Clemens Crossing Cougar Comments

September 29, 2017 - VOLUME 39, ISSUE 3

Clemens Crossing Elementary School

Edward Cosentino, Principal

Elizabeth Yankle, Assistant Principal

Events Coming Up

For a complete list of dates and events visit


  • 3 - PTA Restaurant Night at Chick-fil-a (Johns Hopkins Road)
  • 6 - Flu Clinic
  • 11 - PTA Meeting, 7:00 pm
  • 12 - Interim Progress Reports Issued
  • 13 - 3rd Grade Ellicott City Day
  • 18 - 2nd Grade Fire Safety House
  • 19 - 4th Grade Annapolis Field Trip
  • 19 - PTA Family Fun Night, 6:30 pm
  • 20 - Schools Closed for students
  • 25 - In-school Banking
  • 27 - 1st Grade Field Trip Howard County Conservancy
  • 31 - Halloween parade, 2:45 pm


  • 1 - National American Indian Heritage Month starts
  • 1 - Pumpkin Run during PE for grades 3-5
  • 3 - Bingo Night, 7:00 pm
  • 8 - 5th Grade Field Trip - Living Classroom (Haube/Lee)
  • 9 - 5th Grade Field Trip - Living Classroom (Halvorson/Greenlee)
  • 10 - End of Marking Period
  • 10 - Veterans Day Celebration, 9:30 am

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

From School Administration

It was great to see so many parents at our Back-to-School Nights last week. One of the main reasons why Clemens Crossing is such a successful school is the home-school partnership that exists here. We know that students are most successful when there is consistency, and they are hearing the same positive messages at both home and school. We want to thank you for your role in making that happen. We realize that some parents were unable to attend the Back-to-School night sessions last week. In case you missed the evening or if you want to refer to the information, Back-to-School Night presentations are posted on the CCES website in the "Our Staff" section.

Staff Spotlight - Lorna Walls

Mrs. Lorna Walls is new to the Clemens Crossing community this year. She works with the fifth grade team as the instructional assistant paraeducator. This is her third year working for the Howard County Public School System. Previously, she worked as a student assistant at Hammond Elementary School. Mrs. Walls lives in Columbia with her husband and three children. Her youngest two sons are in fifth grade and eighth grades at Atholton Elementary and Hammond Middle, respectively. Her oldest son is a freshman at West Virginia University. Outside of school, Mrs. Walls enjoys reading, watching football, and jogging. She hopes one day to travel and visit Greece.

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.

The Great Pumpkin Run for 3rd, 4th, and 5th Grades

Save the Date - JA in a Day is November 2

What is JA in a Day?

JA stands for Junior Achievement. JA in a Day is a common core-aligned program that introduces K-12 students to a lifetime of learning about finance and career success. The program aims to inspire and prepare students to succeed in our world’s economy by delivering grade appropriate real-world experiences and material to the classroom.

What types of skills can students learn from JA?

The JA program helps students to explore, experience, and realize both opportunities and realities of work life. Students can begin to develop skills in work readiness, entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and how to face real-world challenges.

When is JA at Clemens Crossing?

JA in a Day is scheduled for November 2, 2017 for grades K-5.

Who teaches Junior Achievement?

The JA program is solely reliant on school/community volunteers to teach the program in classrooms. The idea is to attract parents and/or work force volunteers (past or present) to deliver the JA material from their own unique and diverse perspectives. Any adult can be a JA volunteer, because the program focuses on real world skills.

What exactly does a JA volunteer need to do?

Volunteers receive a comprehensive lesson plan that they are responsible for reviewing and then teaching to the class. All lessons, materials, and activities are provided in the instructional material provided by the JA program. Volunteers are also given an in-person training meeting at the school. JA volunteers teach in the classroom for the day, with the classroom teacher there for support as needed.

What are the time commitments?

Volunteers need to attend a training meeting, pick up their teaching packets, and prepare to teach the material prior to the actual JA day. Our goal is to have at least two volunteers per classroom to share the responsibility. Grade specific information is provided below, but JA volunteers ARE the teachers for the day, and need to accept the responsibility as such.

What can I expect to gain from volunteering?

Being a JA volunteer is so rewarding! The material is easy to follow, and the activities are all set up and planned out. This is a fantastic opportunity to support your kids and your school, and the students love seeing parents in their classroom. The experience last year was very positive, and the program is just invaluable to the students. You are almost guaranteed to walk away with not only some personal satisfaction but some smiles and some laughs as well!

How can I get more information?

You can read more about Junior Achievement by going online to:

You can also feel free to ask more detailed questions by contacting Dani Garner or Ed Cosentino directly.

How can I volunteer?

More information will be coming out soon. We need two parents per classroom!

Related Arts Curricular Corner

Art - Curricular Corner

Kindergarten students will be working on fine and gross motor skills through cutting, drawing and gluing. They will use simple shapes to create more complex shapes and structures. They’re practicing artistic behaviors like proper material use and growth mindsets.

First grade students are beginning the year using observational drawing to create a self-portrait. After this they will explore the elements of design like line, shape, color, and pattern through painting and printing.

Second grade students are using observational drawing to learn about constructing a whole body self-portrait. They can then choose to create a background from observation, memory or their imagination. Next, they’ll be constructing cityscapes through the process of collage.

Third grade students have been working on constructing and designing a sketchbook. They’re working on artistic behaviors like sketching to plan compositions and generate ideas. They’ll be creating a piece inspired by Winslow Homer that shows how they help their family. Throughout this semester they will be exploring drawing from different perspectives.

Fourth grade students have been working on constructing and designing a sketchbook. They’ll be practicing observational drawing while looking at several artists who use observational drawing like Leonardo Da Vinci.

Fifth grade students have been working on constructing and designing a sketchbook. They’ll be drawing and constructing a self-portrait relief inspired by cubism.

Library Media - Curricular Corner

The school year is off to a great start in our Library Media Center! During the first quarter all students will be introduced to the Black-Eyed Susan Book Award, which is a children’s choice award for the state of Maryland. 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. Stay tuned - the list of nominated book titles will be sent home.

The Media Center is open for book checkout whenever school is open. We want our books to be in students’ hands! This school year we are excited to begin a new partnership with the Howard County Library called the A+ Student Card. All students will receive a special account which allows them to use Library resources at school and home. Look for more information to come home in October. We are also creating Makerspace activities in the Media Center to foster creativity and problem-solving skills.

Fifth grade - Fifth graders are now learning about the Battle of the Books! Detailed information will be sent home separately. Registration for the Battle will begin on Oct. 20. Fifth grade students will also be learning about copyright this quarter. We’ll use Noodletools to make bibliographies.

Fourth grade - Fourth graders are using the Big6 method to solve problems and stay organized. We’ll use our skills to learn about space exploration and the International Space Station.

Third grade - Third grade students are using our PAC catalog to locate books and resources. We’ll also learn about different genres this quarter.

Second grade - Second graders are using the Super 3 method of problem solving. We’ll be sharing superhero stories and creating comic style book recommendations.

First grade - First grade students are also using the Super 3 strategy to learn beginning research skills. We’ll use PebbleGo to learn about animals.

Kindergarten - Our kindergarten students are so excited to visit every week! They are learning about authors, illustrators, and book awards. In November we’ll help students prepare for the kindergarten field trip to the public library.

Vocal Music - Curricular Corner

The general music room has gotten off to a great start. Miss Heavner is our student intern, and loves learning how to be a music teacher! We began the year learning about patriotic music. Every grade has learned different patriotic songs. We danced to You’re a Grand Old Flag (Kindergarten), This Land is Your Land (1st grade), and Yankee Doodle (2nd grade). 3rd graders began learning all of our states in alphabetical order in Fifty Nifty United States. 4th graders wrote their own versions of our state song, Maryland, My Maryland. 5th graders figured out what our National Anthem means, and then put it into current day terms.

Physical Education - Curricular Corner

The PE department would like to remind all students to come prepared with sneakers on PE days.

First quarter units grades 3-5:

  • Cooperative activities (teamwork, communication)
  • Fitnessgram testing (pacer, sit-ups, curl-ups, trunk lift, shoulder stretch)
  • Soccer (dribbling, passing, kicking, modified games)

First quarter units grades K-2:

  • Cooperative activities (teamwork, communication)
  • Fitness (locomotor skills, fitness concepts, fitness stations)
  • Foot skills (dribbling, passing, kicking, modified games)

Technology Education - Curricular Corner

Kindergarten has been working hard to acquire the prerequisite skills and information to begin using the computers. We read Arthur’s Computer Disaster and discussed the importance of following directions and telling the truth when they encounter problems with technology. Students are currently creating paper laptops to begin learning the parts of a computer and their login information. Next, we will begin trackpad practice and learning how to login.

First Grade - Students in 1st grade took time to review their log in information and completed an orientation to MAP testing at the start of the year. The students are currently working in Wixie to create an “All About Me” booklet, which allows them to practice using tools to create images and adding text to tell about themselves.

Second Grade - Students are working on following more independent directions. They have been working from a task sheet to create a “Table Tent” to tell more about themselves in Wixie. It has been a great project to gauge their current technology skills as well as re-teach needed skills. Soon, we will begin a unit on communities which is closely aligned with their learning in social studies. We will use review types of communities and use Google Earth to share noticing about those different types of communities.

All intermediate students have been introduced to proper keyboarding techniques and have begun using for weekly practice. Canvas has been introduced and students have personalized their dashboards while completing a general orientation.

Third Grade - We are now beginning a module in Canvas about extreme weather that is aligned with science and social studies content from the homerooms. The culminating activity will be a project about a student selected type of extreme weather.

Fourth Grade - Students will have the opportunity to creatively share unique information about themselves while applying skills in Google Slides through a project called Who Am I.

Fifth Grade - Students will engage in discussion about heroes and everyday heroes specifically while creating a product about a chosen hero. We will then begin our review of digital citizenship and dive a little deeper into cyberbullying (both how to avoid it and how to handle it).

Volunteers and Visitors Print and Turn in Certificate ~ Including Lunch Visits

We appreciate all you do to support our school in so many ways! According to HCPSS Board Policy, all parent volunteers must complete a Confidentiality Training Course about protecting the privacy of our students, staff, and schools.

Those who volunteer in the school, whether helping with lunch or working in classrooms, must complete the online training course EACH school year. At this time, we have very few completed certificates.

Please click HERE for the link to the training. Once you have completed the course, please print the certificate of completion and bring it to our front office.

Your participation in this process helps make CCES a safer place to learn.

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PTA Restaurant Event

Please mark your calendars for the CCES PTA’s first restaurant event at Chick-Fil-A (on Johns Hopkins Road) on October 3, 2017 between 6am and 10pm (that’s all day!) Chick-Fil-A will contribute a percentage of the money raised that day to the CCES PTA, which will be used to fund the fun PTA events throughout the year. You can dine-in, carry-out, or use the drive through! No flier is necessary, but BEFORE you order, you must advise CFA that you are present for CCES’ Spirit Day so CCES will get credit. Please help us spread the word to your family and friends and we look forward to seeing you there!

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Foundations of Computer Science

Registration is open for Foundations of Computer Science led by Amanda Rausch & Monica Chuppetta through HowGirlsCode. Classes begin on October 4th and meet weekly from 3:50-5:20 pm. Need-based scholarships are available. To see full details and register, visit

Giant Food Stores A+ Rewards - Register Your Giant Card - Earn Cash for CCES!

Clemens Crossing Elementary earns cash every time you shop at Giant Food Grocery Stores and use your Giant card. All you need to do is register your card online and designate CCES as your school of choice (school ID: 01008) through Giant's A+ School Rewards Program. Follow the steps below to register your card and designate CCES as your school today:

  1. Visit and select the purple box that says "Log in to get started."
  2. Log-in or follow the prompts to create your online account. You will need your 12-digit Giant Card number.
  3. (If you don't know your Giant card number, call 1-877-366-2668, Option #1)
  4. Under the "Rewards and Savings" tab, follow the prompts to designate Clemens Crossing Elementary as your school. You will need the School ID # for CCES, which is 01008.
  5. If you need assistance selecting your school, call or email the A+ Hotline at 1-877-275-2758 or

NOTE: If you registered your Giant card last year - you do NOT need to re-register. CCES will automatically start earning money from your purchases once the program begins this school year!

CCES starts earning money October 6, so register today! Last year this program earned more than $4,600 for our school!

Don't forget to encourage your friends and family members to register their cards for CCES, too!

If you have questions about this program, contact CCES's Giant A+ Rewards Coordinator Angela Stark at

Register Your Harris Teeter Card - Earn Cash for CCES!

In addition to the Giant A+ Rewards Program , Clemens Crossing Elementary also earns cash every time you shop at Harris Teeter and use your VIC card. You can link your HarrisTeeter VIC card to Clemens Crossing using one of two ways:

1. Next time you are at Harris Teeter, give the cashier your VIC card and Clemens Crossing Elementary's Together In Education number during checkout: 7655. They can link it for you.


2. Visit Click the green "Link Your School Today" box and follow the prompts to set up your account and link your card to Clemens Crossing Elementary.

NOTE: If you linked your card to CCES last year you MUST re-link your Harris Teeter VIC card every year. Register today!

Only Harris Teeter brand (including Harris Teeter, H.T. Traders, Harris Teeter Farmers Market, and Harris Teeter Organics) purchases qualify for cash-back to the school. Pharmacy purchases also qualify.

Don't forget to encourage your friends and family members to register their cards for CCES, too!

If you have questions about this program, contact CCES's retail promotions coordinator Angela Stark at

PTA Coat and Winter Accessory Drive

October 1st to October 25th

The CCES PTA (along with Personnel Pupil Workers (PPW) of HCPSS) will be conducting an annual coat drive from October 1st to October 25th. PPW provides supplies, clothing and other necessities to at risk children in the county. Please consider donating your gently used coats and cold weather accessories and help keep some needy children warm this winter. Adult sizes accepted too. The drop off box will be at the front entrance of the school.

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PTA Read-a-Thon Going on Now

The Read-a-thon began on September 25 and will run through October 6 -- Ten weekdays for kids to count the minutes they spend reading and get friends and family to sponsor them for reading. When a student turns in his or her read-a-thon form, their name will be put up on the windows of the Media Center. The grade with the most participation in the read-a-thon will get a popsicle party at recess! Additionally, every student who turns in a read-a-thon form will get a coupon worth $1 at the Book Fair in November. The read-a-thon information letter and pledge form are linked below.

PTA Fundraising Goal

So far, we have 163 memberships in the PTA and families have sent in $7,160 in direct donations to the PTA!! Thank you so much! Our fundraising goal, from direct donations and read-a-thon combined, is $10,500. We can do it!! Please take a moment right now to join the PTA and donate -- the membership form is attached here. IF WE MAKE OUR GOAL THIS YEAR, MR. COSENTINO TAKE A PIE IN THE FACE FROM MRS. YANKLE.

Clemens Crossing PTA Family Mentoring Program

If you are new to Clemens Crossing and would like to be paired with a more established Clemens family, please contact the Family Mentoring Committee at Your mentor will arrange a playdate for your child with a child in the same class and will help your family adjust to the school and the area. More information and an information form can be found by clicking the link below.

We are also looking for established Clemens Crossing families willing to mentor a new family. Volunteers are needed for every grade and every class, so please contact the Family Mentoring Committee at if you would like to participate. Additional information about the program can be found by clicking the link below.

Thank You From Puerto Rico

Words cannot express how grateful and blessed we feel right now. The overwhelming response in such a short amount of time was absolutely amazing. We actually had to coordinate for another drop-off point because we had 3 SUVs and one pick up truck full of supplies. In a matter of three days, the CCES community demonstrated that we really care, set the example for our kids and showed them to value how blessed we are and how we should not take everyday necessities for granted. We are proud to be part of such a wonderful and caring community.

Destination Imagination Interest Meeting

Please join us on Wednesday, October 4 at 6:30 p.m. in the Media Center for a Destination Imagination (DI) interest meeting. We will have a brief presentation from a representative from Maryland Destination Imagination who will be able to answer questions about the program. Parents can sign up to participate or volunteer to lead a team. Teams can form into groups based on grade level: Early learning (K-1st) or Competitive Teams (2nd-5th).

According to their website, “The Destination Imagination program is a fun, hands-on system of learning that fosters students’ creativity, courage and curiosity through open-ended academic Challenges in the fields of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), fine arts and service learning. Our participants learn patience, flexibility, persistence, ethics, respect for others and their ideas, and the collaborative problem-solving process. Teams may showcase their solutions at a tournament.”

More information about DI can be found on their website:

If you have any questions, please email Laura Braun at

or Chris McDonald at

Don't Delay, Join Your PTA and Get Your CCES Car Magnet!

The 2017-18 membership rates are $15 for a family and $10 for an individual.

Consider all the programs your PTA brings to the school -- Cultural Arts assemblies, after school classes, field trip support, the Science Fair, International Night, Talent Show, Carnival, etc., etc., etc., and support your PTA! This year we are encouraging families to pay their membership and/or direct donation with a check payable to: CCES PTA. We pay a fee for every electronic transaction processing, and the fees add up fast. Please consider writing a check so all of your contributions support students and programs here at school.

When you join PTA, you will receive one magnet for individual membership and two magnets for family membership.
PTA Membership Form

Type and print (Word Document) Print and handwrite (PDF Version)

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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Adding the CCES Google Calendar to Your Personal Online/Email Calendar

Did you know you can subscribe to the CCES Calendar and see events on your computer and/or smartphone?
Why subscribe to the calendar? You will have all of CCES's events embedded in your calendar. If events change, the calendar will be updated immediately.

The calendar ID is: There are many "how to" tutorials online you can view to learn how to properly sync your calendar. It depends on your email provider, computer platform, and brand of smartphone.