021-22 school year can be found on the main page of our school's website.

We encourage you to drop off your school supplies during Open House on August 27. Please be sure to clearly label your child's supplies with his/her name.

Big picture

Arrival and Dismissal Information

With 600 students at Clemens Crossing Elementary, it is important to be patient during arrival and dismissal. The carefully planned logistics of arrival and dismissal help us keep our students, staff, parents, and visitors safe. If you are in a non-transportation zone (walker or car rider) it is extremely important to familiarize yourself with our routines for arrival and dismissal.

As adults, we must follow predictable patterns and routines, because children can be unpredictable. Parking in a wrong or illegal place creates unpredictable situations, and those types of situations can put students at risk during arrival and dismissal.

Arrival and dismissal safety is everyone's responsibility. Please review the map below and listen to our staff members who are outside to assist your children when they enter and leave school daily.

NOTE: Please follow the posted signs along Quarterstaff Road. Traffic engineers studied the road and placed signs to help maximize sight lines for drivers. This helps to reduce risks and provide a safe crossing of Quarterstaff Road for walkers who live on the other side of the road.

Do not park along Quarterstaff Road where signs state "No Parking or Standing". Howard County Police will ticket drivers who park or drop-off/pick-up students where no parking signs are posted.

Car Riders - All car riders are dismissed on the parking lot side of the building. Car riders are expected to be dropped off and picked up in the car loop (school parking lot). We do not allow students to cross the bus parking lot and load into their car along Quarterstaff Road. Please do not tell your children to meet you along Quarterstaff Road.

  • During arrival and dismissal, we expect car traffic to enter the car loop from the Martin Road side of Quarterstaff Road (right turn into the parking lot). Exiting the car loop is right-turn-only as well. Please plan your trip accordingly. Left-hand turn traffic creates back-ups in addition to making it difficult to see blind spots.
  • If you do park legally along Quarterstaff Road, your child is considered a walker and will be dismissed with walkers.

Walkers - We dismiss walkers last. We do this so our walkers can walk home safely with a reduced number of cars and buses on the property and along Quarterstaff Road. Walkers who cross Quarterstaff Road must cross the street with the crossing guard.

It is everyone’s responsibility to be safe during arrivals and dismissals.

Below, you will find a helpful graphic for arrival and dismissal.

Big picture

Car Loop Visors

The car loop procedures above help facilitate a smooth arrival and dismissal each day. Starting this year, we will use a new way of identifying cars this year with Car Loop Visor Name Tags as shown here.

If your child is a regular car rider, please make sure you have a visor sign. Use a permanent marker to write your child’s last name in the orange section and the grade in the white section. When not in use the sign can be moved to the inside of the closed visor as seen in step. For families with more than one student, please write all grade levels on the sign.

Big picture

“What Your Child Will Learn” Guides

What Your Child Will Learn guides provide an overview of the instructional program for your child’s grade, as well as student goals and expectations. The guides include information to help parents monitor and support their child’s progress during the school year.

Individual guides are provided for each grade level. Each grade level guide provides information categorized by curriculum area, e.g., Language Arts, Science, etc.

The guides are available online only; print versions are no longer distributed. Specific guide webpages may be printed from the website.

Specific student programs may differ depending on instructional needs.

*These may not be available. The HCPSS Curricular Offices are updating the guide.

Big picture

Connect with CCES and Stay Informed

Listed below are the many ways to stay informed at Clemens Crossing Elementary School.


  • Follow us on Twitter at
  • We use Twitter to inform, celebrate, and engage our community.
  • Twitter is used to share what is going on in our school, our community, and throughout the Howard County Public School System.
  • Turn on notifications to get information the second it is tweeted.
  • We live-stream our concerts on Periscope through Twitter.


  • Like us on Facebook at
  • We have found that Facebook is the social media most used by our parents so we are now on Facebook, too!
  • Our Facebook page is updated automatically from our Twitter feed.
  • Please use Facebook to share the good news from CCES with your friends and families.


  • We use Instagram periodically. We do post pictures and information there.


  • Our website,, is updated regularly.
  • Important news and information is located on the main page of the site including an archive of our weekly newsletter, Cougar Comments.
  • Staff information and email is located under the "Our Staff" tab.
  • A subscribable google calendar is located on the "Calendar" tab.


  • Email is our main form of communication.
  • You will receive news and information automatically to the email address you provide in your Family File. We will not inundate your inbox with email. Look for the weekly Cougar Comments on Friday mornings.
  • If you would like email sent to different email addresses, update your email in Family File with the email address you prefer.
  • You can subscribe additional email addresses by visiting the HCPSS News site here.
  • Weekly announcements, important information and updates, and more will primarily be sent through email.
  • You also have the opportunity to opt-in for text messaging

More Summer Learning

Summer Reading Lists

As part of the A+ Partnership with the Howard County Library System, summer reading lists developed by HCPSS library media specialists and Howard County Library System Children’s Instruction and Research staff are available for students in all grade levels. Books included are just a sampling of what students may enjoy reading during the summer. Students are encouraged to check out other books by the authors included as well as explore additional book topics at the library.

Recommended lists for all grade levels are available both in schools and online. Don’t forget to sign up for the library system’s Summer Reading Club online or at your nearest branch.

A+ Student Card

All HCPSS students received an A+ Student Card account number at the beginning of the 2017–2018 school year. With it, they have access to all HCLS eContent by using their account number to login via Using their A+ Student Card, students can place holds and check out physical materials, as well as take advantage of all the library’s digital resources.


All students have access to their school’s digital MackinVIA eBook and audiobook collection all summer long by logging in through with their active directory credentials.

Students continue to have access to all the digital tools they used during the school year. This includes databases available from the “Databases” tab in MackinVIA, such as:

  • CultureGrams, which offers country reports on over 200 cultures of the world.
  • World Book Online Reference Center, which includes encyclopedia, multimedia, e-book and primary source databases.

Summer Activities

Students can use their digital tools, available at, to document and celebrate their summer activities. Elementary students can use Wixie to create a summer postcard or travel journal. All students can utilize G-Suite to create a slideshow of their favorite summer day.

Contact Melissa Daggett at with questions or for more information.

Big picture
Big picture

Message from the PTA President

Hello Clemens Crossing Families,

I hope you all are having a wonderful summer. The PTA has been working hard this summer to plan activities for you once school begins. We hope to see you at all of our school events this year!

The PTA has several open positions for the upcoming year. New Families, younger families, even older and wiser families – don’t be shy – please volunteer! If you are interested in helping out in any way, on any level, please email me at We understand that people are able to be involved at different levels and appreciate any support you can provide – big or small. You do not even have to be at school in order to volunteer. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with questions or suggestions throughout the year. I would love to hear from you!

Dani Gardner, CCES PTA President

Back to School Picnic

Friday, September 10 from 5:00 to 8:00 pm on the school grounds. We will have playground games for the kids. You can pack a picnic dinner or buy food from our food vendors. This fun event is for both families and staff.

Big picture

PTA Kickoff Meeting and Dinner

Wednesday, Sep. 8th, 6:30pm

10320 Quarterstaff Road

Columbia, MD

Clemens Crossing Elementary School Media Center.

Please come and share your knowledge and ideas!